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'The big secret of lock picking is that it's easy. Anyone can learn how to pick locks.'
June 27, 2004 11:24 PM   Subscribe

How to Pick a Lock
posted by anastasiav (22 comments total)

 
Ah, one of the first things I looked at on the Internet after arriving late and hearing much about the varying things found within. Like a test drive. I then debated whether to send it to my friends. I can't remember the end of this story.

But then I already knew how to pick locks.
posted by bdave at 11:42 PM on June 27, 2004


The internet doesn't pick locks - people who read the internet pick locks!

I always like the story about Richard Feynman picking all the locks at Los Alamos (see under True Tales). Poor guy; spell check wants to change his name to "enema".
posted by taz at 12:33 AM on June 28, 2004


heh. this was circulating on usenet years before the web. everything old is new again.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:03 AM on June 28, 2004


Well, it seems to me that interesting (or funny, or good quality) stuff stays in the system, constantly recirculating, and the not-so-good stuff 'falls off the end'. In a way, it's like an evolutionary filing system, if that's the right way to put it. The Internet's not like a huge filing cabinet, it's a dynamic 'living' system, and if material doesn't circulate then it ceases to exist. 'The best of the web' (and indeed of Usenet) is bound to keep coming back every now and then, and that's definitely not a bad thing.
posted by chrid at 1:11 AM on June 28, 2004


Ah, one of the first things I looked at on the Internet after arriving late and hearing much about the varying things found within. Like a test drive.

Ditto here. A revenge "how to" site was another one I took for a test drive. And the obligatory "free porn" entry into a search engine... that came up with a million sites that strangely wanted your credit card details!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:17 AM on June 28, 2004


This is cool. What is even cooler is that I had pretty much figured out most of how to do this before reading about it. Not that I have actually put it into practice mind you, but it is on my list of "cool things to learn how to do just because".
posted by dg at 3:14 AM on June 28, 2004


Andy P, who does not have a MeFi Account, emailed me last night and asked me to post this as comment, so I am:
Lock Picking 101 and...
"This thread has links (Scroll down) to the Hackers on Planet Earth conference demonstrations, which are really cool if you have the bandwidth."

Sorry for the 'everything old is new again' post. As a professional teacher of adults, I'm fascinated by any and all well-written text-instructions for how to do things. We all learn so differently, its a challenge sometimes to write directions than anyone can follow.
posted by anastasiav at 6:34 AM on June 28, 2004


AnarchistCookbookFilter
posted by ChasFile at 6:52 AM on June 28, 2004


I am surprised that this had not been posted to MeFi before as it has been circulating on the web for quite some time. I guess a lot of folks just assumed it had been posted. Thanks for finally getting it up anastasiav.

There was a document called revenge.txt floating around for years (likely the same or similar to what uncanny is talking about). It was filled with recipes for hurting other people. It used to travel with the lock picking stuff, but given its deviant nature I do not advocate posting a link here. Rather than revenge, I bet this document led to a lot of people hurting themselves. For instance, it showed how to make smoke by pouring brake fluid onto chlorine pool tabs. Some of our local teenage geniuses decided to try this in a glass jar. The reaction took place a little faster than they anticipated and the jar exploded sending them to the emergency room to have the glass shrapnel removed. They were lucky they didn't get hurt worse than they did. I think they may have also set a small woods on fire.
posted by caddis at 7:35 AM on June 28, 2004


The revenge thing was a great read, maybe especially enjoyable vicariously--for the type of person (like myself) who would 'never, ever do anything like that.' One that sticks out was how to even the score with a crappy landlord: Put chicken/shrimp/fish/other smelly stuff in plastic baggies. Unscrew light switch/outlet plates and throw baggies into wall. High tail it outta there.
posted by littlegreenlights at 8:10 AM on June 28, 2004


I had always heard the hollow shower curtain rod version of that, littlegreenlights. Never did it, of course.
posted by stavrogin at 8:57 AM on June 28, 2004


yawn
posted by clavdivs at 10:23 AM on June 28, 2004


"Thanks for finally getting it up anastasiav."

*bites tongue*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:23 AM on June 28, 2004


Did that prior post have the MIT guide? I did not see it. I think it is the actual instructions rather than some commercially available product that makes anastasiav's link interesting.
posted by caddis at 10:42 AM on June 28, 2004


caddis, I linked MIT guide years ago, but not as an FFP. It is old and not very good as a guide, as a primer perhaps.

Emphasis added.

In other words, mere possession means nothing. If they stop you for speeding or something, and find a pick set, they can't do much. On the other hand, if they catch you picking the lock on a Monec machine they get to draw and quarter you.


bullshit, cop catches you with these things, esp. with picks, your going to be investigated for every unsolved lockpicking case in your area, this i can guarantee.
posted by clavdivs at 11:17 AM on June 28, 2004


Matt Blaze, a well known cryptologist, early last year offered a detailed look at lock picking and, in particular, the vulnerabilities of master keyed lock systems. Locksmiths responded with anger to the release of Matt's white paper on the subject (warning: 4MB PDF)
posted by bz at 11:18 AM on June 28, 2004


...and does this need an FFP, I mean

How to Pick a Lock
posted by anastasiav at 11:24 PM PST [trackback] (16 comments total)
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 AM on June 28, 2004


but i will say tazs' feynmans' link is very cool.
posted by clavdivs at 11:24 AM on June 28, 2004


just to clarify - 'everything old is new again was an observation, not a complaint! i think it's neat when this stuff pops up. in fact, its very age and pre-web origins make it more interesting.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:23 PM on June 28, 2004


bullshit, cop catches you with these things, esp. with picks, your going to be investigated for every unsolved lockpicking case in your area, this i can guarantee.

Not quite the same, and going totally from memory... that's how Ted Bundy originally got caught.

A copper pulled him over and found stuff in his car that could be used to break into houses. He did nothing wrong but he was still Busted McCustard!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:10 PM on June 28, 2004


But then I already knew how to pick locks. - Bdave

Now that, my friends, is comedy gold.
posted by dejah420 at 10:51 PM on June 28, 2004


When I was at the Uniyersity of Texas, a physics-major dormmate (Hi, Gary!) remarked once in my presence that he'd searched the entire Unversity library system in vain for a book on locksmithing. As for me, I hope nobody was missing anything in Simkins Men's Dormitory, because I once picked a lock (using a couple of paper clips) for a friend who was locked out of his room while in the shower by his asshat of a roommate.
posted by alumshubby at 7:33 PM on June 29, 2004


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