"Unicode of Death"

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Thu May 28 09:53:42 CDT 2015

Unicode is in the news today as some folks with waaay too much time on
their hands have discovered a string consisting of Latin, Arabic,
Devanagari, and CJK characters that crashes Apple devices when it
appears as a pop-up message.

Although most people seem to identify it correctly as a CoreText bug,
there are a handful, as you might expect, who attribute it to some shady
weirdness in Unicode itself. My favorite quote from a Reddit user was

"Every character you use has a unicode value which tells your phone what
to display. One of the unicode values is actually never-ending and so
when the phone tries to read it it goes into an infinite loop which
crashes it."

I've read TUS Chapter 4 and UTR #23 and I still can't find the
"never-ending" Unicode property.

Perhaps astonishingly to some, the string displays fine on all my
Windows devices. Not all apps get the directionality right, but no

Doug Ewell | http://ewellic.org | Thornton, CO ����

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