When news this week was announced that my current cell phone carrier, T-Mobile, is going to be merging with AT&T, I was less than thrilled. This comes after last week’s rumors that T-Mobile and Sprint were going to be merging. I was hoping this was just another bad rumor but the fact it was being reported by real news organizations, not just websites that post rumors, meant there was more to this one than the speculation about the merger with Sprint. With official announcements coming from T-Mobile, it just confirmed what I hope was not going to be the case. I’m not a happy camper about the news.
Why would I be not happy about the news? Well first off, I’ve been a very happy T-Mobile customer since 2003. I originally switched to them from my first cell phone carrier, which was Sprint. I didn’t leave Sprint because I was not happy with their service, I switched because Sprint is a CDMA technology carrier and I wanted to go to a GSM carrier as it’s more of a world standard service and since I do like to travel outside of the United States, I wanted a phone I could easily use outside the US. T-Mobile also offers to unlock their phones when you’re one of their customers so that when travelling abroad, you can easily switch out your T-Mobile SIM card with a pre-paid SIM card in the country you’re in to get a local number there. It’s a great option.
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I was originally planning on spending today at Disneyland with a friend and possibly some others, however my friend had to cancel earlier this week, so since I had my heart set on going up to Disneyland and I was going to be going by myself, I opted to go yesterday instead of today as it would just work out better for me. And while I was there I took the opportunity to play a wonderful iPhone app game designed to be played at Disneyland called “Wishing Stars.”
The concept of the game is that several “Wishing Stars” have been broken up and scattered throughout the Disneyland park. In order to find them, you have to take your iPhone to the location of the clues and hit the “I think I’m standing in front of it!” button. You can’t cheat because the app uses the GPS built into the iPhone to verify that you’re standing in the correct spot. It won’t accept your attempt to stand in front of the correct answer unless you actually are in front of it. Essentially its a GPS based treasure hunt. The game is the perfect addition to Disneyland for an Annual Passholder who finds themselves wanting something more to do within the park besides the rides.
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Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.
This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.
I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.
I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.
Continue reading Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009
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Earlier this month, my good friend Vito Grandolfo, said that he was going to upgrade his iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS phone and wanted to know if I would be interested in his iPhone 3G. I was definitely interested and I asked Vito if he was interested in my older Blu-Ray player, a Samsung BD-P1600. And he was interested so we decided to do a swap. A older Blu-Ray player for an older iPhone.
Vito got his new phone on Christmas Eve and we arranged a time to the technology exchange on the day after Christmas as Vito was flying out to another assignment for his job the very next morning. I helped Vito set up the Blu-Ray player on his TV and gave him a couple of the freebie Blu-Ray discs I had gotten by mail order rebate with the purchase of the player and we made sure it all worked.
Because I’m a T-Mobile customer and not an AT&T customer it was going to take a little bit of time to get the new iPhone ready for use. I already knew I wasn’t going to be able to use the 3G network as AT&T’s 3G network operates on a different frequency than T-Mobile’s 3G network and they’re not compatible. But what I was looking forward to was the integrated GPS as the older original generation iPhone I was using was only ever able to approximate my location using triangulation between cell phone towers and was not always the most accurate, especially when trying to use Google Maps for directions or having the phone identify the direction I was traveling on highways for one of the traffic monitoring applications. Additionally the iPhone Vito gave me was double the capacity of the small 4 GB iPhone I was currently using at the time. So plenty of room to expand.
Continue reading My “New” iPhone 3G
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One of my favorite applications that I’ve been using on my iPod Touch has been the Pandora Internet Radio application. Despite having a collection of over 12,000+ songs on my computer to put on my iPod at any time, I sometimes get bored with the music I already have. Perhaps it’s just the knowledge that there’s no chance of hearing anything new which creates the boredom, but in any case, sometimes random play is just not enough.
Well, the folks at Pandora have just the cure for the boredom, it’s their Pandora Internet Radio which is available both online for PCs and Macs to access through Pandora’s Website and the application they have made available for iPhones and iPod Touch. All you need to do is specify an artist or even pick a specific song, and Pandora’s Internet Radio will build a playlist of similar songs from similar sounding artists and you instantly have access to the world’s most perfect radio station, the one custom created just for you and your mood at that moment.
Continue reading Pandora Internet Radio – Best iPhone & iPod Touch Application
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Skype officially made it’s debut in the iTunes Application Store recently. To say it was a highly anticipated application would be the understatement of the year. Some reports have indicated that the application was downloaded over a million times in the first two days it was available, approximately one download every six seconds to put it in perspective.
What’s so special about Skype? If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service. It’s major claim to fame is it’s ability to allow users to call one another on their computers for free anywhere in the world. Skype can also be used to dial landline phones all over the globe for incredibly cheap phone rates. Calls to mobile phones can be made as well, but outside of the US and Canada, calls to mobile phones elsewhere costs a little more than calling a landline.
Well now that Skype has officially made their debut on the iPhone and iPod Touch, now there’s another avenue for making calls from these devices. In the case of the iPod Touch (2nd Generation only due to the 1st Generation not having microphone support) it brings the ability to make phone calls over a Wi-Fi network to a device not designed to make calls. I decided to pick up one of Apple’s headphones with a built in microphone that’s supports the recording ability the iPod Touch supports and give it a try.
Continue reading Skype Debuts On The iPhone and iPod Touch
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