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SB WUZ HERE: Surgeon pleads guilty to burning initials into patients’ organs

Ars Technica - December 13, 2017 - 10:31pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty | ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT)

It’s usually OK to be proud of your work and lend your name to it. But most people would draw the line at signing their initials into the flesh of internal organs.

Not Dr. Simon Bramhall of the UK, apparently. He pleaded guilty to charges that he etched his initials, “SB,” onto the livers of two transplant patients with an argon beam in 2013. Bramhall admitted the assaults in a hearing in Birmingham crown court on Wednesday, according to several news outlets. In doing so, he pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating, but he pleaded not guilty to the more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Prosecutors were said to have accepted his pleas, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on January 12.

Bramhall previously worked at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth hospital, where he gained fame for a dramatic liver transplant in 2010. Bramhall transplanted the liver following the fiery crash-landing of the plane that was transporting the donor liver to Birmingham. Though the pilots were injured, the liver was intact and salvaged from the burning wreckage. The transplant spared the life of Dr. Bramhall's desperately ill patient.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow - Reviews - December 13, 2017 - 10:06pm
The Wrangler crawls to the top with more powertrain options, improved efficiency and better off-road prowess.

Critical US mass spying program scrutiny lost amid partisan nonsense

The Register - December 13, 2017 - 9:47pm
Buh buh buh buh buh buh buh but her emails! And those texts!

Analysis In two weeks, a US law authorizing one of Uncle Sam's crucial mass snooping programs will expire.…

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - December 13, 2017 - 9:46pm
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has arrived on Xbox One. Our guide will bring you up to speed.

T-Mobile to launch pay TV service to end your pain - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 8:53pm
It's acquiring a TV tech startup that will help it get into the television market, with service starting in 2018.

Google Assistant now offered on Android tablets - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 8:51pm
The personal assistant is also landing on Lollipop phones. All told, half of Android users across the globe will have access to it.

Any lawful device: Revisiting Carterfone on the eve of the Net Neutrality vote

Ars Technica - December 13, 2017 - 8:49pm

Enlarge / Ever hear of this classic tech?

As tomorrow's FCC net neutrality vote looms, Ars has been sharing as much of our reporting on the topic as possible. And this week, a longtime reader nudged us about this classic on the FCC's Carterfone decision from nearly 50 years ago. "This story is extremely relevant to the current Net Neutrality debate in that it provides a historical precedent to debunk arguments about regulation stifling innovation," the reader writes. "It shows that this battle is not a recent development, but goes back decades. Might you consider republishing it so that this story can get new exposure?"

Ask nicely (and offer a great suggestion), and you shall receive. This story originally ran in June 2008. Below, it appears unchanged except for updates to the time frame (the piece originally ran on the decision's 40th anniversary).

Nearly 50 years ago, the Federal Communications Commission issued one of the most important Orders in its history, a ruling that went unnoticed by most news sources at the time. It involved an application manufactured and distributed by one Mr. Thomas Carter of Texas. The "Carterfone" allowed users to attach a two-way radio transmitter/receiver to their telephone, extending its reach across sprawling Texas oil fields where managers and supervisors needed to stay in touch. Between 1955 and 1966, Carter's company sold about 3,500 of these apps around the United States and well beyond.

In the end, however, Carterfone's significance extends far beyond the convenience that Thomas Carter's machine provided its users over a decade. It is no exaggeration to say that the world that Ars Technica writes about was created, in good part, by the legal battle between Carter, AT&T, and the FCC's resolution of that fight—its Carterfone decision. The Carterfone saga starts as the appealing tale of one developer's willingness to stick to his guns. But it is really about the victory of two indispensable values: creativity and sharing.

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3D-printed Christmas tree toppers celebrate Beyoncé, Hillary - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 8:30pm
Move over, angels. You can now crown your Christmas tree with winged versions of Serena Williams, Hillary Clinton and Beyoncé

Google’s top searches of 2017 were Hurricane Irma, Matt Lauer - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 8:20pm
Also on the list: bitcoin, the solar eclipse and soon-to-be member of the royal family Meghan Markle.

