Cookies & Google Analytics & Your Privacy Policy


Recently someone asked for a review of their website. The first thing that stood out was their lack of a Privacy Policy.

I asked them if they used cookies. They replied that they didn’t collect any information. In further discussion with them it was revealed that they’re using Google Analytics. I opined that GOOGLE ANALYTICS TERMS OF SERVICE probably required a privacy policy. True enough it does and it further requires the ability to opt out of tracking.

On their Google Analytics website Google declares:

Important: Google Analytics does not collect any personal information about your website users. Read the Google Analytics privacy document for more details.

However, “In May 2011 it was ruled that EU websites must get user permission to store non-essential cookies on client computers. Website owners were given 1 year to comply before legal action is enforced. This resulted in all EU websites having to stop collecting Google Analytics data without the consent of the end user.”

Opt out of Google Analytics :

You can option out of Google’s Advertising Cookie here.

Use a browser plugin to opt out of Google Analytics : Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on

Are you familiar with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998), perhaps you should be because as of July 1st, 2013 if your app or website “(1) operate a website or online service that is “directed to children” under 13 and that collects “personal information” from users or (2) knowingly collects personal information from persons under 13 through a website or (2) knowingly collects personal information from persons under 13 through a website or online service.”

Have you heard of California OPPA? Perhaps you’re thinking I’m in Portugal and my website is not hosted in California or the USA so it won’t be relevant to you. Well guess again.

Free services:

Privacy Policy Generator for Google Adsense Publishers

Free Privacy Policy Generator

Customized Cookie Control

evercookie — never forget.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here’s a Privacy Policy for a website that uses Google Analytics. While you’re there check out his website, there’s some good info there.

Or perhaps you’re more interested in a much more complicated “User Agreement & Privacy Policy.


Google Services Is How “The West Was Won”

So, Android has 80% of the Smartphone market, but Google is shooting for 100% of the Mobile Market. Google is taking over the iPhone and making a uber play against Samsung to stop any thoughts of Samsung becoming the next Apple. Nook, Kindle and BlackBerry are Android devices leaving Microsoft as the only outlier. In fact Microsoft has launched an anti-Google Services campaign. Kindle is basically Android without Google Services.


By using “Google Services” Google is unifying the “Mobile Experience” and it’s not only eliminating the “Android Fragmentation” issue but it’s also looking into obliterating the iOS vs. Android war. For now on, “It’s Google baby”. Yes,  check out Google Services on your iPhone.

PDF and Buzztouch

How to display PDF non-working BTv1.5 (Android) PDF Screen

Possible Solutions:
Convert to HTML

Link via URL

Edit your PDF

Using Acrobat Pro: open the  PDF. Go to Document > Reduce file size

How to email/SMS a PDF Doc from Buzztouch apps:

The email button in the bottom toolbar of buzztouch will use the viewed document as the attachment. I don’t think you can use the built-in function at buzztouch to show one page, and email a different one.

Yes, you can by
create a Right Nav Bar button and link to a share screen and place link to pdf file.
User sees HTML doc (BT Android PDF screen doesn’t work)
but emails link to pdf posted online (website or Dropbox).

Problem: PDF file load time (local, not downloaded) iOS

I’ve got several PDFs in my latest app that are all around 440kb in size. I have them loaded in xCode to be included in the build, and in the xCode simulator, I get the pinwheel for about 1.5 seconds (not bad). This is regardless of if I’ve click on it before (not caching?). I can click on a PDF, go back and click it again, and it still has the delay. The real problem is when I load it on a real device. The pinwheel (load time) is a LOT longer.

Is this normal behavior? is 440kb that big of a task for the iphone to load? or is it inherent to PDFs?

Kinda both things. UIWebViews in iOS are notoriously slow when loading largish files. The trouble with PDF (and any other binary data) is that the UIWebView does not load it progressively like it can and does with HTML. This means it must load it all into memory, then display it. I don’t know of any work-arounds for this short of creating a cool custom view to show a little dancing monkey on top of the pdf while it’s loading. This cold be entertaining enough to help you forget about the slow load.

Its actually just a single page 8.5×11 document. I wanted to keep it in PDF form vs. html so the user could use the email button to send the PDF as-is to someone. Maybe I need to look into compression for the PDFs. They only have a header and a table on plain white background. Maybe its the way I am exporting them. (I used Photoshop’s PDF export function -using the ‘economy’ setting).

PDF study by @Moto110 6/1/12

I have done some testing and this is what I found.

I created a 14mb test PDF so that it was big enough to have a noticeable difference between opening local or downloading every time I access the screen. Just for reference I’m on a 90mb down internet connection via Wi-Fi on iPhone 4S

1. I added this PDF Document via the PDF Document screen using a URL and setting the document properties setting “Force Refresh” to “No, allow caching”. I tested this multiple times by accessing the PDF document URL screen and waiting about 14 seconds each time as the document was downloaded.

2. I added the same PDF Document via a Custom HTML screen and embedded the PDF in the HTML code. This option took just as long as option one and did not produce a desirable display of the PDF.

3. I added a the same PDF Document via a third PDF Document screen using the Local “BT_Docs” folder option and the file opens within about half a second. I do see the spinning “Loading” icon for a brief moment.

Now that these screens have been loaded on my device I turned on Airplane mode and accessed the PDF screens again.

Here is what I found:

1. Option one displays a network connectivity error and does not load the PDF document.

2. Option two Embedding the PDF in Custom HTML does show the couple lines of HTML text I added before the PDF embed code, but does not display the embedded PDF and gaves a network error.

3. Option three storing the PDF document in the “BT_Docs” folder works as expected displaying the 14mb PDF file within a second or less.

