Friday, December 13, 2013

Analyzing The Verge's The Fifty

Taking a look at The Verge's 50 people of 2013 leads to few interesting results. For instance only three of the top eight were born in the United States. Yet later on, the list takes a much more American-centric feel with 68% of the full list being born in the USA (see chart below).
Yet the list also includes a large number of odd choices. For instance the list includes Alexa O’Brien instead of Bradley Manning, Rian Johnson instead of Vince Gilligan, Tig Notaro instead of Louis CK, and Janelle Monáe over Taylor Swift (or Ella Yelich-O’Connor). Meanwhile the list is full of far too many TV writers, while the only politician is best know for using a filibuster to delay a law that was still passed two weeks later. Also considering the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Jony Ive, and Marissa Mayer to be part of "The Old Guard" is laughably out of touch.

And why are we still talking about Pussy Riot? If you want to include a musician attacked for their beliefs it would be far more relevant to select someone like Fazıl Say.

So the list certainly has a number of glaring flaws, but it is certainly interesting who The Verge finds worth writing about especially as this tech site choose to exclude the likes of Tim Cook, Lee Kun-hee, and Alex Kipman.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sabres pick odd time to remove Darcy

After 17 years as GM, Darcy Regier has not been too popular in Buffalo over the last few seasons, and probably should have been released a while ago. That said, the fact that he was fired last night makes no sense at all, and is some rather terrible timing. Regier's weakness as a GM, has been his inability to keep talented players in Buffalo (Drury, Pominville) and his overpaying of ineffective players (Leino). His strength, on the other hand is his ability to draft well (Vanek, Myers, Miller).

Given the team's current position of having almost no veterans left to resign and a whole pile of great draft picks to use, the timing to remove Darcy now is a bit unfortunate. Long term it is the right move, but had it been up to me I would have kept him around for one more summer...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best Movies of 2011


  1. I Am Number Four - Based on a book that I didn't read, but I am eagerly anticipating the sequal

  2. Super 8 - Can't go wrong with Abrams and Spielberg. Like a cross between Cloverfield and ET (but better)

  3. Limitless - A very cool movie, with a very cool ending

  4. Thor - Despite being a comic book adaption, it is actually pretty good

  5. Win Win - A more obscure film, but good. It has been 7 years since I was on the wrestling team myself

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Where I was in October


Where I spent the month of October by city. Units are in days, with the city for each day determined by where I ate dinner.

Rochester lead with 58% of my days in the month. San Fransisco was second with 13%, while Seattle and Buffalo were tied for third place with 3 days each.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Open letter to Switchfoot


Hey Switchfoot,

Thanks for mailing your new album Vice Verses to me. The songs (as always) are awesome. But I do have one complaint.

That would be the 25 minutes that it took me to actually get the CD out of the packaging. Was the album worth the wait? Definitely. But that doesn't explain why it was harder to get into then a bottle of prescription drugs. Is a tamper proof seal really necessary? Even thought the majority of the text on the actual CD is boiler plate legalese, Vice Verses is not in fact actually a controlled substance.

I understand that this is actually supposed to be in place for theft deterrent, but given that I pre-paid for the album, and you then shipped it directly to my house, I am a little fuzzy on where along the way you expected the disk to get jacked. Never mind that someone could still just swipe the whole package, sure it would have resulted in the thief being frustrated (as I was), but I am not sure how that would have helped you or me. Even if this was being stocked in a store, and someone wanted the contents of the CD without having to pay, there are far easier ways to do that which do not even require you to leave your house.

So again, thanks for a great album. The songs are solid from the start to the end (especially that last song). But next time could you give me the chance to buy the album in a way that I can open it without almost stabbing myself?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Past year of BlackBerry OS usage

Originally posted at news.ebscer.com

The number of BlackBerry phones running OS 6.0 has increased to 25.2% of the market last month. While 84.0% of BlackBerrys now run OS 5.0 or higher.

Eight months after the release of OS 5.0 it had already captured over twice the market, while OS 6.0 is only doing half as well at the eight month mark. Overall adoption of the newer OS is mostly being held back by the limited number of upgrades from devices that originally were released with 5.0 operating systems. Given the lack of an upgrade path, it would be expected to see a similarly slow uptake of OS 7.0 when it is released this summer. (Although 7.0 will be helped some by being available on all the major US carriers at launch).

