Saturday, February 23, 2013

Google's Next Office Space

This above is Google, this below is Apple. Which do you like better?

Big Data, Big Confusion?

Big Data
Big Data (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)
The Problem with Our Data Obsession
however objective data may be, interpretation is subjective, and so is our choice about which data to record in the first place. While it might seem obvious that data, no matter how “big,” cannot perfectly represent life in all its complexity, information technology produces so much information that it is easy to forget just how much is missing..... life is messy, and not everything can be abstracted into data for computers to act upon
There are obvious limitations to Big Data, but overall it is a force for good. The solution to Big Data blind spots seems to be even more Big Data. No?
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Ingress Tips

Join The Squad (Values)

The photo is me hitting Level 7 on Wall Street. Look at the mess I created!

First let's start with what is out there. There are some great sites that give you Ingress tips.

Ingress Tips
Ingress Tips (2)
Ingress FAQ
Ingress Bootcamp

My tips are with NYC on my mind. Even in NYC Manhattan has so many Portals and "Farms" compared to the outer boroughs. So my tips might not be universally applicable.

(1) Get An External Battery 

The game is a major drain on the battery, and you are going to be easily frustrated if you don't get an External Battery. I got my 10,000 mAH battery for $40 on Amazon, the best thing I bought since I bought my Nexus 4! And Nokia gave me a 2,000 mAH External Battery for free for attending a Nokia event during Social Media Week 2013. Go Nokia! 10,000 plus 2,000 plus 2,000 on my phone, and I am good for an entire day if need be! And for me this is not just about the game. I am a power user. My smartphone is my mobile office, my personal assistant. I don't like my personal assistant going to sleep or - worse - going into a coma. This tip on the External Battery came to me by way of a fellow Ingress player I bumped into in Union Square. Hello slomar! His real name is Omar.

(2) Put In The Hours

Especially during the early stages it might feel like you are making slow progress. But moving from Level 6 to Level 7 took me less time than moving from Level 1 to Level 2. This game is a lot of perspiration. It makes you walk! During the early stages you want to hack as many Portals as you can. Hacking friendly Portals is a great way to collect ammo.

(3) Know The Numbers 
  • Establish a control field 1250 AP
  • Destroy a control field 750 AP
  • Capturing a portal (place the first resonator) 500 AP
  • Link two portals 313 AP 
  • Complete a portal (place the eighth resonator) 250 AP
  • Destroy a link 187 AP
  • Apply a portal shield 150 AP
  • Place a resonator (new resonator) 125 AP
  • Hack a portal (Enemy) 100 AP
  • Destroy a resonator 75 AP
  • Upgrading an existing resonator owned by another agent 65 AP
  • Resonators discharge 10% of their maximum XM daily and must be recharged if they are to persist. Recharging can be done either by being within range of the portal or by using a portal key to access the portal remotely.
  • Resonators are destroyed when their XM reaches 0. 
  • You can only have 2,000 ammo items at a time. That's a lot unless you are high level and have been hacking a long time. 
Level AP RequiredMax XMBurster DamageBurster RangeResonator HPPortal Range
103,000150421,000160 m
210,0004,000300481,5002.56 km
330,0005,000500582,00012.96 km
470,0006,000900722,50040.96 km
5150,0007,0001,200903,000100 km
6300,0008,0001,5001124,000207 km
7600,0009,0001,8001385,000384 km
81,200,00010,0002,7001686,000655 km

I have not memorized them. All these numbers are in an Evernote file on my phone for quick references.

(4) Use The Map

That is how you know where the Farms are, where the Portals are. If you are low on ammo and need to hack friendly Portals for a few hours, go to the map. If it is time to find a cluster of enemy Portals, go to the map. The map changes as Portals switch from one side to another. (IITC)

(5) Farms Help You Level Up Fast

The top farms in Manhattan are:
  • Battery Park + Wall Street.
  • Madison Square Park 
  • Washington Square Park 
  • Rockefeller Center 
Other good ones are: City Hall, Union Square, Bryant Park, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), 7th Avenue from Macy's to Times Square, Times Square itself, Columbus Circle, the Apple Store on 5th Avenue. 

