back to article Prisoners cannibalise mice for mobile power

Convicts at a hi-tech Scottish prison are swiping computer mice from IT classes. It turns out the mice's USB cable can be used to charge up lags' covert mobile phones. Rip the cord out of the mouse, plug it into a PlayStation and, with a bit of re-wiring, you have a power source for your handset. PlayStations? It seems the …

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Lucky buggers

i thought a prison was a place where you didnt get life luxuries. obviously thats not the case as they seem to have more in there that we do here.

if prisons got rid of all this luxury that they currently have then no one is going to want to be there.

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Daily Record

i think that this comes from the Daily Record should be your first clue that this story is untrue. UK prisoners are not allowd PS3's because of the onboard wifi and hard drive. A Playstation 2 is sometimes permitted for well behaved prsioners, but I understand some prisons have had problems with inmates smuggling porn to watch.

Prsions are overcrowded and given so many are illiterate you might as well give them something to do that is at least legal.

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@Lucky Buggers

Yes, we should send them all back to breaking rocks, because that worked so well in reducing the re-offending rate back in Victorian times, didn't it...?

(Cue all the Downvotes from Daily Mail reading commentards)

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Do they also get 5-course meals?

Playstations? Seriously? You're lucky if the ward you're staying at in a UK hospital has a television, let alone any form of computer. Prisoners get IT lessons and Playstations though.

Props to the prisoners for knowing which wires to use for power in the USB cable, at least they're using the cable for a non-lethal purpose.

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FAIL

that is quite shortsighted

... smuggle in a phone, but have no means to charge it

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The same way the phones arrived...

Baked in a cake with a file?

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so...

where would they get the connector to hold the wires in place from? I guess a blob of chewing gum would do it in a pinch, but it's hardly effective.

Much easier to smuggle in a USB charger lead surely?

Mind you, it IS the daily Record, so validity of the story is questionable to start with.

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Re so

I expect they remove the battery, and connect the wires directly to it. The contacts are much larger than the ones in the phone's charging socket.

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Joke

Mobiles??!

WTF. I see some unjust human rights breaches here. Inmates have to use mobiles? when they have a computer. I seriously think that the lack of a voip implmentation is hindering these lags.

If i were visting some in prison. I would be looking to smuggle in a leaked mtldr key for ps3 a copy of slackware and a skype tgz

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picocell?

Why don't they just bung a few pico cells in the prison, so any calls get met with 'I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. ' followed by a rough triangulation to see which wing it came from?

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Not a bad idea...

Not a bad idea at all, but the picocells would have to be provided by the phone companies themselves in order not to be classed as phone jammers, which many of the commenters here seem to forget are illegal....

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Anonymous Coward

Ouch!...

..damn those 13A plugs and their square pins!

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Happy

"smuggle in the cables too - presumably the same way the phones ... " Ouch!

The prongs of the chargers might prove a little painful on insertion and extraction from a suitably sized body orifice.

A pain like haemorrhoids?

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Oh great glad to see my tax money isn't being wasted

I wish I has a PS3, a HD TV and the time to play with them

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Anonymous Coward

Jeez, I can't afford a Playstation & HD TV

I know this will be said many times but

Obviously crime does pay.

How come I have to get up early every day to go to work to pay for basics while these guys get to sit around playing on their Playstation? I don't have time for this.

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Anonymous Coward

why, oh why

do prisoners even have physical access to electricity!

Fair enough, if you want to give them a tv, give them one, but they shouldn't be able to physically access it, they're prisoners not hotel guests! A remote control should be the closest they get, if at all, much better if they have to ask a guard to change channel.

If their human rights absolutely demand that they must have a playstation too, don't let them have physical access to it. Even game stores lock their display machines away in cabinets! Discs are easy to make into weapons, so are mice/controller cables!

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Anonymous Coward

I don't agree with them having the PS3's

But the the bit about wepons... Its a minimum security prison, not a US film. Most prisoners in the UK don't go in for shanking and shower rape.

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Happy

Given the usual smuggling route

via <cough> body cavities </cough>, I'm guessing the problem is not the recharging cable, but the three-pin plug?

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Give them some credit

They've learnt new skills in prison. That's a pretty rough hack, but clearly it works. That's the kind of skill which is transferable when they get back out.

On the one hand it's bad because they've broken the rules and they're meant to be being rehabilitated, on the other hand MacGuyver would be proud of them.

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FAIL

What, no technical solution?

If prisoners are forbidden mobile phones, why not just have mobile phone blockers covering all areas of the prison?

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Anonymous Coward

UK law

Makes the use of phone blockers illigal. Alot of people are working on legal versions though.

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Coat

Poor use of police funding

"Prisoners cannibalise mice for mobile power"

Only a mouse can cannibalise a mouse. Ergo, these prisoners are mice. Surely a few cats would be a cheaper way to sort out mouse crime than giving every wayward mouse a comfy cell and a PS3? YCMIU, PCGM, IYLISMWDYGLT, etc.

