Jul 28

GraBLOX Cookie Recipe

Today’s blog post is sure to please those of you with a sweet tooth. That’s because we’re sharing with you our favorite recipe for making graBLOX-inspired chocolate chip cookies. So preheat your ovens, get your mixing bowls ready, and let’s get cookin’!

grablox cookie

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (more if you like your cookies extra chocolate-y)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease with cooking spray or butter a 12-inch metal baking pan.

2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in medium bowl until fluffy; add egg, beating well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; stir into mixture with chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, spreading to 1-inch from edge.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly brown and set. Cool completely; carefully lift cookie from pan. Cut out 2-in. squares. In each square, cut out a graBLOX face (see above). Makes 8 to 10 servings.

4. Enjoy!

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Jul 25

The Business Lessons Learned from Playing Solitaire

Category: Uncategorized

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We’ve already discovered that Solitaire has all kinds of great functions beyond just a great way to kill time or a fun pastime.  We learned how Solitaire could potentially help you quit smoking (here), combat writer’s block (here), and help you study (here).  Now as it turns out it can help you in business as well. Recently, a professor of International Business and Marketing at a leading university in Australia wrote about how Solitaire is reminiscent of some key truths of running a business. For example, laying out the cards is a lot like embarking on a start-up, and the first moves can unveil new opportunities much like in business. When you play Solitaire, the more cards you deal, the more opportunities unfold and decisions need to be made–the same is true in business. It’s definitely an interesting analogy, one that anyone who has run a business can take to heart. Read the full article here.

Have you found any similar analogies to Solitaire in your own life?

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Jul 23

Meet Jeanelle, Our New Business Analyst

Category: Uncategorized

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Background

I was born in the Philippines and moved to San Francisco when I was a child. My family moved all over Northern and Southern California but I consider Rancho Cucamonga home. I came to study at UC Irvine, where I studied business economics and accounting. When I’m not on my phone playing games, I’m usually watching TV while crocheting (I’m a great multi-tasker!)

When did you first get interested in gaming?

The first game I ever played was Minesweeper on my computer. Then my dad exposed me to a PlayStation and my interest in games really took off from there. I’ve been addicted to games ever since. 

Why did you decide to come work for MobilityWare?

I knew I would have a lot of different responsibilities. This was a chance for me to apply my skills to a really fun industry.

What is your favorite game of all time?

The Last of Us. It has such a great storyline, and it’s the first video game where I really felt attached to the characters. I had some serious withdrawals after finishing it!

If you could be a character in a game, who would you be?

Crash Bandicoot (from Crash Bandicoot). He’s a rat, but he’s really cute and he seems like he’d be really cool to hang out with. 

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Jul 21

How Do You Recover After a Loss at the French Open? Play Blackjack of Course!

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Photo by Charlie Cowins is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (license)

Last month, up-and-coming tennis player Ernests Gulbis made it to the semifinals of the French Open before being knocked out of the tournament. What better place to recover than the Blackjack table? Well, maybe not. Gulbis went to a Latvian casino after his loss and burned through all of his winnings playing Blackjack. As he told Gazzatta dello Sport, “After losing to Djokovic, I returned to Latvia with my cousin and went to the casino: I bet all prize money won in Paris and I lost it. I like Blackjack, but I lost. I lost a lot.” In case you’re wondering how much prize money there was to lose, it was a staggering $557,000! We bet he didn’t practice on the MobilityWare Blackjack app first!

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Jul 18

Best Moments from Las Vegas 2014

Category: Uncategorized

In our case, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. We want to share with you some of the highlights from our Vegas trip! Despite the 100+ degree weather, and the occasional bad hand in Blackjack, we had a great time.

Making games isn’t the only thing we’re good at. Turns out, some of us are also pretty great bowlers—someone even scored a 170!

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We also made time for a little golf

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And of course no Vegas trip would be complete without indulging at one of the all-you-can-eat buffets

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Between bites, in true Vegas style, we held a raffle. Lady Luck was definitely on the side of some—people won computers, iPads, and other fabulous prizes

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We even had a couple of birthdays to celebrate—both of our co-founders Dave and John turned 60!

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Jul 11

Viva Las Vegas!

Category: Uncategorized

Vegas

“Las Vegas Sign Keychains” by Steven Depolo on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (license)

The MobilityWare team is on the go. We’re all heading to Las Vegas this weekend for our annual company-wide trip. There’s sure to be some Blackjack (call it research for our app!), bowling, buffets, and all-around good times. If you want to join us next year, check out our Careers page (Learn More) and learn how you can become part of our team!

