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by Ian Dixon
on 02 January, 2014

Status of the ongoing WMATA (DC Metro) realtime data outage, which is causing many customer mobile apps and websites to suffer outages. The nature of the problem is that all route directions and schedules appear to be missing, meaning apps can't list routes and their associated bus stops, or view full daily bus schedules.

12/28/13 - A local developer reports via a developer Facebook group "The Bus Schedule API seems to have no valid data in it for dates past 12/28"

1/1/14 - I began to receive outage notifications from my user base that the DC Metro and Bus app contains no route data.

1/2/14 - 745am I posted a notice of outage to the previously mentioned Facebook group, which until recently was being monitored by a WMATA POC. No response from WAMTA.
            750am I directly emailed the previous WMATA POC alerting him of the outage. He's no longer responsible for the service, but advised he had forwarded my note to the appropriate group, who I can contact myself through the WMATA API web site.
            930am I tried contacting WMATA through their website to alert them of the outage.
            130pm Apps are still down. Metro riders are still in the dark. No response yet from a POC within WMATA indicating that the appropriate people are aware of the issue and working to address it.
            200pm I notice that WMATA has posted an update to their developer page. Good news, the issue is being worked on.

Attention:January 2, 2014 - WMATA is aware of bus schedule data unavailability on the API and is working to deploy a solution. We will update this message when regular bus schedule data becomes available.

            425pm Still no fix for the issue, and no ETA communicated by WMATA. Apps still down.

1/3/14 - 900am It looks like SOME of the route data has been restored. Most routes appear to have direction data, enabling my apps to at least list the directions and stops for them. However, all the schedule data that I and other developers checked showed arrival times of 00:00 across the entire day, so riders would be unable to check full schedules. Hopefully the issue is still being worked on by WMATA. There has been no correspondence from them other than the above alert on their developer page.

            100pm I see that WMATA has updated their message on their site, but I'm still seeing 00:00 as the arrival time on all schedule data.

Attention: January 2, 2014 - The problem with bus schedule data has been resolved.

1/4/14 - 900am Schedule data appears to be back, and for the most part service seems to be restored. However, a few individual routes appear to still be missing route details, including direction data, meaning riders of routes such as 16P will not be able to browse bus stops.

by Super User
in Web
on 21 December, 2013

Congratulations to the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) on the successful launch of their new website!

AMBA recently upgraded to a new responsive web site with a full content management system, great new look, blogging and social networking features.

You can find AMBA and their new site at or on twitter at @MilitaryBanks

by Ian Dixon
on 15 July, 2013

In app ad banners are my primary method of app monetization. I've limited myself mostly to Apple's iAD, and Google's AdMob. I have dabbled a bit with TapIt, but found the eCPM to be really disappointing. The eCPM is a metric that tells you how much you earn for every 1000 ad impressions on your apps. When I initially hooked my apps up with these networks in October 2012, iAd was by the far the highest earner, far surpassing AdMob's eCPM. So I structured my iOS apps to request iAd impressions, with an automated fail-over to AdMob impressions when iAd failed to give me an ad.

This format worked like a charm until AdMob unexpectedly surpassed the eCPM of iAd. iAd's rates had decreased and AdMob's had increased. Overall I was seeing higher payouts, so I stuck with the existing iAd to AdMob fail-over model. Part of this reasoning was a blind faith that over time iAd would reestablish it's higher eCPM. This hasn't happened. After some nice spikes in May from iAd, the rate has dropped to a really unsustainable level. I'm talking around $.30 per 1000 impressions vs. $.80+ from AdMob. After taking losses for the first week of June, I altered my top earning iOS app (DC Metro and Bus) to using AdMob's ad engine exclusively. 1) Because it's paying out considerably higher rates, and 2)AdMob's 'Mediation' functionality allows me to rank other ad networks (including iAd) with an eCPM value. AdMob will serve me up ads from the ad network that I think is paying highest. This setting is configurable on the fly and allows me to react to changing rates on the fly rather than with a slow app update into the market.

So far, so good.