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How did you get the latest Fuerte update? Did you do it with "apt-get update" and "apt-get install ..." or "apt-get upgrade"? I have seen problems with version dependencies not being modeled super carefully in the ROS debian packages (they tell me it is difficult, and I don't doubt it).

The result is they recommend to always upgrade by doing

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

"dist-upgrade" upgrades every package in your system to the latest available. It takes longer, but is more reliable with ROS packages.

If all that does not help, I usually follow the instructions here to run just the node in question in gdb, so I can get a stack trace.