Why are Facebook engineers confused about App Review?

So Facebook recently changed the policy about their API. Yes, Cambridge Analytica ruined it for everybody. Facebook has limited API access and included also app review for most of the permissions an app requires. Though there are still some loopholes but recently they almost closed everything saying your app has to pass through review.

Image result for facebook engineers

So they basically want to see how you use their API. But this is with the assumption that you are dealing with user data. For example, having a Facebook login for OAuth on your website and when a user uses the plugin to login to your website, you request permissions from the user (e.g., permission to post the user’s behalf). The permissions could be for user profile or the privilege to manage the users pages.

The problem comes here. What if you want to access your own data? Do you have to pass through the review? As long as you’re only accessing your own data, it should NOT be a problem. So, basically, I create my access_token via Graph Explorer and use the API to access my data.

When Facebook required app review, I submitted the app along with a screencast (as they requested). I got a response saying they don’t see the login plugin in the video. But I don’t use the fucking login plugin because I am not asking people to login using Facebook. Basically, I don’t use the app to interact with Facebook users.

I explained in details what I want to do and the fact that my app is not related to users. Their response was “we can’t find the login plugin on our website.” For fucks sakes, Facebook.

During all this time, the API was working on and off without review for a reason that I do not know.  And the people I have been in contact with were developers not just tech support (at least said Facebook). Why they were not able to understand the use-case is beyond me. This is the point where I said fuck their API. I will find a way, though it will be painful, because Facebook API has become useless.

The fix should be very easy though for Facebook. If an app is not reviewed, just limit the access to the app developer’s data/page/group… just like when the app is in development mode except being able to publish on your profile/page/group.

 

ASOS.com Price Tracker (Price Alert) and Price Checker

UPDATE: a web version of this service is available here.

I use ASOS.com to do several online shopping. They are one of the best online fashion shops. They have several stores in different parts of the world. Each store might have different price for the same product. Sometimes, you might find up to 50% price difference between different stores. If you, for example, always buy from ASOS UK, then you have to compare the price, for example, with ASOS Germany as you might save a lot.

Screen Shot 2019-02-03 at 6.40.37 PM

You can do this buy opening the different store websites for the same product and compare the prices… sometimes you might need to convert the currency to your preferred one. To facilitate this process, I have created an ASOS.com Price Tracker (ASOS.com Price Checker) Telegram bot that can help you do these automatically. Check prices on all ASOS country sites of the same products. You simply copy the product’s link and paste it in the chat and the comparison is done automatically and a summary is provided. It is easy to use and has the following features:

  • Price comparison: compares the prices of a product in the different ASOS stores and tells you which store has which size and how much it costs followed by the link to the cheapest store
  • Price Tracker/Price Alert: if you want to wait until the price for a given product drops, you also have the possibility to get price alert for the product and get notification as soon as its price changes (drops/increases or the product goes out of stock/comes back to stock)

It is very easy to use. You just send a link to an ASOS product to this bot and the bot responds with content similar to the image above: the price at each store and the available sizes in each store followed by the cheapest store.

If you are on mobile and have the ASOS app, you can just click on the “Share” button, then choose Telegram from the list and share the link to the bot. Before sharing the link to the bot, you should first “Start” using the ASOS Price Tracker bot. By following the link or by searching for @asos_price_tracker_bot on Telegram, you can START conversation with the bot.

If you’re using a web browser, just copy the link of the product and send it to the bot on Telegram web.

If you’re not using Telegram, you can use the web version that does similar things without the price alert feature.

This is a personal project that was intended to help me manage my shopping on ASOS. I benefited from it by getting price drop alerts as well as finding the cheapest store. As some friends found it interesting and are using it, I thought it might also be interesting to others.

Its accompanying website and mobile apps are in beta testing and will be made public soon. In the meantime, enjoy the service on the Telegram bot.

Feedbacks are welcome!

 

Facebook now lets your friends see that you are watching the same live stream

fb

It looks like Facebook rolled out this update letting you know that your friends are also watching/listening to the same live stream. Which means your friends can also see that you are watching the same streaming. I believe this is privacy sensitive information and it shouldn’t be turned on by default.

iswatchingThough this is supposed to be private unless you interact with the streaming (for example react or share), just opening the streaming link informs your friends that you’re on the same thing.

The other problem is that I don’t seem to find the setting to turn off this ‘feature’. And I don’t understand why Facebook turns this kind of privacy sensitive options on  by default.

Let me know if you find the location to turn off this stupid feature.

😤😤

Problems with the Moto X Style/Moto X Pure Edition (Mostly the Battery)

from: neurogadget

The Moto X Style is one of the Motorola’s flagship phones released in September 2015. It comes with Android 5.1.1 and upgradeable to Android 7 (Nougat). But the upgrade is so slow that in September 2017, they still haven’t covered many countries. Some of the specifications of the phone are as follows;

Network: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE

Memory:

  •  microSD, expandable up to 256GB
  • Internal 16/32/64 GB, 3GB RAM

Camera: 21MP back camera, 5MP font camera with flash

Processing:

  • Hexa-core (4×1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A57)
  • Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808
  • GPU Adreno 418

As it can be seen, the phone has a very good specification. One of the feature that I like about this phone is the fact that it has two stereo FRONT speakers! Yes! I pretty much enjoy watching episodes on Netflix right from my phone.

The other feature that I like is the fact that when the phone is on a desk, the screen illuminates by just passing my hand over the screen to see if there are any notifications. However, other phones have a dedicated LED light showing notification (which also exists on the Moto X Style, however needs rooting and programming the phone to use the LED for notification. The only time I have seen this LED turning on is when the battery is completely dead and the phone is attached to the charger.)

Another interesting feature about this phone is the way to turn on the camera. Yes, you just shake the phone and you have the camera open. I almost never found error in the sensors and always picks up the camera whenever I shake the phone.

All these and other interesting features are useless if the phone has a bad battery. Yes, the phone comes with a very bad battery. It’s less than 2 years since I had this phone and it is already messed up. For an expensive phone like this one (500 euros in October 2015), it’s unacceptable to have a very poor quality battery. Some of the weird characteristics of the phone in relation to the battery are as follows:

  • Phone shuts down even if the battery is above 25% and won’t start unless it’s attached to the charger
  • The moment the charger is attached, the battery shows 25% (or above)
  • The phone shuts down even if the battery is above 60% when the camera (or an app using the camera) is opened
  • If you let the phone off for a while, it finally will open (as if it wants to cool down)

Since it was a weird characteristics, I didn’t think it was a battery problem. I assumed it was software issue (either some apps or the platform itself). I reset the phone and didn’t see any improvement. That’s when I decided to change the battery. I bought a kit with several screwdrivers and a non-OEM battery. I removed the back cover, unscrewed 19 of the 20 screws and had a stripped-screw on the last one. Tried for a couple of hours to unscrew this damn screw to no avail. So finally screwed back the 19 screws and attached the back cover again. Probably will try again soon when I have time.

Conclusion, the phone is very good. It has good spec, good usable features. Camera is good, screen is big and has good resolution. But, the battery sucks. It’s also impossible to get the OEM replacement battery. Therefore, unless you’re fine with carrying a power-bank all the time, I would not recommend buying this phone.

Cheers!