More sites added to First Rule

The First Rule comment blocking app has been updated to version 1.2 for Chrome and iOS. This update adds blocking for additional websites, as well as improving the app’s load time on iOS.

About First Rule

Everyone knows that the first rule of the internet is “Do not read the comments”, yet far too many of us still get suckered into yelling at strangers on the internet. This situation isn’t good for anyone, and it would be better off if comment sections simply did not exist. The First Rule app makes this a reality, by blocking the comments on mobile (iOS) and desktop (Chrome).

Links & Information

Chrome Extension shows earnings estimates for YouTube videos

Video Money Count is a Chrome extension that estimates how much advertisers had spent advertising against a video. The extension simply adds the estimate below the view count on all YouTube pages.

The extension was inspired by a recent CGP Grey video that has been automatically updating the title to reflect the video’s estimated advertising spend. This extension uses that same estimation technique to approximate how much advertisers have spent against a given video.

Links & Information

BlackBerry 10.3.3 roll out remains slow

Adoption of the final version of BlackBerry OS remains slow, with most users still using the older 10.3.2 version. In March the use of 10.3.3 was well below half, reaching only 41.7% of Stuff I Need users, and 22.7% of Pixelated users.


This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of March 2016 through the end of March 2017.

Predicting the Frozen Four Results

With the college hockey season wrapping up this weekend, I am using my Elo ratings to predict the results of the final weekends games.

Harvard (which currently has its all time highest rating of 1753) is the favorite with a 30.54% chance of winning the tournament. They are followed by Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, and Notre Dame. Full odds are at ebscer.com/collegehockey/2017-ncaa-hockey2

Elo correctly predicted 10 of the 12 games in the tournament’s first weekend, and already has predictions ready for Thursday’s games.

Update for First Rule comment blocker app

The First Rule comment blocking application has been updated to version 1.1 in the Chrome storefront. This update adds comment blocking on an additional 150 domains, bringing the total number of websites with blocked comments to over eighteen-hundred.

About First Rule

Everyone knows that the first rule of the internet is “Do not read the comments”, yet far too many of us still get suckered into yelling at strangers on the internet. This situation isn’t good for anyone, and it would be better off if comment sections simply did not exist. The First Rule app makes this a reality, by blocking the comments on mobile (iOS) and desktop (Chrome).

Links & Information

One month in, the BlackBerry 10.3.3 rollout has stalled

Last month saw the launch of BlackBerry 10.3.3 which resulted in the BlackBerry 10 OS distribution in changing for the first time in a year. One month later, there is once again no change from the previous month as the rollout of the final version of the OS appears to have already stalled.

January once again saw the vast majority of users running the older 10.3.2 OS. So far less than a third of all users have moved to 10.3.3, and given the lack of carrier interest it is questionable if they ever will.

This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of January 2016 through the end of January 2017.

College Hockey API

Two years ago I wrote a site to rank NCAA hockey teams. The Elo based rankings have been publicly available for a while now, but in addition I ended up writing a bit of an API that has technically been released, but never publicized.

The url ebscer.com/collegehockey/api/<season>.json will return a json formatted data dump representing all games in a given season. Each game lists the date, home team, away team, home score, and away score for each game. For example all games in the current season are listed at ebscer.com/collegehockey/api/2016-2017.json Data goes all the way back to the 1998-1999 season.

I am happy to let anyone use this data, and just ask that you be respectful of the servers.

Weather Beautiful released for Windows 10

The Weather Beautiful app has been released for Windows 10. This weather app is available for both desktops and phones, and is equivalent to the versions for with the Android, BlackBerry, and iOS.

About Weather Beautiful

Weather Beautiful is a simple weather app that displays stunning photography of your surrounding area. In addition to the current temperature and weather conditions, the app also allows you to scroll for a full weekly forecast. While temperatures are shown in Fahrenheit by default, there is an option to switch to Celsius.

Links & Information

icon480

Additional Stats added to Hockey Scores app

The Hockey Scores app has been updated to version 4.2 for iOS and BlackBerry. The app now has a ‘Shots Attempted’ stat that shows the total Corsi shots that a team has taken.

Additionally, this update also shows the times of upcoming games in either a 12 hour or 24 hour format based on the settings for the phone. For iOS there is also a new option to adjust the app’s background color from the system settings app.

About Hockey Scores

In addition to showing the scores of each game, the app also shows the game time, shot on goal, shot attempts, hits, faceoff percentages, and a full list of all of the game’s goal scorers.

A one time in-app purchase can be used to remove all advertising from the app.

