Weekend tech reading: Piracy remains legal in Switzerland

By on December 4, 2011, 2:27 PM

Swiss Govt: Downloading movies and music will stay legal One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet and since last year the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products. TorrentFreak

Halo 4: Why the trilogy ends on next-gen Halo 4 will bring Master Chief back from the dead, see Cortana start to lose the plot, and feature alien worlds the likes of which you've never seen on any console ever - where bitter wars between the Covenant and humanity are still raging. Crucially, though, Halo 4 will still bring back the awesome sandbox action that made the original such a cult classic and - through Halo 5 and 6 (which have already been planned) -- it'll carry the Xbox's biggest series into the next generation. CVG

Stallman: Facebook is mass surveillance The father of free software philosophy spoke to RT on evil developers, spying social networks, the almost-legitimacy of Anonymous hacks and the condition under which he would take a proprietary program and a million dollars. Stallman is the man behind the concept that every computer program must be free for users to study and modify as they want. This is the only way to ensure that by using the software users do not compromise their human rights, he says. RT

A proposal for EU-wide data protection regulation A top lawmaker on Tuesday proposed harmonizing European Union privacy rules so that an Internet company could operate across the 27-country bloc as long as its data protection policies had been approved by a single member state. Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission, said unnecessary hurdles created by privacy rules that date to 1995, when the Internet was in its infancy... The NY Times

Intel's desktop roadmap for the next 12 months leaked Generally roadmap leaks tend to entail various snippets here and there or a few slides, but as it happens, Intel's desktop roadmap for the next 12 months have turned up online and although it's far from complete, it gives us a really good look at what Intel is working on. We've tried to sum up the most important parts here, although there's far too much information to cover in a single post. VR-Zone

AT&T's 4G LTE network live in New York City While attending an event for the LG Nitro HD for AT&T, we noticed that AT&T's 4G LTE network was live and functioning to the tune of 20Mbps downloads. While speeds are sure to drop once consumers start making real use of it, we were still impressed since Verizon's network rarely touched upon 15Mbps in our tests when that network first was activated and equally under utilized. MobileBurn

Windows 8 beta on track for January, demo at CES Microsoft is busy preparing its Windows 8 public beta. The software maker recently passed 8160.0.winmain.111122-1913 and is progressing steadily towards a beta release early next year. Rumors earlier this year pinned a beta offering for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 but it appears Microsoft is not targeting a release for this particular event. WinRumors

The personal computer is dead The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices don't merely represent a change in form factor. Rather, we're seeing an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other—and even those who keep their PCs are being swept along. This is a little for the better, and much for the worse. Harvard

Cornell Prof: Carrier IQ affair 'my worst nightmare' A Cornell University professor is calling the controversial Carrier IQ smartphone software revelations a privacy disaster. "This is my worst nightmare," says Stephen Wicker, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell. "As a professor who studies electronic security, this is everything that I have been working against for the last 10 years. Network World

Interpreting The Constitution in the digital era GPS monitors can track your every movement. Brain scans can now see lies forming in your brain. And advancements in genetic engineering may soon allow parents to engineer what their children will look and be like. These new technologies are "challenging our Constitutional categories in really dramatic ways," says George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. NPR

Robot recognizes self in mirror A robot that looks like a little green Martian in a snowsuit has learned to recognize itself in the mirror -- and is pleased with what it sees. Mirror-self recognition is a hallmark of intelligence in animals, something found in primates, dolphins and elephants, for example, but not dogs. MSNBC

User Comments: 18

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H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

''The personal computer is dead The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices don't merely represent a change in form factor. Rather, we're seeing an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other?and even those who keep their PCs are being swept along. This is a little for the better, and much for the worse. Harvard''

No just no.

nik11105 said:

That's it I'm moving to Switzerland!

Guest said:

artix.. that means that given the speed of development in technology.. you have an option of only buying pre-made laptops and mobile devices... there's no way of upgrading as you pleased like the PCs... for a new dedicated graphics card for a laptop.. unless u shell out over 1k for a laptop...PCs you can swap out your graphics cards, add RAM, change your monitor, stereo system, mouse, keyboard, processor, etc... all for a lot less than buy a whole new laptop each time new tech comes out.... that's the bad.. the good is there's a slight bit more of options in the field of mobile devices...

Guest said:

If the PC is dead then why is ARM making a platform for the x86 most likey will be competing with AMD and Intel even though it is getting help from both right now. The PC is very much alive and well!

