The Cone of Silence: Apple iPhone Glitch Causes Audio Lockdown for Thousands of Toyotas

By JDavis | 2/10/11 7:33 AM

Toyota, one of the world’s top auto makers, issued an alert to 200 dealers that a software glitch in the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPod Nano 6G can affect the audio in many of their cars. Upon discovery of this technical issue, Toyota warns that Apple’s operating systems are incompatible with the car’s audio. When used, the iPod displays a “Loading” message, and the USB input for the device is completely unusable, leaving the consumer in unexpected silence.

This software glitch with iPhone and iPad devices, which occurred when the iOS4.1 iTunes software update was released last fall, has already impacted tens of thousands of Toyota’s best-selling models that include the Yaris, Corolla, Prius, and LandCruiser.

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Software Glitch in Respirator Device Kills Minnesota Woman

By JDavis | 6/14/10 8:43 AM

According to a recent article in The Pierce County Herald, the sudden failure of an onboard oxygen system resulted in a Minnesota woman's death aboard an ambulance on April 22.

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Cars With (Many) Minds of Their Own?

By JDavis | 2/15/10 9:55 AM

As Toyota recalls millions of Prius vehicles due to a dangerous problem of sudden, unintended acceleration, some researchers believe the problem could be the result of a software bug, not solely a hardware malfunction.

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Buggy Breathalyzer Bounces Boozers

By JDavis | 5/31/09 7:01 PM

DUI defendants are asking courts to mandate source code reviews on the software that runs breathalyzer devices to determine if bugs or malware is present. While it’s easy to see how this tactic would be employed in attempts to get charges reduced or dropped, the more serious issue could be the device failing to detect when a person is under the influence, thus sending them back on the road. Two independent reviews weigh in, according to an Ars Technica article.

The reviews differ in scope and offer different conclusions, but they both agree that the code falls below industry-standard best practices and that it contains bugs. The [Base One] report identifies 24 major defects and points to a wide range of troubling issues. The analysts discovered that the embedded software disables safeguard features built into the device's processor that are intended to detect and prevent the execution of invalid or corrupt instructions. The researchers contend that this circumvention can lead to unpredictable results in the event of fatal errors.

In his blog, security expert Bruce Schneier further notes:

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