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Sony Xperia devices with Sailfish OS

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naytsyrhc
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 11.Oct.2017 01:23    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

What is your opinion about SFOS compared to other OSes?


That's difficult and I'm probably the wrong person to be asked that question, as my personal preferences are 'special'. As Michal, I have always been with devices running a niche. I started with the Ericsson R380s as for me it was the first phone that truly combined a phone with a PDA in a way that I was comfortable with. I didn't like the Nokias with Keyboard and found the R380s more appealing allthough you were unable to install applications. I then took the successor P800 and later the M600 whivh was the nicest phone I had till then. I loved the form factor and keyboard. I then switched to the E71 as it had a similar form factor, but I didn't like S60 the way I loved UIQ. The N9 was the next step at it was fabulous. I still have it and it works well, I had to.use it for the last 3 weeks as my Jolla broke down after about 4 years. My wife uses iPhones since the 3G and my kids have android phones. From usability and appeal I myself would always choose sailfish (from version 2 on) over all other systems. I myself like it more than iPhone/Android/S60/UIQ or even Meego. But I'm used to it for four years now. When it comes to other things I like the most ob sailfish, that I can have a full solution for synchronisation of contacts/calendaring and shared documents without any major vendor but all wiyh my own tools. As I am a linux user I love the openess and freedom it provides me.
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 11.Oct.2017 04:41    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Qt/QML and the Android Runtime will be replaced by a new Russian environment, thus making support for native development less of a concern since the future system will be incompatible with the current Sailfish.

I can't imagine getting rid of Qt from Sailfish as all that remains in such case is merely the kernel and the Linux (Mer) layer + drivers.

It would make ABSOLUTELY no sense to buy the Jolla company and their OS only to dump most of it and end up with not much more than bare Mer that could have been used without buying Jolla at all. Makes no sense whatsoever.

Moreover, I can't imagine the resources needed to re-create from scratch a wholly new, proprietary middleware layer to replace Qt and all its APIs. Years of hard work. And why do it? Qt is entirely open sourced, so nothing in it can be hidden away from FSB's prying eyes.

Maybe you've mistaken Qt/QML middleware with just the Silica UI residing on top of it, i.e. the uppermost layer - a set of QML components consituting the look and feel of Sailfish OS user interface.

But if so, then it made absolutely no sense to block development of native software only because of that as even if they replaced the whole Silica UI then all existing apps could be quickly and easily ported to the new UI within HOURS, just like it only took hours to port apps to Sailfish OS from Symbian or Harmattan (i.e. Symbian or MeeGo Qt components).

Quote:

Part of the plan is to have the system fully compatible with Android hardware, i.e. no need to create "special" models - it will be possible to flash it onto standard products.

Which makes it vulnerable to all Android hardware-related security threats like e.g. the "BlueBorne" Bluetooth vulnerability discovered recently, and hundreds of others. Only proprietary hardware (or more precisely: proprietary drivers) can make an OS really secure and proof to all those vulnerabilities. But if you decide to create all the drivers yourself (to assure full security) then you actually don't need the hardware to be Android-compatible, as the main reason for using Android-compatible hardware is to have an easy access to drivers.

Note how BlackBerry 10 was probably the only existing mobile OS that wasn't affected by any recently discovered hardware-related vulnerabilities - and that's SOLELY thanks to using proprietary, self-developed QNX drivers for all hardware components.

Quote:

The initial step is devices such as the Inoi R7 that are part of the development program.

The Inoi R7 or the Xperias would give them nothing in regards to testing the OS if then they planned to get rid of the entire middleware Qt layer, i.e. actually MOST of the platform. In such case they'd need to begin all the public tests from scratch.

