My vmsec blog, Virtual Machine Security, turned 5 today!
My vmsec blog, Virtual Machine Security, turned 5 today!
Topic: How SDN enabled innovations will impact AT&T’s plans to transform it’s infrastructure. John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President AT&T Technology
There will be a download bias in our capital expenditures. When you look at the profile of the technology 2014 is the year AT&T begins the beachhead projects which we extend the useful life of existing gear which starts the process this year in procurement. We’re taking engineering limits and redimensioning them which give us an impact this year. That affords us the opportunity to reinvest in the new platform. So underneath that broad level there are a ton of new things going in where extend and get benefits from the old. In 2015 we start to have platforms that were born in the highly distributed cloud (not a data center). AT&T is on a march down a path to move us conceptually and get us out of the data center mentally into 4600 data centers and central offices. This is what allows us to take advantage of our architecture. Then the microseconds of compromise that exist between the metal and the application will be overcome by the milliseconds avoided by having an extremely highly distributed fiber heavy very very fast network. So we expect those projects to start to come in in next year. This has a crescendo effect as we move our way through 2014 and into 2015.
Go to 36:24 to hear this question and John’s response live.
When do you think you will see measurable tangible changes to the ATT business model from this transformation?
An eighth note (in the US and Canada) or a quaver (other English-speaking countries) is a musical note played for one eighth the duration of whole note (US and Canada. Semibreve, or half a breve, other English-speaking countries), hence the name.
Eighth notes are notated with an oval, filled-in note head and a straight note stem with one flag note flag (see Figure 1). A related symbol is the eighth rest (or quaver rest), which denotes a silence for the same duration.
kanban, pdca, kata, kaizen, lean, flow, interaction, automated test, special forces, coaching, training
Today, Facebook announced the acquisition of WhatsApp, the largest acquisition of any venture backed company in history. Started in 2009, the Company only raised $8 million and today is used by 450 million users globally across their mobile devices per month. Another remarkable stat is that - it only has 50 employees and never embraced the advertising model, only recently starting a $0.99/a year subscription model. Being a Facebook shareholder, only time will tell if this acquisition ends up being a smart move for them.
But, here’s a list of companies that have been around for a lot longer than WhatsApp and as of today are worth a lot less. Interestingly enough, all of these companies listed below have tangible goods - things you can touch and feel with solid profitability. WhatsApp on the other hand has a massive user base. Only time will tell what is important.
Congrats WhatsApp on a great exit. You’ve officially made history today and are an inspiration to many entrepreneurs.
Activison-Blizzard – $13.9B
Alcoa – $12.2B
American Airlines – $12.3B
Akamai – $10.9B
AmerisourceBergen – $15.9
Blackstone Group – $17.8B
Campbell Soup – $13.6
Chesapeake Energy – $17.2B
Chipotle – $17.1B
Citrix Systems – $10.7B
Coach – $13.5B
Consolidated Edison (ConEd) – $16.2B
Discovery Communicatons – $19.1B
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group – $10.2B
The Gap – $19B
Fidelity – $15.8B
Harley-Davidson – $14.1B
Hertz – $11.5B
Icahn Enterprises -$13.1B
The J.M. Smucker Company – $10B
Kohl’s – $11.1B
Kroger – $19.4
Loews – $17B
Macy’s – $19.6B
Marriott International – $15.4B
Mattel – $12B
MGM Resorts – $12.7
Monster Beverage – $12B
Moody’s – $17.08B
News Corp – $10.27B
Nielsen – $17.6B
Nordstrom – $11.4B
Progressive – $14.3B
Ralph Lauren – $14.2B
Red Hat – $11.1B
Royal Caribbean Cruises – $11.4B
Ryanair – $15.5B
Sherwin-Williams – $19.4B
Southwest Airlines – $14.7B
Starwood Hotels & Resorts – $14.9B
Symantec – $14.4B
TD Ameritrade – $18.4B
The Carlyle Group – $11.1B
Tiffany & Co. – $11.4B
Tyson Foods – $13.1B
Under Armour – $11.4B
Whole Foods Market – $19.3B
Workday – $17B
Xerox – $13.2B
Votes by Paul C. Jeffries, Abraham Williams, Simon Smith, Chris Kahn, and 7187 more.
I’m a hacker who served 4.5 months of a 9 month sentence 5 years ago. I was in two jails in that time, spending the majority of the time in the second, lower security place. The experience totally changed me, but in a positive way.
First of all, I actually had a lot of fun in jail. My education made certain aspects of the prison system very easy for me to navigate, such as legal documentation and debating with guards. My ability to mend broken electronics very quickly became known. These things made me feel very safe, since people were actively protecting me. It also made me feel quite important in the community.
