An ingenuous bit of technology hacking by inmates has forced staff at a UK prison to keep a close eye on computer equipment.
Prisoners at the Addiwell prison in Scotland discovered a way to charge their cell phones using a computer mouse and a PS3. By plugging the mice into the PS3 USB ports and manipulating the wires, the inmates discovered that they could supply power to their phones without the guards finding out.
A source at the prison said that at first, the prison staff couldn't figure out why so many mice were going missing. It wasn't until they discovered some actually plugged into the PS3 consoles during cell searches that they realized what was going on. According to the source, the prison has instituted a policy which says that after any session involving computers, the prisoners can't leave until all the mice are accounted for.
HMP Addiwell is a privately run prison built in 2008. Inmates supposedly refer to it as "Addison," after the Raddision hotel chain, because its facilities are more modern and comfortable than the typical UK Prison. PS3 consoles are apparently just one part of this, as cells also have flat screen televisions, and en suite bathroom facilities.
Obviously, I'm not about to condone the prisoners behavior - they stole mice to power phones they weren't ever supposed to have - but I can't help but be a little impressed by their ingenuity. As sci-fi author William Gibson once said, "the street [or in this case, the prison] finds its own uses for things."