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Android Text Messages Intermittently Going Astray

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the digital-foot-in-mouth dept.

Google 325

theodp writes "Reports from Engadget and others suggest that Tiger Woods and Brett Favre might want to avoid Android for the time being. It seems Android's default text messaging app still has horrible text messaging bugs that can that intermittently send texts to the wrong person. 'This is ticking me off like no other technology glitch that I experienced in recent years,' reads one unhappy camper's post on a lengthy Help Forum thread opened on March 16th. 'If a bank deposited my paycheck into another person's account I wouldn't stress so much cause I can always get the money back. How the hell do you take words back? "Oh sorry boss you had to find out that I think you're an idiot, can I still keep my job, please please please?"' Over at Google Code, Issue 9392 — SMS are intermittently sent to wrong and seemingly random contact — carries a priority of 'Medium,' even though it has 600+ comments and has been starred by 3,600+ people."

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325 comments

It's open source (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732664)

So fix it yourself.

Re:It's open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732686)

I'm wondering if Handcent or other 3rd party apps are affected by this bug also or if its just in the Google app code only.

Re:It's open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732800)

I'm only one anecdote, but I've never had this problem and I send all my SMS messages using the Google Voice app. (I've never used the built in messaging app.)

Re:It's open source (1)

snugge (229110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732856)

well thats what you think... mouhahahaahahah

Re:It's open source (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733472)

I'm wondering if Handcent or other 3rd party apps are affected by this bug also or if its just in the Google app code only.

None of the other FREE (or paid) SMS apps have had this reported.

Further, its very rare, and complicated to reproduce this, unless you frequently have a lot of message threads between many people going on, and respond asynchronously.

"Darth Mo" posted how a specific a sequence of messages [androidcentral.com] can cause this problem, and it seems to involve the Back Button on Android, after reading a message from one contact but then deciding to respond to a different prior message thread.

Re:It's open source (1, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732878)

Who are you talking to, exactly? Is it just theodp, or everybody on Slashdot, or do you want my grandma to roll out her own new Android patch?

Does releasing the source code absolve the vendor of any responsibility to support their product?

Re:It's open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732902)

WHOOOOOOOSH!

The OP joke flew right over your head!

Re:It's open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733156)

It's a new decade. That means WHOOOOSH, LOL and all the other Internet born meme culture is automagically classified as dated, alongside 1990s cyberpunk. Please stick to vanilla (oh wait, I can't say that (I can't "oh wait" either (and I think nested parens are a bit old hat too))) English until the authorities issue slang 2.0.

Re:It's open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733358)

The didnt tell you? They havnt come up with new memes yet, so Woosh, was included in Slang 2.0a

Re:It's open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733438)

Open source gives you more options than a closed source solution. The extra option is you can pay ANYONE to fix it.

Re:It's open source (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733172)

Software should be free.
Texts should be free.
Free, free, free (or almost free).

"When phones are on, they are ALWAYS connected to the cell phone tower. The phones and cell phone towers exchange little packets worth of information back and forth so when ever a call comes it, they can find you straight away. Can anyone guess how big the packets are? If you guess 160 characters, you are right." In other words they are charging for a service that should be free, because the phone and tower are *already sending* Texts to one another. It costs nothing for the company to append that Text to the outgoing packet.

"When you think of it on a kilobyte level it costs us $1.09 per text message Kilobyte. The markup for costs is 7300%." So using an typical 2000 messages/month, that's just 320,000 characters or 0.00032 gigabytes. It shouldn't cost 25 dollars (what VirginMobile charges me). Continued here: http://www.spoiledtechie.com/post/The-Actual-Cost-of-Texting2c-Short-Codes-and-a-731425-Mark-up.aspx [spoiledtechie.com] and here: http://www.google.com/search?q=cost+of+texting [google.com]

To summarize: Phones are "texting" towers constantly as part of the cellular standard.
The appending of a personal message costs nothing extra for the company.
The rates are outrageously high for the minuscule data passed.

Re:It's open source (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733366)

In other words they are charging for a service that should be free, because the phone and tower are *already sending* Texts to one another. It costs nothing for the company to append that Text to the outgoing packet. "When you think of it on a kilobyte level it costs us $1.09 per text message Kilobyte. The markup for costs is 7300%."