It started when someone came to me and asked what I knew about mending mobile phones. In UK jails, many people have mobiles, usually obtained by over-the-fence smuggling. Pay-as-you-go credit vouchers are a major form of currency. This guy was very important on the wing - he had a crew of other guys who walked around with him and people often came to pay him. I said I knew enough about phones, and what did he want? He explained that someone had owed him money but couldn’t pay. He’d taken the guy’s phone as payment, but the phone was pin-locked and he couldn’t get in. The phone was an old Samsung, one which I knew (having previously owned one) didn’t impose any limit on the number of pin attempts. So I told the guy: yeah, I know a few tricks. But I need to get my tools out so I’ll do it overnight. (Note: I didn’t have any tools). The guy left me with the phone overnight, and I sat up through the night to try all 10,000 possible 4-digit combinations. Thankfully, the correct code turned up in the mid 2000s. So the next day this guy turned up and was amazed that I had figured out the code. He went round telling everyone that I was some tech wizard and that people should always come to me with their problems. In return for the job he arranged for me to have a Playstation 2 in my cell for two weeks, and to get access to a phone whenever I wanted. For the rest of my time, people would bring me trivially broken electronics and I would retire for the evening to make it out like I was doing something difficult, then return the fixed item the next day. It massively increased my quality of life in there.
Secondly, it opened my eyes to how people less fortunate than me live their lives, and how terrible the prison system is for most people. Many, many people in jail were severely mentally ill. There was no support for them. Some were killed in jail, either by inmates or staff, because they flipped out and people got scared. Another large group of people were hopelessly addicted to very harmful drugs. People who exploited this group were the most powerful - they would have drugs smuggled in, then build an army of addicts who would do their bidding to get the next fix. It was a really explosive situation. Almost every act of violence was drug debt related. Immigrants were completely screwed in jail, because there was no way for them to navigate the bureaucracy. I helped several people avoid deportation, including one cell-mate who had a hit contract out on him in Jamaica because he defended his business when yardies tried to extort him. He couldn’t read or write, so he couldn’t fill out the asylum application. His patois was so strong that his lawyer couldn’t really understand what he said, and the border agency was going to send him back to Jamaica to be killed. I wrote letters to the border agency, the prison governor and the home secretary and he was granted asylum and an interpreter was arranged so that his legal visits would be more productive. Hundreds of others in similar situations go without that help every year.
Thirdly, I saw some horrible things. For example: ‘syruping’ - when someone mixes sugar into a bucket of boiling water and dumps it on someone’s face. The dissolved sugar makes the boiling water cling to the skin longer, and the skin peels off leaving the raw flesh exposed. I also saw someone held down by four guys, who performed anal surgery on him with a sharpened spoon to extract drugs he was hiding. He later maimed all four of his assailants, stabbing them in the neck with a pen (saw that too). Another was a guy who was clearly paranoid schizophrenic. His cell was opposite mine. He started screaming one night and barricaded himself in. He then stripped off and covered himself with baby oil, and started setting fire to his cell. The guards came in riot gear to tackle him, but he was so slippery it was like trying to catch an eel. He gave them the run around for quite a while before they eventually held him down and injected him* and he was carried away screaming. He died in hospital.
Fourthly, I felt so ashamed of myself that I changed my life forever. I was a middle class white kid with a great education who got obsessed with hacking and document security as a teenager and went down for figuring out how to perfectly replicate the driving license, thus throwing away many of the advantages that luck, society and my parents had given me. Everyone else in there had no such advantages. Most of them were born to a life where poverty, drugs, violence and lack of education all being concentrated in their environment led to them being systematically channeled into prison. I was there essentially through misplaced intellectual curiosity, while others were there because their lives were so bad out of jail that crime was actually a rational survival choice. Society failed them, while it tried to hold me up with both hands. I was, and am, disgusted with myself. Upon leaving jail I learned programming, worked freelance to pay for my tuition while I got a degree, got a PhD position, and am now working towards spending my life using my skills as efficiently as I can to improve the lives of as many people as possible. If I ever have a lazy moment, I just have to cast my mind back to prison, and the disgust with myself rises up again, and I launch myself back into work with an energy I never knew I had before prison.
Finally, I would say that my criminal record has not held me back. I no longer have to legally disclose it**, but when I did I always did so with a letter explaining some of the circumstances and how deeply it had affected my life. I had several positive comments about my disclosure, and I have never been turned down for a job I’ve applied for. It doesn’t have to hold you back - your attitude has to convince a potential employer that your background makes you a great candidate, not a worse one.
*This has been corrected: In my haste to write the post I previously wrote that a dart was used, when in fact it was a needle. Thanks to Marty Bee for pointing out that this was not likely.
**For those who are curious, a conviction becomes ‘spent’ in the UK after a certain time. The times were recently reduced in a little publicised law (Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012), so my conviction was ‘spent’ after 48 months.
Upvote • 151+ Comments • Share (180) • Thank • Report • Updated 29 Dec
Votes by Morgen Weilschmidt, Dylan Lacey, Mark Conway, Richard Hennick, and 1149 more.
