This was the guy who showed me how to do it. I just basically copied his routine exactly:
> some I think were reported stolen as well
If true, that incentivises phone theft. The only reason people steal phones is because there's a market. Every purchase of a stolen good directly incentivises that thief to steal once more. It's a very direct link. If you've ever had anything stolen, please break the chain and consider verifying somehow, some way, that your next purchase wasn't originally lifted off someone else. It can suck, especially if you've been a victim yourself and it's just unfair.
Other than that thanks for doing your part in poisoning the advertising well :)
From what I can tell, the protections put on newer phones by the vendors has massively crushed the stolen phone market. Modern phones are locked to a google or apple account and basically only usable as a) parts for repair or b) if you can phish the password from the original owner, you can unlock them.
Basically, discouraging people from buying used phones, lest they be stolen, is a way less effective mechanism for reducing theft than this kind of structural change.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzrDT50_IK8 Sums up the end of that era, same chap.
Or was the ultra-low-end phone market only existent because of buyers for this market?
"On this particular morning, Rex sat in his homemade armchair, facing the flickering TV screen. His was the classic seated posture of the Active Viewer. Relaxed yet attentive, right thumb and forefinger about the remote controller, expression alert, eyes wide. But here all similarities ended. Rex Mundi was fast asleep.
His old Uncle Tony had taught him the technique when he was but a leprous lad, and there was no doubt that it did pay big dividends. It had already earned Rex sufficient rehousing credits to get him overground and he actually possessed a surplus of food and medico rations. His generosity with these made him quite popular and respected locally. But the greatest benefit to Rex was that it left him plenty of time to indulge in his own personal studies. These centred upon a book his Uncle Tony had bequeathed to him, a curious volume entitled The Suburban Book of the Dead. Uncle Tony had pressed-the crumbling tome upon Rex with the simple statement, 'Knowledge is power'.
Shortly after this, he had spontaneously combusted while watching his favourite game show. The way he would have wanted to go,’ Aunty Norma put it."
EDIT: I'm a guy who builds thing and occasionally takes a chance at trying to promote those things. I've been on the receiving end of a fair amount of ad-fraud. The tech press is full of stories of people who say they just "put a few ads out" and then took off with their products. It's almost a meme. But it's a filthy lie. It's a lie that you can navigate the ad-tech industry without making it your full-time job. It's a lie that the ad-tech industry is a good way to get attention for your projects. It's a lie that the ad-tech industry is interested in doing anything about fraud. I've dealt with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon, and in each case at least half of the money I've spent has evaporated away to ad fraud. And then, when you bring it up on HN, you get the replies, "lol, that's just the cost of doing business." No. No no no no no.
The Amazon one was particularly bad, because it lead to me getting a ton of fake followers on Twitter, killing my ranking in their timeline view, requiring me to spend about as much as a total working week on block/unblocking people to kick them out of my followers list, just to get back to a good state. For $50 of advertising, I had to spend around $2000 of my time to fix the issue and got nothing real out of it.
But people tend towards short sightedness and selfishness, so no one is going to spend a few thousand dollars for a product that would take months to produce.
The first 2 are legitimately useful features in general, and for that matter I believe spoofing the device ID was already possible via xprivacy. But consider: Being able to have multiple instances of the same exact app, with different data storage, and in an ideal world the ability to run multiple of them at the same time, would be cool ... but also useful. As an obvious example, consider that mobile browsers don't support multiple profiles like desktop browsers do; this would make that work.
It's easy to look at this as "Farmers vs. Google AdWords" or whatever other ad exchange we might consider. But Google is just a middle-man. And as long as the system works for some definition of "works", they can capitalize on asymmetric information about the ad industry to bleed money out of small actors.
With online advertising, it's exceptionally easy to end up in a situation where everyone gets paid except you.
this assumes it is in their best interest to do so..
An 'acceptable level' of ad fraud could conceivably require a bigger spend on the part of the customer to reach the same audience, and therefore bigger revenues/profits to the ad network
"pay money, take the bagel". Violating such a contract by intentionally and knowingly skipping or falsifying the delivery of your part of the exchange looks to me like a fraud [IANAL].
So I guess the answer would be yes, but it doesn't make a lot of sense/cents
1. Patch VM.
2. Launch 1,000 instances.
I used to be a phone farmer back when I was school a few years ago (didn't know it was called that or that there was even a community around it). Any device with a WiFi connection worked at that point. Not sure if that's changed but I doubt it.
Also in the article they mentioned people virtualizing the process. It apparently is possible, but the farmers don't think it's worth it.
All of the apps were passive, it just would loop over and over playing ads.