PC Sales Plunge as Windows 8 Flops

From Yahoo News:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The ailing personal computer market is getting weaker, and it’s starting to look like it will never fully recover as a new generation of mobile devices reshapes the way people use technology.

The latest evidence of the PC’s infirmity emerged Wednesday with the release of two somber reports showing unprecedented declines in the sales of desktop and laptop machines during the first three months of the year.

As if that news wasn’t’ troubling enough, it appears that a pivotal makeover of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system seems to have done more harm than good since the software was released last October.

“This is horrific news for PCs,” said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis. “It’s all about mobile computing now. We have definitely reached the tipping point.”

First-quarter shipments of PCs fell 14 percent from the same time last year, according to International Data Corp. That’s the deepest quarterly drop since the firm started tracking the industry in 1994. Another research firm, Gartner Inc., pegged the first-quarter decline at 11 percent.

The deviation stemmed from the firms’ slightly different definitions of PCs.

No matter how things parsed, this is clearly the worst shape that the PC market has been in since IBM Corp. released a desktop machine in 1981.

Over 18 Months, Nation’s First Privately Owned State Prison Has Declined Rapidly

From Think Progress:

In an unprecedented experiment fueled by budget concerns, Ohio sold a state prison to Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest private prison corporations in the country, in 2011. Within a year, a state audit of Lake Erie Correctional Institute, the nation’s first privately owned state prison, found rampant abuse and abysmal conditions well below state standards. The CCA prison was given another chance to pass, but flunked another inspection four months later. Independent reports continue to illuminate filthy, broken facilities, as well as much higher rates of crime and violence in and around the prison. On Tuesday, the ACLU of Ohio sent Ohio lawmakers a comprehensive timeline of the prison’s decline since CCA took over.

The Lake Erie prison is now reportedly overcrowded at 130 percent capacity, with single-person cells holding 3 inmates each, according to internal documents obtained by the ACLU. Assaults on guards and other inmates have skyrocketed by 40 percent.

In fact, on the same day the ACLU released their timeline, the Lake Erie prison had to tamp down a series of inmate fights that lead to the confinement of 500 inmates.

Private prison companies have been repeatedly caught cutting corners on space, sanitation, and staff in order to maximize their profits. As a result, deadly riots frequently break out at these facilities, sparked by poor food quality, lack of health care access, and unsanitary conditions.