Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ingress APKs

This page hosts links to the APK files for installing the game Ingress on Android devices. Use this page if you need to download Ingress but are unable to do so on your device. Ingress is free. If you have access to the Google Play store, you should download it from there instead (and get updates):

When new versions are published I will update this post.

Version 1.20.0 1/30/2012: Note: This one might not work. IT uploaded strangely fast.

* Bug fixes.
* Rendering improvements.
* User setting to enable/disable email notifications.

Version 1.18.1 1/18/2013:
* Many bug fixes.
* Improved XMP explosion animation.
* Improved memory usage.
* Various UI enhancements.
* Faster app resume on all Adreno GPU based devices.
* Improved performance.
Known issues:
* Portal shields are nearly invisible in the map view.

Version 1.12.5 12/22/2012:
* Many bug fixes.
* Inventory size is now capped.
* UI fixes.
* Performance improvements.

Version 1.08.1 12/5/2012:
 * Bug fixes

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Rudimentary Chat System (for PC)

So working with a few of my friends I have developed a mod that allows you to use F1-F5 to send messages to other players (hosting or not) through the Unreal Engine 3's rudimentary text chat system. These messages are built into the Coalesced file and you can change them with Gibbed's editor under BioInput.ini. 

DISCLAIMER: The mod here ONLY adds 20 keybindings (5 for normal mod, 5 for lobby, 5 for dying mode, 5 for spectator) and moves quick save to F6 to make space in single player. Those are the ONLY changes - they make ZERO impact on gameplay and offer you ZERO advantages over other players.

This is a quick and dirty guide. If you don't know what I'm talking about you probably shouldn't be messing with these files.

Parts of this guide were copied from, used with permission.
Update: FemShep has tweaked this and included it in Mod Pack 1:


Get the mod and mod manager here:

Mod Manager backs up your Coalesced.bin the first time you try to apply a mod, and it also checks the file to make sure it is indeed the original. If you need the original again, you can find a link to it in the FAQ below. If you plan on deleting this application you should restore your coalesced before you do so.

If you want to edit the lines you can say, use a guide like the keybindings changer (google it) or follow the advanced guide on FemShep's blog at ME3Tweaks and find the bioinput section.

System Requirements

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 - 32/64 bit is fine
Mass Effect 3 installed (1.03 or higher)
Java 7 (1.7) Update 21 or higher



1. Unpack the Zip file you download to it's own folder. It should contain at the minimum:
  • ME3CMM.exe
  • <folders of mods you wish to use>
2. Right click ME3CMM.exe and do 'Run As Administrator' (Windows Vista/7) if your game is installed to the default directory.
3. In the "CookedPCConsole Directory" field, click "Browse", and navigate into your CookedPCConsole directory. It is typically located:
  • C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\CookedPCConsole
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\CookedPCConsole
Make sure you navigate into the directory. It should be empty when you open are in that folder. Click "Open".
4. Click Yes if this is where you will always keep your game's Coalesced (Other uses are mainly for testing).
5. Select your mod on the left, and click "Apply". It will make a backup of your Coalseced file if the hash of it matches the original. Otherwise, it will prompt to you to continue the installation. See the authors site of Mod Manager to get a copy of the original Coalesced if you lose it.
6. Click "Start Game" once the mod installs (Version 1.1 and above)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I get banned for using this mod?
A: You shouldn't be. This mod does not add any benefits to the user beyond a few added keymaps that give you no leverage in game. Spamming them may be considered griefing.

Q: I installed a mod, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything. What's wrong?
A: If you're playing Multiplayer, you need to be the host. Clients don't control the game. If you're playing Single Player, you'll need to contact your mod developer.

Q: I can't install a mod. It always shows an error message with return code 4. How do I fix this?
A: Most likely you'll need to run the program as administrator. Right click the ME3CMM.exe file and do run as administrator. If you always want to run it as an administrator do it as follows:

Right click the executable and click Properties.
Click the Compatability tab. You might need to choose "Change settings for all users" at the bottom of the tab if "Run this program as an administrator" is greyed out. Check that box. You will be prompted for Admin access when you run the program. This is needed to copy files to your program directory. Click Apply, and OK.

Q: I want to go back to my original Coalesced mode so I can play some public matches. How do I do that?
A: When you apply your first mod, a backup copy of Coalesced.bin is stored in the program directory as Coalesced.original. If you use the Actions->Restore Original Coalesced option, it will restore your original Coalseced. If for some reason that file is gone, you can visit to get a new copy in the FAQ section of the original release.

Q: I installed a mod, but the old Coalesced is still active. How do I make the new one work?
A: The game needs to be restarted in order to reload Coalesced.bin.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Motorola's Losing Strategy

Alright, I normally never critique companies like this on my blog, but this one demands that I post it.
Quoting the Wall Street Journal,
a"Motorola reported a first-quarter loss of $86 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $81 million, or 27 cents a share. "

The logo of a once great company

Now, their smartphone business was up a bit this year over last year by about 4%. And I think that is due to the fact that they released the Droid RAZR and had a pretty decent ad campaign with it.

