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Old 05-05-2010, 01:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried Card Star? I tried it and just like the airline boarding pass, the barcodes on the Blackberry can't be read - they even admit it in the FAQ's for Card Star. In addition, I noticed in the BB log files that this app grabs all your email addresses in the background and sends them to dataflurry.com (which is an online marketing website). You may want to change your permissions or firewall settings before using this. Overall though, the app isn't that bad and hopefully they can figure out the issue with reading barcodes from the BB as I know people have had success with the iPhone.

http://www.mycardstar.com/
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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BlackBerry 9000, OS 5. No Barcode displayed - just the number I entered. It may have broken a personal record for "quickest to get deleted".
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryD View Post
BlackBerry 9000, OS 5. No Barcode displayed - just the number I entered. It may have broken a personal record for "quickest to get deleted".
Once you enter a number... you go to the menu to toggle it to show the barcode. By default it just displays the number for those merchants who can't scan the barcode. Once you change it, that record should display the barcode from then on.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, Danny from CardStar here.

It's somewhat disappointing to have to reply to an accusation like this, when we'd rather be replying to users who want to help us make CardStar as good as it can be on BlackBerry, but I suppose that's how it goes.

Preroll, I want to believe that you are simply mistaken and not purposefully spreading mistruths about our application, so I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you mis-read your log files.

With that being said, let me make some things clear:

1) We do not, in any way, "grab" any information outside of CardStar from your device and send it to a third-party. Email addresses, phone numbers, nothing. This is a libelous accusation and I'm only replying in this forum because we take such comments very seriously. I want to make sure we set the record straight on this.

2) CardStar, like many apps, uses the mobile applications analytics service Flurry (at flurry.com NOT dataflurry.com) to measure how CardStar is being used. None of this analytics data contains personal information. We don't know who you are, we don't know your phone number, and we don't know your membership numbers.

3) CardStar can indeed be scanned at point-of-sale if the merchant uses an imaging scanner. Laser scanners cannot read the barcode off the BlackBerry screen due to the hardware employed by RIM devices. However, we are working on various software solutions to address these deficiencies.

We've already received a lot of positive feedback from BlackBerry users on how to improve the app (most notably, slimming it down from it's hefty size) and those suggestions are helping us shape the next version of CardStar for BlackBerry. I hope that future discussions here focus on things we do right and things we can do better.

Thanks,
Danny Espinoza
CardStar, Inc.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, there are many 3rd party developers that have exploited user data in the past so after seeing a line in the log that says grab ALL EMAIL addresses with a forwarding URL, it makes one wonder. As far as the app is concerned, I like it very much and it seems useful but it didn't in fact work at the grocery store the other night but that's probably due to the technical limitations that you outlined above.

Overall a good application. Hopefully you can solve the read issues with future releases.

Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preroll View Post
after seeing a line in the log that says grab ALL EMAIL addresses with a forwarding URL, it makes one wonder
Indeed it does, because as I stated, we definitely don't do that. Can you please send this line from your log to support @ mycardstar.com -- you seem to believe that 1) this line exists and 2) is in there due to our app. I'd like to see it to understand why you believe this.

Thanks,
Danny

Last edited by cardstar : 05-06-2010 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardstar View Post

2) CardStar, like many apps, uses the mobile applications analytics service Flurry (at flurry.com NOT dataflurry.com) to measure how CardStar is being used. None of this analytics data contains personal information. We don't know who you are, we don't know your phone number, and we don't know your membership numbers. <snip>
Thanks,
Danny Espinoza
CardStar, Inc.
Hi Danny,

I assume this is disclosed in the user agreement when the app is installed?

Your "libelous accusation" statement and defensiveness seem a bit out of proportion here considering the OP was merely reporting what he observed.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, agreed. Very defensive.

I also installed the app, but it was very slow to respond and is a very large app (3.6M). I've since deleted it.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daphne View Post
Hi Danny,
I assume this is disclosed in the user agreement when the app is installed?
This is in our privacy policy, yes, but I suppose we can also have in a click-though user agreement.

Quote:
Your "libelous accusation" statement and defensiveness seem a bit out of proportion here considering the OP was merely reporting what he observed.
I'm not too sure about that, but I suppose that's a valid point for discussion. The OP was stating that his log somehow describes some very malicious intent on our part. I imagine others might handle it differently, but when you've spent as much time and effort as we have trying to build a great company, it's startling to see such accusations appear out of nowhere.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by juwaack68 View Post
I also installed the app, but it was very slow to respond and is a very large app (3.6M). I've since deleted it.
Yes, much of of the feedback we've received from BB users mirror your experience and we're learning that what works in the iPhone world doesn't always work across all platforms. We are in fact working on a lightweight version right now due to this feedback and we will continue to listen to the BB community to understand how to make the app better.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardstar View Post
Indeed it does, because as I stated, we definitely don't do that. Can you please send this line from your log to support @ mycardstar.com -- you seem to believe that 1) this line exists and 2) is in there due to our app. I'd like to see it to understand why you believe this.

