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Derek Thorson
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Derek Thorson

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So my #ViaLuxAdventure is history now (not that I'm going to stop or anything).

Completed two major banners while trying to accomplish this, the Chicago skyline (30 missions) and the UCR Flag at Elmhurst (18 missions).

The Chicago skyline banner snakes through the loop of downtown Chicago. I did it while on my bike, and to say it is challenging is an understatement for one reason, Drift. Being in the loop among the towers makes it a pain in the butt to get to some portals even if you are sitting on the damn portal. I'm not new to drift in the loop, but it had been a while since I really experienced it while playing. I have to say that the start of this banner is rough, with a lot of overlap and backtracking. That said, it gets better as you get to the middle, but you continue to have to deal with the drift. I managed to do it over the course of two nights after work, 12 missions the first night, 18 the next.

The UCR Flag at Elmhurst is based around Elmhurst College and Wilder Park right next door. It turned out to be a nice night tonight to walk around campus. +Victor Linares did an excellent job for the most part as pretty much every mission leads to the next and there is only a little backtracking when you get to Wilder Park (at least, that's what I experienced). I did all missions in about an hour and a half. I had to stop and wait for a hack only once (for some reason it didn't register the first hack).

I mistakenly did mission #28 of the Two Towers banner in the middle of doing the Chicago skyline banner....because it was quite close to mission #28 of the Chicago skyline banner and I accidentally chose it and completed it without thinking. I've had to do some manipulation to get the banners to line up properly. When I actually do the Two Towers mission, which I do plan to do, I will need to redo all of the filler missions I did before I did the UCR missions an additional one to complete the row.

Before I resumed playing recently, I hadn't completed a single mission before, even though they were introduced well before I stopped playing for the second time. I figured one of the best ways to get all the uniques I needed was to complete missions. A lot of the areas I visited I had been to before, but last time I visited there were a lot less plenty of uniques for me. Got up to 366 uniques for the month of blew away the basic goal. I don't think I'll get close to getting in the top 20% or whatever gets the second tier badge.

If only this was in the month of October. I'm visiting LA for the first time in early October, and plan to do several missions and get many uniques while I'm there.

edit: and no, no pictures really. I don't take a lot of pictures when I'm out and about playing Ingress.
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Derek Thorson

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You're probably wondering what on earth I'm doing in your lane, the place where you are trying to drive. Please let me explain.
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Yeah, any jackass who yells something at me from a moving car gives zero f**ks why I'm riding in his/her lane and will NEVER see me as anything other than a nuisance.
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Derek Thorson

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Got a notice yesterday that Amtrak (who owns and runs the place) was shutting down several northern train platforms at Union Station, with no reason given. Now we know why:

And what gets me about this story...Amtrak is taking a hands off approach and blaming the building management of the buildings above the platforms. W.T.F.
Union Station is dangerous. The place is falling apart in chunks, showering debris on commuters hurrying through its dim, decaying bowels.
Andrew Bosch's profile photoJake Weisz's profile photo
A lot of "Union Station" isn't really under the aboveground building "Union Station", +Andrew Bosch. That being said, they'll need to find some way to fix this before they can reopen those platforms.
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So this morning, on my commute to work, I was proceeding down the Clinton bike lane as I normally do. I was stopped at the Lake and Clinton intersection waiting for my turn to proceed. The Bike light turned green, and I start to proceed. Suddenly, a Porsche roars up to me screeching their brakes on my left, and honking their horn at me. The driver was running a red light (by a wide margin, I wasn't exactly fast when I saw the green bike light), and the only reason why I wasn't another bicyclist statistic is because +Porsche puts damn good brakes on their cars. I pointed out the clear red light to the driver, and proceeded on my way. So Thank You Porsche for the good brakes, I just wish some of your customers weren't such inconsiderate assholes.
Derek Thorson's profile photoScott Wilson's profile photoMegan V's profile photo
Megan V
+Derek Thorson the camera is a good idea. People are even putting them on their cars. I have lots of friends who have them in their cars. Actually I need to get Leo one. He bad a bad accident about 2 years ago. He got hit head on in a turning lane. He was fine but the car didn't survive. Scared the hell out of me! I should just give him the go pro no one is using.

Also I am glad you are ok and I feel bad for that guy who got hit and the guy ran! People are idiots. Not to long ago my mother was hit by a car walking into the grocery store!! The women fled! I was so mad at my mom for not calling the cops or reporting it to the store! She said she was so shaken up she didn't even think to do anything except drive home! My mom wasn't hurt. She was ok thankfully but the driver wasn't paying attention! I told my mom next time anything serious happens like that call me immediately or call dad immediately!

You just have to be careful in general no matter where you are! Driving, biking, or even walking up to the grocery store!

Still I'm glad you are ok though!😃 I would be very sad to hear that Thor was taken out.. lol I'd give them hell too for you! Lol 
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I gotta be close to the record on time spent getting to 12 :P
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Well my Metra train broke down at Galewood....this is the scene as we prepare to move over to the other platform so another train can pick us up.
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The plan is to finish this off today...


