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Re: Wolfram | Alpha: Acres per square mile? (oddities)

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  • Subject: [mg101217] Re: Wolfram | Alpha: Acres per square mile? (oddities)
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 06:02:11 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <h1vm2n$a8q$> <h2299r$hsi$>

In article <h2299r$hsi$1 at>, pfalloon <pfalloon at> 

> On Jun 25, 9:12 pm, AES <sieg... at> wrote:
> > Just out of curiosity (and a current need for info) (and to start
> > learning about W|A), typed:
> >  
> >    Acres per square mile
> >
> > into Wolfram | Alpha. Results came back (had to do a little hand editing
> > of the following):
> >
> >
> >       0.3861 acres per square kilometer
> >  
> >
> > Don't see "640" there anywhere! -- and something seriously wrong with
> > that first answer? -- more like 250 acres per square kilometer?

> W|A is interpreting your input as the dimensionless unit "acres/
> miles^2", which isn't terribly helpful. To get the value of the ratio
> the following seem to work:
> "convert one square mile to acres"
> "1 square mile / 1 acre"

Thanks! -- and now I grasp that "0.3861 acres per square kilometer" 
doesn't mean what many (most?) of us would think, and doesn't give you 
any information at all about how many acres there are in a square km; 
but is instead the conversion factor between two units.

> P.S. You may have already done so, but you can/should submit this kind
> of comment/suggestion in the "send us feedback" field at the bottom of
> W|A page.

Sorry, I don't agree.

I scan this newsgroup daily, every morning.  

Doesn't WIA, with all its resources, have someone on staff whose 
responsibility it is to do the same; make informed judgments on which if 
any posts seem useful and important enough for WIA to consider further; 
and then slapshot-forward those posts to the right people within WIA?

If WIA doesn't do that on its own initiative, well, I'm not going to go 
out of my way to do what you suggest -- especially knowing my own 
limited knowledge and understanding as to what contributions might be 
important or of interest to them.

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