Spillikins # 595. Pirates in the Xiaomi store – why and how


After the quarantine, life quickly returns to its usual course, although something becomes completely different, terraces and waiters in masks and gloves have opened in Moscow, visitors, of course, without them. In some places, the usual menu has been replaced by QR codes on the tables, where you can see a menu with photographs, this is an attempt to minimize the likelihood of the spread of infection. The menu is perhaps the only element that you touch with other people and do not know how to disinfect it yet, the paper will quickly become unusable. Somewhere there are plastic menus, which is also an option.

Spillikins # 595. Pirates in the Xiaomi store - why and howSpillikins # 595. Pirates in the Xiaomi store - why and how

Refusal of cash leads to the fact that no tips are left to the waiters, or they are paid impersonally, as a result, round sums are left for tea, which are shown on the screen – 100, 200 rubles, and so on. The lack of a waiter’s name, a common wallet for the entire restaurant, makes tip impersonal and many people don’t like it. The waiters say that the tip has dropped dramatically, this week it has been minimal.

Spillikins # 595. Pirates in the Xiaomi store - why and how

But looking at the people who fill the streets of Moscow, the absence of not only masks, but also the minimum distance between strangers, you understand that all these measures are becoming very conditional. It is surprising that exactly the same people strive to protect themselves from potential danger. One observation that I did not check with figures was the disappearance of crowds in the metro and public transport, although there are noticeable traffic jams on the roads, not very typical for summer. In taxis, drivers say they see an influx of new customers who have never used a taxi before. Several taxi drivers noticed something curious – such people do not always have the opportunity to get around by taxi, for them it is an expensive way of getting around. But they choose a taxi, since the likelihood of catching the infection is lower, and they do not want to save on health, fully understanding their risks. And the whole chain looks interesting – someone first started using more or less constantly a taxi, someone changed economy for comfort, or comfort for business. And everywhere behind the decision is exactly the same idea – the cross-country ability of a taxi is lower than that of public transport, which means it’s better. Changing the economy to other tariffs has exactly the same component. It is impossible to say that the majority do this, this is a small part of Moscow residents, but it is clearly enough for a taxi and filling it with passengers.

In stores, restrictions on the number of visitors have disappeared, no one else controls this moment, gloves have disappeared from the mandatory element of visiting, the guards in stores turn a blind eye to those who do not use them. And the lack of masks often does not become an obstacle to visiting, plus many wear them on their chins – formally there are masks, in fact they are meaningless.

In the United States, part of the Apple Store is closed again, as the epidemic continues and the number of cases increases again, this is a good characteristic of the current situation. I am surprised that the end of the quarantine erased all fears, as if they turned off any danger and people went out into the streets and forgot that there was a risk of getting sick. It looks like a strange game in which someone is worried about what is happening, but most simply consider it temporary troubles and difficulties. The market has actually returned to normal, stores are working as before, and this is clearly seen in sales. But there has also been an increase in the number of scammers who come up with various ways to deceive people. Any crisis removes many restrictions and fears, people indulge in all serious things, be careful. And we will start our release with the history of the great collection of promotional codes. Go!


  1. Promotional codes from Honor or how to “earn” 50 thousand rubles per hour
  2. Pre-installation of Russian applications, compromise for Apple in the form of icons
  3. Antitrust investigation against Apple and exacerbation of the situation
  4. Pirates in the Xiaomi app store – how and why
  5. Huawei forgiven and 5G that will never be forgotten

Promotional codes from Honor or how to “earn” 50 thousand rubles per hour

It often happens that companies come up with attractive goodies for the buyers of their products, but do not think about the mechanics, and as a result, everything turns into a strange thing. Honor has come up with an excellent marketing campaign to promote its flagships, buyers of Honor 30/30 Pro receive three films from Kinopoisk, a subscription to Yandex.Plus for three months, but also 5000 rubles for trips to Yandex.Taxi, as well as 5000 rubles for Yandex. Food (for Honor 30 it’s 2000 and 2000 rubles, respectively).

