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Re: Session Privacy in Mathematica 8 w/ Wolfram|Alpha free-form input?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg115254] Re: Session Privacy in Mathematica 8 w/ Wolfram|Alpha free-form input?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 05:47:24 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 18:52:16 -0500 (EST), Frank Iannarilli wrote:
> Hi,
>
> How much session state or notebook content is shared with the
> Wolfram|Alpha server?  Is it just one's free-form input keystrokes?

No session state or notebook content outside of the query cell is sent by
default without explicit prompts.  For example, evaluate the following in
separate cells:

Plot[x, {x, 0, 1}]

==blur

The second input will prompt you to send session information by default.  If you
answer yes, it will do so for the rest of the Mathematica session. 
Incidentally, it doesn't send your inputs or outputs directly, but it sends
skeletal forms of the outputs.  So, in this case, it sent enough information for
W|A to know that it was dealing with a Graphics[] expression, but not
necessarily all of the data in the plot.

The default setting for this can be controlled in the Preferences dialog, in
Internet Connectivity->Wolfram|Alpha Settings.

Also, all queries send your activation key and some information about the
specific version of Mathematica being used. This is necessary to make sure we
can maintain the service for legitimate Mathematica users and to properly
version content as newer versions of Mathematica are released.  And all queries
are logged by IP address, which is just standard practice for virtually any
web-hosted server.

Sincerely,

John Fultz
jfultz at wolfram.com
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.


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