back to article (Un)lucky UCLA student cops Paris's old mobile number

A UCLA student has had the good fortune (or the misfortune, depending on how you view it) to acquire Paris Hilton's old mobile phone number - and has accordingly received a flood of SMSes and calls directed at the highly-talented former jailbird. San Francisco gal Shira Barlow got a new phone and number after dropping her old …


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  1. tranquil

    Will you look at that,

    You finally got a Paris story with a legitimate IT Angle. Number portability for the win (as I believe the kids say these days).

  2. Rob

    I believe that's

    Nmbr Prtblty FTW!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thats 4 teh w1n

    I believe or maybe W1NR4R

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I believe

    that it's nuts to have a mobile on all night. Shut the darn thing off and get a good night's sleep !

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Switch off you mobile...

    ...and unplug your landline, god forbid it should ring and *shock* wake you up. While we're at it, gouge out your eyes and fill your ears with cement just in case you should see or hear anything that provokes thought or communication.

    Seriously now, what is the obsession with switching off mobile phones, or even better ignoring "withheld" numbers, and using it as an excuse to be unreachable for days on end? Isn't it the point that they're a *mobile* means of communication so people can stay in touch while they're... um, mobile? Didn't anyone use the phone before Caller ID came along? If you don't want the convenience of being available 24/7 dont f*****g buy one just so you can switch it off!

    Ah hang on, it's for "emerencies", you say? Well I hope you left a polite message on your voicemail along the lines of "Sorry I can't take your call, I'm too busy being asleep despite it being 7pm, or midday sunday or [insert favourite excuse here - dead battery is a common one]. For all emergencies please call back between 9 and 5, with the exception of 11am-3pm which is lunchtime , and if someone in my family has had a serious accident or my house is burning down please don't bother to ring my doorbell... my mobile is off, can't you take a hint?!".

    Failing that, ask the for a loan of one of the Markov chain bots used by El Reg. Judging by the gobsh*te in the news and some of the robotic commenters here I'm sure a suitable "Why my mobile is off..." excuse can be generated.

  6. Demian Phillips


    People who have portable communications devices (who are not doctors) and say it's for emergencies don't do it so that they can be contacted in an emergency. It is so they can contact someone in an emergency.

    Not that hard to figure out.

    Are you are against turning off phones at the theater and other places where it is rude to disturbe the rest of us as well?

  7. N1AK

    Anon Ejit

    Way to see things from a novel and yet stupid angle.

    I have a car, shockingly I sometimes waste this resource by walking places, I have a computer but sometimes I record data (write) on paper and worst of all I have a kettle but sometimes I make do with cold drinks! Will this madness never end!?

    I use my mobile phone in a manner that benefits me, as it happens I do leave it on overnight but if I started getting too many middle of the night calls on it I certainly would turn it off.

    I put it on silent in meetings, or at the cinema or whenever the hell I don't feel like taking phone calls, because guess what?... It suits me.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Swith off you mobile (sic)

    "If you don't want the convenience of being available 24/7 dont f*****g buy one just so you can switch it off!"

    Being required to be available 24/7 simply because I own a mobile is NOT a convenience. Being able to choose to make a phone call anywhere you want is a convenience. It's my mobile and I'll decide when and where I want to make/recieve calls.

    I get the feeling that a lot of people avoid your calls.

  9. Peter Kay

    Mobile on 24/7?

    There speaks someone who doesn't potentially get paged all manner of hours of the day or night telling you a system is having a wobble that can wait till the morning - if you did, you'd switch your mobile to silent too.

    I'm yet to find a withhold number which isn't someone trying to sell me something I don't want, either.

  10. John

    Re: Switch off you mobile...

    My paying for a mobile phone is for *my* convenience, not for the benefit of everybugger else who feels the need to talk to me. If someone (say work) payed and supplied for me to have one, to be available 24/7 then (assuming its in my work description) I would be obliged to live with said phone 24/7 and answer each call.

    As they don't, I can and will check who is calling and ignore it if I so feel like it, I will also either leave my phone downstairs or turn it off when I go to bed (ever noticed how people will call or text your mobile late at night but wouldn't dream of calling a land line that late) and heck just sometimes I might even leave it at home when I really do want a day without even hearing it ring.

    I use the phone how I see fit, according to what suits me. I pay for it and its my prerogative.

  11. Marco


    Dropping her phone down a toilet should justify giving her Hilton's old number. It eludes me how people manage to accomplish that.

    Oh, and the anon above may just be desperate for receiving a call here and then.

  12. Nick Kew Silver badge

    I can top that ...

    Having, in a previous job, been given a phone extension that had previously been a fax number:-(

    Mine was bad enough, but at least it wasn't a heavily-used fax number. My colleague just up the corridor at the same time got the main public fax number for the entire research institute of about 300 people!

  13. Dillon Pyron

    New number for soggy phone?

    I went diving with my phone. I replaced the phone, but kept the same number. A friend changed carriers, but kept the same number. Something's fishy here.

  14. Tim J

    @Anon - Re: Switch off you mobile

    "Seriously now, what is the obsession with switching off mobile phones, or even better ignoring "withheld" numbers, and using it as an excuse to be unreachable for days on end?"

    Perhaps those you are calling are fed up with your obsession of calling them, and demanding that they answer 24/7... if I were you pal I'd turn your own mobile off for a weekend and spend it chilling out - coz from your frantic post it sure does sound like you could do with it - and you never know, people might even start to call you if you stop bombarding them!

  15. Naiirita

    New number

    according to one article, she was given a new number under pressure from the phone company because she had moved they wanted her to use the "new" area code for that area.

  16. Eddie

    Carrier ripped her off

    The un-named carrier ripped Ms. Barlow off - only natural given that they earn commission from sales and by making her sign up for a new number tied her into a 2 year contract.

    (Which she can get out of within 30days once someone makes her aware of her having been screwed over)

    If she had been on T-Mobile or ATT, the replacement phone would have been at full price as lost devices are not covered by standard warranty or insurance. After that the carrier would have simply needed to move her number to a new SIM card.

    If the carrier had been Sprint or Verizon the cost would have simply been a replacement device and the carrier would have done an ESN or MEID swap and then programmed the device. (Sprints' network is generally slower to process these kind of updates and Sprint representatives will state that it can take up to an hour for voice devices and up to four hours for data devices)

    Personally I'm waiting for her to file against the store for deceptive practice. ;)

    To Naiirita: US wireless stores will often use this tactic if someone has relocated to another area, even if it is for college or a short period of time, stating that because of the billing address they "must" have a new number based on where they are using it. The tactic is rubbish.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason for switching phones off.

    "ever noticed how people will call or text your mobile late at night but wouldn't dream of calling a land line that late"

    Having your phone switched on is socially saying "you can call me". Oh, it's off? He's gone to bed. Oh, it's on? He's still up.

  18. A. Lewis

    Switching the phone off?

    Nooooo. I confess to being pathetically attached to my mobile. I'd much rather just flick the profile over to 'No Alerts' and leave it on.

  19. Erlang Lacod

    ca$h in girl !

    There's no two ways about it girl. Flog the phone to the tabloid press for a seriously large amount of dosh, . They will have hours of fun setting up trap meetings with and doorstepping Ms Hilton's unsuspecting celebrity pals. Then get yourself out there and buy a shiny new iPhone with an altogether less controversial number.

    Hey, its a dog eat dog world. Not that i'm saying here that theres any evidence that Ms Hilton actually 'eats dog' you understand- though for all i know that might now be prison slang for something which would make one hell of a cool You Tube video.

  20. Peter Kay

    Having your phone on is *NOT* a blanket reason for someone to call you

    During reasonable hours, perhaps, but just like a landline is connected 24/7 but no-one expects a call during sleeping hours unless it's an emergency, the same applies to mobiles. Leaving your mobile on when going to bed is either a) convenient or b) being nice, in case a friend with an emergency calls.

    Keep calling people at 5am, and you will both rapidly lose friends, and people will switch their phones off so that you can't reach them in a real emergency.

  21. Dave

    Switching Off

    I leave mine on, although I either put it into a silent mode where only the alarm clock makes a noise or leave it in another room out of earshot so it can ring quite happily and then divert to answerphone. Mostly I use it for data, the only people who call me on it are my wife and my boss (or is that my boss and my other boss?)

  22. A J Stiles

    I've had worse

    I've had a worse experience!

    When I moved into my last house, my landline was somehow given a number that had previously belonged to an import-export business, where it had evidently been used for a fax machine.

    Nothing like an unexpected international fax for clearing out the old earwax at 02:00!

    As for withheld numbers, I *hate* withheld numbers with a passion. As far as I am concerned, if somebody knows my number then I have a right to know theirs! Such calls are blocked altogether on my landline, but my mobile company claim not to be able to offer this service :( Ringing someone with your number withheld is the telephonical equivalent of wearing a mask and creeping up on them from behind.

  23. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    Phone on, Phone off

    Back in '97, we did switch off our mobiles at nighttime... but that was because incoming calls cost us, we had voicemail, and well, battery life was short also. Incoming calls have since gone free, and well almost every mobile after the Nokia 5120 has had a 4+ day charge.

    Now, thanks to Caller ID (which our mobiles didn't have back in '97) I can know who's calling, and the mobile will show the name if the number is registered in my phone list. Turning it off means that any calls I get will be informed to me as an SMS when I turn it on, but no name-mapping.

    So I leave it on, regardless of me answering it or not. Plus, in an emergency, you will need to do an emergency call ASAP, and my current handset takes about 45 seconds "booting up". I just can't take that risk, living in an earthquake-prone area (Mexico City), and having my only landline phone in the living room.

  24. Alan

    Heard on TV

    I heard this on TV the other night, "Paris Hilton completed just 23 days of her 45 day sentence in prison - looks like that's another sentence she wasn't able to complete..."

  25. Kevin Rudd

    Glaring Inaccuracies.

    Even though the register is just an "online" journal, I demand that highest accuracy and journalistic standards should apply when reporting an item as trivial and relating to the vacuous "mega celebrity" as this article does. Alas on this occasion standards have slipped woefully and people should be held accountable. Describing Paris Hilton as "highly talented" indeed. How is that statement ever going to stand up to scrutiny, please.

  26. Conway

    For the benefit of Marco

    It's very easy for a mobile to go down the toilet (apart from when it keeps ringing at 3-0-clock in the morning).

    Try this simple experiment.

    1) Place phone in back pocket.

    2) Stand facing away from toilet and drop your strides

    3) If at first you don't succeed, try a couple more times after adjusting distance between yourself and toilet.

    Eventually you will find the perfect position to flip the phone out of your pocket every time. I guess this is one of Murphy' laws.

  27. Steven

    Re: For the benefit of Marco

    "I guess this is one of Murphy' laws."

    Who is this Murphy and why is he making such stupid laws?


  28. Oliverh

    Toilet Phone Syndrome

    I don't think I know a single girl who hasn't dropped her phone down the toilet. It must be genetic. And the first thing they all do after its retrieved? Try and turn it on.....fizz. I know its not an exact science, but its always worth letting electronic items dry after a soaking.

    A friend of mine regularly recommends that apple keyboards that have been a victim of coca-cola or some such liquid go in the dishwasher. As long as they are dry before you plug it back in, all should be well!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Switch off you mobile...

    WHOA!! Best Troll June 07 award duly granted!

  30. Russell

    A couple of points

    Firstly, there was a golden opportunity missed here to have the girl's new phone be an iPhone - thus getting achieving Vulture Central's ultimate double-whammy. Fair enough, I doubt she had one, but since when has the truth been allowed to stand in the way of a good story?

    Secondly, a better way to drop one's phone down the toilet is simply to be male. Try having a pee at 3am whilst sozzled and trying to send an SMS. It's all too easy to lose grip with one hand or another... Yes, I have done this. Pre-flush. My phone took 3 months in a drawer to dry out, but now functions perfectly again, although strangely people are reluctant to borrow it to make calls.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Toilet Phone Syndrome

    Well, my sis has never dropped her phone into the toilet before, but she has dropped it into the bath.

    3 times.

    Anyway, I agree something is fishy here. Unless she happens to be one of the unlucky ones still using archaic architectures that doesn't use SIM cards, she could just pop out the card (likely undamaged by the moisture) and move it to a new phone.

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