Wait...so if the packets back and forth between the tower and cell phone are 'free' because it's a required part of the cell protocol, how is charging $1.09 per text message a 7300% increase? 0 * 73.00 != 1.09.
By that math, aren't you implying that text messages actually cost $0.014931507? (0.014931507 * 73.00 == 1.09)

(Also, since I haven't had to do any math more advanced than balancing my checkbook since highschool over 10 years ago, I won't be the least embarrassed or surprised to find out that my math or formula is wrong.)

Re:It's open source (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733434)

Oh sorry boss you had to find out that I think you're an idiot, can I still keep my job, please please please?

"If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." --Eric Schmidt

Re:It's open source (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733454)

Google responds to these claims with "you're holding it wrong."

Re:It's open source (0)

GrBear (63712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733460)

Mod parent up +1000 please.

The open source movement has been bragging this is one of the top reasons why software should be open source in the first place.

Time to put your money where your mouths are.

SMS (4, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732666)

Hey Larry there's this bitching party down town tonight with strippers and blow!

Re:SMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733108)

Crabs aren't a bug, they're a "feature".

Re:SMS (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733500)

Hey ae1294, see you there.

Sincerely
The Fuzz

Google Voice (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732668)

Does the bug affect the Google Voice client as well or only the native SMS client?

Re:Google Voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732722)

Native messages only. I only use GV for messaging and have never had a problem on my EVO/2.2

Re:Google Voice (2)

moogied (1175879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733076)

No it does not affect the Google voice client. That is all internet based... (except for obviously the end point). Its important to note this is only on certain builds. My G1 has never done this...

nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732694)

just like this one http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=3543 [google.com] google is worse than microsoft.

Re:nothing new here (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732952)

I don't know why you ever thought Google wasn't worse. Microsoft is great at implementing software (i.e. features). I really can't think of a better company at that. Where they usually fail is in the concept stage, esp. regarding security. Google is much better at that (from an architecture/focus standpoint) even though their software has [a lot] more bugs.

Open. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732700)

But... Android is open! How can this be a problem when anyone can fix it?

Open!

Medium is appropriate... (0, Troll)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732706)

[quote]Over at Google Code, Issue 9392 — SMS are intermittently sent to wrong and seemingly random contact — carries a priority of 'Medium,' even though it has 600+ comments and has been starred by 3,600+ people.[/quote]

It is important to many people, but not a performance or security related issue. Yep, medium priority.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (0)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732718)

lol... I failed at html today!

Re:Medium is appropriate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732862)

It's not HTML what you failed at. Making such unnecessary comments like "lol... I failed at .... today" is noise, and we have to try to keep the signal-to-noise ratio good here on Slashdot. It's essential to make the discussions more useful. You made a mistake, if was factual, correct yourself, or let someone else do it for you. No-one cares that you did something wrong but not funny. There's need to boast it.

So you failed at Slashdot (for making the parent comment), and correctly identifying HTML (you can't fail at HTML if you don't try using it). If you do something incredibly silly and really exceptional so that we all laugh, then make an additional comment about it. But make sure that the comment adds something, and that it is at least somewhat correct. Don't make comments that don't contribute to the discussion. Unless you want to derail the discussion by posting troll and inflammatory comments. But that's far from trivial either.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732724)

BB Code? YOU FAIL! What do you think this is, some dorky stupid web forum? THIS IS SLASHDOT. Fucking BB Code? Dude, YOU FAIL!

Re:Medium is appropriate... (5, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732742)

but not a performance or security related issue.

Randomly sending SMS messages to the wrong recipient is a huge performance and security bug. Performance: if the intended recipient does not get the message, the phone is not performing a basic function correctly and the effective messaging performance is zero. Security: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that sending SMS messages to the wrong people could definitely have a negative effect on user privacy, making this a BIG security bug.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733160)

Performance: is in regards to phone performance and responsiveness (raw speed), not user-related effectiveness.
Security: is in regards to phone security, not user-information retention.

You're thinking of functionality and privacy, not the above two terms. And these two categories are larger concerns than performance & security is.

And I'm thinking this entire thread is a waste of time over an utterly pointless statement. Thanks OP.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (1)

crymeph0 (682581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733456)

Performance: is in regards to phone performance and responsiveness (raw speed), not user-related effectiveness.

