Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from the team at 1337pwn.com!

iNXES Update Still "In Review"

We submitted our 1337pwn.com iNXES update to the AppStore more than a week ago and we're still waiting for approval. Apple has indicated that they have reduced staffed over the holiday and AppStore updates, etc would be slower. We hope that they can turn around approval quickly and get it up on the store. We will keep you posted. Thank you for your support and patience.

Plus, a big thank you to the AppStore team that got stuck working over the holidays!

Happy New Year and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Android

We've been working on development with the emulator for a couple of months trying out ideas, etc. Now that I have Android hardware in my hand, I find myself getting a feel for the whole Android vibe. It's rubbing off on the team as we work to make the 1337pwn.com Android Marketplace application something special.

Is it an iPhone killer? No, it's not. It is a unique device in its own right with a whole bunch of interesting features, but for me, it won't be replacing my trusty iPhone. It will be seeing plenty of action as a second "recreational" phone... development phone. We'll keep you posted.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Waiting for Approval

We submitted our 1337pwn.com iNXES XBOX Live Friends List 1.1 update to the AppStore last Monday and it's still pending approval on Apple's side. It's taken a little longer than expected as the AppStore backend was being updated from Dec 24-27th. Sunday was the first day that the developer services were back in action. With services restored, we hope that the performance update will be approved by them shortly.

UPDATE:
I just got an email from Apple indicating that AppStore activities are moving slowly as they will be short staffed through January 5th. Hopefully, iNXES 1.1 gets approved sooner than that. We will keep you posted.

Thank you for your patience and support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday

Like many of you, the 1337pwn.com team is enjoying the post-holiday decompression with a little gaming action. For me, it's been a mix of Halo 3 Team Swat, Geometry Wars 2, and an opportunity to spend more time with Fallout 3. Later tonight, Left 4 Dead is on the agenda with MonstroCromo and a cast of the usual suspects.


Of course, it hasn't been entirely fun and games. We like to mix gaming with a healthy amount of coding. On that note, I got a finally shipment confirmation that my Android G1 is on its way. Woot!


Thank you for all of your support and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

The gamers behind 1337pwn.com want to wish you and yours a safe and wonderful holiday season. If you see my gamertag, borocouncilman, online, send me a text message and we can party up.

Thank you all for your support and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, December 22, 2008

1337pwn.com iNXES 1.1 has been submitted to the AppStore

The first update for the 1337pwn.com iNXES application has been submitted to the AppStore. With this release, we have focused on performance and user improvements. The result is much faster and more responsive application. The performance improvement will be startling if you are accustomed to 1.0.

With this performance improvement, smooth scrolling is now supported. You can use your finger to smoothly browse anything displayed on screen. Tapping on a panel will now quickly bring it to the foreground.

The updated application will hopefully appear in the AppStore within a couple of days (see update 2). With v1.1 completed, we are now focusing on the integration of new requested features for v1.2.

UPDATE: And, yes, the performance improvement is jaw dropping.

UPDATE 2: We're still waiting on AppStore approval for the update. Apple has acknowledged that they have reduced staff over the holidays. Hopefully, they will post it soon.

Thanks again for all of your support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Readying iNXES v1.1 for Release

Very shortly, we will be submitting the v1.1 update for the 1337pwn.com iNXES XBOX Live Friends application to the AppStore. The update brings with it markedly better UI performance/framerate with smooth scrolling of panels in all views. With the code changes completed, we're running through regression testing and excited to get it out there to the user community. We're pretty stoked about the improvements.

UPDATE:
I spent Sunday hunting down a nasty stack crash bug -- brutal stuff, but diagnosed and solved! The remainder of the evening will be running through testing and adding some usability odds/ends.

Thank you for all of your feedback/support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

iNXES Week 1

It's now been a week since our 1337pwn.com iNXES XBOX Live friend list hit the AppStore. I wanted to take a few moments to thank everyone for the terrific feedback and support. As always, we're working to make our applications even better. It's been a fun week!

The iNXES application climbed to the #5 spot of top FREE Social Networking apps this week. The AppStore offerings that are rated higher include FaceBook, MySpace, and AIM. We don't expect the 1337pwn.com application to crack that ceiling, but it's certainly good company.

On the development side, with 1.1, we've improved performance and taking care of some optimization. Testing has gone very well. After we get that deployed, we will get to work on 1.2. Of course, we'll post progress to the blog.

Thank you!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

iNXES v1.1

Work continues on the upcoming v1.1 update of iNXES. The point-release includes performance and code optimization along with some functional tweaks. If there's anything you'd like to see in v1.1 or perhaps another release, leave a comment below or send an XBOX Live message to borocouncilman.

Thank you for all of your support and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, December 15, 2008

iNXES lands in TOP 10 Social Networking Application

The 1337pwn.com iNXES XBOX Live Friends List has landed in the TOP 10 list of AppStore applications. We want to thank everyone for their support! We are currently working on a 1.1 update that will be submitted to the AppStore soon. It takes user feedback into consideration and includes a few performance improvements.


Be sure to check out the "READ ME" in the application as it contains answers to common questions. It's updated frequently as we've been providing user support.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

iNXES Day 1

With several thousand downloads, 1337pwn.com iNXES is already at #31 on the chart of free Social Networking applications in iTunes AppStore. We did that volume in less than a day and that's with general availability hitting around 2PM ET.

Our servers have been seeing a lot of action today, but nothing has gone down and things are holding up well. That alone is a feel good for the 1337pwn.com team.

Response has been almost entirely positive with folks eager to see where we take the application in the next release. From the moment you launch it, iNXES is a bold step in a new direction and we're going to be taking it even further. There will be a v1.1 in the coming weeks that will address a few of the feature requests and general application feedback. Sincere user feedback is always appreciated.

Most common user question of the day is "Do I have to upgrade to the 2.2 firmware?". The answer is YES. Our application actually uses some of the SDK additions in 2.2 so you'll need to upgrade.

Thank you all for your feedback and support...
don't pwn alone(tm)

iNXES requires firmware 2.2

The 1337pwn.com iNXES XBOX Live Friends application in the AppStore requires the 2.2 firmware. While iPhone users are quick to upgrade their devices, some iPod Touch users have remained on earlier firmware for one reason or another. If you have not upgraded to 2.2 yet, you will have to upgrade to run iNXES.

Thank you all for your messages and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, December 12, 2008

iNXES is Available for Download

In some areas, you can now download iNXES using iTunes on your computer. It's not available via any searches yet, but can access it directly using the link below.


We'll update this post once the app starts showing up on the iPhone AppStore application.

UPDATE:
Now starting to show up in the United States iPhone AppStore application if you use the above direct link.

don't pwn alone(tm)

iNXES is APPROVED for Sale

Wow, 4 days from submittal to Apple AppStore approval. As you read this, the iNXES application is propagating through the iTunes servers and should be available for download in a few hours. I will post a link as soon as the new 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends application is available.


Thank you all for your feedback and support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Playstation Home... er uh... WOW. Run away! Run Away!

After a good bit of frustration, I managed to get the Playstation Home Beta up and running on my PS3. Following about an hour in Sony's virtual world, I thought that I'd share my initial impressions.

First, it feels dated. Yes, the graphics are impressive and it's clearly using the power PS3 hardware, but that's not my issue. The whole mechanics of moving around and the the animation associated with that movement. It's pick up and play, because we've seen this 3rd person experience for what, like 10 years now. Of course, the stiff walking animation that feels entirely inorganic doesn't help that impression. Despite the considerable effort/money that was put into it, you've got something that gives the appearance of a face-lifted application from a generation ago. Sony's own Little Big Planet has more convincing human behavior in sack dolls.

