Sunday, March 8, 2009

Frontrunning: March 9

  • Pharma acquisitions pick up pace: Merck buying Schering-Plough (NYT)
  • The Google killer: Wolfram Alpha is coming (Twine)
  • Credit markets seizing up again as LIBOR climbs... (WSJ)
  • AIG holds world hostage as its demands are met repeatedly (Bloomberg)
  • CNBC is on the war path (NYT)
  • Let the sleeping shadow banking systems lie (Reuters)
  • Another villain emerges in the Madoff saga (WSJ)
  • Events are getting ahead of Geithner and his economic recovery skeleton crew (NYT)
  • Bloomberg on the depression (Bloomberg)
  • General Growth Properties to beg bondholders for reprieve (WSJ)
  • Last year ever for a $34 million bonus (Bloomberg)
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Nick said...

I call "useless" on Wolfram Alpha.
According to the post, "It [Google] cannot possibly index the answer to every question that matters."

I think it can. Mostly because if something matters, people write/blog/tweet/whatever about it and then Google finds it and adds to the index.
If you look up the definition of Google it simply says, "an index of stuff that matters" :).

The sad news is that the 307th digit of Pi - DOES NOT MATTER.

The author claims that Google would want to own Wolfram Alpha because, "it opens up an entirely new field of potential traffic around questions, answers and computations that you can't do on Google today."

While the field may exist, the traffic doesn't. At least, not in a commercially relevant quantity.

Searching on Google is a skill and it sometimes takes time to find the answer you are looking for but the answer is almost always there.
Any answer that might lead to a click-through is certainly there.

I am sure natural language search will improve leaps and bounds over the next few years but Google will probably win at that too.

Unfortunately for Wolfram Alpha - computation, whether in natural language or not, doesn't matter, because anyone looking for the 307th digit of Pi, isn't looking to consume anything (other than this,