the aethyx staff

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Bankrupt Key

Dear readers and customers,

at the end of 2018 “The Atlantic” posted a pessimistic article about the future of online advertising. In short: there is none. We’ll be thrown back to the 19th century soon.

One of the more disturbing facts herein was the mention that not only online only websites (“Vice”, “Buzzfeed” named in particular) are affected but mainstream media, too. As such, we as an indie online publishing house with online websites for German speaking countries are no exception here, unfortunately.

Looking back into our own archive, you only need to read the headlines to see the truth:

08/14/19: “How Google violates our patience policy as indie publishers”
03/11/19: “Eliminating advertisments from our mediae”
06/01/18 “AETHYX MEDIAE supporting Ethereum”
01/24/14: “Yes, we do accept bitty coins (Bitcoin)”
11/24/17: “We’re under attack”
07/22/10: “Sponsors wanted”

Although we’re young, agile and can act really, really fast, the problem financing our projects was/is a hardcore impediment since our humble beginnings.

So far, we failed miserably to break through these vicious cycles.

To share the problem now with all those media outlets scattered through the entire Internet makes us feel a bit less isolated and desparate. But the problem persists to this day. And we are turning 10 next year…

Well, yes. We’re so many in here and yet all so financially handicapped. And there are equally as many reasons why this is fact today. Let us list a few, shall we?

Whether it was a rise of 12% for advertising online in 2017 alone; the duopoly of Google and Facebook; systematic underpayment; malware spreading through advertising; etc, pp.

Despite all that there’s still the feeling that we use and support an outdated paradigm about advertising in general in a new medium, the WWW, which just won’t work anymore.

And we think this is very good!

And no, we don’t offer anything else than f**king stupid donations buttons!

Because, reading through this all, and we only need our own few archived posts here, what this money machinery is built up upon, this is just disgusting. We weren’t asked to use or support it, we were just forced too. Not a good sign for our media landscape in general, nor for us as a species.

Support what you <3! As long as it’s possible, at least.

Thanks for reading and your support,
the aethyx staff


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Dear readers and customers,

here is AETHYX MEDIAE, your friendly and most independent online publishing house from Europe!

Today we want to tell you about a neverending tale of How Google is violating our patience policy as indie publishers!

We’re developing Android apps inhouse since 2013, to be exact. During these times we never got any problems with them regarding any kinds of violations.

This is no wonder as we do our business seriously, and represent open-source to the fullest with all its quirks and hacks and stuff, but never illegally or bad or intentionally wrong, etc.

It’s mid August now and we already had to eat five takedowns since January. All because of the same fake bulls**t reason:

Google Play Store vs. AETHYX MEDIAE

This is a snapshot from the automatically generated Email you get when your app is taken down but with no further information what the problem was exactly.

In the past we didn’t ask them what the problem was. We just provided them a new APK, let them check it, and were good for the next couple of months.

This time we tried a different approach and asked them for a more detailed answer.

This is the answer followed by a graphic which, according to Google, violated their policy:

“During review, we found that your app violates the Payments policy. You can read through the Payments policy page for more details.

For example, your app provides methods for users to donate without using Google Play’s payment system in app and in the store listing. Please refer to the attached screenshot for further information.

Donations may only be collected within an app under certain conditions:

Donations are only permitted for validated non-profit charitable organizations (for example, a validated 501(c)(3) charitable organization or the local equivalent).
Donations must be facilitated via a web browser, and any collection must be made through a secure payment system.

You can learn more about in-app billing in the Android Developers Help Center. Note that all of these conditions need to be fulfilled for us to reinstate your app.”

This is the same nonsense they send you automatically when your app is taken down. It simply means we aren’t allowed to use donation(!) buttons we designed ourselves(!) on our own(!) apps and websites.

Don’t believe us? Then here’s the graphic with the “violation” in red:

Google Play Store vs. AETHYX MEDIAE: the fake violation

For historical reasons we didn’t change the naming of the file, we just resized it to get down to the violation from us according to Google.

As if this wouldn’t be enough, “Big G” knocked us down another time.

This time, same(!) EMail, we would violate a “YouTube autoplay policy”:

Additionally, during review, we also found that your app violates the Device and Network Abuse policy by enabling background play of YouTube videos.
One example to illustrate background play is YouTube video continues to play even after the screen is locked. Please refer to the attached screenshot (1) for further information.

Please update your app to fix these issues. You’ll need to disable background play functionality of YouTube videos in your app before submitting it for another review. You may also want to double check that your app complies with all other policies listed in the Developer Policy Center as additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.”