Second, it's like walking in a nightmare where Sony related content is pumped into every orifice of your body. At a most basic level, it feels like Sony has built an virtual experience where you can stroll through a world of advertising. Again, this feels like the VRML experiences of more than a decade ago.

Third, all of that advertising might be easier to swallow if Sony wasn't charging you for every facet of your virtual life. Check out these two items available in the mall. Take a close look and you'll see a virtual residence being sold for $4.99 and a couch for $0.99.



$0.99 for something that you sit on... virtually. By comparison, the residence is a bargain. Horse armor is more practical. And it's obvious from the limited selection of free clothing, etc that the world is going to be filled with this stuff.

On that note, if you are parent, stop reading this, go to your PS3 and make sure that your kids don't have access to your credit card. Delete all of your wallet information off the machine.

Sony would be far better off creating more interesting things to do in this virtual world and less emphasis on making me watch Twilight trailers at every venue. It's such a blown opportunity that it gives me a headache.

out.
don't pwn alone (tm)

P.S.
Readers of the blog know that I am HUGE fan of MGS4 and LittleBigPlanet. I really like my PS3, but I have to call Home for what it is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"NXE in the palm of your hand"

During a client meeting today, I pulled out the iPhone and showed off iNXES, the new 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends application. They picked it up in their hands and immediately remarked, "This is NXE in the palm of your hand". Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

I'm really happy with where we landed for 1.0. We set the bar pretty high in bringing the 360 user interface to the iPhone/iPod Touch platform. The final product exceeded everyone's expectation. Of course, I'm already working on a feature list for 1.1.

The real satisfaction of all this effort will come when we can get it into your hands. The application was submitted to the AppStore on Monday night. It's in their review queue and I always agonize over that wait. I'm hoping that we'll see it available in the store on Sunday or Monday. If anyone from Apple is reading this, sooner would be GREAT.

Thank you all for your support and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, December 8, 2008

iNXES has been submitted to the AppStore

iNXES is the next generation XBOX Live Friends list application from the team at 1337pwn.com. As the creators of the most popular XBOX Live application in the AppStore, we have put our expertise to work with a totally new mobile XBOX 360 experience.


User Interface
With the NXE as inspiration, the 1337pwn.com team has brought the excitement of the new XBOX 360 user interface to iPhone/iPod touch. From sliding panels to avatars, you can now browse your friends on the go as you would on your XBOX 360.

  • Touchscreen, gesture-based navigation
  • Full NXE-style gamer card when browsing friends
  • Complete profile support including name, location, and biography
  • Detailed play history including achievement progress graphs
  • Automatic sorting of gamers by status and gamer tag
  • Send Message shortcut through XBOX.com
  • Shortcuts to Online Stats for popular applications
  • Browse Top Games on XBOX Live


Technology
The user interface is matched with a new server infrastructure leveraging our full year of experience delivering mobile XBOX Live applications. As an Official XBOX Community Developer, you will not be putting your Live login at risk.

  • Add gamertags within the application
  • Import gamertags from XBOX.com using our exclusive utility
  • Automatic refresh of data while running
  • Force manual refresh by shaking device
  • Offline access via integrated caching

Availability
The application has been submitted to the AppStore and should be available within a week or so. As with our existing XBOX Live Friends List, this will be FREE application. We'll keep you posted and let you know as soon as it hits.


For More Info
Leave a post in the comments section or send a message to borocouncilman via XBOX Live.

Thank you all for your help and support and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

1337pwn.com iNXES Status Update

Our new XBOX Live Friends application has held up well under testing. We're putting the finishing touches on it and submitting it to the AppStore. We will keep you posted. Thank you all for your feedback and support!

don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, December 5, 2008

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 12/5

With just every major XBOX 360 for the holidays now behind us, Gears of War 2 maintains a stranglehold on the top spot. While it's been reported elsewhere on the net that Halo 3 leapt to #1, our data does not show such a trend. If you look at our popularity index representing gamer share, it's not even close right now. Of course, it's entirely likely that Halo 3 will sit back on top with the release of the upcoming map pack, but we won't see it until 2009.

1. Gears of War 2 (1000)
2. CoD: World at War (778.29036388569)
3. Halo 3 (656.86497089459)
4. Call of Duty 4 (624.97162109393)
5. Left 4 Dead (291.88045442575)
6. Fallout 3 (214.93502365666)
7. Fable II (188.29063632318)
8. Rock Band 2 (173.66982391456)
9. GTA IV (165.47853646576)
10. Madden NFL 09 (160.43844274726)
11. Guitar Hero III (139.38810537882)
12. Guitar Hero World Tour (128.78120544512)
13. Gears of War (110.41891805988)

37. Guitar Hero II

For the moment, CoD: World at War is slowly gaining support in the 360 community and will probably overtake Gears of War 2 as players tire of Horde mode. I love Horde mode, but Left 4 Dead makes the Gears Horde look just silly.

Let's just say it, straight from the 1337pwn.com team, Left 4 Dead is probably the best multiplayer game on the console right now. I would like to put specific emphasis on the word "multiplayer". With Left 4 Dead, you actually play with other people and play together out of necessity. You must work with your teammates -- the headset isn't an option. You're never playing alone in Left 4 Dead. Anti-social, silent, no headset types need not apply.

In other titles, it's easy to become a loner, sniper, or unstoppable one man killing machine. Alternately, find yourself playing "alone" on a team of 4-16 people. Left 4 Dead is a whole new ball game. Rambo tactics are a ticket to death and a player caught by themselves will get turned into zombie lunch post haste. Yes, it's that awesome.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

1337pwn.com iNXES Update

Yes, the blog has been quiet as work continues on iNXES, the new 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends Application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It's been a busy week of testing and tweaks as we prepare for submission to the AppStore.


Per our earlier post, it's a fairly radical rethink of the concept. We hope you're soon able to enjoy the labor of our efforts.

Thank you all for your feedback and support.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

1337pwn.com announces iNXES - Next Generation XBOX Live Friends List for iPhone/iPod Touch

Following the release of v1.41 of our XBOX Live Friends List in the AppStore, the 1337pwn.com team kicked off a total rewrite of our extremely popular application. The result of those efforts is a completely new program, iNXES (pronounced "nexus").


With iNXES, you are now able to browse your friends through an NXE-like user interface. Beauty is more than skin deep as iNXES utilizes new server code and data performance improvements. It is truly a rewrite and rethink of our original concept. iNXES is XBOX Live Anywhere in a manner previously unimagined.

1337pwn.com iNXES should be available for FREE in the AppStore by mid-December. It will be made available alongside our existing application.

Thank you for all of your feedback and support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Service Advisory for 30 Nov 2008

We're working on a database issue this evening that affects all 1337pwn.com XBOX Live applications. You may encounter some intermittent problems until the issue is addressed.

Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE:
Service has been restored. Again, thank you for your patience.

Last Day for XBOX 360 120GB Hard Drive Give Away

Today is the last day to register for our PlayInsights.com 120GB HD giveaway. Winners will be notified by December 15th. Good luck and thank you for participating!

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 11/28

Gears of War 2 continues to hold on to the #1 spot. As COD4 gamers begin to embrace World at War, Halo 3 has managed to reclaim the #3 spot by a small margin. The big news of the week is the ascent of Left 4 Dead, now at #5. Valve has a hit on their hands.

1. Gears of War 2 (1000)
2. CoD: World at War (682.03956209503)
3. Halo 3 (572.46060481559)
4. Call of Duty 4 (559.85243389912)
5. Left 4 Dead (218.37899836513)
6. Fallout 3 (201.49106814233)
7. Fable II (197.04867798235)
8. Rock Band 2 (147.80576740364)
9. GTA IV (143.14082975973)
10. UNO (137.58570218011)
11. Madden NFL 09 (137.14060721225)
12. Guitar Hero III (117.44515488449)
13. Guitar Hero World Tour (111.46205137423)

37. Bomberman LIVE (29.427624990371)

Will World at War overtake the Gears of War 2 juggernaut? We'll see what happens as the holidays come into full swing.

