Reverse Number Lookups & Stolen Mac Tracking

Posted on 3 June 2011 by

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Here’s some Friday randomness for you since I’m too busy to come up with a Metric of the Week.

First up, I want to tell y’all about a cool little jammy that can be useful for cops and analysts on the move: BeenVerified’s NumberGuru, available for iPhone and Android mobile devices, is a free reverse-lookup application.

It can resolve phone numbers to names, and its community-contributed aspects can also provide spam or nuisance call information on a given number.

For law enforcement, it’s useful when you’re dealing with landlines, and not so much when dealing with mobile phone numbers (NG was unable to resolve any of the run-of-the-mill, non-covert, subscription-based cell numbers I entered on a recent test).

There is, of course, a wide range of reverse number lookup apps for the iPhone already – Mr Number being a popular pay-per-lookup service which claims to give you 90% of landlines and 50% of cell phones; Intelius Reverse Phone and Ugux among the more popular.

You can download Number Guru for the Android or iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Second, I thought I would share the happy ending to the ongoing dramatic and true Internet story of Joshua Kaufman and his stolen MacBook.

On March 21, 2011, my MacBook was stolen from my apartment in Oakland, CA. I reported the crime to the police and even told them where it was, but they couldn’t help me due to lack of resources. Meanwhile, I’m using the awesome app, Hidden, to capture these photos of this guy who has my MacBook.

Kaufman was writing on a site he established to pursue the thief, entitled This Guy Has My MacBook.

For those of you Mac owners who don’t know about Hidden, you’re in for a treat. With plans starting at $15 a year:

When you activate tracking, Hidden will locate your stolen computer anywhere on the planet, collect photos of the thief and screen shots of the computer in use. (We also collect lots of nerdy network information, but we won’t bore you with the details!)

Kaufman called the Oakland Police, who he claims were a little less than forthcoming in their establishment of a manhunt to recover the computer. But after incessant lobbying and after providing the police with the precise whereabouts, and photographs of, the suspect, Kaufman says that the Oaktown po-po made the arrest and recovered his Mac.

Win!

Have a great weekend everyone.