Spillikins # 595. Pirates in the Xiaomi store - why and how

The promotion is valid until the end of June, it is easier to get a promo code, you can watch them in the Member Center application. No smartphone activation is required, the code can be found in the application at any time, you only need to have the Internet.

The first bell that something was going wrong sounded when in the MTS store I saw couriers with boxes from Coffeemania, happy sellers took their orders. I was interested in this, I was not too lazy to go in and look at the windows, and at the same time I tried to solve a problem about where the consultants got money in such an amount. The answer was found in the conversation – go to the neighbors to the point, they are stupid and underpinnied about the codes, come up with something and write them off. I will call them and tell them that you will come. Digging through the promotions, I found one from Honor and everything fell into place. Moreover, Honor promoters who work on or check outlets were the first to collect codes. The mechanics of the action are such that there is no binding to a specific device and its activation, the code can simply be written off. What people began to do, freebie!

Customers who bought smartphones and could not find their codes (they were happily informed that they were used) started calling the support service, where they were initially denied new ones, and then they began to issue them. The story took on an unprecedented scale, the codes were almost always activated not by real buyers, but by those who had access to smartphones. One of the participants in the action even shared his experience on condition of anonymity: “We wrote off codes, ordered food, there is a limit of 1000 rubles in one order, you can order food from anywhere five times. There was a fear that the codes would go bad, my colleague came up with the idea of ​​selling them, for a third of the face value they fly away. For an hour I earned 50 thousand rubles and I am happy as an elephant, a prize for resourcefulness. ”

For the “resourceful” it is of course a gift, money that fell from the sky. For the manufacturer, this is a tangible loss in marketing, when you have to balance between reputational costs, when buyers do not see their gifts and the additional budget for providing them with codes. Honor temporarily disabled the codes, but then returned them back, apparently the mechanics have somehow changed and now it’s impossible to pick up the code just like that.

Alas, these stories are not new. Once upon a time, Samsung was giving away extra space in Dropbox with its smartphones. Exactly also people went shopping and activated this bun to gain as much extra space as possible. But then the story did not have the same scale as in the case of Honor. People’s love for freebies is ineradicable, and here it manifested itself in full. It’s a pity only for the buyers who need to waste their time to get these codes again.

Pre-installation of Russian applications, compromise for Apple in the form of icons

Let me remind you that most smartphone manufacturers are already ready to install Russian applications on smartphones, the corresponding law will start working on January 1, 2021, and this is a prerequisite for any company selling its goods in Russia. For Apple, this law is like a bone in the throat and the company is the only one trying to resist it, the entire market has already agreed that now everything will be like this. Some companies already install all the software, that is, they have prepared in advance.

Lobbyists are trying to prove that the law is harmful and should be canceled or at least postponed. I am not delighted with this law and have repeatedly criticized it, it has many shortcomings and points that cannot be called thoughtful. The state, represented by the FAS, acts as a lobbyist for Yandex, which is considered not a Dutch company, but an exclusively Russian one. On the other hand, if fines for traffic violations are collected in third countries, then why be surprised? We may not be like that.

But it is important to understand that the market has come to terms with the need to work this way and is ready for it. For Apple, everything is more difficult, since the company has never pre-installed other people’s applications, moreover, nowhere in the world there are precedents when it did this against its will. And if such a Russian experience appears, a Pandora’s box will open, each country will want to force Apple to install its applications and indicate what exactly needs to be installed. It is clear why Apple resists this as much as they can.

The FAS did not want to aggravate relations with Apple and made a curious compromise, allowed not to install applications, but to put icons with a link to download them. Moreover, the FAS emphasize that this is not done in favor of some manufacturer, anyone, not just Apple, can take advantage of this opportunity. I get the feeling that the FAS is very afraid that someone will think that the government department is acting in favor of Apple. From my observations it follows that there is no such fear of Yandex in any form, they will think and think, it’s okay.

But think about the very curiosity of the situation – the law on the pre-installation of applications, and the FAS offers to put icons. Then it was necessary to call all this a preset of icons and applications.

At the moment, there is no technical regulation, and the requirements as such have not been formed. For example, there are budget devices where it is simply not possible to install most of the software – the quality of these devices will deteriorate, it will be difficult to work on them (we are talking about Android Go). They are not highlighted in any way. We need a clear document that will show where icons can be used and where software should be installed. But for the FAS, the creation of such a regulation would mean a responsibility that this department does not want to take upon itself. The political implication of the law, which was dragged through so quickly and without much discussion, is that this is a medal that specific officials want to receive. But how all this should work in practice they do not really care.

I have doubts that Apple will be able to ignore the law and will not install applications, read the icons. Since in the case of Apple products there is an activation of a smartphone or tablet, an additional window will simply appear where you will be offered to download such and such applications. And it will be your choice whether you need it or not. In my opinion, if this compromise proposed by the FAS becomes widespread on the iPhone, then the manufacturers of Android smartphones will gradually come to this, as this is a legal way to avoid installing anything. The lack of a detailed study of the installation regulations is the Achilles heel of the law and the weakness of the FAS, which is trying to create the appearance of successful work, on the other hand, not to take any obligations, so that later not to be responsible for the consequences of their steps. And this is the most unsuccessful of the possible positions, one thing is required here – a clear regulation of how and what should be placed. If the FAS has already become lobbyists for Russian software and individual companies, then we need to go all the way. And not give it all up halfway.

Antitrust investigation against Apple and exacerbation of the situation

In Europe, several investigations have begun regarding Apple’s violation of competition law, in particular, restricting access to its platform for other players, and prohibiting the use of other payment systems. And Apple was opposed by dozens of companies who are directly affected by this situation, those who lose subscribers and money because of this. Against this background, Android looks like the most democratic system in the world, developers can use any payment tools, not only those provided by Google and Google Pay, there are almost no restrictions. It is clear that the success of Apple and their business model directly depends on the lack of alternatives to their own services – iCloud, app store, and so on. But the situation is such that the company will have to abandon this practice, sooner or later. As if in a public response, Apple decided to prove and show that their approach is the same.

The Hey app from the makers of Basecamp is aimed at a wide range of users, costing almost a hundred dollars a year. Apple initially allowed the app in the App Store, but then announced that it would be removed because it violated the rules. Apple believes that users cannot purchase an app subscription anywhere other than Apple’s store and using Apple Pay. Curiously, this rule does not apply to corporate applications.

In fact, we are faced with an example of extortion, when a company dictates to a software provider how and where he should collect money, does not give any choice. Do you want to be on Apple’s platform? Kindly pay for everything and follow our rules, which force you to use only our solutions.

This business practice is not new, it is many years old and the only thing that distinguishes this story from the past is that there are several investigations against Apple. And the company will not be able to easily and simply fight them off, moreover, Apple’s positions look frankly weak, since anyone understands that the company thus restricts competition, closes its devices for software creators. If Apple were smaller, there would be no questions, but today it is the second platform in the world, even if it is several times smaller than Android. There is also an Android example where everything is implemented differently and better. Apple has few chances to withstand antitrust authorities, which means that their business model will go to hell. There is no way to avoid this. For us, the victory of anti-monopoly agents will mean a choice – the cost of applications and services on the Apple platform will decrease, there will be no such horse prices (many applications for iOS are much more expensive than those for Android, inside they are the same).

Microsoft very nicely opposed the App Store rules and turned to the US antitrust authority to take part in an investigation against Apple. Today it has become a good tradition to be friends against Apple, and both large corporations and small companies are noticed in this. They will tear off the giant piece by piece.

Pirates in the Xiaomi app store – how and why

Our reader sent an interesting letter, I will quote it in full:

Eldar, good afternoon, I am writing to you to share interesting news.

I was surprised to find that in the built-in game store in Xiaomi phones, you can download games for free that cost real money on Google play.