There are a few others that look good on the map that I have not explored yet. 

The formula is how many Portal hacks are you managing in an hour. If you are walking a block to hack one Portal, that is not the best use of your time. So stick to the big Farms to level up fast. 

Open parks are more GPS friendly than places like Wall Street and Rockefeller Center. Tall buildings seem to confuse satellites. The upside is when your GPS goes haywire, you are collecting XM from places you have not been, you are hacking Portals that are far from you!

Update: September 9, 2013: By now, Greater Jackson Heights is the top place in Queens for leveling up, and also one of the top citywide. 

Update: October 22, 2013: By now, East Village along Houston has emerged the top farm in the city. It is no longer Battery Park. Derpdom.

(6) Hack A Portal Four Times In A Row

You are much more likely to create Links and Fields. This is also why a Farm works better. You start with the first Portal, by the time you have hacked the final Portal on that Farm chances are the first Portal is ready for hacking again, since it has been past four minutes. A second or third hack might get you a Portal Key.

During the early Levels you create any Link you can. But later you want to get strategic about it. Remember the goal is to create Fields. It's best to Link short distance Portals with no Portals in between. You are doing well when creating one Link is giving you two Fields at once!

Update: October 20, 2013 Now you get a key each time you hack a portal if you don't have a key for it already. That makes the game way more fun, since linking and fielding is my favorite part of the game. Leveling up is now faster as well.

(7) Strategic Hacking

Bursters are scarce. So once you hit a certain Level, make a point to only go after Links and Fields. A great use of Bursters is to sit in the middle of a large Farm with many enemy Fields and take over. You earn APs like anything. This tip came to me by way of an "enemy" Player (derp) who had 4,000,000 points to my 400,000 who I bumped into in Madison Square Park. He happened to be an engineer at Google. He started in December, I got my start on February 1. He said I had wasted so many Bursters trying to take over one Portal. I should have instead used them to destroy a Field or two.

Destroying a Portal that is supporting two Fields is a great idea. You get a flood of APs.

Submit Portal suggestions. It is just like sharing a picture from your phone to Facebook. The process takes months apparently. And the ones I submitted have not showed up yet, but they will and I will be ready for them at Level 8.

(8) It Adds Up

Low level Resonators are useful to fill up Resonator slots once you capture a Portal. Every Resonator you add and every Portal you complete brings you points. The tortoise won the race, remember?

(9) It's The Resonator, Stupid

"You aren't attacking the Portal, but the Resonators. Stand right on top of every resonator when attacking for maximum effect.  It currently should take ~32 L1 XMP Bursters to destroy a L1 Portal's Resonators. You do ~15% damage to a Resonator when you are standing directly on top of it. If you are not, the damage falls off to 5% or 1% very quickly. .... if you wait for decay and hit them right before expiring, then even L8 Resonators could be destroyed easily. .....  .... Anecdotal evidence suggests a major difference between standing within a meter of a resonator vs 5m away and only a minor difference between 10m and 15m away.  .... ... If you don't have enough ammo don't even start a fight, it would be just a waste of xmp and your time."

(10) Socialize

The number one reason I started playing this game was to meet new people. I fire up Ingress, but then I also fire up my HDR Camera+ app, and my Highlight and Sonar apps. If I am going to be walking around this beautiful city like a mad man, I am going to take some pictures along the way. I am also going to expand my personal network.

It is not hard to spot other Ingress players. Their phone screen gives it away. Say hello.

Update: June 6, 2013

(11) Resonator Placement: Spread Them Out

When you capture a portal, stand as far away as you possibly can and then deploy. That way you spread out the resonators and it becomes just a little harder for an enemy agent to take them down.

Update: June 30, 2013

(12) Make Portal Submissions

Start making portals submissions as soon as you start playing the game: when you are a Level 1 agent, during your very first week. Do not wait. Portal submissions take weeks to go through anyways. You should have about 20 portals that you can walk over to any time. And so submit 50 with that in mind. This is also the top advice I have for all Level 8 agents I know. Don't just chase portals, make them come to you as well. Build a home territory. Churches, sculptures, arts, artifacts, murals, paintings are a good bet. Aim to build portal clusters. Dense clusters are good for gaining a lot of AP fast.

