Tag Archives: Apple

AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Leaves Me Annoyed

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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Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina

If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland, Oregon area, or happen to have an Internet connection (which I suspect you might if you’re reading this) then you had the opportunity on Thursday May, 6th, 2010 to tune into the Paula’s Picks program on KBOO FM during her program and hear her present “You Have To Be There” performed by Helen Sjöholm from the musical “Kristina.” “You Have To Be There” is written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Paula Small is a friend of mine that I went to high school with and she moved to Portland and one of the fun things she does out there is host a radio program on the first and third Thursdays of every month for KBOO.

The last time I saw Paula was when she was back in town to visit some family at the end of 2008, so I took Paula to see the Xanadu production at the La Jolla Playhouse, and when I saw her online on Facebook and I said hello using the chat feature of Facebook, we ended up discussing some music. I was so excited about the live album “Kristina At Carnegie Hall” coming out and I’d just gotten it in, I sent her “You Have To Be There” to share my excitement about the show. Paula really liked the song and we both commented about how it starts out similar to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” but ends up being a much more powerful song. Paula thought it might make a great addition to her show the following night.

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Add A New Element Of Fun To Disneyland With Wishing Stars

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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Words With Friends Taking Mobile Scrabble To New Heights

One of the things I think that was inevitable was being told about Words With Friends. I was initially told about this Scrabble like game for the iPhone and iPod Touch through a few friends, but soon it was taking over the iPhone owners at work too. There’s no escaping Words With Friends. No doubt this due to the fact that Apple’s iTunes App Store carries both a paid and free version of the software, so there’s no excuse to not try it.

I consider Scrabble one of my least favorite games, as it was always one that my Dad liked to play. As a young child who loved games, I quickly grew to hate Scrabble as my young vocabulary never had a chance in hell of beating my Dad because he would never play it so that there was ever a chance I could win. While I’m sure some Scrabble grand masters would wipe the floor with my Dad, at such a young age I grew annoyed and frustrated that he’s never sacrifice a few top scoring words for the sake of giving the impression that he could be beaten or even sacrificing a game or two here and there to give a little victory and ensure those around him would still be willing to play with him. So I was a reluctant player drawn into Words With Friends due to this mostly hateful relationship I had with the game of Scrabble over the years, sure my vocabulary is greater than it once was, but I am no where near the type of player who truly masters the game with high scoring unusual words that only Scrabble grand masters know.

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Press Your Luck Comes To The iPhone and iPod Touch

Press Your Luck was one of my favorite game shows from the early 1980’s. As a child I loved all the game shows of the period but one of the ones that always stood out was the short lived Press Your Luck with it’s host Peter Tomarkin. My brother and I used to enjoy the show, probably more for the Whammies than the actual game, as we were kids at the time. We loved to see the contestants hit a Whammy and have their money taken away so we could see one of the animated Whammy graphics come on and make the money disappear. They had so many wonderfully creative ones from ones that blew up a little dynamite detonator, to Whammies dressed like Boy George and the Beatles coming in to sing a little line from a tune before taking the money away. I also loved the sound effect from when the Whammy was hit, it just sounded like a dramatic electronic “Uh-oh.”

The game consisted of a round of questions where three players compete for the right to spin on the big board and earn cash and prizes, then a round of playing the spins followed by one more round of questions and then a final round of spins on the big board. The winner at the end of the game was the player who collected the most money in cash and prizes. Part of the strategy for the big board was to spin a few times to collect enough cash and prizes then to pass on the remaining spins to another player who would have to play those spins in the hope that the passed spins would force that player to hit a Whammy to steal their cash and prizes. It was a fun and high energy show that got quite competitive and a player could hit three whammies and stay in the game. A fourth Whammy eliminated them from the game.

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Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

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.

