This app aggregates information from various data sources and provides push notifications too. It is without a doubt the best source of this information and the app being unavailable significantly affects the day to day lives of a significant portion of the South African population who use it to plan around these power outages.
While the app also has a "chat" feature, it's really tangental to the primary purpose of the app and I expect that most users of the app, like myself, don't use that feature at all and only care about knowing when they will be without electricity.
In case you're wondering why they hell we have load shedding, it's because Eskom is grossly incompetent. Their incompetence is hugely exacerbated by nepitism and corruption where government has historically appointed people to Eskom management positions solely as "favours", rather than on qualification for the job.
However, in the EU this 1) isn't a regular occurrence, and 2) the grid has a tiered system for load shedding. I can't find a reference for the tier classifications right now, but if I remember correctly: tier 1 consumers (the ones who will be disconnected first) are heavy industries with huge power draw, tier 2 are other commercial uses, tier 3 is residential, and tier 4 is critical infrastructure (emergency services).
I don't think I've ever experienced a load shedding event that affected residential areas. There have been local blackouts but I don't recall any grid-wide emergency events.
South Africa also has actual load shedding, where industrial customers are asked then forced to reduce usage, but the black-outs are entirely different. They are region-by-region complete loss of power for all but the hospitals (but often take out hospitals and emergency services too).
Compounding this issue, the grid is not designed to be switched on and off frequently. While there is a set schedule for the rolling blackouts, transformers and other equipment will blow under the sudden loads, meaning your regional blackout may last a lot longer than planned. You may also get blackouts sooner or completely out of schedule for region, for which no explanation is given.
The fact that extensive load shedding and brownouts etc needed to happen was not a result of decisions made during the weather event, but lack of infrastructure investment over decades (that may or may not have been under the control of ERCOT, rather than the legislature and state government regulators, but ERCOT certainly was on board with/lobbying for the conditions of deregulation that led to them).
During the weather event... ERCOT, the grid operator, did their job very competently. Making more capacity come online or reducing consumer demand was not really something that could be done during the weather event. They kept the grid from collapsing -- and it nearly did collapse, it was a close call. That was their job during the event.
I respectfully disagree. Demand might have been twice what supply was, but the way the load shedding was done wasn't smart at all. The rolling blackouts were done on a roughly 18-48 hour basis, i.e. if you lost power you probably lost it for at least 18 hours and I know plenty of people who lost it for much longer, up to 48 hours.
If demand was double what the supply was then it should have been possible to give people power for say 2 hours every 4 hours. Or maybe 6 hours every 12 hours. If demand outstripped supply by a factor of 4 then 3 hours every 12 hours.
But that's not what happened. A lot of houses have gas furnaces but they need electricity to run the fans and the ignition system and such. People died in their houses either from the cold or from running their cars in their garages trying to stay warm. A lot of pipes were burst due to not enough heat in the buildings.
I can think of at least a dozen ways in which the load shedding could have been better managed. I wouldn't agree that it was very competent.
The problem is if that electricity is being used for heat, the draw of the 2 hour on periods will increase to make up for the time off. Perhaps even resulting in more total usage, because when power is on, people will set the thermostat to 80 instead of 65, anticipating the power going off and it getting colder. When really you need everyone's expectations of comfort to change to 40 degrees (half the delta T).
The only way to win and supply some power to all houses is to keep the duty cycle so low that the amount of resistive heating equipment becomes the limiting factor (1 hour every 6 hours?). I don't know if they could have managed this, but it's certainly more complicated to figure out than simply lowering the period of the rolling blackouts.
Even 1 hour every few would stop food from rotting and let people do important tasks.
I just put my food outside, in the car. I never lost power, but I didn't want to waste any electricity on cooling food when it was needed so badly.
Comparing that to "All my expierincing" first hand. Not even close to the same thing. They would not have been in the stressed situtation in the first place had they enforced the recommended corrections for cold weather protection in the first place. The fact that they had to turn off power generation because pipes were freezing at the generating stations is an absolute joke, and is the prime cause of the stress.
The local weather forecasts remind people to move plants indoors, cover exposed plumbing, etc. Maybe they should also start including a friendly reminder to the local power plants to also cover exposed plumbing, but why would they listen to that when they've ignored government sanctioned reports from investigations into previous failures?
