CubeCheater Updates

A couple of interesting things have been happening in the CubeCheater world recently.

First, I recently received a nastygram cease-and-desist from the Rubik's Cube company, which claims that CubeCheater infringes on its rights.  Apparently they claim rights to any and all "depictions" of Rubik's Cubes.

I obviously did not use any "Rubik" names or logos in the app, so I had thought it would be in the clear, especially since the app only solves cubes and does not simulate them. I don't know enough about intellectual propery law to know whether it's legitimate to claim rights to depictions of products, but there does seem to be some precedent for trademarking the "likeness" of a product.

Either way, there's no way I could possibly afford to fight it in court, so I didn't have much of a choice. I negotiated with the Rubik's Cube company, and we came to an agreement that I could keep CubeCheater alive as long as it was available for free.

So this week I made CubeCheater available for free on the App Store. In the few days since then, it's been downloaded about 25,000 times.

On a more positive note, version 1.2 of CubeCheater is now available, and adds support for many new languages!  CubeCheater is now translated into Japanese, German, French, Italian and Spanish. Fortunately the app doesn't have a whole lot of text so it was fairly easy to translate. Still, some problems did come up, such as most of the German text strings being too long for the buttons that I had calibrated for the English version. Eventually I got everything to fit.

Here are some screenshots of CubeCheater in Japanese and German:

CubeCheater in Japanese

CubeCheater in German

Posted on June 20, 2009

Lite Sales Boost

So as promised, here's more data about how the release of Piratizer Lite helped the sales of the full version of Piratizer. As expected, it did create a light (ha) boost in sales. Here's the graph - the large spike around June 1 was about when the Lite version was released:

Piratizer Sales

Piratizer Lite sales boost

So it's still a little early to conclusively call it a trend, but the release of the Lite version seems to have boosted sales of Piratizer by about 4-5x. Sales are now around 20-25 per day.

The one thing I know the sales won't do is stay constant, but imagining that they did, 25 sales per day would be about 9000 per year. Add in say 5 more apps pulling similar numbers and you could have yourself a nice little source of passive income, which is a good thing to have during these days of recessions and layoffs.

It's looking more and more like Piratizer won't achieve the great success of CubeCheater, which is what I had feared and intended to test by making the app. Certainly with 50,000 apps now in the App Store, only a select few are going to be making any real amounts of money, given the way the system is set up.

Posted on June 15, 2009


Today I graduated with a Master's degree in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Washington. It's been a long ride since I decided to enroll two years ago. I've been super-busy with school as well as a full-time job the whole time.

I'm glad to be finished though! Now I'll have time for a little break before moving on to the next stage of my life.

I have instructed my friends to call me "Master Eric" now, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be catching on...

I don't have the actual diploma yet, but I did get this fancy business card holder:

University of Washington business card holder

Posted on June 13, 2009
Filed under: General, School Comments

just got a cease & desist from the Rubik's Cube company

Bird Poo Smell

A little more than a week ago I noticed a bad smell in my apartment, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. It was a vaguely familiar smell, but wasn't any of the typical things you'd easily recognize (like rotting food or mold).

Then one day I noticed a duct vent outside my apartment and realized what it was:

Bird Poo

Some birds had been building a nest inside the duct and were pooping up a storm inside, so much that it spilled out, down my window. The duct connected to my clothes dryer as well as the oven fan vent.

Unfortunately this vent outlet is between the second and third floors, so it's impossible to reach without an extra-tall ladder. I called the maintenance crew and they were able to pull the bird nest out (there were no baby birds or eggs, luckily), and put a grate over it.

I think the birds must have pooped a whole lot inside of the duct (which didn't get cleaned up), because there's still a small lingering smell wafting through the apartment a week later. I'm hoping that the smell will eventually go away by itself, but in the meantime I have one of those plug-in air fresheners, which masks it so that you don't notice.

Posted on June 1, 2009
Filed under: General, Random Comments



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