iPhone 3GS constantly crashing/closing apps while running iOS 5

20111126-095031.jpg

Symptom:
iPhone 3GS blanks out and crashes open Application every few minutes (30 second to 2 minute intervals). Apps are still “open” in the Fast-Switch dock, but have been minimized by the crash. The crashes occur regardless of the App that is open, and prevails when Settings App is open.

Symptoms will not subside despite soft-reboots and hard-reboots.

Diagnosis:
This specific problem will occur if you have an iPhone 3GS running iOS 5 with an iCloud account linked and operational on the device.

Cause: iCloud. Specific cause undetermined; likely to be an unresolvable sync error.

Solution:

Connect your iPhone to your computer and back it up.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > iCloud > Delete Account.

Click “Delete” to confirm the removal of iCloud data from the iPhone.

When complete, add your iCloud account back by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any direct or indirect data loss as a result of using this solution. Remember to back-up first.

Not Working: vBulletin “What’s New?” Search

So, putting together a new website I ran in to an obscure problem. vBulletin’s “What’s new?” button wasn’t working.

The cPanel was coming back with a similar error to this:

[notice] EACCELERATOR(#####): PHP crashed on opline 62 of method_exists() at /public_html/vb/search/criteria.php:844, referer: http://website.com/

You shouldn’t need to disable eAccelerator. Simply try this:

1. Open & Edit forum/vb/search/criteria.php
2. Search method_exist
3. Replace line:

if (method_exists($this->search_type, ‘get_display_name’))

with

if (is_object($this->search_type) && is_callable($this->search_type->get_display_name()))

4. Save & Enjoy!

Are your passwords compromised?

You may have heard about the numerous hacks in to Sony that resulted in customer credit card details being exposed, or indeed any one of the dozen or so high-profile hacks that have occurred in the last few months.

And, with LulSecutity’s final “booty” release, almost 1,000,000 users have been affected.

Was your email address listed in any of these databases? Did you even know they happened?

While the latest release may yet to be added, recently, a website called “Should I Change My Password?” was launched. It is a web-based tool that will check your email address against at least 13 different databases containing over 800,000 email address/password combinations that have been ripped from beneath the clutches of multi-million dollar corporations – and governments.

Recent news involves Greyhats like LulzSec who “do it for the lulz” – embarrassing the corporations in which we place our trust to house our credit card and personal information.

A recent LulzSec hack included “Pron.com” who after publishing the passwords of these accounts, advocating attempting to use the passwords on Facebook, contact the users’ family members and informing them how they gained access to the account.

IKR – Hilarious!! 😀

Regardless of whether you find your e-mail address listed, there is some solid advice to follow:

  • Change your critical passwords regularly – ie: financial institutions
  • Don’t reuse the same password, and
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple sites
  • There are numerous password managers that you may opt to use, I personally use 1Password. I have the application generate random passwords for me, made-up of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and in some instances special characters. Sure it’s a pain to remember, but I know if I can remember them, it’s time to change – you may opt to change them every 3-4 weeks.If that seeems all too much to handle you could make 4 or 5 passwords, each password for a different type of “security level”, and as you change them either “rotate down” or make a new set all together.

    However, random strings and new passwords all together are always going to be more secure.

    When assigning Passwords to Social networks, don’t underestimate what can be achieved by accessing your accounts. I have seen a few occurrences of Blackhats logging in to Facebook accounts to request information or money from people on their friends list.

    And finally, now is probably a good idea to remind you to make sure your wireless network is secure.

    DGN2000 Firmware Update Failure (Power LED flashes Red and Green)

    What a fun night. Having tried updating my routers’ firmware and the update fail, I called NETGEAR who were less than helpful with their “We can’t do anything because it’s not under warranty” response.

    Hopefully this may help someone else.

    Scenario:

    After Upgrading the firmware via wireless the routers’ power light constantly flashes red and green.

    Solution:

    1. Download the initial release firmware for your region: http://kbserver.netgear.com/release_notes/d103335.asp
    2. Connect your router via Ethernet.
    3. Restart your router.
    4. Go to: http://www.routerlogin.com/basicsetting.htm (this is your router and is a local connection)
    5. Upload the firmware, and
    6. Follow On-screen instructions.

    Your old settings should still remain.
    You can now update to the latest firmware.

    Using iMacros in Skeptical Activism

    I wanted to grab particular details from the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society’s practitioner search results, and subsequently use the those details (website URLs) in a Custom Google Search.

    This particular web-based database allowed me to list all their practitioners without entering a refining search term or location. To scrape the information I used a Firefox Add-on called “iMacros” from Opus using “Relative Positioning”.  The Help Section is a bit messed up, but if you find your way to their Wiki, you’ll be fine.

    You can get iMacro from Opus at: iMacros for Firefox 7.2.2.0 by iOpus

    Automate Firefox. Record and replay repetitious work. If you love the Firefox web browser, but are tired of repetitive tasks like visiting the same sites every days, filling out forms, and remembering passwords, then iMacros for Firefox is the solution you’ve been dreaming of! ***Whatever you do with Firefox, iMacros can automate it.***

    The Hard Working Script

    The first line of code (after “settings”)

    TAG POS=1 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website

    The script searches for the text “Website” (with a particular set of text attributes).

    Each instance this occurs on a webpage is assigned a different position number.
    The first instance is given the “TAG” of position 1 (POS=1). (REMEMBER THIS)

    The set of attributes defined included a NOWRAP, an ALIGN to the right and the CLASS of text as “searchResultsLabels”
    How attribute definitions work may become clearer in the next line of code.

    The second line

    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT

    The script then seeks out and extracts the data located the First Relative Position (POS=R1) to the TAG. (Being POS=1)

    The Relative Positions are searched for and assigned by the script based on the following information:

    The TYPE defines the type of entity I wanted to the script look for, in this case an <a> TAG.
    The ATTR defined that the tag should have (*) Anything as the HREF, and (*) Anything as the TXT

    Basically, the script looks for the first link after POS=1 (which was defined as “Website”).

    The final part “EXTRACT=TXT” scrapes the TXT portion of the link (I used this because it was exactly the same as the HREF) and stores it in memory.

    Third Line

    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch

    The SAVEAS command takes what is in the memory (EXTRACT) and writes an output file.

    This particular line means that each time a link was found it would write it to the output file.
    The output file would be ADDED to, NOT replaced.

    The example above is the WINDOWS version of the SAVEAS command.

    FOLDER defines the Folder Location. Currently, it saves it to the Desktop of the user named “SkepticTools”.
    Spaces must be defined using tags.

    FILE defines the FILENAME, Using a (*) wildcard uses the default output file “results”. (filetype not defined)
    In this instance, “ATMSsearch” is the filename (without the extension .txt included)

    The MAC Version would use: FOLDER=/Users/SkepticTools

    Making it Loop

    The previous lines only perform the search and write function ONCE, but I needed the script to look for “Website” up to ten times on each page.

    Rather than play it as a loop, I opted to have the script seek out 10 instances of “Website” and extract what it could.

    On the first page, there were only 3 instances of website, but I as an example I have the script run 4 searches.

    To do this, I had to copy and paste lines 1-3 modify line 1 slightly in each instance.
    You will notice the Position is increased each time.
    You may remember earlier I explained that EACH INSTANCE is given a different position number.

    So, the script looks for: instance 1, instance 2, instance 3, instance 4, etc.

    TAG POS=1 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=2 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=3 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=4 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch

    This I hope makes the relative positioning clearer. the Relative Position is in RELATION to the position defined immediate preceding it.

    Going to the Next Page

    After you have the script running the 10, 20, 25, 50 times you may want it to run on each page, you still need to go to the NEXT page. For my macro, I used:

    TAG POS=1 TYPE=IMG ATTR=BORDER:0&&SRC:/images/record_next.gif&&TXT:

    The script searches for and TAGs the first instance of “/images/record_next.gif”.
    Because in my example the image was also a link, the script will automatically and follow the link.

    This should be the end of your script (for one page).
    To make it loop, run the script in LOOP Mode.

    Settings

    My settings were as follows:

    VERSION BUILD=7220523 RECORDER=FX
    
    TAB T=1

    The above is the standard information for the macro.

    SET !ERRORIGNORE YES
    
    SET !TIMEOUT_TAG 1
    
    SET !TIMEOUT_STEP 1

    The above are settings to ignore errors and reduce the time-outs to 1 second (default is 5),

    SET !EXTRACT_TEST_POPUP NO

    is used to turn off the popups that occur during testing.
    I highly recommend removing this line until you are happy that the script works correctly.

    TAG POS=1 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=2 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=3 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=4 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=C:DocumentsandSettingsSkepticToolsDesktop FILE=ATMSsearch
    
    TAG POS=1 TYPE=IMG ATTR=BORDER:0&&SRC:/images/record_next.gif&&TXT:

    The iMacros Code for MAC

    VERSION BUILD=7220523 RECORDER=FX
    
    TAB T=1
    
    SET !ERRORIGNORE YES
    
    SET !TIMEOUT_TAG 1
    
    SET !EXTRACT_TEST_POPUP NO
    
    TAG POS=1 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=2 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=3 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=4 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=5 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=6 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=7 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=8 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=9 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=10 TYPE=TD ATTR=NOWRAP:&&ALIGN:right&&CLASS:searchResultsLabels&&TXT:Website
    
    TAG POS=R1 TYPE=A ATTR=HREF:*&&TXT:* EXTRACT=TXT
    
    SAVEAS TYPE=EXTRACT FOLDER=/Users/bayani FILE=*
    
    TAG POS=1 TYPE=IMG ATTR=BORDER:0&&SRC:/images/record_next.gif&&TXT:

    If you’ve got any problems, I may be able to assist. 🙂

    Gravity Probe B scores an end-of-year ‘F’, but scores an ‘A’ in the exam!

    Back in May 2008 a New Scientist article outlined a NASA Review that almost meant the end for Gravity Probe B, a project conceived in the 1960s to measure how the Earth warps the fabric of nearby space-time, and if it did indeed do so.

    Imagine space-time as a large piece of fabric. If you imagine a ball placed on that fabric, this can be thought of as the geodetic effect – the fabric bending around the ball.

    Now, consider the ball as being slightly-sticky. If you spin that ball, the fabric will be “dragged” along with the ball, this twisting of the space-time can be considered “Frame-Dragging“.

    Einstein theorized that because our Sun warps the space-time surrounding it, the objects around it travel in a curved line (a circle). It is this theory that explains why Earth orbits the Sun. This distortion was first measured in 1919 by Sir Arthur Eddington (and his collaborators) during a total solar eclipse as they noted the position of stars passing near the Sun, but no one has ever measured this effect for the Earth.

    Enter Gravity Probe B.

    GP-B had two goals:

    1. Demonstrate that Earth has the hypothesized geodetic effect: The warping of Space & Time around a gravitational body; and
    2. Demonstrate the amount of Frame-Dragging caused by the Earth: The amount a spinning object pulls space and time with it as it rotates

    Gravity probe B’s total cost was around US$750 million and was another project that almost never was because of dwindling funding for scientific investigation. Back in 2008, 15 experts commissioned by NASA doubted further analysis of the GP-B results would produce any significant new information, and as such they recommended that Gravity Probe B receive no additional funding after September 2008.

    Despite this, GP-B secured alternative funding from King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology. Thanks to that funding, the Stanford-based analysis group and NASA announced on May 4, 2011 that the data from GP-B confirmed the two predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

    NASA’s Gravity Probe B (GP-B) mission has confirmed two key predictions derived from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which the spacecraft was designed to test. The experiment, launched in 2004, used four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure the hypothesized geodetic effect, the warping of space and time around a gravitational body, and frame-dragging, the amount a spinning object pulls space and time with it as it rotates. GP-B determined both effects with unprecedented precision by pointing at a single star, IM Pegasi, while in a polar orbit around Earth.
    NASA’s GP-B Mission Page

    It may not seem like much up front, but this concludes one of the longest-running projects operated by NASA, and as a result of decades of research has led to many technological marvels.

    GP-B awesome array of groundbreaking technologies were applied to NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer mission, which accurately determined the universe’s background radiation – The measurement that is the underpinning of the big-bang theory, and led to the Nobel Prize for NASA physicist John Mather.

    Additionally, Gravity Probe B has led to advancements in Control Technologies:

    • Aerodynamic Drag
    • Magnetic Fields
    • Thermal Variations
    • and GPS Technologies allowing planes to land unaided.