updated 08:00 pm EST, Fri November 7, 2008
Iphone video bug posted
Piergiorgio Zambrini, or "Zibri" as he is known on the web, has posted a video on his blog that apparently causes the iPhone to crash. Zambrini -- known for his iPhone jailbreaking software -- tells MacNN he discussed the problem with Apple, and offered help fix it for a fee. The company turned him down. Zambrini says he decided to publish the video so "Apple will be free to work on a fix." The news comes as his claim to have been the one who discovered the bug is being disputed.
Zambrini first publicly announced the issue in an interview with Forbes.com. The report said Zambrini had "outsmarted Steve Jobs," by figuring out a way to crash the iPhone. That didn't sit well with UK software engineer Si Brindley, who tellsMacNN he actually discovered the problem back in February, and told Zambrini about it in an IRC conversation back then. Brindley claims that Zambrini essentially stole his discovery, and decided to publicize it now to generate traffic for his blogs. Zambrini's decision to post the suspect video came during an e-mail discussion with MacNN.
Zambrini says he doesn't recall exactly where he first learned of the video but does not remember Brindley telling him about it, although he admits it might have been possible. Zambrini says the podcast video was probably noticed by a number of users at the time and he questions why Brindley didn't write about the bug himself back in February. Zambrini says the important thing is that the problem is serious and can affect applications on PCs and Macs as well as the iPhone.
Brindley agrees that the bug needs to be investigated. He says reports that the bug had been fixed in the latest iPhone firmware version are false, and that the video can still crash iPhones and other software. Brindley says didn't speak out about the problem because engineers he consulted with asserted there was no apparent security risk, so he considered it merely a curiosity. Brindley did, however, add a brief post to the Open Source GSM Blog in February detailing the problem.
While it not may seem like much to the average person, in the world of electronics vulnerabilities, the discovery of a major software bug is a big deal, and Brindley says he wants to set the record straight. Brindley claims it was he, not Zambrini who downloaded and edited the version to various lengths, shortening it to the point where a crash no longer occurred. Brindley also points out that the original video, Toy Museum is still available as a podcast download from Four Docs.