We’ll be back on Wednesday, so stay tuned to hear all about our big Vegas adventure.

Happy Friday!

 

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Jul 9

Card Counting—Fact or Fiction (Part 2)

Category: Blackjack

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In our previous blog post, we quizzed your card counting knowledge to see if you could detect myth from reality when it comes to counting cards in Blackjack. Let’s see how you did.

  1. Card counting is illegal.

FALSE. Casinos frown upon it. You may be asked to leave if you draw too much attention to yourself. But no, the SWAT team isn’t going to come after you and no one is going to lock you up and throw away the key. That’s because as much as casinos may hate card counting, it is not illegal.

  1. You have to be a super genius to learn to count cards.

FALSE. Sure, in movies like “21”, it’s always the math whiz that shines at card counting at the Blackjack table. In real life, you don’t have to be gifted to count cards. There are some complicated card counting strategies, but there are also some fairly simple ones. So, as long as you can add and subtract in your head, card counting is not such an impossible skill.

  1. Card counting cannot predict the next card to be dealt.

TRUE. Just because you’re counting cards does not mean that you can know what card will come up next. To do that, you would have to be psychic. Card counting isn’t about predicting, it’s all about probabilities.

  1. If you learn to count cards, you’ll win every time.

FALSE. Don’t we wish! Unfortunately, just because you’ve gotten the hang of card counting doesn’t mean you should go putting a down payment on your mansion quite yet. Card counting does slightly improve your chances of winning (giving you about a 0.5%-1.5% edge), but don’t count on winning every time.

  1. MobilityWare’s Blackjack app has some tools to help you learn card counting.

TRUE. That’s right. Our Blackjack game can help you perfect the art of card counting with two different card counting systems, Hi-Lo and Knock-Out (K-O). You can choose which system you want to try under the “Settings” menu.

card counting blog screen shot

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Jul 7

Card Counting—Fact or Fiction (Part 1)

Category: Blackjack

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“Poker Chips” by Jam Adamson Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (license)  

Counting cards in Blackjack is a much discussed, much maligned (or much glorified, depending on whom you ask), practice. But how much do you really know about card counting? Can you tell fact from fiction? Test your knowledge with our quiz below. Which of these five statements are true and which are false?

1)      Card counting is illegal.

2)      You have to be a super genius to learn to count cards.

3)      Card counting cannot predict the next card to be dealt.

4)      If you learn to count cards, you’ll win every time.

5)      MobilityWare’s Blackjack app has some tools to help you learn card counting.

So how’d you do? Stay tuned for our next blog post where we reveal the answers.

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Jul 2

Draw One versus Draw Three Solitaire: Where do you stand?

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“Goats Head to Head” by Daniel Schwen is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (license)  

The battle line has been drawn.  Solitaire fans stand divided. There are some who prefer the classic, 1-card draw Solitaire, where only one card is flipped at a time. This is actually the default setting in our Solitaire app. It’s more straightforward, and definitely easier. Fans of the 3-card draw option would say it’s too easy. The challenge of three cards being drawn from the deck can be very appealing (although some would say frustrating as it is much harder to win). If you haven’t tried the 3-card draw alternative, go to the “Settings”, turn on the Draw 3 mode, and give it a try.

So where do you stand?

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Jun 30

Solving the Mystery of How to Beat Solitaire

Category: solitaire

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A couple of weeks ago we blogged about the addicting qualities of our Solitaire app, straight from the mouths of some of our fans.  But what makes Solitaire so darn addicting in the first place? Maybe it’s that constant quest to win, to beat the odds and to see that dazzling display of cards bouncing around your screen upon your glorious victory. That may be easier said than done though. As anyone who has ever played Solitaire will tell you, beating the game isn’t as simple as it might seem.

But certainly beating Solitaire can’t be too hard for science to figure out. Wrong! Fancy-pants mathematicians will tell you that it’s one of the “embarrassments of applied mathematics” that very little is actually understood about the standard Klondike Solitaire. Even something as simple as just figuring out the odds of winning is elusive since mathematicians are unable to get a handle on how many winning hands are even possible. They guesstimate it’s between 80%-90% (http://bit.ly/1qKmP7q), but how many of us are really only losing 10% of the time?!)

You’d think that considering science has already cracked way more difficult games like Monopoly, understanding Solitaire would be a walk in the park. That’s really not the case though, as beating Solitaire continues to be a source of mystery for scientists, mathematicians, and average Joes alike.  But maybe that’s a good thing. If we knew how to beat Solitaire, maybe it wouldn’t be so addicting anymore, and what would be the fun in that!

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