The Premium Internet | Tech Talk Today 36

The Premium Internet | Tech Talk Today 36

Wireless providers double down on slicing up the internet into marketing packages, and we’ll explain why we feel this is very bad for future innovation on the web.

Plus has Google just taken another major step away from G+, why BitTorrent’s new Bleep chat might fall short, and the amazing story of Popcorn Time and it’s new features.

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Sprint Will Sell a $12 Wireless Plan that Only Connects to Facebook or Twitter – Digits – WSJ

For about $12, will soon let subscribers buy a wireless plan that only connects to Facebook.

For that same price, they could choose instead to connect only with Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest—or for $10 more, enjoy unlimited use of all four. Another $5 gets them unlimited streaming of a music app of their choice.

The plan, offered under the company’s Virgin Mobile brand of prepaid service, comes as wireless carriers are experimenting with ways to make wireless Internet access more affordable for the poorest consumers by offering special deals on slices of the Web.

In the process, however, they are testing the long-held principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by creating strong incentives for subscribers to use already dominant services.

In June, T-Mobile US Inc. said it would allow customers unlimited use of mobile streaming music that doesn’t count against their data plans when they use services like Pandora and Spotify. Earlier this year, AT&T Inc. created a program allowing companies to foot the bill for data used by their customers on mobile apps.

Sprint said the plan—called Virgin Mobile Custom—was aimed at giving consumers more choices.

The new plan is only available at Wal-Mart and the base offering covers just 20 minutes of talk time and 20 texts. Subscribers can customize the plan by buying up to unlimited talk or text or both, and by choosing among data packages.

Ubuntu for Phones to Integrate Nokia HERE Maps

“HERE will provide a hybrid solution integrating an A-GPS and WiFi positioning system. Although Ubuntu already features GPS-based location, GPS on its own is not sufficient to support the location services that run on the OS with a rapid and efficient location positioning capability. This fully integrated solution will also be available to the many thousands of application developers currently using Ubuntu OS on their own hardware.”

Hangouts Now Works Without Google+ Account

Until now, you had to have a Google+ account to use Hangouts if you were a Google Apps user. Starting today, that requirement is gone. Anybody with a Google Apps account will now be able to start or join a meeting from their desktop or their dedicated Chromebox for Meetings device. For now, however, the requirement is still in place on mobile, but Google says that’s going away soon, too.

The only other restriction for those who want to use Hangouts without a Google+ account is that they won’t be able to use Hangout apps other than Screenshare or Chat and that they won’t be able to use Hangouts on Air to broadcast their chats to a larger audience.

BitTorrent’s new Bleep chat client doesn’t rely on any central servers to find and manage contacts. Instead, the company is using Distributed Hash Tables, also known as DHT, which are basically decentralized sets of data that can be queried by any connected client.

The company touts the absence of a central server or directory as a safeguard against government wiretapping and other kind of snooping, and it also promises better security for the actual messages. Bittorrent’s Senior Director of Product Development Farid Fadaie explained it this way on the company’s engineering blog:

“We are using secure encryption protocols such as curve25519, ed25519 , salsa20, poly1305, and others. Links between nodes are encrypted. All communication is end to end encrypted. This should be the new normal in the post-Snowden era.”

BitTorrent starts testing Bleep, its new P2P messaging platform

BitTorrent is slowly starting to take the wraps off its upcoming P2P chat initiative: The company started an invite-only pre-alpha test of a new Windows chat client dubbed “Bleep” on Wednesday, and it also revealed that it plans to make the underlying peer-to-peer technology available to other chat apps and messaging service providers as well.

Popcorn Time Adds Apple TV Support, iOS App Coming Soon | TorrentFreak

While the original app was shut down by the developers after a few weeks, the project was quickly picked up by others. This resulted in several popular forks that have gained millions of users in recent months.

Today one of the most popular Popcorn Time forks releases a highly anticipated feature. The developers inform TorrentFreak that the latest version now has Airplay support, making it possible to stream movies directly to Apple TVs and other supported devices.

Ironically, Airplay support is currently limited to the Windows release, but a Mac version is due early next week and the Linux release will follow shortly after.

The latest feature follows the addition of Chromecast support a few weeks ago.

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