Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Phone Phreaks

Just been listening to a very interesting Radiolab episode that featured the following story....

"In the mid 1950's, a blind seven-year-old boy named Joe Engressia Jr. made a discovery that changed his own life and many others. While idly dialling information on the family telephone, he heard a high-pitched tone in the background and started whistling along with it. Slowly, he learned to recognise all kinds of tones, pulses, clicks and beeps that the phone system used to talk to itself. And when he got good at decoding those sounds, he became the grandaddy of a whole movement of like-minded obsessives known as "Phone Phreaks".

Basically this guy learned to speak telephone!!!! How cool is that. Lends something interesting to musings from a few weeks ago on the telephonic voice / body / grain and the signification of the dial tone.

Listen to the episode here (Starts around 50:00)

Read more about Phone Phreaking here

1 comment:

  1. just got round to listening to this - pretty bittersweet trio of stories there, humans are a curious little laughing, weeping, unhappy animal....

    The phone phreaking is interesting, a deliberate auto-cyborgization as a method of escape/communication... mmm