Bad bug found in Microsoft browsing code

Google has released details of a bug in Microsoft’s browsing programs that would allow attackers to build websites that make the software crash.

Google researcher Ivan Fratric said the bug could, in some cases, allow attackers to hijack a victim’s browser.

The bug was found in November, but details are only now being released after the expiry of the 90-day deadline Google gave Microsoft to find a fix.

Microsoft has yet to say when it will produce a patch that removes the bug.

Quick fix

In an explanation of how the bug arose, Mr Fratric said he was reluctant to reveal more details until it was patched.

He said he had expected Microsoft to address the bug before the 90-day deadline had expired.

The problem is found in Internet Explorer 11 as well as the Edge browser and arises because of the way both programs handle instructions to format some parts of web pages.

In a statement, Microsoft did not comment directly on the bug and its significance but said it had a “customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible”.

It added it was involved in “an ongoing conversation with Google about extending their deadline since the disclosure could potentially put customers at risk”.

So far, there is no evidence that malicious attackers are exploiting the problem unearthed by Mr Fratric.

The publication of information about the browser bug caps a difficult period for Microsoft and the security of its software.

Earlier this month, it cancelled a regularly monthly security update without explaining why.

The update was expected to include fixes for several significant vulnerabilities.

In the same month, other security researchers released information about a way to exploit a vulnerability in some Microsoft server code.

No fix has yet been released for this vulnerability.

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Man jailed for hitting woman with drone

The owner of an aerial photography business has been sentenced to 30 days in jail after a drone he was operating knocked a woman unconscious.

Paul Skinner was found guilty of reckless endangerment, by a judge at the Seattle Municipal Court.

It is believed to be the first time a drone pilot has been given a jail sentence.

The incident happened during Seattle’s 2015 Pride Parade.

According to the police, the 18in (45cm) by 18in drone crashed into a building and fell into the crowd, injuring two people.

Judge Willie Gregory said he acknowledged that the incident was an accident but added that the pilot had “engaged in conduct that put people in danger of being injured”.

Close calls

Prosecutor Pete Holmes said the faulty operation of drones was a “serious public-safety issue that will only get worse” and more prosecutions could follow.

Ravi Vaidyanathan, a drone expert from Imperial College London, said he was “not aware of anything previously resulting in jail time”.

He said it was inevitable more accidents would follow and called on the regulatory bodies that governed drone use to provide “a consistent set of guidelines on usage”.

“In the US, there are rules for commercial use but different ones for hobbyists,” he said.

“In the UK, rules are governed by the size of aircraft, so in my understanding anything under 20kg [3st 2lb] can be flown without regulation.

“We are in uncharted territory, but the guidelines have to be consistent.”

He added the inconvenience to the public was also “non-trivial”.

“Having a drone buzzing around does not add to most people’s beach experience, for example, and we need to think about this too.”

During the past fiscal year, more than 1,200 possible collisions between an aircraft and a drone were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA was unable to confirm any strikes, but it has reported several close calls, including a Lufthansa jet approaching Los Angeles that passed within 200ft (60m) of a drone.

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iPad Pro 2 price, release date and specs UK | New iPad Pro rumours

iPad Pro 2 price, release date and specs UK | New iPad Pro rumours

Three iPads are expected in 2017, but what can we expect from the new iPad Pro? We round up the iPad Pro 2 UK release date, price and specification rumours.

We round up the latest news and rumours on the iPad Pro 2


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The word on the street is that Apple will unveil three new iPads in 2017: an entry-level 9.7in iPad that will replace the iPad Air 2, and two iPad Pros with screen sizes of 10.5- and 12.9in. Here we round up all the rumours about what to expect from the second-generation iPad Pro, including its UK release date, price and specs. See: Best new tablets coming 2017.

