THE AGE OF CRYPTO CURRENCY

BitCoin is a much bigger deal than we thought. In the new book, “The Age of Crypto Currency,” by Vigna and Casey, two veteran Wall Street Journal reporters, we learned that Bitcoin is used all over the world where banking is a problem. An Afghani teenager, for example, traded her Bitcoins for an Amazon gift certificate and bought her first laptop. Without Bitcoin, her earnings would have disappeared into her father or brother’s bank account. In Mali refugee camps, people receive Bitcoins as text messages on $5 phones. Without crypto currency, workers often have to depend on strangers to carry money back home to relatives. “The Age of Crypto Currency,” $28 from St. Martin’s Press, also gives us a concise […]

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ANY-TIME GREETINGS

A colleague emailed us a hilarious Christmas greeting video from JibJab.com. It featured featuring faces from her family placed on the bodies of Santa’s elves. We couldn’t resist making JibJabs of our own. There are several styles and they are all hilarious.

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MAGAZINES ON PARADE

Having magazines on an iPad or Android tablet is a nice idea and costs just $10 a month with an app called “NextIssue.” The app came out two years ago but has improved a lot since then. Back in 2012, there were only 27 magazines available. Now there are 119 for the basic price, and more if you’re willing to pay $15 a month.  A free 30-day trial gives you an idea of what’s available, and a new feature allows you to print out the articles (handy for recipes). Our favorite magazine, “The Economist,” isn’t there, but then, several of its articles are free online each month at economist.com.

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HEARD ON THE STREET

“Heard” is a free iPhone/iPod/iPad app that continuously records anything you can hear. But instead of one long file, it fills the buffer and then clears it for more recording. Only when you hit “save” does the recording move into storage.

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THE BOOK OF GIMP

“The Book of GIMP,” by Lecarme and Delvare, $50 from nostarch.com, is a great guide to the GIMP photo-editing program.

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A PEN FOR THE CLOUD

Here’s something for the person who hates typing. It’s the LiveScribe “Sky WiFi Smartpen,” and it digitizes your handwriting, records the lecture you’re listening to and stores it all in the cloud.

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GOING DIGITAL

Captricity.com digitizes documents at 20 cents per page, whether they’re hand written or typed. The first 25 pages are free. They use humans, not scanners, and here’s a tip Bob got from someone who uses this kind of data entry service extensively: To assure accuracy as much as you can, have the same documents done by more than one person, because it’s very unlikely that two people would make exactly the same mistake. Yes, it doubles the cost, but for many uses it’s worth it.

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FREE IPHONE APP KEEPS ADDRESS BOOK UP TO DATE

“Addappt” is a free app for iPhones. It keeps your iPhone contact information updated, as long as your friends sign on. Download the app and request an invitation during the trial stage.

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BUY ME A PIE

Buy Me A Pie is a grocery list app that’s free for iPads and iPhones through today, July 4. The Web-only version is always free at BuyMeAPie.com. The list can be emailed or texted; if you have an iPad and iPhone, it’s automatically synced to both devices.

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DIGITAL WISH

DigitalWish.org is on a mission to get technology into the classroom. Teachers can list what they need and accept donations. Donors can help teachers who need equipment.

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