I think I know what I need to do and that is store the PDF local and hope that I don’t need to update it frequently.

On a side note I found this really good website for generating code to embed PDF documents in HTML. It might help someone else on a different app project.

Here is the link:


My reply:

Try posting PDF on a website/Dropbox and access via Custom URL webpage screen.

Not saying it’ll be better than embedding, just an option.

You can also use Launch Native App (browser) and test the result.

On the sidenote: embedding images into HTML is a useful tool. Hadn’t tried it with the various doc types.

Plus, you could also convert the PDF to HTML.




Section 508

Your Guide to Accessible PDF

Virgin Mobile Refer a Friend Program


* * *
Summary: If I have a $35/month plan and earn the maximum referral fees of $500 per year my mobile phone cost should be almost free. (It’s “almost free” and not “free” because I’ll have some taxes to pay.)
* * *

Need to lower your mobile bill?  One way is to use Virgin Mobile and refer up to 20 friends a year and earn a $25.00 bonus per friend. So go ahead and click on the link and sign up and Virgin Mobile will send me $25, plus Virgin Mobile will also give you a $25 account credit.

Coverage? Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint cell towers. The difference in Sprint service and Virgin Mobile service is that Virgin Mobile users don’t roam on Verizon towers.

Reason to love Virgin Mobile:

  • Android™-powered phones from top manufacturers like LG, Samsung, and HTC
  • iPhone (5s, 5c, 5, 4, 4s)
  • Uses the Nationwide Sprint® Network
  • No Contract
  • $35 for 200 minutes and unlimited data & text
  • $45 for 1200 minutes and unlimited data & text
  • $55 for unlimited voice, data & text
  • Refer a Friend Program
  • All plans include 2.5GB/month of high speed data, including 4G speeds in 4G coverage areas for capable devices.

    Note: I regularly hit 2.5 GB of data every three or four months at which point I’m throttled. I usually don’t notice I’m being throttled except when Virgin will send me a text message advising of such. (Adaptive protocol video limited to 3G speeds. Then it’s still unlimited but will be reduced to 3G speeds of 256 Kbps or below for remainder of the monthly plan cycle.)

    How much is 1GB:

  • 500 emails with a 2MB Attachment
  • 200 minutes of video clips
  • 8 hours of streaming music
  • 1000 webpages
  • 3000 emails (100 per day)

    If I use up my minutes midway though the month I can either restart my plan early or wait till the monthly renewal date. During the past two years I’ve gone over my mobile minutes twice and had to restart my monthly plan early. This has cost me an average of $2 extra per month. Normally I don’t use my monthly allotment of 200 minutes since I make most of my calls over Skype. Most of the time I’m using Wi-Fi at home or at business so most of my data doesn’t go over my phone plan. Occasionally I’m at a location where the Wi-Fi is either of such poor quality or it’s not available (password protected) so I’ll use my phone as a hotspot.

    And that’s the biggest reason I love Virgin Mobile. I can use my phone as a Hotspot at no additional charge. This allows me to use my tablet for most of my needs and only occasionally do I use my mobile phone. (On their site it says for $15 more a you can turn your phone into a mobile hotspots, but I use the free Quicker app found in Google Play market and accomplish the same for free.)

    Wireless connectivity is all about location. The big four Telecoms — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile — all have staked out their own territory, so what it boils down to it depends on where you live and work or play, that determines the quality of service you’ll receive. Often you won’t have viable options, so you’ll see a lot of bad reviews and criticism about all of them. I’ve lived in various areas with Sprint or a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) working off of Sprint and haven’t had serious issues. I’ve used Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile over the years and had to change carriers because of a new work location that was not yet covered by the carrier I had at the time. Usually within a few months the old carrier also covered the new area. When traveling out of my area it can be a different issue. Once I was in on the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and my Virgin Mobile phone had coverage and someone with a AT&T phone (and a $140+ monthly phone plan) couldn’t get coverage. As they say about real estate, “It’s all about location, location, location”.

    AT&T announced that it will be doing away with traditional data plans for new customers on October 25th, 2013. Existing customers won’t have to switch to a Mobile Share plan the next time they upgrade. Mobile Share starts at $70 per month for a smartphone with unlimited talk/text and 300MB of data, plus mobile hotspot service are included. You can add other lines to the plan for an additional fee. – Ouch!

    CDMA Carriers – (Don’t use simm cards):

  • Sprint
  • Verizon

    GMS Carriers – (They use simm cards):

  • AT&T $70 for unlimited talk & text, but only 300MB of data
  • T-Mobile $70 2.5 GB + Unlimited Talk after 2.5 GB data is throttled
  • T-Mobile gives tablet owners 200MB of data per month for no cost. Once that’s used up, customers will have the option of paying $5 for 500MB of data for one day or $10 for 1GB of data for a week.
  • Go Red Pocket (Affinity Link)

    Skype Data Usage:
    A high quality video call could use around 4MB per minute each way. So it’s probably safe to assume that each minute you are on a video call (high quality, not HD) you’re using about 10MB of your usage allowance.

    Voice only calling however uses about 25-30MB per hour.
    * * *

    Hi Fred,

    You’ve made your first referral, good job!

    With every friend you refer, you’ll be eligible to receive up a $25 account credit for each qualified referral, up to a total of $500 per calendar year.

    Refer again

    Your Friends at Virgin Mobile 11/3/13

    * * *

    Yes, it’s that easy. Virgin doesn’t tell me whom signed up so I’ll just have to say thanks to the mystery friend out there.

    * * *

    T-Mobile refer a friend program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    Sprint refer a friend Program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a $25 Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    AT&T refer a friend Program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a $25 AT&T Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    Version Referral Rewards Program Not a affinity link, just good info.