India’s ban of Facebook’s Free Basics over net neutrality has ripple effect

People are still talking about Facebook’s defeat in India, an indication of just how serious the issue is. In case you missed it, India has essentially banned Facebook’s free Internet service, called Free Basics, claiming it is an affront to the principle of net neutrality.

Facebook says it is simply trying to offer a “lite” version of the Internet to disadvantaged countries, bringing the wealth of information contained therein to masses of under-served people across the globe by trimming out a lot of the data-intensive bits that eat up  people’s data plans and otherwise make it difficult to access the Web. It sounds like Facebook is making a humanitarian effort here.

But India says Facebook’s Free Basics version of the Internet is not ok because it goes against the tenets of net neutrality. The premise of net neutrality is that all sites and services should be treated the same. You shouldn’t have to pay more or less to access Netflix than, say, Wikipedia — that kind of treatment could put smaller sites and apps at a disadvantage, and once you do down that road, there’s no turning back.

So this isn’t just a hit on Facebook. The decision could have repercussions around the world. What do you think? Is a slimmed-down version of the Internet ok in the name of connecting the unconnected, or are you more comfortable with the idea that no one should ever have any control over what you can and can’t access on the Internet? Are the two notions really mutually exclusive? We welcome your comments.

If you own the new version of the Apple TV released just a few months ago – or even if you’re thinking of getting one – we’ve got good news. You’re about to get the full power of Siri on your streaming set-top box.

When Apple released the new Apple TV, the addition of Siri was a new feature, but it was a watered down version of Siri, not at all like what you get with an iPhone.

But, according to Forbes, with Apple tvOS  9.2, Siri is unleashed, and that means: dictation. Sure there’s more to this update but arguably the most valuable change is the ability to enter your usernames and passwords for various streaming accounts simply by reading them out to Siri.

Currently, you have to hunt and peck on a virtual on-screen keyboard, scrolling your way through each letter … it is a slow and time-consuming process, and the one of the biggest problems with all of these little streaming boxes. But even if you don’t want to use dictation, this update also adds the ability to use a Bluetooth keyboard for manual entry — still a huge step forward.

Either way, setting up all your streaming accounts and apps, and conducting searches is going to be a whole lot easier, and that’s a much-needed feather in Apple’s cap, since it’s been struggling against Roku, Chromecast, and now Amazon’s Fire TV box.

That’s it for DT Daily today. Visit Digital Trends often for breaking tech news and  the latest reviews. I’m Greg Nibler, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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