Google Play support agent suggests waiting a year for problem to go away. (audio)

I have been struggling with a Google Play suspension.  For some reason, google policy is not to discuss suspensions. period.  Not even to resolve them.  I have been battling with email and phone support for days, but this last communique was just too good not to share.  In this recording, the Google Play support agent admits nothing can be done and suggests i wait a year for the problem to resolve itself. (edited to remove personal details and to shorten length)

Google Play Fail - Rejected reinstatement

 

Apparently Google doesn’t trust me after a decade!

Google Play Fail - Suspicious ActivityGoogle doesn’t think my account has been hacked or that I have lost control. They seem to genuinely believe that i am not authorized to pay with this “instrument” and that my intentions is fraud. This all started with a neglected Google Play account. So neglected that i never replaced the credit card on file and the one there had been reported lost in 2013. I logged into the account to buy a $4 app for some android cameras i was playing with. I purchased the app without error or incident 2 days ago. . .

Google Play Fail - Purchase

I use the app with the cameras problem free for 2 days.  In the end, one camera was a little glitchy, so i decided to restore it to factory settings and set it up new.  This is when it all went very bad.  When i logged into the store i couldn’t find the purchased app in my account and it wouldn’t let me buy it again. It was giving me strange errors about lack of internet or an error code: OR-IEH-01.  It was at this point that i noticed the email about payment information being needed.  I never received any emails about the purchase being canceled (apparently it was).  This is when i decided to call customer service.  The support agent interrupted me repeatedly, imparted the same explanation over and over, all the while asking me to submit a credit card statement from 2013. The incompetence was staggering.  I did some reading about reports of a massive Google outage today.  The agent insisted that i had added the lost card to the account the day of the purchase, the same day that i received the request for additional documents. This claim is ridiculous at every point, but not as ridiculous as google expecting me to have the same credit card number forever. Did the outage contribute to the problem?  i don’t know, but across Google’s ecosystem there has been failure today.  I even tried to create a new google play account with all new info.  It did not work, something is broken.  I jumped though the first set of rings and submitted my current credit card and state ID card.  The rejection came swift.  23 hours under their 24 hour ETA came this email. . .

Google Play Fail - Rejected reinstatement

I feel at this point i need to provide some context.  Was this a new account?  was it active?  I have used my google account almost daily since 2009.  In fact, i used their own google pay service for years until they changed their policy to require delivery of digital content thought their platform only. I charged clients weekly, and google deposited that into my bank account.  For years without a single charge back.  I used many of their experimental products. I even used Google+ and i still don’t know how i am going to replace fusion tables.

What now?  now i gather the remaining documents and try again?  what are our options with gatekeepers like these?  I’m still locked out of the play store and my google login is behaving erratically.  (gmail delays on both incoming and outgoing)

New security updates overtake jailbreak advantages.

There are just so many privilege escalation fixes in the latest iOS 12.2 update. I finally removed the jailbreak from my primary device and updated.  Privilege escalation is when an unprivileged or user process (like an app from the app store or even a web page*) gets root or even kernel authority.  This is when bad turns to worse because it can do and see anything with any of the device’s data or sensors.   Since even the big trusted apps have been caught tracking or stealing data, I simply couldn’t leave myself unprotected any longer.

I’ll still of course keep a development device jailbroken on 12.1.2 for all of the reasons. It was a wonderful experience, only slightly beta. I appreciate all the hard work by everyone in the scene. I think i am going hate seeing the home bar again the most.

* web pages are often sandboxed separately from the app itself. Some might argue that a webpage would first have to escape the sandbox before it could escalate privileges. this is true, but i would respond that sandbox escape is just another form of privilege escalation, only one level down. There are also over a dozen webkit fixes in this update.

Open source artisanal iOS Jailbreak released using only grass fed locally sourced exploits.

Cydia - Package management system for Jailbroken iOS.