Thank you and.. don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday 1337pwn.com!

It was one year ago that 1337pwn.com released its XBOX Live Friends List widget as a MacOS dashboard application. Three months later, we released an enormously popular web application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Along the way, we added support for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Android platforms. When the iPhone SDK hit, we put a great deal of effort into making sure that our native application worked right out the box.

Today, our servers provide users with data for about 1 million active unique gamertags.

It's been a lot of work and a labor of love for the XBOX Live platform. That work most certainly continues. Within a few weeks, our new application will hit the AppStore with dramatic improvements to presentation and usability. We're putting everything we know about the iPhone and iPod Touch platform into the development effort. It's awesome and I can't wait to get it into your hands.

Chomping at the bit to see what it looks like? I've been posting picture and development updates to my twitter. We'll be showing it off in a more formal manner in the coming week or so.

Thank you for your dedicated support and enthusiasm during the past year and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We just wanted to wish everyone in the states a Happy Thanksgiving. While you're chowing down on dinner, rest assured that we're cranking on code all weekend for the completely new 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends application.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Halo 3 is now in fourth place

As predicted in our prior post, Halo 3 now occupies the #4 spot for the most popular games on XBOX Live.

1. Gears of War 2 (1000)
2. Call of Duty 4 (581.82373813687)
3. CoD: World at War (545.79718510721)
4. Halo 3 (518.01327651483)

don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Halo 3 slipping to 4th Place on XBOX Live

Halo 3 is on its way to unfamiliar territory on the XBOX Live charts. As of this morning, the game that has occupied #1 or #2 on XBOX Live since it's release will soon find itself in fourth place.

1. Gears of War 2 (1000)
2. Call of Duty 4 (585.54015723887)
3. Halo 3 (514.06717148917)
4. CoD: World at War (509.73160364903)

It's also interesting to note that no title has held on to the first place spot with the margin now enjoyed by Gears of War 2. Is it the greatness of GoW2? Well, partly, but the split between COD4 and COD:WaW has certainly helped.

If you look at all versions of a series, more people are playing Gears of War than Call of Duty. With the first Gears of War clocking in at #10 with a 122 share, it holds on to the series top spot by a slim margin.

10. Gears of War (122.65653614535)

For those that have been following our XBOX Live statistics, you'll note that Tom Clancy titles are no longer regulars in the top 10. In fact, Tom Clancy's End War has already dropped to #42 edging out "A Kingdom for Keflings" at #43. Ouch.

don't pwn alone(tm)

1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends Application 2.0 and Zombies

Yes, Left 4 Dead is awesome. I've played through the campaigns several times with friends. Through those sessions, it has provided me with some of the best multiplayer experiences of recent memory . Talk your friends into picking it up and have a great time. It's a co-op keeper (ie. don't rent, run out and buy it).

When I haven't been taking on the Zombie horde, I have been working on the complete rewrite of the 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends application. The new design gives the application a complete facelift coupled with totally new server-side code. We're currently on track for a December release. Yes, that's just a week or so away.

What's new? For now, let's just say that the update that has generated expletive-laced proclamations by anyone who's seen it. As we get closer to AppStore submission, we will post some screenshots and video. It's frickin' cool.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gears of War 2 Statistics

For those who may not be aware, the Gears of War 2 stats page is now live providing statistics and detail only exceeded by Bungie.net. Check it out here. 1337pwn.com hopes to offer links to these stats in game history in an upcoming update.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 11/21

Gears of War 2 by far and away remains the most popular game on XBOX Live. In fact, no title in the past two years has held the margin with which GOW2 now holds on to that #1 spot. If you look at the popularity index in parentheses, you get a true relative popularity between titles, it's share of the user community -- more meaningful than rank alone. GOW2 is pwning the XBOX Live universe.

As expected, the release of World at War has split the Call of Duty 4 community in two. While COD:WaW is popular, it's not COD4-popular. For fanboys, I would not expect COD4 to take the top spot any time soon.

1. Gears of War 2 (1000)
2. Call of Duty 4 (604.41826990591)
3. Halo 3 (535.15131301783)
4. CoD: World at War (444.1001966016)
5. Fable II (236.47486308103)
6. Fallout 3 (199.36631091139)
7. Gears of War (145.05511866311)
8. Rock Band 2 (129.99403173712)
9. GTA IV (129.36209801994)
10. Madden NFL 09 (127.28198286757)
11. Guitar Hero III (112.04535879792)
12. Guitar Hero World Tour (98.66942845106)
13. FIFA 09 (93.63151242803)

37. Assassin's Creed (22.811051818565)

This week, with a top heavy list, the share for #37 dropped considerably. With the big name titles already landed for the holiday season, it's tougher for anything else to get the gamer attention.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

DAY AFTER: If your application is crashing

If your 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends List application is crashing or crashes on start-up, its database managed to get corrupted during the issues with Microsoft's feeds and images over the past 48 hours. You will have to un-install and re-install the application. While the problem was beyond our control, we're sorry for any inconvenience. Don't forget to use the import tool if you need to load in a bunch of gamertags.

Of course, using the application in the NXE era, you'll now understand some of the tweaks that we made a few weeks ago. Our gamer detail page includes a full image of the avatar. You'll also see avatar images on the main screen. Be sure to check it out.


Again, we'd to like to thank every for their patience as Microsoft sorted out their feed and image issues. If you have any questions/comments, be sure to send a message to 'borocouncilman' via XBOX Live.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

"Fast Add Friend" XBOX Live Application

After two months, the AppStore has finally approved our iPhone/iPod Touch utility to add friends to your friends list. Specifically, this application addresses a request first posed by Patrick Klepek of MTV multiplayer. It is a quick and dirty application for adding a friend to your XBOX Live friends list via XBOX.com.


It's by no means any kind of substitute for our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List. Instead, this application simply gives you a nice shortcut on your iPhone/iPod Touch home screen versus clumsily navigating XBOX.com. This FREE application lets you get down to business.

Depending upon the response, we may integrate this functionality into our friends list application and/or import utility. Let us know what you think. Given the limitations imposed by Microsoft, this application will launch XBOX.com in Safari, but it is otherwise automated.

Thank you for your feedback and support
don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Riding Out the Aftershocks

The Microsoft feeds are still not reliable. Invalid images are being returned by Microsoft. More/less, it's not been a happy couple of days for 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends application users. Hopefully, things will settle down after a couple of days.

Thank you for your patience.

Back in action (NOT)

Microsoft NXE and XBOX.com appeared to be back in action this morning. Unfortunately, the feeds seem to be down again. At points, the 1337pwn.com applications may appear to be functioning normally, but I would expect hiccups until Microsoft addresses the feed issues.

Reminder, that during these feed issues, you will not be able to add new gamertags to the applications or see updates. When we're working, we're working, but at the moment, Microsoft feeds are up/down again. You can expect it to be in/out through the day.

Thank you for your patience!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

XBOX.com Maintenance

It looks like the scheduled XBOX.com maintenance today is also affecting 1337pwn.com applications and other members of the XCDP. Service will be restored when Microsoft completes their updates.

NOTE: With this Microsoft maintenance, you'll be unable to do even simple things like adding new gamers. Once it is complete, functionality will return to normal.

Thank you for your patience.

Monday, November 17, 2008

1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends Application 2.0

The 1337pwn.com team has been busy working on a 2.0 release of the application to reflect your feedback and bring forward some functionality that we've worked on for a while. While the current application supports NXE avatars, the new application is something of a rethink regarding the whole friends list. Our efforts are now focused on getting this new version out the door. If you have ideas and/or comments, be sure to post them here.