Quote:

There's a big plan for the system and it will be successful

It's kind of optimistic to assume so while at the same time supposing that they're going to change most of it - i.e. without knowing how the result will look and work like. How can you know (assuming that your suspicions about getting rid of Qt are correct) that they won't end up with something as HOPELESS as Tizen, which was also derived from MeeGo but then stripped off Qt (i.e. just what you suspect would be the case with Sailfish) and it ended up as a PRIMITIVE and DUMB OS and an UTTER FAILURE that even mighty Samsung wasn't able to make anyone interested in?

Besides, I'm not sure if Russia has developers skilled enough to fully replace Qt with a proprietary middleware within any reasonable period of time - simply because they have no expertise in such area as they never created any complete operating system of theirs. Nor does Jolla have it, as they also only used Qt and only made QML components for it (quite possibly also "borrowing" some of it from Harmattan). Being able to develop the ENTIRE middleware layer with all the APIs is an ENTIRELY different level of expertise and human resources needed to achieve it. Or else you do it the Tizen way and you end up with a P.O.S. that no one wants. Look how long it took BlackBerry to make BB10, and that's while it was Qt-based - if they also wanted to make the middleware themselves instead of Qt they most likely wouldn't have finished it by today....
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 11.Oct.2017 20:19    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I know that I make a lot of guesses here but it is interesting to try to get some kind of "sense" out of the seemingly "senseless" acting of Jolla.

The idea of a "national middleware" is probably too far stretched but I would assume that some kind of development is going on behind the scenes, which explain the reluctance to support paid apps. Either some kind of middleware change that they "in the know" know will break compatibility OR that a completely new app store will replace the Jolla/Harbor Store and that paid apps aren't considered "necessary" until that happens.

I think the lack of paid app support is part of a plan, most probably revolving around the idea that the current distribution model (Jolla/Harbor Store) will be replaced by a new solution when the "National OS" launch and that the idea is to take the native development from there.

The reason I guess that the hardware will be Android compatible is in order to avoid having to create "special" solutions and to create drivers from scratch when the system is Linux based. The ability to use Android compatible hardware, i.e. simply flash Sailfish on it rather than having to do extensive development of drivers etc for new chipsets are probably the logical choice and the release of SF for Xperia is an indicator.

I haven't investigated the origins of the Blueborne issue but if it is down at the kernel level - i.e. it is fault in the basic BT stack I would assume that every Linux based platform (using such a stack) would be vulnerable. It would be interesting to know if Maemo and MeeGo Harmattan is affected or not.

The success for a National OS will probably be "enforced" in one way or another. Since the idea is to reduce the reliance on Western technology - I would assume that steps will be taken to make it "successful" (i.e. reaching a considerable market share in the Russian market) even if "success" in other markets (Western ones) can be debated.

I think the major difference between Sailfish as a National OS and Tizen is that the former has government backing, the latter has been a purely commercial venture where Samsung has been sitting on two chairs (I got the impression that they had bigger plans for Tizen originally but then messed everything up by trying to "customize it" and decided to go down the safe route - i.e. staying with Android).

My guess is essentially that the plan is about developing the system itself up to a desired (agreed) level and when it has been reached: Go full launch for the Russian market with a totally new domestic app store and updated SDK, which replace the Harbor Store and current Android runtimes, i.e. no ability to run Android apps. Monetization for the Russian market (i.e. domestic ad services etc) is also created.

Those plans are the reason why the system is being treated as it is - i.e. there are no particular desire to build a Western presence but just developing it under the Jolla umbrella until "the time is ready" and then launch it as the National OS, complete with Russian optimization (i.e. Russian app store, ad services etc etc etc).

Jolla is not destined to create the ecosystem themselves - just polishing the system itself and the rest will be managed by the Innopolis/Tatarstan based developers (i.e. app stores etc).

I would also assume that they want to keep "Western" exposure down at a minimal level due to the political tensions. I.e. no "Western" ecosystem - just keep a low profile and full launch is for the Russian market.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 12.Oct.2017 01:58    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I wish sailfishOS would do more to reach out to the maemo5 community. I see absolutely no reason why getting more of them on Jolla wouldn't have been a good idea for getting sailfishOS ready for Russia faster.

