Track your WiFi use with WiFiMan [iOS]

Last October I mentioned an iPhone app called DataMan, which tracks the amount of cellular data your iPhone is using. Since most mobile carriers are now metering their cellular data, it can be useful to keep an eye on how much you’re chewing through.

The same company has now released WiFiMan, which tracks WiFi usage.

While the bandwidth limits on WiFi accounts tend to be much more generous than on cellular, it’s a hard fact of life that many WiFi plans do still have a limit. Are you likely to run into that limit on your smartphone? Well, I guess that depends what you’re using it for.

Heavy VoIP use, video conferencing, watching TV or videos and so on can soon start to eat into even a generous bandwidth limit so, again, it’s worth keeping an eye on how much you’re going through.

But wait…

But here’s the kicker. Ready? If you already have DataMan, it does WiFi usage as well as cellular. It won’t alert you if you’re about to go over a WiFi limit, but it will track how much you have used. So you have to ask yourself whether you want to buy a second app for the luxury of alerts, or can you trust yourself to manage your data usage just by keeping an eye on the counter?

WiFiMan is available from the app store for iOS devices. But personally, if any, I’d buy DataMan.

O2 announces UK-wide WiFi network

Good morning campers – did you enjoy yesterday’s post on cloud gaming? If you haven’t read it, take a quick look. I think the cloud offers some very exciting opportunities. Cloud computing is all for nothing without Internet connectivity, however, and I know I’m usually pleased when I find an accessible WiFi point.

There are already several public WiFi networks in the UK, and a new one is about to join the fray with O2 announcing their plans to  provide free wireless access. The network will initially be limited to 450 O2-owned sites which, on the face of it, isn’t exactly UK-wide coverage. It is, however, a start, and even the big boys like BT Openzone and The Cloud had to start somewhere. What’s surprising is that O2 will be offering this WiFi free to both their own customers and non-customers. Interesting, don’t you think?

For my money, anything that increases WiFi coverage in the UK is a welcome development. With more and more people carrying WiFi-enabled smartphones, netbooks, tablets, and laptops, the demand is only going to keep increasing. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see even more companies getting in on the WiFi scene.

Thoughts? Comments? You know what to do :)

[via BBC News]

More Google StreetView shenanigans

The Google StreetView soap opera just rolls on and on… In case you’ve missed the build-up, check out these two articles:

The BBC reported on Friday of last week that Google (UK) would be deleting the WiFi data accidentally gathered by their StreetView cars. The Information Commissioner seems happy with this and has stated that no further investigation will be required. Additionally, no fine will be levied against Google for the breach. Interestingly, though, the Information Commissioner’s Office has just imposed its first two fines against other organisations.

Things have taken a bit of a bizarre twist in Germany, though. Google was required to give people the opportunity to have their homes blurred on StreetView before the service went live, and almost a quarter of a million Germans asked for that to happen. So far so good, but some of the people of Essen who have requested their home to be blurred have experienced vandalism, including having eggs thrown at their homes and signs pinned to the door saying “Google’s Cool”. How strange…

So what will happen next in the Google StreetView drama? Will opposition to the service grow? Will pro-Google vigilantes hunt down dissenters worldwide, forcing them to live in safe-houses for their own protection? And when will Google discover that Facebook is having an affair with MySpace? Tune in next time to find out ;)

Post image by FanIntoFlames – used under Creative Commons License.

Google in “significant breach” of Data Protection Laws

This story just doesn’t seem to want to go away. Google admitted in May that it had been accidentally collecting personal data from unsecured networks when mapping towns for StreetView.

It all kicked off when the German authorities asked Google to audit its data. It probably couldn’t have been worse, as the Germans are notoriously strict on privacy. Next came Canada who determined that Google had breached its privacy laws, and now the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has said Google has committed a “significant breach” of the data protection laws.

And the outcome? Will Google be fined, as the Information Commissioner can require? No – the ICO will audit Google’s data protection practices and policies. I guess this is seen as a more constructive course of action than a simple fine, but you do have to wonder whether it will make any difference.

What do you think about this? Is Google being let off the hook? Is this the precursor to more strict controls? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

[via BBC News]

Post image by FanIntoFlames – used under Creative Commons License.