Escort Resurection: Progress Update

Here is the latest status update for all who’ve been following.

Editing and recompiling through virtuous 10 Studios does not allow for us to include google libraries… what this has resulted in is the inability for the map to function (which would be a good joke because it’s just about as useful) and the inability of the android billing API to work. I can’t allow that because I’ve said that I won’t release the app as a pirated version.

As a result, What i’m having to do is reconstruct everything in Eclipse, so I can import the proper SDK’s. It’s a pain because I can’t just import every java file, I have to recreate all the packages by scratch, then edit them to fix everything… So.. it’s Taking longer than expected but it’ll get done.

Here’s a Screen Shot of the Progress:



Another Escort Live Update, still no GPS Fix for motorola phones

It’s not really Escort’s Fault.. it’s who they contracted the work out to… Mutual Mobility. (Shouldn’t name your files after your company and then link me with about 4 hits from your company on linked in)

The issue with The GPS Stack in the com/escort/androidui//gps directory.

Inparticularly, the GPS Manager, the InvalidateReciever, and the LocationReciever Files.

You See, there is an onReceive Method called from the Dalvik-Cache in both files. Only difference is… Our motorola phones return the value of 5 in the source for the .locals variable, which then calls the GPSManager File and in turn never allows “–” which they’ve set as a constant string in the destination register, to be over-written by the Posted Speed Limit Value. I went into the Escort.db40 file and noticed that I keep getting 5’s all over the place.

In the LocationReciever Source, The same OnReceive Method is called from the Dalvik-Cache– only this time, it sets the .local variable to 4, which inturn allows the application to set the content and intent paramaters in the Dalvik-Cache and continue to invoke a slew of other methods necessary for setting the current location and the associated PSL.

Now if you notice on our Motorola phones… we have a grey dot.

Do me a favor… zoom in ALLLLL the way on the map view… see that blue circle that constantly changes? your “grey dot won’t be blue until that’s the same size as the grey dot itself. It’s interesting that the Program GPS-Test can tells us we have an accuracy up to 1 meter when EL says we never have an accuracy less than 8 meters.

I suspect this is why our phones are being defaulted to the InvalidateReciever Method rather than the Virtual Methods located in the file.

If mutual mobility can’t work with our chipsets, you guys should atleast include a buffer zone to give us an approximate location so we don’t get invalidated…. at least…that’s what we’re doing ๐Ÿ™‚

Escort Live! War of Words

First off, thank you to everyone for the encouraging emails, linked in invites, etc. Even had a consumer reporter contact me.

One email in particular was very interesting to me, is it linked me to the following site:

You see, what Escort is trying to do is make me out to be someone villainous by using words like “threats”. It reminds me of this guy’s video:

War of the Words – Amidst the Noise

Interesting isn’t it?

A Spatula will always be a spatula until someone kills someone with it… then it becomes an assault weapon in that particular instance: but it’s still a spatula to everyone else… so classifying it as an assault weapon would be highly inappropriate.

I’m not one to get involved with politics by using such language. They can say I’m making “threats” or I’m “trolling” or whatever all they’d like too.

The problem here is that the truth is, nobody is making any “threats”. Clearly, Escort does not understand the concept of “Open Source”

If you choose to develop a program for use on an Open Source Platform, then you should first understand the concept of open source.

Android is an open source platform. One which is garnering a major share of the market at an exponential rate. Why? One Word. Freedom.
Freedom to purchase another developers app if it works better than the others.
Freedom to alter an app, or the platform all together if you have customized needs that aren’t met by the stock roll out.
Freedom to break something open and figure out how it works.

What my team and I are doing, is enhancing an application because the stock rollout is too buggy for most users.

As the Escort Rep has stated in his post, They have a high google play ranking. Good! The concept of the application is awesome!
But it’s buggy. Your score on the market reflects the overall concept of the app, even though it functions poorly for the subscribing users who have PAID to unlock the “enhanced cloud based features” which is necessary in order to integrate with a purchased radar detector. I’m sure the “Free” users aren’t noticing the bugs because the bugs are located INSIDE of the “enhanced cloud based features”. So go ahead and analyze the scores of those who paid for it and subtract the scores of those who are using the free version. I’m sure it will be much lower. I’m also sure that if everything functioned as it should, it has the capability of being a 5 star app.

Escort should take the interest we have in their application as a “compliment”, not a “threat”. See, It’s a Spatula, not an assault weapon.
Escort should also realize that their Android developers suck! That’s not a threat, that’s an insult based on facts.

