Weekend tech reading: Piracy remains legal in Switzerland

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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

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