Russia Debuts Postal Drone, Which Immediately Crashes Into Wall

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Someday, in the future, our skies will be full of whirring machines delivering anything we could ever want or need, from medical supplies to pizzas to the latest item from our Amazon overlords.

That day is not today.

On Monday, Russia’s postal service tested a delivery drone in the city of Ulan-Ude, Siberia. Instead, though, the drone crashed violently into a wall of nearby building, turning the UAV into a mess of jumbled parts.

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Russia had announced its plans to start delivering mail via drone. It seems like a smart idea, especially in such a huge country where severe weather often interrupts mail delivery.

Here was the original plan for Monday’s test. The $ 20,000 drone was supposed to pick up a small package and deliver it to a nearby village, Reuters reports. Instead the device failed spectacularly, only making it a short distance before crashing into a three-story building. The small crowd gathered to watch the test can be heard uttering expletives, according to Reuters.

No one was injured in the crash, and it didn’t do any damage, except to Russia’s pride.

“We won’t stop with this, we will keep trying,” Alexei Tsydenov, the head of the region who was present at the test, told Reuters. “Those who don’t risk don’t get a result.”

And risk they shall. The organizers aren’t quite sure what went wrong, but they suspect the 100 or so nearby wifi spots could have had something to do with it.

Russia might have succeeded in meddling in our elections, but, hey, at least our drones work.

The post Russia Debuts Postal Drone, Which Immediately Crashes Into Wall appeared first on Futurism.

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Indian Character Bug Causing System Crashes is Fixed in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4

A recently discovered bug that causes app and system crashing on iPhone, iPad, and Mac due to a specific letter in the Indian language Telugu has been fixed in Apple’s upcoming iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 software updates.


MacRumors has not been able to reproduce any crashes, freezes, or resprings on any devices running the latest iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 betas when the particular letter is present anywhere across the systems, as the upcoming software versions can now display the affected character properly.

On earlier software versions, including the latest publicly released versions iOS 11.2.5 and macOS 10.13.3, it appears that Apple devices are unable to render the Indian character for some reason, causing apps or the entire system to abruptly crash depending on where it is trying to be displayed.

If the character is sent in an iMessage, for example, the recipient’s Messages app will crash when the conversation is opened. Likewise, if the character is pasted into the Safari or Chrome address bar on Mac, the browsers crash. This behavior extends to virtually any system text field on iOS and macOS, resulting in many third-party apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger being affected as well.

Even worse, some users have found that if the character is displayed in an iOS notification, it can cause an entire iPhone or iPad to respring, and in worst-case scenarios, restoring in DFU mode is the only possible solution.

If you’ve already received the letter and can no longer open Messages, try having a friend message you, which may allow you to regain access to the app and delete the conversation with the bad character. If not, consider enrolling in Apple’s free public beta program and upgrade to iOS 11.3 or macOS 10.13.4 beta.

MacRumors was alerted about this bug by developer Peter Steinberger on Monday, and it was submitted to Open Radar by developer Igor Bulyga on the same day. We elected not to report on the bug at the time to avoid contributing to its spread, since it can be used maliciously and a fix will be widely available soon.

The bug has received widespread attention today, so we wanted to acknowledge that Apple is aware of the issue and has implemented a fix. iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 should be publicly released by the end of March, but it’s very possible we’ll see minor updates pushed out with fixes in the near term.

These kinds of bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app and causing other glitches. Just last month, a link to a GitHub page surfaced that froze the Messages app when received.

Related Roundups: iOS 11, macOS High Sierra

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Apple says it’ll fix the Telugu bug that crashes iPhones with a single character

iPhone iMessage Crash Bug

News emerged on Thursday that a single message containing an Indian character can crash your iPhone. That’s not something unheard of, as such bugs are discovered on a constant basis. Apple always fixes them using iOS updates, and the company confirmed that a fix for the Telugu bug, as it’s referred to, will be available to iPhone owners even before iOS 11.3 rolls out.

The character comes from the Telugu language, which is spoken by some 70 million people in India. When sent over chat apps including iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or email apps, the bug can crash that particular app. To fix the problem yourself, you somehow have to get into the app that crashed and remove the message with the character. You can only do so from another device though, and only if that device doesn’t run iOS.

The character above can also crash the entire iPhone if the symbol appears in a notification card or banner, forcing you to restart the phone.

Apple told The Verge that iOS 11.3 fixes the problems. However, that’s a major release intended to bring over several new features, including a new battery health menu that lets you stop iPhone throttling. As such, the update won’t be released until this spring — though you can install developer and public beta versions to try it out early.

But Apple says it will release an intermediary update, a minor release that could take form as iOS 11.2.6 or something similar, to patch this particular bug. The Verge says that betas for other Apple operating systems, including macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, all fix the problem.

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Apple is going to fix the text message bug that crashes your iPhone next week

ChaiOS Text Message Crash

Earlier this week, a software developer on Twitter shared a link that is capable of crashing the an iPhone or a Mac when sent via the Messages app. Dubbed “chaiOS,” the bug works similarly to the “Effective Power” bug from 2015, which involved sending a string of text to another iPhone user which would cause the recipient’s phone to crash and reboot. chaiOS is more of a nuisance than a serious security flaw, but either way, it won’t be around much longer.

On Thursday, just two days after the malicious was initially disseminated on Twitter, Apple told BuzzFeed that a fix is coming in a software update next week. No further details were shared, but presumably both iOS and macOS devices will receive the update, as both can be affected by the text string in the Messages app.

Unless your contact list is filled with trolls, chances are that you’ll never have to deal with chaiOS before Apple takes care of it. In fact, the original link has already been taken down by GitHub (that’s where it was originally hosted), but the code contained therein has likely been copied by others and hosted elsewhere.

“My intention is not to do bad things,” Abraham Masri told BuzzFeed. “My main purpose was to reach out to Apple and say, ‘Hey, you’ve been ignoring my bug reports.’ I always report the bug before releasing something.”

By this time next week, the update will have rolled out, but if you receive the bug in the meantime, do whatever you can to delete the text thread that contains it. That might be a challenge, as the Messages app will repeatedly crash for some users, but it’s the only option other than a factory reset. If it comes to that, back up your data first.

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