Again, Escort deserves full credit for their concept, and as a result, any new app that we create will also be free, and will also preserve the “Enhanced Cloud Based Features” which you will still have to pay Escort for…. the only difference is… is that it will WORK and have alot more features than the stock roll out. We are not a band of pirates trying to make the application free. We are credited and experienced developers that see a problem, and want to fix it. Is it possible to bypass their authentication model? Sure it is. But that’s not our fault… that’s the fault of the crappy devs who used unsecured tokens within the app, rather than requiring secured ones. But even given this information… We are not going to bypass that. We are still giving Escort their money, and in addition, the added benefit of pointing out this security flaw so that someone with less honorable intentions can be prevented from taking advantage of it.

If your company is afraid of this, then you should reconsider supporting Android all-together. But as I stated, they are garnering a extremely large market share, so it wouldn’t be very smart to do so. You can’t bank on the fact that every android user is incapable of decompiling an application and unfamiliar with the open source platform. The reality of Android is that there are MANY developers than use the platform because of its open source nature. So anything referred to as a “threat” is really just an oversight on the part of Escort’s management in not realizing the implications of supporting an open source platform.

What I suggest, is that Escort has a serious sit down to discuss their current business model with respect to android; Invite lawyers to the meeting so you can also understand Intellectual property rights and their role on an Open Source Platform.

People want freedom, People want Android, people want open source.

Removing links to your .apk won’t stop that. That’s called censorship and Your app is on an open source platform… To quote John Gilmore: “The internet identifies censorship as damage and routes around it.” ANYBODY can extract the installation and decompile it, and do with it what they wish, as long as they aren’t violating any copyright laws… which we’re not, because:
A: As you stated, it’s a free app. and
B: we’re still keeping your subscription based model in tact, and all subscriptions will still go through your cloud based model.

Look, if you want to get into it, bring it. I’m sure my friend David Kravets at wired who helped us immensely in breaking open the online mugshot extortion racket would love to write about it:

I’m sure he would be very interested to learn of this debate especially if legal “threats” (see what I did there) are introduced… in which case, I’m sure the Electronic Frontier Foundation (which I’m a sustaining member of) would be EXTREMELY interested in analyzing.

To summarize… I’m not fucking with you, I’m trying to help you.

… So don’t fuck with me.

Interesting Email I Recieved today.

As many of you know, I’ve been fighting against the Mugshit industry for over 2 years now. Like any fight, you gain allies, and you gain enemies.

Norman Haga, a man I’ve been working with over the past year or two, Is probably one of the best allies a man could ask for. He came across some astonishing information regarding the major players in the mugshot industry and asked me to pass it along.

Norman Haga began a website to examine and expose as the extortion operators and scam artists that they are. In retaliation, through a former affiliate of theirs, Kelly Joe Ellis of Joplin Missouri, began posting incorrect and libelous material on every consumer complaint board they knew of, including this one. As Norman Haga clearly shows on his website, the intent of posting that material was to extort Norman Haga into not investigating the online mugshot industry, and to extort Norman Haga into paying fees for online reputation management.

The actions of, and their affiliates, and other websites like Salt Lake City Mugshots and Busted Mugshots only stiffened Norman’s resolve to do something to end the extortion like activities of the mugshot and negative content industries conduct. To date, through associates, Norman Haga has managed to have legislation introduced in three states limiting the conduct of the mugshot industry and limiting the abilities of the mugshot industry to obtain new booking photographs of men and women with which to continue their extortion like activities. Norman Haga, and his website, has also played a role in bringing two civil actions in different states suing mugshot agencies for violations of the ‘right to publicity.’

Norman Haga has always maintained that and like sites are engaging in criminal activity and extorting people. In the pursuit of proving this claim, Norman Haga has sought Freedom of Information requests from the Florida Attorney Generals Office (FLAGO), The Federal Trade Commission, and the Internet Crime Commission. While the material is far too voluminous to post here and will have to be posted and viewed on Norman Haga’s website, Norman is including the return Cover letter here, as attachments, to support his claim that is engaging in criminal conduct and being investigated for that conduct.

