Typing eight characters crashes nearly every app in Mac OS X Mountain Lion – even the Crash Reporter
A pretty embarrassing bug has surfaced in Apple’s latest version of Mac OS X, 10.8.2 Mountain Lion: typing “File:///” (without quotes) into nearly any app’s text fields causes the app to crash.
A report filed on Open Radar, the open-source community bug tracker for Apple products, details the problem, which appears to be related to OS X’s data detectors (which recognize dates, locations, and contact information in text fields).
The bug has been reproduced in TextEdit, Finder (in the search box), Spotlight search (temporarily knocks out menu bar), Safari (in address bar), iTunes (search box), Reminders (search box), Mail.app, Messages.app, and other apps, along with the Console.
Amusingly, the Crash Reporter itself crashes after an app crashes due to the bug.
Most concerning is that in some cases you can even cause other people’s Macs to crash– even reading a message containing “File:///” in Mail.app or Messages.app will crash the apps. Retweeting a tweet with “File:///” in it will crash most OS X Twitter clients and, for instance, typing it into 37Signals’ popular Campfire service will crash Flint, an OS X Campfire client.
The few apps that don’t use the OS’ built-in data detectors (like BBedit) seem to be fine.
Some users have encountered apps that continuously crash, likely because they restore with the “File:///” text still in them from before. For now, the temporary fix is to disable the feature by going to System Preferences -> Language & Text and unchecking both “Correct spelling automatically” and “Use symbol and text substitution.” This seems to work for most apps.
The bug does not affect older versions of OS X, like Snow Leopard and Lion.
One user jokingly tied the bug to Apple’s famous “reality distortion field“:
This is actually a feature. It allows you to shut down all applications before shutting down your Mac.
Source: Open Radar
Philips Electronics announced today that it is exiting the consumer electronics industry, capping over 80 years in the space. The Dutch firm was among the last large European consumer electronics manufacturers, after Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent made similar exits, and will now focus on its medical imaging and lighting businesses.
Philips found itself unable to compete effectively against Samsung, Sony, Apple, and the like, and will sell the remaining parts of its consumer electronics business to Japan’s Funai Electric Co. for an almost nominal price of $201.8 million. Philips had been trying to cut its losses in consumer electronics for a few years, shuttering its mobile phone division and handing over its North American television business to Funai in 2008. Funai will continue to sell audio, video, multimedia, and accessories under the Philips brand name going forward.
The Dutch firm was the world’s largest radio supplier before World War II, and its subsequent inventions included the audio cassette (1963), video cassette recorder (1972), and compact disc (1983). For many years, however, Philips has had trouble translating its R&D prowess into consumer sales successes. In the ’70s and 80s, the company lost the famous video cassette wars, as its VCR and Video 2000 standards fell to the Japanese standards of Betamax and VHS, which in turn fought to the death until VHS prevailed.
“Our consumer lifestyle business was margin dilutive to the group,” said Frans van Houten, Philips’ CEO, “so it was time to decide to move away from consumer electronics. Since we have online entertainment, people do not buy Blu-ray and DVD players anymore,” Mr. Van Houten said.
Philips will now focus on products like hospital MRI scanners and LED light bulbs. It will continue to make some consumer products, though, like coffeemakers and electric shavers.
Consumer electronics currently contributes a quarter of Philips’ revenues, with healthcare and lighting split at roughly 40:30. Van Houten said that Philips is becoming more efficient, and is now introducing new products to market 40% more quickly than before. Evidently not fast enough for consumer electronics, though.
New benchmark results suggest Intel may have a bright future in smartphones after all– and the first phone to show that is, appropriately, named YOLO. (though sadly it’s spelled “Yolo,” not “#YOLO”)
Low-end Android handsets in developing markets sell in the $70-200 range (without carrier subsidies). They’re typically equipped with processors from Chinese manufacturers like MediaTek, Allwinner, or Rockchip — often with anemic ARM11 performance in tow. Buyers wanting a smooth Android experience have to step up to more expensive phones.
Into this void stepped Intel, which announced its new Atom Z2420 processor at CES a few weeks ago. Formerly codenamed “Lexington,” the mobile platform features a single-core 1.2 GHz CPU with HyperThreading (a lower-clocked version of the 1.6 GHz Z2460 Medfield / Penwell chip in the Xolo X900), PowerVR SGX540 graphics, Intel XMM 6265 HSPA+ 3G radio (a variant of the XMM 6260 adding dual-SIM support– important for developing markets), MicroSD support, FM radio, and even Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) technology, which can stream 1080p HD video to Wifi-connected TVs. The chip supports up to 1.3 MP front and 5 MP rear cameras and can record and play back 1080p video.