Here’s a summary of what to expect at a 2017 iPad launch:

  • New 12.9in iPad Pro with new A10X processor (plus other upgrades) and updated Apple Pencil 2
  • New 10.1-10.5in iPad Pro with the new A10X processor, ultra-thin bezels (and possibly no physical home button) and updated Apple Pencil 2
  • New ‘low-cost’ 9.7in iPad with A9 or A9X processor (the iPad Air 3 maybe)

Update 28 February: Japanese site Mac Otakara reports that a source has said Apple is indeed launching new iPads – including the 12.9in Pro 2 – in March. And a new iPhone SE (if only with increased storage) and new iPhone 7 models (if only new colour options) will also be launched at the special event. DigiTimes, quoting sources in the supply chain, says the iPad Pro 2, and the new 10.5in tablet, won’t go on sale until May because of manufacturing delays.

Other slightly older rumours claim the trio of new iPads for 2017 probably won’t be announced until the second half of the year. If that is true, they’ll probably share stage time with the new iPhones. One reason for the delays is said to be poor yields of the new 10nm processors. Read more.

iPad Pro 2 release date

Expected launch date: March 2017 OR September 2017

The original iPad Pro, reviewed, launched in September 2015 and the 9.7in arrived in March 2016. We suspected an iPad Pro 2 reveal (and maybe a new iPad mini or an iPad Air 3) in September 2016, but it didn’t happen. 

Some rumours say the new generation of processors aren’t ready and will cause the iPads to be delayed until the second half of the year. The current A9X chip – which is used by both iPad Pro models – is based on the 16nm FinFET process. This is the same used by the latest generation of graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. In order to produce a chip with significantly faster performance without high power consumption, Apple is having to move to a 10nm process. Rumours say that very poor yields of the new chips mean that the vast quantities Apple needs to launch new iPads are simply not going to be available until later in the year. Update: DigiTimes has reported that the delays aren’t so bad and that the new iPads will go on sale in May, following their March launch.

If this is incorrect and the delays are significant, Apple may choose to combine the launch of the iPads with the new iPhones (which could also use 10nm processors) and hold an event at it’s usual time in September. However, this is speculation at this point and we’ll have to wait and see.

A new piece of information that indicates Apple is working on a new iPad Pro is the below patent for a new Smart Keyboard. It shows new features such as search and share buttons – via Patently Apple.

iPad Pro 2 smart keyboard

iPad Pro 2 smart keyboard

iPad Pro 2 new features

A new concept video shows what the iPad Pro 2 might look like with a 10.5in screen and features from the iPhone 7 Plus such as the dual-camera. 

Well-known industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted there will be three new iPads launching in 2017. He says there will be a new 12.9in iPad Pro – the iPad Pro 2 – and also a new model with a 10.5in screen, no bezels and no home button on the front, which should appeal to, well, everyone. The new tablets (as you’d expect) will have a faster processor, probably called the A10X. Recently he slightly revised his predictions, specifically to say that delays in manufacturing the new CPUs could mean we won’t see any new iPads until the second half of the year.

The report also talks about “revolutionary” changes to the iPad range in 2018, which some are taking to mean radical changes such as a flexible AMOLED display. The latest from Barclays Research analysts, as reported by MacRumours, is that the middle-size iPad will have a 10.9in screen, not 10.5. Many seem to suggest the larger display will fit in a chassis no bigger than the current 9.7in iPad.

Another rumour about the Pad Pro 2 says Apple is working on adding better support into iOS for the Apple Pencil, the optional stylus which works with only select apps on the iPad Pro models. Apple might add the enhanced support when it launches the new iPads in 2017 as an update to iOS 10. However, it may wait and introduce them in iOS 11. The improvements are unclear, but it could be possible to use the Pencil to annotate in many more stock apps including Mail, Messages, Safari and others. The Pencil should work with the upcoming 10.5in iPad Pro and this would leave only the iPad mini with no stylus support. 

The Pencil itself should also receive an update, according to rumours on (not always credible) Weibo, and the Apple Pencil 2 is expected to attach to the iPad’s body using magnets and feature a pocket clip. Mac Observer points out that Apple does not currently hold a patent for a magnetic attachment to the iPad, however.

The rumours also say that the iPad Pro 2 “will include faster display technology that allows for smoother zooming, panning and scrolling”.

iPad poll

iPad Pro 2 specs

When it launched, the original iPad Pro didn’t come in a 256GB storage capacity but Apple add it to the line-up at the same time as the introduction of the iPad Pro 9.7. We expect the iPad Pro 2 to come in the same storage options which are currently available.

The iPad Pro 2 is sure to come in Rose Gold which is now available in most of Apple’s other products including the iPhone and MacBook.

iPad Pro 2 release date, specs, features rumours

iPad Pro 2 release date, specs, features rumours

It’s fairly easy to predict that Apple will bring the specs of the iPad Pro 2 to at least match the 9.7in model. That means adding the True Tone display which automatically adjusts the white balance for a more realistic experience, the 12Mp iSight camera with Live Photos and 4K video recording and the 5Mp front FaceTime HD camera with a Retina Flash.

Those changes would make the iPad Pro 2 level with the current 2016 iPad Pro but it wouldn’t be Apple if there weren’t some features not seen before on an iPad. This could simply come in the form of a new processor but we hope for more since the current A9X is more than dependable.

iPad Pro 2 price

We expect that Apple will keep prices the same as for the current iPad Pro 12.9: 

  • 32GB: £679; $799
  • 128GB: £799; $949
  • 256GB: £919; $1099

If you’re after Wi-Fi + Cellular prices, the current prices are as follows:

  • 128GB: £899; $1079
  • 256GB: £1019; $1229

It would be nice, though, if the base model came with 64GB rather than 32GB.

This is all speculation on our part, but as rumours emerge we’ll add them here. We are perhaps a little too far away from the launch for anything juicy so check back soon.    

iPad Pro 2 leaks

There have been very few leaks. AppleInsider posted an image which supposedly shows a prototype of the iPad Pro 2. 

In the image, the Settings app is open and reveals the model number of the device – “MH1C2CD/F“. This doesn’t match any existing models of iPad and, although it follows Apple’s numbering covention, it is fairly easy to spoof this information.

It’s also interesting to note that both iPads apparently have only 12GB of storage – this could be due to the prototype status, as Apple may not want to use 128GB of storage for a prototype.

Either way, these iPads are definitely not existing iPad Pro units. However with that being said, it’s not confirmation that these are photos of prototype second-generation iPad Pros, as the images could still have been doctored. Unfortunately, there are no images of the sides or rear of the device so there’s no hint at what hardware the iPad Pro 2 could feature, but we imagine the iPad Pro 2 leaks will become more common as time goes on and we’ll be updating this article regularly.

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LightwaveRF smart lighting review

LightwaveRF is a smart-home solution that offers not only lighting but devices for controlling your heating and power. Its products can be remotely controlled via a mobile app or PC, making it an ideal solution for use when you’re home or away. We checked out its lighting solution, and here’s what we thought. Also see: Best smart bulbs

LightwaveRF review: What it is, what it does

We have tested only Lightwave’s smart lighting controls, but the company offers much more beyond this. You can set up devices that control your hot water and individual room heating, motion detection, and the opening and closing of blinds or curtains. You can also install smart switches on your plug sockets that allow you to turn on and off power when required. You might want to turn on the coffee maker 10 minutes before you get home, for example, or turn off power to the TV between certain times when you want the kids in bed.

Lightwave particularly appealed to us because we have spotlights installed throughout our home, and most smart lighting solutions require you to install individual bulbs. That simply wouldn’t have worked for us: it would have cost a fortune and looked nasty. With Lightwave we are able to simply replace the light switches in each room, then control each switch from a mobile app.

