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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.

Use your iPod touch as a phone -- ZTE Peel coming from Sprint tomorrow


It's not quite what I was expecting, and a little pricier than the early buzz said, but it's an interesting option for iPod touch users. Tomorrow Sprint will begin offering the $80 ZTE Peel, a case for the iPod touch that lets it access Sprint's 3G data network. However, if you want to make voice calls, you'll need to use Skype. The case is actually a Wi-Fi hotspot that lets you connect your iPod touch and one other device. Service will run $29.99 per month for 1GB of data, no contract required. 

The iPad competition begins to arrive -- Samsung's Galaxie Tab

Here's a funny video review by David Pogue of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab -- a 7-inch tablet computer that runs Android. It's the first iPad competitor out the gate, and went on sale Wednesday from T-Mobile. It's also expected from Verizon and Sprint in the coming days.

iOS 4.2 expected this week -- CNET tells you what's coming


I'm looking forward to iOS 4.2 on my iPad -- folders, multitasking, and more. A very helpful article on CNET tells you what this new version offers for both iPhone and iPad users. AirPlay will let you stream content from your computer to your iOS devices. The article also describes AirPrint, but our blogger Jek Suen Lee has reported that this feature has been canceled. 

Classic board games for iPad -- 10 for $1.99


Board Games — All in One ($1.99) now has an English version. You get 10 classic games for your iPad: checkers, chess, Chinese checkers, backgammon, tic tac toe, peg solitaire, Ludo, and more. I like the idea of having all of these games in one app for the iPad. They're attractively designed, and can accommodate up to 6 players. These are pretty basic. You won't be able to play against your iPad, though, as in other chess apps, for example. And to have access to the instructions, you'll need an Internet connection, since it simply accesses the info on Wikipedia.

eFax app lets your iPhone become a fully functional fax machine


The free app can be used to send and receive faxes via your iPhone. To send faxes, though, you need to sign up for an eFax Plus account. You can receive faxes for free, plus they offer a 30-day free trial. The app uses your camera to capture an image to fax. If you're someone still needing to fax in this age of email, this might be a good solution.

Top 5 apps for good deals on Black Friday


The biggest shopping day of the year — Black Friday — is coming up November 26. There are deals to be had, and there are great apps to help you find those deals. Head over to App.Comsumer to see their list of Top 5 Best Shopping Apps for Black Friday. Among the apps is TGI Black Friday (free), which helps you plan your Black Friday shopping by letting you know weeks in advance what deals will be available.

App Store now has app "Hall of Fame" -- 50 of the all-time top apps


All the blogs yesterday were buzzing with the news that the App Store had launched the App Store Essentials Hall of Fame — 50 apps that Apple considers the "best of the best." You can sort by featured, release date, or name. I wish one could search by genre. And also for iPad-specific titles. 

GeoQpons -- free app offers location-based coupons


In a recent post I mentioned how barcode reader apps are the perfect assistant this holiday season, helping you find the lowest prices on things you want to buy. And another such assistant are the coupon apps, most recently GeoQpons (free), which offers you location-based coupons. You just show the image on your phone to the clerk.

Wirefly offers free online backup service for your iPhone's data


I subscribe to MobileMe at a cost of $100 per year. It gives me a secure feeling knowing that all of my contacts are backed up online, should something happen to my phone and computer. But now you also have a free option. Wirefly is offering a free mobile backup service that lets you back up 2GB of data — contacts, music, photos, calendar, and video — for free.

Rumors about a new iPad and a Verizon iPhone


These can hardly be considered rumors, since they've been confirmed by a number of different sources — and because it's unimaginable that Apple wouldn't take these next steps. You can read InvestorPlace for more details. The word is that the Verizon iPhone will be out in early 2011 — and that it'll be a modified version of the iPhone 4. The iPad is reportedly going to get front-facing VGA camera and a 5-megapixel camera on back.

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