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How to thwart the ‘Black Dot of Death’ Messages App bug

By Staff | May 24, 2018

There’s a new bug going around that can paralyze the iPhone’s Messages App if it receives a message with a particular character – and not even a reboot will fix it.

The bug is called the “Black Dot of Death,” but it’s not actually the black dot Emoji that does the damage. Instead, a thousands-character-long string of invisible Unicode text, which accompanies the dot, does the damage.

The text is too much for the Messages App to handle, rendering it unusable, crashing every time the user tries to launch it. The bug affects iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.4.

As soon as the recipient opens the message, Messages freezes, and rebooting your phone won’t fix it. The only fix is to use 3D Touch on the Messages icon on the iPhone’s home screen. Push hard and you’ll see the Quick Actions menu; tap “New Message,” and that should do the trick.

If you have an iPhone without 3D Touch, however, you’ll be out of luck (sorry, iPhone SE owners).

Get this, folks. Apple is adding a security feature to iOS that totally disables data being sent over USB if the device isn’t unlocked for a period of seven days. This is designed specifically to frustrate law enforcement.

That means the plug-in port at the bottom of your iPhone becomes useless after seven days of non-use (but your private photos are safe from the FBI).

When I go out to eat at a restaurant, I bring along my iPhone, and when I’m waiting for someone to come over and take my order, I’ll read the news or play a game of solitaire. But most restaurants have either slow or no Wi-Fi, or the waiter is too busy polishing water glasses. The other day, I was blown away at the new health food restaurant in the Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center called Moku Roots. The Internet speed was blazing – even faster than at my home. Food was good, too.

How do you know which apps are safe to download? The App Store is the safest, but if you want to download a third-party app from a site on the Internet, open up Google and check out the reviews of what other people think about it.

So, for instance, you want to download a video app called Luganville Chainsaw Massacre. Open up Google and type it in the address space (“Luganville Chainsaw Massacre review”). Check out what other people say and then make your decision to download it. Only go to the original site – not a site that has http://www.Chainsaw Massacre/Pakistan.

People ask me all the time how to send a picture within their e-mail. The hard way is to open up Mail on your Mac computer, choose the paper clip icon on the top line, then browse to find your particular photo. There is an easier way. Open up Photos, choose the photo you want to send, right-click on it and choose Share, E-mail and type in the e-mail address.

I use Notes every day; you can open up a new note and drag photos, videos, documents, text, PDF files and audio on to it. First open up Notes and then click a box icon on the top that has a box with pen in it. That opens up a new note. Click on the Finder icon on the bottom left. You now have two screens side by side. In the Finder, scroll down and open up Photos; choose a photo by clicking it and drag it over to your notes. You can also drag a video clip or an audio clip into the same note.

Send your computer-related questions to mauimist8669@yahoo.com.