Attack of Miitomo

struggling_miitomo

Strangest Social Network

struggling_miitomoYesterday is the day that Nintendo finally rolled out it’s My.Nintendo.Com rebranding of their account system.  For years Nintendo has made some pretty confusing choices when it came to social connectivity in their applications.  The obtuse friend code system in the 3DS was often times more trouble than it was really worth to connect up with your friends under most situations.  The short lived Nintendo ID seemed to work better, but since I only recently purchased a Wii U I have not had a ton of experience with it other than accessing the eShop.  “My Nintendo” is their new attempt at gluing together all of these old systems along with the social media that we actually use on a regular basis… namely Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook… with what appears to be integration with Instagram and Line but these are not super intuitive.  With this network they also rolled out a new app called Miitomo that attempts to be something along the lines of those street pass apps that let you play with your friends Mii avatars.

The only problem is…  that the app refuses to work on my phone.  They have chosen to block rooted phones from being able to use the network… which honestly accounts for a not insignificant portion of the android market share.  The only problem here is…  my phone isn’t rooted.  At one point I absolutely unlocked root so I could run tethering apps, however since then I restored back to the factory settings.  When you use any of the “root checker” programs my phone gets as clean bill of health, and Samsung KNOX is still showing a valid warranty so zero strikes there either.  So for all purposes my phone is not rooted and the app should not be able to tell that it has EVER been rooted.  However I am still encountering the same damned black screen and crash that rooted users seem to experience, so I am guessing somehow the Nintendo app still thinks I have a rooted device.  The only problem here is… if my phone were actually rooted I could fix this problem easily by using cloaking software to keep the Miitomo app from seeing the root access.  So honestly if I ever want to run this on my phone it is looking like I am going to have to redo the root and install Rootcloak… which sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it Nintendo?

dancing_miitomoAll of this said I did manage to get it to install on my Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which in itself is a bit of a goofy situation given that this is not on the Amazon app store yet.  If you also have the $50 Kindle, and would like to be using the Google Play store instead…  check out this video that I used to install the play store and the related applications on my tablet because it doesn’t require root to actually make it happen.  The only game I have yet to get to work on the Kindle is Final Fantasy Record Keeper and I am guessing if I did some digging I could probably make that work too.  On the Miitomo front…  I am not entirely certain I get it.  I mean it is a very cute presentation and it allows me to dress my Mii up however I want.  The only problem is I am not really seeing the point, other than earning nebulous rewards on the “My Nintendo” website like 15% off coupons.  Once you get past the window dressing, what the app ultimately ends up being is a super cumbersome chat program that lets you comment on your friends status updates.  If I could take items earned in this app and have it trickle down into the 3DS and Wii U then that would be really awesome, or if I could unlock extras for the games I am already playing…  then that would be really cool.  For the time being however it falls into the “nifty” bin but I am not sure how much myself or anyone else will really be using this once the new and cool factor wears off.

[Edit] – as of this morning I noticed there was a 1.1.2 update waiting on my phone.  I tried that and sure enough it seems to have fixed the crash.  I do have to admit this is a much better app for a phone than a tablet, so maybe I was overly harsh in my initial review.  I am not sure if this actually fixes things for rooted users, but it fixed my problems.

 

Super Good Advice

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I’ve been playing a silly amount of Iron Banner over the last few days, because I am finding that I really do enjoy PVP in Destiny.  This is just such an odd revelation for me given that I have purposefully shied away from fighting other players in any other game.  At least on some level it makes me wonder if I should dust off some of the other titles and give PVP a real chance to see if it sticks with me.  I remember enjoying playing Arena in World of Warcraft during Burning Crusade, but in large part we were doing our matches to get epics… to help our characters in raiding.  That is the most interesting thing for me is that I thought I was going into Iron Banner just for the loot, and while I have managed to get two of the chestpieces… that really doesn’t seem to be my core drive.  I actually like playing the maps, and while there are some that I absolutely hate… several of them are beginning to feel extremely comfortable.  The other thing that I find shocking is that I actually seem to be improving quite a bit.  There have been a few matches where I topped the score for the entire match, which is something I find completely bizarro.  I still consider myself a very shitty Destiny player.

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I think my ultimate goal for this weekend is to be able to get up high enough in the ranking to start to see the weapon drops.  I believe these start at rank 4 with the hand cannon, and rank 5 for the machine gun.  Both of them are weapons that I would probably actually use, but I am more excited about the Hand Cannon right now for some reason.  I miss using my Hand Cannon, and it feels like maybe this one would be a good legendary to run around with.  I need to honestly just dust off my Hawkmoon and give it a go again… but the big problem that I always run into is the fact that I never seem to have enough ammunition.  It is my huge hope that in the weapon re-balancing coming in the April patch that we see some love for the reserve ammunition size of the various Hand Cannon archetypes.  For now my weapon of choice in the Crucible is the Antipodal Hindsight that I now have up to 303.  There is just something about this weapon that I love, especially now that I have a roll on it with Rodeo.  Seriously… Rodeo on any weapon will take it from crappy to completely viable for me at least.  It is my hope that through today’s daily bounties I will hit rank 3 and get my first Iron Banner package.

