me: this is a discussion about the Amazon Appstore for Android.
Shailaja: Hello, my name is Shailaja and I’m from the Appstore Team.
me: Hello... I am in the process of deleting my apps from my amazon account, so that I can uninstall the appstore completely...
I do not like how the appstore on the device prevents me from using any "Amazon-bought" app without being signed into the app store.
Why you ask? because my Amazon account password is very long and secure, and it is very painful to type it into the tiny phone screen repeatedly. ouch, a lot of hassle. Why this roadblock?
me: and I do not have the pwd memorized, so I have to stop my attempt and wait til later. over 8 x this week I have tried to use an app -- gasbuddy, etc. -- and been stymied
Shailaja: I'm very sorry for the inconvenience Paul. It's for your own account security issues.
Shailaja: If you wish you can change your Amazon password to a shorter one.
I've just sent you an email which will help you reset your account password
me: that is bad advice, i'm sorry. NO -- this pwd requirement is only serving amazon... not me. it's my phone and I'm responsible for its security... how could someone using Gasbuddy without an amazon pwd be a harm ?
why on earth can't ANY app run without being forced to sign into amazon?
google PLAY does not force this... and the sky has not fallen
Shailaja: I'm looking into this, please hold Paul.
me: so why is Amazon so territorial and proprietary?? it's causing me to leave.
I would rather rebuy everything from PLAY to avoid this issue with Amazon Appstore. AND, furthermore, this behavior is new, with last update it seems... it was not like this before.
Shailaja: Yes, I understand that there is a problem with the newer version of the software.
me: please either make the Appstore remember the pwd, or remove it completely.... yes I can understand that the APPSTORE itself requires a pwd to buy new apps.... but NOT to use the apps I already bought. Google does not do this, that I've seen. [ but they do have drm too]
Shailaja: Our technical experts are still working on this on highest priority to fix it as soon as possible.
I totally understand your frustration.
me: Really, there are teams of techies working to fix this? It's been 3 weeks since I noticed this... Where is the tech note to all users? is there a public link available?
Shailaja: Yes Paul, there is an issue with the new Appstore update.
Shailaja is typing...
me: is it documented publicly in a bug list? so I can find it and review
it is helpful to know these things
Shailaja: Alternatively, please try installing Amazon appstore from any of the below links:
Yes, I understand. Please hold while I check.
me: Reinstalling the appstore will fix this perpetual forced login in order to use any App?
Shailaja: Yes. Reinstall from any of the above links and it would fix the issue.
Above is the amazon appstore issues forum Paul.
me: hmm, i see... it's being talked about.
Shailaja: It would be fixed very soon Paul. Please give our engineers some time.
The app developers include DRM restrictions.It's not Amazon Paul.
me: Thank you, Shailaja... this is helpful.
A tech named Dylan Reeve has a test site to determine your phone's vulnerability:
If your phone is vulnerable to the recently disclosed tel: URL attack then this website will cause your phone to open the dialler and display the IMEI code. With other USSD codes it could do any number of other things, including wipe all phone data.
You can find some more information and a simple workaround here: http://dylanreeve.posterous.com/remote-ussd-attack
What does it all mean?!
If visiting this page automatically causes your phone's dialler application to pop up with *#06# displayed then you are not vulnerable. If, however, the dialler pops up and then you immediately see your phone IMEI number (a 14- or 16-digit number) then you are potentially vulnerable to attack.
A poster on the site made an app to solve the problem without changing dialers: Download his free, open-source app that can intercept these malicious URLs:
Not only can it not compete with an Apple iPad, it can't compete with the second-best tablet, Motorola Xoom, nor even with marginal Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab that use the smartphone version of the Android OS rather than the Honeycomb tablet version. In fact, if my choice were between a PlayBook and a Windows 7 tablet -- my benchmark for unusability -- I think I'd rather go sans tablet.