Maybe they are afraid Russians would run SailfishOS instead of the rebranded one if it got too good. If that is the case, then I think they plan some backdoors. I am against intentional backdoors no matter who benefit from them. I accept that people make mistakes, and I am sure research in math and computer science will expose new issues we don't know about yet.
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PostPosted: Friday, 13.Oct.2017 09:49    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

The reason I guess that the hardware will be Android compatible is in order to avoid having to create "special" solutions and to create drivers from scratch when the system is Linux based. The ability to use Android compatible hardware, i.e. simply flash Sailfish on it rather than having to do extensive development of drivers etc for new chipsets are probably the logical choice and the release of SF for Xperia is an indicator.

I did not question it. I only said that it would make it vulnerable to all those Android exploits. BlueBorne was just an example. There have been hundreds of Android kernel and driver level vulnerabilities.


Anyway, have you seen the recent news about Kaspersky? How can you know that with Sailfish OS it is going to be any different?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-hackers-stole-nsa-data-on-u-s-cyb er-defense-1507222108

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/technology/kaspersky-lab-israel-rus sia-hacking.html

Until I can be sure that it's not going to be like that, I won't touch it with a 10 foot pole, just like I never touched Karspersky AV. The way that Jolla doesn't clearly inform about their current ownership does not help me to trust them, either.
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PostPosted: Friday, 13.Oct.2017 13:41    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I think the general situation is pretty obvious:

US made systems collect data for US agencies.

Russian made systems collect data for Russian agencies.

Chinese made systems collect data for Chinese agencies.

Same thing with specific apps. Everything is about intelligence and collecting data about the users and so on. Even cellular carriers are involved in some cases (Carrier IQ etc).

The complication arise when there are attempts to "grade" the data mining, i.e. "it is better of X mine data than if Y mine it". I.e. - it is "terrible" with Sino-Russian data mining but perfectly "OK" when other agencies are involved in a scheme.

My take is that every privacy concerned citizen should condemn *all* data mining involving authorities/intercepting communication in behalf of them - i.e. applying the same standard to everything rather than attempting to first condemn one country and let another "slide". It make little sense - it is the same way as complaining about "censorship" in one country and then accept it in another citing some kind of "protection need".

To me, all data mining/intercept of communications etc are questionable regardless of who is doing it. The user must be in charge of what is being shared. If systems have backdoors I consider it questionable regardless of them being FSB or NSA ones. A backdoor is a backdoor.

The best "antidote" to this kind of issues are open source systems where everything is carefully scrutinized and the apps are open sourced as well. Any closed source system and app is a potential backdoor to user data.

With that being said I must admit that I don't consider FSB to be neither "better" or "worse" than NSA - i.e. systems with backdoors for any of them are simply... equal. It is not that I would condemn something "because it turned out that it mine data for Russian purposes" and then rush to something that "mine data for US purposes but that is perfectly OK". I consider both cases to be equally "bad". It means that if no choice exist (because there are backdoors everywhere) I have no particular objections about using a "Russian National OS" if the system is technically good and offer benefits over US platforms.

If there is a completely independent, fully open sourced and peer-reviewed platform without any agency affiliation, i.e. no backdoors (and no closed source apps whatsoever) and it runs on decent hardware, offering high quality and efficiency - I would be more than happy to use it.

But bashing Russia for "data mining" and "spying" while letting other countries (US/NSA) do similar things (i.e. backdoors etc) makes no sense to me. It is popular to write a lot of articles about Russian spying nowadays but... similar security issues exist in other places as well and the whole subject has to be discussed in more general terms - i.e. should systems spy on their users on behalf of *any* government OR should privacy be a priority?
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 13.Oct.2017 20:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

"it is better of X mine data than if Y mine it". I.e. - it is "terrible" with Sino-Russian data mining but perfectly "OK" when other agencies are involved in a scheme.