 

The Search for Internet

Gopher Belghast

Yesterday was the first official day of the conference and it went far more smoothly than we could have hoped for.  Everyone seems so full of excitement and just brimming with ideas that when put together with the other teachers seem to cause random outbursts of inspiration.  When you see the number 180 written out it doesn’t seem like that many people, but when you are confronted with that many at one time…  it seems like a rather large group indeed.  The conference has folks from around the country and many from outside of it.  There is a pretty huge contingency from our neighbor to the north, and a few from across the pond as well.  I’ve heard there is an Irish teacher here, but I have not met her.  While watching the twitter hashtag during the day everyone seems to be getting so much from the process.

My morning was extremely busy, as I played gopher for any teacher that had forgotten something.  I did a lot of runs to the store to pick up this or that and deliver it to their class room.  From a tech support standpoint everything seemed to go smoothly, as the morning sessions tended to be put on by folks who are already seasoned presenters.  After lunch they had the keynote session and twitter blew up after that, so I am guessing the guy was extremely dynamic.  In the afternoon I finally sprang into action with a few last minute games of “trace the cable” to figure out what exactly had gotten unplugged in the shuffle.  A number of the issues were ones we simply could not resolve due to the fact that my wife’s school employs a rather draconic web filtering system.

The Search for Internet

I admit much like a student I spent a good chunk of my time yesterday in search for a way to circumvent the web filtering system.  It seemed like every other site I attempted to hit was either blocked for partially malfunctioning because some content delivery network they use as actually the thing being blocked.  You find out just how many things you read are hosted off things like Imgur when you encounter a web filtering system like this.  A few weeks back we lost our router, and I am still in the RMA process with Asus to get a replacement, but one of the nice features of the Nighthawk is that it comes with a really cool OpenVPN client.  So a good chunk of my morning was spent trying to configure this.

For starters I could not remote into my machine at the house, as apparently RDP was blocked by the draconic filters.  So I did one of the most truly contorted things to gain access to it.  Apparently my workplaces web based SSL vpn worked just fine, so I remoted into work… and then turned around and remoted into my machine at the house.  I was pretty sure I was moments away from ripping a hole in the internet.  There I configured the client the router, and when it came to downloading the OpenVPN client… I had to do that on my home machine and gmail it to myself, since the OpenVPN website was blocked as well.  Finally when I got everything installed I fired it up… and for a moment I thought it might be going to work… but the packets kept timing out.

So not only did they have a web filter in place but they also had a packet inspection firewall in place that was knocking down the packets coming in that it recognized as OpenVPN.  In utter futility I flailed around a bit trying a different combination of port, maybe hoping I could disguise the traffic as something common.  The problem is since I am on Cox internet, all of the common and benign ports are being blocked on my end since they don’t want you hosting a web, ftp, or mail server at your house.  So after trying a dozen or so ports and going through the contorted process of transferring the configuration over gmail just to make sure it was working…  I gave up and resigned myself to playing some Bejeweled 3.  This is how you can tell I am really bored…  I play Bejeweled because at this point I can play it on auto pilot.

Towel Day

After giving up for a bit and playing a few rounds of bejeweled I had another idea.  For some time I have known exactly how to root my Samsung Galaxy S5, but didn’t do it for one reason or another.  Like I felt like that was just a mess I didn’t want to deal with, and any of the potential ramifications of doing it.  I want to be able to fiddle with my device freely, but at the same time I have no interest in doing a lot of the reasons why you root an android in the first place.  Essentially I wanted to hold off doing it until I had a solid reason to.  The complete and total lack of decent internet at the school was apparently that reason.  The Samsung S5 has a built in Wifi hotspot but in their infinite wisdom AT&T seems to have installed a piece of software the blocks it anytime it tries to start.  You have to be on one of the metered plans to use it, and since we are on the old grandfathered unlimited plan…  this means we cannot.

The thing is I see the reasoning for blocking it.  They don’t want someone using their phone as their ONLY internet provider and doing all sorts of random stuff like bittorrent over their wireless network.  For me however I want to be able to use is as a backup network when I cannot for some reason connect to one.  I feel like if I am paying for this device, I should be able to use its internet connection in any way I see fit within reason.  The rest of the world can do this without problem, and carriers outside of the United States don’t throw up these artificial restrictions.  So emboldened by my frustrations… I installed the Towel root on my phone, and turned to the dark side.

It still took me a little bit of doing, but right now I have my phone connected to my laptop via bluetooth and PDAnet and the connection is amazing.  I figured all of this out pretty late in the day but I was able to get out and play some FFXIV with little to no lag.  I just have to figure out how to also connect it to my chromebook, and then I will have a way to use it when I do not have access to WiFi.  Even cooler this also means I should able to finally use a Dualshock 3 controller with my android to play some emulator games!  Everything that I have heard tells me that the android is a truly amazing emulator system, but in order to get it working well you need root access.  Now that I have finally crossed that threshold I figure this is dawning a new age of random crap I use my phone for.