> ERCOT, the grid operator, did their job very competently
"Turn off the power so the demand goes away" Check
"Issue rolling black outs so that the demand is lowered and manageable, and give people a fighting chance" Nope.
These were absolutely not rolling black outs, but static black outs. The method they chose to "save the grid" was just as incompetent as not maintaining their systems in the first place.
Do you know of any good journalistic coverage of this, since apparently I've been reading bad stuff?
It seems important info for those who don't have first-hand professional experience to get.
just a snippet of a quick search from soooo many articles
You can't really compare.
Industries can chose in their contract to be part of the load shedding system. It's done with their agreement and the system is purely based on the grid frequency. The disconnection is done on site in an orderly fashion. In a way, it's probably more correct to view it as industries electing to temporary disconnect rather than the provider stopping supplying them.
> I don't recall any grid-wide emergency events.
The European electrical grid is extremely resilient. It was accidently split in two a couple months ago and that was barely noticeable for the customers of either half.
There is also the mess we currently have in California. High winds blew stuff into high power lines and started a bad wildfire. In the lawsuits that followed the utility was told to shut down the risky lines under high wind conditions--which of course causes massive outages. Of course the utility is "at fault" because the ecology types blocked efforts to keep the vegetation away from the lines.
See here: https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/long-term-wear-found-o...
I can't find it right now, but there was an absolutely fantastic RCA report that included all the information on the wearing down of the hooks and how this could have all been prevented.
Eskom seems to have been around for a long time, but this problem seems to have kicked in a little over a decade ago.
Did something recently happen to Eskom to make them incompetent?
Apartheid South Africa's government focused on providing electricity mostly for the white minority, which it did well, but the majority of South African, especially in the rural regions, lived with no or unreliable power supply. Post 1994, with removal of sanctions, the economy opened up. There was a lot of international investment in South Africa. The economy grew strongly and the demand for electricity significantly increased.
The supply side was woefully mismanaged and didn't nearly keep up with the pace of the growth in demand. Corruption is definitely a key reason, as others here mention, with the effect being that power plants are not adequatly maintained and new planned power plants going far over budget and missing deadlines .
Besides corruption, there are some policitical constraints. Eskom provides power to municipalities who often don't pay. Soweto, with 1.3 million residents owe Eskom in excess of $1 billion . The South African Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that Eskom is not allowed to cut power to non-paying municipalities . In contrast to a free-market system, Eskom price hikes are subject to regulatory approval .
One could debate the relative significance of each of these factors, but it's by no means due to only a single one of these.
That's not true. Majuba Power Station was commissioned between 1006 and 2001, although planning started in the Apartheid era. Gourikwa Power Station and Newcastle Cogeneration Plant were commissioned in 2007.
There are a few wind farms built after 2001: Hopefield, Coega, Darling, Klipheuwel, Dassiesklip Wind Energy Facility and Jeffreys Bay.
And solar: Kalkbult, Mulilo Renewable Energy Solar PV Prieska, De Aar Solar PV, Mulilo Renewable Energy Solar PV De Aar, SA Mainstream Renewable Power Droogfontein, Letsatsi Solar Park, Lesedi PV Project, Kathu Solar Energy Facility 1, Sishen Solar Facility and the Jasper Solar Energy Project.
But these were not enough to keep up with the demand.
>> The supply side was woefully mismanaged and didn't nearly keep up with the pace of the growth in demand.
Demand for electricity consistently went up over the past 20+ years, with no matching increase in generation capacity.
Maintenance of current power plants hasn't been great either, and the supply/demand situation is precarious such that if any one of the power generation plant is offline for maintenance, there are likely to be compensatory blackouts somewhere.
It does not matter who holds it. Unchecked power always corrupts.
Bring up slavery in Dubai, and people start talking about the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism.
It gives people of the present a free pass to behave reprehensibly, because other people in the past behaved reprehensibly
1. It was a throwaway.
2. The reply was... “It does not matter who holds it. Unchecked power always corrupts.”
The problem with the ANC is the same issue as The Nationalist. Without strong opposition and even a stronger free press, unchecked power always leads to corruption.
