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Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell | [Phil Lapsley]

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 20th 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 20th 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 groundbreaking, captivating book.

©2013 Philip D. Lapsley. Recorded by arrangement with Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    R. Foret Jr. Houma, la. United States 08-23-13
    R. Foret Jr. Houma, la. United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2004

    Barefoot Ray

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In to telephone sutff, this book is for you!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Exploding the Phone the most enjoyable?

    The Narration provided by Johan North, himself a former phone freek, brings a passion and personal knowledge to the subject that no other narrator could possbily bring!!!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There was no particular moment in the book which I found moving, but, the entire story just grabs you right from the beginning.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is well worth your time to read. I cannot recommend it enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Norton 04-18-14 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Phonetastic! Great story of how the phone was!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this book to any of my friends who are technically inclined because it is fascinating history


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author covered the subject well and even did justice to the people he interviewed.


    What about Johann North’s performance did you like?

    Johann North is a former phone phreak who is familiar with the concepts discussed in this book, and, his narration reflects this very well.


    Any additional comments?

    This book discusses the telephone as it was when I, and, many of my contemporaries were growing up. As a blind person, I was fascinated with the phone and the various sounds it made. I would have loved to read this book back when I was a kid. Anyway, it brings back memories of the way I felt about the phone back then. There were so many cool things that could be done with the phone at the time.Great book, and, great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 10-06-13
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2007

    Jonnie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average book... yawn :0"

    I got through most of this book but it was a real push. It was just on and on. I would recommend Ghost in the Wires if you like this kind of topic. It is much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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