Fifty Videos of tips for Linux Users and follow the link to the second page of titles too. 7 Ways to Cut Your Smartphone Data Usage By Mary Hunt (Note from Dan: I have change what the original article said about wifi assist to more accurate description of the feature under number five.) Unlimited data plans for smartphones are nearly a thing of the past. Even if you’ve managed to hang on to your unlimited data plan, it’s likely not truly unlimited. Your carrier probably throttles your data speeds if you exceed a certain amount of downloaded data in a given billing period. Data usage per smartphone is growing like crazy which is prompting the typical smartphone user to buy bigger data allowances as they sign up for shared data plans and add other devices, especially tablets. Ka-ching! There are things that you, as a socially connected, tech-savvy person with a smartphone and a limited data plan can do to stay below your limited data plan cap, Follow these tips to cut back on your data habit, track and monitor your usage, and stretech your data plan—so you never have to pay overage charges again. 1. CONNECT TO WI-FI. This might seem like a no-brainer, but all of us need a good reminder from time to time: Being connected to wi-fi (as opposed to using your service provider’s cellular network to access the Internet) does not require and therefore eat up your data plan. If the places you frequent most—home, work, friends’ places, bus stops, train stations, cafes, coffee shops—have open connections, use them. 2. MIND THE STREAMING. Streaming video is the worst culprit when it comes to burning through your monthly data allotment. A five-minute YouTube video sucks up 5-10 megabytes. A single 22-minute TV episode on Netflix blows through at least 100- megabytes. Movies, even more. Don’t do it. Wait to watch those cat videos until you have a wi-fi connection. 3. MUSIC CHOICES. The music you listen to when you’re not on wi-fi can make a huge difference in how much data you’re using. If you’re listening to Pandora or Spotify while connected to your cellular network, an hour of music will eat up 50-70 megabytes of data. But you have a better option. Save music to your phone by downloading albums so you can listen locally. You’ll enjoy better quality without ripping through tons of data, saving services like Pandora for when you’re on wi-fi. 4. BE SOCIAL BUT JUDICIOUSLY. If you’ve become a habitual social network checker, stop and think: Am I on wi-fi or data plan? What seems like a fairly lightweight activity like running through Facebook or Twitter can actually consume 5 to 10 megabytes of data each time you check—especially if you’re clicking on links and photos. Do that a few times a day over a 3G or LTE data network, you could be wasting a couple of gigs of data on this alone. Constant use of multiple social networks or even high volume of emails.may slowly and steadily put data use at dangerous levels. 5. wifi assist: With iOS 9, Apple introduced a new feature, Wi-Fi Assist. It’s actually very cool. Some users believe this new feature can increase cost for data because of extra use. However, Wi- Fi assist helps when you are transitioning from your Wi-Fi to the network, using both or alternating between them in the transition. It will not allow those apps you have determined should not use your 4G or LTE network to do so. Thus, the only effect of disabling Wi-Fi assist would be to require any apps authorized to use the network to first drop Wi-Fi, interrupting the connection. The easiest way to save bandwidth is to disable apps such as app store from using your Data network. Good management of this feature will prevent any extra data cost. If you wish to shut off wifi assist, follow these steps. But if you are not convinced that wifi assist will not cost extra and you wish to shut it off, here are the steps. 1. : Go to “Settings” 2. then click on “Cellular.” 3. Scroll all the way to the bottom—past all of your apps—and you’ll find “Wi-Fi Assist.” 4. Turn it to the off position. 6. READ, SNAP AND SEND LATER. When you’re on your cellular data connection and you come across a link that you don’t have to read that second, bookmark it or favorite it for later and you’ll save a few megabytes. Same goes for photos if at all possible. Uploading photos and videos to social sites or even email in real time while not connected to wi-fi, can use up tens of megabytes! Stop it. Acquire this new habit: Snap now, upload later. 7. MONITOR YOURSELF. Monthly data limits are every smartphone user’s enemy. A small download at the wrong time may send your bill skyrocketing. Your iPhone has built-in tools that allow you to track your data usage, although free reports from your carrier that give you a more accurate picture. To track on your iPhone 1. go to “Settings” 2. Go to “Cellular.” 3. Look for Cellular Data Usage. On your Android smartphone go to “Settings” and tap “Data Usage.” To change the cycle date to match the start date of your monthly plan, check the “Set Mobile Data Limit” box (or “Limit Mobile Data” on some phones) if you want your phone to block you from using any mobile data after you exceed your limit If you follow most of these tips, chances are good that you can cut your monthly data use in half. For sure this will cripple the full potential of your smartphone while not connected to a wi-fi network but given the high cost of going over on data usage—and the potential for rates to increase in the near future—that sounds like a great idea to me. A Dan Thompson contribution Dealing With Car Computers You may have heard people say that “computers are all around us.” Hopefully you’re not too paranoid about that, especially since it is true to a certain extent. For example, you probably drove to work today with the assistance of a little “computer” inside your engine. Today’s Technology Tip is about the little computer in your car that keeps it running. More importantly it’s about how to handle those annoying “Check Engine Soon” lights on your dash board. Depending on the age, make and model of your vehicle you probably have more than one computer in it Controlling the engine is the ECU, which stands for Engine Control Unit. This one is usually the most expensive one to replace and it is designed to control the engine so you can get optimum performance and efficiency out of it. Generally speaking, the newer your car the more complex the ECU is. Compared to your desktop computer however it’s pretty primitive. For example, your car’s ECU probably has less than 1 MB of memory compared to the several Gigabytes most new desktop computers come with. But that’s enough to run your engine efficiently since the software is so much simpler. For more information about your car’s computer check out this site: For most of us, the most annoying thing your car’s computer ever does is light up that “Check Engine Soon” light on the dashboard. The ECU in your car includes software called OBD which stands for On Board Diagnostics. This software constantly monitors your engine for trouble signs or inefficiencies. When sensors detect problems the “Check Engine Light” appears on your dashboard. Because engines that run inefficiently pollute more, OBD software was mandated on all cars built from 1987 on. Just for reference the original OBD software was upgraded in 1996 and is now calledOBD II. For more information about OBD software check out this link: Now for the really important question, how do you get the “Check Engine Light” off? The light might turn on for any or a number of reasons. Even though the technology is there for your new car to verbally tell you what’s bothering it, you still probably have to take it to a dealership or mechanic so they can plug it into a special OBD reader and check what “ error code ” is causing the light to come on. This “diagnostic test” usually costs $50-$100 and is about as complicated a task as making toast. But since you don’t have the equipment at home, and your car won’t just tell you what’s wrong with it, you’re stuck paying for the diagnostic. Well actually here’s another option. Many autoparts stores have the OBD readers on site and they will do the diagnostic test for you for free ( AutoZone is one such store for example). They can’t clear the code (get the light to turn off) but they can tell you what the problem is (in hopes you’ll buy a replacement part from them). PRACTICE ACTIVITY: No activity, just drive safely and efficiently home today with the assistance of your car computer TO KEEP ON LEARNING: Even though you might not be interested in car computers right now you probably will be if you have a problem with yours. When that day comes you can find out more about car computers by searching the internet for: —author: 180 Tech Tips Tip 43]]>

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