Links & Information

web

Block all web comments with the First Rule browser extension

The first rule of the internet is “Do not read the comments”. Should you ever read the comments at the end of the article, or below a video you never end up smarter, but instead end up irrationally angry because some stranger is saying something dumb.

Yet despite knowing this, not reading the comments is often easier said than done. Scrolling down you see them, just begging you to engage.

Even if you resist replying, just reading through is wasting your time and your sanity. To combat this, First Rule is an extension that removes all comments from the internet.

Available on both the desktop as a Chrome extesnion, and on iOS as an app, First Rule hides the comments on 1700+ websites. This leads you with a cleaner and more peaceful browser experience.

Links & Information

Nothing Registered Chrome Extension released

Nothing Registered is a Chrome extension that removes the registered trademark symbols from the internet.

Eliminating these symbols from the websites and articles that you read makes for a cleaner and better reading experience. This makes it easier to focus on what is actually being said, and less distracted by the legalese that too often accompanies it.

Links & Information

December saw the start of the BlackBerry 10.3.3 rollout

After almost a full year of no significant change, December saw a shake up of BlackBerry 10 users, as OS 10.3.3 began its slow rollout.

The Stuff I Need app saw 29.6% of downloads come from users running OS 10.3.3, while for the game Pixelated this was at 15.8% of users.


This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of December 2015 through the end of December 2016.

Weather Beautiful App Updated

The Weather Beautiful App has been updated to version 2.4 for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry 10. This version is quicker to refresh the weather and location when the app is relaunched. Additionally there was a bit of optimization done to the app to make the underlying code quicker and simpler.

About Weather Beautiful

Weather Beautiful is a simple weather app that displays stunning photography of your surrounding area. In addition to the current temperature and weather conditions, the app also allows you to scroll for a full weekly forecast. While temperatures are shown in Fahrenheit by default, there is an option to switch to Celsius.

Links & Information

icon480

Merry Christmas

christmas
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till he appeared, and the spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees. Oh, hear the angel voice.
O night divine, the night when Christ was born.

BlackBerry sold BBM without anyone noticing

Thinking that BlackBerry controls BlackBerry Messenger would be a reasonable assumption, but it would also be an incorrect assumption. As of last June BBM is being run by an Indonesian company called PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk.

I was on vacation during the June 27th announcement of this new partnership and as such probably just skimmed the press release, but after posting to Twitter on Sunday night it appears that this is new information to a lot of people who follow BlackBerry.

Exactly what is going on?

The main reason this went unnoticed is that the situation is far more complicated than a straight sale. Creative Media Works was created as a division of PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk (also known as the Emtek group) that operates as BBM, and licenses technology and IP from BlackBerry and is in partnership with KMK Online which is also a subsidiary of PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk.

It is understandable if anyone is a bit confused by those details.

Furthermore the initial press release referred to the deal as merely a “partnership”, and used terms like “making the BBM API available” when it would have been more accurate to write “handing over development of the app”.

The continued insistence that this is a long therm lease rather than a sale may be technically correct, but it can’t help but make me think of the 99 year lease of Hong Kong.

Today there is an organization that refers to itself as BBM, and is not owned by BlackBerry. Personally I have a hard time not referring to that as a sale.

BlackBerry’s Response

This morning BlackBerry posted an oddly titled response to this situation, that is full of double speak. It starts with the statement that Emtek has “the rights to develop and offer cross-platform BBM” which is a fact that BlackBerry had previously danced around. BlackBerry insists that BBM hasn’t been sold because BlackBerry still has control of BBM Enterprise (which is a separate app that nobody cares about), and the BBM app on BlackBerry 10 and BBOS.

This last point ignores the fact that BBOS and BB10 versions of BBM have not gotten any significant updates since this partnership began. It also explains why the BBM video chat on BlackBerry 10 is not compatible with the BBM video chat on Android or iOS.

Then we have the BlackBerry COO, disputing comments by the BBM CEO, and then ending the post saying that they are “100% aligned on their vision”.

After months and months of hearing that BlackBerry is not abandoning their operating systems (while they clearly have) it has become clear that the company has come to embrace Donald Trump’s approach to facts. As a result I think it is now clear that BBM was sold while nobody was looking.

About Windows Phone

A bit of a side not to all this, is the discussion of BBM on Windows Phone. Every comment talks about “BBM on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone” yet ignores that there has been zero work done on the Windows side throughout this whole process. The BBM app for Windows Phone has always lagged behind, and hasn’t received a single update since the start of this deal. Furthermore it appears as if the app has been pulled for new users, and the link on bbm.com literally results in a 404 page.