As usual this data is taken from downloads of the popular BlackBerry strategy game Pixelated. Data starts from the release of version 2.0 in April of 2010, and goes through the end of last month.

Labels:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The making of a Salad

BroccoliCeleryEdamameJalapenoGreen Bell PepperAll of the Green ingredientsCarrotsOnionParmigiano-Reggiano cheeseAppleBlack PepperDried Red Bell Pepper and GarlicCheddar CheeseCroutonsFull Salad

Saturday, January 15, 2011

BlackBerry Statistics

All BlackBerry related posts are still being posted at news.ebscer.com including those on related to BlackBerry OS Statistics.

In particular a recent article showed the changes in BlackBerry OS usage over time. The main chart for this is posted below.

Labels:

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

news.ebscer.com

All BlackBerry related news posts are now at news.ebscer.com and will no longer be showing up here. Recent articles include:
Thank you to everyone for your support and please continue to follow all BlackBerry related developments at news.ebscer.com

Labels:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Pixelated Plus 2.3 adds new features

Pixelated Plus has now been updated in BlackBerry AppWorld to version 2.3. Pixelated Plus is the most popular Strategy game in BlackBerry AppWorld, and now adds a number of brand new features.

Alternate Colour Schemes

Version 2.3 of Pixelated introduces alternate colour schemes to mix up the appearance of the game. Besides the standard colour scheme that has been available all along, there is now also the possibility of selecting a pastel theme, an "other" theme (pictured above), a Black & White theme, as well as all red, and all blue themes.

Replay Games

Replay Pixelated PlusA new feature exclusive to the Plus version of Pixelated is the ability to replay games. Now following the conclusion of a game (win or loss), along with seeing the outcome of the previous game, an opportunity to replay the same layout over again will be presented. This will allow you to take another try at a screen that you are unable to beat, or to try and get a better score then you just posted.

Clear Statistics

Inside the statistics, best scores, and achievements pages there is now a menu option to clear all statistics, best scores, and achievements that you have earned so far. Be careful, however, because this can not be undone.

BlackBerry Torch Support

Pixelated Plus version 2.3 supports the brand new BlackBerry Torch 9800. On the Torch Pixelated can be played by both the touch screen and the trackpad. The soon to be released BlackBerry Curve 9300 will also be supported.

Pixelated Plus requires a minimum of OS 4.6 considering that is met the 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 8910, 9000, 9100, 9105, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, 9700, and 9800 are all supported.

Links

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Twinkle for BlackBerry

Twinkle a free Application for BlackBerry is now available through BlackBerry AppWorld. Twinkle is a simple application that allows you to set and keep track of upcoming and past events. Twinkle will tell you how far away an event is, and allow you to add it to your BlackBerry's calendar.


The ability to add and edit events, lets you keep track of how soon something is, or how long it has been.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pixelated Plus updated to Version 2.2

Pixelated Plus has been updated to version 2.2. This newest version improves the performance of the application. Additionally the file size has been reduced by 11.2% from version 2.1 of this already lean application.

The object of Pixelated is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner to that of those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to clear the screen in as few moves as possible.

The full list of supported devices for Pixelated Plus includes the 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9100, 9105, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, and 9700 (min OS 4.6).

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pixelated for Pearl 9100 and 9105

Pixelated and Pixelated Plus have both been upgraded to version 2.1 adding support for the new BlackBerry Pearl 9100 and 9105.

This version also adds an internal link for email support, as well as a few bugfixes.

The full list of supported devices for Pixelated and Pixelated Plus now include the 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9100, 9105, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, and 9700 (min OS 4.6).

The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner to that of those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to clear the screen in as few moves as possible.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 09, 2010

10,000 Farkle Version1.1

10,000 Farkle has been updated to version 1.1 adding some new features. 10,000 Farkle is a dice game that requires both skill and luck. Points are awarded for various dice combinations, but if a roll fails to contain any combinations the turn ends with no points awarded.

New to 10,000 Farkle are in game achievements, backup/synchronization, smoother animation, and the option to turn animation on and off.