As with Intel’s first smartphone processor, the new Lexington platform was accompanied by a “shipping quality” reference smartphone (“FFRD,” or Form Factor Reference Design) to help manufacturers get off the ground with its chip. Safaricom of Kenya and Lava Mobile of India are bringing variants of this design to market, as is Acer.
Today we have the first benchmark results from the Safaricom phone, dubbed “Yolo,” and they’re quite surprising. The 3.5″ HVGA (320×480) phone includes 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 5 MP rear camera (no flash), MicroSD slot, and Android 4.0.4, and sells for 10,999 KES ($126).
Juuchini put the Yolo up against Samsung’s flagship Android phone, the Galaxy S III GT-I9300, packing an Eynos 4412 processor (quad-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex A9 with Mali-400MP graphics) and 1GB of RAM. As the results show, Intel’s phone comes pretty close to matching the almost 5x more expensive S III:
Antutu Benchmark (higher = better)
Vellamo (HTML 5)
Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-i9300)
Samsung Exynos 4412, quad-core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 1280×720 resolution
Intel Safaricom Yolo
Intel Atom Z2420, single-core Atom @ 1.2 GHz with HyperThreading, 512 MB RAM, 480×320 resolution
Note: some versions of the Galaxy S3 (e.g. most of the U.S. versions) have a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor instead of the quad-core Exynos and will thus produce different benchmark results.
See here for a review of the Yolo. The phone will hit India shortly as the Lava Xolo X500, retailing for Rs. 8,999 ($167).
Intel doesn’t appear to be targeting the U.S. market with this, which is unfortunate, as we think a Yolo with a higher-resolution (e.g. 800×480) screen could do well as an entry-level smartphone (think free-on-contract). And maybe it’d sell even better if branded “#YOLO.”
Still, the Lexington platform’s performance in such a low-priced handset bodes well for Intel’s future in the smartphone industry.
Star Wars fans may be dismayed to hear that the U.S. will not be building a Death Star after all. The White House finally responded to a petition with nearly 35,000 signatures calling for a Death Star to be built for a “strong national defense” and job creation.
On Friday evening, the Obama administration announced that it had decided against building the spacecraft. Paul Shawcross, head of the Science and Space Branch of the Office of Management and Budget, outlined why:
- The Death Star could cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000 to build, which might increase the deficit a bit
- The Obama administration does not support blowing up planets
- The Death Star has a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship
While a Dark Side spacecraft may be a few years away, Shawcross reminded readers of the U.S. participation in the International Space Station.
Read on after the break for the full White House response.
Just hours after settling the FTC’s antitrust investigation of its business practices, Google has blocked all Windows Phones from accessing its Google Maps mobile site. The move represents the latest move in an escalating war between Google and Microsoft.
Navigating to maps.google.com on any Windows Phone 7 or 8 handset now redirects to Google’s homepage:
Google issued a response claiming that WP devices wouldn’t work because the Google Maps mobile site was only “optimized” for the WebKit browser engine used by Chrome and Safari, and not Internet Explorer [note: Gizmodo's assertion that the Google Maps mobile site has never worked on WP7/8 is incorrect]:
The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.
This response is, however, problematic at best. Read on after the break to see why.
The Metro-style Mail app in Windows 8 / RT works well enough for Exchange accounts and email hosted on Outlook.com, Gmail, and the like. But the app has no support at all for POP3 accounts and a broken implementation of IMAP. POP is arguably an old, outdated tech (despite many ISPs still using it exclusively), but IMAP is still the primary email protocol for non-Exchange servers, so it’s a problem.
Read on after the break for a workaround for one of the app’s bugs.
Russian developer Cotulla has managed to port Windows Phone 8 to HTC’s HD2, adding yet another OS to the legendary smartphone’s collection – which already included Windows Mobile 6.5 (which it originally shipped with), all versions of Windows Phone 7.x (7, 7.5, 7.8), most versions of Android, Ubuntu, other Linux distributions, and Meego,
For now it’s actually just a proof of concept.
I honestly dunno how far it can goes forward; a lot of problems appear and not sure will be it’s possible to solve them.
And not only to solve them, but get an acceptable user experience :)
It was implied as “a crazy experiment” at the start up time
For now it’s implemented only few functionality like SD card, screen output, touch screen input.
All other things are not working. I won’t add “YET” it can be very hard to get some things to work.
and DFT didn’t yet decided about future developments in that direction.
Performance seems to be one of the biggest challenges. WP8 is based on Windows NT, which is much heavier than WP7.x’s WinCE roots, and possibly too much for the HD2′s three-year-old internals to handle smoothly.
