Wolfram Alpha is no iPhone killer

ZDNET, Mediocre Grauniad, Saturday (NNGadget) — I’ve been using Wolfram Alpha, the new web encyclopedia social search networking mathematics engine, for almost ten minutes now.

Stephen Wolfram’s Magic 8 BallAnd I can tell you — despite fears it would create a black hole when switched on, ending all life on earth, it’s no iPhone killer.

It’s good, to be sure, and “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that” is the appropriate answer for so many queries (and “Wolfram Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input” is for pretty much all the others), but I can’t see Wolfram Alpha successfully vanquishing any such titans as iPhones, Twitter, Windows 7 or Zune.

Stephen Wolfram is less than amused. “Your petty queries miss the point. The queries Wolfram Alpha cannot answer are not worth answering. Until you foolish Internet users realise the value of my brilliant creation, you will merely continue to stumble about, blind and helpless, as your pitiful ‘human’ civilisation has done for so long. I knew I should have charged for it. You don’t deserve it free.”

But can it replace Facebook? Are we worthy of blurry drunk photos of girls we vaguely know from a knowledgeable, curated source? Will Wolfram Alpha add a third answer, “REPLY HAZY TRY AGAIN LATER”? I’ll be sure to be here all month, filling space with the finest analytical prognostication on the subject. It sure beats working.

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