Funny business

Well, this is interesting: NBC Universal is working on a comedy video subscription service, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The service, which could launch later this year, would include full episodes of shows like the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, as well as other clips and online-exclusive programming, and possibly cost $2.50 to $3.50. Lots of details still seem up in the air, but it looks like NBC is determined to join the unbundling crowd to finally make money from cord cutters.

Basic syncing still free

BitTorrent officially launched Sync 2.0 Tuesday, taking the next step toward turning the P2P-based file backup and synchronization tool into a real business. Sync 2.0 comes with a pro tier that offers users more fine-grained access control for folders and other advanced features for $39.99 a year. Users can test the pro features for a month for free, or still use basic Sync functionality without the need to pay anything. BitTorrent first announced and previewed the Pro tier of Sync last November.

Messaging joins voice

Open Whisper Systems has released version 2 of its Signal secure calling app for iPhone. This is an important iteration, as it introduces secure text messaging that’s compatible with the outfit’s TextSecure app for Android — for now, Open Whisper Systems’ secure voice app for Android, RedPhone, remains separate from that, though everything will come together later this year in a Signal app that works across iOS, Android and the desktop. As secure communications operations go, Open Whisper Systems has good credibility, offering end-to-end crypto, auditable open-source code and decent identity verification. The TextSecure protocol has also found its way into WhatsApp, which is why Android-toting users of that Facebook-owned messaging app enjoy extra security these days.

Learn how the leaks came to be

Citizenfour, the acclaimed Edward Snowden-centric documentary (and recent Academy Award winner), is now available to watch online for free at Thought Maybe. The film traces the origins of how Edward Snowden leaked numerous top-secret NSA documents and his meetings with filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, whose work on the leaked files would eventually lead to a Pulitzer prize for public service. The filmmakers and Snowden recently participated in a Reddit AMA in which Snowden said he wished he could have leaked the documents sooner.

UPDATE: Well, that didn’t last long. Looks like the site that posted the documentary did so under dubious circumstances. If you still want to watch it, you’ll have to head to the filmmaker’s website and scan for a screening, head over to HBO Go or watch it on Channel 4 where it will be up for a few more days.

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