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Playing Scrabble With Words With Friends

My good friend Dan Baggett introduced me to a new iPhone/iPod Application called “Words With Friends” by NewToy, Inc. which is a game very much like Scrabble. It’s a crossword game using tiles except I’m sure to legally not infringe upon Scrabble’s copyright, all the spots for Double and Triple letter scores and Double and Triple word scores are in different spots than a traditional Scrabble board. Also the board doesn’t seem to have as many squares as a regular Scrabble board. I’ve not been a big enthusiast of Scrabble so I don’t know if the number of tiles and point values on the tiles are the same or not.

The game can only be a two player game and allows for two ways to play, it can be played on one iPhone or iPod Touch through “Pass and Play” mode or it can be remotely played with someone on another device in what is described as “asynchronous” online game play or “correspondence” play where the players play the game at their convenience, they do not have to be playing the game at the same time in order to play. There are several options on how to play with someone remotely, you can create a game to play with someone on your contact list (I’m not sure how this one works but I would imagine it sends that person an invitation to download the application.) Next, you can search for specific players by user name, which has been how I’ve played with my friends, you just enter their chosen user name and it establishes a game with that person. Lastly, you can also start a game with a random person as well by allowing the application to find you an opponent.

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You Sank My Battleship On The iPhone

Milton Bradley’s (though now made by Hasbro) classic board game “Battleship” makes it’s way to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Battleship was a game my brother and used to play as kids. I enjoyed the game but after having played the Electronic Battleship at a friend’s house I wanted one of those. In the electronic version the positions of the ships had to be programmed in and then when the game was played, you’d enter the grid location you wanted to strike and then pressed a fire button which would play a sound effect of a missile firing and if you actually hit something then you would hea and explosion and see a panel light up with a little red light to indicate a hit.

Many years later when hand held electronics were becoming quite popular, I bought several of the games including, Yahtzee, Connect Four, Battleship, Mastermind, and several game show games. It was handy in the bring with you and play on trips or have handy. Ultimately, the one I ended up carrying around the most was the Yahtzee game, but Battleship was probably my second favorite of the bunch. It could be played as a one player game or a two player game, but also had the fun of the sound effects of the missile launch and the hit which could be turned off if you wanted to play it in a quiet place. But they ended up being bulky to carry around as single application games. So they tend to sit in a box not being played.

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Family Feud Comes To The iPhone App Store

If there’s one thing I could say about my childhood, it’s that I was a Game Show junkie. I loved to watch hours of game shows. I loved the thought of people competing for cash and prizes on the various television shows. I loved nearly all of them from the more luck based ones like “Let’s Make A Deal”, “High Rollers”, and “Card Sharks” to the ones where you actually had to know something, like “Jeopardy!”, “$25,000 Pyramid”, “Super Password.” In high school, I even tried out for a teen tournament version of Jeopardy! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it on.

I also used to get all the home game versions of all my favorite shows, and then eventually bought them as computer games when those started to surface, and then when digital handheld versions became popular, I bought those too. Now the latest incarnations are applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. These are probably my favorite versions as I have my iPhone with me all the time and there’s no mess or clean up like the old home game versions. Not to mention, no bulky boxes to store the games when they’re not in use.

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The Big Carl Is Quite Awesome – Belly Fat Cure Compliant If Customized

Big CarlWhen McDonald’s started selling Angus One-Third Pound Burgers, it took a page from West Coast burger chain, Carl’s Jr, which introduced sit-down restaurant style burgers a few years ago under the name “The Six Dollar Burger” which they were selling for $3.99. So in response to McDonald’s introduction of similar premium burgers, Carl’s Jr decided to take on McDonald’s head on by introducing their own version of the Big Mac called “The Big Carl.”

The Big Carl takes on the Big Mac, blatantly with a lot of the advertising for it offering side by side comparisons to the Big Mac, some done humorously as if the burgers were talking to each other (think the Apple commercials with Mac vs. Windows except instead of two actors, it’s just closeups of the burgers with voiceovers.) And others use Carl’s Jr.’s more signature sarcastically toned humor as seen in the commercial below which compares the burgers with a take on the old Big Mac song. I particularly like Carl’s more sarcastically toned commercials ever since they introduced a campaign showcasing a guy looking clueless in a supermarket with the slogan, “Without us, some guys would starve.”

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