Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show

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Link: Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show

One of the world’s most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical aboutclimate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies.

Massive botnet ‘indestructible,’ say researchers

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Link: Massive botnet ‘indestructible,’ say researchers

A new and improved botnet that has infected more than four million PCs is “practically indestructible,” security researchers say. “TDL-4,” the name for both the bot Trojan that infects machines and the ensuing collection of compromised computers, is “the most sophisticated threat today,” said Kaspersky Labs researcher Sergey Golovanov in a detailed analysis Monday. “[TDL-4] is practically indestructible,” Golovanov said. Others agree.

Is drug resistance in humans coming from chickens?

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Link: Is drug resistance in humans coming from chickens?

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There’s a new paper out in the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that makes a provocative claim: There is enough similarity between drug-resistance genes in  E. coli carried by chickens and  E. coli infecting humans that the chickens may be the source of it.

If it is correct—and it seems plausible and is backed by past research—the claim provides another piece of evidence that antibiotic use in agriculture has a direct effect on human health

Diet soda actually makes you fat

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Link: Diet soda actually makes you fat

Two new studies found that diet drinks and artificial sweeteners increase people’s waistlines and increase their risk of diabetes.

Near-Earth asteroid fails to destroy mankind, obliterate all living things

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Link: Near-Earth asteroid fails to destroy mankind, obliterate all living things

An asteroid “with an estimated girth as large as a garbage truck” zoomed just 7,500 miles away from Earth today, flying over the Atlantic Ocean without incident. In related news, you are still alive. Reuters, NASA JPL.

New Uncontacted Group Confirmed in Brazil

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Link: New Uncontacted Group Confirmed in Brazil

    <img height="438" width="660" src="http://mostlyrealstuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/june22d.jpg" />

The Brazilian government has confirmed the existence of a previously unknown group of so-called uncontacted people who have remained isolated from industrial society.
In April, the Brazilian government agency charged with protecting the country’s indigenous tribes took aerial photographs of the group’s Amazon dwellings. The photos were released June 22 by Survival International, an advocacy group for indigenous people.

Salty geysers of Saturn’s moon Enceladus come from liquid water

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Link: Salty geysers of Saturn’s moon Enceladus come from liquid water

We may be able to add another item to the growing list of bodies in our solar system that contain significant amounts of liquid. Jupiter’s moon Europa has long been suspected of harboring a subsurface water ocean, but recent studies have suggested that a large part of the interior of its moon Io is also molten (although that’s molten rock). Further out, Saturn’s moon Titan appears to have a subsurface ocean that allows its surface to move somewhat independently of its core. Now, researchers have found evidence that Saturn’s moon Enceladus needs to be added to this list.

Head of UN copyright agency says fair use is a “negative agenda,” wants to get rid of discussions on rights for blind people and go back to giving privileges to giant companies

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Link: Head of UN copyright agency says fair use is a “negative agenda,” wants to get rid of discussions on rights for blind people and go back to giving privileges to giant companies

Francis Gurry, the Director General of WIPO, the UN agency that creates and oversees global copyright policy, laments the current state of WIPO, saying that the copyright agenda there:

“… tends to be a negative one. It tends to be looking at the exceptions, the limitations, and the other ways of not having intellectual property. I’m very keen to see us coming back with a positive agenda for intellectual property.”

Translation: our job isn’t to figure out how to balance out freedom of speech and access with exclusive rights for authors and investors; more copyright is always good. And the subtext is, “All those public interest groups that have got us looking at rights for blind and disabled people, exemptions for poor countries, rights for educators and archivists, and Creative Commons-style ‘some rights reserved’ issues are distracting us from the real business of WIPO: maximizing copyright’s benefit for a handful of corporate giants.”