For example, there are games:

  • GTA San Andreas
  • Terraria
  • Human fan flat …

Each game has a price tag of at least 100 rubles …

It is clear that these are installation packages and quite possibly downloaded from unknown spaces of the Internet, but so that there is pirated content inside the official application.

It might be interesting to talk about this publicly.

We ran through the Xiaomi app store and found out that, indeed, many games that are paid for in the Play Store are offered here at first glance completely free of charge.

But after looking at them carefully, we found out that these are either pirated versions, or applications in which additional mods are embedded, in particular, the collection of information about users. How did they get to the store? The answer lies on the surface, the moderation of applications in Xiaomi is very conditional and almost anyone can place applications, including other people’s applications, including those where unpleasant surprises have been added. Those applications that we listed in the request to Xiaomi promised to withdraw, but how many other similar applications are there? I don’t know, but there are clearly not one or two of them.

The root of the problem is clear, it is the lack of sane moderation. But most importantly, the absence of any punishment for such tricks. In the same Google, not only the developer’s account is blocked, but in the future you can change accounts, try to pretend to be someone else, the result will be exactly the same – blocking. Samsung’s app store has even tougher checks on Trojans, although most of the apps come from well-known developers. Xiaomi considered that it is possible to save money.

What advice can you give here? In my opinion, it is worth refraining from using the Xiaomi game store, as this is a potential threat to your smartphone. You will not know where and how your data is leaking, what exactly is happening. By downloading something from this store, you can bypass the built-in protection in Android yourself, since you trust the store, and it will let you down. It is clear that having a staff of moderators and seriously checking all applications is expensive. But on the other hand, why climb into this territory if you cannot do well?

For the loyal audience of Xiaomi, this fact is indifferent, it will not change the attitude towards the brand. But it is important to know about this, since this is a huge hole in the security of the device, which almost no one knows about. Be careful.

Huawei forgiven and 5G that will never be forgotten

Passions around 5G continue to simmer, and it seems that this is as hot a topic as changing words that offend certain nationalities. I don’t know why the Inuit decided that the Eskimo was an offensive word, as well as the name of the Eskimo ice cream. Exactly 99 years this name has existed, now it will not exist. Idiocy progresses before our eyes, and the larger the company, the greater the number of the mentally ill it is capable of accepting according to a different charge and variety of employees. A joke about a one-legged black man, which, moreover, is gay takes on new outlines.

The news spread around the world that America has forgiven Huawei and allowed American companies to work with them. But as always, there are nuances that got lost behind the loud headlines. So no one was forgiven, and threats against Huawei only sound louder and louder, in addition to threats, remarkable efforts are being made to destroy the Chinese flagship in the telecom, and not only it. The trade war is in full swing.

The problem for the United States is overconfidence. Officials fed by Hollywood films and publications, which they themselves ordered within the framework of propaganda, begin to believe that the sanctions mechanism not only works, but it is an analogue of a huge club that tears the enemy to shreds, hammering him to the very top of his head into the ground. The problem is that they really believed in it and cannot even allow the thought that something is going wrong. Remember how Obama said that the Russian economy was “torn to shreds,” he sincerely said it then and believed in it. Roughly the same thing happened all year with regard to Huawei, officials in the United States sincerely believed that just a little bit more and this company would ask for mercy, pay multibillion-dollar compensation, and then confess to all sins and then it would be possible to celebrate victory. Did not happen.

Moreover, it suddenly turned out that sanctions do not work, but create a counterbalance to American companies, Huawei’s drift from US IT developments was initially imperceptible, but now all forces are directed towards this and the company succeeds, step by step it becomes independent of the largest technology giants. … But the world, on the contrary, depends on the infrastructure solutions of Huawei, here everything is exactly the opposite. For example, in the UK there is a struggle to ensure that operators in this country can use Huawei equipment. The closest ally in the person of the United States is making every effort to prevent this from happening, but firstly, such equipment is beneficial and has no analogues. Secondly, Huawei knows how to interest countries, so near Cambridge the company has laid a center for the development of chips, worth 400 million pounds. America, on the other hand, prohibits, but does not give anything in return – give up money, contracts as a brother, and live in poverty as you can. The difference in approach is obvious.

