Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - timtom - LibraryThing
This book is a quite detailed history of the rise of phone phreaking from the early 50s until the dawn of the 80s, with an entertaining mix of anecdotal, historical and technical details. Phone ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - delphica - LibraryThing
I stayed up much, much too late reading this book. I loved it, but I also recognize that it's the kind of book where you probably have to go into it with a foundational interest in the subject matter ... Read full review
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birth oF a Playground
Cat and Canary
the largeSt maChine in the world
Some PeoPle ColleCt StamPS
blue box bookieS
The sTory of a War
a LiTTLe BiT sTuPid
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Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who ...
Limited preview - 2013