Today’s topics include a text message that can crash Apple devices, a new app for the Windows 10 operating system, the official introduction of Google’s Project Brillo Internet of things operating system and new rules from the FCC that should virtually eliminate all automatically dialed phone calls.
A simple text message that can crash Apple devices has been sent as a prank by more than a quarter of a million people in the past 24 hours. The Short Message Service (SMS) text combines two English words “effective. Power” and a string of mostly Arabic script.
Because of a vulnerability in the way the iOS operating system handles the encoded characters in notifications, the string crashes Apple iPhones that display the message. More than 1 million of the SMS texts have been sent in the past 24 hours, according to mobile-security firm AdaptiveMobile.
Microsoft’s ever-expanding embrace of competitors’ mobile operating system platforms continues with a new app for the company’s upcoming Windows 10 operating system. Included with the company’s new flagship OS when it launches this summer is the Phone Companion app, which helps extend select Windows 10 functionality to iPhones, Android and Windows smartphones.
When the app is launched on a Windows 10 PC, it prompts users to select the type of phone they own. After the setup process is complete, users’ files and content will be shared across their Windows PC and smartphones with the help of other mobile apps from Microsoft.
Google kicked off its Google I/O developers’ conference May 28 with the introduction of Project Brillo, which company officials described as a Internet of things operating system that connects appliances and electronic equipment in homes or business to a network. Brillo will enable people to control these appliances with Android smartphones or tablets.
Brillo is a stripped-down version of Google Android mobile operating system that can centrally control just about anything that can be connected to a network, including thermostats, door locks, yard sprinklers, refrigerators, washing machines, water heaters and security systems. Brillo also includes a common communications language called Weave that will enable Android mobile devices to locate and control networked appliances.
In a background briefing on May 27, Federal Communications Commission officials announced a new effort proposed by Chairman Tom Wheeler to virtually eliminate all automatically dialed calls as well as nearly all unsolicited calls to wireless and wireline phones in the United States. The new rules would give phone owners new power to stop unwanted calls by any reasonable means, starting with a verbal request. The old loopholes, including the existence of an established business relationship, are gone.