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Irony: iPhone 5S Users Reporting Blue Screen of Death 192

Posted by timothy
from the ok-this-feels-intuitive dept.
MojoKid writes "It's been a long time since many have seen a dreaded 'blue screen of death' (BSoD), but it's back and in the most unlikeliest of places. Oddly enough, some Apple iPhone 5S owners are reporting BSoD errors, though they're a little different from the ones you may remember seeing on Windows desktops. Rather than spit out an obscure error code with a generic description, some iPhone 5S devices are suddenly turning blue before automatically restarting. The Numbers app in Apple's iWork suite, a free program with new iPhones, seems to be the primary cause, though BSoD behavior has also been observed in other applications, according to complaints in Apple's support forum."
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Irony: iPhone 5S Users Reporting Blue Screen of Death

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  • by o_ferguson (836655) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:06PM (#45105937)
    Guru Meditation: BSoD.
    • by fisted (2295862)
      Don't panic()
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        But damn it, I'm jealous! I'm running Linux on my computer and Android on my phone and they don't have that feature! Damn.

        Always behind the curve, I am.

        • Available here, for your pleasure [jwz.org] (scroll down to BSOD). Someone told a story here once about having it on their computer, when the manager walked in and saw it and nearly fired them for having that server running Windows.
        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/iruk/5840082663/ [flickr.com] - screen isn't blue, but the first word on it is "Blue"
          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I wondered what a kernel panic looked like. Ten years of Linux and never experienced that myself. I guess KDE is more stable than Android (or the computer's hardware is better).

            • by Guy Harris (3803)

              I wondered what a kernel panic looked like. Ten years of Linux and never experienced that myself. I guess KDE is more stable than Android (or the computer's hardware is better).

              Presumably you either mean "the Linux kernels I've run on my machines are more stable than the Linux kernel running on that particular Android machine" or "KDE and the rest of the userland is less likely to provoke a kernel panic than the Android userland".

        • by antdude (79039)

          Well... Linux has the black screen, beep, with blinking keyboard lights. ;)

    • by msauve (701917)
      Wrong paradigm.

      DSAT [allacronyms.com]
  • How unusual... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:08PM (#45105951) Journal
    Aside from the whole 'a tightly sandboxed "app" taking down the system' thing (which makes one wonder if Apple's apps follow the same rules as everyone else's, or whether there is some Nasty bug in an API), don't iDevices use a totally different design for their screen of death? Macs, certainly, both PPC and Intel, can be made to execute BSOD-level crashes; but the process looks totally different.
    • Re:How unusual... (Score:5, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:24PM (#45106039) Journal
      There are plenty of bugs in iOS, even for low-permission apps. I've been messing around with the mach parser, and I've found several ways to crash the device (other people have reported similar things). The interface between userland and kernel is just complicated, and sandboxing has never been and never will be a magic bullet.

      That said, your second point is a good one, why would it suddenly turn blue when ever other crash just causes it to turn black with a rotating circle? Doesn't really make sense.......
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:29PM (#45106067)

        There are plenty of bugs in iOS, even for low-permission apps. I've been messing around with the mach parser, and I've found several ways to crash the device (other people have reported similar things). The interface between userland and kernel is just complicated, and sandboxing has never been and never will be a magic bullet.

        That said, your second point is a good one, why would it suddenly turn blue when ever other crash just causes it to turn black with a rotating circle? Doesn't really make sense.......

        Because iPhone fanboys are also hipsters, and the blue screen is old enough to now qualify as "Retro". You're just not cool unless your device dies with a warm, blue glow!

      • by j-stroy (640921) on Friday October 11, 2013 @09:45PM (#45106407)
        Could it be in the iCloud API? Native apps like Numbers store docs in iCloud.
        • Could be, but today I'm seeing that setting the text in a UITextView in a thread other than the main thread will cause iOS 7 to freeze irrecoverably. So the bug could be in a lot of places, I guess. They've changed a lot.
        • No it could not. It could be anywhere but that. That is the one place it couldn't be. All software ever written has bugs except the iCloud API.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        There are plenty of bugs in iOS, even for low-permission apps.

