The iPad and other news and notes

You can stop holding your breath now--oh, you weren't?! Well, the new iPad is here, regardless. It's got a drop-dead-gorgeous screen, is faster, and has a much better camera and a few new apps (not Siri, though). The size, battery life, and price are nearly identical to the iPad 2 when it launched.  Apple also updated Apple TV, $99, and both should be in stores March 16th.

Worth buying?
The short answer is: if you have the original iPad, or don't own one, and think you will use it a lot: this model is a big upgrade.  If your iPad use is all about photos, maps, games, movies, or other visual activities, the difference will be huge (and fun).  But if you already have an iPad 2, consider saving your money for the next round.  (Full disclosure:  I remain a Windows girl but I own a little Apple stock and I do love my iPad. Diane and Jennifer are Apple mavens).

Speaking of money, the price of the iPad 2 has dropped by $100. Depending on your budget, consider buying an iPad 2 instead, or buy a refurbished one and save even more. Careful, though, about buying an older or used iPad without a new battery; replacing a dying iPad battery will set you back $100.

Which model?
There are really only two decisions to make: capacity, and cellular access. The higher resolution screen means much bigger files, so be careful to buy enough capacity (same three choices: 16, 32, or 64 GB).  Most people only need WiFi access, and adding the ABILITY to use a cellular network (3G or 4G) adds about $130 to cost of the iPad before you even start paying for the data plan, fair warning.  

Security note
Seems like a big uptick recently in hacked email accounts, especially on AOL.  If your friends complain that "you" are sending them pleas for money, or links to strange Russian websites, or your gmail account has a big red bar at the top saying

Your account has been accessed from [a foreign country]

don't delay--change your email password IMMEDIATELY (see previous discussion of passwords here)

Are you clinging to an old email address?? 
If you still use a an email account through your ISP (RoadRunner, Verizon, Earthlink) because you think you'd have to tell everyone the new address---you wouldn't. Modern email hosts (like gmail) can pick up your old account, so you won't miss anything. It's easy to set up and you're missing a world of great features if you don't.