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Google fixes world's most stupid bug

Android demonstrates inability to conquer world

Application security programs and practises

Google has issued a fix to the G1 handset, to stop it executing commands just because they appear in an entered text message - preventing punters from rebooting the handset just by typing the word "reboot".

The bug can hardly be called a security problem, given it requires access to the handset, but the fact that until the fix was issued today any G1 user typing a text message containing the word "reboot" would see their phone resetting is truly stunning, and it reflects badly on the quality control and testing of the Android platform.

Of course, not many messages contain the word "reboot" - though probably more than contain the word "cancer", which also appears in the T9 dictionary, and at least one G1 user discovered that the proclivities of the handset could drive you to use the word in a text message. It's hard to imagine the circumstances under which one would want to send a message containing "rm -r", but stranger things have happened.

To its credit Google has already got a fix out, though it seems some related issues still exist, but such a stupid flaw should never have made it into a released product - perhaps Google is taking the idea of the perpetual beta a little too far. ®

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