Quote:
But bashing Russia for "data mining" and "spying" while letting other countries (US/NSA) do similar things (i.e. backdoors etc) makes no sense to me.


As I already wrote, what's better or worse in this regard HEAVILY depends on location where one lives. In NATO countries it surely does make a difference if you're being surveilled by (allied in case of NATO member states) CIA/NSA, or by GRU/FSB who consider your NATO member country an enemy (or at least an opponent) of theirs. Don't you really see the difference? If you don't, why not start a petition to your country's government to leave NATO and join Russian-Belarussian union?

While indeed ANY surveillance by ANY country is equally bad in theory, in practice it does make a HUGE difference depending on the goals and possible consequences resulting from such surveillance for people living in a SPECIFIC region, which definitely aren't equal for everyone. Do I really need to explain such an obvious thing as that while people in NATO countries are being spied by NATO services to *protect* NATO, they're being spied by non-NATO services to *harm* NATO? Does it really take any explanations?

No, I SEVERELY DISLIKE being spied by ANYONE, including NSA/CIA. But as long as NSA/CIA surveillance imposes no physical threat on my allied country, whereas in the other case I have absolutely no such guarantee because we have their ballistic missiles aimed at us, I make a CONSCIOUS choice between such two HEAVILY UNDESIRED but definitely NOT EQUALLY bad "alternatives" that I have.

Oh, wait a moment. But wasn't Sailfish OS originally meant to be a third alternative, free of any surveillance?

Quote:

If there is a completely independent, fully open sourced and peer-reviewed platform without any agency affiliation, i.e. no backdoors (and no closed source apps whatsoever) and it runs on decent hardware, offering high quality and efficiency - I would be more than happy to use it.

Wasn't that EXACTLY what Sailfish OS was PROMISED to be? Wasn't that meant to be its FOUNDATIONS, its reason to exist? An entirely independent (of any authority), fully transparent and open OS? Wasn't that THE VERY REASON why we got interested in it AT ALL?

And now that it turns out that it possibly won't guarantee any such measures anymore as its maker is now owned by Russians with the intention for the OS to be state-controlled and FSB-certified which completely denies why and what it was created for, you're just excusing it with "well, every OS spies on its user so it's normal"? No, IN THIS VERY CASE IT WOULDN'T BE, because Sailfish OS was said to be entirely different in THIS VERY REGARD. While those who made Android or iOS never said that the BASIC GOAL of their product was to give you a fully independent and transparent OS free of ANY spying etc., in case of Sailfish OS it was the REASON of its creation. So it would DENY the very purpose it was made for.

Or wouldn't it?

If I accept that Sailfish OS might spy on me by WHOEVER (be it FSB/GRU, NSA/CIA, Mossad, Galactic Union or whoever else), I might just as well use Android instead and get the very same (plus 1,3 billion applications vesus none).

In other words, if Sailfish OS doesn't give me a 100% guarantee of absolutely no (and no one's - not specifically FSB/GRU but NO ONE'S) surveillance, it actually gives me NOTHING.
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PostPosted: Friday, 13.Oct.2017 20:46    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

That Jolla collects privacy invading user information is right now speculation. You are free to investigate, which will be difficult because just like Google such information is encrypted.

Google on the other hand openly admits their privacy intrusive data collecting. They openly admit they collect position data which they connect to your user in order to "tailor search result" and "give a better experience". They also admit that they store your searches and connects them to your person. To me that is a bit like "Herr Mustermann mag Bananen", a DDR idiom explaining how sick the society was. We also know that Google Play is very keen on using the LTE modem. We can clearly see that Google Play often connects to the server for some dubious communication despite you aren't even using the phone. The same thing can be done with SFOS, investigate which processes that like to get out on the net despite you aren't doing anything.