There are certain times at home when being able to turn on or off the lights without getting up is handy. Perhaps you want to turn off the bedroom light after you are in bed, without having to trip over clothes and slippers in the dark. It can also be handy as an alarm clock, turning on at a certain time to gently wake you (be sure to dim the lights!). Or maybe you’re cuddled up on the sofa and you want to watch a film and turn off the lights but you’re just too comfortable to get up.

When used from afar it can be handy as both a burglar deterrent and an energy-saving device. If a member of your family routinely leaves on the lights, just turn them off from the app on your phone. And if you would usually leave a landing light turned on when you’re away overnight, with Lightwave you can set up multiple lights to turn on – and off – at suitable times. You could even stagger the timings of these lights throughout the house, simulating your journey as you walk upstairs to bed, turning off the lights as you go.

Lightwave can be controlled through a mobile app or on your PC. We also got it working with an Android Wear watch using IFTTT, allowing us to turn on and off lights from our watch (pretty cool). If you don’t want to carry around a phone, tablet or watch, Lightwave also sells physical remote controls.

LightwaveRF review: UK pricing

The Lightwave Link is available from Amazon UK for £83.98. Once you’ve bought this hub device you can hook up any other Lightwave devices you require. For example, we added two one-gang master dimmer switches – one in the lounge and another in our bedroom – which cost £45.49 each (also via Amazon UK).

It’s not an especially cheap solution, but typically neither are standalone smart bulbs. What we particularly like about this solution is that when a bulb goes you simply replace it, without having to fork out for another pricey device.

We also like the fact you can add to the system as fast as your budget allows. For now we have just the two switches, but we can add switches in other rooms of the house or other power and heating controls as and when we have the spare cash.

Of course, you don’t need to replace every light switch in the house: there is no need to have remotely controlled lighting in the bathroom, for example. However, you might like to use the system to set up motion detection so the light comes on automatically as you walk into the bathroom, or to take advantage of the ability to turn on or off all lights from afar (off when someone’s accidentally left them on and gone to work, and on when you’re on holiday and want it to look as though you are at home). Also see: Best smart home heating systems

LightwaveRF review: Setup and use

Setting up Lightwave couldn’t be simpler. You start with the Lightwave Link, which is a hub device that is hardwired to the router. Having downloaded the app and registered for an account you can connect to the Link on your phone or tablet.

The one-gang master dimmer switches we installed replace the front fascia on your existing light switches. You can also buy multiple-gang switches, and which you choose depends entirely on what you have fitted in your home.

To pair the switches to the link you simultaneously press and hold the on and off buttons until the LEDs alternately flash blue and amber. Within the app you can then give that light switch an appropriate name.

Once configured, the app is very straightforward to use. The main screen shows the rooms hooked up to Lightwave, and you tap on any of these to select them.

LightwaveRF review

LightwaveRF review

You are then given the option to turn off all lights, or below this to turn the light switch on or off. There is a slider bar below that allows you to dim the lights as required.

LightwaveRF review

LightwaveRF review

Other tabs in the mobile app allow you to set up Events – presets for when you are home or away that can be applied at the tab of a button when required.

LightwaveRF review

LightwaveRF review

The next tab lets you set timers, and you’ll also find a tab for controlling your heating if you have the necessary equipment installed.  

LightwaveRF review

LightwaveRF review

Read next: How to make your house a smart home

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter

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LeEco Super4 X65 TV review:A good picture and great features at a nice price

LeEco’s 65-inch class Super4 X65 TV impressed us with its rich and accurate color, which is far closer to the picture quality of the more-expensive Sony X930/940D series than other TVs in its $1400 price class. Additionally, action sequences were smooth, the remote is our favorite flavor of minimalist, and we also quite liked the way the TV looked sitting on our test bench.