Specifically the FTC asserts:
“I am withholding 84 responsive pages which are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 3, 5 U.S.C. ยง 552(b)(3), because they are exempt from disclosure by another statute.
Specifically, Section 21(f) of the FTC Act provides that information obtained by the Commission in a law enforcement investigation, whether through compulsory process, or voluntarily in lieu of such process, is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. 15 U.S.C.ยง 57b-2(f)”

The FTC and the Internet Crime Commission are investigating and other mugshot like websites for criminal activities. These activities, in a brief look into the material provided by the FOIA request, clearly show collusion between, several internet host providers such as Network Solutions, and, and at least one bank. The material also shows a chain of attorneys and people that may be involved. We know that Marc Gary Epstein, Esq., of Florida is one such attorney that has direct involvement with, there are several other attorneys that are suggested as being involved.

Norman Haga has also made two Youtube videos that show a walk through of just how, Kelly Joe Ellis, Kyle Prall of BustedMugshots and others attempted to intimidate and extort Norman Haga.

It is interesting that the investigation of the mugshot industry has revealed that many of the operators of those websites have criminal record for sex crimes. This alone raises questions about the credibility of mugshot websites. However, The FTC cover letter shows that and other mugshot websites are being investigated for criminal conduct. This investigation shows that and other mugshot websites lack credibility in their operations and slander campaign.

Norman Haga, and the others he works with in investigating the online mugshot industry, encourage all to boycott any company, such as Netflix, that advertises on any mugshot website.

Online mugshots, though they may possess and entertainment value, after resolution of any criminal allegation serve no legitimate public interest according to three Federal Court holdings: Detroit Free Press v. DOJ (6th US Dist.), Karantsalis v. DOJ (11th US Dist), and Tulsa World Publishing v. DOJ (10th US Dist). The United State Supreme court refused to hear Karantsalis when he appealed to them.

For those awaiting a new third party .apk for Escort Live!

Trust me, I more than anyone understand your frustration, and want something working by yesterday:

I can’t redo the entire app over-night; however, I can do it alot faster than Escort, especially with the support of the fellow developers who’ve agreed to assist.

Please understand, that the first time I de-compiled the app was literally the first week of April. That was last Friday at the time of this post. I haven’t even gotten started yet.

As I’ve mentioned on the Forums, the coding is quite cryptic… no… it’s not a result of not being able to fully decompile the app… it’s being able to see every single xml node (why they’re still using xml no clue), Json and com file written in Java, and seeing how the structure goes against numerous best practices that I’ve learned over the years through school and multiple work projects. I’ve been doing this stuff for over 14 years.

Also, this is weekend work for me. I have a job. Fixing this app is a hobby activity… so If you need to yell at someone, please direct your frustrations towards the appropriate channels… Escort Themselves, for allowing the app to be deployed in the state it’s in.

Escort Radar customer service is available from 8am-6pm Eastern Time Mon-Fri at 1-800-543-1608 or by live chat

My Response to Escort Live!

Today, The Escort forum Moderator posted this, in response to the questions he was asked about the circumstances surrounding my being banned from the site:

He was banned because he went about this in the absolute worst way.

For starters, Escort Live is free. You only need a subscription to unlock all of it’s cloud based features. Everyone seems to forget that

If he was sincere with his actions (and he stated that he knew they were questionable), then why not ask me first before posting? I could have directed him to the proper channel/etiquette. Others posting questionable material (eg petitions) have asked me first. I am tasked with supporting Escort Live from a customer service perspective, nobody wants it to work perfectly for everyone more than me. I certainly would have helped him if he knew how to solve some of the current issues.

Here’s what doesn’t add up. Anyone with any programming experience knows that you cannot 100% decompile an application. It isn’t possible. If you could then the software industry would be entirely different than it is. Of course he wasn’t seeing comments, he wasn’t seeing a lot of other things too.

There were other things that didn’t make sense in the post so I gave him the same notice about being banned that he gave me with his post, none. In my personal opinion I think he was trolling for his website. He even mentioned SEOing it…

Originally Posted by txbearsfan81 View Post
I challenge him to fix this app before Escort does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So do I. If it was so easy to fix and the errors so noticeable, as was claimed, then why not fix it and then post the fixed app? There is no better way to prove your side than that.

He did screw things up for others that may need the APK file in the future though (ie Android tablet users). I doubt if we will ever post it here again.

You can find the Full thread here:

My response is this: How much notice did your customers get when they invested in your product(s) [radar detector, purchasing of the smart chord, returning it, paying more for a direct wire version, paying up front for a yearly subscription] only to find out that the product isn’t fully functional AFTER they had already purchased all of the requirements?