We'll see if persons such as Grigory Berezkin are serious owners but it sounds strange for me because well season business men as Grigory Berezkin usually hunt larger prey than small companies as Jolla which will likely not produce any profits for a long time.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 15.Oct.2017 11:54    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:
Wasn't that EXACTLY what Sailfish OS was PROMISED to be? Wasn't that meant to be its FOUNDATIONS, its reason to exist? An entirely independent (of any authority), fully transparent and open OS? Wasn't that THE VERY REASON why we got interested in it AT ALL?


As wrote earlier already, exactly that is it about. And currently it's highly suspicious if there is any effort of implementing a back-door for russian or chinese authorities. I'm concerned about that too, especially if shareholders are not publicly announced, but currently the system still is the one with the highest assumed independence of all (even more independent than Blackberry's QNX, as RIM is not the company that is known to be free from such suspicions).

So for me, unless there is more evidence of such back doors or government involvements and spying, I feel more comfortable to use Sailfish OS than iOS/Android.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 15.Oct.2017 17:19    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

So for me, unless there is more evidence of such back doors or government involvements and spying, I feel more comfortable to use Sailfish OS than iOS/Android.

If they plan to do it, they surely won't give you any 'evidence' as it would contradict the point of doing it. Just like with the antivirus that 400 million people were using and saying that "until there's no evidence they prefer to use it over American AV software that surely spies for NSA/CIA". And even after that activity had been eventually discovered and reported, most of them still either don't belive it or ignore it.

While I find it quite likely that Android or iOS or RIM may indeed collect information for American services, as long as I live in a NATO country I prefer being possibly watched by NATO than by NATO's main opponent.

I wouldn't be that suspicious if talks about "national OS" didn't start at the same time (if not sooner) as those investments in SFOS, which to me looks like it might have been a government's plan from the start to acquire that OS. And if the state is indeed directly involved, I guess it'd be naive to think that it doesn't mean anything, especially that they said themselves that the OS would be "FSB tested and certified".

But of course it is everyone's free choice.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 15.Oct.2017 18:08    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

The mer source code which is the base for SFOS is still open source and so similar to linux more or less better to be watched over. But I'm with you, that this may change...
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PostPosted: Sunday, 15.Oct.2017 20:02    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I fear the state of SailfishOS and Mer is such that very few people are interested in looking at the code. Besides, if a phone consist of both closed source applications and open source applications, I would hide my backdoors in the closed source applications.

I assume SailfishOS has no backdoors yet, but will get them when they are ready to launch as an official Russian OS. The better SailfishOS becomes before the official launch, the fewer are likely to use the official build later.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 17.Oct.2017 19:16    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:
The mer source code which is the base for SFOS is still open source and so similar to linux

Well, SFOS is much more than just Mer, and I guess that some things in it aren't open sourced even now. Like the Android player runtime or certain system applications. For example, I'm not sure if the store client (and its daemon to automatically check for updates etc.) or the Jolla account login/sync stuff are open sourced.
---

On a different note, the picture below shows a small ATmega328-based project I've been prototyping recently (this one is mostly to play with sleep states to optimize power consumption with varous devices as the actual project is going to run on batteries and have as small power consumption as possible - final step is two switch from external 16 MHz crystal to internal 8 MHz one or maybe even lower it to 4 MHz or 1 MHz as it doesn't need much computing power).

Anyway, I'm showing this because most of what you can see on the board could have been used directly with the Jolla's I2C if they so miserably didn't dump it. All kinds of sensors, digital adressable RGB LEDs, even the tiny OLED display... Just attach, write literally a few lines of code and enjoy. Some time ago I even connected some of them just for test to the Jolla's I2C connector and it was discovered (e.g. I could read its I2C bus address, etc.).

