Weekend tech reading: SOPA hearing resumes next week, not in 2012

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Congress to resume SOPA hearings next week The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will continue its hearing on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on Wednesday, not until after Congress' holiday break, as originally believed. Late Friday, Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and committee chairman, scheduled a continuation of the hearing to amend the bill for this Wednesday at 9 a.m., even though many members of the committee may be out of town for the holidays. Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and opponent of the bill, tweeted the hearing announcement late Friday. PC World

Dear Congress, it's no longer ok to not know how the Internet works I remember fondly the days when we were all tickled pink by our elected officials’ struggle to understand how the internet works. Whether it was George W. Bush referring to "the internets" or Senator Ted Stevens describing said internets as "a series of tubes," we would sit back and chortle at our well-meaning but horribly uninformed representatives, confident that the right people would eventually steer them back on course. Well I have news for members of Congress: Those days are over. Motherboard

Drone-ethics briefing: What a leading robot expert told the CIA Robots are replacing humans on the battlefield -- but could they also be used to interrogate and torture suspects? This would avoid a serious ethical conflict between physicians' duty to do no harm, or nonmaleficence, and their questionable role in monitoring vital signs and health of the interrogated. A robot, on the other hand, wouldn't be bound by the Hippocratic oath, though its very existence creates new dilemmas of its own. The Atlantic

Microsoft's design lead Steve Kaneko on unification and Metro: 'We're not looking over our shoulders' While Windows 8's Metro overhaul goes a long way towards completely reinventing the OS, in some ways it hasn't gone far enough — there are still places where the classic Windows interface resurfaces. So why hasn't Microsoft fully adopted Metro yet? Microsoft design director Steve Kaneko sat down with our own Joshua Topolsky for an interview... The Verge

WD slashes warranty periods on Blue and Green drives Western Digital is cutting the distribution warranty period for Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives from three to two years. Channel partners have been sent a letter from SelectWD explaining this, which says Caviar Black and Scorpio Black drives will continue to enjoy a five-year warranty. We understand WD's AV drives and its external drives have unchanged warranty periods. The Register (Seagate follows)

$1.7 million in BlackBerry PlayBooks stolen from an Indiana truck stop RIM can't catch a break. Last Thursday, a truck carrying 22 pallets of BlackBerry PlayBooks (estimated to have 5,000 units) was stolen from an Indiana truck stop while the driver was busy eating and taking a shower. With no tracking device on the vehicle, there's little word on the thieves or where they're headed, although a local police spokesman has named Miami as a popular destination for stolen goods. The Verge

GPL, copyleft use declining faster than ever A new analysis of licensing data shows that not only is use of the GPL and other copyleft licenses continuing to decline, but the rate of disuse is actually accelerating. That was the conclusion of Matthew Aslett's analysis of recent data from Black Duck Software, which shows that while use of the GPL, LGPL, and AGPL set of copyleft licenses dominates free and open source projects, that use is still on the decline. ITworld

Sprint: Carrier IQ has been disabled on our devices A recent rumor has hit the internet stating that Sprint has asked its manufacturer partners to remove Carrier IQ's software from all of the devices that it carries. We reached out to Sprint for a comment on the matter, and while the carrier said that it does not comment on rumors, it did confirm for us that it is disabling the Carrier IQ software on its phones and it is no longer collecting data from it. Mobile Burn

Java to be removed from Ubuntu, uninstalled from user machines Oracle’s Sun Java JDK packages are to be removed from the Ubuntu partner repositories and disabled on users systems. Oracle, in retiring the ‘Operating System Distributor License for Java’, means Canonical no longer have permission to distribute the package. The change will affect Ubuntu 10.04 LTs, Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04 users only. OMG! Ubuntu

AMD: Improvements of next-generation process technologies start to wane The chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices said at a conference that advantages brought by the next-generation process technologies will get less noticeable than previously. As a result, AMD will need to transit to new technologies more wisely than before and attempt to innovate using proven fabrication processes. X-bit labs

Radeon HD 7970 is around 30 percent faster According to the whispers that we are hearing right now, Radeon HD 7970 should end up about 30 percent faster than the HD 6970. These are 3DMark early performance numbers probably done with the 12.1 RC driver that was, at least according to our info, released two days ago. This should put the HD 7970 somewhere around Radeon HD 6990. Fudzilla

Amazon says long term and means it In 1997, the year Amazon.com went public, its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, issued a manifesto: "It’s all about the long term," he said. He warned shareholders "we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies" and urged them to make sure that a long-term approach "is consistent with your investment policy." The NY Times

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