Guest said:

THe PC is dead

u know.....steam....intel or amd...nvidia/ati....microsoft.....

ramonsterns said:

The car has been dead ever since the Vespa came out since both take you from point a to point b and the Vespa costs less, right guys?

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Actually rather than saying the PC is dead, I think it's more accurate to say that most consumers are upgrading/buying a new PC less often and spending money on iWhatevers. Still, I don't know anyone who doesn't have a PC/laptop at home.

treetops treetops said:

I don't think most people ever liked having to use a desktop to surf the web and surfing the web is what most people do on there computer. From what I observed people prefer handheld devices, specifically smart phones. So a decline in desktops only seems natural.

Guest said:

If you are declaring that a PC is only to surf the web, gosh really?

PC's now days are very powerful tools that can do miracles if you are willing to use your brain a little, if you only websurf, and play Flash/Java games, Please move aside and stop being a rock in the way.

tonylukac said:

Artists used to make and may still make 1 cent royalty per (vinyl) single sold. Why don't they all just set up their own websites and charge 5 cents a song? They will perhaps make 3 times what they did from the establishment, and everyone can afford the songs.

RH00D RH00D said:

I'm 18 living in North America and I can tell you first hand, that within the "mainstream" / teenage consumers that PCs are not dying. I'd say about 80 to 90 percent of teens around my area own a PC. (Most of them are laptops) and there are still quite a few "mainstream" teens who own desktops.

They are not abandoning their PCs they are simply bringing in smartphones and tablets to compliment their existing PCs. The mobile devices are *not replacing* the PCs. They are more like companions to their PCs.

PCs will co-exist with more mobile form factors.

veLa veLa said:

Having an incredibly powerful desktop is a tool. Regardless of how great Galaxy S2 and other smartphones are, they are just toys that can't be used for art like a desktop can. Desktops are far less popular than they've been in the past, but any other machine (android phones for example) are designed on the desktop.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The snippet of that Harvard article doesn't really do it justice as 'PC's being dead' is just superficial, the real point is that we are slowly moving away from traditional personal computing devices that we (consumers & developers) recognize as open platforms to more mobile cloud-centric devices which are locked down.

This quote sums it up nicely: "If we allow ourselves to be lulled into satisfaction with walled gardens, we'll miss out on innovations to which the gardeners object, and we'll set ourselves up for censorship of code and content that was previously impossible."

While I have confidence that traditional PC's as we all know and love are here to stay, Zittrain's concerns about the ever growing mobile, lightweight and cloud-centric devices are spot on imo. And we need to let let our voices be heard in this matter.

Renrew Renrew said:

The Swiss never cease to amaze me with their common sense approach in what is a cacophany of discord in most countries.

Perhaps it's the natural beauty of their country, or their multilingual society, or could it be that they have more common sense than most?

Whatever the reason, Kudos on their download policies.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The report to the Swiss Gov't mentioned a lot of points that I have argued for years. The entertainment industry has kicked their their heals, complained, and bitched about every new form of media distribution. If they can't ABSOLUTELY control it, they want to get rid of it, until after much screaming, lobbing, complaining and cursing they relies its not going away. They have to learn to work with it.

There are laws being drug through almost every gov't right now (or have been passed) that are 100% in the interest of the entertainment industry and not in interest of a persons civil liberties. This Swiss report is the first of its kind I have seen where a gov't takes a logical approach to piracy, instead of just listening to what the entertainment industry wants done about it.

I really hope our law makers read about this and actually engage their brain when it comes to new laws limiting our rights, instead of just following the entertainment industry blindly.

Now before anyone jumps down my throat for being for piracy, I'm not. I am just of the opinion that our law makers do not bring common sense or logic into play very often. Instead they eat out of the hand of the entertainment industry and do exactly as they are told by a small group of people instead of listening to the people that elected them.

Lurker101 said:

False alarm. The PC isn't dead, it just blue screened. Once I uninstalled some buggy drivers, everything was fine again.

Guest said:

The poor musicians make 200 million ona d tour and poor things want to make 200 million for peole to record their songs. This can't be reinforced. The musicians should just shut up and enjoy the fact they make those millions. It's just noise and it can be recorded on a voice recorder. Now if you download the crap and sell it I could see them crying, but just to listen to it I would say screw them.

Guest said:

In Africa they keep sending out this crap that they want your bank accounts and they'll send you millions and you keep some of it. Why don't they go after them? If musicians are dying of hunger, then we'll listen to their crying. But they make enough and just like it is technically illegal to copy a movie and use it yourself. It's illegal to download music.

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