They sent us a snapshot here too:

Google Play Store vs. AETHYX MEDIAE: fake YouTube violation

We think there is no more concrete way to tell you in one Email “we don’t like you, and we don’t support what you do, either”. DAMN.

If we wouldn’t have asked for a more detailed description about the first “violation”, we wouldn’t have received the second one about YouTube autoplay. Oh my…

Well, we’re the underdogs here, we can’t do anything about rules made by Google. Their Play Store still is the #1 reason why developers publish Android apps and this never changed and it will never change in the future.

So, what we’ll do, we can only nod our sad head and comply with them. As always.

As we’re already on our way out from tainted and non-GDPR-complying advertising schemes (as promised by us in an article back in March this year), we’re thinking about bringing back Google Adsense at least for those projects which offer Android app functionality. We never used Google Payments and don’t know what this is, and as far as we’re concerned we just won’t use it in the future for the reasons found herein, obviously.

For the time being, we can’t provide a working Android app for the aforementioned project. Let’s hope for the best!

Good luck to all the Android indie developers out there.

Take care,
the aethyx staff


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“Summer time, and the living is easy…”

Dear readers and customers,

it’s summer plus holidays and all over Europe the heat waves are rolling.

So we’ll keep this entry as short as possible:

DSCF31316
Linux sign which says “Please don’t mind this sign”, Chemnitz, Germany

For those that are more into reading, we strongly recommend the following post by Michael Aldridge from 2nd of May:

https://michaelwashere.net/post/2019-05-02-what-is-open-source/.

Android. Debian. Upcoming revolutionary open hardware movements like RISC-V.

We <3 what we do and how we do it: we support open-source!

Happy summer holidays,
the aethyx staff


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Dear readers,

in a couple of months we’re existing as an online publishing house for more than a decade.

What we observed so far is, although we got a diversification of tools we can use and set up online, plus there are more available than when we started, the problem today seems we’re overlooking too fast which one is the best for ourselves.

logo used by the EFF for free speech
(A logo representing free speech by the EFF)

No illusions here: the world around us became more complicated.

When we started setting up and building weblogs there wasn’t even a technical term for this technology. YouTube didn’t exist yet as well as other “social networks”, smartphones or tablets.

So, believe us please that even we couldn’t anticipate which tools and services we would offer over time.

What started as pioneering online publishing technology in 2001 finally became AETHYX MEDIAE in 2010, offering a plethora of services and technology for the 21. century made with love and based in Europe:

We call these four our core services today as we got most of our knowledge here as well as our own history (and clients, of course).

Despite those listed we’re always open for trying something new.

Let us mention here our PS3 Linux repository project, our one and only MediaWiki project Kryptowiki, we even started an adult toy store in 2014 or an own social network project we use for inhouse communication. The list won’t end here: https://aethyx.eu/where/.

Thus, we never know where technology may lead us and we take risks but are also proud of exploring new realms. Just like you!

Which brings us back to the title of this post: which of these tools is the best for you? Let us be your partner and drop us a line to find out: info@aethyx.eu!

Like you we’re eager where our journey together will lead us. And just because the tool we’ll find together is not listed yet on our websites doesn’t mean we don’t offer it. 🙂 The future is here to conquer it together!

Hope to hear from you soon,
the aethyx staff


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Dear readers,

when we started creating web projects around 1999/2000 there weren’t much tools to track and analyse visitors on websites like today with Google Analytics or Piwik/Matomo. One the of the most nicest and configurable we found quite early in the OpenSource tool chcounter aka expcounter.

It was coded by Christoph Bachner as chcounter, let got and developed further by Volker S. Latainski and the community as expcounter, and development finally stalled years ago, unfortunately.

The usual start dashboard looked like this:

R.I.P. chcounter aka expcounter!

One “killer feature”, for example, was to show a real time, fully configurable counter as seen via the “Wayback Machine” on our video game weblog project zockerseele.com.

We tried hard, over a period of several weeks, to port expcounter from PHP 5.x to PHP 7.x but failed in the end. For every bug we fixed, two to three (or more) new PHP bugs appeared.

According to several forums entries porting seems quite hard, as it requires changes on myriads of files and also several rewrites of code; which we hereby confirm.

It even is mentioned a complete rewrite of the tool which we just couldn’t do in the end and had to let go of the tool. At least, we tried.

What we would like to do with this post is thank Christoph Bachner & Bert Körn firstly for developing this tool which we in the end used for lots, lots of years on several weblogs. We would further like to thank the community of coders which helped Volker S. Latainski make expcounter to what it was: an OpenSource tool how it should be done.

We think there should be no time wasted anymore to port or rewrite this tool and we call the project dead. R.I.P. chcounter/expcounter! Thank you, little counter friend!

Thanks for reading,
the aethyx staff


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