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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.

New iOS out for iPhone and iPad


Yesterday Apple release iOS updates for both the iPad and iPhone. (Read the details on Yahoo for iPad and iPhone.) The iPad upgrade may be the more important, in that it fixes the WiFi issues. The iPhone upgrade fixes the issue with the signal-strength bars. 

Apple to hold press conference Friday about iPhone 4 reception problem

According to a short article in the New York Times, Apple will be holding a press conference on Friday to address the complaints about the reception of the iPhone 4 if you hold it in a particular way. No word on who will speak. A recall is doubtful. I'm hoping they'll send a free Bumper case to everyone. Apparently having such a case resolves the problem.

Download Meter for Wi-Fi/ 3G/ EDGE/ GPRS -- $1.99 app lets you conveniently track data usage


Download Meter for Wi-Fi/ 3G/ EDGE/ GPRS is a great idea. It lets you conveniently track your data usage -- which is important now that AT&T no longer offers unlimited data. I've never found it that convenient to access my usage on the iPad, and it takes forever to get the info over my Edge connection. This app simply tracks it at the level of your device, so you don't need to long into your AT&T account. It has features such as meters that give you a sense for your usage at a glance. Very useful app, with quite a few good reviews.

CNET's 100 favorite iPhone apps


CNET is selecting their 100 favorite iPhone apps in 10 installments. Starting today, each day for the next 10 business days CNET writers and bloggers will take turns identifying their 10 favorite apps. Today's first installment is by Kent German, senior editor at CNET Reviews. The 10 selections are presented in slide-show fashion. Among his favorites is Photoshop.com Mobile, the free photo editing app.

PCMag's favorite apps


The App Store celebrated its second birthday last Saturday, and what an amazing run it's had: 250,000 apps and over 5 billion downloads. CNET has a great article on this success and how it's influenced the industry. AND it talks about what Apple can do to maintain and build on its success. Meanwhile, how do you find what you want in this sea of 250,000 apps? PCMag has a very helpful article on their favorite apps. They group them into topical themes, such as Top 40 Free Apps and 6 Great Travel Apps.

The next step in augmented reality is here -- image-based recognition


Macworld has an article about a new offering from Metaio that excites me: image-basd augmented reality. The whole idea of augmented reality is so cool: point your phone's camera at something, and when you view the live image on your iPhone you'll see related information or content superimposed on that image. Think of how useful this would be to tourists: you point your phone at the Eiffel Tower, and your phone superimposes information about it. Augmented reality has already been available, but it was GPS-based.

Street magician bases his act on an iPad

This video is fun. A street magician bases his act around an iPad. The magician is speaking Japanese, but there are subtitles. And you don't really need to know what he's saying to appreciate the tricks.

Video Zoom Plus -- app lets you zoom in when shooting videos with your phone


I haven't yet tried this app, but Video Zoom Plus ($0.99) would have come in handy a couple days ago when I came across a deer on campus. The deer was fairly close, maybe 20 yards, but it got a bit lost in the video that I took. I wish I had been able to zoom in. And that's what this new app promises -- 5x digital zoom. But if you have a 3GS you'll need to upgrade it to iOS4. 

iPhone Reception Case -- "world's thinnist iPhone 4 case" said to help with reception problems


Okay, it's official. iPhone 4 has reception problems. Now that I've been using the phone for a number of days I can tell you that at home, where I have very weak reception, the signal drops every single time I touch the lower left corner of the phone. You learn quickly the best way to hold it. Ivyskin has just released their new iPhone 4 Reception Case made of polycarbonate that they say is the world's thinnest iPhone 4 case.

Apple says 400 iTunes accounts comrpomised

In recent days the iPhone blogs have been buzzing after noticing suspicious activity in the App Store. Over the weekend apps by developer Thuat Nguyen quickly rose to occupy 42 of 50 slots in the list of top apps in the Book category. Either he's a heck of a marketer or -- as bloggers suspected -- some shenanigans were at work. Then some people began reporting app purchases that they hadn't made, and the blog buzz grew. Now Apple has announced that indeed 400 iTunes accounts have been affected. But it's important to note that they said their servers had not been compromised. You can read more on Macworld and the New York Times.

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