I call troll, but I can't help feeding you. If a bug made the phone into a brick that did nothing but execute nop instructions at 1 Ghz when idle, and just flashed random lights when a button was pressed, your definition would not classify this a performance bug.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (1)

gladish (982899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732760)

ya, because getting the message to the wrong person really fast is much more important than getting it to the right person. I would also argue that a message being sent to the wrong recipient is a security issue also.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (2)

Motard (1553251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733202)

Meh, information wants to be free. It's not like your personal communications will harm the world. Why aren't you just being open and honest to begin with?

Re:Medium is appropriate... (0)

bdwebb (985489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733306)

Information has no wants or desires. Even the most open and honest person doesn't want everything they say and do broadcast to people who they feel are not privy to that information. If I'm meeting up with friends tonight to get shitfaced drunk I would rather that my grandmother not receive that message randomly. It doesn't honestly bother me that my grandmother knows that I curse or that she knows that I get shitfaced drunk on occasion, but I would rather not have that conversation and I would rather not shock her with how I choose to operate in my own PRIVATE life.

Your idiotic response comes from one of two places: You honestly believe that you would be comfortable with every personal thought or communication you have potentially being able to be exposed to any person you know at random or you are just being a dick because you're arguing an obviously idiotic line of reasoning. The former is absolutely silly to anyone with an ounce of reason in their head...I absolutely wish I could bug your house and follow you everywhere you go and send snippets of your conversations at random to the people you work with to see how correct you feel your former statement was...the latter seems the most likely reason, though, so why not stop masturbaitrolling and do something useful for a change?

Re:Medium is appropriate... (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733478)

Not so idiotic to many here. They'll just argue that their communications are private, and that an elected government's private communications (further classified as secret) should be public.

Security is unnecessary for the elected government of a superpower nation with a nuclear arsenal and complex diplomatic endeavours, but it's absolutely essential for making sure you don't have to have a conversation with your grandmother about your desire to get shitfaced.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732802)

...but not a performance or security related issue.

o.O

You're obviously not qualified to work on any projects where security is an issue.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (3, Insightful)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732990)

It seems you consider sending personal data to the wrong destination "not a security issue." Messages are information. Login details routinely travel over them, like when you're resetting a password or something... now you can't know if it really travelled to the right person. If this were SSL you'd be yelling "man in the middle" attack.

Re:Medium is appropriate... (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733048)

[quote]Over at Google Code, Issue 9392 — SMS are intermittently sent to wrong and seemingly random contact — carries a priority of 'Medium,' even though it has 600+ comments and has been starred by 3,600+ people.[/quote]

It is important to many people, but not a performance or security related issue. Yep, medium priority.

I'd say sending a text to the wrong person is a big security flaw.

Bug or inaccurate tapping? (0)

toppavak (943659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732708)

There appear to be a few failure modes; the one we definitely experience on the Gingerbread-powered Nexus S involves being routed to the wrong thread when you tap it either in the Notifications list or the master thread list in the Messaging application, so if you don't notice, you'll end up firing a message to the wrong person.

Not sure whether to file this under FUD, but the error isn't nearly as sensational as the title or summary seem to indicate. Certainly an issue if it turns out that presses are being fuzzed out to different locations than intended, but very possibly an issue of "fat fingers" on the part of customers. Either way, the Android team should take a look at it and either fix the touch firmware or increase the size individual entries in the notifications screen (make it adjustable?) to prevent miss-taps. The summary definitely makes it seem that the text subsystem is just shooting them to random contacts without the user knowing which is far from what's actually happening.

Definitely bug. One or several remains to be seen. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732850)

No, it is not a fat finger issue. It IS sending messages to the wrong recipient without notification, and even sorting them in a different thread than where it was sent; there are steps to reproduce in the bug report. Your assumptions about the issues are misleading others just as badly as FUD could.

Re:Definitely bug. One or several remains to be se (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733218)

Your assumptions about the issues are misleading others.

That's /. for you.

Re:Definitely bug. One or several remains to be se (2)

frisket (149522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733310)

This also shows up when a message is sent to someone for whom you have two or more cellphone numbers. I saw a message I had sent my son at his foreign cellphone number (by mistake) coming up as a new thread, which I knew was "wrong". I re-sent it to his local cellphone number and it filed correctly. But both threads had the same name title, and did not have anything to distinguish them (a UI error: they should have the class of device appended in parentheses when the recipient has more than one SMS-capable device).