In addition to the work on 1337pwn.com applications, our team has also been developing iPhone/iPod Touch applications for clients as work for hire. One of those applications is iKids Play. It's a children's reading activity application that can be found in the AppStore here. If you've got young children, be sure to check it out.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, November 14, 2008

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 11/14

As expected, Gears of War 2 now stands as the most popular game on XBOX Live. Interestingly, the original Gears of War title still holding on to the #5 spot.

1. Gears of War 2 (1000)
2. Call of Duty 4 (980.60252672498)
3. Halo 3 (844.8850016197)
4. Fable II (468.79170715905)
5. Gears of War (432.95108519598)
6. Fallout 3 (355.4130223518)
7. CoD: World at War (211.92095885973)
8. GTA IV (209.88662131519)
9. Madden NFL 09 (195.94428247489)
10. Rock Band 2 (192.08292840946)
11. Guitar Hero III (175.4713313897)
12. Guitar Hero World Tour (148.44185293165)
13. Saints Row 2 (146.5889212828)

37. Geometry Wars Evolved² (33.391642371234)

While the addictive and sublime Call of Duty 4 has held on to the top spot for some time, many folks may not remember that take-up of CoD 4 was originally quite slow. In fact, big box retailers such as Circuit City had ordered far more copies than the actual demand. Gamers were all Clancy'd out and CoD4 didn't appear from the outside to deliver anything different. Within a few weeks of release, you could buy CoD4 for as little as $35 with these discounts.

Sure, #7 is a fine place for Call of Duty: World at War to land after 3 days of availability, but Gears hit that within hours of release. Out of my own maxed out play list, no one is playing WaW. At this point, it will be interesting to see how word of mouth affects the popularity of the title and if we see the same kind of discount activity. We'll see how things look next week.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gears of War 2 at #2

Gears of War 2 is now on the brink of becoming the top game on XBOX Live. In fact, with this week's release of the Call of Duty World at War, Gears of War 2 will in all likelihood secure the top spot any day now. For those who haven't played it yet, you'll find the new revised and refined multi-player a massive improvement over the original title.


1. Call of Duty 4 (1000)
2. Gears of War 2 (943.51575105139)
3. Halo 3 (859.13984182823)
4. Fable II (491.41693337213)
5. Gears of War (440.07723437459)

For those curious, Call of Duty: World at War currently occupies the number 11 spot. Personally, I can't get excited about the new CoD. I am all WWII shooter-ed out, but will complete the campaign for the greater good.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

1337pwn.com/Play Insights 120GB Hard Drive Give Away

The New XBOX Experience is coming. As gamers, we know that now, more than ever, XBOX 360 hard drive space is going to be a premium commodity with the launch of NXE. If you’ve seen the NXE demo videos and write-ups, chances are that you’re stoked at the opportunity to experience new gaming content, HD installable games, NetFlix, and the XNA community. Of course, you’re going to need a place to put all of that content. At 1337pwn.com, we’re here to help. In celebration of the upcoming release of NXE, 1337pwn.com in cooperation with Playinsights.com is giving away five (5) free Xbox 360 120 gig hard drives.

To participate, sign up here and register for your chance to win!


We are excited to be working with Playinsights.com to bring you this opportunity.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

UPDATE:
Registration is now closed. Winners will be announced by December 15th.

Friday, November 7, 2008

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 11/7

A little title called Gears of War 2 has landed at #6 on its first day of release. That is simply incredible. Of course, the game itself with it's improved graphics and refined gameplay mechanics is completely sublime. Horde mode, by itself, has established a whole new multiplayer game type that will be with us for years to come.

1. Call of Duty 4 (1000)
2. Halo 3 (859.49297327087)
3. Fable II (566.24414439239)
4. Gears of War (417.22237531)
5. Fallout 3 (292.49104436484)
6. Gears of War 2 (281.79939377239)
7. GTA IV (228.36869661064)
8. Madden NFL 09 (196.37641223478)
9. Rock Band 2 (190.94791953706)
10. Guitar Hero III (182.51584458529)
11. Saints Row 2 (174.86910994764)
12. Far Cry® 2 (157.15073022871)
13. FIFA 09 (143.35905208046)

37. Geometry Wars Evolved² (33.259851198677)

Like many of you, I too have been enjoying Fallout 3. It is by all accounts a multi-platform hit. With the Gears onslaught and new Call of Duty landing, we can expect this top game list to look a little different in the coming weeks.

We welcome your feedback and comments.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, November 3, 2008

1337pwn.com Avatar Support is Enabled

When viewing gamer details, you'll again see Avatar images in the 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends application on the iPhone and iPod Touch. We had this functionality available a while ago, but took it down while Microsoft straightened out the kinks. It's now ready for action.


In the coming weeks, you'll see more avatars as users begin enjoying the NXE (New XBOX Experience) update on their XBOX 360s.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Temporary Technical Problem (FIXED)

Our servers are down this morning as we address a problem that cropped up last night. They should be back shortly.

UPDATE: The issue has been resolved.

Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 10/31

Fable II has climbed to the number 3 position and it looks like Fall sleeper titles such as Dead Space and Far Cry 2 are cracking into the TOP 13. Here is the list with #37 thrown in for good 1337 measure.

1. Call of Duty 4 (1000)
2. Halo 3 (882.25626957219)
3. Fable II (405.97582753177)
4. Gears of War (367.68549910712)
5. GTA IV (247.04314293848)
6. Saints Row 2 (205.56950231631)
7. Madden NFL 09 (199.09935557338)
8. Rock Band 2 (187.34956908823)
9. Guitar Hero III (180.6982582365)
10. Dead Space™ (140.75157224566)
11. FIFA 09 (140.01397551696)
12. Rock Band (130.39933745697)
13. Far Cry® 2 (105.35986956184)

37. Brothers in Arms: HH (34.38235979192)

Myself? I've been playing Fallout 3 as much as my crowded adult schedule permits. As a work of Bethesda, the game fixes much of what was broken with Oblivion in terms of gameplay mechanics and simply provides a better narrative.

Thank you all for your feedback and support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Far Cry 2 is Far Cry

After a console detour that included a couple of linear titles that would have Jack Carver rolling in his grave. The new Far Cry 2 title takes the game back to its nonlinear roots in exotic Africa. Those console Far Cry in-name-only titles might have hurt the brand for the hard core, but the new game will make it all seem like a bad memory. It's good intense fun and I've already left the main mission stuff to raid outposts and let the savannah burn.

Unlike space stations/outposts, European towns, middle east, and Mexico, the African setting actually feels fresh -- at least until Resident Evil 5 hits the market.

don't pwn alone(tm)

PlayStation Network Woes

Sony needs to really pull it together. Little Big Planet is a spectacular piece of software, but the servers have been inoperable all weekend. At least Little Big Planet offers a completely sublime offline experience. The same cannot be said for SOCOM confrontation -- an online title that wouldn't work on the day you bought it.

I'd rather pay for something that works than be stuck with something "FREE" that doesn't. I think that Little Big Planet is quite possibly the definitive experience of this console generation. It's a shame that it's full potential is hampered by the reliability of the PlayStation Network.

Sigh.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, October 24, 2008

1337pwn.com Top XBOX Live Games for Week Ending 10/24

We're getting back in the habit of posting our statistics for the most popular games on XBOX Live. With our rankings, we include our popularity index that allows you to better compare and understand a particular title's actual popularity.

While the other guys stop at 10, we're going to give you the top 13. Plus, include the game in the #37 spot. Why? It's just more 1337 to do it that way.