I would love it if that was indeed your reply. If your reply were indeed simply "It does not matter who holds it. Unchecked power always corrupts." I would upvote the hell out of that. It's true and eternally true. Well, almost, because when I am World Dictator for Life I will rule only with profound, infinite beneficence and enlightenment.
I'd like to refer you to this tweet: https://twitter.com/lofimandala/status/1371310164821774337
In response to someone pointing out that Dubai is built on slave labor, this person felt the need to say:
"And European cities weren’t? Don’t get me wrong, slave labor is abhorrent but it’s telling it only gets invoked when certain countries participate while the entirety of places like the United States were built upon imperialism, slavery, and genocide."
I am certain, if confronted, this person would point out the *"...Slave labor is abhorrent..." part of the reply, but it is nevertheless difficult for me to understand how the observation as a whole helps current slaves, of which there may be 40 million in the world. "Slave labor is abhorrent, but..." is a sentence that will not end at a good place.
Reeling from the disturbing sight of modern people defending or whatabouting modern slavery, I rebound into this thread. Just, please, you must criticize evil and corruption that exists now, in the present.
It's a favorite technique to defend the abuse of power. "Yes, I abused my power, but so does everyone with power," is a cynical, unfalsifiable and worryingly effective argument.
The most optimistic view would be that an energy company that operates without blackouts in an apartheid state should not be applauded for its performance under artificially-depressed demand.
It would be nice to first clear up the factual issue of whether blackouts have grown more or less frequent, before jumping ahead to the moral calculus of who should be applauded or condemned more.
I don't understand where this implication comes from. In claiming that current governmental corruption is the cause of the current blackouts, the throwaway commenter implied that blackouts were less prevalent in the past. The reply then objected to the idea that the previous government was less corrupt - but the opposite statement does not require that blackouts were just as prevalent. It is possible that the previous government was corrupt, but any number of other factors meant that the energy grid did not require load shedding.
That's why I asked if the historical frequency of blackouts is really a fair analysis? Is it worth "clearing up", given that blackouts are not a direct function of corruption?
From "blackouts are due to corruption -> corruption was just as bad in the past". Especially since blackouts were the only symptom of corruption mentioned. Yes, it's possible blackouts didn't manifest due to different reasons, despite equal corruption - that's why it's an implication.
> Is it worth "clearing up", given that blackouts are not a direct function of corruption?
A simple hypothetical "Yes blackouts are more common, but the old government was just as corrupt due to <list of reasons>" would have been much more informative, so yes I do think it's worth clearing up.
Are we supposed to compare governments without comparing the state of the country they ran (run)? Except, of course, apartheid - that doesn't get left out.
> Malaysian news site fined $124,000 for five reader comments
> Malaysiakini’s co-founder avoided jail time
IMHO a lot of sites and apps should just remove chat/comment functionality and only allow emoji reactions.
This is a state that has fetishized “light touch regulation” so much that it, for most of the state, has its own grid to avoid dealing with Federal authorities. And repeatedly failed to take action to get power companies to winterize their equipment even though cold snaps in Texas are not unheard of — they’ve had disruption in 1989 and 2011, in addition to other near misses.
Let’s not even get into the wisdom of a market that allows Griddy to offer wholesale prices without caps to retail customers.
This is an absurd comparison. South Africa owns and runs its power utility. The result is that they struggle to provide electricity on an ongoing basis. According to Wikipedia, small business owners in South Africa said that load shedding was the number one challenge that they faced in Q1 of 2019.
Texas does not own or run its utilities. They are privately run, and are given wide latitude by the state. The result is that the worst of the utilities are tragically only able to provide 99.95% uptime, with some power consumers experiencing outages for a few days per decade.
The giant power bills are just icing on the cake of bad policy-making.
Terraria banned - https://twitter.com/Demilogic/status/1358661840402845696
New project banned - https://medium.com/@amton15127/why-you-should-not-use-fireba...
Google bans company - https://www.reddit.com/r/tifu/comments/8kvias/tifu_by_gettin...
