Internet News Feed

DOJ confirms new criminal probe linked to Waymo v. Uber lawsuit
GettyImages-453253454-800x533.jpgEnlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images News) A newly-released letter has formally acknowledged what was only briefly stated last month in a San Francisco courtroom: federal prosecutors have an open criminal investigation into Uber. Late last month, as part of the proceedings in the high-profile and ongoing Waymo v. Uber trade secrets lawsuit, US District Judge William Alsup said that on November 22 he had received a letter from San Francisco-based federal prosecutors. It is very unusual for a judge in a civil case to be apprised of a pending criminal investigation involving one of the litigants. In a separate November 28 letter sent to Judge Alsup, Acting US Attorney Alex Tse asked that the first letter not be made public. The judge unsealed both letters on Wednesday. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
3 hours ago
Dealmaster: Get a PlayStation VR with Gran Turismo Sport for $199
Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list includes a good range of discounts, including a bundle that includes a PlayStation VR headset, its accompanying PlayStation Camera, and a copy of Gran Turismo Sport for $199. You're technically getting the first-generation PS VR hardware here, but if you don't care about having HDR pass-through support, that shouldn't be a big deal. And while we aren't crazy about Gran Turismo Sport from a VR-specific standpoint, we do find it to be another enjoyable and superbly realistic racer, albeit one that's almost totally focused on online play. Maybe just pick up Resident Evil 7 to go with the headset, though. There's plenty more beyond that, so have a look at the full roundup below. 1213-hero-640x360.png (credit: TechBargains) Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
4 hours ago
Just 20 percent of e-waste is being recycled
un_ewaste_Formal_dismantlers-800x600.jpgEnlarge (credit: UNU/ITU) Opting to handle your bills online keeps a lot of paper out of the bin, but the devices you use to go online eventually die anyway. If this “e-waste” ends up in a landfill, the energy and materials that went into manufacturing and delivering those devices are lost. And besides being unsustainable, disposal can expose people to hazardous metals and compounds. Apart from a story here and there about a new e-waste recycling project, it’s hard to get an idea of just how much e-waste is getting tossed around the world. A new report from the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union helps paint a picture by providing some global statistics. Altogether, the report estimates that nearly 45 million tons of electronics were thrown out in 2016—and only about 20 percent of it is known to have been recycled. The report puts the value of the raw materials in that 45 million tons of e-waste at about $55 billion ($9 billion from smartphones alone), but most of that waste isn’t being recovered. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
5 hours ago
2 million people—and some dead ones—were impersonated in net neutrality comments
fake-comments-map_original-800x619.pngEnlarge / An analysis from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (credit: New York Attorney General's office) An analysis of public comments on the FCC's plan to repeal net neutrality rules found that 2 million of them were filed using stolen identities. That's according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "Millions of fake comments have corrupted the FCC public process—including two million that stole the identities of real people, a crime under New York law," Schneiderman said in an announcement today. "Yet the FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation." Some comments were submitted under the names of dead people. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
5 hours ago
“Suspicious” event routes traffic for big-name sites through Russia
bgp-hijack-800x421.jpgEnlarge (credit: BGPMon) Traffic sent to and from Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft was briefly routed through a previously unknown Russian Internet provider Wednesday under circumstances researchers said was suspicious and intentional. The unexplained incident involving the Internet's Border Gateway Protocol is the latest to raise troubling questions about the trust and reliability of communications sent over the global network. BGP routes large-scale amounts of traffic among Internet backbones, ISPs, and other large networks. But despite the sensitivity and amount of data it controls, BGP's security is often based on trust and word of mouth. Wednesday's event comes eight months after large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard, Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services were briefly routed through a Russian government-controlled telecom, also under suspicious circumstances. According to a blog post published Wednesday by Internet monitoring service BGPMon, the hijack lasted a total of six minutes and affected 80 separate address blocks. It started at 4:43 UTC and continued for three minutes. A second hijacking occurred at 7:07 UTC and also lasted three minutes. Meanwhile, a second monitoring service, Qrator Labs, said the event lasted for two hours, although the number of hijacked address ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
5 hours ago
Elderly doctor can’t get her medical license back, judge rules, again
GettyImages-635762510-800x532.jpgEnlarge (credit: Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images) For the second time, a New Hampshire judge has ruled against Dr. Anna Konopka, the 84-year-old New Hampshire doctor who recently surrendered her medical license after inquiries into her practice by the state medical board. The Wednesday court order was first reported by New Hampshire Public Radio. Last month, Konopka initially came to national attention after she refused to use a computer and participate in the state's new law for an online opioid monitoring program. In two lengthy phone interviews with Ars last month, Konopka said that, if she is somehow reinstated by the state's medical board, she would be willing to learn how to use the Internet to follow New Hampshire law. At this point, that's a big "if." Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
6 hours ago
SB WUZ HERE: Surgeon pleads guilty to burning initials into patients’ organs