But if the messages are going to entirely different people, I'd suspect a match routine error, and I'd want to check the code and the data for character-set encoding problems. I would hope by now that everything is UTF-8, but if this stuff was coded by people whose sole language is English, all bets are off.

Re:Definitely bug. One or several remains to be se (2)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733504)

there are steps to reproduce in the bug report

False. From the linked bug report:

Interestingly, has never occurred on my other Nexus running the same FRF50 build.

Basically, he says he *can't* reproduce the bug on just any device. Only on one particular device.

Re:Bug or inaccurate tapping? (4, Insightful)

David Jao (2759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732858)

There appear to be a few failure modes; the one we definitely experience on the Gingerbread-powered Nexus S involves being routed to the wrong thread when you tap it either in the Notifications list or the master thread list in the Messaging application, so if you don't notice, you'll end up firing a message to the wrong person.

Not sure whether to file this under FUD, but the error isn't nearly as sensational as the title or summary seem to indicate. Certainly an issue if it turns out that presses are being fuzzed out to different locations than intended, but very possibly an issue of "fat fingers" on the part of customers.

Fat fingers can't explain why messages that the phone logs as having been sent to person A are in fact sent to person B, which some people have reported.

However rarely this bug strikes, it is something that should never happen, and it is definitely a showstopper bug for many many users.

Re:Bug or inaccurate tapping? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733024)

Interesting, I hadn't looked at the bug reports (RTC[omplete]FA, doh!). That certainly looks like a major bug, although the irregularity (one submitter reported owning two Nexus S with the same build but only seeing the bug on one) of it is extremely curious.

Re:Bug or inaccurate tapping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732912)

I own an HTC Desire running Android 2.2, this bug is omnipresent in the messaging system, it is not due to my or anyone else's "fat fingers".

"The summary definitely makes it seem that the text subsystem is just shooting them to random contacts without the user knowing which is far from what's actually happening."

Actually, this is EXACTLY what happens WHEN THE BUG OCCURS, which is relatively often.

Re:Bug or inaccurate tapping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732954)

Liar. SMS are randomly going to the wrong recipient on android and showing up otherwise.

Re:Bug or inaccurate tapping? (1)

Rick Bentley (988595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733252)

For sure not fat fingers! The first time it happened to me on my EVO I thought I had messed up. Since then I *TRIPLE CHECK* the recipient of every SMS I send. Just today it happened again, sent to one person, they didn't respond after a while so I looked at the thread and my message wasn't there. It was at the end of a thread with a different recipient.

I also notice that when the screen is first coming on, if I select a contact from the call log or a thread from the SMS log that sometimes I get a seemingly random one instead (not one just above or below the one I touched, but one not even on the screen).

Scary.

hey what is it with Hungary these days (5, Funny)

Mister Pedant (1722084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732720)

!

sent from my android

Re:hey what is it with Hungary these days (-1, Redundant)

ZuchinniOne (1617763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732868)

Subtle and masterful. I salute you!

Google support (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732734)

Eventually, Google may have to realize that some of their products actually require customer support.

Re:Google support (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733056)

Eventually, Google may have to realize that some of their products actually require customer support.

This topic comes up a much after Google released the Nexus. Ad agencies have no customer support.
  "Products" never receive any tech support... their owners do. Let me further remind us all that we aren't the real "customer;" that's actually the telcos, and we can't hear them asking for any help on our behalf so far.

Re:Google support (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733138)

The Nexus One was sold direct to consumers early on via Google's website. Yes, IIRC, they did state that HTC is responsible, but somebody is ultimately responsible for responding. Too many of the problems were with Android for Google to be able to sidestep responsibility.

That being said, I have a Nexus One and in general it's a great phone. It's just a couple of minor problems in terms of my use.

Re:Google support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733088)

I wish I had mod points right now. I know of a few people who want, but aren't, buying Androids over this. I'm not taking a polls of friends either. It's just people mentioning it. I've left a domain that I registered through google just to see what it'd be like. Horrible horrible google.

Re:Google support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733124)

So you call google, and the person on the line should tell you to: _______________

Fill in the blank.

Maybe they should have customer support, but I'm not sure how they would help in this case any more than the bug tracker already has. The real solution is to fix the bug, not to have a callcenter.