Design

The Super4 65X is thin: It’s less than an inch thick for the top 55 percent or so,  deepening to approximately 2 inches at the bottom where the electronics and speakers are located. Close to the wall, hung using a standard VESA mount (200mm by 200mm or 400mm by 400mm varieties are supported) you’ll have few aesthetic complaints. All told, the 65.5-inch, 3840×2160 display is fit into a package that’s 57.3 inches wide, 36 inches tall, and weighs 62.4 pounds naked (about 64 pounds with the two feet installed).

leeco super4 c LeEco

The Super4 65X’s components reside at the bottom of the TV, rendering it quite stable on a flat surface. It also fits close enough to the wall with a mount that even fussy decorators won’t take issue with.

Most of the Super4 65X’s ports are found in a recessed cavity on the right side in the back of the TV. They include one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port; gigabit ethernet; three HDMI 2.0a ports, one of which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel); RCA and Optical S/PDIF jacks; and an A/V input that accepts both stereo analog audio and composite video via a three-cord adapter cable.A coax antenna input supports the onboard tuner.

Finally, there’s a mini-stereo audio input jack and VGA port for hooking up computers that don’t support HDMI. Wireless connectivity is via an 802.11ac adapter and a Bluetooth 4.1 radio. The latter handles the remote, which has a pairing button inside the battery compartment.

Picture, sound, and performance

The world of 4K UHD TV is rapidly evolving toward HDR (high dynamic range), and it’s a feature that needs to be discussed in every 4K UHD TV review. Because once you see HDR, you’re going to want it. LeEco markets the Super4 X65 as an HDR10 set, and it does show off HDR content to a limited extent—there is a definite uptick in contrast between bright and dark areas. Relatively low peak brightness, however (we measured 365 nits), leaves the Super4 X65 robbing Peter (detail in dark areas) to pay Paul (the HDR contrast effect). Indeed, in a number of movies, dark areas lacked detail to the point of distraction.

With SDR (standard dynamic range) material, on the other hand, there’s little to complain about: The color is very good. It’s not quantum-dot quality, but it’s up there with, and similar to Sony’s X930D (the Sony produce 500+ nits and performs much better with HDR content than LeEco’s panel). The motion compensation is also very good. There was the occasional minor shimmer in detailed panning shots, but by and large, fast action and panning sequences were rendered smoothly.

The sound emanating from the TV is a bit muffled, not surprising given that the speakers face backwards. You’ll do better mounting or positioning the Super4 65X against a hard reflective surface than we did with our absorptive curtain. But no matter where you situate it, this TV will benefit greatly from a soundbar or audio system. Supported audio formats include straight Dolby Audio.

super4 x65 front b LeEco

The Super4 65X is a good-looking TV in our book. Then again, most TVs are these days.

Probably our favorite thing about the Super4, aside from the color and nice motion compensation, is how responsive the user interface is. A lot of TV’s tout the X-this-or-that processor they carry onboard, yet still feel sluggish when you’re browsing menus or launching apps. We never got that feeling with the Super4 and its ARM Cortex CPU. There’s little to no lag when accessing menus, scanning channels, tweaking settings, and so on. It feels quick. And quick is good.

MacBook Pro price, specs | New MacBook Pro 2017 rumours

MacBook Pro price, specs | New MacBook Pro 2017 rumours

In October Apple unveiled its long-awaited MacBook Pro with a fancy new Touch Bar, but we won’t be waiting as long for the next update. New MacBook Pros with updated processors are expected this year. We outline the 2016 MacBook Pro UK release date, price and specification, plus new MacBook Pro 2017 rumours.

All the information you need about the new Apple MacBook Pro


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In October Apple unveiled its long-awaited MacBook Pro with a fancy new Touch Bar, but we won’t be waiting as long for the next update.New MacBook Pros with updated processors – potentially Intel Kaby Lake chips – are expected this year, . We outline the 2016 MacBook Pro UK release date, price and specification, plus new MacBook Pro 2017 rumours. See also: Best laptops 2017.

