I'm really enjoying this series of articles from Timothy McSweeney. In their latest issue, they talk to Ken Doyle, a professional safecracker who explains how he got into the trade and some of the most unusual things he experienced.
Q: How did you learn to be a safecracker?
A: In 1978 I took a correspondence course to learn the basics of locksmithing. The ad in the Popular Mechanics classifieds said, "Be your own boss."
The course consisted of about 70 lessons. I'd study each lesson and practice the particular skill required, like how to fit a key, lock disassembly, rekeying, etc.
Q: What does it mean to fit a key?
A: This is only one of a dozen basic locksmith skills. You insert a blank key, wiggle it while turning and the bumping action creates marks on the key blade. You file where the marks are until the key turns in the lock. It's also known as "impressioning."
Q: It seems like you could use this knowledge in bad ways if you wanted to.
A: Clients often ask, jokingly, whether we learn our trade in prison.
|What Working for Blockbuster Was Like|
|Your Job: What People Don't Get About It|
|Working at the Mall|
|Mommy, Mommy When I Grow Up I Want to Be A Federal Worker|
|Confessions of a Corporate Spy|
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|“This conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.”|
|Japanese Create Ice Cream That Does Not Melt|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|