Google Maps review

Google Maps brings you a wealth of features that can help you find your way in more than 220 countries, including Street View, voice search, and turn-by-turn navigation, which makes it a valuable addition to your smartphone no matter how you're traveling.


Comprehensive yet accessible: Google Maps' greatest virtue is that it remains easy to use, despite providing complete mapping features for most places in the world, with an excellent amount of detail that often goes beyond mere street names to include images and essential information about places. It recognizes your location and allows you to effortlessly search … Read more

INRIX Traffic Maps & Alerts review

INRIX Traffic Maps & Alerts centralizes local traffic alerts, maps, and camera feeds right where you need them, on your Android device. But INRIX Traffic also earns its keep (even though it's free) when you travel by helping you navigate unfamiliar streets and avoid local traffic. If you're mobile, it's essential.


Easy to localize: INRIX Traffic automatically displayed our local traffic map, traffic cams, and alerts in a no-nonsense layout.

Current conditions: Crowd-sourcing means up-to-date data from a wide range of sources, including GPS.

Spiffy maps: Easy zooming and navigation and features such as North Up … Read more

Hotspot Shield review

Hotspot Shield is a free tool and service that lets you connect to the Internet via Virtual Private Network (VPN). Hotspot Shield is mainly geared toward those who want a more secure connection when accessing the Internet from public Wi-Fi hotspots.


Value: Hotspot Shield is one of the largest free VPN services in the world. Though the free version is ad-supported, the paid Elite tier comes at an affordable price, with cross-platform support.

Customizable: Hotspot Shield allows you to connect from other countries. This not only helps to shield your connection origins, but it also potentially lets you access … Read more

The 404 1,441: Where we ride the green wave (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- An Estonian photographer discovered an abandoned movie theater in the Sinai desert.

- This photographer just made $15k in one day on Instagram.

- Audi's new tech can turn every traffic light green.

- Banter tries to reinvent the chat room.… Read more

iOS 7.0.6 hits 13.3 percent adoption rate in North America

Apple's iOS 7.0.6 had captured more than 13 percent of all North American iOS traffic on the Chitika ad network just two days after its debut.

Releasing its findings on Wednesday, Chitika noted that the latest version of iOS accounted for 14.5 percent of ad impressions on the iPhone and 12.3 percent on the iPad, resulting in an average of around 13.3 percent.

Though the initial two-day adoption rate of iOS 7.0.6 failed to match the results for iOS 7, Chitika believes the majority of iOS users could be running the latest … Read more

Super Bowl may have stunk, but wireless traffic soars

The Denver Broncos' pummeling by the Seattle Seahawks didn't dampen the number of selfies, video uploads, and text messages sent from the Super Bowl, with the wireless carriers reporting a significant spike in traffic.

Verizon Wireless saw an explosion of data usage. At the busiest hour, the carrier saw the number of data connections rise by a mind-boggling 800 percent versus a year ago in New Orleans. Verizon said it shattered its record for data usage in a single hour during the half-time show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

AT&T, meanwhile, said it … Read more

Android phones whip iPhone at wooing mobile ad traffic but...

Android generates more mobile ad traffic for smartphones than does the iPhone, according to a new report from Opera Mediaworks.

Looking strictly at smartphone platforms, Opera found that Android scooped up a 36 percent share of all ad impressions during the fourth quarter of 2013. That number beat the iPhone, which sliced off a 28.7 percent share.

But factor in the iPad and iPod Touch, and iOS is still at top of the heap.

Overall, iOS accounted for 43.4 percent of mobile ad traffic, leaving Android (smartphones and tablets) with 37.7 percent. Further, iOS generated the highest … Read more

Yahoo tops the most-trafficked Web site list for desktop in US

While Yahoo's earnings haven't been exactly stellar over the past few months, its Web traffic certainly has. According to new data from analytics firm ComScore, Yahoo had more than 195 million unique US visitors from desktop computers in December -- that puts the site ahead of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook for desktop traffic.

ComScore released its list of the top 50 most trafficked Web sites from desktop computers in the US on Monday, showing that search engines, news sites, and social media pull in a heavy load of visitors. The total desktop Internet audience in the US is … Read more

Netflix neutrality: Court ruling won't boost your Netflix bill. Yet

This week's Net neutrality ruling made for dense reading, but it left millions of Netflix customers with one clear worry: Would they need to pay more to stream the service?

Like most elements of the court's decision to scrap Internet openness rules set by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010 -- how it affects Netflix, and your bill, is complicated.

The short answer is that your bill won't go up this month. It probably won't go up next month either. It may go up eventually, but in all likelihood, Net neutrality won't be the reason, … Read more

Bots now running the Internet with 61 percent of Web traffic

With much trepidation, I must report that there is a pretty good chance that half the visitors to this story will not be human.

According to a recent study by Incapsula, more than 61 percent of all Web traffic is now generated by bots, a 21 percent increase over 2012.

Much of this increase is due to "good bots," certified agents such as search engines and Web performance tools. These friendly bots saw their proportion of traffic increase from 20 percent to 31 percent.

Incapsula believes that the growth of good bot traffic comes from increased activity of … Read more