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The Wolfram|Alpha Team

Wolfram|Alpha Q&A Webcast

June 5, 2009 —
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Stephen Wolfram shared the latest news and updates about Wolfram|Alpha and answered several users’ questions in a live webcast yesterday.

If you missed it, you can watch the recording here.

Thanks for all of the great questions. We look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.


Mr. Wolfram, from the last couple of years, we ( commercial and federal in USA) have been working with the concept of Collaboration and semantic web tools. So we are kind to predisposed to expect these features in a new tool.

Collaboration tools incoporates the latest and greatest ( real time) information ) in the decision making process to deliver the precise real time answers that can be used even in emergency situation and life saving moments!

That has been the new diresction, for example GPS and etc.. But Mathematica has historic leverage with difficult world of Mathematics. With that I like to work for your organization, if you would hire me!

Posted by Pavithra Kenjige June 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm

thanks, mr

Posted by aceng June 6, 2009 at 12:57 am

Dear Mr Wolfram,

Curate the Curator!!

Your live webcasts leave something to be desired. Please hand the task over to W|A as soon as possible and spend your time more productively on its development.

To be specific:-
The file cannot be downloaded at full speed on my PC or mlillions of others so the picture jerks and the sound stutters. It has to be allowed to download fully before watching.

You have not clarified your thoughts before you put your tongue in gear which makes you appear to be a bumbler and reduces the respect with which unfairly your words are heard.

The file format ‘flv’ cannot be copied on to most pcs and played back later due to technicalities yet the video is historic and merits that capability. Please change the format to one which can be downloaded and watched at leisure offline in a format that can be read by all pcs such as AVI.

Please also have it converted to structured form such as html with pictures and video clips inserted only where needed. Have the web pages structured so points of interest to the viewer can be selected and watched seperately. ..and all the bits accessed seperately by W|A.

…and tell your staff that you won’t cry if they give it to you straight.
Regards Brian Gilbert

Posted by Brian Gilbert June 6, 2009 at 1:24 am

    I thought it was a great webcast.

    I had no problems viewing it …maybe it depends on the broadband speeds that the viewer has access to.

    FLV is one of the very common streaming formats (YouTube) so what’s the problem? Streamed FLV files can be downloaded in many ways but the easiest cross platform way is probably via RealAudio, which is a free application. Stick with FLV.

    I couldn’t disagree more with your post.

    Posted by Ranier Wolfcastle June 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Thanks for publishing it!

A very interesting talk, Stephen. It’s clear that you have great plans for Alpha in the future.

We would really appreciate more comments about upcoming updates and changes, on webcast or in the blog.


Posted by igo June 6, 2009 at 2:48 am

Hi, I’ve just spent a few minutes waiting for your video to start. I’m downloading at broadband speed but all I see is a “Loading Media” icon. Is there a working video here? Perhaps you can post to Youtube – videos start quickly here.

Posted by Paul June 6, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I have the same problem; i think it downloads it fully before starting (in safari you can see under the activity monitor that it downloading). The actual talk is stored here, but it is terribly slow…

    Posted by sander huisman June 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    It does work, it just takes a long time to get started. I walked away and came back to it.

    Posted by Brian Gilbert June 7, 2009 at 1:01 am

Dear Mr Wolfram,
In your webcast you mentioned your desire to get W|A to create a program in response to a specification.

In my career as a computer professional I progressed a long way towards this as explained at the above web address. I structured any new system specification so that the initial specification is extremely brief using powerful words/phrases. Those words/phrases were then expressed as subprograms, which were expressed in terms of further subrograms, none of them very large. Debugging is relatively easy as the subprograms were tested seperately before being combined. Most being written and tested for earlier use were reliable already.

Theses subprograms were reusable and so writing a new system required little new programming just a few items which were unique to the new system. For instance my Accounts recivable systemwas almost identical to my Accounts payable system.

You could build a library of compatible W|A subprograms so that just by the user expressing their spec in English using the titles of subprograms he knew to be available the appropriate system would be assembled for him.

Posted by Brian Gilbert June 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

    In line with W|A’s curating function, rath than inventing its own programming language, companies supplying existing programming languages could be invited to create a version which would run on W|A. The main changes needed would be:-
    – A way to address W|A data from within a program. The program Name could be followed by parameters equating internal fields to the words that would identify them within W|A.
    – The compiler to be part of W|A to ensure that it was curated.
    – Input ito W|A could take the form:- Call Program1234 Parm1(…),Parm2(….)
    with the answer being returned in one of the parameters

    Posted by Brian Gilbert June 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm

the video works poorly

Posted by - June 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Hello Mr. Wolfram. The video worked fine for me, and I really enjoyed the webcast. I personally hope you do more of them, as it is great (for me) to see/hear the person behind NKS Mathematica and Alpha. I also found a couple of your blog casts a ways back very interesting, about searching the space of possible bridges, and searching computations to find our universe. I thought your ideas presented in this webcast for using NKS to build programs out of written descriptions of what the program should do sounded very interesting. I think if it worked it would be a way to validate some of your claims in the book. Searching through all possible simple ways of trying to do something seems like a very interesting way of looking at solving problems. Just thought I’d share, and again it would be cool to see more of these from you. I am a fan.

Posted by Eric Parfitt June 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm

you should have kept a option of downloading video ……………….

Posted by xxx May 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm

[…] If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Continue reading… […]