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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.

Free 208-page 2011 iPod, iPhone, iPad Buyers' Guide from iLounge


For years iLounge has been coming out with an annual buyers' guide, and the 2011 iLounge iPod/iPhone/iPad Buyers' Guide is now available for downloading as a free pdf. This guide has tons of information, including the world's best accessories, 100 essential iOS apps, 100 top iPod, iPhone, and iPad games, tips for buying Apple devices, and much more. The guide comes in several different formats, including one adapted to the small screen of the iPhone and iPod touch.

Hulu Plus lowers price to $7.99 per month -- free one-week trial


Hulu Plus has now officially launched after having been available as a limited trial. And the good news is that they've lowered their price to $7.99 per month for their streaming movies and TV. Also, there's a one-week free trial for new subscribers starting today. This service has one of the larger collections of current TV shows, with much of their content streaming in HD. There are free Hulu Plus apps for both the iPhone and iPad.

Shoeboxed Business Card Reader -- free app uses camera to read business cards and add to contacts


I'm researching an article about the amazing range of ways apps use your iOS camera, from barcode readers and business card scanners to augmented reality and color detection for those who are color blind. This new app released today is yet another great freebie. Shoeboxed Business Card Reader lets you use your camera to take a photo of the card.

Today's big iTunes announcement: Beatles music available in iTunes


Apple sure stirred things up yesterday, promising an exciting announcement and a day you'll never forget. Speculation was rampant, and many truly exciting things were envisioned. But by the end of the day, the word was that it was the arrival of the Beatles music — after years of rumors. Read more on the NY Times and CNET. And see the Apple home page. Albums are $13 and double albums $20. 

TheFind -- free app with barcode scanner gives access to the largest price-comparison search engine


Wow, TheFind (free) seems to have it all. If you want to find the lowest price when you're shopping, you'll want to try TheFind. It uses Red Laser's barcode scanner technology, combines that with TheFind, which they say is the web's largest price-comparison search engine, and throws in a coupon finder, driving directions, and click to call. 

Check out the iTunes page -- major iTunes announcement coming tomorrow


It's hard to imagine what Apple is in mind, but the ad on Apple's iTunes page says that tomorrow's announcement will be a day you'll never forget. I wonder if it's a play on words. CNET is suggesting that it might be an announcement of a "cloud" service, which would make sense. Your computer or iOS device will never forget your iTunes content because it will reside in the cloud.

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.

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