A new bug has been discovered in the Messages app, allowing a string of characters sent to a person via iMessage or SMS to crash an iPhone and cause the Messages app to crash after being opened. The bug, which requires a specific string of symbols and Arabic characters to be sent, was first noticed on reddit earlier this afternoon and has been spreading around the Internet since then.
Sending the string of characters to an iPhone results in an immediate respring, causing an iPhone to crash and quickly reboot. From there, if the Messages app was opened at a list view, the Messages app crashes automatically when you try to open it. If it was opened to the conversation where you received the message, the app will open, but attempting to go to another conversation causes Messages to crash.
MacRumors tested the bug on iPhones running iOS 8.3, but it may also be affecting other versions of iOS.
If you receive one of these messages, there are a few possible fixes that have worked for us and for other people who have encountered the bug. If the Messages app was opened to the conversation with the person who sent the offending message, the Messages app can be reopened to this conversation. Sending a reply message fixes the problem.
If Messages was opened to the conversation list view, the app will crash when you attempt to open it. You can fix this by having someone send you a message or by sending a message to yourself. There are several options for sending a message to yourself, including sending yourself a message via Siri or through the Share sheet in any app.
The Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk’s SpaceX won U.S. Air Force certification for national security space missions, breaking the hold on sensitive satellite launches by a Boeing Co.-Lockheed Martin Corp. venture.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is expected to bring competition to military launches after reshaping the commercial rocket market with prices posted on its website. The first contest between the two launch providers could heat up as soon as June, when the Air Force said it will issue a request for proposal for GPS III launch services.
“SpaceX’s emergence as a viable commercial launch provider provides the opportunity to compete launch services for the first time in almost a decade,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a statement Tuesday. “Ultimately, leverage of the commercial space market drives down cost to the American taxpayer and improves our military’s resiliency.”
Musk’s venture has fought for a role in military launches, which include satellites that let troops communicate on battlefields. The segment, estimated at about $70 billion through 2030 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, is the largest in a market that also includes civilian and commercial contracts, such as work SpaceX does for NASA.
Ask most people when color photography was invented and they will probably answer World War II or perhaps even later than that. In fact, physicist James Clark Maxwell took the first color photograph in 1863 and several workable, if demanding, color photographic processes were available by the turn of the 20th century. Color photography wasn’t common though until the 1930s when easy to use color films were introduced.
Genuine 102 year old color photograph of a Turkmen woman outside a yurt in Turkestan. This was taken in 1913 by pioneer color photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky.
Prokudin-Gorky himself in 1912:
An even more striking example of color imagery from before most people would think it was possible, a spectacular color (kinecolor) film of the great Indian durbar of 1911.
As companies continue to beat the Internet of Things drum, promoting a world when every device is smart, and anything electronic is network connected, we have some news that shows just what a horrible idea this really is. A security firm has found that a Linux kernel driver called NetUSB contains an amateurish error that can be exploited by hackers to remotely compromise any device running the driver. The driver is commonly found in home routers, and while some offer the ability to disable it, others do not appear to do so.
NetUSB is developed by Taiwanese company KCodes. The purpose of the driver is to allow PCs and Macs to connect to USB devices over a network, so that these devices can be shared just by plugging them into a Wi-Fi router or similar. To do this, a driver is needed at each end; a client driver on the PC or Mac, and a server driver on the router itself.
This router-side driver listens to connections on TCP port 20005, and it’s this driver that contains a major security flaw. SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab, which publicized the problem, discovered that the Linux driver contains a simple buffer overflow. As part of the communication between client and server, the client sends the name of the client computer; if this name is longer than 64 bytes, the buffer overflows. The company says that this overflow can be exploited to enable both denial of service (crashing the router) and remote code execution.
Game developer and tech diversity advocate Brianna Wu has been complaining about the lack of action by a prosecuting attorney in response to a death threat voicemail she said she received. On Tuesday, she posted a copy of the voicemail.
Wu’s op-ed article at feminist pop-culture site The Mary Sue raised new questions about whether local or national law enforcement agencies were adequately responding to a wave of anonymous threats she and other women in the game industry have recently faced. The article included a recording of a voicemail left on Wu’s personal phone that called her a “little fucking whore” and threatened to “slit [her] throat.”
