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ExtraBITS for 1 February 2010

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Most of our time last week was taken up with iPad-related writing, but we found the time to check out Fraser Speirs's contention that the iPad is the future of computing, look into the ongoing debate about the proposed Google Books settlement, and note that Google has created a Web app to work around Apple's continuing refusal to approve or deny the Google Voice app. Plus, AT&T admits that its network has problems in New York and San Francisco, and promises to spend an additional $2 billion on improving it.

Fraser Speirs on the iPad's Future Shock -- Mac and iPhone developer Fraser Speirs steps back from the specs and points out the revolutionary aspect of the iPad: It could actually be the "computer for the rest of us" in a way that even Macs have not achieved. Instead of dealing with how the iPad works, people can focus on the real work the iPad is intended to assist.

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New Google Books Settlement Fails to Placate Prominent Critics -- The latest revision to the Google Books settlement, an ongoing saga we've written about regularly here on TidBITS, is still opposed by and the Internet Archive, among others. The settlement in this revised version would still anoint Google with court approval as the only party in the United States that can scan and offer for sale copyrighted works that are out of print and for which the publisher isn't known.

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AT&T Promises to Spend More on Network -- AT&T told the Associated Press it would bump wireless capital infrastructure spending by about $2 billion this year, and admitted to the well-known network deficiencies in New York and San Francisco.

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Google Voice Web App Bucks the System -- Wired describes how Google has worked around its Google Voice iPhone app being stuck in App Store approval purgatory (it's shameful that Apple hasn't approved or rejected it by now). Google has instead updated its iPhone-friendly Web site, accessible by any HTML5-capable browser such as Mobile Safari, that enables users to place calls from their Google Voice accounts. Since the page can be added as an icon on the iPhone's home screen, the Web app ends up being largely indistinguishable from the original iPhone app, though it lacks direct integration with the iPhone's contacts list.

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