'Coon Cave

Stuff that goes on about Raccoon, Google Play and Android in general. May contain traces of rambling. Feedback and subscriptions welcome!
Sunday, November 10, 2019

Time for a progress report:

  • As mentioned in my last post, I lost considerable time due to a parser bug. This put me behind schedule.
  • I have the framework of the new setup wizard largely ready. The CAPTCHA support makes it an obnoxious beast with a rather complicated state transition diagram. Once it is fully functional, there will be some major work integrating it into Raccoon (I’m developing it seperately from Raccoon since firing up the database for every testrun and clicking through the menu for each test run would take too much time).
  • Getting the CAPTCHA image and sending it back works. But I still seem to be missing a piece as I only get another CAPTCHA request.
  • I absolutely hate CAPTCHAs!!! Especially the ones Google throws at you where “i”, “r”, “n”, “m” and “l” blend so perfectly into each other that you can’t really tell them apart. I have to solve each CAPTCHA at least twice to be reasonably sure that I’m not getting a new CAPTCHA bescause I mistyped. That’s costing a tremendous amount of time.
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Ignore my previous post. I’m an idiot. Had a bug in my parser code that resulted in a character getting dropped. Of course, it took me 2 days to realize that.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Update on the Captcha problem: It looks like this is not actually a captcha issue at all. Just the error code for it. The image you are suppose to solve contains a message instead.

Sorry, we are unable to handle your request at this time. Please try again later.
Seems like we are dealing with a protocol change (again).

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Progress report: adding CAPTCHA support to the setup wizard

Some of you might have found yourself being asked to solve a captcha when adding a new profile, with Raccoon providing no means to show the image nor accepting an answer.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Cloud == Ransomware. Ever thought about it this way?

HTTP 402 Payment required. I wonder — if that one had been properly implemented from the beginning, would the web have become a better or a worse place?

Stop telling me, I need an anti virus app…

Guys, computer viruses were a MS DOS phenomenon: code fragments that basically just scanned the filesystem for executable fiels (COM, EXE, Bootsector) to implant a copy in. There were two preconditions for a virus infection:

  1. The user needed full read/write access to the whole filesystem.
  2. Users had to carelessly swap infected floppy discs.

Android apps are sandboxed from each other and the app store concept ensures that you are no longer share infected binaries with each other. You don’t need anti virus apps and you should not install them either.

Sunday, October 27, 2019
Friday, October 25, 2019

Ok, just wanted to add a nice feature for the custom ROM community: automatically build an 📁 update.zip from tagged apps in a Raccoon repository. It looked easy, but of course:

  • the documentation of the file format is, as always, shit.
  • remounting the 📁 /system partition in read/write mode seems to be device dependent.
  • it probably won’t work with split APK files, anyway.

Thanks again, Google…

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I have been wondering for years why every market launch of every new smartphone model puts so much emphasis on improved cameras (I never cared much for photography, personally). Finally figured it out: The camera is what turns ordinary users into creators. The better the image quality, the larger the files, the sooner internal storage runs out of free space. Once it does, cloud storage comes to the rescue and the trap snaps shut. Uploads is easy, Downloading everything is tedious at best. Fear of loss (even for worthless selfies) is what keeps users then locked in to the service.

I feel stupid for not realizing this sooner, but hey, at least I’m not the only one. Bottom line: don’t buy a smartphone because it has a superior camera. This is not a selling, but an up-selling point.