Re:Google support (4, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733264)

Google don't provide the technical support, the handset vendors and operators do. And they're in an industry which typically doesn't provide much in the way of significant software updates once their product is released, preferring to dedicate developer time to working on the Next Big Thing.

OTOH, Google are quite used to being able to ship beta products and fix them with later updates.

Put it this way, I've got an Android handset. It's great as far as it goes, but I keep finding irritating bugs which simply shouldn't exist in anything that's production quality. Things like "Address book shows numbers if I scroll through entries and choose the relevant one, but not if I search".

I need to go back to my operator, but I'm fairly sure they'll reload it with the latest version of the firmware then wash their hands of the matter - if it turns out I've got it set up in such a fashion as to make the bugs come about, I have no doubt that'll be my problem. Bugger the exorbitant cost, my next phone will be an iPhone 4. I'm sure it'll have foibles of its own, but they're unlikely to be in the basic usage.

Re:Google support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733412)

Don't be silly. Android is open source. As everyone tells me, it is just a matter of me looking at the source code and fixing it myself!

Aren't there a bunch of alternatives? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732736)

There's got to be more than one SMS app on Android, surely?

-jcr

At least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732750)

Google's ads will always be on target.

Use TextSecure Anyway... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732752)

Android users should consider upgrading to Moxie Marlinspike's TextSecure anyway. Not only does it support storing text messages in an encrypted database as well as over-the-wire encryption with other TextSecure users, but it sends the messages to the right person every time!

Android is open source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732772)

It's open source! Quit bitching and fix it yourself!

Writing it down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732780)

If you don't want people knowing what you think, don't write it down. And then send it over a plain-text medium. This bug sucks, but if you call your boss a moron via a text message, you deserve to reap the consequences.

Yet I have never seen it... (0, Flamebait)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732784)

And I have sent tens of thousands of texts using it.
It's a big issue because APPLEGADGET is saying it is.

Re:Yet I have never seen it... (1)

joshki (152061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732872)

Neither have I.

Re:Yet I have never seen it... (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732888)

Yeah that's it, it's a conspiracy. Excellent mind you have there.

Re:Yet I have never seen it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732930)

Normally a single example wouldn't be considered a representative sample, but because it's mark19960, the bug must not be real!

Have you considered that the bug affects not a certain percentage of messages sent, but a certain percentage of users? In which case it won't affect you no matter the volume of message you've sent?

Re:Yet I have never seen it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733148)

I doubt that he's gone back to check through his emails to check. He's just pretending that he hasn't had a problem for attention. It's a subtle troll move.

Re:Yet I have never seen it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733222)

you're literally stupid and i hope that you aren't responsible for making decisions that affect others

That would explain Sergey Brin's text to me (1)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732808)

"Where t Hell iz my Hookers n Blow??? U is 2 hours late for NY parT, dog! Bet that fuk Zuckerberg's ParT already has Hookers n Blow! WTF????"

This is fucking hilarious. (5, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732830)

I can tell you right now that if Microsoft Outlook had a bug that sent emails to random contacts, we would not be seeing comments that say "Never happened to me, so not an issue" or "Don't blame Microsoft, there are other clients available."

Oh, and the "fix it yourself" people need to shut the fuck up too. That's fine when it's an open-source project with fifty users hosted on sourceforge, not when it's in-production software that runs on millions and millions of phones.

Re:This is fucking hilarious. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732890)

Actually, if this was MS Outlook there would be a ton of fanbois foaming at the mouth claiming that they're switching to open source (you know, the same ones who claim that they're going to be 100% open source soon after every MS bug is mentioned in a story here). Some would even claim that there should be a class action lawsuit and that they're ready to get the ball rolling on it. Then the fanbois who'd claim that MS just nailed the last nail in their coffin would have to jump in where ever they could find an opening.

And, of course, a smattering of the normal IE6, MS Bob and throwing chairs memes which are obscenely outdated at this point.

BTW, where's that fucktard with the thing about throwing chairs will someday break windows in his sig? He's a real clueless git.

Re:This is fucking hilarious. (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733098)

As much as I hate to see MS and Google in the same light, I have to admit that in this case, you are absolutly correct.

This is a high priority bug that has no excuse for not being fixed within days of it being reported.

I thought the "fix it yourself" folks were being sarcastic. I can't imagine that anyone would really try to claim that this isn't a serious bug that Google needs to fix. The fact that there are free alternatives like Handcent does not in any way absolve Google from fixing the default text messaging client.

