There's been a fair bit of discussion recently about Wolfram Alpha's upcoming launch of what they are calling their "computational knowledge engine."
The Independent wrote a lengthy article on the capabilities of the new search tool, suggesting that it is "an invention that could change the Internet forever." They summarize what they consider to be the major milestones of the Internet with Wolfram Alpha's launch as one of seven events that are remarkable.
Worldwide network: A brief history of the internet (source: The Independent, May 3, 2009)
Other's haven't lacked opinions and reviews of the service. Cnet's Rafe Needleman and Stephen Shankland got an inside look and have given their thoughts in this article and in this one, as have ZDNet's Sam Diaz and Larry Dignan.
Just when everyone had become overly fixated on who would acquire Twitter, along comes a company from Champaign, Illinois, to shake things up. For those under the age of 25, Champaign is home to the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where the NCSA's Marc Andreesen and Eric Bina created Mosaic, considered to be the first popular graphical browser for the World Wide Web.
Wolfram Alpha published a blog post today outlining the two companies they are working with to bring their new service to market. R Systems Inc. has built the 44th fastest supercomputer (per the June 2008 TOP500 list) known as the R-Smarr powered by a Dell Data Center Solutions (DCS) server solution. Dell DCS also provided another supercomputer based on quad-board, dual-processor, quad-core Harpertown servers for their data center.
There are many more details on Wolfram Alpha to come soon.
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