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well on the Pin codes, there were four main methods, either hope that the numbers hadn't been changed, try a selection of likely ones (its amazing the number of people who will change from 0000 to 1111 and think its going to work, or the number of teenage girls whose pin is 5683 (which when converted to letters spells love) took security of geeks ages to work out why that one was happening) the third method was to ring up and impersoante the user or the police and persuade phone companies to either provide the pin number, or change it, changing it is obviously not the preferrred method because that shuts the users access to the mailbox down, and they might get suspicious. The fourth method doesn't really work anymore. in the early days of mobiles, when everyone didnt have one, the reporter would give a pay as you go phone to the subject, with a few quid of credit on, "so they can get in touch" having already set up the security to "Keep them safe"  subject then goes round and gives everyone their shiney new mobile number, and reporter has access to the  box because they set the phone up

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 06:11:56 AM EST
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Science Daily: Dial 5683 for Love: Dialing Certain Numbers On a Cell Phone Changes Your Emotional State
For the study, Sascha Topolinski and his students at the University of Würzburg in Germany created a list of German words that can be typed on a cell phone keypad without typing the same digit twice in a row. Also, each number combination could spell only one word.

For one experiment, Topolinski used a set of number sequences that correspond to positive words, like 54323 ("liebe" -- love) and 373863 ("freund" -- friend), and a set for negative words, like 7245346 ("schleim" -- slime) and 26478 ("angst" -- fear). Volunteers were handed a cell phone with stickers over the buttons so they could only see the numbers, not the corresponding letters, and were told to type the number sequences. After typing each one, they rated how pleasant it had been to dial the number on the phone. Volunteers believed they were participating in a study on ergonomics -- in the debriefing afterward, none had any idea that the numbers might relate to words.

On average, volunteers preferred dialing numbers that related to positive words over those related to negative words. Merely dialing the numbers that corresponded to those letters -- not even pushing them multiple times, as you'd usually do to text words on a 10-digit keypad -- was enough to activate the concepts in their minds.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 06:24:02 AM EST
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Apparently Vodaphone default all their security codes to 3333, so all a hack needed to do was ring the phone to ensure nobody answered, then dial 9 for ansaphone messages and try 3333 to see if they got in.

Most people don't change  their pin codes so it invariably works.

Also, vodaphone have a notoriously leaky security system (so I read)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 08:21:04 AM EST
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