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.

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 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, 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 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 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 The server used to scrape our Dashboard feed is 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.

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

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. 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.

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 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.

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, 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:

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 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 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!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Awaiting AppStore Approval

Yes, we're still waiting for approval from the AppStore. It is difficult to predict when they will make the application available. We'll let you know as soon as it hits.

Thank you all for your patience and support!

don't pwn alone (tm)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AppStore Status Update

All of the contractual stuff was completed and approved yesterday. We're now awaiting approval of the application itself. At the moment, the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List native SDK application is in the "In Review" status. As such we can't give you a firm availability date. We are literally fourth and inches from general availability of the new application in the AppStore.

Thank you all for your feedback and support!

UPDATE: And yes, it is head banging frustration to have your application hanging out in the "In Review" status. I'll be a big ball of stress, anxiety, and frustration until the application hits the AppStore. Of course, making matters worse, I'm the obsessive compulsive impatient type. Haha. The new application is so much better than our web application and anything else out there. I can't wait to get it in your hands. We're already working on the first update that will expand the already large feature set of the application. For now, all we can do is wait.

Monday, August 11, 2008 Accept No Substitutes

We've had a few of folks ask us about the "other" XBOX Live Friends application on the AppStore. Unless it says "" at the top, it is NOT our application. We can't provide any support or help you with any issues. If you are having problems with that application, we encourage you to contact the author.

As for the "official" native application. We're still in the AppStore submittal process and will notify you as soon as ours becomes available. Until then, enjoy our web-based application for the iPhone/iPod Touch available at:
Apple's Web Application Catalog

The web application is reliable and runs like a champ. It works exactly as advertised and can be used on any Internet connection. Plus, you can't beat the price... It's FREE.

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

Sunday, August 10, 2008 App Store Submission

We have deployed the native iPhone/iPod Touch XBOX Live Friends application to the AppStore. The application should be available for sale as soon as it clears Apple's review process. If you'd like a sneak peek, click here to see a development build in action.

We think that it is the best XBOX Live Friends application out there on any device and hope that you agree. We look forward to your feedback. Enjoy the application!

If you are looking for an excellent web-based alternative (ie. you haven't upgraded the firmware), be sure to check out our web-based application for the iPhone/iPod Touch here.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm) XBOX Live Friends List - AppStore Description

Our XBOX Live Friends List application is the one that you've been waiting for. has been recognized for delivering on the promise of XBOX Live Anywhere with our web-based application. We've put our experience to work in the development of our native AppStore application.


Our AppStore XBOX Live Friendslist application allows you to view your 360 gaming friends from just about anywhere. At a glance, you'll see all of the important information without having to click through multiple screens.

* Gamer Picture
* Online Status
* Gamerscore
* Last Played Game
* Player information

Plus, this information is updated right on your device without action by you. When running, our XBOX Live Friends list automatically updates with the latest information from Microsoft XBOX Live. No refreshing or relaunching to see the latest information.

Select a gamer from the list and you'll be treated to the most detailed information available with integration unique to our application.

* Complete XBOX Live Profile including Biography and Location
* Send messages through via our handy shortcut button
* Recent Games List including score and last date/time played
* Direct link to a player's iHaloStats face card
* Links to leaderboards for applications like the Club and Geometry Wars
* Shortcut links to compare achievements on
* Location is integrated with Google Maps application
* Twitter integration - simply include twitter(twitname) in XBOX Live bio

Tap on a game in the Recent Games list and you'll see a game details screen not available anywhere else.

* Game Popularity and Ranking on XBOX Live
* List of friends that also have played the title including their gamerscore
* Retail Box art for games (where available)

When it comes to managing your friendslist, our native application is head and shoulders above our web application and widgets. Press the Edit button and you're greeted to a native iPhone/iPod Touch friends list editor.

* Add/Delete gamertags
* Modify/Change gamertags
* Reordering via Drag-n-drop
* Verifies new gamertags eliminating guesswork

As official members of the XBOX Live Community Developer program, you won't put your Live/Passport login at risk. We take your security and privacy seriously.


We wrote our application from the ground up to perform work well regardless where you roam with your iPhone. It is built considering the limitations of mobile data networking in mind and works on EDGE, 3G, or WiFi! Regardless of how you're connected, our application starts within just a couple of seconds and doesn't impose artificial or arbitrary limitations on the number of friends on your list.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Free XBOX Live Friends List Application for the iPhone/iPod Touch

We will continue to offer a free browser-based version of the 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It works much better than some of the native iPhone applications out there. We will continue to offer it for free alongside our native AppStore application.

At, we intend to treat the AppStore version as just another platform joining our iPhone/Blackberry web applications and our Dashboard widgets. While many users may be inclined to upgrade, we understand that some users may prefer to stick with the free web-based application.

If you'd like to see our upcoming AppStore application in action, click here.

Thank you for all of your feedback and support!

Video of our new AppStore XBOX Live Friends Application

In the upcoming week, we will be releasing a native version of our 1337pwn XBOX Live Friends List application for Apple's App Store. The new application is dramatic improvement for our iPhone and iPod Touch users.

The team is so excited that we wanted to give you a sneak preview of the development build. You can check it out in the video below.

The team would like to thank everyone for their great feedback. The native iPhone/iPod Touch application is a big leap forward and we hope that you enjoy it.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Native XBOX Live Friends Application

As of early hours this morning, our new native XBOX Live Friends Application for the iPhone and iPod Touch is feature complete. We will be testing it all weekend and pushing it out to the AppStore as soon as it's ready. Screenshots and video to follow.

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

UPDATE: The video is now available here!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Following my Twitter

If you've been following my twitter, you'll know that the native version of the XBOX Live Friends Application for the iPhone and iPod Touch is coming along nicely. If you're a long-time user of our web application, you won't be disappointed when it hits the AppStore. Watch this space for updates and/or follow my Twitter (detansinn).

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

Friday, August 1, 2008

PSN Gamer "pokerggg" is now the top Warhawk player in the World

Since we released our iPhone/iPod Touch Warhawk Stats application, ICEMAN101 has been at the top of the leaderboard. As of this week, ICEMAN's statistics dominance is no more. All hail pokerggg -- he has taken the crown.

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