I love the fact you can use Google to perform basic calculations and conversions.

Once you know your currency codes, currency conversion couldn’t be simpler: 100 USD in GBP

And Maths? As well as your basic arithmetic operators, it also handles has pretty natural syntax for “to the power of”. e.g. (2143/22) ^ (1/4). Trigonometry function use radians, so it also lets you use PI as a constant: sin(PI/6)

They’ve even got a (really) nice way of handling percentages – you can even keep your commas and currencies in place – so calculating VAT is as simple as £4,399.99 * 17.5% (Note: I switched to the UK site for that one… If you run it on google.com the answer automatically gets converted to US dollars! Of course, they let you override that by adding ” in GBP” to the query string.)

You can do weight conversions, distances, storage capacity… the list goes on.

So how come they don’t do time conversion? I don’t mean minutes into days, I mean converting one time zone into another.

I’m looking forward to reading about Apple’s new Macbooks, and I know there’s a conference at 10AM Pacific Time, or 1PM Eastern Time… but I don’t know what time that is where I am. I’m gutted Google can’t handle 10AM PST IN GMT.

Oh well… I guess I’ll just have to wait.

Update: I’ve just discovered Google’s things-to-do page (UK only?) Amongst other things, it explains how to get the current time for any location: simply prefix the place-name with “time ” – e.g. time london. That may be helpful if you know your geography? Personally, I’ve no idea which cities are in PST, and I’d only be guessing that maybe New York is in EST? (Google says EDT for New York – is it daylight savings time at the moment?)

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