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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.

Film One Fest -- free iPad app gives you access to collection of one-minute films


Film One Fest (free), a new iPad app released yesterday, gives you access to a collection of one-minute films from filmmakers around the world. In addition,  includes supporting stories, artists' statements, and interviews. The films are from an annual outdoor film festival of the same name that shows approximately 60 one-minute films chosen by a panel of judges.

im360 Lite -- another free, you-gotta-try-this app lets you view 360-degree videos


I had no idea there was such a thing as 360-degree videos. Sure, I've seen 360-degree pictures: you move your device or swipe the screen to view a scene in every direction. That alone is pretty cool. But im360 Lite is more than that. These are 360-degree videos. I'm watching one right now — a helicopter view of Las Vegas. As the helicopter flies above the city, I can move my iPad in different directions and see forward, backward, up above, down below. Or if you prefer, you can swipe the screen in whatever direction you would like to view.

iOS 5 -- what you need to know


If you have unanswered questions about the forthcoming iOS 5, check out this great article on Macworld: iOS 5: What you need to know. It gives an excellent overview of the new features and answers common questions, such as which devices it will work with, how Notifications will work, what the advantages are of the new messaging system, what some of the features are of the new Newsstand and Reminder apps, and what's new in the Safari, Camera, Photos, Mail, iPod, Calendar, and FaceTime apps. And more.

Leafsnap -- free app lets you identify trees by taking a photo


In my ongoing series on novel uses of the iPhone and iPad camera, here's yet another: an app that lets you take a picture of a leaf and then gives you information about what type of tree it as. Leafsnap (free) returns the likely species name, as well high-resolution photographs of and information about the tree's leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds, and bark. The app was funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation and was developed by the Smithsonian Institution, University of Maryland, and Columbia University.

Macworld -- what you need to know about iCloud


In a sense, one can think of iCloud as a third platform, one that complements the desktop and mobile platforms, and that may eventually subsume them. It'll be interesting to see how this evolves. Macworld has a great article titled "iCloud: What you need to know." TidBITS also has a helpful introductory article, with a focus on iTunes in the Cloud — the only feature of iCloud that is now available.

iOS 5 cuts the cord -- no more need to connect to a desktop computer


So much news came out during Steve Jobs's keynote yesterday that it's hard to assimilate. But if you want to get your head around it, I think the key idea is that iOS 5 and iCloud will cut the cord. it will no longer be necessary to connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer in order to put music on your device, sync contacts, update software, etc. Steve Jobs refers to this as the post-PC world, and Apple is giving us devices that are free of the PC. AND it's free! And automatic! And turned on by default! You don't need to think about it.

Steve Jobs iOS 5.0/iCloud keynote from today is available online


The news today was exciting — lots of great functionality in the works. And if you'd like to watch the whole presentation, it's now available via streaming video from Apple's website. The video is two hours long, with the first segment covering the new iteration of OS X for Macintosh, called Lion.

iWork apps now available for iPhone


First available for iOS on the iPad, Apple's iWorks apps were released on Tuesday for the iPhone. The price is the same: $9.99 each for Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheet), and Keynote (presentation software). If you already own them for the iPad, they are a free upgrade for your iPhone.

Video Zoom 2 -- $0.99 app offers 3x video zoom on your iPhone


A lack of native zoom is a real hindrance with the iPhone camera when shooting video. But fortunately, there are apps that let you add digital zoom. Video Zoom 2 ($0.99) gives you up to 3x digital zoom, including real-time zoom during recording -- without decreasing image stability or frame rate. It offers a choice of four different resolutions for the iPhone 4. You can view videos from within the app, and can shoot any number of videos before coming back to preview or export.

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