Ars was sent a copy of the voicemail with its originating Columbus, Ohio phone number attached, along with call records indicating that the threat was left on Wu’s voicemail on May 12. Wu said that she received more threatening calls from the same number on Wednesday. She has not called the offending number back as per advice from her legal counsel.
In the article, Wu called upon Columbus, Ohio prosecuting attorney Ron O’Brien to issue a subpoena for the name attached to phone records. “If [O’Brien] wished, he could bring criminal charges against this man by the end of the day,” she wrote. (We have contacted O’Brien’s office with a request for comment, and we will update this report with any response.) Wu also hinted to a lack of criminal action taken on behalf of other threats she has received—or on behalf of similar threats sent to developer Zoe Quinn and media critic Anita Sarkeesian.
I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WHOLE tech journalism gig would turn me into a mass murderer. Yet here I am, with the blood of six SSDs on my hands, and that’s not even the half of it. You see, these were not crimes of passion or rage, nor were they products of accident. More than 18 months ago, I vowed to push all six drives to their bitter ends. I didn’t do so in the name of god or country or even self-defense, either. I did it just to watch them die.
Technically, I’m also a torturer—or at least an enhanced interrogator. Instead of offering a quick and painless death, I slowly squeezed out every last drop of life with a relentless stream of writes far more demanding than anything the SSDs would face in a typical PC. To make matters worse, I exploited their suffering by chronicling the entire process online.
Today, that story draws to a close with the final chapter in the SSD Endurance Experiment. The last two survivors met their doom on the road to 2.5PB, joining four fallen comrades who expired earlier. It’s time to honor the dead and reflect on what we’ve learned from all the carnage.
Every time Microsoft develops a new version of Windows, people hope that there will be fewer variants and sub-versions than before. Every time, those hopes are dashed.
Windows 10 isn’t going to change any of that.
Microsoft has just announced the set of Windows 10 SKUs, and there are seven of them, plus some others not mentioned.
The first few editions are straightforward. Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Enterprise will fill the same roles as their Windows 8.1 namesakes. Home will be the mainstream consumer version. Pro will add most of the management features (such as domain joining) that Home lacks. Enterprise will add further management capabilities and will only be available through volume licensing agreements.
Andrew Nacin, lead developer of WordPress, just finished a talk at Loopconf, where he talked about a series of related WordPress security fixes that spanned two years, with the final fix included into WordPress core under the guise of Emoji support.
More: The Trojan Emoji
Nobody likes Comcast. The cable giant is consistently ranked as one of the worst companies in the United States, but maybe, just maybe, it wants to make nice. Today the company said it’s creating 5,500 customer service jobs as part of a “multi-year customer experience transformation.” A plan to make you like Comcast, or at least tolerate it.
While the company’s already decidedly lost its government-level battles, with the feds ruling against its stance on net neutrality and its proposed Time Warner Cable merger, it sounds like Comcast is now waging a ground war, starting with one of the most irksome of its problems: maintenance. The company says it’s “setting a goal to always be on time for customer appointments by Q3 of 2015,” and investing in training for technicians so they know what they’re doing when they get there. If a technician doesn’t arrive on time, Comcast says, it’ll automatically credit a customer with $20. (The company has offered this before, and it’s not clear if the offer is being expanded.)
Read: The worst company in America
Some of the other changes, according to Comcast, will be happening on the company’s technology side: rolling out changes to customer service tools to make calls less painful, and creating a new system to “simplify billing and create better policies to provide greater consistency and transparency to customers.” Comcast also says it’s making new tools to reduce in-store wait times, and bringing a “tech tracker” it recently launched in Boston to the rest of the country.
Why should anyone believe this will help? Maybe they shouldn’t.
The party of smaller government has an idea.
Mitch McConnell, the GOP Senate majority leader, urged lawmakers Thursday to renew the expiring section of the Patriot Act that the National Security Agency says authorizes the bulk telephone metadata spying program. That’s the same section that the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled hours earlier didn’t justify the NSA’s phone spying program.
“They’re not running rogue out there,” McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor. “The NSA is overseen by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our government.”