Before prison, I worked in IT consulting, so I definitely felt like a geek in prison. What’s it like to be a geek in prison? I can only speak to how it was for me. It was scary, since I hadn’t punched anyone since the 7th grade and most of the people I might have to fight were 20 years younger than me. It’s humbling, since I found myself in an environment that was nothing like my prior life and where the traits that had made me successful outside had little value on the inside. For me, it was eye-opening. I learned so much about the flaws in our justice system: the police, the prosecutors, the adversarial trial process, the appellate process, and more. For me, it was an awakening of sorts. Everywhere you go, you have to be alert. There are so many dangers. You could be in danger if you bump into somebody, if you look at someone wrong, or for no reason at all. I am so much more vigilant of my surroundings, even years later. My ability to read people is greatly improved, because it was so important there.
The surprising thing to me is that it was also an opportunity. Before prison, I liked to play guitar. Inside prison, I got to play in the music program and got pretty good. It was a matter of putting in the time. I also had books sent in so I could study music theory. Before prison, I had 6 years of jr. high and high school Spanish. In prison, I made friends with many people from Spanish-speaking countries and got fluent. I didn’t just talk with them, I watched TV with them, studied the Bible in Spanish with them, read novels in Spanish. In those 8 years I went from high school Spanish to fluent. I also found a job where I could program computers, creating databases used within the facility for things like tracking sports leagues or scheduling medical appointments. I then had books sent in to study new languages, design patterns, Xtreme and Agile methodologies, and more. I left knowing so much more than when I arrived.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was how I was able to form close friendships with such a diverse group of people. I had friends from Mexico and Honduras. I hung out with a murderer, as well as a guy who used to do home invasions. I got to be friends with drug dealers and a jewelry store robber. I still have pen pals who remain locked up.
I learned many things from inmates that I never learned in my prior life. I learned that you should go straight to the person you’re upset with rather than go to authorities. I learned that giving and keeping your word is the ultimate measurement of character. I learned that loyalty is easy to promise, but few really deliver. Don’t be that guy. Prison is really a learning crucible since the reactions are so quick and amplified. If you have annoying habits, you’ll find out fast. If you are not respectful to others, you’ll hear about it and you may get a “tune up” to teach you respect.
I also learned about true friends from those who supported me from outside of prison. They stood by me during the trial and all the appeals. They wrote me, took my calls, drove hours to visit me, and more. They really taught me about what true friends do for one another.
So for this geek, being in prison was a chance to learn about so many things.
Upvote • 22+ Comments • Share (7) • Thank • Report • 12 Nov
Votes by Jason Cołe, Bas Stottelaar, Alex Roller, Alyssa Apolonio, and 462 more.
I recently was released from an Alabama prison. I spent two years in prison and was sent there when I was 17. I am 19 now. The Alabama prisons are horrible.
I was very sheltered growing up, and when I was 17 my father forced me to steal from some people because we didn’t have any money.
I was very manipulatable and naive. And I was sent to prison like that as well. I used to love to play video games and computers, I created my first website when I was 11 years old. And I was and am still tall and kind of thin.
The first place I went, was one of the worst places, the juvenile wedge in the Mobile metro jail, the 16 and 17 year olds in Alabama jails are horrible and the most violent of them all.
I was the only white boy. They always attempted to steal from me and rob me, and literally terrorize me, throwing piss on me, or spitting in my drinking cup.
They let the inmates fill up the other inmates drinking cups.
The first week there, I bought a $20 phone card, and when I came back to my cell the black kids were waiting for me in there, predators. They had put a towel over the cell’s only light, to darken the cell, so the guards couldn’t see what was about to happen. And they surrounded me once I had walked back into the cell. I told them I would not give them the phone card, I actually intimidated them. I was grabbed from behind, and put into a choke hold, then I blacked out. I woke up from underneath the steel metal desk with blood dripping down the side of my face. The phone card was gone.
After that, I spent an entire year in a cell by myself, because I had to be separated from them. Throughout that amount of time, I saw over one hundred fights, and was sleep deprived quite a lot. The juveniles would scream and yell and cuss each other out ALL the time. They were animals. They would talk about the most hateful, vile things, and how ‘gangster’ they were, drug dealing, robbing and killing. It was utterly saddening. Especially at night, they would beat on the metal over and over and over, and rap, all of them together. (In no way am I racist. Nor prejudice towards a certain taste of music, I like rap myself sometimes.)
Anyways, The juvenile wedge was located right next to the suicide wedge.
The loudest wedge in the entire 2000+ jail. That is where they put the drunks, the crazy psychopaths who had just murdered their whole family, and even more nutjobs. One man gouged his father’s eyes out with a spoon.(I can reference that, as well.) They would beat constantly and scream and moan all night long.
I remember specifically the one’s who would never stop beating on the clear plexiglass walls of the suicide cells. They were in there naked, (all of them). At one time I saw my own father in there, after he had gotten jumped in another wedge and his nose broken and both eyes completely blackened. They put him in their for “protection”. I remember hearing the guards running in there and beating the hell out of those people, and hearing the inmates scream. I was right next to those cells. I lost lots of sleep over the constant noise,
BANG BANG BANG. BANGING over and over and over, for hours, all night. It was just like a lunatic asylum.