Thanks,
Danny
Here ya go. Just a portion from the log (selected modules):

cardstar_BB-3
Email
getDefaultEmailAddress
0x3460
cardstar_bb-3
Email
getAllEmailAddresses
0x3420

This logs every time it runs and if all connections are allowed to go out, it included the forwarding address of the email addresses to data.flurry.com which you had already described above.

Thanks.

Last edited by Preroll : 05-07-2010 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Interesting Preroll, thanks for posting back.

I went to data.flurry.com and it says "Nothing to see here, please move along."

As far as I can see, the site flurry.com has no SSL cert which means the information is not encrypted on their servers.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Preroll, I will certainly ask our BB team if such a thing is possible and whether your log snippet seems valid. Thanks for posting it.

Incidentally, a search Google for "BlackBerry log getAllEmailAddresses" returns 8 hits (one of which is this forum post, and most of which concern Outlook Express programming) which makes me suspect whether such a thing exists.

But, regardless, I can assure you that CardStar doesn't gather email addresses.

Last edited by cardstar : 05-09-2010 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well here is my opinion. I think any app that is 3.6MB on a BB is just asking for trouble, and if the cards don't work with 99% accuracy, why bother at all ? And it better have a restore option after an OS upgrade for your data. Why store all the cards, and not grab them on the fly. Great idea, very poor implementation IMO that needs to be corrected.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BB 11020)

Where are you seeing these logs? I have opened cardstar multiple times and looked throuugh the device logs and can find no reference to cardstar or the website you mention.

My experience with this app so far is that it doesn't work where I shop. So, regardless of why (be it the limitations stated or for other reasons)its way too big to keep and if it only does some of the stores, depending on what type of scanner they use then that makes it sort of useless. I don't necessarily blame cardstar but it is what it is.

At 3.6MB that's way too big for a BB. I suggest putting the logos on a server somewhere and have the app call up the server for the logo when the user adds that particular card. That way you only store the logos you need.

I, also, found that all my card data was lost after an OS upgrade (wipe & reinstall of OS). This likely has to do with where the data is stored on the device. This has been a limitation on the BB for quite some time and is not new. However, many of the developers have added an option in the app to manually backup the app's data to the media card. Then upon reinstalling you can simply hit "restore" and it will restore the backup file from the card and have all the data back. I would suggest this method for cardstar.

But we need to get around the limitation that prevents it from working with some scanners.

I like the idea and was evemn willing to try it at its current large size so its a great idea.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Stinsonddog and John Clark, thanks for your feedback. Yes indeed, we've heard from many, many users about both those issues, and we're responding:

1) We'll have an update this week that fixes obvious bugs.
2) The next update will reduce the physical size of the app substantially and will introduce BlackBerry-specific changes, including save and restore to and from the SD card.

We're receiving a lot of good feedback (email support AT mycardstar DOT com) and for that we're grateful. We come from an iPhone background, and we understand that we need to refocus our execution on BlackBerry.

We are also working on improving scanning, but on the BlackBerry it's a bit more problematic due to the construction of the device screen. We have three RIM devices in the lab for testing and we'll continue to see what we can do.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Most may think the app is large. However, to get the "symbology" more accurate program size should not be in question. The correct bar code for a retailer is more important. Readability in a retail business is everything. Our readers will read the standard and condensed UPC and the bar code we use for employee discounts. All others are ignored by design. There are tens of thousands of bar code types. I can appreciate your task at hand. Finding each code type used and matching it with each specific retailer and creating a minimal database is no easy task.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I disagree. Size DOES matter. Application memory is valuable and to use it up unnecessarily is bad programming. This is the largest BB app I have ever seen, short of some of the medical apps I've seen.

I'm assuming the app contains .png files or .jpg files for all the logos. There is no need for all these to be contained in the app when not being used. The added coding to make the condensed or standard bar code likely isn't anywhere near as large as the logos.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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There are not "tens of thousands" of barcode types in use.

There are perhaps a dozen symbol types commonly used in Retail.

Linear code readers will not recognize the 2D barcodes at all. This is 90% of barcode readers in use in retail. Imaging scanners will read the newer 2D codes, but there are issues of reflection and contrast that makes this a little unreliable when reading from the device LCD screen.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Bump.

So, Cardstar has done some updating and now the app is only 1.1MB. I installed the new version and it seems to work ok with the exception of not reading my bardcodes at some locations.

One feature that Cardstar added is the ability to save all the cards to the media card so that they are not lost after an OS Update.

Well, today I updated to 5.0.0.680 and was sure to make a backup of my cards. However, after the update the app says it can't find the backup. I can see the backup in a Cardstar folder on my media card but the app won't restore. Not cool.
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