Smoother Animation

Version 1.1 of 10,000 Farkle smooths out the animation of the dice rolling to give the game a better flow.

Achievements

New to version 1.1 are in game achievements. They can be an easy way to track your progress through the game, and to show off your accomplishments to others.

Backup/Synchronization

10,000 Farkle now offers backup/restore synchronization through BlackBerry Desktop Manager. This allows you to back up your settings, achievements, and high scores to your computer and to allow them to be kept if your BlackBerry needs to be reset or if you upgrade to a new model.

How to play

Farkle gives you six dice to roll and awards points for a straight, three pairs or three or more of the same number. Fewer points ares also awarded for each individual 1 and 5. Any dice that do not score can be re-rolled for additional points. If all 6 dice can be scored, all of the dice can be re-rolled on the same turn.

The skill in this game comes from knowing how far to push your luck, and which scoring combinations to take, and which to re-roll.

The default game mode gives you 10 turns to score as many points as you can. The 10,000 point mode is the traditional way to play, where the goal is to reach 10,000 points in as few turns as possible. The two competitive game modes "vs Friend" and "vs Computer" both use the traditional race to 10,000 points.

Supported Devices


10,000 Farkle requires a minimum OS of 4.6 and supports the 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, and 9700.

More Information




Video Demonstration


Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pixelated adds support for Bold and Curve with Version 2.0

The free game Pixelated, one of the ten most popular games in BlackBerry AppWorld, and currently the fourth ranking free application has been upgraded to version 2.0. This new version adds support for the BlackBerry Curve and Bold so that the application now supports almost all devices. The full list of supported devices now includes 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, 9700 (min OS 4.6).

The new version of the application also adds a number of new features, including such as an Achievement system, and the ability to backup/synchronize game settings.

Greater Device support

All versions of the BlackBerry Curve and Bold are now supported, in addition to the devices that already were. This brings the full list of supported devices to the following: 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, and 9700. The game will also support the 9650 when it launches.

Achievements

In game achievements can be an easy way to track your progress through the game, and to show off your accomplishments to others.

Synchronization

Pixelated Plus now offers backup/restore synchronization through BlackBerry Desktop Manager. This allows you to back up your settings and achievements to your computer and to allow them to be kept if your operating system needs to be reset or upgraded.

Interface Improvements

Parts of the interface have been upgraded for a better and easier experience. Additionally theme support has been greatly expanded so that Pixelated now works with a greater number of custom themes.

Download from BlackBerry AppWorld

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pixelated Plus Version 2.0

Pixelated Plus Version 2.0 is now available for download from BlackBerry AppWorld. This version comes with a number of improvements ranging from greater device support to achievements and synchronization, to the much requested move counter.

Move Counter

A move counter has been by far one of the most requested enhancements to Pixelated. While it has no effect on the gameplay it can help you know how well the current game is going so you can better manage your moves. The move counter can be turned on from the options menu.

Greater Device support

All versions of the BlackBerry Curve and Bold are now supported, in addition to the devices that already were. This brings the full list of supported devices to the following: 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, and 9700. The game will also support the 9650 when it launches.

Achievements

In game achievements can be an easy way to track your progress through the game, and to show off your accomplishments to others. While Version 2.0 will keep any best scores and statistics earned in early versions of the game, all achievements must be earned after the upgrade to version 2.0

Synchronization

Pixelated Plus now offers backup/restore synchronization through BlackBerry Desktop Manager. This allows you to back up your settings and statistics to your computer and to allow them to be kept if your operating system needs to be reset or upgraded.

Interface Improvements

Parts of the interface have been upgraded for a better and easier experience. Additionally theme support has been greatly expanded so that Pixelated now works with a greater number of custom themes.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Slow OS 5.0 adoption rate

The adoption rate for BlackBerry OS 5.0 continues to be slower than expected. When first looked at one month after release 61% of 9530 users had upgraded to OS 5.0.

An update to this study shows that the adoption of OS 5.0 is now up to 73%.

Still more than 1 in 4 users have still not updated to the newer OS, and at this point seem unlikely to do so.

Labels:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Future BlackBerry Browser scores 100/100 on the Acid3 test

Today Research in Motion showed a preview of their upcoming Webkit based browser which at the end scores a 100/100 on the Acid3 test. Video demo below.



