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Myth busting

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OK. So we go a little stir-crazy in the newsroom when the weather gets cold. Recently, I received this intriguing email about useful things a cell phone can do (see below). I’m sure it is one that has been forwarded around cyberspace.

In an effort to be sure all we blog about is as truthful as possible my co-worker, Davy, and I decided to do a little myth busting of our own.

I chose Davy as he is our resident tech guru. We tested the second theory with my locked vehicle. Somehow I nominated myself to brave the cold and hold my cell phone to my locked vehicle. While Davy held and pressed my key next to his cell phone.

Guess what? It didn’t work. Myth busted.

Reasons it may not have worked:

1.    The information was false from the start (use snoops.com for questions about emails such as this).

2.    The keys were not actually locked in my vehicle.

3.    Possibly the signal between our two different cell phone providers

4.    Possibly the make/model of my vehicle

Below is the original email:
See our –notes—listed within the email…

5 Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do



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. Try it out.

NOTE: From what we learned this primarily works only in Europe. Oh well.


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).


Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the

keys* 3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the

instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get

charged when you charge your cell phone next time.

NOTE: We learned this is not actually the correct code for this hidden power and with some phones codes such as this can actually boost your power while lessening you reception or vice-versa.


How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following

Digits on your phone: *#06#. 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 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 does this,

there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

NOTE: This might actually be true. Sounds similar to serial numbers to me.


Free Directory Service for Cells

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for

411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a

telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more

of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply

dial: (800)FREE411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at

all. Program this into your cell phone now.

NOTE: We also found that information can also be from a directory via google by sending a text to 400453 (GOOGLE) with the name of a business and the town, or something like "movies 75482.”

I tried the 800 information. It is a bit more time-consuming, leaving me to wonder which is more costly the fee or my time.

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