No body said the app wasn’t free, I certainly didn’t. But when “Unlocking Cloud Based Features” becomes a phrase used to distract from the real issue of a “$500 + Dollar investment that was touted as being the Latest and Greatest, yet has a massive amounts of bugs on the android platform that we’re unable to fix”… well, then we have a clear departure from the original intent of my original posts.

My goal is NOT to interrupt Escort’s revenue stream. My goal is to simply get it to work. By the actions of Escort (Banning me for being outraged at the app structure after decompiling, Providing Updates once every 6 months that add pretty little intro videos, yet make the overall function of the app worse, etc…) It’s clear that Escort’s Goals are more interested in Revenue, and have pretty much all but abandoned the android users stuck with poorly constructed application, in order to concentrate on the revenue stream coming in from Apple.

Look, Escort is a Business, I get that. Incorporating a Value Add to the business model which allows for a steady stream of revenue is essential to growth. What I don’t get is: Why so afraid of Open Source Platform?

If the company’s Android developers are incapable of:
A: Making a fully functioning application for their SUBSCRIBING users
B: Following a proper life cycle and UAT procedures for updates
C: Taking 6 months to release an update without managing to actually degrade the functionality of the app:

Then why NOT let the Open source community assist your company? To think that I actually complimented your professionalism in my original post, when dealing with RIGHTFULLY outraged android customers; only to have you ban me for raising the issues with the sloppiness of the Company’s Android Code (I reached that assessment by not only decompiling EL, (Trust me, this isn’t the first .apk I’ve decompiled).

Your reasoning is that you wanted me to go to you first? Why? I’m not the only paying customer that has purchased your products. It’s not a matter of being ethically questionable, what was questionable was how you would react to it. You have an open forum, and an open source application… yet I’m the bad guy for being “open” with the community for the benefit of it? What are you? King of Escort Live and our subscription fee’s are merely a tax for the privilege of using your application? The way you treated me in this situation, you’d think I was scraping mugshots off of the internet and charging people to remove them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And now you resort to Insults by calling me a troll, when you came to me for help via PM numerous times asking for my input, which I honestly gave? You know that I’m a developer for a Major Silicon Valley Tech Company. You know I’m qualified to give this type of input.

If that’s the real reason why I was banned then you need to take a class on public relations. You basically wanted me to keep the issues “secret”. I even went along with it and allowed your devs to come out with the Updates 2.05, 2.06, and 2.07 yet they STILL failed to resolve the numerous issues.

Enough is Enough! I should ban you from MY Blog for acting like a child.

I’ve uploaded the the 2.04 .apk to mega upload, I’m creating a Github this weekend, and I’ve already enlisted about 5 developers who are going to make a project out of Fixing this application. We’ve discussed it, and Honestly, the best approach IS to start over, and just Oauth your Jsons to work with a brand new interface like… hmmmm… google maps. Why you guys aren’t just RESTing and POSTing as an overlay to their .API is beyond me… but whatever… i’m sure you have a deal with whatever GPS provider you’re using in order to maximize your revenue.

We’re not motivated by Revenue, we’re not motivated by revenge, we’re motivated by making things work, and DESPITE your childish behavior, I’m not going to mess with your authentication model through (might wanna secure that with an ssl cert btw)

As I said. I’ve communicated with you privately on multiple occasions, and things still aren’t fixed. My post was perfectly appropriate, and instead of discussing the logical flaws with the programming with the community, you just ban me and play some political games to make me look like a troll.

Fine. Have it your way.

I don’t doubt your dedication… Just your judgement. We’re on the same side when it comes to our intentions about protecting people, be it from unfair speed traps on your side, or be it me exposing myself in trying to stop the practice of online mugshot websites extorting people. We just have a clearly different view on how properly run a development department within a company.

Escort Live! Vs Open Source

Who will be the first to get EL working on Google Glass using Glass API’s? Escort or the Open Source Community?

My application for a demo unit was approved… was yours? The Race is on! I’m going to OAUTH your Jsons right into the API.

Oh and btw, for everyone watching, I got my post count up on XDA by finding a workaround for the Google Search through Bluetooth Application Hang.
Worked directly with the Developer who created the Bluetooth Launch Program many of you probably use:

Project Site and Github will be up by next weekend. For now… I have some roads to shred while the EL dev’s are busy “working”.

God, I really do feel terrible for Escort’s management, and for those that have to deal with angry customers.