New search engine Wolfram Alpha launched last week, and so far I'm having a hard time imagining ways in which it will be useful for my usual Internet legal research queries. Sure, it's handy for socioeconomic data, math, and statistics, but it's not handling any legal terms that I throw at it. I'm not alone -- see this review from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.
If you haven't been following the buzz around Wolfram Alpha, it's essentially a search engine that specializes in data compilation. According to the website, "You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer." There's a handy-dandy examples by topic page that shows you how to use Wolfram Alpha to research various topics, like Money and Finance, Socioeconomic Data, and more. Just don't expect it to recognize fun legal terms like "res judicata."