Exploding the Phone

Exploding the Phone

The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell

Book - 2013
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Before smartphones, back even before the Internet and 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. But the network had a billion-dollar flaw, and once people discovered it, things would never be the same.

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. Phil Lapsley expertly weaves together the clandestine underground of "phone phreaks" who turned the network into their electronic playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, the explosion of telephone hacking in the counterculture, and the war between the phreaks, the phone company, and the FBI.

The product of extensive original research, Exploding the Phone is a ground-breaking, captivating book.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780802120618
Branch Call Number: 384.0973 LAP NVD
Characteristics: xvi, 431, [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm


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Jul 31, 2014

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

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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violet_butterfly_1687 Apr 17, 2013

violet_butterfly_1687 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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