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March 15 2007 @ 11:50 am
Reprise "Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do"  

Reprise: Variations and Myths (Sorry if I spread any myths but read below.)


Not all the information given in my last post was incorrect... read on...


FIRST Subject: Emergency

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network, and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you. And, interestingly, this number, 112, can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.

THE TRUTH: Calling 112 on your cell phone will (in some parts of the world, primarily Europe) connect you to local emergency services, even if you are outside your provider's service area (i.e., even if you are not authorized to relay signals through the cell tower that handles your calls), and many cell phones allow the user to place 112 calls even if the phone lacks a SIM card or its keypad is locked. However, the 112 number does not have (as is sometimes claimed) special properties that enable callers to use it in areas where ALL cellular signals are blocked (or otherwise unavailable).




SECOND Subject: Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk). Editor's Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a cell phone!" 

THE TRUTH: Cares with remote keyless entry (RKE) systems CANNOT be unlocked by relaying a key fob transmitter signal via a cellular telephone. RKE systems and cell phones utilize different types of signals and transmit them at different frequencies.

THIRD Subject: Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# and your cell will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery power. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell the next time.

THE TRUTH: The claim that pressing the sequence *3370# will unleash "hidden battery power" in a cell phone seems to be a misunderstanding of an OPTION available on some brands of cell phones (such as Nokia) for Half Rate Codec, which provides about 30% more talk time on a battery charge at the expence of lower sound quality. However, this option is enabled by pressing the sequence *#4720# - the sequence *3370# actually enables Enhanced Full Rate Codec, which provides better sound quality at the expense of shorter battery life.


FOURTH Subject: How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 # a 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your phone ever gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody who had a phone stolen did this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

THE TRUTH: Entering the sequence *#06# into a cell phone may display a 15-digit identification string, but that function only works with some types of cell phones, and the efficacy of reporting the ID number to a cellular service provider to head off unauthorized use of a lost or stolen phone is limited.


FIFTH Subject: Free information number

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800) FREE 411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.

THE TRUTH: Some business outfits such as (800) FREE-411 do provide free directory assistance services to cell phone customers. However, users should not that the service is "free" in the sense that FREE-411 provides directory information to callers at no charge, but cellular service providers may still assess charges related to placing such calls.????

Larianlarianelensar on March 15th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
The car door unlocking one sounded reasonable to me, I was going to have my sister try it with her car (since she has that signal unlock function...my car is too old for it!)

Oh, and on the last one, where they say the phone provider may charge you...maybe they mean that they'll charge you for your normal rate just for making a phone call...not that they'd charge you extra for calling a directory service...

The reason I asked was because I got a sort of similar email about not dialing a sequence of numbers on your phone because then hackers could get control of your phone and rack up bills and stuff. I called Verizon and Alltel both and asked them if that was possible. They said with really old cell phones, on analog signal, it was a minor possibility, but with today's cellular system that it wasn't.

Plus...I used to sell for verizon and the whole phone id thing seemed weird to me, since the phone company has the serial number of your phone and as soon as you tell them it's stolen, they can deactivate it without having to have special code numbers. You don't even have to know the number, they have it.

It is kind of interesting to see things like this, I tend to be cynical about how they work, but only because I've been burned more than once. Heh.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on March 15th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah I tend to just think how cool that is and then post. I need to look into things first. Anyways...

Can you put documents on your iPod? I was thinking it would be neat if you could put friends stories on your pod and read them there instead of trying to read them off the computer or print them out. You probably need a program to do this but there is a Notes section... hmmm...
Larianlarianelensar on March 15th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
You have to convert them so they're readable on the ipod, I used to have a link to some software, but I never tried it. The software will convert microsoft ebooks and pdf files, I think.

I just googled for a converter...this one looked interesting: