I'm new to these forums, and I was hoping I could get some help with something I want to attempt.

I have been reading all over the internet about that Walmart employee who was apparently "plucking text messages and phone conversations out of the air". That got me to thinking... how is this done?

I know the technology is out there to be able to do this; if there is a lock, there is always a key. I'm not sure how cell phone companies protect their users' privacy (what is encryption?) but I know there is some way to intercept messages/ radio waves in the area.

So, just as a simple excercise, I wanted to try and make a device that could possibly recieve text messages incoming in an area. It would be cool to have someone send me a message, and have it appear on my phone, while also appearing on a device sitting right next to me, some device I had built myself. I know displaying actual text is a stretch, so being able to have notification that a message is detected in the area would be pretty neat.

Knowing how to build something like this would be a great way to learn how cell phones, sms, an dradio waves work. I want to know more about this kind of stuff because I would like to be a computer engineer or a computer science major in the future.

Also, I know that it is illegal for a third party to intercept messages from two other people communicating. I don't want to do that. I just want to build a device that receives and/or is notified to sms messages entering a nearby area. How would I go about doing this, and if you don't know, where could I find information about sms, radio waves, and cell phones that could help me with this project?

On a side I have a pretty crappy phone. Its a Samsung A660. I loath it. It is such a piece of $h!t. Does anyone know how I could use some kind of unlock code to give it functions it doesn't have right now? THanks!

See More: 2 questions: excercise and phone questions