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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Googling by the numbers

via InfoWorld: Google adds number search tool

Not every one is aware of this, and unfortunalty many of these tricks/Tips/Hacks only work for USA based information, but you can search for


  • A phone number like (530) 756-0236 and get a Name and a map.

  • UPS, FedEX or U.S. Postal Service tracking numbers (untested)

  • Patents numbers Like this for patent 5159513

  • (FAA) airline registration number , like this for Air Canada Flight 716

  • You can get Definitions (words and abbreviations) by typing : "What is Word" like this what is FBO

  • Bar codes (I have yet to test this)

  • check the weather at a particular airport by entering the airport's three-letter code and the word "airport". (USA only, this it links to the FAA like this for LGA, New York LaGuardia International Airport

  • USA zip codes link to maps, like this one Zip code 10242


Many of these have been there for some time, but where not well known. It also seems to have problems with some new/change zip codes and phone numbers.

Update (jan 17th) : via boingboing to Google Blog
an example of UPC codes, e.g. 073333531084 or 036000250015, bring up some information about the product.
and Google does Vehicle ID (VIN) numbers, e.g. JH4NA1157MT001832, link to a CARFAX report on what kind of car and its status.


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