Cult Manager Tycoon

I almost never play mobile games, but Cult Manager Tycoon looks like my kind of game.

Manage resources like Mojo, Money, and Legitimacy, to take your cult mainstream.

Choose Holidays and Revelation Passages that please your followers and keep them Devoted.

The better your Revelation each round, the more followers you Convert. This means more Donations and the chance for better classes of worshipers that increase your Legitimacy.

Achieve 100% Legitimacy for one of three possible endings!

KinScreen–Advanced Screen Control App for Android

I use an open-source notetaking app on Android that will only decrypt synced notes when my device’s screen is on. Since the decryption process can take some time, usually, my device automatically goes into a screen-off mode, and then I have to reopen the device to continue the decryption. This is annoying.

KinScreen is an Android app with a dizzying array of settings to control when the screen turns off and on.

For example, I can whitelist my notetaking app so that the screen never turns off while the app is in use. But I can also add a secondary rule to turn off the phone after more than 15 minutes of screen-on time to reduce burn-in risk.

KinScreen Screenshot
KinScreen Screenshot
KinScreen Screenshot
KinScreen Screenshot
KinScreen Screenshot
KinScreen Screenshot

Universal Android Debloater

Universal Android Debloater is an open-source script designed to remove bloatware from Android phones. Unlike other solutions, this doesn’t require root access to the device, though this also means that some bloatware won’t be removable without that level of access.

The main goal is to improve battery performance and privacy by removing unnecessary and obscure system apps. This can also contribute to improve security by reducing the attack surface. The script has a menu that lets you choose what debloat list you want to use. I strongly encourage you to take a look at the lists because the default selection may not suit you. All packages are as well documented as possible in order to provide a better understanding of what you can delete or not.

This script should be safe with the default selection. The worse thing which could happen is preventing an essential system process to be loaded during boot causing then an unfortunate bootloop. If you used the non-root solution, after about 5 failed system boots, the phone will automatically reboot in recovery mode and you’ll have to perform a FACTORY RESET. So make a backup!

If you have a rooted device you can also physically delete the apks. Ironically this solution is safer because the script saves the apks before their removal. In case of bootloop you just need to run the script from a recovery with ADB support (e.g TWRP) and restore them.

Let’s Encrypt Comes Up With Solution for Bizarre Problem

The problem itself is fairly straightforward. Let’s Encrypt launched in 2016, and while it waited to have its root certificate approved and added to browsers and OSes, it reached an agreement with existing certificate authority IdenTrust to cross-sign it’s SSL certs. This meant that as long as IdenTrust’s widely deployed root certificate was on a device, then Let’s Encrypt certs would be accepted as valid by that device.

But that IdenTrust root certificate expires in September 2021, and Let’s Encrypt will transition to using its own widely deployed root certificate going forward.

Except on one operating system–Android.

Let’s Encrypt was added to Android’s certificate authority store in Android 7.1.1, released in December 2016. So devices using version 7.1.1. or newer will have no problems at all when the IdenTrust root certificate expires. Let’s Encrypt’s root cert is already included in the Android OS, and things will be fine.

The problem is that almost 34 percent of Android devices are running a version older than 7.1.1. That translates to about 845 million devices still running an OS that is more than four years old.

Let’s Encrypt found a workaround, but it’s crazy that 845 million Android devices being actively used have an OS that hasn’t been updated in four years, and that likely can’t receive updates even if their owners wanted to.

Ironically, one of the bug fixes rolled out in 7.1.1 was an update to Android’s CURL/LIBCURL libraries, which had bugs that could allow a malicious actor with a forged certificate to launch a remote code execution attack.

Hell, Let’s Encrypt’s workaround relies on the fact that Android ignores crucial security settings. Even though a root certificate like IdenTrust’s has an expiration date, Android ignores that expiration date. So IdenTrust has agreed to extend its cross-signing of Let’s Encrypt certs for three years.

IdenTrust has agreed to issue a 3-year cross-sign for our ISRG Root X1 from their DST Root CA X3. The new cross-sign will be somewhat novel because it extends beyond the expiration of DST Root CA X3. This solution works because Android intentionally does not enforce the expiration dates of certificates used as trust anchors. ISRG and IdenTrust reached out to our auditors and root programs to review this plan and ensure there weren’t any compliance concerns.

Readwise Android App in Early Access

Readwise has an “early access” version of their Android app available.

One of the more intriguing planned features of the app is the ability to capture highlights in physical books by taking a photo of the book.

Readwise App for Android - Scanning physical book highlights
Readwise App for Android – Scanning physical book highlights

Google to Require Seamless Update System Beginning With Android 11

In non-COVID-19 news, Google is apparently going to start requiring manufacturers to implement its “seamless update” system beginning with Android 11.

Essentially, Android 11 will require devices to have a separate system partition that is an identical copy of the main partition. When an updated to Android is available, the update installs itself on the second partition. When that installation is finished, the phone is rebooted, and the secondary partition becomes the primary partition.

The intent here is to reduce the downtime that can come with some Android updates, as well as always having a good partition that can be booted to if an update goes awry.

The system partition, by the way, is apparently relatively small on a typical Android device–it clocked in at about 320 megabytes on the 2016 Pixel 1.