But Cotulla’s results could answer a few questions: first, was Microsoft justified in not upgrading any WP7.x devices to WP8? Second, as Microsoft — particularly through Nokia — heads downmarket with WP7.x phones like the Lumia 510, will WP8 be a viable option for entry-level smartphone hardware anytime soon?
For the thousands of people who go blind every year from damage to the cornea (though trauma, disease, or missing limbal stem cells), a new cure may be in sight. The established treatment — a corneal transplant — requires finding suitable donors and doesn’t work for some patients. Now, German researchers are working to develop an artificial, implantable cornea.
The ART CORNEA project team, led by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, has developed two types of artificial corneas.
ArtCornea is for patients whose bodies reject transplanted corneas. The cornea is based on a water-absorbent polymer with a new surface coating and chemically altered haptic edge that promotes the growth of local cells that graft to the surrounding tissue, anchoring the implant into the patient’s eye. The researchers enlarged the device’s optical surface area, improving light penetration. The team says ArtCornea is hardly visible and does not trigger an immune response.
ACTO-TexKpro is for patients who are awaiting a transplant. The team developed a chemically and biologically inert base material by coating polyvinylidene diflouride synthetic tissue with a reactive molecule. This allows the patient’s cornea to bond with the edge of the implant, yet keeps the implant’s silicon optics free of cells. The team says ACTO-TexKpro is suitable as a preliminary treatment for people whose corneas have been destroyed by chronic inflammation or a serious accident or burns.
The team has successfully tested the artificial corneas in rabbits, and human clinical trials are commencing at the Eye Clinic Cologne-Merheim. The team is optimistic — several patients whose bodies had rejected human transplants received an early version of the artificial cornea in 2009 and are still wearing their implants today without complications.
Microsoft just concluded the Windows Phone Summit, where it announced Windows Phone 8. The event highlighted only platform-level changes, not final end-user features, but there was still plenty to cover. Most significantly, Windows Phone is moving from the Windows CE kernel to the same Windows NT components underlying Windows 8. Windows Phone 8 features a revised Start screen with resizable live tiles, higher screen resolutions, support for removable memory cards, and more.
Like Windows 8, the new phone OS will feature background multitasking for apps like VoIP services (e.g. Skype) and turn-by-turn GPS navigation, along with native C/C++ code support and NFC.
However, all the changes mean that no current Windows Phone 7.x handsets will support the new OS. Microsoft will release a Windows Phone 7.8 update, though, to add the new Start screen to WP 7.5 phones.
Read on after the break for all the new platform features announced:
It looks like it’s not only Google that think the future’s in the Cloud; Baidu have recently unveiled their latest Cloud phone. As a Baidu handset, it’ll also include voice search, voice control, and other online services offered by the Chinese search company. Of course, its biggest feature is going to be cloud storage. It’ll feature 100GB of cloud storage, which means you can store a pretty huge amount of games, videos, photos and messages in the cloud.
If you don’t know what cloud storage is, think of Google Documents. (If you haven’t got Google Documents, then, do.) Google Docs is an online application which allows users to write text documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and then save them ‘online’. This means your document doesn’t take up any room on your hard drive, and it is, in fact, not even stored on your computer. You can access your Google documents on any computer in the world, as long as you remember your password and have an internet connection. Pretty neat, huh?
Cloud storage on phones is an even bigger deal; we all have a personal computer or laptop, which, let’s face it, is where we’re going to want to do all of our work, writing, editing, etc. With phones, however, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to access your files from a different device, without having to physically move it over first. Want to edit the photos you took yesterday or write up those essay ideas you typed on the bus? Just turn on your PC and access your documents from the Cloud.
Saving your stuff in the cloud is also even more secure than saving it on your gadget or gizmo, whatever that might be. You might think that since it’s just floating around the internet it’s potentially insecure, but provided you keep your passwords secret and obscure, there’s nothing that should make your cloud accounts any more difficult to get into than your bank account.
Cloud storage is also cheaper than physical storage. The Baidu handset comes with 100GB of cloud storage, though there have also been rumours of a 300GB version being made available. In any case, you wouldn’t find 100GB of physical storage on a smartphone these days, would you? That’s because in physical terms, it’s a huge amount to include on a tiny little phone, but in cloud terms it’s minuscule.
If you’re still not convinced, just wait until you get your hands on one of the latest HTC One range of handsets. Each HTC One phone comes with 25GB of Dropbox storage – which, by the way, is cloud storage – and as one of the first range of smartphones to utilise the cloud, it should be sure to recruit a few converts along the way.