Wolfram Alpha – Already Getting Bigger & Better

Less than a month old, the newborn Alpha is already celebrating by giving a gift back to its users: upgrades! Resource Shelf (and lots of others) report on the upgrades here. Resource Shelf quotes the changes reported on the Wolfram Alpha blog, and I requote them here for convenience:

Additional linguistic forms for many types of data and questions

More comparisons of composite properties (e.g. “US military vs. UK”)

Combined time series plots of different quantities (e.g. “germany gdp vs population”)

More complete handling of government positions (e.g. “chancellor”, etc.)

Updates to country borders for India, China, Slovenia, Croatia, and others

Updates to naming for certain politically sensitive countries and regions

Additional subcountry regions (e.g. “Wales”); many more to come

Additional support for current and past fractional timezones (e.g. “Iran time”)

City-by-city handling of U.S. states with multiple timezones

Updates to certain European currencies (e.g. for “Cyprus” and “Slovakia”)

Some additional historical events; many more to come

Additional probability computations for cards and coins (e.g. “2 or 3 aces”)

Additional output for partitions of integers (e.g. “partitions of 47″)

Implicit handling of geometric figure properties (e.g. “ellipse with area 6 and major axis 2″)

Additional support for Mathematica 3D graphics syntax

Additional support for stock prices with explicit dates

Support for planet-to-planet distances and “nearest planet”, etc.

Extra information when comparing incompatible units (e.g. “ergs vs. newtons”)

Improved linguistic handling for many foods (e.g. “love apple”)

More mountains added, especially in Australia

Support for many less-common given names (e.g. “zebulon”)

More “self-aware” questions answered (e.g. “how old are you”)

More consistent handling of sidebar links to Wikipedia, etc.

Happy Birthday to us!

[Caption]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Don't Mess With Texas, When It Comes to Memorandum Opinions Anyway

It seems Texans are of the “opinion” that one should leave no stone or judicial opinion unturned, even if the opinion is only accessible though Westlaw or Lexis. Erika Wayne at Legal Research Plus tipped me off to a recent change to the Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 47 that discusses the use of unpublished and memorandum judicial opinions. Apparently, in 2003, the Texas legislature barred the use of unpublished legal opinions in civil cases, but authorized the use of memorandum opinions in their place. In 2008, the Legislature took matters one step further by giving the memorandum opinions issued since 2003 full precedential value.
So, what’s the problem you ask? Well, these fully binding, precedential memorandum opinions are only accessible by Westlaw or Lexis. Cha-ching!
Hey, Texas! What’s up with this move to lock the law behind a very expensive toll booth? If the Texas legislature insists that memorandum opinions are binding, then the Texas legislature better figure out a way to open access to them. In an age when information is moving steadily towards free and open source, this short-sighted procedural move seems more than a little backward. I suppose the next move is to require lawyers to ride to court on buckboard.

[Caption]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Don’t Mess With Texas, When It Comes to Memorandum Opinions Anyway

It seems Texans are of the “opinion” that one should leave no stone or judicial opinion unturned, even if the opinion is only accessible though Westlaw or Lexis. Erika Wayne at Legal Research Plus tipped me off to a recent change to the Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 47 that discusses the use of unpublished and memorandum judicial opinions. Apparently, in 2003, the Texas legislature barred the use of unpublished legal opinions in civil cases, but authorized the use of memorandum opinions in their place. In 2008, the Legislature took matters one step further by giving the memorandum opinions issued since 2003 full precedential value.
So, what’s the problem you ask? Well, these fully binding, precedential memorandum opinions are only accessible by Westlaw or Lexis. Cha-ching!
Hey, Texas! What’s up with this move to lock the law behind a very expensive toll booth? If the Texas legislature insists that memorandum opinions are binding, then the Texas legislature better figure out a way to open access to them. In an age when information is moving steadily towards free and open source, this short-sighted procedural move seems more than a little backward. I suppose the next move is to require lawyers to ride to court on buckboard.

[Caption]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]