I did read a lot of the christian bible, when I actually believed in that kind of stuff. And other books as well, It was my only solace then. And learning, I yearned to read and learn.
I was constantly a target with the black people, because I was a white boy.
I was deeply miserable, and so I got the doctors to finally give me sleep medicine after many months, “Remerons”, which made me feel like I was slow when I took them, but sleepy. They took a very long time to wear off.
I started to slide them in the inside of my cheek when the nurse would give them to me, and I would spit them out when I got back. And hid them in a hole in my inch thick mat. I had no pillow, just a wool blanket.
My vision also was getting bad, I couldn’t see that far away and the jail would not prescribe glasses.
Before I went to prison and was waiting in limbo in jail, I thought there was a chance that I might be sent to prison. So over a long amount of time, I started to collect those sleeping pills just in case. So I could protect myself, if I was given a long amount of time in prison or whatever.
Things got more miserable, I stopped a young black kid from committing suicide in my cell at one point. I turned 18 in jail.
After that, I mixed in with the adults. I finally received my time, It was two more years… and I would be going to prison.
I couldn’t do it anymore. I was in misery. I was just tired.
One night I took all the remerons I had collected, I first waited for my cellmates to begin playing cards, and then I took around 100 of them, and heated up some hot water, and crushed up some of the pills and swallowed them all down.
It was the worst, bitter disgusting taste. I still have a hard time swallowing pills if I ever have to chew them. I wrote a note telling my mother I loved her and wished I could hug her. No one knows the truth or what really happened. No one cares to know.
I hadn’t seen her in 8 years. I got up on my top bunk and rolled over on my side on my mat. And laid there. I prayed to God, asking to be with him, I commend to you my spirit “Lord”. I was completely terrified of going to hell, but I still did it, I was in so much misery.
30 minutes later my body was almost paralyzed. And my body was pulsing and throbbing. I began to feel very sick. I tried as hard as I could to hold my stomach in. But I had to get up and go to the toilet to vomit, and my whole body was almost paralyzed, I could not jump off my rack. I couldn’t move.
And then I blacked out, into nothingness. Silence. Blackness.
There was no bright light.
Over the course of that period, while I was in jail, I had many inmates/criminals try to hurt me.
Later, I woke up in a hospital handcuffed to a stretcher, I was on life support.
My cellmates had gotten scared and told the guards, once they had seen me black out. I obviously did not want my cellmates to know what I had done. But I was forced to throw up, and black out.
After my ill recovery, I was thrown into the suicide wedge, right where I remembered all those people.
I soon was shackled and shipped to prison, where there was no A/C at all, there is none in the Alabama prisons. Prison is even worse. You are forced to work all day. And the temperatures inside the dorms get to 100+ degrees. Everyday, all day long, during the hot long Alabama summers.
Misery. I remember pools of sweat collecting on my mat, while I tried to lay down. I would have to strip to my underwear to stay cooler.
The black men would look at me, and some would masturbate at me, while I would sleep, or do it right in front of me. They call it “gunning you down”.
It was a fact that the African american men were specifically like this.
A lot of the time when I would try to take a quick shower, they would all watch me, to see when I would go in. And then go in the shower with me and watch me, and ‘gun me down’, while I bathed myself quickly.
Quite a dehumanizing thing to have done to you.
I wish I could’ve knocked one of the those motherf*ckers heads off.
But I knew I had parole coming up, And I might make it, If I never get into any fights, or disciplinaries.
Which was even worse. Because, I needed to stand up for myself.
It was so crowded in prison, there was no privacy. Nowhere.
Showers were completely wide open, toilets were in rows of 30 lined up.
No stalls, Those did not exist.
I tried dearly to avoid the showers, and the sick people. I saw a lot of sick stuff in there. The white gay boys were the ones that almost always were on the “receiving” end of the action.
Homemade hypodermic needles, and one of the main drugs, called Suboxones, they were these thin sublingual films/wafer like substances from a pharmacy that were smuggled in, they are a narcotic analgesic and they dissolve fast. The drug addicts broke up and disolved the film in a spoon and either snorted or injected it.
I did none of that. I had never done drugs before.
I was in prison for a long time.
After two years of being in there, and finally making parole, I was released and transferred to another state. I was granted immediate release from parole at least three months before, but it took them a very long time to “find” the paperwork. They would not have done it or found it, if a trustee inmate had not given me a special phone number for the parole boards office, that was not “public”, and I got my family to call up there over 50 times over a course of months.
I realized my weaknesses while in prison, my puniness.
A lot of me died slowly inside, I do not think about girls as much. I was a young kid, I had only ever had one girlfriend in 8th grade. I had to drop out of school after that.
