Remove Google’s Digital Wellbeing spyware from Android via ADB

Recently my phone has been updated to Android 10, with it I found the Digital Wellbeing spyware reinstalled and now fully baked in (no uninstall or disable option).

The prerequisite for this process: you need ADB (the installation of which will not be covered here). No root needed (yet).

Here is the ADB command you need to run:
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.apps.wellbeing

This change is semi-permanent, if you want this nagware back, I can’t really help you (you might be able to reinstall it from the store).

I do not understand the reason one would use this app. If you think you spend too much time on your phone, you don’t need an app to tell you that. My phone is a tool, and having some lock-out and nagging (self-inflicted!) on your own device is absurd.

It is absurd to bake this app in, the only reason is to spy on its users more.

If you hate this app (and everything it stands for) as much as me give it one star on the google play store.

Viofo A119 – Beeping with the Format prompt after a long downtime

One of my A119 Cameras started to beep while presenting the “Format Yes/Cancel” prompt after long downtime. The date was also reset.

Before pandemic this was not as annoying as it would almost never do it, but with pandemic and work from home it does it pretty much every start up.

The Problem would go away once the date would be updated via GPS and the issue not come back until next very long shut down.

Continue reading Viofo A119 – Beeping with the Format prompt after a long downtime

Opus BT-C100 reverse polarity protection

I recently bought an Opus BT-C100, as unlike my other Lithium Ion chargers, has a discharge test feature. It also fairly quickly estimates internal resistance of the cell, which is a good health indicator.

Unfortunately due to A123 26650 cell being of upside down construction I released the magic smoke out of the Opus BT-C100 by reversing polarity. The smoke escaped through the battery holder slit.

Continue reading Opus BT-C100 reverse polarity protection

Dealing with data obfuscation in some Chinese dash cameras

This is post relates to the extracting GPS coordinates form Novatek based dash cameras.

About an year ago I was contacted by someone who tried to use my script on MP4 files generated by their camera, only to get garbage data out. It appeared that the camera was obfuscating the coordinates stored in MP4 (the speed and heading was recorded correctly). It was not a bug because provided player was decoding them correctly.

Continue reading Dealing with data obfuscation in some Chinese dash cameras

GT06E GPS Tracker Part 2: Establishing connection

This is a continuation from Part 1.

As of writing this I already had complete solution (as far as getting tracking data is concerned), a multi-process TCP server with a mysql database back-end.
The server code itself is not pretty thus I am cautious about sharing it at this stage (I will “open-source” it once I cleaned it up).

One caveat: my solution does not support batch mode (where the payload contain multiple concatenated location and other packets).

The assumption is that the reader is somewhat familiar with python and sockets.

Continue reading GT06E GPS Tracker Part 2: Establishing connection

Hate ads on your smart phone? Pi-hole it permanently!

Sorry about spammy headline ;).

Below I will describe how I got rid of ads on my android phone without rooting it.
It is very easy to get rid of ads on an android smart phone if you have root access. Unfortunately pesky manufacturers insist on declining warranty if the phone is rooted.
I will probably one day test this is in small claims court for a cheaper phone. I digress…

The requirements:

  • Some linux box/container/VM. In this post I used Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • Public IP on the box from above
  • Some linux/cli/unix experience

How does it work?

  1. Smart phone connects to the Linux box via OpenVPN
  2. Linux box is running Pi-hole which acts as a selective DNS server
  3. ???
  4. Proft!

Continue reading Hate ads on your smart phone? Pi-hole it permanently!

mod_python: 404 on *.py when trying to download the file

I had mod_python enabled and it would give me 404 on random python scripts in downloads directory (not cgi)…
Nothing in error log either!

Here is the fix:

put .htaccess file in the download directory with following contents:

<Files *.py>
    RemoveHandler .py
    AddType text/plain .py
    SetHandler none
    SetHandler default-handler
    Options -ExecCGI
</Files>

External Western Digital USB drives and why to avoid them

Today I encountered a dead Western Digital USB 2.5″ drive.
The drive in question is “WD 1TB Elements SE Portable Hard Drive USB 3.0” with WDBPCK0010BBK-01 part number.
Searching for the part number on WD site leads nowhere.

The error was:

 Buffer I/O error on dev sdb, logical block 0, async page read 

Continue reading External Western Digital USB drives and why to avoid them