Re:This is fucking hilarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733158)

> Never happened to me, so not an issue

That's been the reaction among the Linux community every time I've reported a bug, even when I can show that hundreds of others are having the same problem.

"It hasn't happened to me, therefore, it isn't a problem".

In other news, Desktop Linux is approaching 0.7% of the entire market.... from the top.

Re:This is fucking hilarious. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733494)

Oh, and the "fix it yourself" people need to shut the fuck up too. That's fine when it's an open-source project with fifty users hosted on sourceforge, not when it's in-production software that runs on millions and millions of phones.

Settle down, it's just karma balancing itself.

The more time you spend shouting from the rooftops how superior your preferences are, the more people are going to get in line to take you down a peg.

Consider that the next time you decide how loud you'd like to shout about how OSS has more eyeballs.

One wonders... (1)

emeitner (513842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732874)

One wonders how this bug rates on Google's internal bug tracking system and if any of the "me too" people have contacted the vendor of their particular phone first?

But (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732884)

I've been an android user for quite some time and have experienced the above-mentioned problem. However, there is a reason it's marked as a "medium." The bug in question is in fact there, but the problem only occurs while opening the contact to text. This means that I might think that I clicked on "Amy" but "Zach" might open instead. A lot of people don't pay attention to this and quickly type away and press "send." However, the problem was there and seems to have been fixed in 2.3. Also, I have not experienced it recently while using cyanogen 6.1.

Re:But (2)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732928)

Ahem! FTFA: where sent text messages can appear to be in the correct thread and still end up being sent to another contact altogether. In other words, unless you pull up the Message Details screen after the fact, you might not even know the grievous act you've committed until your boss, significant other, or best friend -- make that former best friend -- texts you back.

Apparently you have a whole other bug than what is being reported. If the bug was what you had mentioned then the bug should be reported as the wrong contact opening, not the wrong contact getting a text.

Re:But (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732958)

Correct. This bug, while rare, occurs when trying to send a message in an existing thread. The message appears in that thread, and the only way to verify that it was sent to the wrong contact is to view the message details.

Sounds like a race condition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732922)

You will think that you are typing a response to contact A and then suddenly the contact name at the top switches to contact B. ... It seems to be affected by a situation where you're typing to contact A and receive a message from contact B.

Sounds like a race condition, and a bleedingly obvious one at that.

While I can't say I know with certainty every detail of this bug, I'm always amazed when even supposedly talented developers get away with this kind of broken thinking. Too many developers are unable to fathom when they have a timing window like this. As a software engineer, this particularly pisses me off. Too often I find co-workers introducing idiotic bugs like this because they don't stop to think or answer basic questions.

As an example, I myself was working on a mobile app in my spare time, and throughout the process found myself asking a lot of questions like... "Can I rely on the user's finger hitting the screen before I get a network event?" The answer is obviously no in all cases. You need to design your UI with that in mind. If you do things like change the meaning of UI buttons in response to network events, you get races like this where the user performs an unintended action. If that's what the cause of this bug turns out to be, I have to say I'm personally disappointed in whichever engineer screwed this up so badly.

Re:Sounds like a race condition (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733054)

You know what else was a race condition?

The Therac-25 fiasco.

What does it have in common with this fiasco?

Shitty programming.

Re:Sounds like a race condition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733250)

People write shitty programs because the entire programming paradigm that Android, iOS, and Windows are based on is shitty. Nobody can write reliable software in that.

Re:Sounds like a race condition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733278)

What? Why not? Just because you can't, or because many fail, doesn't mean it's impossible.

uh.... maybe not (5, Informative)

locust (6639) | more than 3 years ago | (#34732964)

If a portion of your user population has enough trouble with your UI that they are 'fat fingering' their way into trouble, then at some point it is _your_ issue.

But that having been said, a quick glance through the support thread shows things like this: "http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/android/thread?tid=345259e6d424bad3&fid=345259e6d424bad300048dfbff785d0c&hltp=2"

The code reverses the numbers before doing its (loose) compare... so uses the 7 last digits.

Bob - 408-555-1234
Fred - 510-555-1234

become

4321-555-804
4321-555-015

And it only uses the first 7 digits, which for both numbers, is "4321555"...
So if you send a message to Fred, and it looks in the cache for the contact, there's a chance it will go to Bob.

