Psst. Hey, do you carry a spare Smart Cover around with you? Well, if you’re an unscrupulous sort, you can actually use it to bypass the lock screen of any iPad running iOS 5. This multi-step security hole will let you browse whatever’s running behind the passcode screen, whether that’s email, apps or the homescreen. To take advantage of the flaw, hold down the power button on the locked device until the power off slider appears, then whip the Smart Cover on, open and tap cancel. Fortunately for iPad owners, the rest of the tablet remains locked-down, but the main problem here is any sensitive information left on-screen. If you unlock the tablet to the main screen, you won’t be able to open new apps, although anyone feeling particularly nefarious can apparently delete apps from that meticulously arranged home screen. See how it’s done in the video after the break.
Are you tired of waking up to the same old semiconductor-based solar array? Do you yearn for a change? We know you do and, thanks again to the wonder and mystery of magnetic fields (they’re not just for stopping speech anymore), there’s a new day dawning. University of Michigan scientists were shooting lasers at glass, as they do, and made a remarkable discovery: light passing through a non-conductive surface like glass generates impressive magnetic effects – up to 100 million times greater than expected. The resulting magnetic force could replace the electric effect exploited by current technology, paving the way for “optical batteries.” Though different from the Wysips transparent photovoltaic cell, the technology could have similar applications and may render obsolete those massive solar farms. No need to worry, though — your stylish solar backpack is as fly as it ever was.
Killing time until the iPad 2 finally becomes available across Europe later today? Well, now you can stoke the flames of anticipation by taking a gander at this here wood cover made specifically for the magnet-infused new Appletablet. It comes from a single piece of cherry wood and rolls up into a stand, providing a pair of landscape positions and a sturdy base for keeping the slate vertical should you wish to gaze upon it in portrait mode. Frankly, Apple should’ve been the one to come up with this refinement on its Smart Covers, though at least a small company like Miniot spares us the overblown rhetoric about life-changing gear purchases. Price isn’t too bad, either, with orders starting at €50 later on today.
We can’t say we were expecting to be impressed by a case for the new iPad 2, but Apple’s pulled something of a surprise out its hat with its new Smart Covers for the tablet. Available in multiple colors and in your choice of polyurethane or leather variants, the covers attach to the iPad with a self-aligning magnetic hinge and can also be folded into a triangle and used as a stand. What’s more, they’ll automatically wake or put your iPad to sleep when you open or close the cover, and they even pack a microfiber lining that cleans your screen each time you flip it open. As Steve Jobs explained, Apple designed the covers right alongside the iPad itself and, as he pointed out in true sound bite fashion, “it’s not a case — it’s a cover.” Look for the poly covers to set you back $39, while the leather ones will run $69 apiece — video is after the break.