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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.

NY Times report: App Store fraud a growing problem


A recent article in the New York Times exposed a serious problem with fraud in the iTunes Store, particularly in the App Store. The article says that they have "become playgournds for illicit transactions." Apple accounts that have  been compromised sell for as little as $33 on Chinese online marketplaces, with the seller promising purchasers thousands of dollars worth of credit.

MAD magazine coming to iPad on April 1


Promising it's no joke, MAD Magazine announced today that their popular and wacky satire will be coming to the App Store on Sunday. The app will be free, and new digital issues of MAD Magazine for can be purchased within the app for $4.99, or back issues for $1.99. Digital readers can also choose a per-issue digital subscription for $1.99 per issue, or pay an upfront annual fee of $9.99. Print subscribers will receive a free digital subscription. “We’re delighted to bring MAD to the iPad,” said MAD Editor John Ficarra.

60% off on Peterson Birds of North America


I'd been wanting a bird app on my iPad, but knew that I didn't want to spend the $15-30 that some of the better ones cost. So when I noticed yesterday that Peterson Birds of North America was on sale for $4.99 (regularly $14.99), I went for it. If you think you might like to have this reference work available to you when you're out and about, now's a good time to buy.

Graphic illustration of the striking difference of the new iPad retina display


If you want to get a good idea of how much clearer photos are on a retina display, check out this post on Art Authority. They have some effective side-by-side shots showing the dramatic difference.

Free CW Network app streams full episodes of primetime programs


This is a trend that I like: more and more programming from the networks is available online via free streaming video. Now the CW Network has joined in, offering its complete primetime slate of programs via steaming video. Their new app, The CW Network, is available for free. In addition to streaming video, it also offers clips, photos, social networking, and a schedule. CW, which launched in 2006, is a joint venture of CBS and Warner Brothers.

Survey of iPhone 4S users finds that 87% use Siri


The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on a survey of iPhone 4S users that found that 87% use Siri at least once a month. However, the survey found that only about a third use Siri daily or almost daily to place phone calls, send text messages, or look up information. Those functions are also the most commonly used features of the iPhone. The survey found that few use it for scheduling meetings or playing music, with about a third of respondents never having used it for those functions.

Hands-on with the new iPad


I'm in an odd situation: I have the money in my pocket to replace my iPad 2 with the new iPad. But I like my iPad 2 a lot, and have been trying to figure out if there's a compelling reason to upgrade. If we had LTE in this area, I'd buy the new iPad in a minute. But it's not likely to come to this corner of Iowa in the near future. So the question in my mind was whether the new retina display was enough to swing the decision toward the new iPad. And my odd conclusion is this: it all depends on how good your eyesight is.

Rumor that iPhone 5 will have 4.6-inch display


If we're looking at an October launch for the iPhone 5, that means we're looking at over 6 months of rumors. Whew, how will we survive? And no doubt I'll be purveying every last one of them. Despite the huge success of the current form-factor, which has changed very little in 5 years, rumors persist that the iPhone 5 will have a larger screen.

Photos from 360,000 iPhone users to be combined into a mosaic


Revolution Mosaic, a new app expected to appear in the App Store in May, has an interesting twist: it allows iPhone users from around the world to combine their photos into one large mosaic. Each photo serves as a color pixel in the larger image. Once 360,000 images are submitted, one of those images is selected be the final mosaic image. The lucky image selected will be the one that best depicts the mobile generation. The mosaic will then be turned into a 4 x 6-foot mural that people can purchase.

Apple sells over 1 million iPhoto apps; additional possible issues with new iPad


The website Macgasm recently pointed out that the new iPhoto app for iOS has been purchased over 1 million times in 10 days — and that the $5 million in revenue is likely more than RIM took in on sales of its PlayBook. This is one more bit of evidence highlighting the amazing popularity of the iPad and iPhone.

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