Google bans mail - https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/a-serf-on-googles-farm
Ban app for communicating changes during covid - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23221447
Adwords ban - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23224791
Serverpunch bad support - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17431609
Delete app - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20826618
Google bans game with pandemic - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23229073
Google bans dev with no recourse - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15197357
The thing I’d like to have Google explain to me is why they think it’s a good idea to bounce incoming mail for a user that’s been auto-suspended by an algorithm. In what scenario would I want that, especially when the account is locked at 3:00 AM local time?
That’s something that actually happened to me this weekend. For anyone at Google, NO ONE wants their incoming email bounced because of your crappy ML algorithms.
I had been forwarding all of my email from my domain to my personal Gmail (the irony) so haven't lost anything except a Sundays worth of incoming emails which bounced.
In my case I was still using a free account for my custom domain, grandfathered in. I guess I get what I paid for...
IMHO a lot of account "security" is intentionally made to be overly aggressive so tech companies can lock your account and verify your ID / get your phone number. If you're using anything for business the only option is to diligently set up all the recovery options that are available, even though that means giving them a ton of personal information.
And today I get an email saying my accounts are now enabled?
The computers are definitely in control.
Glad I was forced to move away at this point, locking accounts is one thing, but bouncing emails not cool.
Due to their marvelous design, you need a personal account to run an advertising account for your place of work. Luckily she hasn't been logged out on her work laptop yet or she couldn't do a large part of her job.
Business support? Yeah good luck, try googling and you'll get pages of dead links or suggestions to click something when you're already logged in.
There is an option to resync inside the FB app, which refreshes and... doesn't change a thing.
Your advice is appareciated though and I'll keep it in mind for the future.
Back to my original comment though. Want support? Maybe you will go to https://www.facebook.com/business/help and read the part that says "Find answers or contact support" and click the button.
This brings up an overlay with the usual SaaS buffet of simple answers for simple questions and not too much else. Click on one, don't find your answer, but wait! There is a message under it!
"Need more help? Contact support."
Yet no link. No button. Just dead text.
This is how multi-billion dollar companies operate in the 21st century.
Sounds like that'd be on the FB infrastructure side though?
So if the time on the client device is wrong (perhaps it was manually set and not updated for daylight savings), then the server will disagree with what the code should be.
Example: Device is set to the wrong timezone. It’s nearby, but the difference between the two timezones is that one has DST and one doesn’t. DST comes along, either the time changes by an hour when it isn’t supposed to, or it doesn’t change when it is supposed to. The most visible thing that looks broken to the user is not the timezone, but the time. So they adjust the time. The user-visible clock is now “correct” for the next six months as far as the user sees, but the system clock – including UNIX timestamps – is incorrect by an hour. This results in broken TOTP.
Though I do suspect that Google Authenticator even has some logic to reduce these problems, since you can "sync" its time in the settings.
The predictability of DST doesn’t help, and “most people never have to adjust their timezone” isn’t relevant either. Perhaps you didn’t fully grasp what was happening in the example? All of the machinery works correctly, it’s just the first time they set up the computer the timezone was wrong, or they moved. Everything after that point can work correctly, but if that thing is wrong, UNIX time will be wrong even if the time looks right to the user.
I’ve literally had to fix this problem for people. “Correct” time, incorrect timezone. It’s not a theoretical example.
What we need is some anti-trust litigation with teeth.
Indeed. We need big tech to divest some of their eye watering profits into actual user support. With so much depending on tech, kicking out users at a whimsical ML bit flip can be super damaging.
That’s why it’s easy to build support for it on Desktop safari but not iOS.
I except they’ll support Web notifications on iOS once the technology is mature enough to meet the power budget.
Additionally with iOS apps, Apple can and does work directly with developers whose apps are overusing the notification system and draining power, which they cannot do with arbitrary web apps.
Play store employee can ban your app = destroy your business at any time. The reason can be 'new policy', 'misunderstanding' or something more problematic, such as influence from your competitor to the employee.
A 'power to destroy business', should not be a click away from some random employee.
Yes, the vast majority of apps have no business writing to any location other than their own storage, and in general even reading other areas should be subject to severe restrictions.
However, there are some apps that have a *legitimate* need to be able to wander freely through the file system. Specifically, apps whose purpose in life is dealing with files.