        It may not even have to exploit a bug. You could reboot DOS with a program a few bytes long. You could exploit a feature of the OS in a way nobody thought of before to BSOD any device, provided everything fell into place.

      • Re:How unusual... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rtb61 (674572) on Friday October 11, 2013 @11:51PM (#45106839) Homepage

        You can effectively sandbox but for it to really work it requires a major change in system design and, a major commitment to a bug free OS, OS on chip. Offers far faster boot time, keeps the OS really secure but if it isn't bug and security issue free, then you have real problems. Software coders have always been as slack as hell compared to CPU engineers.

      • by sribe (304414)

        That said, your second point is a good one, why would it suddenly turn blue when ever other crash just causes it to turn black with a rotating circle?

        Because the more detailed description I've read doesn't sound like the whole OS is actually rebooting. More like the app picker or some other userland process, crashing and restarting, and the lock screen coming on.

        • That makes sense, I've been seeing similar things for the past couple days as I've been debugging an app (except in my case the screen goes black). The system doesn't respond to anything, no swipes or anything EXCEPT double pressing the button, which brings up Siri. Not particularly useful, so I end up rebooting the phone.
    • Re:How unusual... (Score:5, Informative)

      by _xeno_ (155264) on Friday October 11, 2013 @09:33PM (#45106345) Homepage Journal

      Aside from the whole 'a tightly sandboxed "app" taking down the system' thing (which makes one wonder if Apple's apps follow the same rules as everyone else's, or whether there is some Nasty bug in an API)

      It looks to be a bug in their text-to-speech API. If you watch the video, he triggers the BSOD by starting the app speaking, then returning to the home screen (which stops the app, remember, iOS doesn't do real multitasking*), then restarting the app. So presumably it's a bug in the accessibility APIs that are used to do text-to-speech.

      * OK, yes, it does, but you know what I mean in this instance, yes? User apps are not allowed to use multitasking, so the running app is stopped.

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday October 11, 2013 @11:50PM (#45106837)

        User apps are not allowed to use multitasking,

        User apps are allowed to do anything for around ten minutes after they are shut by the user (they may be killed sooner if they use too many resources or the foreground app needs all the resources).

        User apps can also have periodic tasks that run in the background (in iOS7).

        User apps can also run indefinitely in the background under some conditions, like for navigation or... for background audio. So it might be some hiccup in the text to speech system operating while the app it is attached to is running in the foreground. I would think anything reading text generally would keep reading even if you closed the application, though it would depend on the application and how it set up the audio session...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If you notice, the app keeps speaking until he brings up the new (annoying, IMO) running app overview screen. It then stops despite obviously having text left to speak, he touches the app to bring it in the foreground, and it crashes. My money is on the text-to-speech stopping when the overview is brought up causes a bad state, then when the app comes up it probably checks whether it's running or not, gets bad info, and then goes BOOM. I would put good odds on it being either in the text-to-speech API or in

  • by ShaunC (203807) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:12PM (#45105977) Homepage

    Sounds like somebody's grammar checker had a blue screen...

  • Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:12PM (#45105979)

    There is a great deal of evidence to indicate we are no longer capable of advancing software.

    It has been remarked that if we built buildings the same way we build software the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

    Take a look around. The government apparently spent $165 million on a web site that doesn't work.

    There's no discipline in software development. It's slapped together to meet an artificial deadline. It's considered done if it compiles. It's shoved out into the marketplace so everyone can stuff their pockets and then all the developers are fired to make way for the new employees who will design the next piece of shit.

    The only measure of how good software is depends on how shiny and "innovative" the user interface is. What the software actually does is utterly irrelevant.

    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:31PM (#45106075) Journal
      Arguably, the sheer lousiness of software is more striking because it (still, despite decades of work and the amount of money riding on some of it) crops up in the face of well heeled customers, whether retail buyers of expensive personal electronics or enterprise/gov buyers who are willing to spend nearly unlimited amounts on their pet contractors...

