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Review: Apple’s $329 iPad is for people who have never upgraded...

Apple doesn't always build midrange gadgets, but when it does, they're good.

A tour of iOS 10.3: Checking out APFS, the Settings app,...

New update is likely to be iOS 10's last hurrah.

Apple’s new iPad lineup slashes prices, the iPad Air, and iPad...

While we’re still waiting for a fresh iPad with barely there bezels to make an appearance, Apple has returned to its roots with a new 9.7-inch model simply called iPad.

And if you had previously balked at buying an iPad Air 2 because the price was too high, you might want to take notice.Apple hasn’t technically added a new model to the iPad lineup, but it has bolstered the low end.

Gone is the aging iPad Air 2 (as well as the whole Air branding), and in its place is a new model that looks exactly the same, with a 9.7-inch retina screen, Touch ID, 32GB or 128GB of storage, and the same color choices (silver, gold, and space gray). On the inside you’ll get an A9 chip—the same one that’s in the iPhone 6s—and the usual 10-hour battery.

That’s a relatively small upgrade over the 8X chip that was in the iPad Air 2, but the difference here isn’t in performance, it’s in price.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Smartphone patent wars redux: Nokia sues Apple, big time

Photo by Tim Duckettreader comments 63 Share this story Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have launched a major legal attack on Apple, filing lawsuits in Germany and the US that accuse Apple of infringing 32 patents. According to Nokia's statement, the patents cover technologies that include display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding.

The US lawsuit includes 10 patents and was filed in federal court in East Texas, a venue that's long been favored by patent owners. Most of the patents originated at Nokia, but at least one originated at Lucent Technologies. Nokia agreed to buy Alcatel Lucent in 2015 and completed the deal last year. The new lawsuit (PDF) appears to be a major revival of the patent battles Apple and Nokia fought between 2009 and 2011.

Back then, the two companies were also engaged in litigation that spanned the globe.

All that was put to rest with a settlement in 2011, which analysts estimated at the time may have been worth hundreds of millions of euros to Nokia.

Despite those payments, Nokia said in a statement today that Apple refused to license "other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple's products." Of course, that might be because Nokia didn't offer them as part of the 2011 settlement package.
Some Nokia patents were distributed to so-called "patent trolls," also called patent assertion companies or PAEs.

Those PAEs include Acacia Research Corp., a branch of which won a $22.1 million verdict against Apple in June. "Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products," said Nokia patent chief Ilkka Rahnastoin a statement. "After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights. The Nokia lawsuit accuses every version of iPhone—from the iPhone 7 all the way back to the iPhone 3GS—of infringing Nokia patents.

Also accused are iPad Pro and every version of iPad Air and iPad Mini, as well as the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and services like Find My iPhone and Find my iPad. As one example, Nokia says that US Patent No. 6,701,294, which it acquired from Alcatel-Lucent, is infringed by Apple's Siri feature in iOS 10. "Apple's Siri acts as an intelligent personal assistant in conjunction with the user interface... of Apple mobile devices," the complaint states.

The Siri-using products have a "translator unit," an "evaluator unit" and an "interrogator unit for querying said one or more prescribed databases," and a "supplier unit" to give information to the user.
In Nokia's view, the Apple "supplier unit" consists of "the Siri program, including the Apple device, wireless connections, and backend servers." Nokia's business has gone through dramatic ups and downs since its earlier dispute with Apple. Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014.

But Microsoft struggled and ultimately exited the smartphone sector anyway earlier this year, taking a final write-down on the $7.1 billion Nokia purchase and laying off up to 1,850 workers. Earlier this month, Nokia announced plans to get back into the smartphone business with Android-powered phones that will be on the market next year. Just yesterday, Apple filed an antitrust lawsuit (PDF) against Nokia in federal court in San Jose.
In it, Apple accused the Finnish company of transferring "massive numbers of patents" to patent assertion companies like Acacia. Nokia reached a deal with "each of its PAE co-conspirators" to separately enforce a diffused patent portfolio, "to maximize the aggregate royalties that can be extracted from product companies," Apple lawyers allege. "Nokia and those PAEs have thereby increased market power and created or enhanced monopoly power associated with those patents." Apple claims that Nokia's strategy of working with PAEs to stack up big royalty payments is a violation of US antitrust laws, as well as a breach of contract.

The breach of contract claim says that Nokia violated its commitments to license certain standard-essential patents on a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) basis.

Buffer overflow exploit can bypass Activation Lock on iPads running iOS...

Enlarge / The iPad Air 2 and Mini 4.Andrew Cunningham reader comments 22 Share this story Apple's Activation Lock feature, introduced in iOS 7 in 2013, deters thieves by associating your iPhone and iPad with your Apple ID.

Even if a thief steals your device, puts it into Recovery Mode, and completely resets it, the phone or tablet won't work without the original user's Apple ID and password.

This makes stolen iDevices less valuable since they become more difficult to resell, and it has significantly reduced iPhone theft in major cities. The feature has been difficult to crack, but a new exploit disclosed by Vulnerability Lab security analyst Benjamin Kunz Mejri uses a buffer overflow exploit and some iPad-specific bugs to bypass Activation Lock in iOS 10.1.1. When you're setting up a freshly-reset iPad with Activation Lock enabled, the first step is to hit "Choose Another Network" when you're asked to connect to Wi-Fi.
Select a security type, and then input a very, very long string of characters into both the network name and network password fields (copying and pasting your increasingly long strings of characters can speed this up a bit).

These fields were not intended to process overlong strings of characters, and the iPad will gradually slow down and then freeze as the strings become longer.

During one of these freezes, rotate the tablet, close its Smart Cover for a moment, and then re-open the cover.

The screen will glitch out for a moment before displaying the Home screen for a split second, at which point a well-timed press of the Home button can apparently bypass Activation Lock entirely (but it will have to be extremely well-timed, since the first-time setup screen will pop back up after a second). This video shows the exploit in action, and we were able to reproduce it on an iPad Mini 2 running iOS 10.1.1.
In our testing, however, we couldn't reproduce the bug on an iPhone 5 running iOS 10.1.1—the first-time setup screens on all iPhone models doesn't rotate as it does on the iPad, nor can the iPhones be locked with Smart Covers.

These screens also wouldn't rotate into landscape mode in iPads running iOS 9, so if you haven't updated yet (or if you're using an older iPad and can't update), you're probably vulnerable to a whole bunch of other security bugs but it's not possible to make the screen glitch out in the same way. There could be an alternate form of the exploit that works on iPhones, though as of this writing it only appears to be possible on iPads running iOS 10.1.1. We've contacted Apple for comment and will update if we receive a response.