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December 02, 2007

I love wikipedia

Texas_area_codes Wikipedia is the second-best site on the internet (After Google). Search there for any random piece of information, and you’ll always learn new things about anything under (and above) the sun.

For example, here are a few tidbits from an article about the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) which is the system of three-digit area codes and seven-digit telephone numbers, directing telephone calls to particular regions on the public switched telephone network:

The plan was implemented in 1951 by AT&T. Originally there were 86 codes, with the biggest population areas getting the numbers that took the shortest time to dial on rotary phones. That is why New York City was given 212, Los Angeles given 213, Chicago 312, and Detroit 313, while Vermont received 802 (a total of 20 clicks, 8+10+2)…

In the 1990s... the US experienced rapid growth in the number of area codes. There were two main reasons for this. First was the increased demand for telephone services (particularly due to wide scale adoption of fax, modem, and cell phone communications). The second and more important reason was due to telecom deregulation of local telephone service. At that time, the FCC began allowing telecommunication companies to compete with the incumbent local service provider (usually by forcing the existing monopoly service provider to lease infrastructure to other local providers who then resold the service to consumers). However, due to the original design of the numbering plan and telephone switching network which assumed only a single provider, number allocations had to be made in 10,000-number blocks. Thus, anytime a new local service provider entered a certain market it would be allocated 10,000 numbers by default, even if the provider managed to obtain few (if any) customers. As more companies began requesting numbering allocations, this caused many area codes to begin exhausting their supply of available numbers, and additional area codes were needed. Many of the new telecom ventures were not successful and while the number of area codes started increasing rapidly, this did not necessarily translate to a much larger number of actual telephone subscribers as large blocks of numbers lay unassigned to any "real" subscribers due to the 10,000-number block allocation requirement...

In American television shows and films, 555 (or, in older movies and shows, KLondike 5 or KLamath 5) is used as the first three digits of fictional telephone numbers, so if anyone is tempted to telephone a number seen on screen, it does not cause a nuisance to any actual person. There are occasions, however, when a non-555 is used in real-life context, with varying intents and consequences... For example when a version of Madonna's Truth or Dare showed her giving out her actual phone number. The phone number was quickly changed and the scene was cut from the movie shortly afterwards...

The complete article

The phone is ringing, and I don't recognize the number. All Caller ID says is, "NAME UNAVAILABLE". Please help me figure out who is calling and what they want

An incomplete list of people who have disappeared

Units of Measurement

A Huge Depository of Unusual Bits of Information Here

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December 2, 2007 in Information | Permalink

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Comments

Wikipedia? Never heard of it. What a great site!

Posted by: Where have you been all my life at Dec 2, 2007 11:11:06 PM

I too love the Wiki

Posted by: Fritz at Dec 4, 2007 4:12:23 PM