How BitTorrent wants to save the Internet

This week’s talk about usage-based billing has been a bit of a deja vu for BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, who thinks the solution isn’t to charge or slow down customers. Instead, he believes smart technology can solve our problems and save the Internet in the process.

uTorrent and Vuze Enable Torrent Downloads On the Go

Both BitTorrent Inc. and Vuze released significant updates to their clients this week that include features to remotely control the applications from devices like the iPad or smartphones. BitTorrent Inc. also included a new protocol dubbed uTP into its flagship uTorrent client that could help to avoid network congestion issues.

Remotely controlling your BitTorrent downloads through a browser on your office PC or a mobile device isn’t exactly new; both uTorrent and Vuze have previously offered such functionality or supported access to it through third-party plug-ins. However, the process has been cumbersome in the past, and the new upgrades should help to make this function much more accessible.

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Q&A: BitTorrent’s Simon Morris

Whither BitTorrent? The company is picking itself up and putting itself back together after recent exec departures and layoffs. And it has finally shed its consumer business, the download store that had helped kicked off Hollywood’s last few years of digital dealmaking, but never did much after that.

We just got off the phone with BitTorrent VP of Marketing Simon Morris, who filled us in on the company’s changing strategy, as well as the recent hubbub about it moving away from a TCP-based P2P protocol to one that would interfere with VoIP and other activity. Morris said that following the company’s multiple rounds of layoffs, BitTorrent is now “in safe shape” to move forward. A lightly edited transcript follows.

NewTeeVee: So, I saw that the Torrent Entertainment Network is no longer up. When did that shut down?

Simon Morris: I think it was Nov. 17, a little over two weeks ago.

NewTeeVee: Was that due to lack of use?

Morris: It was due to two things. We found it very hard to make it a profitable business endeavor. If you look at the things we’re trying to do as we shrink down the company due to the economic environment, we’re experts in content delivery over the internet. With the Torrent Entertainment Network we were stepping into a new domain of merchandising of consumer entertainment products. In many ways, the retrenchment of the company has been really focusing on what we’re good at.

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