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Verizon Wireless is following AT&T's lead in selling data exemptions to online content providers, so watching videos on a particular website or through an app for one example wouldn't count toward your data limit. You'll know the content is safe to consume courtesy of a bee icon next to it. The company is calling this its FreeBee Data service, which is in beta as of today. Should a provider sign up for it, they pay on a per gigabyte or per click usage basis and receive more traffic in return.
Given it puts anyone who doesn't pay up at a disadvantage, most if not all would agree this violates net neutrality. However, it's not currently illegal under the FCC, who review matters like this on a case-by-case basis. That said, they have been hosting "productive" talks about it this month, so it will be interesting to see where this leads.
Ex-CEO and co-founder of Mozilla Brenden Eich has revealed Brave, a new kind of internet browser that wants to disrupt ad-based web surfing.
Brave essentially acts as a filter for the traditional web surfing experience: the browser blocks all targeted ads and replaces them with non-invasive "anonymous" ads. The browser will be released across iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OSX, and is part of the company's "high-precision and privacy" platform, which is powered by a virtually-hosted cloud infrastructure. Brave not only blocks existing ad structures, but also denies cookies that can identify users. The best part is that Brave won't store your user data at any point, ensuring privacy.
"We are building a new browser and a connected private cloud service with anonymous ads," Eich said on the company page. "Brave browsers block everything: initial signaling/analytics scripts that start the programmatic advertising "dirty pipe", impression-tracking pixels, and ad-click confirmation signals. By default Brave will insert ads only in a few standard-sized spaces."
After being blocked in 2012, Pakistan has now removed its total YouTube blackout - coming soon after Google began offering a country-local version of its service.
PC World says that the ban initially came about due to a video called "Innocence of Muslims" which mocked the Prophet Muhammad and other various aspects of Islam.
This ban has now been lifted soon after Google made announcements of localized YouTube versions for Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, however, neither party has confirmed whether this means a specialty deal took place. What we do know is that Pakistan's ministry for communications and information stated that Google's addition now enables users to apply for the blockings of "offending material" that "can be made by the PTA to Google directly and Google/YouTube will accordingly restrict access to the said offending material for users within Pakistan."
The Big Apple will soon have 24/7 access to free gigabit-speed Wi-Fi.
To the elation of New Yorkers everywhere, New York City is already starting to install its massive five borough Wi-Fi array which will provide free access to high-speed internet connections.
The Wi-Fi hubs--also called LinkNYC access points--will replace traditional payphone booths throughout the city. Apart from free broadband Wi-Fi on tap, the hubs will also feature USB charging stations, touchscreen panels for web browsing, devices to make free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., a touchscreen tablet to access city services, and two 55-inch advertisement displays. The city plans to rake in more than $500 million a year in advertising revenue alone using those huge panel screens, which will cycle different adverts.
For those looking to kill some hours while they wait for the holiday season to kick off in just a few days time, this series of images made by Hungarian artists Gergely Dudas will both occupy and infuriate you.
Something similar to the 'Where's Wally' of old, this series of pictures prompts you to look for a panda within snowmen or a cat amongst the owls. We're not going to spoil what's happening here, but what we can say is that this has done wonders for the artist's social media platforms, seeing the snowman picture receive over 122k shares and the cat/owl drawing gathering 2.4k shares at the time of writing this article. In addition, his Facebook is sitting at 26k likes and is growing by the minute.
Can you belive it has been 25 years since the very first website went online? Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web went online 25 years ago today.
The website went online at CERN on December 20, 1990 - but the public didn't see it until August 1991. It was an explanation of how the hypertext-based project worked, which was the foundation for the Internet as we know it today. Berners-Lee himself is still around, directing the World Wide Web Consortium that he helped create.
So much so, that Berners-Lee wants to protect the open web against government censorship, and telecoms' desire to crush net neutrality. CERN has shifted its priorities in the last 25 years, where it is now smashing particles together with the Large Hadron Collider.
We all know the strain of using Netflix on anything less than a fiber connection, so you'll be happy to hear that Netflix's design team have been working for quite a while on a new algorithm that will not only increase the quality of its streaming content but reduce the bandwidth required to stream said content.
Netflix has been tweaking its algorithm since 2011 when it hit a road block and realized it had been going about the process entirely wrong. Instead of attempting to encode video specifically for the type of bandwidth a subscriber used, Netflix realized that they should be encoding each individual title to best suit that movie, or TV show's needs. This means that shows like Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse would use less kilobits while streaming, compared to something like Man of Steel. Barbie won't require that much visual fidelity, but the big Hollywood movies do.
The streaming giant has begun re-encoding its entire library with the new algorithm, with Netflix ever so slowly rolling out the newly encoded content to see if subscribers would be able to tell the difference. The next question is why? Why would Netflix go through all of this hassle. Well, considering Netflix streaming chews up a huge 37% of all the Internet traffic in the United States, but with the new algorithm, Netflix could see this drop to only 20%, according to Anne Aaron, Netflix's Video Algorithms Manager.
Asking you to thumbs-up songs that you enjoy or terminate those you dislike, Pandora has been operating for quite some time as a discovery radio station, enabling users to start with a specific song or artist they enjoy and walk a path through a whole genre of tunes.
In its latest advancement, Pandora has released an addition to its services, offering what it calls 'Thumbprint Radio'. This new service will play you music depending on your positive correlation with previous music, displaying tracks similar to ones that you have given a thumbs-up to in the past. Functioning as something remotely similar to Spotify and its Discover Weekly service, this new Pandora service has been explained by Gizmodo as literally displaying songs that you've given a thumbs up to in the past, compared to Spotify's pledge to find you new music based around what you listen to.
It will be interested to see if this attempt by Pandora to widen its service will have a positive impact as it continues to feel the tightening grip of Spotify and Apple Music.
The Outlook team recently sent out an e-mail to some users indicating Windows Live 2012 will no longer work soon unless you install this update (which some users report breaks things, so probably hold off).
The interruption in service is due to changes being made to Microsoft email services in a few weeks; the email doesn't specify what the changes are, but Slipstick reports the plan is to move everything over to the Office 365 infrastructure.
Set up as an independent ranking platform, this website will list all close by emergency departments to you when an address is submitted, telling you information on various factors including waiting times, quality of service and travel timings.
Currently available solely to US residents, this website should generally be used by people before emergencies happen - it's no real use to you if you're waiting until you've been stabbed in the chest to quickly search up what direction to start driving.