Weird Tech: 'Idiot' pulls plug on ISPs across UK

And Indian woman convicted of murder on basis of brain scan

Who pulled the plug

A Telecity engineer shut down a number of ISPs along with their customers across the country late yesterday evening after accidentally knocking out at least five Datahop ports at a London data centre .

According to a report by AAISP on the support blog, the chaos did not stop there, with the man then proceeding "to plug them back in randomly."

Concerned night support staff contacted Telecity, The Register reports, which in turn contacted Datahop. Despite being "banned from touching anything," the man managed to move yet more cables before a Datahop engineer arrived to unravel the mess.

Life in prison

In more sobering news, India has become the first country to convict someone of a crime relying on evidence from a brain scanner. Debates raged this week, after reports resurfaced of an Indian woman sentenced in June to life in prison for murder, on the basis of a scan.

Despite being neither peer-reviewed nor independently replicated, test results from the Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature test (BEOS) were cited as proof that the woman's brain held "experiential knowledge" that only the killer could possess.

The BEOS software uses an EEG to interpret the electrical impulses from a suspect's brain, which apparently 'buzzes' when the crime is recounted to them. According to the inventor, the system can distinguish between a person's memory of a witnessed event and deeds they committed.

Scientists in the US have labelled the application of the technology "fascinating," "ridiculous," "chilling" and "unconscionable".

Gadget therapy

Last week we brought you the Scan Toaster; this week the Computer Toaster. Sadly, on closer inspection it turned out to be little more than a PC housed in the classic Black & Decker Toast-It-All 4-Slice Toaster enclosure, but it's a step in the right direction…

This four-port rotary phone USB hub, on the other hand, is far more functional. Turning the dial opens and closes the hubs, both preventing dust from settling and banishing boredom. Great stuff.

And finally…

A paramedic has been dismissed from his job after placing a prawn on the chin of a dying patient awaiting electric shock treatment, and joking: "Let's see if we can cook this prawn." Ambulance technician John Jones reportedly remarked: "360 joules won't cook a prawn," when the shock was administered, a medical panel was told this week. The patient died at hospital soon after the incident. His wife said she was disgusted by the technician's actions.