Why we never get the good stuff (link)? Xbox Live only spots a few hundred titles over here and Orange has the worst service I've ever run into!
I think the basic problem is that we expect a general purpose search engine (that's what we are used to experiencing when confronted with a text box as input on a website that computes queries...). In fact, Wolfram Alpha is not a general purpose search engine. Instead, it's a computation "machine" that computes specific knowledge ( "Specific heat capacity of water", "Size of the observable universe", math equations, chemical formulas, physics equations, historical factc, etc...).
The point, it seems, is to use W/A to find (and therefore gain) very specific knowledge about subjects that are natively computable (So, searching on your name is not reasonable in this context, just as searching for "C# Generics" is too vague, too broad, too, well, generic - W/A has no way of reasoning about your intention - what are you specifically trying to understand - what data is available to use in the computation of your query, etc....
In some sense, I see W/A as a very powerful component of a more generalized search system: a data computation service to be used from applications (and other services) that require meaningful and accurate data result sets returned from intrinsically computable queries (math is a no brainer here as is Astronomy,Chemistry, Physics, and many other scientific disciplines with mathematical foundations)
Over time, I see W/A becoming very powerful. It certainly has specific potential.
I think most of the limits of Wolfram Alpha come from its database: the search engine computes results, but it has a limited number of input data (in this case it is artificially created). Ideally the database could be computed from the internet from a variety of sources, but this is probably impossible to do today. A short term solution would be a Wikipedia like database where the community can contribute its growth. Just a thought.
Wow! I did not really understand the power of this until I saw this http://www.wolframalpha.com/screencast/introducingwolframalpha.html
Actually the first NYT reader was WPF.
Silverlight 2 (the latest stable version) and below is a web only technology, while Flex is both a web and offline technology, running on either AIR (for offline ability), or Flash Player (for online ability). Since this is not a web site, but an application, Silverlight doesn't even make any sense at all for this application. You can tout Silverlight all you want but this is just a fundamental misunderstanding of what Silverlight is. Microsoft Silverlight as a competitor to Adobe Flash Player. Not to Adobe AIR. At this time Microsoft has no [stable] product that competes with Adobe AIR.
Another interesting thing about Flex which is NOT POSSIBLE in Silverlight is the ability to leverge Adobe Flash (the productivity program), to create useful Flex assets.
Flash is a program where there is already a lot of expert knowledge available. This is HUGE. Adobe products have a virtual monopoly in the designer market, and Adobe products all interoperate with one another very well.
My bad, you are right, it was a WPF app and yes, Silverlight 2 is not a competitor for AIR, but the edges are sometimes blurry for end users.
Bass said:No offense guys, but what the hell is wrong with using AIR? I've been using the Flex framework for a few weeks and tbh, it's pretty damn good. Seriously. Could be competitive with Silverlight.. Um, it could be better then Silverlight. Perhaps that's exactly why they are using Flex over .NET. Yeah I know unbelieveable right?
Sometimes the "right tool for the job" happens to be a non-Microsoft product. So what?
Because the first NYT reader was silverlight and I would like to know why all of the sudden Air is a better tool than Silverlight.
Given the number of anti-Microsoft articles and Apple adds on the NYTimes I shouldn't be too surprised though.
I guess I will stick to my paper books for a while then: no license, no drm, no batteries, and they can be re-sold and exchanged for a very long time. A little outdates nowdays, but hey...Sven Groot said:giovanni said:*snip*
Good point, but I have a feeling that this might go the way of DRM with music (free).Sven Groot said:My main problem with Microsoft Reader is its DRM system. Books purchased with Microsoft Reader are linked to your Live ID, and in order to be able to read them a device with Reader must be activated. A single Live ID can only be activated 6 times, and there's no way to deactivate old devices. In addition, because you cannot purchase books using a Windows Mobile device, and purchasing requires an activated copy of Microsoft Reader on your PC, you must always activate your PC, even if you don't actually read on your PC.
Between reinstalling Windows and upgrading my device's ROM, I managed to reach that 6 activation limit. There is an option to request additional activations, but this is not an automated process so it takes a long time, and can only be done once every 180 days. I discovered this when I tried to activate my laptop to purchase a new book (again, I had no intention of actually reading on the laptop); I had exceeded the number of activations and couldn't activate, and therefore couldn't purchase the book. I requested new activations, but in the mean time I was stuck without a way to get new books (I was also never informed of when exactly I got new activations; I only found out that I had gotten them by accident much later when I tried to reactivate my desktop PC).
At that time, I wanted to buy a book, and couldn't with Microsoft Reader. So I switched to eReader, fictionwise.com's perferred format. This format password-protects your books, and they can be read on as many devices as you like as long as you unlock them using the password (and the password is your credit card number, so it's really unlikely that you would share it with others ). No software is needed on the PC where you buy the books. With eReader, you also gain the ability to download the books directly from your online Fictionwise bookshelf. And eReader is multiplatform, so I can now keep my entire library of e-Books (except for the few that are not from Fictionwise and I only have in .lit format) both on my Axim and on my iPhone.
For me, any future version of Microsoft Reader must use a different activation method if I am to seriously consider switching back to it. Reader was also designed in an era when portable devices weren't typically connected to the Internet very often. In today's 3G and wi-fi world, it also desperately needs a way to purchase books directly from a device.