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The Interweb

Links for December 14th

Cleaners ‘worth more to society’ than bankers – study

Hospital cleaners are worth more to society than bankers, a study suggests.

The research, carried out by think tank the New Economics Foundation, says hospital cleaners create £10 of value for every £1 they are paid.

It claims bankers are a drain on the country because of the damage they caused to the global economy.

They reportedly destroy £7 of value for every £1 they earn.

Why AOL Time Warner failed to change the world

Was there ever a deal like the one which saw AOL merge with Time Warner in January 2000?

It took place during the biggest bubble the stock market had ever experienced, and it marked the final triumph of the internet over the old media.

Or so it seemed at the time.

Libel Reform

Our libel laws are a menace, but not to journalists, or even to doctors: they are a menace to you. Put very simply, when you restrict the free criticism of medical ideas and practices, you harm patients and the public.

Major Labels Accused Of $6 Billion Worth Of Copyright Infringement In Canada

The major labels and their friends like to throw around huge numbers of “damages” when it comes to copyright infringement. But how about when they’re on the receiving end of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Up in Canada, there’s a class action lawsuit against the Canadian divisions of all of the major record labels, suggesting that the labels have infringed on the copyrights of artists to the tune of $6 billion

The arguments made by climate change sceptics

At the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, 192 governments are aiming for a new global agreement to constrain greenhouse gas emissions and curb human-induced climate change.

But some commentators are unconvinced that rising greenhouse gas emissions are the cause of modern-day warming. Or they say the world is not actually getting warmer – or that a new treaty would hurt economic growth and well-being.

So what are their arguments, and how are they countered by scientists who assert that greenhouse gases, produced by human activity, are the cause of modern-day climate change?

Categories
The Interweb

Links for July 29th

It’s all about Science Envy

Fellows of the Discovery Institute seem to be over represented in fringe groups, Paul Nelson is a Young Earth Creationist, the Godfather of Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson and DI fellow Jonathan C. Wells have signed on to AIDS denial and Guillermo Gonzalez has signed on to a climate change denialist list.

Topically, given the debate about science communication that has been happening in the wake of of “Unscientific America”, in a recent article William Dembski dives into the whole Global Warming Denialism thing

Wireless power system shown off

A system that can deliver power to devices without the need for wires has been shown off at a hi-tech conference.

The technique exploits simple physics and can be used to charge a range of electronic devices.

Eric Giler, chief executive of US firm Witricity, showed mobile phones and televisions charging wirelessly at the TED Global conference in Oxford.

He said the system could replace the miles of expensive power cables and billions of disposable batteries.

When science is reduced to a game, anyone can play – The Irish Times – Thu, Jul 23, 2009

THIS WEEK marks the 40th anniversary of the historic first moon landing in July 1969. Or does it? Conspiracy theories have persisted over the decades, with books, websites and even organisations dedicated to “uncovering” Nasa’s gigantic hoax, writes JOHN GIBBONS

Laughable? Yes, but these theories are difficult to refute precisely because of the impossibility of proving a negative.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, said last week he felt sorry for the “gullible people” being taken in by this nonsense. The fact that millions earnestly believe this stuff is neither trite nor trivial.

Putting the rock into Morocco

Heavy metal is known as rebel music – and that is particularly true in Morocco.

“Metalheads” have been accused of being devil-worshippers, and even locked up because of their passion.

But Youssef Benseddik, a student who heads the heavy metal group Atmosphere does not seem particularly rebellious.