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Exploding the Phone

The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell
Lapsley, Phil (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Exploding the Phone
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Before smartphones, before the Internet and before the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world's largest machine: the telephone system. Starting with Alexander Graham Bell's revolutionary "harmonic telegraph," by the middle of the twentieth century the phone system had grown into something extraordinary, a web of cutting-edge switching machines and human operators that linked together millions of people like never before. Unfortunately for the telephone company, the network has a billion-dollar flaw. And once people discovered it, things would never the be the same. Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone tells this story in full for the first time. It traces the birth of long distance communication and the telephone, the rise of AT&T's monopoly, the creation of the sophisticated machines that made it all work, and the discovery of Ma Bell's Achilles' heel. Lapsley expertly weaves together the clandestine underground of "phone phreaks" who turned the network into the electronic playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, and the counterculture movement that argued you should rip off the phone company to fight against the war in Vietnam...AT&T responded with "Greenstar"...The FBI fought back, too...Phone phreaking exploded into the popular culture, with famous actors, musicians, and investors caught with "blue boxes," many of them built by two young phone phreaks named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak...The product of extensive original research, including exclusive interviews and declassified government documents, Exploding the Phone is a captivating, ground-breaking work about an important part of our cultural and technological history -- Publisher's description.
Authors: Lapsley, Phil, 1965-
Title: Exploding the phone
the untold story of the teenagers and outlaws who hacked Ma Bell
Publisher: New York : Grove Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xvi, 431, [16] p. of plates :,ill., map ;,23 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Phil Lapsley
Notes: Map on endpapers
Contents: Fine arts 13
Birth of a playground
Cat and canary
The largest machine in the world
Blue box
"Some people collect stamps"
Headache
Blue box bookies
Little Jojo learns to whistle
Bill Acker learns to play the flute
The phone freaks of America
The law of unintended consequences
Counterculture
Busted
Pranks
The story of a war
A little bit stupid
Snitch
Crunched
Twilight
Nightfall
Summary: Before smartphones, before the Internet and before the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world's largest machine: the telephone system. Starting with Alexander Graham Bell's revolutionary "harmonic telegraph," by the middle of the twentieth century the phone system had grown into something extraordinary, a web of cutting-edge switching machines and human operators that linked together millions of people like never before. Unfortunately for the telephone company, the network has a billion-dollar flaw. And once people discovered it, things would never the be the same. Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone tells this story in full for the first time. It traces the birth of long distance communication and the telephone, the rise of AT&T's monopoly, the creation of the sophisticated machines that made it all work, and the discovery of Ma Bell's Achilles' heel. Lapsley expertly weaves together the clandestine underground of "phone phreaks" who turned the network into the electronic playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, and the counterculture movement that argued you should rip off the phone company to fight against the war in Vietnam...AT&T responded with "Greenstar"...The FBI fought back, too...Phone phreaking exploded into the popular culture, with famous actors, musicians, and investors caught with "blue boxes," many of them built by two young phone phreaks named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak...The product of extensive original research, including exclusive interviews and declassified government documents, Exploding the Phone is a captivating, ground-breaking work about an important part of our cultural and technological history -- Publisher's description.
ISBN: 9780802120618
080212061X
Branch Call Number: 384.06573 L317e 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 339-406) and index
Subject Headings: Counterculture United States History Computer engineers United States History Telephone systems Security measures History Telephone companies Security measures History Telecommunication systems Security measures History AT & T (Firm) History American Telephone and Telegraph Company History
Topical Term: Counterculture
Computer engineers
Telephone systems
Telephone companies
Telecommunication systems
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Join the discussion on March 8, 2015. Before smartphones, before the Internet and before the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, teenagers, hippies and outlaws figured out how to hack the world's largest machine: the telephone system.

Before smartphones, before the Internet and before the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world's largest machine: the telephone system. Unfortunately for the telephone company, the network had a billion-dollar flaw... Read More »

Before smartphones, before the Internet and before the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world's largest machine: the telephone system. Unfortunately for the telephone company, the network had a billion-dollar flaw... Read More »


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Jul 31, 2014
  • squidyman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An excellent book! I first thought this was going to be rather boring when I picked it up, as me being a teen doesn't care to much about telephones. But this book turned out to be very captivating and is definitely a page turner. It mixes the right amount of history with personal experiences into a fast paced novel filled with interesting information. I am sure you will enjoy reading this book. :D

Jan 08, 2014
  • dionyzus rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

What a trip. A thorough history of phone hacking, an odd hobby in the 60s and 70s which surprisingly was the direct forefather of computer hacking. It focuses on how Bell Telephone made young curious phone hackers into criminals, even as some of them grew up to become pioneers of the new medium of the day, computers. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were among them! A very interesting read.

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Apr 17, 2013
  • violet_butterfly_1687 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

violet_butterfly_1687 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/09/02 11:42