BlackBerry has come along way in regards to the Acid3 test in a short amount of time. When I first looked at the BlackBerry's performance on the Acid3 test 9 and a half months ago it only scored a 54/100. Then along with the release of OS 5.0 just 4 months ago BlackBerry improved to 91/100 on the Acid3 test. It has since improved so that it now scores a 93/100.

Now it looks as if they have aced the test, and even more importantly is the speed at which it passes. Currently it takes over a minute to get to the full score, the speed in the video is much quicker than that. Overall javascript speed in the browser looks to be much improved, as well as pan/zoom speeds. Overall it looks to be a great improvement coming to the BlackBerry Browser, and hopefully will be released soon.

Labels:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

OS 5.0 on the BlackBerry Curve 8330

A few models of the BlackBerry Curve 8330 are now being upgraded to operating system 5.0 which will make them compatible with the Hockey Scores and 10,000 Farkle applications. As this is older hardware, the applications may run a bit slower, but we are still happy to add compatibility for these very popular devices.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hockey Scores updated to Version 1.6


Hockey Scores for Blackberry has been upgraded to version 1.6 for all supported devices, and is now available for free through BlackBerry AppWorld.

The Hockey Scores app that is the simplest and most effective way to get NHL scores from across the league straight to your BlackBerry. It is lightweight and fast in order to give you scores and statistics can be updated as quick as possible, and require no effort your part.

Version 1.6 of Hockey Scores is supported on all BlackBerry Devices with OS 4.6 or newer. This makes the upgrade available to everyone who previously used version 1.3 or 1.5 of the application. The full list of supported devices at this point include the 8220, 8230, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, and 9700.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10,000 Farkle released for BlackBerry

10,000 Farkle is a dice game that requires both skill and luck. Points are awarded for various dice combinations, but if a roll fails to contain any combinations the turn ends with no points awarded.

4 Game Modes
-10 Turns
-10,000 points
-local pvp
-vs cpu

10,000 Farkle is available for the BlackBerry Storm, Tour, Bold, and all versions of the Curve with at least OS 4.6. The full list of supported devices are the 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, and 9700.

Farkle gives you six dice to roll and awards points for a straight, three pairs or three or more of the same number. Fewer points ares also awarded for each individual 1 and 5. Any dice that do not score can be re-rolled for additional points. If all 6 dice can be scored, all of the dice can be re-rolled on the same turn.

The skill in this game comes from knowing how far to push your luck, and which scoring combinations to take, and which to re-roll.

The default game mode gives you 10 turns to score as many points as you can. The 10,000 point mode is the traditional way to play, where the goal is to reach 10,000 points in as few turns as possible. The two competitive game modes "vs Friend" and "vs Computer" both use the traditional race to 10,000 points.



Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hockey Scores for BlackBerry updated to Version 1.5


Hockey Scores for Blackberry has been upgraded to version 1.5 for all supported devices, and is now available for free through BlackBerry AppWorld. In addition to resolving the issue the caused the service to temporally go down, a number of new features were added improving the battery life and providing additional game statistics.

The Hockey Scores app that is the simplest and most effective way to get NHL scores from across the league straight to your BlackBerry. It is lightweight and fast in order to give you scores and statistics can be updated as quick as possible, and require no effort your part.

New Features

  • Improved Battery Life
  • Face Off Percentage
  • Hits
  • Corsi Number
  • List of Goal Scorers
  • French Language Support
  • Font and Colour options

Supported Devices

Version 1.5 of Hockey Scores is supported on all BlackBerry Devices with OS 4.6 or newer. This makes the upgrade available to everyone who used version 1.3 of the application. The full list of supported devices at this point include the 8220, 8230, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, and 9700.

Corsi Number

Unlike Hits and Shots on Net, Corsi Number is a bit of a more unknown statistic and could use some additional explanation. In short it is a measure of how much offensive possession a team has. The Corsi Number is named after Buffalo Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi who helped popularize the statistic. The Corsi Number is calculated as the differential in shots, including not just shots on net, but also missed shots, and attempts blocked. This can be calculated for either individual players or the for the team as a whole. The Hockey Scores application calculates this for the team, and also displays a "-" rather than any negative Corsi number in order to avoid overstating the difference between the two teams, as technically one team's Corsi number is always the inverse of the other team's.

