WolframAlpha--New Search Engine That Answers Your Questions!

Do you need fast answers and facts? You can always call or visit the Ann Arbor District Library!

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But this is not an advertisement for you favorite local library. Submitted for your approval is a new type of search engine under the name of WolframAlpha. This engine has new, unusual features. It will try to compile and calculate information for the searcher. Give it a try! Here are some suggested searches to try (courtesy of the website):

enter any date (e.g. a birth date)
enter any town (e.g. a home town)
enter any two stocks
enter any calculation
enter any math formula
enter any two first names
enter any food
enter any measurement
enter any chemical formula
enter any musical notes

If you try these you will find calculations and charts for mathematical problems, statistics from towns, stock comparisons, and more.

Give it a try, then leave comments here on how effective the engine is!

Forecast: Cloudy

Cloud computingCloud computing

Really need to work on that paper? Revise your resume? Write a book report? But you forgot your USB drive? Rats! Well, hey! There are ways to get around using cumbersome data storage devices. Meet the cloud! Cloud computing, that is. There are a slowly growing number of web-based word processing and office tools, which means that you can access and edit your documents (or calendar or spreadsheets or presentations) from anywhere that you access the internet, not just your home computer.

My (new ) New York Times

New  York Times LogoNew York Times Logo

The New York Times is offering a new service called "My Times" (http://my.nytimes.com) (currently still in beta phase). It's basically a customizable news page composed of various widgets that draw news from the New York Times or various RSS feed sources. If you're into this sort of thing, you should probably check it out.

Of special interest is the "Journalists' Pics" section. Here you'll find a variety of New York Times writers (neatly categorized by their areas of expertise) who will share with you their suggested sources. Blogging and the like is influencing traditional journalism more and more, so it's pretty interesting to see what sort of blogs traditional journalists read.

If you're not into this sort of thing (or don't even know what I'm talking about) but would like to learn more, then the library can help. We offer a variety of computer classes. In particular, there's a class on blogging on Feb 4th and RSS on Feb 20th.

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