A new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has gone into public beta. I say search engine but it's not quite that; it's a new concept that takes a question asked by the user, goes and has a look online and offers a proper answer in return rather than a series of web links. The BBC's coverage is here.
I have two reservations about this, attractive though the idea might appear initially. First, last time Google faced a new rival it was the Cuil site, almost a year ago. It's still there but does anyone use it? Certainly in the UK it's little known.
Second and more seriously we need more than one source of information online if we're going to start getting 'definitive' answers. I have no doubt that the developers behind the new venture are sincere and honorable people, but the thought of a planet-load of individuals sourcing all their information from the same place and getting identical answers plain creeps me out.
Just tell me if you think I'm getting old..!