Climate change denier Rupert Murdoch just bought National Geographic, which gives grants to scientists

Rupert Murdoch, the new boss of National Geographic.

Rupert Murdoch, the new boss of National Geographic.

The National Geographic magazine has been a nonprofit publication since inception in 1888, but that ends today. The long-running American publication becomes very much for-profit under a $725 million dollar deal announced today with 21st Century Fox, the entertainment company controlled by the family of Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch is a notorious climate change denier, and his family's Fox media empire is the world's primary source of global warming misinformation. Which would be no big deal here, I guess, were it not for the fact that the National Geographic Society's mission includes giving grants to scientists.

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Dear Internet of Things: human beings are not things

My new Locus column is What If People Were Sensors, Not Things to be Sensed? Read the rest

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others join to create royalty-free video codecs for all

The group plans to develop a new generation of royalty-free open source digital media formats for video, audio, and still images.

In Google's new logo, serifs a no-go

It's all about looking better on increasingly smaller devices.

Suit: Wells Fargo sent contractors to break into our house, loot family treasures rescued from Nazis

David Adier missed two mortgage payments on his home in Morris Township, NJ, so Wells Fargo, his mortgage lender, sent contractors who illegally broke in and "trashed-out" his home as though it was abandoned, stealing the family treasures his father smuggled out of Nazi-occupied France. Read the rest

Google covertly lobbied against net neutrality in India

The company emailed members of the Government Relations committee of the Indian ISP association, asking them to support Facebook's program, which delivers "a poor Internet for poor people." Read the rest

Windows 10 EULA: Microsoft can killswitch your unauthorized hardware and pirate games

When you click through the Windows 10 "agreement," you agree to let Microsoft subject your games and hardware to authenticity tests and to shut down anything it doesn't like the looks of. Read the rest

LA artists who earn their livings through the Internet

A beautifully shot photo-essay in today's New York Times chronicles the careers of six Los Angeles artists whose livings would not exist, save for the Internet. Read the rest

MPAA loves fair use so much they don't want to share it with the rest of the world

The Hollywood studios always claim to be "pro-fair-use" but when the US Trade Representative made a move to put fair use into the Trans Pacific Partnership, the MPAA sent a scathing, furious letter to the Obama administration condemning "the inclusion of fair use' in free trade agreements" as "extremely controversial and divisive." Read the rest

Piracy vs the MPAA: yet another box-office record smashed

The movie studios continue to demand Lord High Internet Executioner status because "piracy is destroying the film industry," even as box office records are smashed anew: Straight Outta Compton put its studio over the $2B mark in record time. Read the rest

LAPD & Chicago bought "Stingrays on steroids" with asset-forfeiture & DHS money

The military surveillance devices known as "Dirtboxes" have been in secret operation for more than a decade, tracking citizens' locations and intercepting their calls, breaking the encryption on hundreds of calls at once. Read the rest

NSA kremlinology: spooks outsourced lawbreaking to AT&T

Last weekend's bombshell report on AT&T's enthusiastic cooperation with NSA mass surveillance revealed that the NSA categorized many of its most egregious spying programs as "Partner [AT&T] Controlled." Read the rest

Massive Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World

They're the largest-ever single-themed expansion of a Disney theme park in 60 years, but they're still a fundamentally conservative approach to the Star Wars franchise. Read the rest

AT&T was the NSA's enthusiastic top surveillance partner

All the phone companies helped the NSA commit mass surveillance, but the agency singled out Ma Bell as "highly collaborative" with an "extreme willingness to help." Read the rest

Transgenic mouse company pays academics who cite them in papers

Cyagen also makes stem cells and other bio-research materials: they'll pay academics $100 in vouchers per citation, multiplied by the impact factor of the journal in which the paper is published. Read the rest

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