A long time in the works, this is the first completely open source jailbreak to be released for an almost current version of iOS (11-12.1.2).  This is an interesting jailbreak.  It is semi-tethered, but unlike previous jailbreaks, this can at least be untethered from the device itself.  Using Cydia Impactor, you can side load the unc0ver app and install the jailbreak directly from the app.  it also allow the easy rejailbreak upon reboot or battery drain. Great work all around despite the remaining bugs and instability (it is still beta. Huge thanks to the efforts of @pwn20wnd and @sbingner).  To be honest, there are very few tweaks and apps that are ready for iOS 12, but i am excited to see the tradition of jailbreaking continue.  I have cydia again!  For the first tine since I closed down my own cydia repo.  C’mon developers, do you thing!

iOS jailbreak 12 unc0ver iOS 12 jailbreak -Cydia on iPad Pro
In truth, i never got it going on my phone, only my iPad.  I get a crash on my phone immediately after this dialogue comes up.  It took a few passes to get a picture (this one extracted from a screen record).  Not sure exactly what went wrong, but “Unexported kernel task port” is my best clue.  With my phone cashing as soon as it becomes untethered, i am never actually able to run Cydia. On my iPad, instead of rebooting, it resprings.  either way, it is very hard to read the final message.

iPhoneX iOS 12 unc0ver jailbreak fail

UPDATE:  This problem was resolved in b38.

2019 Storage upgrade phase 2 begins!

Drobo 5c - Rebuild

Now the waiting truly begins.  fingers crossed against additional failures.  On the next upgrade i’ll be able to test to see if the Drobo Pro (the original Drobo 8 bay) supports disks greater than 4TB.  Apparently, no one has tested that. I honestly wonder how many of these are still in use? I have now replaced every drive in my Pro.

Update: I have been informed by @mistacabage that the Drobo Pro will not accept drives larger then 4TB. The official documentation just said it was untested.

Drobo Pro - Rebuild

Cleaning out my office I found an ancient Asterisk Box!

Found Ancient Asterisk System - Digium TDM

Originally my router/PBX this Dell P4 was installed with some of the earliest Digium PCI analogue cards.  This card supported both FXS and FXO modules, and i used them both in various configurations. One of the FXS modules is what allowed my housemate’s old rotary phone to connect to the house phone system.  I loved testing the system by ringing his phone.  The ringing of its actual bell, was a delight. That dell survived the infamous flood (by already being decommissioned).  I think I paid over $200 for this card alone. Now i run Asterisk off my Raspberry Pi with a total hardware cost considerably less than that.

Found Ancient Asterisk System - Digium TDM (back)Found Ancient Asterisk System - Digium FXS Module

Visiting iFixit and finally fixing my laptop!

be3n at the iFixit set

I got the full tour, the place is amazing and far tidier then any workshop I have been in. They have pieces for nearly everything and almost everything in pieces. I got to try out their tools. I even touched their flame thrower!

iFixit’s Boring Conpany flame thrower

It turns out this little bugger was the cause of all my problems or at least my technical ones. Once I got this guy replaced, my 2011 MacBook Pro was back kicking ass. Thanks Daniel you are awesome!

MacBook Pro 13-Inch SATA cable

I brought this gift to show my appreciation, I hope you like it. It is TechStep diagnostic tool from Apple for testing and diagnosing vintage Macs. I don’t even remember what i traded it for nearly 20 years ago, but i never once used it. I hope you enjoy it and maybe even do something cool with it. I cannot wait to come back.

Apple TechStep Diagnostic Tool

Pilgrimage to the Internet Archive

Internet Archive

The offering I brought was nearly 100 lbs of technology from my childhood.  I met some amazing staff and volunteers (they even archive their employees). Even visited the blinking lights of their servers.  They archive even more then I knew.  More then web, old software and films, they even archive music and have an impressive collection (i found several rare or out of print artists and albums in their archive).

Amiga Offering to Internet Archive


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