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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.

Microsoft Office coming to the iPad

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According to an article in The Daily (the News Corp daily newspaper for the iPad), Microsoft is working on a version of Microsoft Office for the iPad, though there's no word on when it might be available. The article speculates that the pricing would be in the same ballpark as Apple's office app: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote ($10 each).



iPhone 4S sells out on Black Friday; Apple announces free shipping; Best Buy ad

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Whew, Apple's sales just continue to climb. Black Friday was a big success, with 75% of Apple retail stores selling out their stock of the iPhone 4S. These stores included Apple retail stores as well as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target stores. The report on AppleInsider also says that sales of the iPad were 68% higher on Black Friday compared to last year, with analysts now projecting that Apple will sell 13.5 million iPads in the December quarter. 



More SiriProxy: Using Siri to control a TV

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The momentum for SiriProxy continues to build. Please, Apple, don't clamp down. The latest instance is using Siri to control a TV via the Plex platform. Plex is software that runs on some TVs as well as desktop computers and that lets you access and control local and online content. You can read more on TiPb. The video demo below is impressive and clearly shows the potential that Siri has unleashed.



More evidence for a 4-inch iPhone in 2012; Sharp to make iPad 3 displays

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According to AppleInsider, a Japanese website is claiming that Hitachi and Sony have actually begun shipments of 4-inch LCD displays, presumably for the iPhone 5 expected next year. This is in line with other rumors that have been circulating for months.



Siri now being used to control thermostat, start car, etc.

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It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to this one. Developers have figured out how to intercept Siri commands, and are now using Siri to do things like control a thermostat and start a car remotely. As I understand it, the hack entails directing Siri voice commands to a proxy server, which then uses those commands to control various devices, or even apps. The videos below show this in action.



Details of Apple's Black Friday discounts on iPad, iPod touch

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9T05Mac has posted details of Apple's Black Friday discounts. The site says that you can expect to see $41-61 off iPads, depending on the configuration, and $21-41 off iPods. Not a big discount but certainly welcome, especially if you're in the market for one. The post also gives details on discounts for Apple accessories and Macintoshes. And it posts a scan of the original pamphlet that the details are taken from.



Apple TV may be coming in mid-2012

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Rumors of an Apple TV continue to mount, with a market analyst now saying that we can expect it in mid-2012. According to a report on AppleInsider, Apple may be partnering with Sharp to produce its "iTV." Production could begin as early as February. Of course, Apple is already selling an Apple TV box, but this new gadget is expected to be a full-fledged TV.



Great demo of new version of Google Search for iPad

Yesterday Google released a new version of Google Search for the iPad that's pretty remarkable. And showing how eager they are to be on every iPad, they've produced a great demo video. You can read more about the app on the Google Mobile Blog. The new version is more interactive, and the slide-in pane is really cool — just excellent design. The voice recognition isn't quite on the level of Siri, but it works quite well.



Apple announces Black Friday sale; Also, 6 best Black Friday apps

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Black Friday — the Friday after Thanksgiving — is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, with retailers offering extrraordinary price reductions to help fuel holiday spending. Apple has posted a teaser on their website inviting shoppers to stop by for a one-day sale on Friday. The teaser reads: "Mark your calendar now, and come back to the Apple Online Store the day after Thanksgiving for the special one-day event. You’ll discover amazing iPad, iPod, and Mac gifts for everyone on your list." Odd that it doesn't mention the iPhone.



iPad to continue dominance in 2012

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So, Amazon's new $200 tablet, the Kindle Fire, is out, and reviews are mixed, mostly saying that it's a great low-end machine but no comparison to the iPad. And consumers agree. A survey reported by AppleInsider found that of over 3,000 potential tablet buyers who participated, 65% said they were planning to buy an iPad, 22% the Amazon Kindle, and 4% the Samsung Galaxy Tab. None of the other tablets registered more than 1% in the poll.



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