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A Fix for the “Bluetooth Share Has Stopped” Error

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014 in Mobile | 0 comments

At the Wearable Worlds’ hackathon event this past weekend, I encountered problems with the Bluetooth functionality on my Galaxy Note II. Specifically, I was encountering force close errors (“Bluetooth share has stopped”) while testing out the iBeacons with the FLUX Android app that our team was developing. After doing some Googling on the issue, apparently there’s a significant bug on Android 4.3 – 4.4.2, in which the BLE module is unable to store any MAC addresses after a certain point.

David G. Young, a developer over at Radius Networks, explains the issue throughly:

Lots of folks using iBeacons with Android devices have been suffering from repeat error dialogs saying “Unfortunately, Bluetooth Share has Stopped”. These annoying dialogs are caused by low-level bug #67272 in the Bluedroid stack, which is a layer between the operating system and the Bluetooth hardware.

While the bug has been around since Bluedroid was put into Android 4.2 over a year ago, reports only started commonly showing up recently. Today, some folks report that the dialog appears so frequently when doing Bluetooth LE scans, that the technology is effectively unusable. What changed?

Some companies are now distributing beacons that are a significant cause. By default, the beacon shown below has a proprietary security feature that rotates its Bluetooth MAC address every 0.8 seconds. This creates big problems for Android devices doing Bluetooth scans. Due to the bug mentioned above, Bluedroid can only handle seeing 1,990 different Bluetooth MAC addresses before the Android BluetoothService crashes. This might take months or years under normal conditions; however, Qualcomm Gimbal beacons (shown below) spit out a new MAC address every 0.8 seconds which crashes Android in just 42 minutes. To be fair to Qualcomm, this is not a Gimbal problem. It is an Android problem.

What’s worse is that Android periodically saves its list of recently seen Bluetooth devices to internal storage, and reloads it after a crash. Eventually, this stored list will contain all 1,990 allowed MAC addresses, causing the Android BluetoothService to crash as soon as it sees a single new device. Once this state is reached, Android devices are completely unable to scan for new Bluetooth LE devices without an immediate crash of the BluetoothService. Lots of frustrated users have reported having to do a factory reset to clear the condition.


Radius Networks – A Solution for Bluetooth Crashes

While David mentions that a factory reset will fix this issue, it’s not really an ideal solution, as (anyone knows) a factory reset can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Aside from performing a factory reset, Radius Networks has an app on the Google Play Store (BLE Crash Resolver) that addresses this issue. However, it seems to be “hit or miss”, as it fixes the “Bluetooth share” issue for some and fails for others. Unfortunately, BLE Crash Resolver did not work for my Galaxy Note II running on Android 4.3.

At that point, I had almost committed myself to performing a factory reset, but fortunately, I had found another solution here.
I temporarily fixed this problem by doing the following:
1. Root your phone and install a file explorer, such as Root Explorer.
2. Turn off Bluetooth.
3. Open your file explorer and mount the filesystem as read/write. Navigate to {root}/datamedia/misc/bluedroid.
4. Make a backup of the file bt_config.xml.
5. Open bt_config.xml in a text editor.
6. The tags between <N2 Tag=”Remote”> and the corresponding </N2> are the cached Bluetooth devices. Delete them. Save the file in place and return to the folder.
7. Delete the file bt_config.old.
8. Rename bt_config.xml to bt_config.old.
9. Turn Bluetooth back on.
10. Check your Bluetooth settings. If all your paired devices are gone, the fix worked. Otherwise, repeat from step 4.
On the commit section for iBeacon, ZackFreedman posted a detailed list of steps to resolve the BLE crash issue. Zack’s solution involves editing the bt_config.xml file in the root/datamedia/misc/bluedroid folder and removing all the registered MAC addresses from the file. Once done, Bluetooth functionality should work normally without any force closes. Please note that this solution requires you to have ROOT access on your device, as you need the proper permissions to access and edit the bt_config.xml file.

It’s not a permanent solution, as the issue will pop up again if you hit that 1,990 MAC addresses limit, but at least this solution will get your Android device back in working order without having to perform a factory reset. It certainly worked great for my Galaxy Note II, as I am no longer encountering the “Bluetooth share has stopped” issue. Kudos to ZackFreedman for this fix.
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Hackathon This Weekend at Wearable World Invents the Connected Traveler

Hackathon This Weekend at Wearable World Invents the Connected Traveler

Posted by on Jun 7, 2014 in Hardware, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

This weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in “Wearable Worlds Invents the Connected Traveler” two-day hackathon event, fully sponsored by American Airlines. It was an amazing event, as there were many groups of developers creating unique, exciting travel-related applications. There were a lot of sponsors like GoGo, Pebble, IBM, MasterCard and tech partners like Concur, VoicePark, LocationSmart, etc. present, providing developers with unique technologies and APIs to help out with their hackathon projects.

This was the longest hackathon event I have ever attended, as it spanned two full days! With the goal of making life easier for the mobile traveler, developers worked passionately to produce a working application that airline (like American Airlines) could potentially utilize in the future. I had the fortune to work with an extremely talented group of people, which included: David Lee, Ibrahim Kabil, Andy Kwan of GPOP and Lance Nanek, a veteran Android/Glass developer. Together, over the course of two laborious days, we churned out a Google Glass/Android & web application called FLUX, an application designed to provide a convenient travel experience for VIP travelers with American Airlines. I have to admit, I was intidated first, as I have never participated in a hackathon of this scope, as well as working with seasoned web/mobile developers & UX designers that have been in the field far longer than I. However, I soon found my role in the project and am glad that I was able to assist with the Android development portion of the project. I was also humbled to see my team members’ expertise.
Our team, working away at the Wearable Worlds Invents "The Connected Traveler" hackathon.

Our team, working away at the Wearable Worlds Invents “The Connected Traveler” hackathon.

During development of FLUX, I was quite intrigued with the Google Glass, as my team members were skillfully adept with using and developing applications for it. While I have never had experience with Google Glass or working with the GDK, it was impressive to see that we were able to produce both FLEX versions of Android and Google Glass from the same codebase with little issue, especially with Lance’s expertise.

By the end of the hackathon event, our team was able to produce FLUX for three platforms, which included an Google Glass and Android application for the American Airlines’ VIPs and a web-based client/server setup for American Airlines’ employees. The FLUX Android & Glass application for VIPs displays data such as flight departure time, gate information, current weather settings, etc. It also uses the iBeacon Bluetooth modules to detect where the VIP is currently located in the airport and displays relevant data based on the area. For example, if the VIP was at the security checkpoint, FLUX would inform the user to prepare for security and display their digital boarding pass automatically. At the sametime, the FLUX transmits that data to American Airlines’ employees, giving them the ability to prepare and know about the VIPs specific needs and provide premium services that would be expected by VIPs. Such a service would minimize chaos and confusion and make the travel experience for VIPs a better experience.
David Kim of GPOP giving the pitch for FLUX.

David Kim of GPOP giving the pitch for FLUX.

During the pitch session, there were quite a few incredible projects displayed, including an in-flight social app, sophisticated mobile and Pebble flight notifications, etc. Unfortunately, our team was not one of the five teams that were chosen to advance to the next round. However, I am proud that our team was able to produce a functional prototype in a short period of time, not to mention working with a talented group of people! I’m definitely looking forward to attending more hackathons in the future! Read More

Hack Allows Defiant Windows XP Users to Receive Updates Until 2019

Hack Allows Defiant Windows XP Users to Receive Updates Until 2019

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in News, Software | 0 comments

If you’re still on Windows XP (gasp) and are fretting over Microsoft’s discontinued support of XP, there is now a way for XP users to receive official MS security updates. All it involves is modifying the registry to make your system appear as a Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 system, which runs off the same OS kernel as Windows XP. As Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 has official support from Microsoft until April 9, 2019, Windows XP users can unofficially get security updates for another five years!

To make this registry change, you can create a .reg file with the following contents below and execute it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady] “Installed”=dword:00000001


Once done, the Microsoft Update website will be fooled into believing that your XP system is a POSReady system, making the latest updates available.

Thanks to ZDNet for reporting this. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has issued a statement about the “hack” in that it is completely unsupported and that users are better off upgrading to Windows 8.1 instead. No word on if Microsoft will do anything to counter this hack, but for the time-being, XP users can gain access to the latest security updates for Windows Embedded.

SOURCE: ZDNet – Registry hack enables continued updates for Windows XP Read More

Cid’s Aerial Tours Updated to 1.02

Cid’s Aerial Tours Updated to 1.02

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

The latest update (1.02) for Cid’s Aerial Tours has been published onto Google Play! CAT now has  Japanese and Korean language support; Cid is multi-lingual! The worlds of Final Fantasy IV can now be viewed with Japanese and Korean location labels.

Here is the full list of changes in 1.02.

- Added missing Overworld map locations.
- Added Japanese and Korean language support. Cid is now multi-lingual!
- Main screen background now alternates between a sky and underworld background.

The latest update to Cid’s Aerial Tours can be found on the Google Play Store:

en_app_rgb_wo_60.png Read More