The latest run-in I've had with this: The Goodsync Android client, which now appears to be basically useless. It's a file synchronization tool, what good is it if it can't wander where the user wants it to? Now I have to plug my phone into the computer to do the same task (the file system lockdown doesn't apply to access from the PC) that I used to be able to do simply by having the phone in the room.
Or to try and raise the level of discussion: “The HN community” is thousands of people who rarely agree 100% on anything. Pointing out that you can find examples on both sides of an issue isn’t a huge revelation.
(Personally I’m a fan of building an alternative to the google / apple duopoly, regardless of political affiliation :) )
P.S. I am not from US so I am not in a blue or red camp, I just don't like it when some big corporation can lock you out of your account, decide what books you can read, what apps you can install or brick your application/device ( I am thinking at the case where Photoshop stopped working in Venezuela and how on some systems the device will contact the mother ships at boot/resume or when you launch an apo for "security" reasons that could be used in future to block you using the device or app)
>some big corporation
What about a small one?
>lock you out, decide what you read, apps you install or brick your application
Are these an abuse of power? Illegal? Unethical? Is it their right to do these things to maintain some focus? (The example here is often that one does not want profanity, sexual content, violence content where any children or family are involved - if that is acceptable to you, why not the above?)
ps, I also hate it when software won't work without a 'security' handshake.
I would also be fine if Google or Apple would ban an application because it does something illegal or it's name/icon/description is offensive and it could "pollute" the store listing. I don't like when the giants try to ban some small applications because of user generated content but they never ban YouTube(remember the issues with pedos?)
The issue I have with the giants is that this is not a "Free market", you have only 2 players that are smart enough to correctly play the "prisoner dilemma" so both win.
Maybe in that political case they were right to ban that application but is still uncomfortable to know that 99% of mobile market is censored by the 2 giants.
Conclusion: Moderating content on your website is fine, but banning legal apps or websites because should not be easy, there should be a police,judge or some other official request behind it at least.
The silicon corporates do move the goalposts to suit. Governments are not fair all the time. Where you are born impacts hugely on your life. And the laughably named 'free market' has the same flaws.
All of these issues we are discussing will be alleviated, though not eradicated (impossible), the more we move towards an equal and fairer society.
You are in for a bad time unless you go full FLOSS. The days of shareware and freedom from stupid centralized license enforcement is long dead, sadly.
Don't bother bringing that up on HN though. The Upton Sinclairism "It is difficult to get someone to understand that which their paycheck fepends on them not understanding" applies.
Unless of course you're talking TLS, in which case that handshaking is cool, and responsible, and if done right transparent to the end user.
They should not be locked in the first place. GNU/Linux smartphones come to mind. (Anbox can be used for Android apps)
That isn't the case here however and I expect some resolution will come.
Never used parler and not defending them but idk why facebook gets a free pass from you, they are far more to blame for the events that transpired IMO.
These are just the facts, interpret them as you wish.
Facebook (and YouTube, and Twitter) could and should do a lot more. The more they do the more likely it is they will be legislated out of existence and I'm not sure how they strike a good balance there. I also think Facebook in particular could do better but doesn't want to in order to keep engagement up - yet they want the good PR they can get for banning hate speech. They're trying to have it both ways and are awful. That's still different than Parler where the entire reason it exists is to push radical viewpoints without governance.
For the case you mention, do you think it helped? As I said I am not from US so I have no idea if the were any effects.
No one forces / forced businesses to rely on apps for their business. Websites do exist and work well, so there are alternatives.
It exists everywhere, it is called monopoly and this is only an example thereof.
Businesses could also, for instance, be destroyed by ARM Holdings refusing to license the ARM architecture to them, or Valve deciding to pull a game from Steam.
Especially with technology, there are a great deal of monopolies that exist.
And the only reason Google can do that in this case is because the terms were specified as such, and ARM Holdings could do that too.
> and there's plenty of ways to distribute games to users on PCs other than Steam.
And there is also a plenty of ways to distribute Android software other than the Google Play Store, but the effect in both cases is that one's business will likely die being denied access by either.
What's the rationale behind wanting multiple appstores on iOS, if multiple appstores on Android has no positive effect for developers anyway?