1. Call of Duty 4 (1000)
2. Halo 3 (915.77677831101)
3. Gears of War (357.22003065404)
4. GTA IV (262.92117892409)
5. Madden NFL 09 (205.28153973718)
6. Rock Band 2 (186.47453453604)
7. Guitar Hero III (178.54719967838)
8. Saints Row 2 (150.229905274)
9. Fable II (147.57908490163)
10. Rock Band (137.57883363904)
11. FIFA 09 (129.07359481394)
12. The Force Unleashed (126.84992085228)
13. Rainbow Six® Vegas 2 (106.61071886228)

37. Burnout Paradise (33.279730646499)

Analysis:
Gears nearly fell out of the TOP 10 over the summer, but clearly excitement is building for GOW2 with people dusting off the title. Halo 3 will likely grab the top spot again when the new Call of Duty comes out. As with prior COD releases, gamers will split amongst the COD games until everyone finally boards the new title. Recall that COD4 didn't gain real traction until some major retailers overstocked the game and sharply discounted it post release.

EA's Dead Space is clocking in at #16. Liking the game, I was hoping that it might break the Top 10. There's so much good stuff landing in the next couple of weeks. I hope that folks might find time for it.

Of course, you can view the popularity of a title in our XBOX Live Friends iPhone/iPod Touch application by tapping on a game icon in the game detail page.

Thank you for your support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Server Down/Failure (FIXED)

We have a down server that's knocked out the web site and the 1337pwn.com data feeds for our applications. Our hosting provider is investigating the issue.

UPDATE:
The hardware issue has been addressed.

Thank you for your patience.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Minor Gamer Detail Tweaks

We've made some updates to the gamer details screen to improve performance with the new NXE-inspired layout. You'll also notice that the Send Message button now appears much more quickly. Be advised that we have encountered some encoding issues with avatars that can cause occasional crashing when or after viewing gamer details.

UPDATE:
Avatars have been turned off until the release of the NXE. By then, those issues will be straightened out.

Thank you all for your feedback...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, October 17, 2008

1337pwn XBOX Live Friends Application Now Supports Avatars!

We have updated the gamer detail screen of our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List AppStore application to reflect New XBOX Experience (NXE) features. You will be able to view a gamer's avatar along with their play history.


As always, we're working hard to improve our application. We welcome your feedback and comments. Send them in a message to borocouncilman on XBOX Live.

UPDATE:
We've turned off the Avatar support for now until the release of the NXE. We can't wait!

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Avatar Images are Coming!

Our 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends Application or the iPhone/iPod Touch will support avatar images on Day 1 of the New XBOX Experience (NXE) in November. No upgrade/download will be required to view the avatar on the gamer details screen.

UPDATE:
The application now supports avatars. Read more here.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Major Nelson's (and other MS employees) Gamerpic Causing a Problem

If you have Major Nelson (or other MS personalities) on your 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List iPhone/iPod Touch AppStore application, they may be using a gamerpic that is not a valid image file. This corrupt file (WRONG MIME TYPE) was causing the application to crash. We're now forcing his gamertag to use a default pic in the application. If the Major is on your list, let the application completely refresh the friends list and all will be well.

UPDATE:
If the Major had appeared on your list without scrolling, you will have to uninstall and re-install the application. Use our 1337pwn.com/import functionality to save yourself retyping. Again, this is only required if the Major was causing your application to crash. Please send an XBOX Live message to borocouncilman if you have any questions or need help.

UPDATE 2:
It appears that Microsoft employees using new gamerpics are causing problems for us. We've added exceptions for popular Microsoft personalities, but if you run into any other Microsoft employees, please let us know.

UPDATE 3:
Not only did we fix the problem with a workaround, but we also incorporated Avatar support!

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is Apple dropping the 17" MacBook Pro?

If you follow my twitter, you might have picked up that I really like my 17" MacBook Pro. For portable application development, it's tough to beat an LED backlit 1920x1200 screen that you can take with you in a package that's less than an inch thick. Oh, and it gets more than 4 hours of real run time away from an outlet. As portable hardware goes, it is a machine without peer and simply the best development laptop that I've ever used.

Yet, despite these attributes, it's not a great seller for Apple. Of course, there's the painful fact that the laptop retailed in my configuration for over THREE GRAND. That said, you get what you pay for and I'll be first in line if Apple decides to release an updated 17" MacBook Pro.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall/Winter Game Season Kicks Off

The summer game drought has clearly come to an end. With so many great titles in the pipeline, it's tough to make a decision on what to get and what to play. Here's what I ended up placing on the diabolical pre-order this weekend. In no particular order, they are as follows.

Little Big Planet (PS3)
While XNA has promised to be the YouTube of Games, LBP looks to actually deliver on that concept by providing a set of creative tools to the masses. It's not an anything-killer. LBP promises something completely new in a sea of Sci-Fi shooters and sports games.

Gears of War 2 (360)
I have played through the Gears of War campaign completely at least a half-dozen times on co-op. I can't say that about another game out there. Aside from that horrible vehicle sequence, the original Gears of War was a masterpiece. The sequel looks to improve on the winning formula.

Fallout 3 (360 or PS3)
Yes, Fable 2 looks incredible, but I only have so many hours to commit to RPGs. The post-apocalyptic universe of Fallout 3 looks genuinely awesome in scope and execution. I haven't decided on the PS3 or 360 version yet, but I'd be willing to go PS3 if it takes advantage of the hardware.

Dead Space (360 or PS3)
It's entirely possible that I will find Dead Space scary and stressful. From the gameplay, it looks like Condemned and Doom had a baby. That said, I've seen so much that I like. Early reviews indicate that this is a must-play.

Other stuff that interests me in no particular order...
SOCOM, Halo Wars, Rage, Halo Recon, Mirror's Edge, Resistance 2, Fable 2, White Knight... darn, there's just so much good stuff in the queue. Enjoy!

don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little Big Planet Looks Amazing

Much has been said of little Big Planet's "build and play with anything" world and interface. One of the Beta users constructed an 8-bit calculator using the electric components available to the user. Watch the whole video for the amazing reveal as to how it works.



don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stuck in Review Limbo

Back in mid-September, 1337pwn.com created a simple application that provides a shortcut to add a friend via XBOX.com. Nearly FOUR weeks later, the application is still in the "In Review" status at the AppStore.


The only communication that we received from Apple was that the particular application was taking longer than expected to review. We have received no further information or updates. It is a single screen application with a single text field -- yes, we're perplexed.

UPDATE: Frustrated, we have simply resubmitted the application with the hope that it may get a more timely review.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Blackberry Storm SDK

With the release of the Research in Motion SDK for the new Blackberry Storm and the Blackberry App Center, RIM is demonstrating that it's taking consumer mobile applications seriously. Having developed native Blackberry applications before, the 1337pwn.com team is interested to see what changes are in store.


RIM's change in strategy makes a native XBOX Live Friends List application an interesting proposition. It would also complement work we've already done for the iPhone and Android devices. We will keep you posted.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just in time Upgrade - 1337pwn.com has new servers

Our old server infrastructure could no longer support the volume of requests. The systems would crash hard within 5 minutes of being restarted. That's the bad news. The good news is that the new 1337pwn.com servers are online and should be available as soon as the DNS propagation makes the rounds.


The above is an actual picture from our hosting provider -- not a stock photo. 1337pwn.com is now running across multiple quad-core servers to give us the scalability that we need to handle the popularity of our XBOX Live Friends Applications. From the iPhone/iPod Touch to the Chumby, you should notice an improvement.

The constant crashing of the old servers, pushed well beyond capacity, made the start of October a challenging one for us. In little more than a month, we've added 200,000 users and are climbing to 750,000 unique active gamertags. The old systems couldn't take it and it was time to step up in a big way. We really appreciated everyone's patience as we sorted things out.

How much does it cost? Too much to make any logical sense to support a set of FREE applications. Fortunately, we're passionate and committed in what we do and will work to make the applications even better.

