Is Google Plus shutting down the prelude to something bigger?

Wow, Google is finally retiring it’s social network (well, the one that was publicly called one, Gmail and Youtube are social networks, too). I guess, a lot of SEOs aren’t happy at all right now. After all, Google is not only flushing a lot of their work down the toilet, but also pulling the plug on future contracts as well as work in progress. Best thing about it: Google is burning the money of everyone who ever invested into building a G-Plus profile and nobody can do anything about it. It’s in the fucking TOS: the whole thing can go away at any time for any reason with no compensation. I have been skeptical about social networks for years, endured SEO expert “advice” on how great social media is (and that you should sign up on all of them) and been telling people to read the TOS before signing up to any services. Plus being shut down feels so satisfactory right now.

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Posted in Persepective

Error retrieving information from server. [DF-DFERH-01]

Marvelous, DF-DFERH-01 must be one of the most common Google Play errors out there and there’s virtually no documentation of what it means. Shit ton of (steamroller tactic style) advice on how to fix it, though: “reboot device”, “clear cache”, “delete updates”, “wear a funny hat and poke yourself in the eye while doing it”. Gosh, I just love “magic solutions” by people who don’t even understand what the problem is. Read more ›

Posted in Note to self, Tinkering

So long Github and thanks for all the fish

I have to admit, I’m mildly surprised by Microsoft buying Github. I mean, I always expected Github to eventually sell out, but I thought the buyer would be Google. Speaking of which, I wonder how pissed big G currently is, after abandoning Google Code in favour of Github and migrating tons of their own projects there. It’s bittersweet irony, when you consider that Microsoft was the company to pioneer customer lock-in in the software business, Google not only learned the ropes from, but also surpassed them and now the master is teaching the student a new page. Read more ›

Posted in Rants

The GDPR is here! Panic!

Just had this curious question scroll by: “Should I lock European users out of my website because of the GDPR?” Read more ›

Posted in Persepective

GDPR is probably the best piece of legislation of the decade

Sure, everyone is currently moaning and bitching about getting compliant and having to spend money on it, but that is actually a good thing! In the past, collecting data by invading everyone’s privacy came at virtually no cost. Everyone knew it was wrong, but did it nevertheless because consultants told us it was the thing to do (after all, you have to keep up with the competition). As long as you had an exhaustive privacy statement, everything was peachy. Previous legislation simply allowed you to do heinous things on the condition that you openly stated your intentions and got informed consent for them. Of course we all know, that to be legal bullshit, since people tend not to (properly) read the contracts they sign. The end result was raising a whole generation thinking that total loss of privacy was a good thing because it gave them “free” services.

In the past, I used to tell people, that we should probably have a tax on collecting private data, for the same reason, we have a tax on alcohol and tobacco. The idea, of course, was stupid. It’s technically impossible to implement and steering taxes usually backfire anyways, since the state then earns money from a misbehaviour it originally intended to abolish.

The GDPR is something a lot better than a steering tax, as it makes data collection expensive without turning the state into an accomplice! Worse (better), yet, the cost of collecting personal data rides on court orders.  A flat fee can be incorporated in a price calculation. An unpredictable fine can’t. In other words, the GDPR is a genius move that turns personal data collections from asset to liability. This shoots “let’s just take the whole haystack” business model out of the water and companies will have to think twice about what data they collect (and if they need it at all). We are talking about a cultural game changer here and hopefully the next generation(s) will look back at the at the beginning of the 21st century wondering how anybody could think then that keeping a file on everyone was even a remotely good idea.

Posted in Rants

What to do with insanely stupid app reviews on Google Play?

I just had this wonderful brainfart looking through my text adventure app reviews on Google Play. As does everybody, I got a number of insanely stupid one star ratings and by that I don’t mean dumb as in “didn’t bother to read the instructions”, but as in “the phone is 10 times smarter than it’s user!”. Well, not much you can do about those (except maybe use my review browser tool). So wouldn’t it be fun to have a “Hall of Shame” section on the app’s website? Collect screenshots of the most ridiculous reviews and post them there for general amusement? Would be a nice and cheap way to add more content to the website, but unfortunately, it would also incentivize trolls to leave horrible reviews on purpose. So, bad idea!

Well, if anyone has a good idea on what to do shitty reviews in general, I got the code to download them in bulk from any given app.

Posted in Uncategorized

Can’t log into your Google account, even if the password is correct.

It sometimes happens that you can’t log into your Google account with 3rd party clients (e.g. a PC APK downloader). You just get a Bad Authentication error, telling you that your credentials are incorrect (even if they aren’t). What really happened is Google blocking your login attempt because it somehow “looked different” than usual and that triggered the intrusion detection alarm.

Solution: Log into your Google account with a web browser and go to it’s settings page. Check the list of last logins, a security alert should be shown there. Confirm that this was you. Afterwards you can sign in again with your 3rd party client.

Posted in Note to self

SEO and a company, dead for three decades

Infocom was closed down in May 1989. Barely any one still remembers the name, but curiously, I find that most people install the Text Fiction app to play Zork, Infocom’s first and most popular game which lives on in pop culture and is referenced now and then in TV shows like the Big Bang Theory.

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Posted in Web

Text Fiction gets a bit of love – Goodbye Drupal, Hello Hugo!

Phew, that was a bit more work than I expected, but I finally hit publish on the new Text Fiction website. Read more ›

Posted in Rants

Google locking out uncertified Android devices – speculations on how it works and what to do

Ok, there’s a lot of confusing information out there now, concerning Google’s latest walled garden antics. It’s not directly a problem for Raccoon (Raccoon, with the help of DummyDroid, can fake any desired device), but it might be for people who want to use apps that depend in one way or another on the presence of Gapps, so … meh. I should probably try to figure something out, though personally I’d say: just be glad if Google locks you out of their spyware themselves (normally, you have to put quite a bit of effort into getting rid of it). The current Facebook scandal should be a wake up call and Google is much, much worse! Read more ›

Posted in Android, Tinkering