When I was in prison I longed to just to touch a girl’s hand, just to have someone love me as friend. I yearned for a companion, I was so lonely.
Words could never express.
My heart felt like it was literally dying.
I also missed listening to music so much, I loved music a lot.
I don’t feel things anymore as much, I tried to feel love and compassion, but my heart has died slowly. I still do love people, I have tried to keep that alive,
I really try my best. And I love to give people gifts with the money I have now.
I am somewhat of a stronger guy now. I work out all the time.
I am still trying to find what I am going to do with my life and career.
It is hard to find meaning in anything in my life. I do enjoy computers a lot, evidently.
If I had to go through those two years again, I don’t believe I could do it all over again.
PS- Most prisons are not like Alabama’s, they are not as rough. Most “nerds” will find a way to survive, and people may not mess with them. It depends on how rough the prison is. A friend of mine in prison named Dan, he wore these really thick prison issued glasses, had been locked up for 20 years. And he would work on radios, including mine. He did alright, he was a big guy. He would use the cooking grease from the kitchen and put it in a small tobacco can for a wick and put a soldering iron/shank over the flame for about 2 or 3 minutes and use it to fix radios and earbuds, etc. He would replace the broken pieces with anything metal he could find, he used elmers glue a lot and paper.
Upvote • 27+ Comments • Share (14) • Thank • Report • Updated 3 Jan
Marcus Thompson, Former tech worker and current OTR truck driver
Votes by Micke Hindsberg, Jim Danz, Adam Zerner, Dan Dimerman, and 45 more.
Prison is an intensely scary place, you are never further than a micron removed from astonishing violence. I was the only person wearing glasses and also the only one without any tattoos. It is a life-changing experience, perhaps unsurprisingly not for the better. Although I never had any problems during my three years I saw brutal, horrifying violence and stabbings at least weekly, often ‘car wrecks’ (your “car” is the racial group you ride with, and woe be unto you if you interact inappropriately with the other cars). Ten years removed from that hell and I still have nightmares about it. Wake-up-screaming nightmares that leave me unwilling to go back to sleep lest it continue. Ever.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 23 Dec
Votes by Pravarth Purush, Rod Carvalho, Mike Aguilar, Yonatan Dahan, and 37 more.
It changed (and probably saved) my life. I was in a medium security place for almost a year that wasn’t so bad. County jail was much worse. Less sleep, more immature idiots in close proximity. Much higher threat of fights.
In prison, I stuck to myself a lot and studied. I had a fan, a radio, and headphones and the library was pretty nice, both the general library and the chapel library. On the radio, I enjoyed public radio quite often :) “From the Top”, “A Prairie Home Companion”, “Whad’ya Know?” and others. I also listened to the Christian stations.
I know there’s people who think prisoners shouldn’t have anything…. and maybe prisoners are spoiled in some prisons… but I can tell you without my radio, I wouldn’t have come out a better person. It’s hard to understand just how much “punishment” it is merely being there, when you haven’t experienced it. I wish more people would turn it into a positive experience.
I re-perfected my rusty calculus skills. I read stacks and stacks of history books. I learned Latin. I focused on prayer. I wrote letters. I never got close to being in a fight. People just left me alone and respected me because of the impression I was a decent guy. I always smiled and I always walked with a my head up and with purpose. I had a few influential friends but I never really depended on them or joined their little cliques.
More than 10 years later, my life is changed, I never looked back once I got out, not so much as a seat belt ticket. I also became a fairly decent programmer ;)
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 26 Dec
Votes by Ben Kent, Rod Carvalho, Shelley Nott, Vasilis Krikonis, and 22 more.
I am a long time coder who never got in trouble of any kind until I had to serve 4.5 years in prison starting in 2007. For my whole life before that, I was accustomed to solving problems with intelligence, logic, and rational discourse. I discovered quickly, however, that these things have little value in prison.
Being smart, and having the ability to form grammatically correct sentences was more often than not viewed by both inmates and guards as arrogance on my part, and met with defensiveness at best. This was true despite the fact that I am the humblest guy you could meet and as a rule approach people with kindness.
Nothing is logical in “the system”. The bureaucracy that runs it, although appearing on its surface to have a well-defined order and regularity, operated without even a semblance of consistency, leaving its denizens mired in a kafkaesque wilderness of arbitrary rules and nonsensical decisions.
Incidentally, I observed this to be the principal reason that prison “makes better criminals”. I saw inmates on their very best behavior punished for essentially no reason, while other inmates broke rules left and right (often with the knowledge of guards) and faced no negative repercussions. The primary lesson this inconsistency teaches to inmates is that THE RULES DO NOT MATTER. Even inmates who were not “career criminals” and perhaps had only made a mistake in their life to bring them there, were shown in vivid detail how following the rules does not have any intrinsic benefits, and that getting away with breaking them is quite often beneficial.
I followed the rules to the extent that they did not overtly contradict each other, and although I never got into any major trouble during my time, I do not view this as the logical consequence of my behavior. I didn’t get into trouble because I was LUCKY, not because I followed the rules.
