Google Killed my App Today, RIP RoboStop

In October 2018 Google announced Project Strobe, a new initiative to limit app developers access to users data launched in response to the recent Google+ data breach discovered back in March 2018. Essentially what Google is now doing is removing every app on the Play Store that accesses users’ contact books, call logs, or use SMS. The Google Play team notified me a month or two ago and stated that I could submit my app for review to be granted a possible exception, but today I received a notice from Google that my request for an exemption had been denied. RIP RoboStop. My app had reached 5,000+ active installs since launching less than a year ago in March 2018 at SXSW, and was growing at a rate of 7.2% week over week at the time of this post. So to end this sad announcement, I would like to post this dope photo of RoboStop’s hockey-stick growth curve just before Google killed it:
robostopfinalgrowthchart
However, I really want to keep using RoboStop and would like others to be able to continue using it as well, so I plan on launching robostop.org and will have the app up on the web available for download here in the future. The only problem is that users will have to manually go into their settings to allow app downloads from “unknown developers” and this will undoubtedly kill RoboStop’s exponential growth curve.
Sometimes things in life don’t bounce your way. But there isn’t any reason I can’t do it all over again and create something else with an exponential growth curve. So here’s to 2019. Write code. Get users. Make money*
* Still working on the making money part 😉

 

WARNING: POSSIBLE DNS SPOOFING DETECTED!

WARNING: POSSIBLE DNS SPOOFING DETECTED… what an annoying error message! This error tends to pop up whenever you point a domain name a new virtual server, or if you happen to rebuild an existing virtual server instance. Every few months or so I end up running into this problem, so I decided to write up a short little blog post on how to fix this for my own personal reference and to help others that may run into this problem. At the moment I’m using a Windows machine, so this blog post is going to be Windows specific:

  1. Type %USERPROFILE% into the address bar of the File Explorer program
  2. Then press the ENTER key
  3. Double click on the .ssh folder
  4. Open the known_hosts file with your text editor
  5. Delete the entry for your server/domain-name and save the file
  6. Close your command prompt program if it is still open, and then relaunch it
  7. Log in to your virtual server via ssh

REFERENCES:
Where is the known_hosts file for OpenSSH for Windows?

 

How to Save Money on Domain Name Registration

Last year I had to do a little accounting for my startup, formerly a Delaware C-Corporation, and was shocked to discover that a large amount of my expenses for the year went toward registering domain names! At the moment I own 71 different domains, all bought with good intention, none purchased for the purpose of domain name squatting. Crazy right? That’s the thing about being creative in the web and mobile app business, you are going to have to work through many ideas only to have a few come to fruition. The end result? You end up purchasing 71 domain names a year!
So… I’ve discovered a little hack that I want to share with my internet friends on how to save money registering domains: Don’t purchase a .com (or worse an expensive .io) domain name first, start with a $0.99 .xyz domain. Then make sure to un-enroll in auto-renewal so you don’t get billed $15 or whatever when the new year rolls around. So there you have it. Save money buying $0.99 .xyz domains and your dollar will far 🙂

 

Resisting the Urge to Find a Co-Founder

I saw this post on Hacker News today and felt compelled to write a short little post on the subject– Ask HN: How to found a company as a single founder? 
Here is my reply:

If you know how to program, don’t force the cofounder thing. It’s really easy to end up bringing on crummy cofounders. Look at Facebook and SnapChat. In my experience it’s typical to end up bringing on an Eduardo, a Winklevoss twin, or a Reggie Brown, then you have to get rid of them because they’re terrible and literally aren’t capable of contributing anything.
 

Hello, World on Xbox One

About six months ago I landed my first professional programming job teaching kids to code at theCoderSchool in Flower Mound, TX. And right from the start, it became apparent that kids learning how to code are interested in much different things than adults. While adults are mainly interested in learning to create web and mobile applications, kids want to learn how to make games! One of my goals since starting this new job was to develop a tutorial/lesson on how to create a simple console game, and tonight at around 2:00am I made my first step towards developing this lesson: I built a Hello, World app in JavaScript, and was able to successful run it on my brand new Xbox One! I was super stoked about this, so I wanted to make sure I made a note of how to do this here on my blog in case anyone else is interested.
Step One: Register as a Microsoft/Windows App Developer
Step Two: Enroll in the Xbox Live Creators Program
Step Three: Enable Developer Mode on Your Xbox One
Step Four: Enable Developer Mode on Your Windows 10 PC
Step Five: Create a Hello, World App (UWP) in JavaScript using Microsoft Visual Studio
Step Six: Run the App on a Remote Machine (Your Xbox)
helloworldonxboxone
 

 

Why There Aren't Creative People

Hello there internet friends! I purchased this domain not too long ago with the intention of publishing software development related blog posts, thoughts on startups, and other things that I would like to have indexed by Google. But since I haven’t actually written any dev related posts yet, I think maybe I’ll use my new WordPress site to save little bits of wisdom and whatnot. So here’s a gem from Dr. Jordan Peterson on why there aren’t creative people: