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Bug In Samsung S3 Grabs Too Many Images, Ups Data Use

timothy posted about a year ago | from the my-t-shirt-size-is-sx-s-m-l-xl-and-xxxxl-simultaneously dept.

Bug 99

First time accepted submitter Emmanuel Cecchet writes "Researchers of the BenchLab project at UMass Amherst have discovered a bug in the browser of the Samsung S3. If you browse a Web page that has multiple versions of the same image (for mobile, tablet, desktop, etc...) like most Wikipedia pages for example, instead of downloading one image at the right resolution, the phone will download all versions of it. A page that should be less than 100K becomes multiple MB! It looks like a bug in the implementation of the srcset HTML tag, but all the details are in the paper to be presented at the IWQoS conference next week. So far Samsung didn't acknowledge the problem though it seems to affect all S3 phones. You'd better have an unlimited data plan if you browse Wikipedia on an S3!"

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99 comments

If this was really a problem... (3, Insightful)

TheSimkin (639033) | about a year ago | (#43880045)

If this was really a problem it would have been noticed a long time ago.

Re:If this was really a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880075)

Because all bugs are always caught in QA, and those that aren't are spotted instantly by consumers... That would be a nice world.

It could be a feature !!! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43881463)

You guys always talk as if this is a bug

No, it's a feature !!!

It's a feature to the telcos, so that they can charge their customer more !!

Except is an *Overstated* Bug (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43880251)

If this was really a problem it would have been noticed a long time ago.

The summery overstates what is going on, it implies that using a surfing on a S3 Phone will cause you to burn several times the magnitude of bandwidth it should, its subterfuge.

Its simply a bug in the stock web browser that does not break page views. that systematically downloads all images in a srcset instead of picking only the one it needs. An example "" if its not used...it does not happen.

Why is it not being discovered is that it does not make enough of an impact in common usage. I suspect additionally if your have a carrier like mine they simply serve a compressed version of the original image anyway, or S3 users are now using like me Chrome. Popular alternatives like the offer the same functionality.

The bottom line is Browser have bugs. That is not news, this is neither a critical, or even as stated a bandwidth hog.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (1)

X3J11 (791922) | about a year ago | (#43880335)

... or S3 users are now using like me Chrome.

Yep, but I'm alright with that since I am really not a fan of the stock browser on the S3, anyway.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881129)

Definitely not news. Now if it were an iPhone, it would definitely be news because c'mon, that's counting against my bandwidth!

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881367)

I vigorously check my data usage on my S3, and I haven't noticed any data anomalies going on. Then again I flashed my S3 with CM10 within a week of getting it, which may have fixed the issue.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43881533)

hey simply serve a compressed version of the original image anyway,

You might want to look at the technique of compressing jpg's...

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (1)

Sneftel (15416) | about a year ago | (#43881783)

Hmm? That's trivial. You just throw away the higher-frequency cosine coefficients.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43882155)

It's already done while making the original jpg's, there's nothing gained by recrompressing them.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#43883083)

It's already done while making the original jpg's, there's nothing gained by recrompressing them.

When making a jpeg you can decide how much of the high frequency information to throw away. Some mobile networks are quite prepared to throw away more of it than the original site author did to save bandwidth.

There are also in many cases ways to reduce the size while keeping the quality. AIUI most jpeg creaters use the default huffman coefficients rather than calculating and specifying an optimised set so there are size savings to be made there. More savings can be made by using arithmetic coding but if you do that you break compatibility with some decoders so I don't think many systems do (though I recently found out the hard way that recent versions of jpegcrop use arithmetic coding by default when pdflatex wouldn't read the resulting file).

Re: Except is an *Overstated* Bug (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881821)

Android, the land where all bugs, flaws and kinks are overstated and no big problem. The land where neither Google nor Samsung can do no wrong, all users are hyper-informed engineers and gladly praise the possibility to fix the non-existing fails themselves. No big deal, heh? Where everything is as it should be.

You don't sing the song of our Droid people? Be damned, down modded, expelled and shuuuunnned. You must be a sheep.

Pot meet cattle.

Re: Except is an *Overstated* Bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43883393)

Well, unless your cattle are in the kettle you just end up sounding silly.

Re: Except is an *Overstated* Bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43885703)

Thanks for proving my point by down modding me. Thank you. Final confirmation to NEVER endorse and buy an Android crap phone.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43882359)

Tuppe666 to the rescue. Here is Slashdot's #1 Google shill defending a flagship droid phone. I'm an Android user and you disgust me. Check this guys post history.

Re:Except is an *Overstated* Bug (1)

sumonali (2938325) | about a year ago | (#43884259)

Taking the bug into count Samsung prepared S4 and declared it is more furnished than S3. Of course chrome solved such problems but the specified bug was not identified when it was launched.

Re:If this was really a problem... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880301)

That's right! This is Linux. Not that Apples or Microsoft shit. Nothing ever goes wrong in Linuxland. Any kind of "error" you have with Linux is because you're too inept to use a computing device. Any real user would have rooted this phone and installed CustomModXYZ 10.43222.8a.

Nothing to do with Linux (2, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43880363)

That's right! This is Linux. Not that Apples or Microsoft shit. Nothing ever goes wrong in Linuxland. Any kind of "error" you have with Linux is because you're too inept to use a computing device. Any real user would have rooted this phone and installed CustomModXYZ 10.43222.8a.

...Ironically This is nothing to do with Linux(The Kernel) this is a *bug* in the stock browser, you can ignore it and simply use Opera or Chrome on Android, Would the same true for Apples or Windows Shit(sic).

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (3, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43880603)

With Apple, you can install other 'browsers', but they're really just skins for the internal webkit engine, and they do not integrate fully with the OS.

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43881563)

And more importantly share all the same bugs and security issues, while only offering half the performance of mobile Safari. You get the impression that Apple was really reluctant to allow any other apps to render HTML or allow other browsers, so crippled them deliberately.

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43881779)

And more importantly share all the same bugs and security issues, while only offering half the performance of mobile Safari. You get the impression that Apple was really reluctant to allow any other apps to render HTML or allow other browsers, so crippled them deliberately.

well duh.

they want apps to originate from the app market, not from sites using js.

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43896283)

they want apps to originate from the app market, not from sites using js.

Actually, that's an old IOS bug. New iOS has web bookmarks on the home screen lauching using the Safari Nitro engine, so they're actually faster than native apps using a webview.

Reason for this is because Safari is sandboxed more heavily so it's allowed to actually bypass W^X restrictions and compile javascript to native code. Of course, the extra sandboxing is necessary for obvious reasons.

For a little while (early iOS 5 I believe) weblinks you put on the home screen didn't get the benefit of Nitro for whatever reason. This was fixed in a later version so weblinks use Nitro.

Of course, Apple has been encouraging app makers to NOT simply create a 100% webview that just loads a website. And because there's less sandboxing on apps, they don't benefit from Nitro, so they actually run slower than if they just gave the URL to their site away and have users create weblinks themselves (you can bookmark to the home screen).

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881637)

You just described Firefox for Android.

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881891)

You are under the impression Firefox for Android is an iOS applications that uses Apple's web rendering engine???

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43885145)

Well that's retarded. But not really surprising.

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year ago | (#43880815)

That's right! This is Linux. Not that Apples or Microsoft shit. Nothing ever goes wrong in Linuxland. Any kind of "error" you have with Linux is because you're too inept to use a computing device. Any real user would have rooted this phone and installed CustomModXYZ 10.43222.8a.

...Ironically This is nothing to do with Linux(The Kernel) this is a *bug* in the stock browser, you can ignore it and simply use Opera or Chrome on Android, Would the same true for Apples or Windows Shit(sic).

Uh yeah, you can install other browsers in Windows.

Re:Nothing to do with Linux (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about a year ago | (#43893341)

I think he was referring to iOS and Windows Phone.

Re:If this was really a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880817)

Not that Apples or Microsoft shit. Nothing ever goes wrong in Linuxland.

This was one vendor modification, not all of Linux/Android. Since it's not a monoculture, the damage was limited to that specific instance. That's a significant difference between the respective ecosystems - diversity is strength.

In addition, the consequences of the bug were so slight that nobody noticed.

Re:If this was really a problem... (1)

telchine (719345) | about a year ago | (#43880375)

Who uses the default browser nowadays? Chrome for mobile has to be one of the first apps anyone would install on an Android phone, surely?

Re:If this was really a problem... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about a year ago | (#43880407)

Personally I'd never buy an Android phone where the stock browser wasn't already Chrome.

Re: If this was really a problem... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43880475)

One of the nicer things about Android is the existence of Firefox on it. That's one of the reasons I've ditched my iOS gadgets. Chrome? Naw. Why leap out of the walled garden into the Googleplex when you don't have to?

Re: If this was really a problem... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880557)

Because its a better browser? Because you prefer the UI? Because you're already integrated into Google services? It's cool that you like Firefox, but there's really nothing wrong with Chrome either.

Re: If this was really a problem... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about a year ago | (#43882335)

I actually prefer Firefox to Chrome on the desktop. My comment was just meant to say that I wouldn't buy an Android phone that wasn't one of Google's reference models, which (AFAIK) all run Chrome as the stock browser. My understanding is that Mobile Firefox is a little assy, but I don't have much firsthand experience.

Re: If this was really a problem... (1)

telchine (719345) | about a year ago | (#43889783)

I agree! I use Firefox exclusively!

(sorry for taking so long to reply, but your comment took a while to render in my browser)

Re:If this was really a problem... (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about a year ago | (#43880991)

Not chrome, but for the past several years Ive used Dolphin. Either way, most people I know do not use their default browser. So shouldnt be a big deal, if you use the default browser, your near hitting your monthy bandwitth limits or getting overcharges, take 10 seconds to get a different browser.

Re:If this was really a problem... (1)

neonmonk (467567) | about a year ago | (#43881307)

Opera. Best text-wrapping of all the browsers.

Re:If this was really a problem... (1)

telchine (719345) | about a year ago | (#43889793)

Opera. Best text-wrapping of all the browsers.

What is this "tex" of which you speak?

Moot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880061)

Fortunately, nobody uses the stock browser on the S3.

Re:Moot (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880215)

The vast majority of people use the stock browser, and defaults in general. Not everyone is a geek.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/04/03/according-to-net-applications-stock-android-browser-usage-is-still-way-out-in-front-of-chrome/

Bad Data (3, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43880441)

The vast majority of people use the stock browser, and defaults in general. Not everyone is a geek.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/04/03/according-to-net-applications-stock-android-browser-usage-is-still-way-out-in-front-of-chrome/

It does not change your point of your comment but netmarketshare http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0&qpcustomd=1 [hitslink.com] where the data comes from, has something wrong with the way records data, especially with mobile usage. Its often quoted on Apple sites due to its heavy bias towards Apple(that does not reflect real world use). They have heavily massage figures, and they do not match those of independent larger sources. Here is statcounter http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_browser-ww-monthly-201205-201305 [statcounter.com] (Again it does not dispute your point but the source data)

Re:Bad Data (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43881585)

Netmarketshare counts unique visitors every month. Someone who fires up their phone's browser once a month counts just as much as someone who spends 2 hours a day browsing on their phone. So Apple's share gets inflated by iPhone users who occasionally check out a web page, but otherwise don't really use their phone's browser.

Statcounter just counts traffic. So it shows that even though fewer Android users browse the web on their phones, the ones that do browse a lot more than iPhone users. Quite the opposite of the way Apple fans usually try to spin the stats - claiming that the bulk of Android's sales are low-end phones and most of the heavy users buy iPhones. In reality the heavy users and non-users are mostly on Android. The bulk of iPhone users are infrequent browsers (they only have to browse once a month to increment netmarketshare's stats). That matches the conventional wisdom that Android attracts both people wanting a cheap phone, and tech-savvy geeks. While iPhones mostly attract people who aren't very tech-saavy, and want a phone which is functional but easy to use.

Statcounter also samples a couple orders of magnitude more sites (~3 million vs. 40,000 for netmarketshare). Netmarketshare's sample is so small they massage their figures to try to correct for sampling bias by country.

Re:Moot (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43894179)

NetApplication is about as useful for obtaining factual information as talking to a stale turd.

The relevant quote with fault highlighed (5, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43880113)

The Samsung S3 browser bug
======================
When comparing our results on the different devices and networks for our Wikipedia trace, we noticed significantly higher latencies for our Samsung S3 smartphone on both Wifi and 3G. We first looked at the number of HTTP requests per page and the size of the pages down loaded from the server. Our findings are illustrated on Fig. 13. The number of HTTP requests is always much higher for the Samsung S3 and the page sizes are much bigger. Note that the page size for Samsung S3 on 3G is sometimes very small as we only account for successfully transferred bytes and not expected object sizes. On a successful page load, the page sizes should be the same on both networks. Fig. 14 gives an insight into the cause of the problem. By
looking at the recorded HTML page source, we saw that Wikipedia pages use srcset HTML tags that indicate a list of images to pick from depending on the resolution and magnification needed by the device. It turns out that the S3 browser has a bug and systematically downloads all images in a srcset instead of picking only the one it needs (left most red circles on Fig. 14 show 3 different versions of the same image being downloaded). This can result in a massive amount of extra data download.

The Wikipedia page dedicated to the Internet Explorer browser that typically requires 600KB of data download jumped to 2.1MB on the S3. This bug significantly affects the Wikipedia performance on 3G were these massive number of requests for image downloads overwhelmed the network and ended up timing out rendering an incomplete page. This can be seen on Fig. 14 where a large number of requests are blocked for very long amount of time and many of them fail with a ‘NO RESPONSE’ HTTP error code. Note that we were able to reproduce these results with the latest Android 4.2.2 for the S3 GT-I9300(international version of the phone). The issue was also reproduced with an S3 SGH-I747 which is the AT&T US version of the phone. We believe that this problem affects all S3 versions and have contacted Samsung to report the issue.Having a database with results from other devices helped us to quickly locate the origin of the problem and detect this previously undiscovered bug. Based on this experience, a possible direction for future work is to design tools that automatically analyze and report anomalies by comparing
experience reports between devices/networks for the same trace.

Re:The relevant quote with fault highlighed (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43881551)

Note that this is the Android browser, Chrome doesn't seem to be affected.

Personally I can't recreate this bug over wifi (monitoring HTTP requests via my router) and performance on 3G seems fine with the page they mention (Internet Explorer). Unfortunately they don't seem to give the exact firmware version, just the version of Android.

Very few websites use srcset (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880121)

So... not that big of a deal.

Re:Very few websites use srcset (4, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year ago | (#43880357)

Wikipedia is the only site I know that does.

Which isn't surprising: none of the major browsers support srcset yet. Not even Safari, despite srcset being an Apple-designed standard [w3.org] . (The editor is an Apple employee and is the person who came up with this standard that no one except Samsung implements.)

Of course, there's very little point to implementing srcset as the use case for "hi-DPI images" is basically non-existent, so I suppose it's just as well that almost no one has bothered implementing a nearly worthless spec.

Re:Very few websites use srcset (1)

LocalH (28506) | about a year ago | (#43880739)

You mean that the impending (any year now) increase in hi-DPI displays is not worth preparing, ahead of time, so that your work doesn't look like shit on the newest devices?

Re:Very few websites use srcset (2)

POWRSURG (755318) | about a year ago | (#43881185)

When the standard has not been fully defined and is not working in any current browser, yes, I'm all for pushing the bar of HTML5. I actually bought one of the Firefox OS developer phones. It's great for those of us who want to experiment, but I wouldn't make a big case if browsers working on experimental features have bugs in them. Heck, I wasn't aware that srcset had even gotten to an experimental implementation stage yet. No one else has implemented it. Kudos to Samsung for starting on it.

Re:Very few websites use srcset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43883239)

Depends on your definition of "newest devices".

Most people won't even notice 300 DPI+ on a 5 to 10 inch phone/tablet screen. Heck, most people NOW don't even complain about it / notice it and most screens are 1980p or better now.

Re:Very few websites use srcset (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43881977)

Re: Wikipedia is the only site I know that does [use srcset]

Interestingly enough, searching for "srcset" on wikipedia yields no results on any pages at all anywhere on wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=srcset [wikipedia.org] yields:

Did you mean: secret ?

There were no results matching the query.

The page "Srcset" does not exist. You can ask for it to be created, but consider checking the search results below to see whether the topic is already covered.
For search help, please visit Help:Searching.

But definitely the concept of "srcset" makes sense for extremely large displays, extremely small displays, and extremely high-resolution high-DPI displays. But what good is a standard if only one organization is using it? It would work better when more people use it or follow it or recognize it. It does sound more like a "browser" error. Or is it a revenue maximization error to force more bandwidth usage, just like all those javascript and flash-based advertisements are? ;>)

The idea of variable resolution images with just one set being requested is a good one; it just has to become more known about, at least enough known about to be worth meriting a mention on some wikipedia page if not a wikipedia page of its own!

Re:Very few websites use srcset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43889515)

I don't know how many people actually go to Wikipedia in the browser on Android phones anyways. It's not very pretty. The Wikipedia App has over 10 million downloads in the Google Play store, and there are a few other Wikipedia viewing apps available. Usually, at least on a phone, if a site has an app, it is usually better than the website experience (Facebook being one of the few exceptions). I guess the average user who looks something up on Wikipedia once every few months probably won't notice it, the heavy users will have the app, which may be why the bug wasn't noticed earlier.

Re: Very few websites use srcset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880387)

What's with the equivocation? It's Samsung/Android, so everyone here is making excuses and minimizing the importance of this. Why do I have a feeling that if this bug was in Safari, there would be no end of flaming?

Re: Very few websites use srcset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881845)

gSheeps live in action. Everyone is a sheep except them. Android can do no wrong. Didn't you knew that?

Re: Very few websites use srcset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43883267)

A bug in a feature nobody else has implemented, despite it not being their standard (as mentioned previously, from the company you're comparing to)?

Plus, the extra premium you're paying for i devices... better be flawless! =)

Re: Very few websites use srcset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43885727)

There is no extra premium. Top of the range androids cost as much as an iPhone.

Use Opera Mini and you'll never worry about data (3, Interesting)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#43880133)

All pages go through their browser for reformatting to your device's screen dimensions and compression. There's also an option to disable loading of images, which I use most of the time. The only downside is all your web activity is seen by their servers, so I only use the Opera for my unimportant stuff.

Re:Use Opera Mini and you'll never worry about dat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881731)

This message is definitely not approved by RMS. Just sayin'...

Re:Use Opera Mini and you'll never worry about dat (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year ago | (#43884975)

All pages go through their browser for reformatting to your device's screen dimensions and compression.

So you don't download the Mini but the Mobile version

Opera Mobile is a complete web browser installed on your mobile phone — all the code rendering and JavaScript
interaction happens on your mobile. This is in contrast to Opera Mini, where the rendering happens on the server
and a compressed version is then sent to the handset.

http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/opera-mobile-10-beta-developers-introduction/ [opera.com]

Opera is my Browser of choice and the best ever I feel, at least up to version 12.14, (desktop)
I also don't do anything of importance with my cell phone or tablet, but for a different reason. It's possible those could easily be lost or stolen.

Most people don't use the S3 Browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880139)

I use Chrome, and occasionally Opera Mini when I'm roaming. Most people I know don't use the stock browser.

Re:Most people don't use the S3 Browser (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880171)

> Most people I know...

A sound method to compile statistics.

Re:Most people don't use the S3 Browser (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#43880201)

Well that depends on how many friends you have on Facebook, right?

Re:Most people don't use the S3 Browser (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#43880175)

There's a massive difference between most people and most people you know

Wow it took researchers to discover this bug? (1)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43880159)

Pretty astounding given how long the S3 has been out. I guess people don't care enough about their data usage to investigate their data.

My girlfriend once discovered that a gas station charged her card 0.03 when she didn't pump any gas (I think she got a call and had to go before actually pumping). I imagine this S3 browser issue is comparable to the gas station incident.

Re:Wow it took researchers to discover this bug? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43880313)

Pretty astounding given how long the S3 has been out. I guess people don't care enough about their data usage to investigate their data.

Or people don't use the built in browser in favour of one of many of the more capable alternatives. My only complaint with Samsung Galaxy series of devices is that I can't remove the browser icon from the quick launch on the phones. It's using valuable screen space better suited to the Chrome icon.

Re: Wow it took researchers to discover this bug? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43880507)

Its removable on my Samsung Galaxy (Victory). Replaced with Firefox, though, not Chrome. And I make a point of not having a google cookie set in FF, too.

Re:Wow it took researchers to discover this bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880367)

It took researchers to discover it because practically nobody is using srcset.

The reason practically nobody is using srcset, ironically, is because to polyfill it for other browsers can mean at least one extra image is being downloaded and not used. (Because changing the src attribute won't stop the original image loading).

Company reactions to major problems. (2, Insightful)

Moppusan (2837753) | about a year ago | (#43880163)

Why does it seem when major problems like this arise companies are quick to dismiss/deny/ignore whatever as the first response?

Re:Company reactions to major problems. (1)

trparky (846769) | about a year ago | (#43880245)

It's easier to stick your head in the sand and act like nothing is wrong than to admit you messed up.

Re:Company reactions to major problems. (5, Informative)

Emmanuel Cecchet (2937603) | about a year ago | (#43880955)

Actually trying to report the bug to Samsung was quite hard. First there is no place to report such bug in the first place. The place that seemed the most appropriate was tech support but it showed that Samsung is a hardware and not a software company. The tech support can just handle hardware issues with the phone or basic user issues using the phone. When we submitted our bug report to them they were at a complete loss and didn't know what to do with it. The office of the CEO message was kind of a last resort measure but once again the supposedly R&D team that reviewed the issue dismissed it saying it was just an Android problem and didn't investigate further. To really attract their attention, we should probably have posted on their Facebook page but maybe this /. post will incite them to look into the issue again. The conspirationist will see a collusion between Samsung and carriers trying to squeeze more money from users by inflating their data usage. The engineer will just see a subtle bug that is not easy to catch by QA unless you can compare your device behavior with other devices and automatically detect such anomalies.

Re:Company reactions to major problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894191)

...and the rest of it will see it as a minor issue being blown out of all proportion by someone desperate to try and build themselves a name and some credentials.

Bugs get discovered day in and day out across the globe in software, most people just report them and leave it at that.

Unless it's some major security issue they're not acting on immediately then it just doesn't need plastering on Facebook and Slashdot.

I understand you found this and that you feel like this is your little baby, and that you hence feel the need to blurt it across the world but it's really just not that important I'm afraid. You don't get to have the attention of the CEO, R&D, marketing, and the whole software development team over something that would go on the bug tracker as priority: low, urgency: low. Get over yourself.

Fanboys overstating minor problems (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43880283)

Why does it seem when major problems like this arise companies are quick to dismiss/deny/ignore whatever as the first response?

I am not sure of your personal beef, but from the article which identifies a minor bug "have contacted Samsung to report the issue." Where is Samsung dismissing or denying...or ignoring the problem.

Re: Fanboys overstating minor problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880445)

Originally the report was made to tech support who said they were not the ones in charge and couldn't do anything. Then we contacted the office of the CEO who forwarded to the R&D team that concluded it was an Android bug not an S3 bug. We replied to inform them that this was specific to the S3 since the Nexus 10 or other phones don't have the bug but they never got back to us. Wondering if the S4 has the same problem. ..

Re:Fanboys overstating minor problems (1)

Moppusan (2837753) | about a year ago | (#43880789)

Why does it seem when major problems like this arise companies are quick to dismiss/deny/ignore whatever as the first response?

I am not sure of your personal beef, but from the article which identifies a minor bug "have contacted Samsung to report the issue." Where is Samsung dismissing or denying...or ignoring the problem.

Calm down there sparky, I'm no Samsung fanboy (although I am looking at a Samsung monitor right now), I was just referring to the summary "So far Samsung didn't acknowledge the problem though it seems to affect all S3 phones." I guess I should never trust /. summaries to be accurate in any way, shape or form.

Re:Company reactions to major problems. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43881171)

Why does it seem when major problems like this arise companies are quick to dismiss/deny/ignore whatever as the first response?

I agree, this is extremely annoying of so many companies. You're supposed to be a respectable company selling very expensive phones, why not stand up and say at least something like "Samsung has verified the issue and is investigating it".

Density (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880365)

And what the heck is this srcset "density" attribute relative too? The spec shows an example "2x". Two times what? A stupid attribute if I've ever seen one...
Utterly appropriate captcha: REDESIGN

just use an alternate browser (1)

swiftdr (1713300) | about a year ago | (#43880519)

Instead of shelling out more money for an unlimited plan, you could just use a different browser from the stock one.

my-t-shirt-size-is-sx-s-m-l-xl-and-xxxxl-simultane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43880673)

-Schrödinger's mannequin.

This is a big deal.. (2)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about a year ago | (#43880741)

The comments so far have made this out to not be such a big deal, people should just use other browsers. I see it differently. The majority of smartphone users now aren't just the tech savy, it is now mostly ordinary users too. When considering 500MB is the usual data cap this is a problem, with the amount of data slurped up by the likes of Facebook, this must push useage up pretty high if loading a wikipedia page is taking over 2MB of data. Once your over your cap, the costs sky rocket. This is before you even thinking about the difference in loading time of 3G from the need to pull 10 times as much data.

Unfortunately with the situation we have on android, with handset developers and carriers both being reluctant to push updates, don't expect this to be fixed any time soon.

Re:This is a big deal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881167)

"...don't expect this to be fixed any time soon."

I think you meant to say ... if ever ($$$ talks, ... and so on)

Re:This is a big deal.. (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#43881227)

I'e had 3 updates to my Note 2 since November and my housemate recently had an update to her S3 Mini so I think, at least with Samsung's newer phones, that they're finally doing the right thing.

Re:This is a big deal.. (4, Informative)

neonmonk (467567) | about a year ago | (#43881315)

As others have noted, Wikipedia is pretty much the only website that has even implemented src-set. This is not a big problem. This is a very minor problem.Maybe if the whole world was using src-set then it would be a big problem, but they're not, and won't be for a long time seeing as none of the big 4 browsers have implemented it.

Re:This is a big deal.. (2)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#43881403)

As others have noted, Wikipedia is pretty much the only website that has even implemented src-set. This is not a big problem.

There are quite a few sites that use MediaWiki (often with heavy skinning) and many of those will be sites that users are more likely to visit than average. On the other hand, the number of those that use a srcset is probably quite a bit lower (unless MediaWiki is doing the work behind the scenes). In short, while the problem isn't pressing, it should be addressed sooner rather than later as it is likely to become more prevalent.

Mind you, I think there are good reasons for just scrapping srcset entirely; the current draft spec states that

"This, unfortunately, can be used to perform a rudimentary port scan of the user's local network (especially in conjunction with scripting, though scripting isn't actually necessary to carry out such an attack). User agents may implement cross-origin access control policies that are stricter than those described above to mitigate this attack, but unfortunately such policies are typically not compatible with existing Web content."

Good reason for just throwing it away and trying something else less security-stupid, IMO.

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43881353)

very few sites use this html feature.
that's why it's not such a big deal.

Re:This is a big deal.. (3, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year ago | (#43881379)

When considering 500MB is the usual data cap this is a problem, with the amount of data slurped up by the likes of Facebook, this must push useage up pretty high if loading a wikipedia page is taking over 2MB of data.

Not really, because Wikipedia is basically a worst-case scenario. To show you what I mean, here's the first <img> tag off Wikipedia's home page at present:

<img alt="The Tichborne Claimant" src="//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/37/TichborneClaimantSketch_cropped.jpg/100px-TichborneClaimantSketch_cropped.jpg" width="100" height="137" srcset="//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/37/TichborneClaimantSketch_cropped.jpg/150px-TichborneClaimantSketch_cropped.jpg 1.5x, //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/37/TichborneClaimantSketch_cropped.jpg/200px-TichborneClaimantSketch_cropped.jpg 2x" />

The bug appears to be that it loads all three images specified - the 100px (from src), and the 150px and 200px (from srcset) versions. But that's because Wikipedia not only uses srcset, it provides three different resolutions: a default (100px), and two "high DPI" versions (1.5x and 2x). Most other websites don't even use srcset at all - because no other browser even supports it. Not Firefox, not Chrome, not even Safari despite srcset being an Apple creation.

Facebook doesn't use srcset, so it won't trigger this bug.

In fact, I don't know of any website that does use srcset other than Wikipedia. Google doesn't. Twitter doesn't. Facebook doesn't. Slashdot doesn't. (Nor does CNN, Fox News, the BBC, Yahoo, Flickr, Tumblr, or Amazon.com.)

It's basically a bug that will only trigger on Wikipedia, so no, it's not really a big deal because unless you spend a lot of time on Wikipedia, you'll almost never trigger it.

It's still a bug that should be fixed, but I'd be hard-pressed to call it a "big deal," solely because about the only way you'll trigger it presently is on Wikipedia.

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

You're All Wrong (573825) | about a year ago | (#43881911)

Can't this just be done in CSS? I thought CSS was supposed to take away the responsibility for making things look good, the HTML was just for the real data now.

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43882409)

Can't this just be done in CSS? I thought CSS was supposed to take away the responsibility for making things look good, the HTML was just for the real data now.

well yeah but apparently they(people who wrote the article) made another standard that nobody except wikipedia uses and nobody except s3 browser implements...

on the other hand it could be that it loads them for handling multiple zoom levels.

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

webdesign12 (2942269) | about a year ago | (#43950995)

If any body create your web site than you communication with us...http://www.idragontech.co.uk/

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

webdesign12 (2942269) | about a year ago | (#43959305)

Are you know ? My service about ..

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43881471)

with the amount of data slurped up by the likes of Facebook

Not sure what it's like where you live, but in my country all social media traffic is entirely unmetered. I'm on the cheapest contract I can get and Facebook Twitter, etc are unmetered. I could literally break my monthly allowance in under 1 minute on my phone, but Facebook is still entirely free.

Re:This is a big deal.. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43881555)

Samsung is fairly quick with updates. We get an average of about one a month these days, and they are mostly just bug fixes and performance improvements.

what a piece of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881225)

*throws it on the ground and stomps it to bits* I can't believe I've liked this piece of junk for almost a year. I can't believe they were just randomly wasting bandwidth for that. Let us resolve to form the Bit Savers... an organization dedicated to saving helpless bits wherever than can be found...

Feature (1)

stefandaniela1 (2845867) | about a year ago | (#43881635)

ya i agree very few sites use this html feature

It's 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43881867)

Are there still mobile phone plans with a data limit?

It's not a bug (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43882293)

it's a feature. he.

This is a problem for Apple, not Samsung (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year ago | (#43882337)

This is a problem for Apple, not Samsung. Really. Even if Samsung made the phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung S4 have a popularity which beats anything currently made by Apple.

Why is it a problem for Apple even if Samsung made the phone? Because Galaxy S3 is already an oldish model and Galaxy S4 doesn't have it, and the error can be fixed via an update if it eventually will be seen as a serious nuisance.

Apple has many issues. Even the minor bugs on their main phone competitor Samsung may set the Apple crowds' pubic hair on fire.

All Microsoft phones are still missing in action at the time of writing.

Re:This is a problem for Apple, not Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43882799)

WTF? Was that even English?

Re: This is a problem for Apple, not Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43885743)

You are an idiot of epic proportions

Might be a bigger deal than you think... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#43883419)

I recently parted ways with employment supporting smart phones. Oh so very many months ago, I started to receive calls on an increasing basis from people freaking out over way more data usage on their bill than they insisted they were actually using. I would go back over their history and see a point where data usage suddenly dropped of throughout the rest of their history. It was always after an upgrade... to an s3. I chalked it up to people digging their slick new s3 more than they realized. After all, the systems are infallible at measuring these things... Right? In hindsight, they are only as infallible so far as the phone isn't pulling a stunt like this.

If this story becomes well known enough, I can see people calling in to their carriers by the droves seeking adjustments and credits over this, regardless of wether or not they even used their phone in such a way as to be affected.

I think this story might be come a bigger issue over the next week. Glad I'm not doing customer service for a carrier.

Watch out.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887583)

Here comes the Samsung Defence League. Watch as they somehow try to blame this on Apple.

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