Maker of sneaky Mac adware sends security researcher cease-and-desist letters

ZDnet News - December 13, 2017 - 8:17pm
"If there's code that's mining data and hiding itself on a computer without any way of removing it, that's malware, plain and simple."

IBM reminds staff not to break customers in pre-Xmas fix-this-now rush

The Register - December 13, 2017 - 8:12pm
Australian tentacle has mucked things up at bank and border security agency

Bosses at IBM's Australian outpost have been forced to remind staff to do their best work during the pre-Christmas rush – that time of year when outsourced clients want a lot of stuff done in a hurry before much of the world shuts down to overeat.…

The huge TV screens of CES 2018 are coming for you (The 3:59, Ep. 332) - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 7:51pm
We talk with TV guru David Katzmaier about QLED, Micro LED and OLED.

T-Mobile promises to end the “complete bulls—t” from TV companies in 2018

Ars Technica - December 13, 2017 - 7:16pm


T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced today that the mobile phone operator intends to acquire TV service Layer3 TV and next year offer a TV service that lets you watch "what you want, when you want, where you want" without the "complete bullshit"—contracts, forced bundles, and promotional pricing that expires after a year—that typifies the services coming from traditional cable TV providers.

Layer3 TV brands itself as "The New Cable." It currently operates in only a handful of markets, offering access to a wide range of HD and 4K channels (more than 275 in total), streamed using the highly efficient H.265 (also known as HEVC) video codec and a custom set-top box. It's a pure IP service—there's no tuner in the box, and it will connect over Wi-Fi—and to support it, Layer3 has built out a fiber distribution network and data center in Denver that handles transcoding shows into HEVC. It also has partnerships with Internet providers to provide the last mile connectivity. This private backbone network should mean that Layer3 doesn't suffer the kinds of issues that Netflix dealt with a few years ago when its links bought from Cogent became congested.

While the distribution and compression technology are modern, the rest of the current Layer3 service looks quite traditional. Layer3 offers a basic package of about 150 channels—like regular cable TV, you'll get access to your local CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and PBS affiliates, among others—with add-ons for premium services like HBO, Starz, and Cinemax and additional bundles to add extra sports, music, or Spanish-language programming.

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Mirai botnet: Three admit creating and running attack tool

BBC Technology News - December 13, 2017 - 7:07pm
Three men admit creating and running Mirai, a botnet used to block access to much of the web.

Australian central bank says 'speculative mania' and crime fuel Bitcoin

The Register - December 13, 2017 - 6:58pm
Why use a slow expensive risky currency when you can do real-time bank-to-bank transfers?

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia has opined that cryptocurrencies are most useful “to those who want to make transactions in the black or illegal economy, rather than everyday transactions” and concluded that current enthusiasm for the instruments therefore “feels more like a speculative mania than it has to do with their use as an efficient and convenient form of electronic payment.”…

Security researcher says DirecTV hardware can be easily hacked

ZDnet News - December 13, 2017 - 6:00pm
The flaw was privately disclosed to the device maker in June, but six months later, there's still no patch.

Continuous Lifecycle 2018: Keynotes, speakers and earlybirds

The Register - December 13, 2017 - 5:54pm
Save now, learn later

EVENTS If embracing Continuous Delivery of DevOps is on your New Year’s resolution list, you can get a head start by wrapping up your Continuous Lifecycle London 2018 tickets now - and save a stack of cash into the bargain.…

Trump signs bill barring US government use of Kaspersky - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 5:50pm
The antivirus software has been prohibited on US government networks due to concerns of Russian government influence.

Target buys Shipt for $550M, will offer same-day delivery in most stores by holiday 2018

ZDnet News - December 13, 2017 - 5:41pm
Target said Shipt will run independently, with plans to build relationships with other retailers.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' felt like a party in a backyard - CNET - News - December 13, 2017 - 5:39pm
The cast of the acclaimed new Star Wars film say the huge shoot was surprisingly relaxed -- at least until a couple of princes showed up.

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