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Six tips to avoid the pokemon go data apocalypse


It only took two days of the Pokemon Go craze to make Shama Diegnan start fearing for her wallet. The 11-year-old son of Diegnan, a digital marketer from South Orange, New Jersey, had on Monday downloaded the popular app, an augmented reality game in which you search the real world for assorted Pokemon creatures. By Wednesday, she got a surprising notification on her phone: The family had blown through more than 75 percent of their monthly data plan, even though the billing cycle had barely started."I thought to myself, 'Why all this crazy usage?' she says. "Then I thought, 'Oh wait a minute - maybe the game is using it up.' And my son didn't even realize it."Diegnan dropped the hammer, curtailing her son's gameplaying and shutting down the family's data usage outside of Wifi networks, lest they start racking up $15 for each extra gigabyte. If you are a Pokemon Go fan yourself - or merely have an app-happy son or daughter - this Data Apocalypse is likely already familiar to you. And if it isn't, just wait. Your bill might be in the mail."The app may be free, but going over your data plan could cost you bigtime," says Jen Barrett, chief education officer at investment site Acorns and editor of the digital magazine Grow. Only available since July 6, Pokemon Go is already a historic smash. It has topped 15 million downloads, with glassy-eyed users hunting characters like Pikachu, Charizard and Squirtle for an average of more than a half-hour every day. As a result, billions in share value have been added to parent company Nintendo. As of July 11, the game already had an astonishing 21 million active daily users, according to SurveyMonkey. For wireless companies, the Pokemon Go craze is perhaps the best gift they ever received. As T-Mobile [TMOG. UL] CEO John Legere tweeted giddily to CNBC's Jim Cramer: "Since last Friday, # of active players doubled & their data usage more than quadrupled!"The powerful data-suck stands to reason: Since the game uses GPS to continually track and transmit your location, and has you constantly on the move - where you might not have your normal network access - it is all too easy to chew through your data plan. So how can you enjoy Pokemon Go - without having to upgrade your data plan and a nasty bill that makes you weep tears of regret over your iPhone? Here are six tips.

1. Networking is keyWhether you are wandering through a Starbucks franchise or an airport or a municipal park with Wifi access, make sure your smartphone's settings are automatically logging on to known networks, suggests Chuck Hamby, Verizon's executive director of corporate communications. The less time you play via a cellular connection, the better.2. Close down unused appsTo be fair, it may not just be Pokemon Go to blame for rampant data usage. If you have a handful of other apps open at the same time, those vampires may also be sucking greedily at your data plan. Notes Hamby: "Many open apps, especially those that provide location services, will continue sending and receiving data even when your phone or tablet is locked."

3. Moderation, moderation, moderationAccording to the Pokemon Go Database (this site), users might expect to churn through 2 MB-8MB or more of data per hour, depending on the different types of play involved. Get too swept up, and that is when you could see the extra charges piling up. "If Pokemon Go is played for more than six hours per day, an upgraded data plan may be needed," according to the site.4. Beware of in-app purchasesData usage is one thing, but in-app purchases can make it a pricey double whammy.

"If you are playing Po-Go instead of going to see a movie or paying for some other type of entertainment, it may be an even swap," says Barrett. "But keep track of what you're spending in real money on PokeCoins. It can add up quickly." U.S. players are already spending a reported $1.6 million a day on in-app transactions in Po-Go.5. Disable notificationsA secret culprit gobbling up data usage: Email and push notifications from various apps, which you probably do not pay attention to anyways. Automatic app updates are not helping, either. Dig into your smartphone's settings and turn them off.6. Make the kids pay One sure way to make sure your kids have some skin in the game: Charge them for any data overages related to their Pokemon Go obsession. Otherwise, they do not have much incentive to curtail their gameplaying. That is Shama Diegnan's plan, as her family bumps up against data limits. "Believe me, if we go over, he is paying for it."For a primer on how to play Pokemon Go, see this video

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Us chamber report sees no need for more money fund reforms


* Report touts success of SEC's 2010 fund reforms* Also finds funds withstood 2011 eurozone crisis* Warns against SEC imposing new reforms on industry* SEC, FSOC mull possible actions on money fund reforms* FSOC slated to meet in closed session ThursdayBy Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Oct 16 Money market fund regulations adopted by U.S. securities regulators in 2010 reduced risks in the $2.5 trillion industry, according to a report sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that questions the need for further reforms. The report drafted by three finance and economics professors concludes that the Securities and Exchange Commission's 2010 rules have left money market funds more liquid and better able to withstand a wave of customer withdrawals.

The report says the industry weathered the economic turmoil in Europe in 2011 despite an uptick in redemptions, and did not pose any systemic risk to the marketplace."Given the remarkable stability of the industry in the summer of 2011 during the eurozone crisis and uncertainty about whether the U.S. would raise its debt ceiling, we question whether there is sufficient evidence to support additional reform," says the report by David Blackwell and Kenneth Troske from the University of Kentucky, and Drew Winters of Texas Tech University. The 2010 reforms tightened credit quality standards, shortened weighted average maturities, imposed a liquidity requirement on money market funds and increased disclosure of fund holdings. The report is the latest effort by the Chamber of Commerce to fend off efforts by SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and the U.S. risk council to impose another round of rules on the money market fund industry.

The chamber released the report just two days before the Financial Stability Oversight Council, or FSOC, is slated to meet behind closed doors where the topic of money market funds is expected to be discussed. Last month, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said FSOC will begin considering new reforms after Schapiro failed to attract the three SEC votes she needed to advance her own plan. Schapiro has argued that more regulations are needed to prevent another run like the one seen in the 2008 financial crisis when the Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck" and saw its net asset value fall below $1 per share. She had hoped to put out a proposal for public comment with two key components. One would have called for new capital buffers and redemption restrictions in a time of chaos. The other explored moving to a floating net asset value.

Banking regulators are supportive of her efforts. In a report on Monday, a group of researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York argued for new rules, saying funds could delay full redemptions from all customers at all times to encourage investors to look closely at a fund's risk before putting in money. But the money market fund industry worries that new rules would drive money out of their funds into bank accounts at a time of very low interest rates. Opposition to the reforms has also been mounted by many companies and local-government agencies that rely on money funds to buy their short-term debt instruments. Three SEC commissioners - Democrat Luis Aguilar and Republicans Daniel Gallagher and Troy Paredes - have also expressed skepticism, and have said they wanted to first study the effects of the 2010 reforms before proceeding with new rules. The SEC's economists are currently conducting the study requested by the three commissioners, and results could come out in a few weeks, according to one person familiar with the matter. Despite his resistance to Schapiro's original proposal, Gallagher has said he hopes the agency will consider a fresh package of reforms, and that he would be open to considering a floating net asset value coupled with allowing fund boards to impose liquidity "gates."Meanwhile, Geithner has said FSOC will likely weigh a package of money market reforms at its November meeting. Eventually, he hopes to present those suggestions to the SEC for consideration. Under the Dodd-Frank financial oversight law of 2010, the SEC would need to adopt FSOC's suggestions, or reject them in writing within 90 days.

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