GettyImages-869535440-800x533.jpgEnlarge (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 a 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 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 a 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. Read 4 ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
7 hours ago
Any lawful device: Revisiting Carterfone on the eve of the Net Neutrality vote
Screen-Shot-2017-12-13-at-1.40.16-PM.pngEnlarge / 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 ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
8 hours ago
IBM offers code patterns for AI, microservices, blockchain apps
IBM has released two sets of freely available code and other development assets: IBM Code Patterns and Bot Asset Exchange.The features in IBM Code Patterns With IBM Code Patterns, IBM is providing more than 120 open source code patterns intended to streamline the coding process for applications using artificial intelligence, blockchain, microservices, analytics, data science, internet of things, devops, containers, the cloud, Java, Python, and virtual reality.IBM Code Patterns includes curated packages of reusable code, GitHub repos, documentation, and resources that provide a view of underlying code, including architecture diagrams and process flows, so developers don’t have to weed through thousands of code bases and documentation to get work done.To read this article in full, please click here ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
9 hours ago
Google Assistant is coming to older Android phones and tablets
 The Google Assistant has long been available on most modern phones and tablets. But given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, many older devices will never get the newer versions of Android that feature built-in support for the Assistant. Google is now bringing support for its voice-activated helper to phones running Android 5.0 and tablets running Android 6.0 and 7.0. Read More ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
10 hours ago
T-Mobile promises to end the “complete bulls—t” from TV companies in 2018
t-mobile-tv-800x500.jpgEnlarge 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 ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
10 hours ago
Computer science student pleads guilty to creating Mirai botnet
16480450157_040917f2d7_o-800x533.jpgEnlarge (credit: Open Grid Scheduler ) A New Jersey man has pled guilty to hacking charges and creating the devastating Mirai botnet, which spread via vulnerabilities in Internet-connected devices to unleash numerous massive distributed-denial-of-service attacks. As recently as last week, new Mirai strains continued to proliferate online. As Ars reported in October 2016, the most serious DDoS degraded or completely took down Twitter, GitHub, the PlayStation network, and hundreds of other sites by targeting Dyn, a service that provided domain name services to the affected sites. Paras Jha admitted to being behind Mirai according to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday. The Rutgers University computer science student was originally publicly identified as a likely suspect in January 2017 by Brian Krebs, a well-known independent computer security journalist. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
11 hours ago
IDG Contributor Network: When it comes to the cloud, best-of-breed wins
The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? LeBron James or Steph Curry? Muhammad Ali or Floyd Mayweather? And while we’re at it: best-of-breed or single-vendor/integrated-stack?Classic debates. Myself, I prefer the Beatles, Steph, and Ali. As for best-of-breed versus single-vendor, I’ll confess that over my 30-year career I’ve been known to argue for both sides, but these days I’m increasingly in the corner of best-of-breed. I’ll go further and say: It’s not even a fair fight any more. With the rise of the cloud, best-of-breed is now more attractive—and easier to implement—than ever. Best-of-breed is increasingly distinct and compelling In the cloud, the delta in capabilities and performance between best-of-breed versus the single-stack option are considerable. The big public cloud providers have distinct strengths and characteristics that make it highly attractive to choose multiple public clouds based on desired use cases.To read this article in full, please click here ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
12 hours ago
A Republican lawmaker urges FCC to delay net neutrality repeal vote
getty-gop-elephant-800x755.jpgEnlarge (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht) A few Republican lawmakers are breaking with the party in order to oppose or express skepticism about tomorrow's Federal Communications Commission vote to eliminate net neutrality rules. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) yesterday called on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to delay the commission's vote and give Congress time to "hold hearings on the net neutrality issue and to pass permanent open Internet legislation." Thx to everyone who has contacted me in regards to #NetNeutrality. Below is the letter I sent to Chairman @AjitPaiFCC today to ensure the continuation of a free and open #internet. pic.twitter.com/oKqh7lxaLI — Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) December 12, 2017 "The preceding four Chairmen of the Federal Communications Commission, two Republicans and two Democrats, all took steps to uphold the basic principles that guaranteed a free and open Internet," Coffman wrote in a letter to Pai. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
12 hours ago
IDG Contributor Network: Two common threads tying together 2018 tech trends
Many of the technology trends that drove us into 2017 will continue into 2018: connected devices, digital transformation, the internet of things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation.These hot-button issues will remain part of the technology vocabulary in 2018 and beyond. Where I see a substantive difference is in the union of the technologies. AI and IoT are transformative by themselves; now imagine digital transformation in a connected and automated world empowered by an artificial intelligence of things.Going into 2018, I see two common technology characteristics: intelligence and automation.Intelligence If we want smart factories, cities, cars, and homes, the systems that drive them also need to be smart. That requires active, real-time learning systems that can generalize and optimize from a common set of rules.To read this article in full, please click here ... read more
Published on 12-13-2017
12 hours ago
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