The fundamental nature of the PlayBook's flaws begin with the requirement that a BlackBerry be tethered to it for access to business email, calendars, or contacts. Other than using a Webmail client, a PlayBook without a BlackBerry is unable to communicate. You can't connect to POP, IMAP, or Exchange servers directly from the tablet, as you can from an iOS or Android device -- you must have a BlackBerry tethered via Bluetooth using the BlackBerry Bridge application. In that case, you essentially see your BlackBerry email, calendar, and contacts in a window on the PlayBook when connected.
And the other competitor:
Tablet deathmatch: HP TouchPad vs. Apple iPad 2
Plainly put, the TouchPad is a mediocre tablet that poses no threat to the iPad or to Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Xoom. Even though the iPad 2's high bar is no secret, it once again appears that corner-cutting or rush to market has been allowed to tie a potentially strong tablet's arm behind its back.
[ InfoWorld's Galen Gruman says "Whatever you do, don't buy a Chromebook." | See all of InfoWorld's tablet deathmatch comparisons and personalize the tablet scores to your needs.
David Pogue from the NYTimes:
It’s the H.P. TouchPad ($500 for the 16-gig model, $600 for 32 gigs): a black rectangle with a glossy 9.7-inch multitouch screen. You can zoom into maps, photos or Web pages by putting two fingers on the glass and spreading or pinching them. The screen image rotates when you turn the tablet 90 degrees.
It runs the WebOS from Palm, which means there are far fewer apps. It is not an Android device.
This is a follow-up post to an earlier topic PDG wrote about after the Egyptian crackdown and censorship of the internet.
Dubbed the "Internet in a suitcase" project, a team at the New America Foundation's "Open Technology Initiative" is creating hardware and software which create separate pathways for communications, whether cell transmissions or wireless data.
“We’re going to build a separate infrastructure where the technology is nearly impossible to shut down, to control, to surveil.... The implication is that this disempowers central authorities from infringing on people’s fundamental human right to communicate.”
The NYTimes in an article this week described their work as:
The group’s suitcase project will rely on a version of “mesh network” technology, which can transform devices like cellphones or personal computers to create an invisible wireless web without a centralized hub. In other words, a voice, picture or e-mail message could hop directly between the modified wireless devices — each one acting as a mini cell “tower” and phone — and bypass the official network.
Mr. Meinrath said that the suitcase would include small wireless antennas, which could increase the area of coverage; a laptop to administer the system; thumb drives and CDs to spread the software to more devices and encrypt the communications; and other components like Ethernet cables.
Hats off to these programmers and engineers, and also to the Obama administration's other initiatives.
Read an earlier post on internet censorship here at PDG.
Sascha's bio from New America Foundation reads:
Sascha Meinrath is the Director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative and has been described as a "community Internet pioneer" and an "entrepreneurial visionary." He is a well-known expert on community wireless networks, municipal broadband, and telecommunications policy. In 2009 he was named one of Ars Technica's Tech Policy "People to Watch" and is also the 2009 recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award for excellence in public interest advocacy.
Sascha is a co-founder of Measurement Lab, a distributed server platform for researchers around the world to deploy Internet measurement tools, advance network research, and empower the public with useful information about their broadband connections.
He also coordinates the Open Source Wireless Coalition, a global partnership of open source wireless integrators, researchers, implementors and companies dedicated to the development of open source, interoperable, low-cost wireless technologies. He is a regular contributor to Government Technology's Digital Communities, the online portal and comprehensive information resource for the public sector.
Sascha has worked with Free Press, the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the Acorn Active Media Foundation, the Ethos Group, and the CUWiN Foundation.
The Amazon Appstore for Android is a place where you can get a great paid app for free every day, see app recommendations based on your past Amazon purchases, and shop using Amazon's secure 1-Click payment technology. You can also test apps on a simulated Android phone using a feature called “Test Drive.” You can shop from your computer or directly from your phone or tablet.
Go to the Install page on Amazon.com with your computer browser:
The Startup Foundry website published an interview with a software programmer, one of the cofounders, Jonathan Deutsch, of Tumult Co. He left a job at Apple to launch a startup.
I was faced with the decision of continuing to work with the great people on my team on a clearly high impact project, living with the “what if” syndrome, or trying to forge my own path. ”Regret Minimization” is what should win out in life, so it did. I had done a lot of different projects at Apple, and felt I made my mark both internally on the company and externally on Mac OS X.
