Well, they’re better now.
As the Wolfram Alpha blog explains:
Wolfram|Alpha was always planned to be a very long-term project, and paced accordingly. We pushed very hard to get it launched before the summer so that we could spend the “quiet time” of our first summer steadily enhancing it, before more people start using it more intently in the fall.
Good point. We have students starting in a few weeks, and I’ll be one of the people pointing to this as a resource.
It’s actually quite interesting to read about how they’ve improved the site and what they’re continuing to do. It’s quite long, so I won’t quote it here. I encourage you to wander over and read their update, and if you haven’t already done so, wander over to Wolfram Alpha and play with it a bit.