Pearl Flip note

The Peral Flip version of Hockey Scores for the BlackBerry 8220 and 8230 does not display the goal scorers due to limitations in the screen size. All other statistics and options are however included.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

BlackBerry OS 5.0 adoption rates

On October 26th Verizon made OS 5.0 officially available for the Storm 9530. Simply having the a newer and better operating system available however does not mean that people will actually use it.

Given that we had a large amount of data available from users who downloaded the popular Pixelated application, this was used to analyze the uptake of OS 5.0 among this population.

A few notes on the sample set. Only Verizon customers using the original storm 9530 were looked at so that different roll out dates from other carriers would not affect the data. OS 5.0 had already been out a full work week before the start of this data to give a reasonable amount of time for those who wanted to upgrade to have that opportunity. Pixelated had already been available for the Storm for awhile at this point so these numbers are not skewed towards early adapters nor are the numbers skewed towards those that don't know how to use their phones as all, as this population has gone and downloaded a third party application. Data from the beginning of the month and the end of the month were treated the same.

The findings showed an OS 5.0 adoption rate of 61% on the BlackBerry 9530 over the month of November. While this is well over half, given the many noticeable improvements on OS 5.0 it is surprising to see the number of users still on 4.7

Labels:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hockey Scores BlackBerry App


Now available for free in BlackBerry App World is the Hockey Scores app that is the quickest and most effective way to get NHL scores from across the league straight to your phone.

This is done in a simple and efficient way so that the scores can be updated as quick as possible, and require no effort your part.

The application is now available through BlackBerry AppWorld and supports most devices running OS 4.6 or newer. Supported devices include the Pearl Flip, Bold, Tour, Storm, and most Curve models. The full list of supported devices include the 8220, 8230, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9700

BlackBerry App World - Hockey Scores

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pixelated Updates in App World to version 1.2

Pixelated, a simplified but free version of Pixelated Plus has now been updated to version 1.2 in BlackBerry's App World.

This update expands the number of supported BlackBerries to include the 8900 Curve, the 9700 Bold, the 9630 Tour, and the 9500, 9520, 9530, and 9550 Storm.

Pixelated is a game of colour in which the object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

While Pixelated lacks some of the advanced features found in Pixelated Plus, such as stat tracking and additional playing modes, Pixelated is still a fully functioning game with no limits on it's game play.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pixelated Plus adds support for the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9700

Pixelated Plus, one of the top rated puzzle games for the BlackBerry Storm and Tour, is now also available for the BlackBerry 8900 Curve and the upcoming Bold 9700.

Pixelated Plus is a game of Colour and Strategy. The newly released version 1.2 adds support for the 9700 and 8900. This update now displays the instructions when it is run for the first time and also addresses some font issues.

About Pixelated Plus. The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

The game has two grid sizes for varying the strategy of play. Win/loss percentages are calculated for all difficulty types and grid sizes, as well as for the all time best scores.

OTA AppWorld Link

AppWorld website

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pixelated Plus adds support for the BlackBerry Tour 9630

Pixelated Plus, one of the top rated puzzle games for the BlackBerry Storm, is now available for the BlackBerry Tour as well.

Pixelated Plus is a game of Colour and Strategy. The newly released version 1.1 adds support for the 9630 and also addresses an issue with large font sizes.

About Pixelated Plus. The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

The game has two grid sizes for varying the strategy of play. Win/loss percentages are calculated for all difficulty types and grid sizes, as well as for the all time best scores.

OTA AppWorld Link

AppWorld website

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pixelated releases in BlackBerry App World

Pixelated, a simplified but free version of Pixelated Plus, is now available through BlackBerry's App World.

Pixelated is a game of colour in which the object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

While Pixelated lacks some of the advanced features found in Pixelated Plus, such as stat tracking and additional playing modes, Pixelated is still a fully functioning game with no limits on it's game play.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pixelated Plus


Pixelated Plus is a game of Colour.

The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

The game has two grid sizes for varying the strategy of play. Win/loss percentages are calculated for all difficulty types and grid sizes, as well as for the all time best scores.

OTA download.

Labels: ,