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OK, issue solved. The problem is apparently caused by a bug in the Linux kernel related to the insertion of a leap second and is only apparent when queried from Java. A solution is given here (requires super user permissions, but no reboot or even restart of Mathematica): Java leap second bug


The kernel crash is a bug which arises from deep recursion in string pattern matching. It has been fixed in version 10.1.0 and later, by updating to a more modern version of the PCRE library and switching to a non-recursive approach in certain cases. I am not aware of a workaround applicable to older versions, but it doesn't crash with 10.1 and 10.2: ...


No, you only need the Internet connection if you are using Wolfram|Alpha to enter your inputs, because this is a web service. If you had typed the Mathematica input Plot[Sin[x]/x, {x, -9.4, 9.4}] rather than graph of sin[x]/x then this would not have happened. W|A's interpretation of inputs is unpredictable at the best of times, so I would suggest ...

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