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Bits and Bytes: Hail the taxi app

•One upside to the recession is that businesses seem much more inclined to treat you like a human being and court your custom than in the boom years.

Everyone's keen to offer deals and the taxi industry is the latest to cop on with the Irish Taxi app for iPhone.

As well as finding your local cabbie, the app promises to highlight special offers before you call.

Pushing data limits

•New figures from the US show the average smartphone user now gobbles up 435 megabytes of data every month -- a massive jump from the corresponding figure of 230MB last year.

No doubt Ireland is slightly behind that curve but it does make for worrying reading for those on very low data caps such as Vodafone's 500MB limit on its lower plans.

A click away

•Facebook created one more reason for addicts to never leave the site last week when it incorporated free Skype voice calls for users.

Alongside poking, messaging and posting to friends' walls, you can now speak to real, live human friends with a simple click.

www.facebook.com/ skype

Free speech

•Stinging internet bills for roaming in Europe will disappear for a couple of months this summer for Vodafone customers, with the operator making data costs the same as when at home. In other words, if it's included in your data bundle, you'll pay nothing for using it in the EU.

Otherwise, internet usage will be billed as if you're still in Ireland, which is still a damn sight cheaper than the usual charges for checking a bit of Facebook or email abroad.


Irish Independent