UPDATE: The new servers appear to be online and running all over the place. Please be patient as the DNS updates propagate. These new servers should bring us stability and performance after a rough week with the old setup.

Thank you all for your patience and support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Server Migration

1337pwn.com will be moved to new Quad Core servers this week to improve performance and scalability. We appreciate everyone's patience as we hit the limits of the current hardware in the past week. The new servers will address those downtime hiccups as well as improve overall performance.

UPDATE: Our servers are being expedited to arrive tomorrow. We'll be working with them as quickly as possible to get them up and running.

Thank you for your patience.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Service Stability Improved

It looks like our provider was able to solve the issue affecting the stability of our feed data server for our XBOX Live Friends applications. With things stabilized, we can focus on our Mark IV infrastructure migration in the coming weeks. I want to thank everyone for their support and patience.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sorting Out the Servers

Our hosting provider is working diligently on our server stability issue. You may still experience moments of downtime for our XBOX Live Friends applications this evening. In speaking with the folks at our hosting provider, we expect to have the problem sorted later this evening. The problem affects iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, and Dashboard application users.

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now serving 1 million requests/day

You might have noticed that we've been down a couple of times this evening. We are working with our hosting provider to keep things up and running until we move into our new servers. 1337pwn.com has crossed the 1 million requests/day mark and the existing infrastructure is crying uncle. The popularity of the iPhone/iPod Touch XBOX Live Friends application in Apple's iTunes AppStore has increased load on our systems significantly.

We'd like to thank all of you for your patience as we work to make our services even better.

Thanks again and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

XBOX Live is slowly coming back up

It looks like Microsoft indeed used the whole day yesterday to service XBOX Live. This morning, it looks like XBOX Live is slowly coming back online.

Thank you for your patience.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

XBOX Live is Down All Day Monday

I just wanted to remind everyone that XBOX Live will be down all day Monday. The functionality of your XBOX Live Friends application will be limited during this time.

Thank you for your patience.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SOAPBOX: PS3 Apps

In checking out our iTunes AppStore Reviews, I came across this new "one-star darling" review.

"I'm sure this is a good app but what about the people that have a PS3??? They desurve [sic] somthing like this too."

Yet another person took the time to give our application one-star, because they want a PS3 version. We would love to offer a PS3 version of our 1337pwn.com Friends List application. Unfortunately, SONY just doesn't make the data available to allow it to happen. I have even written about it on the blog before. You can read my article here.

In the absence of SONY provided data, we recently tried the screen-scraping route on the Sony site, but access to friends requires you to provide both your PSN and PlayStation Underground logins. In the end, we decided that it wasn't worth releasing an application that required TWO logins to give you a list of friends with status. It's just not worth it and the application would break as soon as SONY updated their site.

If you are a PS3 fan, by all means send me a friend request. As on XBOX Live, I am "borocouncilman" on PSN. Once you add me, you'll see that I am racking up trophies in WipEOut HD this week. Need further proof that I don't hate the PS3, I was featured on the cover of a local magazine holding a PS3 DUALSHOCK 3 controller.


Angry emails and messages won't make a PS3 friends list happen. In the absence of action by SONY, it's just not possible.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Add Friend is still "In Review"

It looks like we're two full weeks down with our Add Friend application still stuck "In Review". Hopefully, the AppStore folks will get around to it this weekend.

Thank you for your patience
don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

XBOX Live Friends List for T-Mobile HTC G1 (Android)

If you're one of the lucky ones to pick up the new Google G1 Android phone from T-Mobile/HTC, be sure to check out our 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends web application optimized for Android devices.


You can check out the Android web application here:
http://1337pwn.com/androidxbl.php

We are also working on a native Java application that will be released when the Android marketplace comes online. If you're already running our application on an Android phone, send a message to "borocouncilman" via XBOX Live. We look forward to your feedback.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1337pwn.com Milestone: 500,000 active gamertags

The 1337pwn.com back-end is now actively serving data for over 500,000 XBOX Live gamertags. At the moment, the servers are holding up, but we're going to be making some infrastructure upgrades in the coming months to ensure the best possible ongoing performance. From the AppStore to the mobile solution, we're working to make all of our 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends List applications even better.

Thank you all for your feedback and support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Scheduled XBOX Live Outage

The 1337pwn.com team would like to remind you that Microsoft has scheduled an XBOX Live outage for Monday, September 29th. During this maintenance, reliable status information will be unavailable for our XBOX Live Friends applications.

Thank you for your patience.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Still "In Review"

Our simple new add friend application is still "In Review" in the AppStore. Hopefully, it will be approved soon. While I have managed to get a little Halo 3 in this morning, it's largely been a week offline from the gaming consoles. If you're up for some gaming, pop "borocouncilman" a friend invite via XBOX Live.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fast Add XBOX Live Friend Shortcut Application

We just submitted another application to the AppStore for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Specifically, this application addresses a request first posed by Patrick Klepek of MTV multiplayer. It is a quick and dirty application for adding a friend to your XBOX Live friends list via XBOX.com.


It's by no means any kind of substitute for our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List. Instead, this application simply gives you a nice shortcut on your iPhone/iPod Touch home screen versus clumsily navigating XBOX.com. This FREE application lets you get down to business.

Depending upon the response, we may integrate this functionality into our friends list application and/or import utility. Let us know what you think. Given the limitations imposed by Microsoft, this application will launch XBOX.com in Safari, but it is otherwise automated.

The Fast Add XBOX Live Friend application should hit the AppStore by this weekend.

Thank you for your feedback and support
don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Over 100,000 AppStore Downloads

About two weeks ago, I shared with you that the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends list application hit the 50,000 AppStore download mark. As of early this morning, our application has now been downloaded from the AppStore 100,000 times.

Thank you all for your support and feedback. We're working hard to make the application even better.

don't pwn alone (tm)

Friday, September 12, 2008

1337pwn v1.41 is in the AppStore

It looks like our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends application cleared the review process in time for the weekend. With v1.41, we've got a nice update that incorporates a bunch of little bug fixes and the important new ability to import gamertags from XBOX.com.


Want to share friends?
You can also use the import utility to create a list to share amongst your friends. Skip to #6 and start typing them in. You can forward the generated URL to your buddies.

Are you 1337 type?
If you can create a UNIX format text file, you can create your own import. Simply specify one gamertag per line and upload the file to your web server. From your iPhone or iPod Touch, enter the URL to your file (substituting pxbl: for http:) within Safari. The 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends list will launch automatically and import the file. Building a web page? You can create hyperlinks specifying pxbl:// in lieu of traditional http:// to provide easy access for clan members, classmates, and/or co-workers.

We look forward to your feedback and thank you for your patience while we sort out any kinks with the import utility.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

AppStore "In Review"

The new v1.41 release of our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends list application for the iPhone/iPod Touch is still waiting in Apple's review queue. Hopefully, it will hit by the weekend. The update includes a number of fixes and an important new feature: the ability to import friends from XBOX Live and elsewhere.

Thank you all for your patience and support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, September 8, 2008

AppStore 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List v1.4 Import Functionality

Yesterday, we submitted our new v1.41 release of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends list application to the AppStore. With this new version, we have incorporated a facility to import your friends from XBOX.com.

To import your friends, we have created an external web-based utility. With this tool, you can import your friends list in a matter of minutes. Importantly, the process does not require your Passport/Live login -- it respects Microsoft's security policies. Click here or below to see a video of the import utility in action.


There's more. The import functionality isn't just for XBOX.com friends. You can also create your own custom friends lists of clan members, coworkers, and/or classmates. We've created an open process for importing gamertags into the application. You can learn about this feature under the Add/Import Friends menu item of the application.