Build a home territory. A home territory is one where the majority of portals are your submissions.

Update: October 21, 2013

(13) The Ultimate Challenge: Team Building

It is my belief that is the final challenge in this game. You could work to build your neighborhood team, or a citywide team with slightly different values, or perhaps a global team. You could join an existing team and carve out space for your own team building within, or you could launch a brand new team of your own.

You can play this game solo just fine, and even as a team member you will engage in a ton of solo action, but this game is meant to be a social game.

Ingress New York City Public
Greater Jackson Heights Resistance
Squad Junior
The Squad
The Commando Squad
The Cross Faction Squad

My Photo Albums
Ingress: My Blog Posts

(This post has been visited 1063 times as of 10/22/13)
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Wall Street

Friday, February 22, 2013

Google Going High End

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
That used to be Apple's territory. Past tense.

The Chromebook Pixel, for what’s next

1500 dollars for a laptop.

I think this is a hint at at the X phone. There is going to be a wow factor to it. It is going to bend, for one.

Why Google Made Its Own High-End Laptop, the Chromebook Pixel
the Chromebook Pixel, a laptop that it designed and built itself ..... Unlike prior Chromebooks, whose main draw was their value, this one is built to compete with the top end of the market...... The three biggest appeals of the Pixel will likely be its touchscreen and high-density display, its elegant design, and the fact that it’s a Web-based device. .... The focus on detail and design is unheard of for a Google product. Where the company had tiptoed into hardware before, it’s striding in wholeheartedly now. .... The smooth device’s hinge gives “the feeling of a luxury car door opening and closing” .... The touchpad is made of glass, and has been tuned with a laser to have a maximally grippy surface. There are three microphones, with an additional one set below the keyboard so typing noises can be canceled out. ..... “tuning the force function of the mechanical keys to be more responsive.” ...... the Pixel is similar to Google’s Nexus device line ..... Google isn’t even naming the Taiwan-based OEM it is working with for the Pixel. ..... this is very much a first-generation device. Some of the Pixel’s hardware capabilities — like the third microphone, and gestures on the touchscreen — aren’t even supported by Google’s own services yet. .... The Pixel brings Google back to the perpetual question of why Google is building two operating systems, Chrome and Android, that are converging on each other. ..... once you build a touchscreen laptop, the lines blur
This is Google beating everyone on hardware. That also used to be Apple territory. Past tense.

Great design, used to be Apple territory.

But this still is not the hardware for NUI, the fast impending Natural User Interface, the next big paradigm shift after touch.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Keys

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dropbox Mobility

Image representing Dropbox as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
Google's lament with Facebook was it stands behind a wall, we can't search. Then Steve Jobs brought along iPhone apps that were even further behind the wall. An app was not like a website. You couldn't search. And the data the app collected mostly stayed not among apps, but inside that app itself.

Looks like Dropbox wants to shake that thing. Dropbox is a cloud inside the cloud.

Dropbox Offers a Way to Free Data from Mobile Apps
setting out to build “a fabric that ties together all devices, services, and apps … the Internet’s file system” .... the Sync API, allows mobile apps to save data to a user’s Dropbox account so that the app can be synched across multiple devices .... The Sync API could also erode some of the restrictions imposed by the competing mobile “ecosystems” of Apple and Google by making it easier to switch between them without leaving any data behind. For example, someone who had been using an image editing app for Apple’s iPad could install the same app on an Android tablet and find the edited photos on the new device. ..... “The Sync API allows iOS and Android developers to focus on the core aspects of their app and leave the complexities of working across platforms to us” ..... Dropbox’s leaders are carefully planning how to compete with Apple. ..... Apple and Dropbox are the two cloud services most used by U.S. consumers, with 27 percent and 17 percent
Will Dropbox Add a Music Player to its File Store?
Dropbox: Founder Drew Houston Simplifies the Cloud
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