NetSpeedMonitor (32-bit | 64-bit) is a small Windows program that runs in the taskbar and displays your data usage at a glance. It's particularly useful for tracking your data usage if you tether your PC to your smartphone. If you're a Verizon customer, you may want to check out CNET's FAQ on Verizon's tethering settlement with the FCC.… Read more
People who showed symptoms of depression tended to use the Internet differently than those who didn't show signs of depression, researchers said in a New York Times opinion piece today. Some of that behavior included obsessively checking e-mail, watching lots of videos, and switching frequently among multiple apps, according to a new study by researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The researchers asked 216 college … Read more
Update: May 17, 2012 Do I get results, or what? Less than a day after this column posted, Comcast announced it would ditch its 250GB data cap in favor of a 300GB cap with the option to buy additional 50GB chunks for $10 each. Not bad, although it's amusing timing given their current fight over Net neutrality and cap-free Xfinity on-demand streaming.
Bandwidth caps, the death of unlimited data plans, throttling, "data hog" accusations...I get it. Pay-per-use bandwidth is inevitable: the end of unlimited Internet access is at hand. Bandwidth is a limited resource, especially on … Read more
Taking into account any Web query made from a tablet device across its ad network, Chitika was able to determine that not only was the iPad clearly the front-runner in Web usage with 94.64 percent, but that other tablet devices are nearly non-existent.
Coming in second place was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, representing 1.22 percent of Web traffic.
Despite pundit arguments that suggest Android devices are "winning" the mobile operating system race, in terms of usage, the numbers seem to put the iPad clearly ahead. And yes, this is a small sample set from a single … Read more
Veign's Usage Monitor is freeware that monitors how individual processes use a variety of system resources and alert you when levels you set are exceeded. It monitors Memory Usage, GDI Usage, and User Objects. It's good for many things, such as determining which program is hogging all the memory when you have several programs open. Developers will appreciate its ability to keep close tabs on multiple running processes and see instantly which are affected when changes are made.
Usage Monitor's small, plain, and unassuming user interface is a model of efficient design, combining up-to-date features such as … Read more
AT&T has clarified its "throttling" policy for its unlimited data customers who the company says use too much bandwidth. But many users are still confused and angry.
In this Ask Maggie, I explain why the new policy--though still annoying and not customer-friendly--is actually a better deal than what unlimited data subscribers had been getting. Also in this edition of Ask Maggie, I explain why Verizon and Sprint may still not be the best carriers if you plan on taking your phone on your travels with you.
AT&T's throttling mess
Dear Maggie, I am … Read more
AT&T has crystallized just when it will slow access for unlimited data customers. The carrier will drop the ax for people using 3G and 4G HSPA+ devices after a monthly bucket of 3GB runs dry. Subscribers with 4G LTE service can expect to hit a wall after consuming 5GB per month.
Originally the wireless provider had said it would cap abusers of "unlimited" data plans but didn't specifically say what its threshold was. The company then moved to a tiered data plan for smartphones and tablets and fixed the data cap at 2GB per month. … Read more
Time Warner Cable is at it again.
The company this week announced the launch of a usage-based pricing plan in Southern Texas. The service is available to customers in San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Value, and the Border Corridor, the company said in a blog post.
Dubbed the Essentials Plan, the offering limits subscribers to 5GB of data usage a month in exchange for a $5 discount to their monthly bill. Time Warner Cable says customers can opt-in or opt-out of the deal at any time, and subscribers will get a "meter" to let them … Read more
Many programs install services such as update helpers that start with Windows yet are rarely needed. Turning off or modifying the startup behavior of unnecessary services can cut the time it takes Windows to boot and boost your system's performance. Power users are familiar with such tweaks, but the inexperienced user who has the most to gain is often too intimidated to even try it.
Help is available in the form of Vista Services Optimizer, a free program that tweaks your Windows PC's performance by shutting down or modifying services that you don't need or don't … Read more
As if being a kid weren't hard enough, teenagers all over the country may have another reason to cry out in angst: Verizon is offering customers new data restrictions under its Usage Controls service.
Previously, Verizon customers who used Usage Controls were able to only restrict voice and texting capabilities of members who belonged under their family plans.
Today, however, the carrier announced that its Usage Controls service will now extend to manage data usage as well.
Content purchases, including games, apps, and ringtones, can also be restricted. All for the steep price of $4.99 per line, per … Read more