General Question

AshlynM's avatar

How to dial 911 from your computer?

Asked by AshlynM (6377 points ) October 5th, 2010

In the movie, Scream, Sydney dialed 911 from her home computer and chatted online with an operator.

What kind of program did she use?

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5 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

It is possible that the movies make shit up. In gmail you can make phone calls. But all of those look like they come from Escondido California. So 911 would be worthless in that situation unless you gave them more info and they transferred the call.

bigjay's avatar

skype lets you make 911 calls regardless of whether you are a free user or a paying one.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Like @johnpowell has mentioned, movies make things up. such as traveling down a weird tunnel of cables and chips when you connect to the internet.

However, as early as windows 95 you could make phone calls on your computer with software that came with windows. if i remember correctly, it was in startbar/accessories

richardhenry's avatar

@bigjay That isn’t true. If you try to call 911 from Skype the call will fail. The official statement is:

WARNING: The current version of Skype software does not support calls to any emergency number nor emergency service (e.g. 211, 911, 999 etc). To perform calls of this type please make sure to use a landline telephone or a cellular/mobile phone.

In some cities in the U.S. you can send a text message to 911, but it depends where you are as most areas do not support it.

Much of the 911 call center/dispatch architecture seems to be archaic.

richardhenry's avatar

@poisonedantidote This was (and still is) possible via the phone line your computer was connected to. You’re basically just using your computer as a landline telephone. A dial-up modem is required.

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