This Week in Tech – 11/19/2017

FCC Plans December Vote to Kill Net Neutrality Rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans. The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc. and others


The FCC Just Repealed a 42-Year-Old Rule Blocking Broadcast Media Mergers

Federal regulators rolled back decades-old rules on Thursday, making it far easier for media outlets to be bought and sold — potentially leading to more newspapers, radio stations and television broadcasters being owned by a handful of companies. The regulations, eliminated in a 3-to-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission, were first put in place in the 1970s to ensure that a diversity of voices and opinions could be heard on the air or in print. But now those rules represent a threat to small outlets that are struggling to survive in a vastly different media world, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. With the rise of blogs, websites and podcasts, Pai said, traditional media outlets now face more competition than ever — and rules that once enforced a diversity of viewpoints are no longer needed


Bill Gates Makes $100 Million Personal Investment to Fight Alzheimer’s

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is to invest $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund that brings together industry and government to seek treatments for the brain-wasting disease. The investment – a personal one and not part of Gates’ philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – will be followed by another $50 million in start-up ventures working in Alzheimer’s research, Gates said


Anonymous Hackers Take Down Over a Dozen Neo-Nazi Sites in New Wave of Attacks

The hacktivist collective Anonymous has claimed responsibility for taking down over a dozen neo-Nazi sites in retaliation for recent ongoing events in the US. These attacks were a part of the ongoing #OpDomesticTerrorism campaign. A hacker associated with the hacker group operating the Twitter handle @AnonyInfo told IBTimes UK that the hacktivist collective had shut down over 12 neo-Nazi sites including cnkkk.nettexaskkk.com, vanguardamerica.online, whitehonor.com and others. At the time of writing, all of the websites mentioned by the hacker were offline. The hacker said that more “continuous attacks” are on the horizon


House Democrats Call for Investigation of FCC Chairman Over Sinclair Merger

Two House Democrats are calling for the FCC’s inspector general to investigate Chairman Ajit Pai over the FCC’s moves to relax media ownership rules and whether they are timed to benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed purchase of Tribune Media. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, claim that Pai has refused to respond to queries about the timing of the actions, and whether he or his staff used personal email accounts or messaging services to communicate about Sinclair or with company officials


World’s First Human Head Transplant a Success, Controversial Scientist Claims

The world’s first human head transplant has allegedly been performed on a corpse in an 18 hour operation which successfully connected the spine, nerves and blood vessels of two people.The operation was carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren of Harbin Medical University, China, who last year successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey. Italian Professor Sergio Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, who has been working with the team, said they would ‘imminently’ move onto a living human who was paralysed from the neck down


Introducing the New Firefox: Firefox Quantum

It’s fast. Really fast. Firefox Quantum is over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago, built on a completely overhauled core engine with brand new technology stolen from our advanced research group, and graced with a beautiful new look designed to get out of the way and let you do what you do best: surf a ton of pages, open a zillion tabs, all guilt free because Firefox Quantum uses less memory than the competition. Your computer will thank you

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