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domingo, maio 24, 2009

Wolfram Alpha asks some searching questions of the web

<cite>FT.com / Columnists / John Gapper - Wolfram Alpha asks some searching questions of the web</cite>: "
That is what makes Wolfram Alpha so radical � it is a challenge not just to Google but to the internet as a whole. Instead of grappling with all the data that are theoretically discoverable on the web, Mr Wolfram has got around the difficulties by building his own black box.Similar struggles for dominance between private databases and open information systems are common. In financial services, stock exchanges contend with 'dark pools' of liquidity � private networks of banks and institutional investors that allow them to trade with each other.So far in the history of the internet, the public has soundly defeated the private. Private networks such as the original AOL and Compuserve gave way to the internet as a whole, made comprehensible by Google.Now that faces a challenge. If all the data on the internet are simply too messy to be analysed and structured, Google will be unable to produce a service rivalling Wolfram Alpha in clarity and reliability.This would not spell the end for Google and other search engines. But it would mean that search itself � on which we rely to map the internet � had bumped up against its natural limits. Let battle begin.


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