During this year, there was another trouble. By banning any communication between US companies and Huawei, the US government has automatically struck its own companies from all committees for both 5G and next-generation communications standards. That is, during the year, Huawei’s influence increased and the company de facto assumed a decisive role in how it sees new networks. A year later, I had to make a special reservation that it was necessary to work on the standards, it was impossible to give them to the Chinese. It sounds ridiculous, since this is the very case when officials did not think about the next step, they did not think about the consequences at all. They took out a club, hit the enemy with all the might and expected him to die. How! Is Huawei torn to shreds? Not. And this is unlikely to happen.

The main effort for the United States is to compromise 5G as a technology, an attempt to slow down development in Europe in order to weaken its potential competitor. A huge amount of money is being spent on a campaign to explain the harm of 5G, this is done so that people from below put pressure on officials and abandon the new generation networks. And any information that shows movement in this direction is presented as some kind of achievement. For example, in Switzerland, the cantons received explanations from the government regarding 5G, which were immediately dubbed in the press as bans on the construction of such networks. The Swiss Environmental Protection Agency has sent a letter to the cantons advising on the use of 5G antennas. There were no prohibitions in it, and there could not be any.

Imagine for a moment that the Ministry of Agriculture suddenly sends a letter to Russian governors, discussing new communication standards and the potential impact of these standards on crops. In the yellow press, of course, various crazy ideas and headlines can appear to match them:

  • Farmers uncover 5G conspiracy
  • 5G not only kills bees, but also grains
  • Ministry of Agriculture fears 5G

A lot of this kind of nonsense can be generated. And those who want to stop the development of technologies are doing this in Europe today, all the current problems are attributed to 5G. I really liked the conspiracy theory on one of the American forums, it clearly illustrates the state of mind today. I will give a brief retelling – robberies, demonstrations in the United States is a consequence of the fact that Verizon began to develop 5G. Until that moment, the country lived quietly, but as soon as the first 5G base stations appeared, everything went awry.

And do you know what scares? That there are a lot of supporters of this nonsense, it seems logical to people and explains everything. The enemy is found and if you defeat 5G, then an idyll will come. Militant ignorance spills out.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that the popsicle suffered definitely undeservedly, and 5G is next in line. In the United States, someone will definitely have the bright idea of ​​defeating Huawei by renaming 5G and calling it something else. So that everyone knows for sure that the United States is superior to China in everything, even in technology. I suspect that the most obvious thing is to create custom protocols for 5G, but for political reasons, call it 6G. Why waste time on trifles? Vaughn even Eric Schmidt shared his “knowledge” that Huawei is following American companies, but he did not provide any evidence of this, like all people before him. It seems he decided to go into politics, otherwise why would he?

The world has gone off the rails qualitatively, people refuse to think and spread heresy as if it were the ultimate truth. And 5G is a handy thing for expressing your ideas about how our world works. Some even forget about the back of the whale on which the turtles stand and immediately say that the earth is flat. In our country, such educated people also appeared in abundance, which awakens a chill running down the back. It’s scary to see how quickly such people appear and how boldly they express their point of view. Groused and thinking that he had done his job, talked about what is happening in the world of 5G. Therefore, when you see something about the harm of technology, prohibitions and the like, try to find the original source and read what they write about it.

PS WWDC will take place in the evening, where they will show widgets for the desktop in IOS and, perhaps, but this is not certain, they will talk about ARM processors for the MacBook. Come read about all the announcements on Tuesday, I think there will be many topics for discussion. But I do not expect any kind of breakthrough and revolutions, the wrong company and the wrong opportunities. The next breakthrough product in Apple promises in 2022, it will be a new category – VR glasses. Another approach to the projectile. But so far, nothing over the years Apple has been able to create, it lives on the developments made in the days of Steve Jobs and around the iPhone.

Have a nice work week. Good luck and good mood, be cheerful and cheerful.

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