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Why a small-town radio show gets call-ins from across the country every Monday night.

The best of hip-hop and the sounds of home, straight through prison walls.

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Dave's Killer Bread

William Griffin was a teenager when he had his first run-in with the law. Now in his mid-40s, he's been in prison for a quarter-century.

Michelle Hudson was a childhood friend of Griffin's, but the pair lost touch when her father's military job relocated her family. Returning to Virginia decades later, she learned about the mistakes that landed Griffin in prison.

"It was just street life, hanging out, doing the wrong thing," says Hudson, describing the unfortunate events that led Griffin from "street life" to "sentenced to life."

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Mozilla
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Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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