Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Spam Thread!
Blackberry Bun Wrote:Figured as much. Anyway, here's the full story.

There's this MMORPG with the name Phantasy Star Online 2, originated from Japan but currently also has China and South East Asia Server. In the latter two servers, enemies deal about 30% more damage to players compared to Japan server. However, in the latter two servers players have the option to do a kompu-gacha (Picture explanation here) to get a costume which negates the damage increase.

My question was about the decision to increase enemy damage. Would it actually be more enticing for players to gamble their real money for the chance to make the enemies deal "normal" damage, rather than letting the enemies deal normal damage with players having the option to gamble their money for the chance to make the enemies deal low damage?

I'm just a guy with no knowledge of marketing strategies on this matter, so I wonder.
I guess the makers of PSO2 wanted to make more money off their Chinese and Southeast Asia servers and in turn their players for some strange reason. Which is kind of odd seeing as how players could just connect to the Japan server and avoid the China/SE Asia ones.

I have no marketing experience either, but this reminded me of a side scrolling action game called Contra Hard Corps for the Mega Drive and Genesis. The MD release allows you to take three hits before you die, but the US version only allows one hit, thus making the US release far harder as a result. This was done presumably to help drive more rentals of the game in the US. Japan bans video game rentals completely and thus more HP for your Contra fighter apparently. I don't know if this is 100% true, but it's plausible.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Reply
Well, another late night computer upgrade, this time for Ruby. She and Patsy both run Win10, but Patsy is currently running "Threshold 2", the most recent Win10 build. Ruby is still on the RTM and she was upgraded from Win8.1 back in November. MS put a 30 hold on upgrading to Threshold 2 for those who upgraded from Win7/Win8.1 to Win10 RTM, but it's been far more than 30 days. Threshold 2 simply does not show up in Windows Update, yet all other security patches come through.

The solution I found involves performing an in-place upgrade using the Media Creation Tool from MS's website. I hate to do it this way, but I'm a bit anxious to get both my PC's running the latest Win10 build. I also don't feel like performing a clean reinstall of Win10 using the Win8.1 key.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Reply
Happy Birthday to Sour Grapes (the character, not me).
Reply
Stella Grapes Wrote:Happy Birthday to Sour Grapes (the character, not me).
I assume she's having a 'swell birthday right now xD
[Image: huckleberrypie.smart.jpg]
[Image: sue8hj-6.png]
Reply
Time for me to talk about phones. Unlocked phones to be exact.

Unlocked cellphones are popular in many countries, except the USA where they are apparently starting to catch on a bit. The USA has had it's cellphone airwaves ruled by corporate companies for many years. Want a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy? You are more likely to sign a hefty contract with a big name carrier rather than try to find an unlocked version and use it from there. The cellphone companies even tried to make unlocking phones illegal until the US Supreme Court stepped in.

Enter venerable home shopping channel QVC, with their recently released "Kphone" offering.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHyybGxYZLI[/youtube]
I tend to watch TV shopping networks simply because of how charismatic the presenters can be selling the products, especially computers and cellphones. Some channels like HSN can be outright misleading when it comes to computers (I plan on writing about their HP Pavilion Mini shill later on this weekend), but QVC is a bit more honest. Except at around 6:00 in the above videos when the lady mentions unlocked phones are "an all new concept". Technically it is I guess since some stores are beginning to sell true unlocked phones and you can even buy prepaid SIMs at your local department store. Where QVC misses out on with the Kphone is the dual-sim feature. They go over how to install the SIM card, yet reading the instruction manual and specifications, there is a second SIM slot, likely in the back. Another feature they gloss over is the FM radio function. I'm a bit of an FM radio person, and I regularly create airchecks (off air recordings) of various stations in the areas I travel to mostly for the music but for archival purposes as well. FM radio in the states is in a constant state of changes and flips, but that's a topic for another day. Anyway...

After doing my research on this, and seeing as how their EasyPay installment plan is workable into my budget, I decided to get the Kphone. I got the blue color and it should be arriving within the next week or so. In the end, it will be a third-tier Android device mostly restricted to making FM recordings as one of my MP4 players current tasked to do that has an aging Li-Ion battery. I won't completely rule out getting a SIM for it in the future. Poppy works just fine and I don't really need to replace her with a new phone just yet. But if something were to happen to her (like getting dropped or stops working properly) I would have another phone to move to.

I will also run either ESET or MalwareBytes once I get the phone running. QVC is the top-tier home shopping channel in the states, and they should know better than to sell a phone with pre-installed Malware (remember that BrightTab ordeal from last fall?), but even so, better to be safe than sorry.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Reply
Considering it's from an obscure firm, it never hurts to do a malware scan. If you had the lulz you could've pulled all the apps in /system and do a thorough scan of the APKs and whatnot for any nasties.
[Image: huckleberrypie.smart.jpg]
[Image: sue8hj-6.png]
Reply
Well, the Kphone has arrived. I'm far from ready for the review, but the malware scan...

Most scanners don't detect a thing, but a few do, such as AVG and Malwarebytes. OPSWAT's online cloud APK scanner also shows 5 of 43 total scanners detect the suspicous file, called TYQcSmsRegist.apk. The few scanners detect it as an SMS Trojan. It's too early to tell if it's just a false positive or actual malware. I went and pulled the APK off the phone with Droid Explorer and poked at the manifest and classes.dex files. At first glance, it seems rather harmless at present. The only URL present in the files times out on ping, and it only requests the following permissions: write external storage, read phone state, send sms, receive sms, receive boot completed, wake lock. Viewing the permissions from the App manager seems larger as it runs under another process, com.tycust, which none of the AV programs pick up as malicious and appears to be benign.

Since the phone isn't meant to be connected to anything but function as a glorified radio recorder and offline media viewer, it may not affect me much in the end. I won't even have to have WiFi enabled all the time, and I don't plan on SIMs. But, there are others who plan on using this as a unlocked phone though and get SIMs. I'm still seeing if the suspicous APK is indeed a trojan, and I fired off an email to QVC customer support. Here's hoping I don't get the runaround...

Time to find time to toy around with Java SDK and Eclipse and look at the DEX file decompiled...
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Reply
So I shared the source code files with Blake, and from we can gather, it appears to contain strings relating to Chinese mobile phone numbers. That could mean that this is in fact an SMS trojan, and it sends the data to the broken URL in the files.

The good news is that being an SMS trojan, my Kphone in it's current state should be alright to use as no other files come up malicious and SMS doesn't work without SIMs installed... and thus, no 3G/4G access. Bad news is that QVC promoted this on air at a sale price last week or so. Many people are buying this to use as a phone so I have emailed QVC the basics. Depending on the response, I will try and get the word out and hopefully a resolution will be had.

Now time to reset the phone back to Factory and use it as I intended it... an offline Android device for FM recording and media viewing. Take that, trojan writers. Tongue
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Reply
Sandy! Are you doing all right these days?
Reply
Good morning (or afternoon) everyone.

So, my new Android device is all set up now. The device was reset, I disabled most of the Google apps since I won't be needing them, and got the home screens organized. There seems to be no app drawer as this flavor of Android Lollipop has an iOS-like UI skin. It's a bit confusing to use at first since it follows some of iOS's guidelines of sorts.

As for the suspicious APK, I won't attempt removal at this time as the device is in the 30 day return window. I'm also waiting for the outcome of the email support request.

I also need to re-enable the hidden developer options. Among the options available are Fastboot and OEM Unlock, which essentially makes the Kphone root friendly. Root would be necessary to remove the suspicious APK file if I were to do so.

Stella Grapes Wrote:Sandy! Are you doing all right these days?
I think Sandy posted on the Spam thread just a few weeks ago, but yeah, he's been rather quiet lately.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: cpd2009, 2 Guest(s)