If you really need to watch your Internet bandwidth, you need ShaPlus Bandwidth Meter. Unlike online bandwidth meters, ShaPlus monitors your Internet bandwidth instead of testing your connection speed. ShaPlus is designed to stay open in the Windows system tray, with a more detailed (but still compact) display for the notification area or anywhere on the desktop you care to drag and pin it. This free tool keeps track of your bandwidth use for the current session, the day, and the month. You can set it to track your billing period and even to stop tracking between specified times. Recent … Read more
Verizon Wireless already sells its customers' mobile data to marketers. Now European enterprise-software giant SAP is taking things a step further by testing a service that will sell data collected by a number of wireless providers.
SAP announced its Consumer Insight 365 mobile service this week at the CTIA 2013 wireless show in Las Vegas. The service will, the company said in a release, pull data from SAP's "extensive partner network" including "over 990 mobile operators;" aggregate and analyze it "without drilling down into user-specific information;" and make results available to subscribers through … Read more
Sometimes, you are better off with a dumb phone.
That way, you aren't exposed to all the potential risks of carrying a smartphone. As Consumer Reports shows today in its annual "State of the Net" report, carrying a modern mobile phone is a heckuva convenience but creates all sorts of problems that go beyond what most people realize.
The magazine interviewed 1,656 adult smartphone users and extrapolated the results nationally:Many users don't secure their phones. Almost 40 percent don't take even minimal security measures. Malicious software is a real threat. Last year, 5.… Read more
Europe's justice chief has warned that European authorities "cannot sit on the sidelines" of enforcement issues, following a case that saw little action taken against Apple's unlawful warranty practices in the region.
In 2011, Apple was fined 900,000 euros ($1.2 million) by Italian authorities for misleading advertising relating to its AppleCare Protection service. In short, EU consumer law dictates that consumers are entitled to two years of warranty. Apple, however, only provided one, with an additional premium warranty "bolt-on" for an additional year.
As Sharp works to restructure and stay afloat, word has it that Samsung may come in to help. According to Bloomberg, Samsung is reportedly in talks to invest roughly 10 billion yen, or $107 million, in the ailing Japanese consumer-electronics maker.
People familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that details of the possible partnership could be announced as soon as today, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Apple enjoyed a healthy gain in consumer technology sales last year amid a down market.
The iPhone maker took home 19.9 percent of all consumer technology sales in the U.S., up from 17.3 percent in 2011, according to stats released today by NPD Group.
Based on sales, Apple proved to be the top consumer brand for the year, outshining Samsung, HP, Sony, and Dell. Beyond Apple, only Samsung's cut of revenues rose among the five, reaching 9.3 percent from 7 percent the prior year.
Together, Apple and Samsung scooped up $6.5 billion in higher … Read more
Rumors of a cheaper iPhone on the horizon may come as welcome news for fans of the device -- especially because iPhone users reportedly pay the highest monthly phone bills, no matter the carrier, according to AllThingsD.
Android, Windows, and BlackBerry users spend less per month to use their smartphones, according to data by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that was acquired by AllThingsD. It seems that the higher costs come from carriers charging more for iPhone data plans and additional wireless fees.
"We think it has to do with their data plans and carriers, rather than their usage habits,&… Read more
Royal Philips Electronics has signed a deal to sell its consumer-oriented lifestyle entertainment division to Funai Electric.
According to Philips' announcement today, Funai is paying 150 million euros ($202 million) for the division, which includes audio, visual, multimedia, and accessories. Funai will also license the Philips brand for five-and-a-half years.
Philips' lifestyle entertainment division is made up of a wide range of consumer products, including the company's home speakers, DVD players, and headphones. Although those products will still be available with Philips branding, Osaka, Japan-based Funai will be developing them.
According to Philips CEO Frans van Houten, the move … Read more
This week on Crave, we're back from CES with a look at some of the wackier stuff we spotted at the show. Then, Canadian astronaut Christopher Hadfield gives us a highly important grooming lesson on the safest way to clip our nails in outer space, and the Hal 9000 computer replica from ThinkGeek refuses to cooperate. … Read more
Consumer Watchdog, a group that's accused Google of antitrust misconduct, is trying to find out why the FTC's investigation into the subject resulted in only mild punishment.
The group requested the Federal Trade Commission release its staff's report to detail the situation, according to a letter Consumer Watchdog sent to the commissioners (PDF). The agency's staff prepare such reports then forward them to the five commissioners who vote on what course of action to take.
"I call on you to release the FTC staff report to help make clear what was behind the commission's … Read more