Also see: Apple October Event as it happened | MacBook Pro with Touch Bar review

New MacBook Pro 2017 rumours

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting updated MacBooks with Intel Kaby Lake processor later this year. Kuo says new 12in MacBooks will enter mass production in Q2 (March), potentially with a new 16GB RAM model.

Meanwhile new 13- and 15in MacBook Pros will begin mass production in Q3 (July). In Q4 (September) we could see a high-end 15in MacBook Pro with 32GB of RAM as “the most significantly redesigned product this year”.

The notion of new MacBook Pros in 2017 is backed up by a new Bloomberg report. It says a new model is planned for later this year but it might herald a shift away from Intel processors. According to people familiar with the matter the chip, codenamed T310 and built ARM technology, will handle low-power functionality and work along the main Intel processor.

This move could mean better battery life as moving the ‘Power Nap’ feature to the new chip will use even less power. Apple’s ARM-based T1 chip is already in the latest MacBook Pro – see below.

But what about AMD Ryzen? An article on Arcitosh.com suggests “AMD’s new Ryzen 7 CPUs look to promise more computing muscle per watt than Intel and offer a nicer philosophical fit for Apple.”

The current MacBook Pro isn’t much faster than the model it replaced, since Apple looks to provide performance while conserving battery life. Arcitosh suggests that rather than producing its own or using Intel’s chips to look for the ultimate performance per watt, it could instead use AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. 

Watch this space for more updates.

MacBook Pro 2016

In October 2016 on the week of the Apple laptop’s 25th anniversary, Apple announced the best MacBook Pro yet. There are 13- and 15in models with new all-aluminium designs that are significantly thinner and lighter than their predecessors, just 14.9mm thin and 3lb for the 13in model and 15.5mm and 4lb for the 15in model.

The new MacBook Pros, available in Silver and Space Grey, have a two times larger Force Touch trackpad and a new context-sensitive Retina display Touch Bar that replaces the row of Function keys. Touch ID is also built-in with Secure Enclave and protected with Sapphire glass.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

The new Touch Bar consumed most of Apple’s demonstration, and it does look cool. What functions it offers entirely depend on the app you’re in. For example, you might get emoji in the Messages app, favourite sites in Safari, and options to reply or delete in Mail. In Photos are useful editing controls, and we particularly like the look of the quick type function in relevant apps, which may speed up typing.

The keyboard itself has also been improved, with new second-generation Butterfly-style switch mechanisms that are more responsive and offer better travel.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

The new MacBook Pro is a sixth-generation Skylake machine with a 2133MHz Intel Core i7 inside (you can opt for a Core i5 in the 13in model). There’s up to 2TB of storage via a superfast SSD, and in the 15in model AMD Radeon Pro graphics with up to 4GB VRAM (the 13in model has Intel Iris graphics).

Apple says the 15in model is 130 percent faster than its predecessor on graphics, 60 percent faster for gaming, and 57 percent faster for video editing. The 13in model, meanwhile, is 103 percent faster than its predecessor for gaming, and 76 percent faster for both video editing and 3D graphics.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

The display is better than ever, now 67 percent brighter with 67 percent higher contrast and 25 percent more colours.

Each MacBook Pro is fitted with four Thunderbolt 3 ports that can go up to 40GB/s. Each of these ports can be used for power or as Thunderbolt, USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI or VGA connections.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

2016 MacBook Pro UK price and models

The new MacBook Pro comes in three models, all available direct from Apple.

1. 13in MacBook Pro without Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2x Thunderbolt 3. Available today for £1,499 ($1,499).

2. 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 550, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Shipping in three- to four weeks from £1,749 ($1,799).

3. 15in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, AMD Radeon Pro 450 Graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Shipping in three- to four weeks from £2,349 ($2,399).

Want to learn more about the new MacBook Pro? Check out our in-depth guide on our sister site Macworld.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

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The best iPhone games 2017

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