Release v1.41 is still in Apple's review process. From prior experiences, we anticipate that the application will complete the AppStore review process within the week. We look forward to your feedback on this new functionality.

Thank you for your comments and support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List v1.41 submitted to the AppStore

With v1.41, we've worked to make our application even better. This incremental release builds upon our solid 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List application.


Importantly, it includes the ability to import gamertags into the friends list. See below for the full list of improvements.

  • Support for importing friends into the application (Demo)

  • User interface improvements for friends list management

  • Cosmetic fixes to friends list including color and clipping issues

  • Menu on button bar replaces About button

  • Integrated application help and FAQ

  • Improved handling of network connections on iPod Touch

  • Bug fixes and code refactoring

We look forward to your feedback when the application hits the AppStore. Given past turnaround time, it will probably take a week to make it through Apple's approval process.

Thank you all for your ongoing support.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Testing 1... 2... 3...

Testing of the v1.4 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends list application has been going really well. We have a final "gold" build that is being tested today prior to submittal to the AppStore. We will keep you posted.

UPDATE: The release is now called v1.41 and should be in the AppStore later this week.

Thank you all for your feedback and support
don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Release 1.4 Testing

Our new v1.4 release of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List AppStore application has been completed and will be tested this weekend. Providing that testing goes well, we will be releasing it to the AppStore on Monday. The release includes some bug fixes, display tweaks, and a unique new feature. We think you'll like it.

What new feature? I will post a Jing video of the new application in action after we complete testing.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How do privacy settings affect 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends applications?

If you have a friend on your friend list with their XBOX Live privacy settings enabled, you will not be able to see status updates or played game history. Like all XCDP applications, our 1337pwn applications can only display information for gamers that are made publicly available. This is a limitation of the API provided to XBOX Community Developer Program members.

How do you know that privacy settings may be affecting your application? Status information will always read offline even when your friend is online. No details are available when selecting the gamer detail screen. Information such as "Playing Halo 3" will not be displayed.

If you would like to see your friend's actual status, ask them to change their privacy settings. We hope that this information is helpful.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Readying v1.4 for the AppStore

Hot on the heels of our v1.3 bug fix release of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends list application, we've got a big new feature that addresses the most requested functionality from the community. We'll keep you posted as we get this update tested and submitted to the AppStore.

Thank you and...
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Warhawk Update Refresh Issue Fixed

In the midst of all of the AppStore related development, it came to our attention that the stats for our 1337pwn iPhone/iPod Touch Warhawk application stopped refreshing. The problem has been fixed. Personally, I need to get back involved in some Warhawk throw down with the recent expansion pack. It is indeed the love child of Unreal Tournament and Battlefield.


If you are a Warhawk fan, we also offer a forum signature with statistics. You can check it out here. The signature is quite popular serving tens of thousands of Warhawk gamers.

Thank you for the heads up on the refresh. For PS3 comments, please send an PSN message to "borocouncilman".

don't pwn alone(tm)

Over 50,000 AppStore Downloads

Our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List application became available late in the day on August 15th in the AppStore. Since that time, in little more than 2 weeks, we crossed 50,000 downloads, got as high 71 in the AppStore Top 100, and has remained in the 10 Social Networking applications (#6.#7 depending upon the day). THANK YOU!


As always, we're working to make our applications even better. Thank you for all for your great feedback and support.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday in the AppStore

It's starting to look like v1.3 will indeed hit the AppStore today. The status of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends Application v1.3 is now listed as "Ready for Sale". The update hasn't yet appeared in iTunes or the iPhone/iPod Touch AppStore application, but you can expect it to show up over the course of the day.

UPDATE:
It's there and now appearing as an available update for most users. Again, this is a bug fix and performance release. Messaging now works properly for gamertags with spaces, network code has been redone with better exception handling, and the list update performance has improved considerably. Thank you to everyone that noted the improvements.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Waiting for v1.3

Our bug fix/performance update has been sitting in Apple's review queue this week. Given that it is Friday prior to a holiday weekend, I suspect that it's not going to exit the Review process until next week. While I love the AppStore, the review process is a black box -- we as developers have no idea what's happening and not a clue as to when an application may complete the trip. Even a seemingly minor update takes a week for approval and release.

Per Google's announcement, the Android Marketplace promises no such gatekeeping. Then, there's the Microsoft offering. With their experience on the XBOX 360, I fully expect Microsoft's review process to be lengthy and arduous. Haha

Maybe I'm just cranky, because I don't get to spend the weekend at PAX! It's time for Castle Crashers.

Thank you for your support and feedback.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why do we use XBOX.com to send messages?

A couple of users have asked us why we open a Safari session when you select "Send Message" from the Web and AppStore applications. The short and easy answer is that we needed to provide a mechanism that would be consistent with Microsoft's very strict rules surrounding Passport/Windows Live logins. We wanted to provide the functionality without running afoul of their policy.

At 1337pwn.com, we will never ask you for your Live/Passport login information. It's not a matter of technology -- it's compliance with Microsoft's requirements. I hope that this clears it up.

Thank you for your support and feedback!
don't pwn alone(tm)

What's next for our AppStore application?

Release 1.3 of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List application should be out in the AppStore later this week. It was submitted on Monday and contains bug fixes and performance improvements that should be appreciated by everyone. It's a much improved application with these tweaks.

With v1.3 out the door, we can focus on wrapping up the v1.5 release and incorporating community feedback. While we do intend to address simple enhancements like optional automatic sorting, we are also including new ways to look at the data - more substantial user interface updates. You can also expect to see support for new Leaderboards like Geometry Wars 2.

By popular demand, we're also working on easier ways for you to automatically populate your friends list and add new friends via XBOX.com. Good stuff all around.

If you have any functionality that you'd like to see, be sure to send a message to "borocouncilman" via XBOX Live or post your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

Thank you all for your support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

iLive Developer Acknowledges Theft of 1337pwn.com Data/Bandwidth

Curtis Hard (NBK THE1), "creator" of iLive, has acknowledged that his application was "stealing 1337pwn developer feed from them without any permission". This morning, he posted that confirmation to his blog. In addition, he sent me a couple of apologetic XBOX Live messages. The iLive AppStore application will be inoperable until Curtis finds another source for data. (See Update at the end of this post)


Had we had not discovered their bandwidth/api code poaching, the unauthorized use of 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends data would have likely continued indefinitely. While we appreciate the apologetic remarks, they do come after the fact. The improper use of the data was only acknowledged after we altered the feeds with special content.

The IP Address of the iLive web site is 62.44.73.108. The server used to scrape our Dashboard feed is 62.44.73.107. The developer said that the feed was provided by an "untrustworthy friend", but the IP addresses suggest another scenario. As the developer himself noted, "Don't trust anyone in this day and age". Be careful with your personal data out there.

UPDATE:
iLive application has been pulled from the AppStore and the author has indicated that he is stopping development. As we demonstrated, the application was dependent upon our data.

Thank you for your support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Caught stealing data/bandwidth from 1337pwn.com

We discovered that the other XBOX Live Friends application available in the AppStore is/was using our data feeds without permission. Their inefficient code contributed to usage spikes that affected our community experience. They were stealing a nice chunk of bandwidth and CPU through their improper use of our server interfaces. These folks were using our data without permission, authorization, or credit given. Not cool.

With a couple of tweaks to our data feed, we are now credited for the data within their application. Given that we have a sense of humor, we have also incorporated new features such as a random online status. This is all done to keep things interesting and give our hosting provider time to take the necessary steps. Of course, this feed fun will likely be short-lived as they find someone else to scrape.


1337pwn.com is the only official XBOX Live Community Developer Program member with an offering in the AppStore. We've been offering Friends List applications for nearly a year, investing a great deal of time and energy into our server infrastructure/coding. We will continue to work to make sure that our application offering is the best out there period.

