Play with Jobs & Woz phone phreak machines without breaking the law


A phreaker box on display. Photo: Marcin Wichary/FlickrCC
A phreaker box on display. Photo: Marcin Wichary/FlickrCC

Way back in the day (1972), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak designed and started selling “blue boxes,” devices that generated specific tones that would game the telephone networks of the day (called “phreaking.” These would allow phone phreaks to make free long distance calls, for instance.

It was illegal then (the two Steve’s inspiration, “Cap’n Crunch” Draper, was sent to prison for five years for his own phreaking attempts), but you can get the same fun minus the jail time now at a new website that emulates the blue boxes of yesteryear.

Woz: Apple wasn’t built to sell $17,000 watches


Steve Wozniak. Photo: HigherEdWeb/Flickr CC
Steve Wozniak seems to have mixed emotions about the upcoming Apple Watch. Photo: HigherEdWeb/Flickr CC

Steve Wozniak seems to have a complex relationship with both modern-day Apple and, particularly, the Apple Watch. In an interview at the Automate/Promat Show in Chicago yesterday, Apple’s co-founder said Apple’s foray into high-end wearables marks a very different turn for the company he helped to found.

“It didn’t seem like the company we started,” he said. “That’s not the Apple that moved the world forward.”

Woz says Apple would never hire him or Steve Jobs today


Woz and Jobs in their early days at Apple.
Woz and Jobs in their early days at Apple. Today, they'd have been looking at job rejection letters.

Steve Wozniak thinks he and co-founder Steve Jobs could never have found employment at the company they created together, had they been in their twenties in 2015.

“I look at the experience and education levels you need to get a job at Apple today and I think, ‘Well, Steve Jobs and I never could’ve gotten a job at Apple today,'” Woz told The Australian Financial Review in an interview.

The reason, he says, is that the rigorous Apple hiring process (like the ones at other tech giants like Google and Microsoft) would never have favored two college dropouts like himself and Jobs. This bias means the companies are potentially missing out on finding the next person to come along with a world-changing idea.

Tesla, blackjack and burgers: Woz tweets his Reno roadtrip



Photo: Steve

Given everything we know about him, you wouldn’t have ever expected Steve Jobs to tweet out his hotel room number, details of a greasy meal at Chili’s Grill & Bar, or brag about winning $300 at blackjack in Nevada.

That, in short, is what separates Jobs (and, indeed, Tim Cook) from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Woz recently took a road trip to Reno with his wife in his $100,000 Tesla — pausing only to send out a string of entertainingly wacky tweets to his 370,000 Twitter followers regarding hamburgers, Segways, an unnamed “blackjack system” he’s been working on and, naturally, a number puzzle that revealed exactly where he was staying.