I was also lucky that my prison had a CAD program, for which my technical skills made me well suited. I was able to get a position as a teaching assistant in that program and was fortunate to be able to continue to tinker with code here and there, and to have the company of the other 3 or 4 geeks in the prison.
During my experience, the distinction of being a geek was less important than the distinction of being a *civilized* person. Prison is not a civilized institution, at least not as I saw it practiced, and although I was largely ambivalent before about how we punish criminals in the US, I am now a strong opponent to incarceration.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • Updated 29 Dec
Votes by Alex Roller, Mark McKenna, Florian Bender, CJ Winslow, and 13 more.
Before prison, I was a straight-A student and a gamer. I am an Aspie, diagnosed by multiple doctors. I weigh 130 pounds and wear glasses. I did five years in a U.S. state system, about half of which was in maximum security. My experience was not like the top poster’s. Many of my cellmates were multiple murderers. One was selling heroin from our cell in County. I was lucky to end up in a minimum-restricted “camp” for the last half of my sentence, and the white shot-caller there protected me to some extent even though I am openly anti-racist. I made some friends and got into a workout car, but struggled to fit in throughout my bid. I did complete an Associate’s degree by mail and read a lot in addition.
If you are not an excellent fighter, do whatever you have to to avoid higher-security facilities. Do NOT “debate the guards” as the top poster did; in general, don’t talk to them at all, because this can result in a rat jacket. Don’t rat or check in, no matter what happens. Avoid the 4 Gs: guards, gangs, gays, and gambling. Stay in shape by lifting whenever you can (do pushups, dips, planks, etc. in your cell if that’s your only option). If you are challenged to a fight, fight—there is really no other option. To reiterate: you CANNOT back down from a fight, because doing so would only prompt many more fights. Respect your cellies in particular, and everyone else as well. Form acquaintanceships when possible, but don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. Be polite. Don’t complain or rack up debts.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 30 Dec
Votes by Kuku Hemendex, Pieterjan Van Leemputten, Treay Cohen, Lawrence Gimenez, and 12 more.
I was sentenced to 6 years in a dutch prison, must admit the dutch prisons are quite relaxed compared to most other countries, i was not really a nerd anymore when i entered jail, but i had 7 years of programming experience when i came in prison (i was 22 by then), a lot of guys saw that i had good communication skills and lot of legal knowledge, i started by helping them with simple requests and within 6 years i was ellected as chairman to the prisoners board, which gives you the right to visit every prisoner during daytime. My best action was that i made a very good paytv deal with the main dutch payTV provider, for as low as 1 dollar a week every inmade would be aible to see all important sports games, erotic entertainment and the newest movies. After 2.5 years (my case took very long) i was transferred to a prison for people who got over 6 years. The situation was quite relaxed, very modern accomodation (own fridge and shower on private cell) and i even joined a software engineer programm. This gave the privilege to own a own computer on your cell. During daytimes we produced educationall software which is till today still used :) . Besides programming i mastered myself in video and 3D skills. Life in prison was ok, 3 times a week we could play football at a big artificial pitch, and we had our own kitchen with all equipment. Mostly i cooked together with the south american guys and every sunday i made pancakes for the whole block. The last part of my sentence was in a full open institution and i was allowed to work for a computer company where i first met the internet. Last 2 months i was allowed to work at home because lack of facilities, and started to work as a freelancer for the guy i already made educational softare.
The day after my release i started to take a job als software engineer (1998), till the day of today i still work in the software industry, i have a steady job, and most of my colleagues don’t know of my past, and i think when my boss would know, he even wouldn’t care.
About the prisons i was in general? Well not a lot of violence, only some idiots, and i think i saw only 2 or 3 fights, not too much drugs abuse, since cannabis use is not really a big problem in the dutch prisons, ok you get 5 days solitary if your are caught, but in all those years i had only 2 serious inspectsions.
The only big problem with being in jail are your relatives, they are in a continious stress and you can not really help them, that did hurts me most and was the biggest motivation to keep on the straight path.
Upvote • 1+ Comments • Share (1) • Thank • Report • 29 Dec
D.B. LeConteSpink, done Fed time at 6 institutions
Votes by Emily Liu, Steve Williams, CJ Winslow, Meredoc McMinn, and 26 more.
In reply to the lawyer’s comment, in five years inside I never saw a “straight” white male participate in any sexual activity he didn’t choose. Ever. What I did see is alot of “straight” guys play a bit for the other team when inside, either on the downlow or somewhat openly… but when they’re ready to go home to girlfriends and conventional society, they edit those memories. It was rape, yeah, he made me do it…
This isn’t to deny the issue of real prison rape, and the real damage it can cause - it’s just to put a grain of truth into that. Of course, it depends on the joint you’re in - some are gladiator schools and bad shit happens there. Some won’t see a real rape a year, if that.
