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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.

#macworld2011 -- Macworld magazine selects Best of Show

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Today Macworld announced the 10 Macworld Expo 2011 Best of Show winners out of the hundreds of exhibitors at the Expo. You can see the list and read a short description on their website. I had the opportunity to see demos of several related specifically to iOS devices and they are indeed pretty cool.



#macworld2011 -- iOS-related stuff predominant at Expo, especially accessories

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The event is called Macworld, but my impression is that over half of the booths are related to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Cases and stands/mounts are everywhere. Some of the booths of the accessory vendors are huge, leaving me convinced of one thing: they are making gobs of money. ZooGue was giving cases away so freely to the media that it was almost like passing out business cards. There are cases to mount your iPad on your refrigerator, on the back of a car headrest, in the palm of your hand, etc.



#macworld2011 -- Best App Ever winners announced

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Yesterday at Macworld Jeff Scott of the website 148apps.com announced the winners of the Best Apps Ever competition.. This is a great opportunity for you to get a sense for great apps in dozens of categories.



#macworld2011 -- iPad supersession

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Today's iPad supersession at Macworld had so much great info that it was hard to assimilate much of it. My takeaway was that my usage is at a pretty basic level. And I didn't even attend the power users session on how to use your iPad as a laptop replacement. The good news is that this is a pretty capable gadget. Here are a few things that stuck with me:



#macworld2011 -- What will happen to Apple if Steve Jobs is unable to return?

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You're likely here reading this blog post because you love your iPhone or iPad or iPod. And, like other Mac lovers, you may be wondering whether Apple will be able to keep it's mojo going if CEO Steve Jobs is unable to return from his medical leave. Yesterday at the Macworld industry forum Jason Snell of Macworld magazine had some interesting insights on this. The bottom line is that Apple is now firmly in the mold of Steve Jobs.



#macworld2011 -- Why is Apple so good at giving us great gadgets that we love?

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In addition to the Macworld session on the future of mobile devices, another great talk today was by Macworld magazine editorial director Jason Snell on "How Apple Does It" -- how does Apple so consistently succeed in making insanely great devices. It comes down to two things: courage and vision. Apple has the courage to be different -- to come out with a new king of Macintosh interface at a time when other computers used a command line. The courage to come out with a smartphone that did away with the buttons and used a touch screen instead.



#macworld2011 -- The future of mobile devices

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The Macworld Expo is happening this week in San Francisco, and naturally much of the event is focused on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The event kicked off today with workshops and an industry forum. The latter was fascinating, especially a talk by Bill Atkinson, one of the original software engineers at Apple. He showed how all the trends suggest that the smartphone is becoming a personal assistant. He imagined a future in which you wear an earpiece that has a speaker, microphone, and camera. Want to make a call? Just ask.



10 billionth app downloaded is free game Paper Glider

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The 10 billionth app was downloaded on Saturday — and it was the free game Paper Glider. The developer, Neon Play, is understandably thrilled with their good fortune. In their press release, they exult at the 1 in 10 billion odds. The lucky downloader is Gail Davis, who actually hung up on Apple when they called to tell her, thinking it was a prank call. "Not interested," she said, and hung up the phone. Not interested in $10,000?



iOS 4.3 beta hints at iPad camera, new cloud service from Apple

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I hate to be a rumor monger, but this seems pretty solid — since the source is the new beta of iOS 4.3. This new version has been sent to developers, and according to an interesting post on MacRumors, it included an image that shows a preview of the wallpaper that one has selected for one's iPad. And right there in the preview are icons for FaceTime, Camera, and PhotoBooth.



Free tax app from H&R Block

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H&R Block offers a free app, Tax Central, that gives answers to popular questions, includes a tax refund estimator, and offers a checklist of key filing dates and materials needed. It also has a glossary of tax terms, and, of course, information to contact your nearest H&R Block rep. And there are links to entertaining videos on YouTube that contain useful tax information.



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