Steve Woznaik

Microsoft squished Apple @ computers. Apple bounced back with the iPod. Hmm for Microsoft to bounce back what is the best and surest way to do it? Xbox? Perhaps no. SONY has dug up trenches there.
I do not know the answer – if I knew it, I would have used it already.
I do know a person who can have the answer. The person who started it all – Personal computers – Steve Woznaik.
Maybe Microsoft could try hiring him. Or did they try and hire him, but failed?

— Extracted from article on Wired.com —
Then, one day, while eavesdropping on cell phone calls, Woz begin hearing a new exchange: 888. And then, after more months of scheming and waiting, he had it: 888-8888. This was his new cell-phone number, and his greatest philonumerical triumph.

The number proved unusable. It received more than a hundred wrong numbers a day. Given that the number is virtually impossible to misdial, this traffic was baffling. More strange still, there was never anybody talking on the other end of the line. Just silence. Or, not silence really, but dead air, sometimes with the sound of a television in the background, or somebody talking softly in English or Spanish, or bizarre gurgling noises. Woz listened intently.

Then, one day, with the phone pressed to his ear, Woz heard a woman say, at a distance, “Hey, what are you doing with that?” The receiver was snatched up and slammed down.

Suddenly, it all made sense: the hundreds of calls, the dead air, the gurgling sounds. Babies. They were picking up the receiver and pressing a button at the bottom of the handset. Again and again. It made a noise: “Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.”

The children of America were making their first prank call.

And the person who answered the phone was Woz.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/6.09/woz.html?pg=8&topic=

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