Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss bandwidth usage worldwide, cutting the cord, self-driving car pizza delivery, Google Maps voting, and more.
Joe in Durham, North Carolina listens on Newsradio 680 WPTF and asked: “I’ve been seeing advertisements for what looks like a new cell phone company that is being started by Google. Are they starting their own cell phone company? Are they doing something special with their technology on their phones that’s supposed to make them better than anyone else? I can’t figure out what they’re doing.”
Joe, you’ve probably seen Google Fi. Google Fi is not really better than anyone else, it’s arguably worse in some ways, but it’s cheap.
Google Fi will use WiFi whenever possible rather than cellphone towers, so if you’re home, or at Starbucks, or at work, or near any WiFi that Google can route your phone though, it will do that.
When it can’t, it will just use a partner’s network (and they have a few partners).
Data is sold in blocks, so you don’t have a limit but you may pay more if you use WiFi less.
One of their target markets are travelers. Google Fi works abroad at full speed, so you can have LTE access abroad.
The plan starts at $20 and it will go up as you use data, once you get to 6GB the plan essentially becomes unlimited, but by then it will have cost you $80, so if you’re planning to get a Google Fi phone, plan to be on WiFi whenever possible.
Mike in Warren, Michigan listens on AM800 CKLW – “The Information Station” and he called in to help another listener
Jonathan in Niles, Michigan listens online and asked: “A few months ago you recommended PhoneSheriff as a parental monitoring tool. I tried to purchase it this morning. Their website says they are no longer taking orders. Do you have another viable option?”
You first option would probably be whatever built in option your chosen phone has, they all have some parental controls, and they’re all disappointing.
Things don’t improve much from there, frankly. There aren’t great options for parental controls. Norton, Bark, and even NetNanny, believe it or not, all make apps that will help parents monitor their kids’ phone and often social media usage too.
We’d advise you to try to stick to companies you know and trust, PhoneSheriff shut down after what they call repeated hackings that stole data, but not personal data, but personal photos… that sounds like personal data.
As much as they frame it as evil people attacking them, if there were repeated attacks and they were consistently successful, they likely weren’t safeguarding their clients’ information as strongly as they should have been.
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