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Capping and hacking uniques at Ty Warner Park

+Ingress#vialux #LuxAdventure
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Improving how spoofing is handled at anomalies - An open letter to NIA OPS from Ingress players:

TL;DR: Niantic’s anti-spoofer support during #ViaLux 1 was insufficient to prevent cheaters affecting the outcome of anomalies, and improvements are required.

Many players were pleased to discover that fielding operations would form a part of the #ViaLux anomaly series via “Special Field Operations“. For many, fielding is the ultimate thrill in this exciting game, and it requires commitment, skill and tenacity to succeed. Sadly in several cases, agent actions at SFO and anomaly sites were thwarted by cheaters. Unfortunately, despite Niantic’s efforts, the spoofer epidemic is far from solved. There is a need to review how Niantic handles these issues in order to maintain an honest and competitive game.

The prevalence of spoofing is having a severely negative effect on community engagement. Agents from both factions, in each and every region of the world, no longer wish to participate in Ingress related events (either officially sponsored or player-run). The evidence of this is in the attendance numbers for Via Lux which both Factions acknowledge is lower than the previous Anomalies held in 2016. Why should we continue to play only to have our efforts countered by invisible players? Morale is lowered as players feel there is no benefit to taking actions in the game. This isn’t a new problem, this is a problem that has existed since 2012. Yet even the most basic ways of mitigating these actions, especially during an Anomaly, by rolling back spoofer actions has not been implemented in recent years.

Niantic, you have stated numerous times that this behavior is in violation of the Ingress Terms of Service and in violation of the spirit of the game. We, the players, ask that you devote additional effort and resources necessary to urgently put an end to the practice of spoofing. Your inability to make a perceived dent in the problem gives the impression that spoofing/cheating isn’t a priority for you. Your inaction or the perception of inaction coming from you also increases cross faction tensions as issues remain unresolved. To make matters worse, your customer service is abysmal. Your company is dependant on its customers, the players, for a source of revenue. Yet support tickets go unanswered or closed as soon as they’re opened. No other customer oriented company operates this way, except maybe Google. You are no longer part of Google. As a business which now has paying customers, we hold you to higher standards of support and responsiveness.

Our communication with Niantic during the first weekend in #ViaLux

As usual, POC nominated Intel operators from each site to join a channel where their concerns could be escalated to Niantic Ops via intermediary community managers. Unfortunately for many, this link was not direct or effective enough and spoofers affected anomaly fielding at anomaly sites and special field op locations. Several of these spoofers are still not banned despite multiple reports by both factions. NIA OPS reported that there was nothing unusual about the accounts. In Venezuela, field space was totally controlled by spoofers and RES and ENL agents said they will no longer be spending money travelling only to have their efforts thwarted by cheaters.

Names that had been reported weeks and months before the Anomaly as being spoofers directly affected the Anomalies through spoofing. There is a need for a more proactive approach to controlling spoofing during anomalies, to preserve the validity of site scoring. Our agents want to help and work together with Niantic to improve this issue.

We ask Niantic to improve their responsiveness to reports of spoofing during anomalies as follows:

Fast track status for designated intel operators (one per faction per site or city) for a week before the anomaly
Consider allowing factions to share plans securely in advance so Niantic is prepared for spoof field take down attempts
Pre-arranged responsive cover from NIA OPS for 48 hours before the anomaly and through the anomaly weekend to close of the last event
Review of pending tickets affecting the anomaly zone and surroundings
Niantic improve spoofer detection, or consider softbanning suspect agents during anomaly windows where there is overwhelming cross faction support to do so
Reverse the actions of cheats and spoofs of major impact that happen before and during the anomaly[-related] period, particularly in the scoring

+NIA Ops
+Niantic Project
+John Hanke
+Andrew Krug
+Pooja Srinivas
+Anne Beuttenmüller
+Matilde Tusberti
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Derek Thorson

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My normal commuter atire under the kind of lighting conditions seen in the video, could easily make someone mistake me for a bike cop. I normally wear a jacket with the sleeves removed (during the summer), as it houses several items I keep with me at all times. I don't have patches, a badge, a radio, or a gun of course. Still having someone pull up behind you with a helmet, a vest of sorts and a blinking light would likely confuse some drivers into thinking they have a cop pulling up behind them. I don't mind this potential confusion, and I'll probably use this tactic whenever I think it may be applied effectively.
A simple gesture cleared the bike lane for me last night. As you can see I was following another cyclist who chose to go around the car that was parking in the bike lane. I chose to stop and take a picture to report it to CDOT on Twitter. Before I managed to bring up my camera app...the driver chose to vacate the lane.

Now I speculate that this driver thought I might be a cop or something writing him a ticket. It was dark and my light was flashing in his rearview mirror...I could have easily been mistaken for a bike cop (even though they don't really operate that late). It didnt take a horn blast or yelling at them to get them to move...just stopping my bike directly behind them and pulling out my phone.
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Please pass this around, this is a buddy of mine that has gone missing. 
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I've seen a lot more talk in Twitch streams about Star Citizen since their presentation at GamesCom on Friday, and that just makes me smile.

