Three Things Thursday: Google Maps are BACK! And some other stuff.

Maps App for iPhone Steers Right (via The New York Times)

This piece of news has restored my faith in humanity and has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, the world won’t end next Friday. I know this seems a bit dramatic, but if you know me personally, you know that I have very little sense of direction.

Life without Google Maps has actually been a bit of a nightmare. The MapQuest app was alright, but definitely more useful for people who you know, drive. Not people who rely on public transit and their own two feet to get around like me.

I just downloaded it right before I started writing this post and am checking it out for the first time. The article I’m citing is right. It’s fast, it has a clean design, and has more options than it did before. You really need to check it out for yourself to believe it – it’s everything we’ve been missing, and more.

After Instagram Breakup, Twitter Adds Photo Editing and Filters (via Wired)

You can no longer embed Instagram photos into your Tweets in a move from Twitter this week. (You can still click the link to see the image, but it won’t open up for you in your feed like it did before). With more and more people using mobile for, well, everything, this is going to be kind of a pain.

For me personally, I don’t send photos from Instagram to my Twitter feed all that often. I tend to use it as its own channel. However, I am curious to know what the typical consumer behavior is and how this is going to impact Instagram and Twitter usage.

To try to fill the void in our filter-loving hearts, Twitter has added a photo editing tool.

Twitter Filters

Photo via Wired

I haven’t tried it out yet, but it was definitely a smart move on their part.

Facebook Shows You Your Year in Review (via Mashable)

Everyone is having the end of the year (and possibly the world) craze, and Facebook jumped right on board with that. Yesterday I noticed a 2012 Year in Review option on my Facebook profile. Naturally, I checked it out.

Year in reviewIt was pretty cool. Definitely worth checking out.

Five Things Friday

This is a new series I’m doing on my blog inspired by City Year New York’s blog. It’s called Five Things Friday and it means that every Friday I am going to write about five things that have either directly happened in my life, I’ve found interesting on the news, or pretty much anything else I feel like writing because hey, it’s my damn blog so I can do what I want!

Here goes…

1. Apple Cares

So I’ve been having issues with my Mac just shutting off on me and it has been stressing me out a lot because I’ve been working on a couple important projects for work. Since I have Apple Care, I took it into the Apple store for a date with a barista on Valentine’s Day. While my battery didn’t “qualify” for a free replacement, the (super awesome) barista decided to replace it anyway. Not only that, but they replaced my keyboard because there was a chip in it due to a design flaw. And they did it all in about 20 minutes. Best Valentine’s Day present ever.

2. No Hot Water, I Cry

We haven’t had hot water at my apartment complex since Saturday. I never knew how much not having access to hot water would affect me emotionally. I literally broke down and cried when I got home last night and not only didn’t have hot water, but not even the cold water would work in the shower. I haven’t showered in a few days and it is really getting to me. I honestly can’t take it anymore. Thankfully they are supposed to replace the boiler today. If they don’t, I’m seriously going to freak out.

3. AmeriCorps Funding Threat

As most of you know, I have been an AmeriCorps member since I graduated from college. The experiences I have had serving in AmeriCorps has forever changed my life.  Unfortunately, the Republican party is proposing to slash AmeriCorps from the budget. I encourage you to read this article about why AmeriCorps deserves to be saved. If you agree, please sign this petition and help keep this incredible program going strong.

4. Lil Kim’s Tasteless Album Cover

I don’t really understand the beef between Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj but it is getting a little out of hand for my taste. First there were songs about them pissing on each other and now Lil Kim’s album cover is an artistic rendering of her murdering Minaj, complete with a dead body and a pink haired head that is clearly detached from the body. I don’t even want to honor it by putting it on my blog, but you can see it if you click the link above. She’s going way above and beyond to try to stay relevant. Sorry Lil Kim, you had your time to shine. Stop trying to relive your glory days by tearing other people down.

5. 2011 State of the City Address

Last night I attended San José Mayor Chuck Reed’s State of the City Address. While the radio personalities who were emceeing the event were painfully lame, the Mayor’s speech really hit home. In San José we have a real problem with the high costs of pension plans for city employees (particularly fire fighters and police officers). While it is highly unpopular with the unions, Reed is determined to do a fiscal overhaul of the pension plan system, which will help balance the budget and will make it so the city doesn’t have to continue cutting much needed services. While he didn’t address the recent spike in gang murders, it was an informative and inspirational speech and I trust that he will do what is best for San José.

Hope you enjoyed the first edition of Five Things Friday! Let me know what you think!

The moment Verizon users have been waiting for…

The coveted i-phone will finally now be available for Verizon users starting in February.

The day I’ve been painstakingly waiting for the past four years is finally here.

Today, Verizon and Apple announced that the i-phone is going to be made available on the Verizon network.

My AT&T friends who have had the i-phone for years have been ripping on me as I still clutch onto my blackberry while they are playing Angry Birds. (As if I need something else to be addicted to). But my blackberry has served me well, despite the “uncoolness” factor it brings.

I could have switched to AT&T and gotten the i-phone a long time ago, but I didn’t. There are many reasons for that. The main reason is my parents still pay for my Verizon bill (yeah, I know… I need to cut the cord) so it would have been costly to me to make the switch.

Also, I have really enjoyed Verizon. The vast majority of my friends use it so I don’t have to worry about going over on my minutes or sending one too many text messages. That, and I’ve heard horror stories from people about the service they receive with AT&T. Not really in the mood to deal with false signal readings and dropped calls.

Now, not everyone I know has had issues with AT&T. But with all of the great luck I’ve had with Verizon, I didn’t see a need to make the switch.

But before me and all of my Verizon friends run to the Apple or Verizon store to finally welcome ourselves into the 21st Century, we may want to hold off. I’ve been hearing plenty of rumors from some pretty reliable sources that there will be a new i-phone model coming out in June.

And while I would love to get the i-phone ASAP, I don’t want to be kicking myself for not waiting another measly six months for a better phone. I’ve already waited four years… a few more months won’t kill me.

Verizon users – are you going to get the i-phone?

And more importantly, AT&T users – do you plan on switching to Verizon?