UPDATE:
The creator of the other application acknowledged stealing data. Click here for more details.

Thank you for your support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List v1.3

After successful regression testing, we have submitted to the AppStore our latest bug fix and performance update. It should be available for download later in the week. While we work on v1.5, we thought that it was important to get this update out there. It addresses some bugs/issues that we've known about and has improved network code for the update of the list. We hope that you like the update.

Thank you for your support... don't pwn alone(tm)

Solved our Server Hiccup

1337pwn.com had a regular process that monitored the amount of activity on the site. As we've moved from several hundred thousand hit/day to million hit/day territory, that process can no longer keep up. It's been taken offline as it was the cause of two short outages during the past 3 days.

Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE:
We later discovered that these outages were caused by an application scraping our feeds and calling so frequently as to effectively create a DoS attack. Our hosting provider made changes to put a stop to it.

Readying v1.3 for the AppStore

While at the shore, I was able to test the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List v1.3 updates under a variety of network conditions. The minor nuisance bugs are fixed and the new network code provides a welcome performance boost for updates. While this release includes no new functionality per se, it addresses open issues and fixes behaviors for users in Asia.

After regression testing is completed, we will submit the update to the AppStore. We look forward to your feedback. In parallel with v1.3 development, we have been working on new features for v1.5 that you won't find anywhere else.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Now in QA: v1.3

We have a new bug fix update 1.3 for the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List AppStore application in testing that includes a few bug fixes along with performance improvements for friends lists of all sizes. It's being tested this weekend and providing that it passes the testing with flying colors will be posted to Apple by Monday which means you'll likely see it... next weekend.

  • Send Message tweaks including proper handling of gamertags with spaces

  • Performance improvements should help small and large lists handle updates better

  • Asian language encoding fixes for our friends in Japan

  • Miscellaneous things that have annoyed our team since launch


Again, this is simply a bug fix/update release while we work on new functionality for v1.5.

Thank you all for your feedback.

1337pwn Host is Up Again

We had a hiccup this morning at the hosting provider. The server is back up and running. We were down for approximately 30 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Friday, August 22, 2008

1337pwn PlayStation 3 (PlayStation Network) Friends List?

If you're new to 1337pwn.com, you might not be aware that we're multi-platform gamers. I personally think that Metal Gear Solid 4 is easily one of the best games of this console generation. When Metal Gear Online hit, we even tested it on the iPhone/iPod Touch.

At this time, a Sony equivalent to Microsoft's XCDP is non-existent. We would LOVE to offer an AppStore Friends List for the Playstation Network. It's just not technically feasible at this time without doing some screen-scraping kludge. How serious is our PS3 love? We made a working proof-of-concept web application that was pitched to the powers that be.


Looks awesome doesn't it? Unfortunately, we just can't get the data to get the job done. In reading the recent reviews of our AppStore application, it appears that a handful of PS3 fanboys are trying to make their wishes known. We feel your pain, but we're not the ones you should be petitioning. If Sony makes the data available, we WILL write an application.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our Warhawk Statistics web application. It's no substitute for seeing your friends online status, but it does help with bragging rights. If demand is strong enough, we can make a native version of the Warhawk application, but that's not the PlayStation 3 AppStore application that we really WANT to build.

Thank you for your support.
don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Update v1.2 Available

The v1.2 update for the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends Application is starting to appear in the AppStore. This update was posted the same day that the application went live -- a week ago. There are no new features in this release.

After we submitted v1.1 to the AppStore, one of our testers discovered that if you delete all of the gamers on your list and quit the application, the application would fail to load on restart. The workaround for the issue was to uninstall and re-install the application in v1.1. With v1.2, the problem has been fixed. This has been covered previously here.

A week to get this fix out there? Yes, the AppStore Review process makes it practically impossible to push out an emergency fix. It's one of the reasons that we did so much testing with our application. We wanted to make sure that users had the best possible first impression with our application. If you push out garbage, it will be there for weeks before you can get your update in.

As we work on v1.5, there will likely be a v1.3 to address some minor bugs and functional issues. If you've bumped into anything else that you'd like to see fixed, please let us know in the comments area for this post or send a message to borocouncilman via XBOX Live.

Thank you all for your support!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1337pwn on Android

We recently made a special version of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List web application for devices running Google's Android. This isn't a simplified browser version. It's a full-on AJAX application based upon our popular iPhone web application.


While almost no one has these devices right now, we are working on a native XBOX Live Friends List for the Android platform. The release of that application is at least a few months off as we don't like releasing mobile applications not tested on real hardware.

You can check out the Android web application here:
http://1337pwn.com/androidxbl.php

UPDATE:
We now have a native version in the Android Market. Read more here.

don't pwn alone(tm)!

1337pwn is in the TOP 100 Free AppStore Applications

In less than 2 days, our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List application has now found itself in the TOP 100 FREE AppStore applications. Of course, it's found itself at #100 -- incredibly cool nonetheless. As noted elsewhere in this blog, if you have a few moments, please take the time to do a review in iTunes and help spread the word.


We're working on new features and improvements for the v1.5 release. As some of them are ready for public viewing, I will be showing them on our blog.

Thank you all for your support!

Monday, August 18, 2008

1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List AppStore Application is now FREE

Microsoft is halting the sale of any XBOX Live related applications in the iTunes AppStore. As official XCDP developers, we've always been cooperative as they've been consistently great to us. Per a conversation with them this morning, they will let us continue distributing our application for FREE.


If you've been holding off on our AppStore application, it's time to dive in and use the best XBOX Live Friends application out there. If the iTunes store is not displaying FREE yet, be patient the update is making its way through the AppStore.

Thank you all for your support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

AppStore 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List v1.2 (minor update)

Last Friday, we posted version 1.2 to the AppStore -- the same day that we launched with 1.1. The new revision is a minor update that will likely appear on the AppStore within the week. Specifically, it addresses a bug discovered after submittal where the application will no longer launches if you delete all of your friends from the list and quit the application with no one in the list. With the v1.1, the problem can be resolved by simply uninstalling and re-installing the application.

Our next new feature release (not just bug fixes), will be revision 1.5. We're keeping the list of new features close to the chest at the moment and won't be revealing them until the application is ready. We think that you will like the 1.5 update.

Thank you all for your support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

1337pwn.com AppStore Launch Experience

It's been an interesting 12 hours with the launch of the application in the AppStore. First, we want to thank everyone who's been using our free application that upgraded to the native application. You're helping to support our site and you're getting an ad-free application. Thank you!

I also want to thank those of you who took the time to login to iTunes and give us a positive review. It's great to see reviews that compliment how well the application works. We worked really hard to not release a buggy mess. Thanks again!

Of course, like many AppStore applications, our star rating is being skewed by people who felt obliged to give us 1-star without even installing/using application. As of this morning, there were 19 such reviews. Yes, that's more than half of the "reviews". Unfortunately, it's just a common problem in the AppStore where seemingly any useful application takes hits like this. On the plus side, buyers are savvy enough to see through those comments.

We will continue to offer a web-based application XBOX Live Friends application supported by advertising and purchases of T-shirts, etc. As stated before, that web application is not going away.

Our AppStore application goals have always been directed towards offering the best possible experience. From the actual reviews, it looks like we nailed that. We're already working on first set of real updates for v1.5. Thank you all for your support!

don't pwn alone(tm)!

Friday, August 15, 2008

1337pwn XBOX Live Friends Application is Now Available in the AppStore

The native version of the 1337pwn.com XBOX Live Friends list application is now available in the AppStore. Our AppStore application offers a better user experience over a wide variety of connections. From performance to stability, it works better than anything else out there.

For those who have been stubborn on iPhone/iPod Touch firmware upgrades, we will continue to offer our excellent web application.

Thank you all for your feedback and support!