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Unhappy

which proves the point

That prison is a gloried Holiday Camp! Playstations and TV's, where is the punishment? Oh ya that's right, it would be against human rights to punish criminals, why do we bother?!

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My title is having a dirty protest

I'll get in early with the obvious comment.

*I* don't have an HDTV or a PS3, and I'm a hard-working member of society (well, when I'm not on here). So I'm busy paying for a bunch of jailbirds to have the toys I can't afford, as some kind of punishment?

Love it.

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Grenade

This pisses me off

"PlayStations? It seems the jailbirds spending time at Her Majesty's pleasure in Addiewell, West Lothian have games consoles and HD TVs to play with, and, according to Scottish newspaper the Daily Record, are able to order their meals by computer."

Enough said. Off to rob a bank so I can spend all day playing console games.

Do I actually need to rob the bank now? Or can I just notify the police of this comment?

Grenade, for the British Justice System.

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Jammer

How hard can it be to install some mobile jammers?

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Because jammers are illegal.

Some poor people do live near prisons, so no mobile phones for them.

They might block emergency signals in the area, like guards calling for help on a radio (well, the more intelligent point to point ones)

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WTF?

Why don't they just set up Mobile Phone Jammers?

They can't be that expensive, certainly not compared to the cost of keeping the thieving little scrotes in there in the first place.

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Coat

PS3 !!

they are prisoners !!! if ever they were given a game console surely it should be something cheaper for prisoners, a sub standard system, something they deserve !!

an xbox360 !!!!

:D

let the flaaaaame begin !!

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XBox360...?

In prisons, "red ring of death" has unpleasant overtones.

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Anonymous Coward

2+2

"warders at the prison found a large number of unconnected cables dangling from the PS3s"

Well? did they also find the stashed mobiles in the same cells?

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Go

Confusing title

No-one else misread the title of the article and think the lags were catching live mice and converting their bioelectrical energy a la The Matrix or similar to the potato battery? I did think "oh, the humanity" before realising it should probably be "rodentity".

Although I do suspect that was the author's intention... :-)

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DARPA would like a word with you

And that word is "Gimme!"

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Anonymous Coward

Poor guys

http://www.kalyxservices.com/locations/hmp_addiewell.aspx

"At HMP Addiewell we recognise that some of the men in our care can sometimes feel low, upset or isolated...."

Prison!!!

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Shameful

Bloody human rights should be scaled down when you end up inside. No bleeding heart stories - life inside is easy and we spend a fortune on each and every one of these scummers. NI apparently spent 81k per prisoner last year! I wanna see that money put to good use - like getting them to fill in potholes, or cleaning streets etc.

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no 3 pin plug needed

...as they have access to the basics needed for a minimum standard of living (ie hd tellies and ps3s), they only need a usb charger.

I'm surprised they haven't adapted the charge cables they use for their pods......

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FAIL

No title required

Why don't they just install signal jammers in the prisons?

They're not exactly expensive

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Go

Usual smuggling route?

Surely using "the usual smuggling route" is just asking for brown-outs ?

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Boffin

Porridge, with jam

A guy I kind of know was in prison (he was caught with guns an live hand grenades in his car !!). He kept running his business with a mobile and played Xbox all day. He said if it wasn't for the fact he couldn't have sex with his missus he would have been quite happy to stay inside.

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Oh the anger!

Let's not forget the source of the story! The Daily Record is full on foaming at the mouth speek your branes fodder.

The last story they had about prisons was how the lags all queued up in an orderly fashion outside a cell to get their cocaine.

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Cordless mice then

But cabled to the desk... wait a minute

It seems logically possible if not legal that phone companies can determine the location of any phone quite well, and within a prison only allow service to authorised IMEIs.

And in hospitals and cinemas you aren't allowed to use a cellphone, so surely it can't be illegal to disallow it? Oh well.

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what a load of rubbish

hmm well good to see so many informed comments on here.

1st prisoners are not given tv's they have to pay 50p a week to get one (if they do not work they get paid 50p a day "bang up pay")

2nd to get to be allowed to buy a console they have to be at least enhanced status (every one starts on standard which allows the prisoner a tv, They can go down to basic (no tv) or up to enhanced (normally have a job or be in full time education wages are on average £9 per week))

the games consoles have to be purchased from their wages and as a previous poster stated they can only obtain ps2 type consoles (no wifi or hard disk) they can not purcase cert18 games they are also not allowed memory cards

yes phones do get smuggled but it is hard to get chargers that fit body cavities

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Happy

@what a load of rubbish

Please, don't spoil a good Tabloid Frothing at the Mouth Rant (and the subsequent Frothing at the Brain comments) by actually introducing *facts* into the topic!!!

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