However Motorola, you're strategy, at least in my opinion, is a losing one. Why?
You suffer the same thing that Windows Phone suffers: Lack of tech enthusiasts giving advice to get your phone.

What do I mean by that? Well, as a developer, and a tech savvy smartphone user, people ask me "What's a good phone I can buy on this carrier?". I will never, ever refer them to a Motorola Phone, because, being tech savvy, gives me an ill opinion of Motorola. No Unlocked Bootloaders. Terrible customer support (thanks for shipping me the wrong item and voiding my warranty because of it Motorola!). Releasing an upgraded phone every 32 days, screwing people over.

And if you look at XDA, a forum full of tech enthusiasts, most of them don't really like Motorola either. You are the most locked down phone maker and are probably the most developer unfriendly company out their. Samsung releases their kernels BEFORE their phones are even out. It took you like 2 months after the Atrix came out to post the kernel for that.

But some people say, "Nobody but you hackers care about unlocked bootloaders or developer support.".
And yes, that is true. But we are the people who get asked what they should get. If Motorola is going to shaft me, I sure as hell am not going to tell someone else to go give them their money.
I own an Atrix. It's an alright device. I am happy with the purchase, but the "we'll unlock the bootloaders" BS was a huge bait and switch. I was skeptical when HTC said they would make unlockable all future phones (and current ones in 2011). But HTC went well above and beyond by making nearly all of their devices unlockable, including the ancient G1.
How many Motorola devices are officially unlockable? The Xoom? Perhaps the original Droid?
HTC seems to have made a very fair compromise on the bootloader. I am willing to void my software warranty. If my volume buttons stop working though, I am pretty sure unlocking my bootloader didn't do anything to make that happen. But it seems reasonable, they are at least trying.

Your "new phone every 32 days" is also a huge reason I never recommend your phones, especially on Verizon. Buy a Bionic, get screwed by RAZR. Buy a RAZR, get screwed by RAZR MAXX. Buy a RAZR MAXX, get screwed by the likely upcoming RAZR MAXX HD. (Don't quote me on that, it might not happen).

And no, the Developer Edition Droid RAZR MAXX does not count. That is a complete bullshit "unlockable bootloader" phone. No warranty, same price, you might as well sell me a bucket of water.
Seriously. If you can cater to the developers, or hell, throw them a bone, maybe one day they will like you again.

Or you know what? See if you can make a phone that runs stock android, or almost stock, like Asus. Make it have an unlockable bootloader. Kind of make it a dev phone, like the Nexus, but not a Nexus. Nobody said you had to be the Nexus provider of the year to release a stock rom device. Have you read your facebook? And how everyone hates MotoBlur? (It's getting better - but its still... ugh)

Seriously, you never tell your community what you are doing. You told us unlockable bootloaders but that never happened, and you shot yourself in the foot. Look at your facebook comments.
 I would love to recommend you to people. You make great hardware, and some decent software. But your philosophy on screwing customers over and over will never get you more customers.
My next phone will most likely be a Samsung or HTC. But perhaps you will correct some issues to be the company that you were after the Droid came out. (but before the Droid 3)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bypass Google Play PIN code for purchases

Today I was following a guide to get my Android Market to upgrade to Google Play, a rebranding of all the Android Market services. I noticed that this bug is strikingly similar to the Google Wallet bug that allowed people to access the prepaid cards on the phones that used Google Wallet.
The specific bug lies with the 'Use PIN for purchases' as shown below:
Settings are locked until you enter the PIN
This PIN prevents you from being able to just buy anything you want. It is much simpler than Apple's Apple ID login, where they prompt for your password even more than Windows Vista initially did with UAC.

Dangit! Stymied again!

This pin code is stored on the device itself and not through Google Wallet (checkout). This is where the bug lies;
Say your phone is stolen. You don't have a lock on the device so anyone can use it. I know many people who have phones like this.
If you use a pin code to protect your google purchases from say, your kids, the easiest way to bypass is to just clear the market/play store settings through the settings manager. Which, unless you use an app like Data Defender, is really easy to do:
One Click?
Now, if we restart the Market/Play Store app, and go to settings once again...

Nothing prompts you to sign in with your Google Account (your default one), so your credit card details are still available to the market app, and I'm free to purchase whatever I want now without needing a PIN. When the owner changes their Google password, sure, it'll not let you buy until you sign in again, but we can't expect everyone to change their password within 3 minutes of losing their phone. While I don't suspect this happens a lot, I'm sure somebody's kids want to get those fancy suits in RoboTek or buy a fake Temple Run game. Or you could just have someone who doesn't like you run up an impressive bill, just like the 90's!

Great success!

Google should probably tie it to their end, instead of the phone end. Everything is moving to the cloud anyway right?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

LogThis 2.0 coming soon

I am updating Log This again. I have most features mostly complete, but I have been incredibly busy the last few weeks with a new MicroProcessors class that has a ridiculous amount of work. I have updated the code to  now target SDK 11, Or honeycomb. Android 1.5 will no longer be supported, it's too old and it sucks to develop for anyways. I have some free time this weekend... for all the wrong reasons, but I do have free time this weekend. So hopefully there will be an update, or a pending one this weekend!