The Null Device


According to Neil Gaiman, prison companies in the US use juvenile illiteracy levels to predict how many prison cells to build:

At the Publishers' Lunch I attended last week, Joel Klein mentioned that the people who build private prisons in the US use third grade (that's about age eight for the non-Americans) illiteracy levels as their key to how many people are going to be in prison in ten, fifteen years, and how many prison cells they're going to need to build.

Thanks to Loki for digging that fact up.

crime education freakonomics literacy neil gaiman usa 1

Voice-over-IP phone service Skype have started offering dial-in phone numbers. This means that, for a regular fee, you can rent a phone number in one of several countries and area codes. People calling that number will get through to your Skype client, and will pay only the standard rate for calling a number in that area. Currently, there are phone numbers available in the US (various area codes), the UK (London), France and Hong Kong; hopefully more countries will follow soon.

SkypeIn information is not yet visible on the public site, but if you log in, it offers to sell you a phone number or three. I wonder how quickly they will run out of numbers.

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