Edit: Despite all their shortcomings, I wouldn't mind seeing android phone makers join force and create an independent app store.
More like a strong disclaimer worth repeating for newcomers in the space.
These stories have come up several times over the years on HN and it is worth reiterating:
It is very risky if your product/company relies solely on another company's success and openness to you - especially if that company is not contractually obligated to continue providing you service.
You can wax poetic about the idea of an independent app store all you want, it doesn't change the facts on the ground in the current moment.
The best part of this is even if your app gets banned from the app store, it is still accessible to anyone that wants to bookmark your URL, and I believe that users can also install the local PWA icon without having to go through an app store (I may be wrong about that, just starting to learn about PWAs and what is currently possible, and what is coming up).
Do you have pointers to data on this subject? I am very interested in this subject!
Supported on all major Android browsers:
- Progressive Web Apps can be added to your home screen
- Web Push lets web apps receive push notifications (Brave's implementation is broken, but they try to support the feature)
Experimental APIs supported by Chrome for Android:
- Web Share Target API, which lets homescreen'd web apps receive shares from other apps (the share pane makes no distinction between sharing to a web app or a native app)
- Contacts APIs to read the user's contacts list
I think PWA's competitiveness will get a lot better once other browsers adopt the Web Share Target (or something like it), but I'm skeptical that they'll really take off as long as Apple continues hold off on implementing features that would make PWAs competitive with native apps.
Which they certainly have done in the past (albeit,usually for really good reason. Google is a bit in a damned if you do damned if you dont position)
i do believe that if google didn't have an appstore that it forces android licensees to use, then we would have a similar variety of appstores world wide.
My website is still blocked by Facebook's sharing debugger and my ad accounts with balance in them have been blocked without a reason given.
Beyond that, the point is just to make them notice you, so anything might be good enough. Reporting to a regulator like the CFPB can also be effective if the case looks financey - I got my PayPal account back recently that way after they didn't like how I typed in a tracking number and banned me for life.
// RKEW - Relativistic kinetic energy weapon
After 8 years of SEO expertise I honestly can say that there's nothing about SEO these days that makes sense, pages are not being indexed for weeks at a time, spam/crap at the top result. Throw in the endless (and ambiguous) requirements to adhere to the mighty G's requirements.
Note that this doesn’t mean don’t participate on platforms controlled by Google, it just means diversify your business so you have multiple income streams rather than just putting all your eggs in one App Store basket. Apps should really just be a client facing portal tied in to a whole ecosystem of solutions you provide.
Creating a Play Store alternative is hard for many reasons:
1) finance: the more countries you operate in, the messier it becomes. International taxes are one hard mess, KYC/AML regulations differ between countries, and to top it off there is the whole "international sanctions" issue especially regarding Iran (where it's fine and explicitly encouraged by the EU to do business with Iran, but any entity that has US exposure exposes themselves to liability in the US for violations).
2) vetting of apps against a constant onslaught of spam, malware, copyright violations: f-droid has it a bit easier since they require all apps be open source, but a commercial, widely used alternative will have to run static analysis, dynamic analysis (to catch runtime exploit attempts) and manual testing. All of this is expensive and requires expert knowledge of Android as well as IT security.
3) Implementation and hosting: an app store worth its name has a lot of binary assets to distribute to users (and again, you have to avoid getting into trouble with people abusing your service to spread illegal content, because there will be such cases rather sooner than later), the store itself has to be implemented, regularly adapted to account for changes in the Android core, you definitely want a focus on security to avoid some hacker distributing malware to all your users with a push...
4) Customer and developer support: it's a well-known meme that FB/Amazon/Twitter/Google are almost impossible to reach for ordinary people without raising a shitstorm on Hacker News or a well-funded lawyer team... but the key thing is, support is expensive to run.
Developers have no incentive to go the extra mile to publish on your store, because there are no users and it is extra work.
Users have no incentive to install your store, because there is barely anything on it.
OEMs have no incentive to preinstall your store, because you don't have any content (which devalues their product) and they don't gain anything from it. If they are willing to roll their own store, they at least rake in all the profit from it.
I'm just a normal F-Droid user, but couldn't you build In-App purchases or link accounts to your website?
