Hugh McGuire posted an important thought recently. Hugh made the claim that:
The distinction between “the internet” & “books” is totally totally arbitrary, and will disappear in 5 years. Start adjusting now.
This is an interesting concept, and it brings me to think:
Since links are considered gold in the online space, will we eventually get to the stage where we can do away with (Author, Date) academic style referencing and simply hyperlink to sources?
The space between text and hypertext is narrowing, especially with words like Kindle, iPad, iBooks and ePub entering our vocabularies. As Hugh says, “Start adjusting now”.
To paraphrase the About section of Hugh’s blog: Hugh McGuire builds webby things; and writes & speaks about media, publishing, the web, technology, etc.
Wolfram|Alpha is a mathematical computational knowledge engine. Instead of searching the web and returning links like a conventional search engine, it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base and publicly available data then expresses it in a structured and intuitive manner. It really is quite amazing. Make sure you check out the introductory video, it’s something you do not want to miss!
Back in 2009, Wolfram tested their mobile optimised website as a trial for their iPhone App. Upon the release of the iPhone App shortly thereafter, they pulled the mobile website from free use and were controversially charging in excess of $50 for the Wolfram|Alpha iPhone App! This staggering price was clearly not a successful strategy and failed dismally.
However, over the past few days Wolfram has re-evaluated their strategy and decided to drop the price of their iPhone App. The price drop comes as Wolfram release their new iPad formatted App which comes at the same low price. Also, the mobile website is back!
The announcement comes as Wolfram is uncharacteristically offering to refund the cost of the App to customers who are unhappy with their original purchase. It’s not unusual for companies to amend their pricing strategies, however it is odd for one to offer refunds to customers who paid the high release price. Visit http://www.wolframalpha.com/iwantmymoneyback/ to claim the refund.
Commentary: Kudos to Wolfram for acknowledging their fault and fixing the problem. This is a great way to rebuild broken customer relationships, and gain new ones (I bought the discounted App!). Toyota could take a leaf out of the Wolfram|Alpha book next time to avoid their PR nightmare!
Check out Wolfram|Alpha at http://www.wolframalpha.com/ or try the search box below: