Published: Friday 30 April 2004

Are you a smoker and want to quit? Doing that now can win you lakhs of rupees. The World Health Organization is sponsoring a 'Quit and Win' contest during which smokers are encouraged to give up smoking for four weeks. Participants will be able to use aids such as patches, gum and inhalers, and then undergo a laboratory test to ensure that they have abstained from tobacco. The contest is being coordinated by the National Public Health Institute of Finland.

Satellites using a new technology tested high above the Amazon rain forest can accurately tell scientists about the effects of drought on ground. This new application of imaging spectroscopy analysed sunlight reflected from the Earth's surface. The data may help in predicting climate change.

A study of young children in the us has confirmed that the more tv they watch the more likely they are to acquire an attention deficit disorder. Researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, us, examined more than 2,500 children aged under three. The study found for every hour of tv watched each day, the risk of attention difficulties increased by almost 10 per cent.

Open Source advocates in Australia have set up an online petition to campaign against the adoption of certain provisions in Chapter 17 of the Australia-us free trade agreement. They say these provisions will "harm the Australian open source community by making legitimate and useful open source software illegal, and preventing the Australian Parliament from considering changes to our intellectual property laws."

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