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Old September 4 2013, 10:28 PM   #61
Zulu Romeo
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Re: How's the "Popcorn" button on your microwave?

Pingfah wrote: View Post
The thing I can never work out is why, when those phones were ubiquitous, did they make the UK emergency service number 999, which by my reckoning is the 4th most time consuming 3 digit number you can dial?

Why not make it 111?
I remember someone telling me a long time ago that in the old days, telephone lines could trigger a signal through close (if not complete) contact with each other, with a run of consecutive contacts corresponding to its respective dialled number on the telephone set (e.g. the dull noise pips you may hear over the earpiece when dialling out a number). If the emergency number was something like "111" then it would trigger too many false alarms too easily simply by having adjacent lines rubbing against each other by accident, so a sufficiently large number was chosen instead, hence 999.

I found this article on the subject too:
"In Germany, fear comes before sex... and if you're lucky, then a little bit later, an elf." -- Victoria Coren Mitchell
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