What I find sort of interesting in a sad way is how “straight” people outside of prison are obsessed - OBSESSED - with prison rape stories. Always black men raping innocent, pure white boys too. If you didn’t know better, you’d almost think there was some racism afoot in that. Almost.
Sometimes I’ll make up stories of pure rape hell to tell people when they ask “so didya see lots of rapes in prison, like real rapes? Big black studs raping innocent white straight boys who were crying for mercy? Didya? Didya???” And no matter how utterly un-believable the story you make up, those people asking (always “straight” men, of course - and white) believe it. When told I was just making it up, they’re disappointed.
I’ve seen as much - or more - horrific behavior outside of prison as in it. I’ve seen lawyers con poor defendants out of $50,000 in cash, in paper bags delivered in parking lots, and then sell them down the river without a second glance. Prosecutors who lie and cheat and profit from the destruction of the lives of others - or just do it for the fun of it. Prison? Mostly, inmates are just trying to survive. And, in truth, so are most of the guards - it’s the people outside that make the prisons and fill them with bodies, not those behind the razor wire.
Prison can show you who you really are, when all the trappings are stripped off. Alone in solitary, you learn alot - lessons that nobody else can ever understand. Those who haven’t done time are often quietly scared of those of us who have - we’re different, somehow. Yes, we are. We’ve faced a deep fear, been tortured by society for being “wrong” in some way, and we’ve survived.
That’s what prison - as a geek taught me: I can survive anything, and I bow down before nobody. When you overcome your darkest fear, you are a formidable opponent indeed. This is the gift of prison.
Upvote • 1 Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 28 Dec
Votes by CJ Winslow, Jenny Hoole, Anonymous, and Edward Akiwumi.
This was at the county jail in Santa Ana, CA. I don’t know how it compares with other places, but the guards and the inmates seemed cut from the same cloth — just like congressmen and lobbyists. (BTW: I would much rather trust my life with the former group (the guards and inmates)).
I didn’t know I could keep my glasses, so I spent two days squinting at everyone. Later, as I was leaving, one of my cellmates told me that squint scared everyone because they couldn’t read me.
I remember the “boss” explaining the rules, specifically the most important one about how your race affected when you could shower. (He really was a decent guy.)
I remember him also standing by the phone with me ready to “help” me “get a deal” with a bondsman. Fortunately, I was released before I could complete the call. None of the police/guards ever explained what was going on or that I still had rights, or that the DA only looked at my case for 30 seconds before dropping it with “Why are you wasting my time with this guy?”
I remember a 24 year old white kid bragging about how Bad he was and all of the drugs he sold (he got caught driving his brother’s car with some marijuana in the trunk), but everyone could tell he was terrified.
Had I known then what I know now (Don’t ever ever ever talk to cops) I wouldn’t have spent even those two days there. This is when I first learned that The System does not exist to help anyone but lawyers.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 6 Jan
Votes by James Hilton, Mike Aguilar, Suman Jandhyala, Ben Kent, and 5 more.
" I am so much more vigilant of my surroundings, even years later. My ability to read people is greatly improved, because it was so important there. "
Not a bigtime geek more of a advanced novice but … was in for five years and this is the key when you are doing time . This really does happen to you !!!
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 23 Dec
Votes by James Pitt, Alex Antoine, Ben Kent, Joel Llewellyn, and 1 more.
I’m a pretty major geek… UNIX/Cisco/Windows/Oracle Admin but I wound up in county jail for a felony for about a week back in the early 90’s until I bonded out… I was 27-28 and a fairly big guy & in decent shape at the time and look more like a carpenter or truck driver… but It was actually a pretty relaxed environment considering where I was so I don’t think my size played a factor. There were no issues with race or violence between any of the guys I was in the pod with… the guy that sort of ran the pod was a mexican guy around my age that was there for a murder charge… but in spite of that he came off as a pretty nice guy… i’m a friendly smart ass and he took a liking to me… so we sort of spent the week i was there poking some friendly fun at the dumb kids that were in there… the thing i walked away with was jail is a street wise sort of environment and to stay relaxed but don’t get overly familiar… there’s no brain surgeons or rocket scientists in jail so don’t expect to many intelligent conversations and don’t ask to many personal questions
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 27 Dec
Sherie Simms Suggest Bio
Votes by Mari Arquero, Joe Kurtz, Matthew Cramerus, and Irina Safronova.
I appreciate you writing your story and how you learned from your experience. I’ve been a victim of a hacker exboyfriend for 9 years. To the degree I’m now soley using a Chromebook but he still managed to compromise another Gmail account of mine. This account had a 2 step verification, which lead him into my iPhone. Which lead him to my address via the GPS and has let me know, he knows where I live. I’ve gone to the police. I’m writing this just in case you know or can advise me in the U.S. where I can obtain some advise. The man is untraceable, served in our military for 20 t years. Any help would be appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org an address that will be changed soon. Thank you and keep helping mankind:)
Upvote • 1+ Comments • Share • Thank • Report • 6 Feb
Votes by Alex Roller, Stuti Datta, Marcus Ford, Mayeesha Tahsin, and 29 more.