In case you missed it:

Full Presentation:

Nothing but the 3.0 Alpha gameplay demo (due EOY 2016):

The haters are getting less and less ammunition to use against the game. The big point of contention that still remains is the time required to complete this project. Yeah they are taking longer than they originally said by a long shot. The game has also grown far beyond their wildest dreams back in the Kickstarter days. As a relatively large backer, I am satisfied with their progress. I'm willing to wait for what I see forming here. I'm looking forward to CitizenCon 2016 in October. We should see much more of Squadron 42, and even maybe a release date for SQ42.

I found out about the game a little over 2 years ago via G+. Someone, I don't remember who, posted an intro video about what Star Citizen was. I was hooked....and backed a couple weeks after seeing that video. Here's hoping this video does the same for someone else who hasn't yet heard of it. Had I found out about the game back when it went to Kickstarter, I probably would have backed it then, but for some reason it stayed off my radar.
Sean Kelly's profile photoRey Cruz's profile photo
Game looks cool been looking at the youtubz all day. LOL
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Derek's Collections
Interactive Developer (Front End Web Developer)
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Gamer, Computer Geek, Programmer, Gadget Nut, Dog Lover
Yes I played Ingress for a while, IGN: Thor. Now leaving my second retirement. I intend to play casually.

I'm a gamer. I love is interactive storytelling. I play from my couch. I play on both my Gaming PC as well as on Consoles. I currently own a PS4 and a PS3. I haven't seen the need to buy an XBox One yet. I just see more exclusives that I care about on the Playstation side these days. I'm tired of the PC/Console war. Each has it's merits.

I'm more a fan of Scifi than Fantasy...but either will do so long as the story is good enough. I love epic storylines.

I love gadgets. I put up with Apple for a few years as an iPhone user before dropping it completely and starting over with Android...and I haven't looked back since. I'm now convinced that pure Android is the way to go after having dealt with a few non-pure devices.

Computers are my life, that is why I am a PC Gamer. I grew up learning to build my own web pages, and only recently have I turned that into a career after graduating college at 30 (yeah I had some hiccups along the way). I'm heavily into front end design (html, css, javascript), and have been learning the .Net ropes for a few years now (C# mostly at this point).

Though I've tried Linux, it never stuck with me. I've always been a Windows guy.

I mentioned before that play Scifi and Fantasy games, well I also love movies and TV in those genres. I'm a Trekkie (DS9 is my favorite), Whovian (Tennant followed by Smith of the new Who, Baker in third from Classic Who), Browncoat, and a fan of Star Wars (I love the original 3, and like the prequels, they could have been done better but aren't worthless). Those are my big 4 but I'm certainly not limited to those. I'm also a fan of The Walking Dead (almost completely up-to-date on the comic), Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones (have read through 5 at this point), Burn Notice, Fringe, Family Guy, and Futurama, among many others.

I'm a dog lover, but I find Catruday posts just as amusing...I just don't like living with cats. In my spare time I help out a local resuce, by doing any web work they need to have done. I did have a dog, named Malcolm, which I got from that rescue. Unfortunately, I had to put him to sleep in December 2015 due to him getting oral cancer. This eventually prevented him from eating or drinking, and it was just his time. He was the best dog I have ever lived with, without a doubt. I will get another dog again, but he has set the bar which every other dog I run into in my life will be measured against. RIP Malcolm

I don't post a lot, but I do share on occasion, but primarily with my circles. I don't get real political or religious on here, as I like to enjoy my time on G+. If you fill my stream with partisan politics or religion, expect to be blocked. I can tolerate Right-Wing politics more than Left-Wing (I consider myself a Libertarian)...but even then I have my limits. I just don't enjoy discussing politics or religion. I stick to the policy that it is impolite to discuss those topics in public. Keep it to your circles/communities people.

To anyone adding me hoping that I will add them back: I will only do so if I find what you post (either through your profile or your comments) interesting. I do not auto-add back and I usually don't review who adds me...but I thank you for adding me anyway. I hope you enjoy what I contribute. :)
Bragging rights
Ingress (retired): First L8 Resistance Player in the Chicago Area, Lead the team that put up the first L8 Portal in the Chicago Area, Part of the initial Chicago Resistance leadership
Basic Information
Other names
Thor, Thunder, ThunderGod
Derek Thorson's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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I needed my battery replaced, which they did same day. However, after they did their "multipoint inspection" they said the basic things looked ok, but that they needed to do another deeper inspection for $75 to look over other things more closely to determine what was wrong. They would not tell me what else they found that looked wrong. I'm sorry but if you notice something is wrong, even if you don't know exactly what was wrong, you tell your customer what you found, you don't hide behind another $75 charge. That is extortion. Shortly after that experience I started experiencing grinding on my front right wheel. I took it to Midas to get it repaired, and they gave me a full list of the things that looked immediately wrong with my truck and the costs involved with repairing those items. They also answered my questions about how those problem items would affect my drive and if there were any warning signs I should look out for, for further problems. That's what I should have gotten at Ford. I will not be doing business with this particular dealer ever again.
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