Wolfram Alpha is live, what do we do with it?

The new ‘computational’ search engine Wolfram|Alpha has finally launched, but it’s quite hard of hearing – at least for lay users – and it’s not going to be a replacement for Google. (The servers are also overloaded, which is forgiveable on launch.)

A simple question returns some good information

london rainfall may

but if we want to know whether the current deluge conditions are normal, these don’t work

london rainfall may historical
london rainfall may average

If it’s going to be more than a data researcher’s tool, or a great demo of Wolfram’s Mathematica program, it needs to work seamlessly for ordinary humans.

One other thing – and a disgrace for a scientist such as Wolfram – the units in each answer are Imperial. You have to manually switch each answer to metric. US market for sure, but show some leadership – and certainly don’t inflict it on the rest of us.