About his experience at Y Combinator:
YC is definitely worthwhile. The network effects are staggering… it gives any YC company an advantage in making the right contacts, finding investment, and being in a support net with others in the same boat. And if you’re starting a company, why wouldn’t you want every advantage available to you? Paul Graham, Paul Buchheit, and Harj Taggar all give great advice with brilliant ideas sprinkled in. The dinners are fun, and there’s a lot that we learned from the speakers. Most founders would come early before each dinner just to hang out and discuss their startups or demo their products. The atmosphere is electric and contagious.
Visit the Hype website. Unfortunately for Mac OS Leopard (10.5) users, the app requires 10.6. A bad decision for many thousands of us.
Have you heard of Square yet? It's the hot new mobile payments tool for smartphones/mobile devices. Visit squareup.com
Square wants to replace cash registers, loyalty cards and paper receipts — with one device.
From the NYTimes on Tuesday:
On Monday, Jack Dorsey, Square’s co-founder and chief executive, announced a way for shoppers to pay by simply giving their name to the merchant. Mr. Dorsey, who also co-founded Twitter, said customers would use a new feature on Square’s iPhone or Android apps, called Card Case, to make payments. Merchants would use one called Register to ring up and track purchases.
Point of Sale technology is ripe for change
Recent comments at the wired.com article.
Nick Houldsworth wrote: I work for a web based point of sale software start-up called Vend (www.vendhq.com). I think this is a fantastic development. We at Vend, alongside some other startups (Cashier Live, Erply) been working on disrupting this sector for a while now. Traditional POS is expensive, clunky, and requires outrageous maintenance and infrastructure costs. We're pleased to welcome a large and well funded player such as Square, into this space. Their iPad app may not be for all retailers (lacking some of the finer control over inventory, barcode scanning, and integration into 3rd party apps such as ecommerce and accounting) but for a simple get up and go POS and payment system, and an innovative shake up to the industry, this can only be positive
I ordered a Square reader for Android. It will be great to sell items without using PayPal.
One major POS equipment maker is Verifone. As quoted in the NYTimes article... Good luck, Mr. Bergeron. I think your prediction of failure is wrong:
Initially, the company most in Square’s sights is Verifone, whose point-of-sale terminals and software are in 70 percent of businesses in the United States. In an interview before Square’s announcement, Doug Bergeron, Verifone’s chief executive, said that Square would not catch on for payments because people will prefer N.F.C. technology and have security concerns about using Square.
Insight into the world of iOS developers
CNET ran a story yesterday about BeamItDown Software, the start-up software developer who made the iFlow Reader app for iOS. They condemn Apple for a draconian policy.
And a full interview at CNET of BeamItDown's co-founder Dennis Morin.
Nowhere in the history of application development has there been rules associated with it, let alone hundreds of rules like there are now. I mean, this extends their [Apple's] control-freak nature to a whole new level. So yeah I can sell an app on my Web site, that's fine. But if I have something for sale on my Web site, I have to have a button in the app that allows a user to purchase that item through Apple's In-App Purchase system for the same price that I sell it at on my Web site.
Now if I'm selling a book for $10 and someone clicks on that button in the app, I lose $1.15 on the sale and Apple makes $3. Let's face it, the user doesn't give a s---. They're going to purchase it from wherever's easiest to purchase it.
The bottom line is that if you buy a book through iBooks, Apple makes 30 percent on the sale. And if you buy a book through iFlow, Apple makes 30 percent on the sale. And I lose money.
To clarify the outrage these developers feel:
What people don't understand is that if you're selling an app on iOS, Apple hosts that app on their server. You upload it, the customer downloads it, it gets downloaded from their servers. OK. With In-App Purchase it doesn't work that way. You host everything. You ship it directly to the customer. All Apple does in the process is collect the money and basically give you a token that says it was collected and you do everything else. It's essentially doing exactly the same thing as a credit-card processing company for this 30 percent. Nothing more.
Another article: http://bit.ly/ixbNAv