As an American, living in a country where one out of every 50 adult men are behind bars on any given day, I'm amazed at how easy it is to forget that we are the home of the world's largest prison population and the world's highest per-capita incarceration rate.
Makes you realize that life in the Soviet Union and Mao's China seemed "normal" to them, too.
Because the case is clear?
Before reading the article, I'm going to guess that it's got something to do with the ease with which is can be inserted into an anus.
My guess was the same as da_Bird's, but it turns out that it's popular as a legitimately allowed item, not as a contraband item. In which case the answer is pretty obvious as to why it's so popular.
it's also very cheap and battery efficient
Does the "FP" at the end of the model name stand for "for prisons," or is that just coincidental?
Because it's make of clear plastic, which prevents prisoners from hiding contraband inside it (same with some prison televisions for personal use) and the guards don't have to tear it open every few days to inspect it for drugs, shanks, pruno, etc.
Most of us aren't aware of the variety of products that are specially designed and marketed for prisoners to avoid the security issues inherent in normal consumer products. Things like dental floss sold in precut lengths (to make it more difficult for prisoners to braid rope out of it) and short handled toothbrushes (to make them more difficult to weaponize).
FP stands for Federal Prison.
Similar to the clear backpacks kids carry in our elementary and junior high prisons.
This clear television is supposedly for use in prisons. Pretty cool. http://www.ohgizmo.com/2010/08/31/own-a-rare-zenith-13-see-through-clear-case-tv-you-know-for-prisons/
I've had a similar radio in a matte black housing for well over a decade.
I don't have much use for a portable radio these days but it works very well. It has great reception and a really big tuning knob so you can get really fine adjustments. I used it a lot while camping before I owned an mp3 player.
Wait...Wait...Don't tell me.
Yeah, I assumed the same thing...
It hadn't even occurred to me that clear casings for electronics and other devices had a very practical application in prisons. I always thought they were marketed to teenyboppers that wanted to see the inside of the machine. There were a lot of trimline phones made with clear cases after all...
Here's a Yahoo groups thing where the author has reached out for info from someone in the know (ultralight DX group)
Found this interesting:
"The problem is that Sony doesn’t want to cooperate much
with the article, as it associates their company with prison. That makes PR
people gun-shy. >>>
Sony's lack of cooperation is probably also related to the fact that their SRF-39FP model is based on mid-1990's technology, and is hardly a model that is likely to turn around their lackluster financial situation."
There's also more technical info on the radios there as well.
perhaps it can be tuned in out of the allowed range to listen to the guards radio communication.
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