San Quentin Tech

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Ace photographer (and good friend) Jon Snyder went deep into San Quentin snapping photographs of inmates and the technologies they use. Most of the stuff is outdated -- and new acquisitions have to meet odd regulations requiring clear plastic housing for TVs and such. But a small group of inmates have access to a computer lab where they can mix music and learn video editing skills.


In the midst of all this throwback technology, there is an oasis of modern media in the aging big house.

A state-of-the-art computer lab, stocked with late model Macs and other computers, allows inmates to shoot documentaries as well as TV programs shown on the prison's closed-circuit cable system. None of the computers have internet access, but the prisoners' work is a bridge to people outside of the prison, on DVD and San Quentin's YouTube channel.

Read the full story at Wired.


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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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