So, register for a paid account on mygreatapp.com and use the login details in your app?
I think that's what Google and Apple specifically DON'T WANT for financial reasons, but how about F-Droid?
Developers like in-app payment methods because all they have to do is integrate an SDK for payment, and then they get a monthly payment on their bank account and a bill for accounting, that's it.
If you want to handle payments yourself, you'll have to:
1) implement user management to deal with storing what stuff a user has purchased, with all the GDPR and customer support (forgotten passwords, hacked accounts, lost MFA creds) headache that comes from that
2) find a payment processor that operates in all your target countries (no, Stripe and Paypal alone won't cut it), and integrate these (and hope they don't run into the same issue with Paypal, who are known for deciding on a whim to withhold funds)
3) Issue individual bills to customers, account for stuff like cross-border VAT, insanities like county/city sales taxes, deal with refund laws
4) deal with fraud attempts, angry parents, ...
5) Re-implement recurring payment schemes if your business model wants these
In the end, app stores (and ad SDKs) are a matter of convenience. Big shops like Epic, Spotify, Netflix can get away with running lots of this infrastructure on their own, but 99% of small devs don't have the time, knowledge and legal requirements to deal with that.
The problem with the Parler situation is more that their average user is too incompetent and inexperienced with computers to understand how to download something that isn't literally laid out in front of them.
I refuse to use Google Play or create a google account so I use The Aurora Store which replaces the Google Play Store.
If I want to download some independent apps I head to F droid store or Aptoide.
There are even more independent and alternative app stores, but these are the ones I use.
Oh, and don't forget about github and app downloads directly from the web.
F droid allows you to install without Google play.
And why wouldn’t this App Store have any takedown policies? Or have to follow the same kind of legal restrictions? In the discussed example, this wasn’t even automated; an employee manually reviewed and chose to ban their app.
It's user generated content. How is reporting a user functionally different from reporting content?
This makes me even more driven to switch to F-Droid for everything I possibly can. Hopefully we'll see a daily-drivable Linux smartphone before too long so I can ditch Android all together.
A user may just be wrong about something or not quite understand something. They're not trying to deliberately cause disruption, there's no need to fault the user. Remove the content, inform the user, move on.
It's only a problem is a user continues to submit reported material.
Elsewhere I am a moderator on a forum and I have seen exactly the same mistake, zapped it (the errant line, I left the rest of the message alone) on the spot and PMed the user--and been thanked for doing so.
Which isn't to say that Google's actions are at all justified here. This kind of thing makes me extremely wary of continuing to do business with them.
PS: I work for a competitor of one of google's products.
There was a great thread on moderation just now: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26458826
To be fair, we cleaned up our artefact management but still. Google is evil.
But if Google sets clear rules about how your bad people/behavior reporting button must look, I don't see Obvious fault in such policy.
Not all of whom are human.
I think it is kind of strange that even a private messenger needs to implement a report system for messages.
Really? So if a random person decide to report me, plain text uncrypted messages will be sent to WhatsApp?
Even if this does not happen regularly, this means that WhatsApp have means to read my messages, which is scary enough.
Stop complaining and find a way around it.
The main issue here is lack of communication, and automated removals with little recourse from developers?
Complaining about this process does not seem like "immature whining" to me.
Then why did Google not flag this during one of their release reviews?
Randomly banning already approved apps over minor wording problems without giving devs any time to react is insane.
This is the kinda thing that could have been handled by "please submit another version with the correct text ASAP or we'll ban you in X days".
What's next, banning European apps that allow people to sell cheese that is illegal in USA?
While there are guidelines for making better apps, google is happy to publish anything.
See here for a meaning of the word Poes in Afrikaans. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/poes#Afrikaans
Wonder if Google is aware of that and has been getting lots of "reports" by genuine users that are offended by this? And this weird "technicality" is just a cover for why they really got banned/taken down.
They have a one-hit wonder that they're trying to ride the wave on. So instead of sticking to the functionality they had (notifications/schedule/etc) which was perfect for users, they decided to add a "comments section" it seems for people to vent their frustrations. So no sympathy from me, despite Google being in the wrong here.
There's not much more to expand on the core functionality of notifications & schedule visibility.