No matter who you are on the outside, on the inside you are an inmate. You can be a geek, nerd, a sheep, a thug it doesn’t really matter. You will make friends of all sorts and those friends will likely last as long as your sentence, or theirs if they leave before you.l Prison doesn’t get easier or harder because of the type of work you did on the outside. Nerds and geeks sometimes get clerk jobs based on their knowledge of computer programs or familiarity with office jobs. That’s about the only difference. No matter how smart you are, you are still in prison and there isn’t anything smart, geeky or cool about that.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 5 Feb, 2013
Peleg Aker Suggest Bio
Votes by Irina Safronova, Riley Gumaer, and K. L. Blakinger.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 30 Jan
Mike Aguilar, Web writer in tech, automotive and home improvement. Published automotive author (http://www.automotivedynamic.com/)
Votes by Mark Conway, Kwon Pan, Bill Bell, Eric Light, and 12 more.
It really sucks when it’s magazine delivery day and your copy of PC Magazine shows up.
And then there’s the fact that there’s very few people to hold an intelligent conversation with: “So, what are you in for? “Meth. There’s a cockroach on the floor.” “Were you selling it?” “Yes. And using it. Now the cockroach is burrowing into my skin. KILLITKILLIT!”
And then there’s the: “Hey, what are you in for?” “Strongarm robbery. What car do you ride in? Are you a Norteno or Scrap?”
Upvote • 1 Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 13 Nov
Votes by Mick Timony, Bubba Ham, Christopher Wood, Suzanne Holczer, and 8 more.
Depending on the Prison you will likely be away from much technology, but you can find the time to do much reading you have not had time before and being that Prisons are the prime example of a bureaucracy you can learn how to engineer the system to work with you instead of against you and with little to make due with you will become more of a lifehacker.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 12 Nov
Votes by Liz Zitzow, Joel Llewellyn, Akshay Katyal, and Harsha S Kanch.
To some geeks prison is going inside the physical walls of a prison. But there is another prison in UK. The prison for immigration offenders. As an immigration offender you are not put in jail but you are not allowed to work or earn any money. You are expected to pay lawyers but not allowed to work. This prison is not a very good experience. Back in 2008 I made a mistake and committed an immigration offence. I was not put in Jail but I was left fighting for my survival with no right of work. I was in UK because I have son here who I cannot live without.
My case went on and on in UK courts. During this open Jail time I learnt to design websites and learnt every thing about SEO search engine optimisation. I started a web design biz placed my website on top of search engines and started offering quality websites at very affordable price. This way I managed to earn enough survival money without a job or fear of being caught on Job.
Now I wish to start an online academy providing free education to Britons wanting to learn SEO, web design internet marketing etc. This is to help people start online business if they wish to without any cost.
Upvote • Comment • Share • Thank • Report • 30 Dec
When you need to email sensitive information to someone either in your organization or in another company the need for encryption comes up. Most email programs such as the native MacOS Mail.app and Microsoft Outlook for windows and mac support the use of S-MIME certificates for this.
Some email programs, especially the web interface such as gmail, iCloud, Outlook Web Access (OWA) etc don’t know how to deal with signed emails so you will get a blank message with the p7m file as an attachment only. No text. In this case you will want to use an email program that supports S-MIME to correspond with these “security” people.
This is how it works:
There’s a browser add-on I haven’t tested yet that supposedly allows you to use S-MIME with gmail via a web browser. You could also just use a regular email program with your gmail account and accomplish the same thing. Just because you use gmail, office 365, iCloud, hotmail, yahoo, etc,.. doesn’t mean you can’t use outlook or the mac mail.app.
Lately we find ourselves emailing the encrypted email with the sensitive information to the people we can. Then following up with another email either signed or in clear without a digital signature with a more general message.
Details of NSA’s demand on tech
Valley companies report requests for users’ data from U.S. agencies
By Brandon Baileybbailey@mercurynews.com
For the first time, Google, Facebook and other leading Internet companies issued reports Monday about previously secret U.S. government demands for their users’ data, while renewing their call for reform of surveillance programs that have become a major source of friction between Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.
The companies said the government’s demands under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act involved 59,000 or more Internet accounts in the first half of last year. Company officials said those numbers represent a small fraction of their hundreds of millions of users, and include many cases in which a single individual holds multiple accounts.
Stung by a series of news reports about government surveillance, based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the companies have been eager to show they hand over users’ data only under narrow circumstances. The new reports were allowed under a legal settlement reached after several companies sued the government to loosen the rules that prevented them from disclosing such demands in the past.
Companies were previously allowed to report on certain types of requests, including those known as National Security Letters, but not demands issued under the FISA law. Even so, the recent settlement still requires the companies to describe the requests in broad categories and report the numbers in ranges of 1,000.
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