I still cannot believe that they had such a truly unique feature that could have made SFOS so REALLY different than everything else and whose production cost would have been like $0.05 or so, and they just discarded it. Type "Arduino" on youtube, see all those countless projects that people make and imagine that there could have been just as many Jolla based projects and made it every geek's smartphone. It didn't even take offering any ready-made accessories, but merely cheap empty TOH casings with built-in goldpin connectors and spaces to allow to easily attach various I2C devices inside of them - just like there are "shields" for the Arduino.

The demise of this single feature alone made SFOS 50% less attractive than it could have been. Suppressing any native development was the other 50%.

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PostPosted: Saturday, 21.Oct.2017 21:45    Post subject: some other thoughts   Reply with quote   

Hey guys! I used to come here all the time during the heyday of the N9 but after the phone broke I drifted to BB10 and then eventually to Android Crying or Very sad
I had to reregister as I forgot my old login and password...

I agree with much of what you guys say about Jolla and their complete lack of interest in shepherding an ecosystem.
Why do they do this? I think it is obvious...they are only concerned with creating an OS that they can license out and have no interest in being caretakers of a store or of development to create an ecosystem.
If you look at the link of the software center in Russia they openly state that as of 2016 the Open Mobile Platform is in charge of development for the Russian version and Jolla just signed some kind of licensing deal with Jala in Bolivia for a national OS with hopes to expand throughout S America.
From the looks of it they are targeting BRICS nations and those nations on the periphery.
My personal opinion is that European Sony SailfishX customers are beta testers and a proof of concept that Jolla can show to decision makers in various countries that Sailfish is a viable option.

Now to the most important issue...if Jolla isn't going to create or nurture an ecosystem then who will?
Has anyone looked into companies like applandinc.com? I was looking into this but have never done something like this.
However, I very much would like to support Jolla devs with a store and with paid apps where they can monetize their apps and make some money.
Michal, what do you think? Is this a viable idea or is it a pipe dream? Your thoughts and the input from other forum members would be most appreciated.
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PostPosted: Saturday, 21.Oct.2017 23:24    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I think it is obvious...they are only concerned with creating an OS that they can license out

I'm not sure if it is a valid explanation. An existing ecosystem (i.e. a mature and well documented development environment, a large number of active developers, a decent number of available applications, unique solutions like the TOH / I2C, and so on) would SURELY help a lot to find more companies interested in licensing the platform and paying more for it... Who wants to license an almost dead OS that will then require years (find and educate developers to support it, finish and polish all the developer tools, etc.) and millions of dollars? Not many. And those who do won't pay much.

I'm not saying that Jolla was in position to invest a lot into such things, but they surely were able at least NOT TO SUPPRESS IT. Just a little effort to polish the developer tools (instead of wasting time on as silly things as Sailfish OS lookalike launcher for Android and many other things like that) and enabling support for paid apps in their store would have costed them nothing but it would have prevented thousands of developers from leaving the platform and resulted in tens of thousands of apps by now. In 2013-2014 Jolla's developer mailinglist was teeming with life, whereas now it is almost dead as everybody gave up long ago due to absolutely no support, no way to monetize apps and not even a hope for it to ever change due to Jolla stubbornly refusing to talk about it.

Quote:

If you look at the link of the software center in Russia they openly state that as of 2016 the Open Mobile Platform is in charge of development for the Russian version and Jolla just signed some kind of licensing deal with Jala in Bolivia for a national OS with hopes to expand throughout S America.

Open Mobile Platform is owned by those who bought majority of Jolla's stock, i.e. who simply OWN Jolla now. No one knows what are their actual plans, but the fact is that they control the company and therefore they're not just in charge of development of the Russian version but actually everything.

Quote:

Michal, what do you think? Is this a viable idea or is it a pipe dream? Your thoughts and the input from other forum members would be most appreciated.

My impression is that Jolla INTENTIONALLY suppressed native development. There is no other reasonable explanation. The way that for years they've been ignoring all the requests to allow paid apps (while responding to all other inquiries) clearly shows that it is something they don't intend to do anything about. Why? I don't know. But I can sniff something to do with their Russian plans.
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