      With buildings, there is plenty of construction that's roughly on the standards of software (Just do an image search for 'Shantytown' if you doubt me...); but structural quality is mostly stratified economically. If you want a building that works, and you have the cash, you can have one. With software, the cities of the world would be a nearly random assortment of mostly shacks, some incrementally nicer than others, with a scattering of structures that were built in 3,000 BC and are in perfect condition, buildings that are constructed from graphene and carbon nanotubes; but have doors made of soggy cardboard stuck to the frame with chewing gum, and other such oddities.

      That's the odd thing. Plenty of kinds of engineering are hard and expensive, and sometimes subject to unexpected cost overruns and such; but we've gotten it to the point where if you live in a country with a functional society and fire codes and things, you can buy good buildings, aircraft that don't crash, and other nice things.

      With software... your mileage may vary.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        but we've gotten it to the point where if you live in a country with a functional society and fire codes and things, you can buy good buildings, aircraft that don't crash, and other nice things.

        That's just silly. Everybody knows that safe buildings, aircraft and "other nice things" are all a product of magic free market fairy dust. Because the economic elite only want what's best for us.

        But not for Bhopal. Or Love Canal. Or the Gulf of Mexico. Or West, Texas. Or Fukushima. No free market fairy dust fo

        • Well, that is the flip side of the fact that safe buildings are a kind of engineering that money can buy (fairly reliably), along with the fact that copying buildings is more expensive than copying bits.

          The bugginess of the software you use says very little about your perceived value. If you can afford something Turing complete, you probably enjoy the same crap as the rest of the world (except if you live in South Korea, in which case your odds of using a weirdo encryption algorithm that only works with
      • Most software isn't life or death. With most software, "good enough" is good enough.

        Life is full of tradeoffs.

    • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:32PM (#45106081)

      There is a great deal of evidence to indicate we are no longer capable of advancing software.

      It has been remarked that if we built buildings the same way we build software the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

      Take a look around. The government apparently spent $165 million on a web site that doesn't work.

      There's no discipline in software development. It's slapped together to meet an artificial deadline. It's considered done if it compiles. It's shoved out into the marketplace so everyone can stuff their pockets and then all the developers are fired to make way for the new employees who will design the next piece of shit.

      The only measure of how good software is depends on how shiny and "innovative" the user interface is. What the software actually does is utterly irrelevant.

      Writing good software is an engineering task. As is building bridges, skyscrapers etc...
      Unfortunately CS courses are not about teaching software engineering. They're all about teaching the latest fad in computer language and off you go into the marketplace. And lets not even mention of the sunday-day programmers that barely can put 4 lines of code in javascript right.
      Put penal/civil responsabilites on those that code, and see how the whole industry changes for the better. Until that time you'll have shitty and not so shitty coders that write shitty code (hint just because it compiles doesn't mean it works correctly) because we ship code as is. It brings down your server room ? Not our fault. Just look at what software companies write in their EULAs. No other industry could do such a thing. We're not responsabile for anything. My ass you're not.

      • also an apprenticeship system where you learn from pros in the field with real work. Not some professor reading from a book and / or loads of theory.

        • by knarf (34928)

          Well, yes, and no... learning from experienced people is fine but care should be taken that the 'apprenticeship' does not turn into 'indentured service' as it does so often - have a look at other fields where this system is used to see what I mean. Often the 'apprentice' is just used as cheap labour to do most of the work for only a fraction of the pay while the 'master' takes home the profit. It also opens the doors for protectionist systems comparable to the medieval guilds where your ability to work in a

      • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

        by real-modo (1460457) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @02:41AM (#45107249)

        Unfortunately CS courses are not about teaching software engineering.

        Of course not. CS is a branch of mathematics. Software Engineering courses teach software engineering. Totally different disciplines.

        They're all about teaching the latest fad in computer language and off you go into the marketplace.

        No; as above, computer science is mathematics. Air-quote CS air-quote courses taught in community colleges and the like are misnamed, because "introduction to software construction" doesn't stroke the egos of either the teachers or their students.

        • by pmontra (738736)
          I had mod points yesterday, I'd modded this up as +1 informative.
          Many people forgets that the S in CS is Science and the E in CE is Engineering. Names tell a lot sometimes. There is the same difference between (Physics && Chemistry) and Civil Engineering: if your goal is building bridges you must pick the latter.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Thanks for posting... saved me the trouble of posting nearly the same thing. Nearly. Quoting GP:

          Writing good software is an engineering task.

          I have, and still take issue at this assessment, and believe that the term Software Engineering is just marketing-speak. Programming is programming is programming. There is nothing engineered as engineering requires something tangible, like raw or refined materials, to be engineered into something. If "Software Engineering" is a valid notion, then authors and journalists and poets are Sentence Engineers, some phi

          • Software people normally educated in engineering, and the systems they build fail. Does that mean that engineering a software system isn't engineering, or that non-engineers failed to engineer it properly?

            Novels, movies, hairstyles, etc are not systems subject to unyielding laws which must be accounted for, or the project fails. Physical systems, such as buildings, and software systems such as databases ARE subject to unbreakable laws which will cause or prevent failure.

            Engineering is about applying a set

      • by steelfood (895457)

        The line I like to trot out is that we as a civilization have been building structures for well over twenty-five thousand years, ever since we developed agriculture. We've been working with software for less than 200 years, and the maths behind programming for around 200 years more. The first 200 years of building houses by humans probably would have amounted no more than lean-to's and shacks. Our C and Fortran would be as basic as mallets, dowels, and ramps (assembly would be a rock). Java would be a hamme

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gweihir (88907) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:46PM (#45106163)

      There are people that can write solid, dependable, secure software and advance the state-of-the-art in this area. There are also people that can learn to do this with the right education. Both groups are small and highly intelligent. Most of them chose to go into careers where they actually have a career path, managers that do not tell them how to do their jobs and a salary in line with their talents.

      On the other side, most people writing software today are incompetent, or at best, half-competent. I have seen teams needing several months to write software that I can create in a week with significantly better quality. I have reviewed business-critical software for large organizations, where the programmers did not even understand the very basics. http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2010/02/the-nonprogramming-programmer.html [codinghorror.com] does _not_ overstate the problem.

      So we are very much capable of advancing software, but advancing software has been a game for competent experts for a while. Just look at what people are advancing other engineering disciplines, or mathematics or physics. More and more people of that quality are needed for software as well. But the culture is not there. Software is regarded as a solved problem, which is anything but true. But it drives down wages, cause bad working and career conditions and turns away many of the few people that have the required talent. Stupid.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      There's no discipline in software development. It's slapped together to meet an artificial deadline. It's considered done if it compiles. It's shoved out into the marketplace so everyone can stuff their pockets and then all the developers are fired to make way for the new employees who will design the next piece of shit.

      The only measure of how good software is depends on how shiny and "innovative" the user interface is. What the software actually does is utterly irrelevant.

      All deadlines are, by definition, artificial. Aside from that, your comments are disturbingly descriptive of the status quo in software development in many organizations.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      There is a great deal of evidence to indicate we are no longer capable of advancing software. It has been remarked that if we built buildings the same way we build software the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

      That seems a bit contradictory. If the state of the art sucks (i.e., is primitive) there is certainly room for advancement.

      The only measure of how good software is depends on how shiny and "innovative" the user interface is. What the software actually does is utterly irrelevan

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      There is a great deal of evidence to indicate we are no longer capable of advancing software.

      In what way do you want software to advance? Self check and heal it's own bugs? Software does stuff with hardware. Different scenarios call for different design cases. Send a man to the moon and you want your software to error check itself at every turn to make sure some external influence or hardware fault can't affect what it's trying to do. Play a fart on a handheld toy and you want to do it efficiently without draining the battery.

      This has been the case since we have first used software. There's not bee

    • The government apparently spent $165 million on a web site that doesn't work.

      I thought the budget was initially $165 million and then they overspent by $500m?

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314) on Monday October 14, 2013 @06:50AM (#45119807)

      It's got nothing to do with software engineers, it's the classic project management triangle:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management_triangle [wikipedia.org]

      We know full well how to write good solid software, developers can do that just fine, it's a well researched area that's pretty well understood.

      The problem is that no one is willing to pay for or wait for that software.

      You can't blame software engineering for the priorities society and project managers have decided to prioritise. It's not the fault of software engineering if users want a new shiny every year rather than a perfectly secure and stable shiny every 5 years.

      Some buildings are built quickly and cheaply from kids wendy houses and tree houses, to a tramps cardboard box or buildings in a shanty town. None of which last particularly well in the face of a bomb or natural disaster because none of which are engineered to.

      It's just the way project management works, the issue you take isn't a problem with software engineering and everything to do with the project managers and the priorities forced upon them by society and business needs.

      I'm not even sure it can actually be classed as a problem though anyway, if society has pushed things this way then it just means you're in a minority that has been outvoted by society at large in wanting something stable and secure rather than something new and shiny ASAP. It just means most people have different priorities to you and so the market has bent that way, that's all. Effectively it's just working as intended, unless you're suggesting software engineers should be responsible for somehow warping reality and laying waste to the project management triangle, something no other profession has ever managed to do, and in that case you're just being unrealistic.

  • by bob_super (3391281) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:24PM (#45106043)
    ... They're just looking at it wrong.
    They didn't make a shiny golden backplate for you to waste your time looking at the screen, people!
  • by djupedal (584558) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:35PM (#45106093)
    . . .these turn out to be forced/silent restarts by Apple on the backend, due to a laundry list of reasons best left to others - don't ask how I know.
  • Uh oh, looks likes Job's Reality Distortion Field is collapsing.
    If this keeps up, Macs may start turning into fruit or something. :p
  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:49PM (#45106175) Homepage Journal

    It's Apple's new "iBoot" feature, which automatically restarts the phone when it detects an NSA probe, acting as if you noticed the spies and shut off your phone as a result. The more frequent your reboots, the more interested the goobernmint is in you. :P

  • Siri, WTF just happened? Siri?!

    ::OK:: ... The NSA now has root.

  • 64 bit CPU issues (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The crashes appear to only (mainly?) affect the new 64 bit CPUs. It would appear that some parts of the API/apps use code hardcoded to 32 bit applications. If this is really the case, then it should be a matter of time before bugfixes are released. It's not ok for a phone of that pricetag, but it isn't a complete disaster either.

    I have seen people blame objective C as the culprit as some other programming languages have abstraction levels high enough to make the code immune to bugs due to CPU type. The thin

    • Workarounds: Always make sure you back out of documents before tapping that Home button.

      Disable iCloud sync for the iWork apps by going to Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data, and sliding Pages, Keynote, and Numbers to off.

      Try to use apps that have been updated to take advantage of iOS 7. Apple has not updated Pages, Keynote, or Numbers. You can tell. Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/iphone-5s-problems/#ixzz2hbat50sJ [digitaltrends.com]

  • Apple is the new Microsoft.
    Just with a shinier surface.

  • And thats a damn phone OS. I'm quite scared of how Mavericks will turn out. Or the OS X team is still competent as they used to be?

  • Apple has caught up with Microsoft.
  • App crashes used to be fairly frequent on the iPhone, while system crashes were much less frequent, but happened now and then. In recent years, system crashes have pretty much vanished, while app crashes have gotten a lot less common. I don't think I've seen a single system crash with iOS 7 on my 4s, which is unusual for a major OS revision. My new 5s does appear to crash a bit more. I see an app unexpectedly quit every day or two, and I've had 2 or 3 system crashes--more like the frequency of crashes I rem

  • not only 5s or os 7? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LodCrappo (705968) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @12:44AM (#45106965) Homepage

    Here is video of an older iPhone and os making exact same blue screen/restart.
    Seems to take different actions to trigger, but not sure this is a new bug.
    From the comments sounds like it wasn't too uncommon either..

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KjyQLlEHomQ [youtube.com]

  • For every one iphone there are approximately 4.5 android phones and there's a darn good reason for that. The overly-fragile, drug-trip colored UI-having, overpriced hardware created by suicidal semi-slaves at Foxconn isn't a good product. It just isn't! This isn't 1999. This is Apple 2013, get use to it. On the same note, sell any and all Apple stock you may have.
  • We really run Windows 95 under the hood. You guys finally caught us.
    -Apple

  • Really? Is that magical color-changing pony-friend metal they've made the case out of, or is it just the screen presenting a solid blue image?

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