Re:uh.... maybe not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733028)

Hi This is Bob. I have to thank google for this, I helped me find out Fred was banging my wife.

Re:uh.... maybe not (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733052)

Okay thats interesting. The way the numbering system works in Australia I think a number would potentially match three other numbers:

+61 40 1234567

+61 41 1234567

+61 42 1234567

+61 43 1234567

...would all match. You would have to be pretty unlucky but if all your friends are trying to get 1s and 8s in their phone numbers the odds might be a bit worse.

Re:uh.... maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733070)

Oh wow. That's incredibly stupid. I can't believe ANYONE would do it like that. You have entries in a list, each item should map to an object which contains the number AS IS. There's no need to fudge about with names and numbers, they should be separate entries. I can't imagine the situation this kind of ugly hacking would be necessary in.

Re:uh.... maybe not (1)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733304)

Wow. So there's a x in ten million chance (where x is the number of contacts you have minus 1) that it'll go to the wrong person. *

Stupid, but I don't think this is the problem being seen by so many people.

* - Or something like this. assuming entirely random distribution of numbers and all number combinations being valid and all phone numbers being same length.

I've had this happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34732968)

I've had this bug happen on my droid. I received a text from Person B, which was identified as coming from Person A, clearly showing person A's name and photo, but had the number listed for Person B, which I did not immediately notice. Hitting reply sent the text to Person A, not person B. Obviously, this led to a bit of confusion.

This was not a case of user error or fat fingeredness.

There's an app for that (1)

Rip Dick (1207150) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733004)

May I suggest downloading "handcent sms", it's far from perfect... but it's way better than the default messenging app. It's very customizable, too.

SlashTroll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733086)

Has Anyone notice that 90% of the comments were posted in that Last 27hours, only about 40 historical comments
A bit of news trolling perhaps...
"even though it has 600+ comments"

Business as usual at Google. (1)

dust11 (895301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733090)

Can anyone honestly say they're surprised though? I mean, Google haven't had a great track record when it comes to privacy.. They obviously don't seem to think it matters too much, as to only highlight it as a medium priority.

Android randomly deletes all of your SMS too (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733092)

If it doesn't send them to someone random it will just delete all of them. http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=5669 That's also labled as medium.

This bug is bad (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733184)

But not as bad as the HTC 911 issues [blogspot.com]

Sending messages to the right contact and making sure 911 calls work are things OS makers should go out of their way to ensure work correctly

Do mobile vendors QA their products anymore?

Why bother with QA... (1)

toby (759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733400)

When they really just want to push you headlong into the upgrade treadmill?

This also seems to explain how incredibly crappy p

Re:This bug is bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34733406)

I blame Java. Well, not Java directly but the lazy moron programmers that tend to like and use Java.

can i get one? (1, Interesting)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733346)

Almost makes me want to buy an iPhone or a Win 7 phone. Actually I don't want (nor do I own) any of these phones. Could someone just make a phone that I can dial numbers on to call someone? Thanks!

Re:can i get one? (1)

brinebold (1209806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733474)

There are no issues with dialing numbers on the Android. You are perfectly able to use an Android phone as if it were an analog telephone handset and this bug does not affect that capability at all.

Tmobile does that too (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733352)

I sent a message to my wife, & she got it but it also went to some random person, they wrote back and asked what we were talking about.

Talk about bugspam... (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34733416)

Ok, I'll agree that this seems to be an important issue, but the 700 me-toos in a 24 hour period on the issue isn't going to help anybody.

Go ahead and star the issue if you'd like (and enjoy reading the resulting 700 emails you'll get every day from the idiots shouting "this is important). But, there are better ways to get the issue escalated than to spam the bug. This just makes it that much harder for anybody actually working on the problem to fix it. Also, anybody who did care about the issue and who was working on it probably will take their names off the bug as soon as they get into work next week, or at least hit the mute button on the conversation thread in gmail.

If somebody spammed a bug of mine on an open source project like this I'd do two things:

1. Fix the bug.
2. Ban anybody from the bugzilla who posted a me-too.

Me-toos that include helpful step-by-step reproduction scripts, core dumps with symbols, insightful analysis, or whatever are of course perfectly welcome. "This is important!!!" is just whining - yes, it is important, now go find something productive to do...

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