All you’ll ever need. Musically anyway.

Zumreed’s X2 Hybrid headphones are innovative and terrifying in equal measure.

Unlike normal headphones, they have speaker drivers built into the ear cups, and thus double as portable speakers. Genius — unless you’re unfortunate enough to sit next to an enthusiastic N-Dubz fan on the bus.

BEST BIT: A novel new hybrid twist on headphones — flip a switch to channel the music from inside the cans to outside.

NERD AMMO: In speaker mode, the X2’s can stand upright on any flat surface. Powered by a rechargeable battery, one hour of USB charging gives four hours of music pleasure



Budget iPad 2 to launch next week, iPad Mini coming later in 2012?


New reports have emerged suggesting that Apple will launch a budget version of the iPad 2 next week, and put a small screen tablet into production later this year, as it seeks to see off the challenge of cheap Android tablets.

Apple has confirmed that it will hold a press event next Wednesday, at which at least one new iPad will be announced, with widespread speculation that it will be the iPad 3.

However, fresh reports suggest that the event will also herald a more affordable 8GB model of the iPad 2 that was released last year.

According to Digitimes, the new product would be priced at $349 to $399 (£219 to £250), and Apple will also lower the price of the 16GB iPad 2 to $449 (£281). This is presumably for the WiFi version, not 3G.

The industry blog also claimed that a source said the iPad Mini – a new smaller screen tablet – will go into production in the third quarter of 2012.

Digitimes believes that the iPad Mini will be a direct rival to the various budget Google Android tablets, particularly the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Various reports have suggested that the new tablet will have a 7.85-inch screen and will be priced at between $249 and $299 (£156 and £187).

Digitimes said: “The planned launch of the 7.85-inch iPad is apparently to take on Amazon’s $199 7-inch Kindle Fire as well as a comparable model from Barnes & Noble, although Apple already took up nearly a 60% share of the tablet PC market in 2011, indicated the sources.”

Diversifying the iPad range would mirror the approach taken with the iPod, as Apple has released a number of different shapes and sizes of the MP3 player to keep the line fresh.

In other speculation, it has been suggested that Apple will announce a new generation of Apple TV at the press conference next week in San Francisco, bringing various new features to the set top box product.


‘Angry Birds Space’ confirmed for Samsung Galaxy Note

Angry Birds Space will be available for the Samsung Galaxy Note at launch.

The game will be made available for the hybrid device as part of a strategic partnership between the Korean tech giant and developer Rovio.

“We are thrilled to join the launch of the new Angry Birds Space game as an official mobile partner,” said Samsung executive Simon Stanford. “The Angry Birds games are among the most popular content that most smartphone users enjoy every day.”

Rovio vice president Ville Heijari added: “Angry Birds Space is probably the biggest product launch for Rovio so far, and we are excited to partner with Samsung for the blast off.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1“Angry Birds Space is a perfect companion for the great new smartphones from Samsung, and Samsung Galaxy Note will show off the game’s rich detail and intricate gameplay to the fullest.”

Angry Birds Space will be released on March 22. Rovio has promised to reveal full details about the game on March 8.


PS Vita Facebook app taken down from PSN

Published Friday, Feb 24 2012
PS Vita

© Sony

Sony has removed the PlayStation Vita Facebook app from the PSN store.

The app has been unable to connect users to their Facebook page, returning an error code NP-13144-3.

“The Vita Facebook application has been removed from the store,” a Sony representative said.

“It will be republished once the difficulties Facebook have experienced have been resolved. Currently there is no timescale for this.”

The Vita Facebook app launched Wednesday, February 22, alongside the system and worked for much of the day.

Complaints of failed connections and error messages began Thursday before Sony removed the app today.




The Kodak M200 cameraKodak have announced that it will no longer be making digital cameras.

The 133-year-old firm, which entered bankruptcy protection last month, also revealed that it is halting production on video cameras and digital photo frames.

Kodak is shifting its focus towards photo printing, desktop inkjet printers and other markets in a bid to save around $100m (£63m) a year as part its ongoing cost-cutting strategy.

“Today’s announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends,” said Pradeep Jotwani, president and chief marketing officer at Kodak.

Kodak is working with retailers to ensure a smooth transition, and will continue to honour warranty agreements on discontinued products.

The company fell into financial difficulties last year when it failed to sell a batch of digital imaging patents. Executives warned that bankruptcy protection would be necessary if Kodak failed to find a buyer by the end of last year.

Kodak has struggled to compete in the current digital camera market following advancements in mobile phone technology.


Facebook initiates mandatory Timeline roll out

Facebook has announced that all of its users will be given a Timeline profile over the coming weeks.

The social networking site offered the service on a voluntary basis before Christmas, but is now making it compulsory to subscribers.

“Last year we introduced Timeline, a new kind of profile that lets you highlight the photos, posts and life events that help you tell your story. Over the next few weeks, everyone will get Timeline,” read a statement from Mark Zuckerberg’s firm.

“When you get Timeline, you’ll have seven days to preview what’s there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it.”

Timeline was unveiled by Zuckerberg at last year’s f8 conference. The service chronologically lists every activity ever carried out through a user’s Facebook account, taking note of new friends, status posts and photo uploads, among other updates.



Rock around the (travel) clock

Geneva Lab's Model XS is probably the best speaker ever made that'll slip inside your hummingbird-skin bag

Geneva Lab is a bold technological pioneer that uses high-end Swiss techniques to explore the limits of how much things like clock radios can actually cost.

And if you’re a ‘Man Who Has Everything’ and your relatives have exhausted the usual MWHE presents such as belly-button warmers, the company’s Model XS is one to add to the gift list, being probably the best speaker ever made that’ll slip inside your hummingbird-skin bag.

It delivers sensational sound for something so small, pumping out warm, realistic bass from a 2in woofer, and it’s pretty creditable as a portable PC speaker for lonely, rich sales reps to listen to sad, sad songs as they travel the world.

Bluetooth ensures it works with just about anything, a cable ensures it works with everything, and the rechargeable battery and FM aerial mean it can go it alone even if you’re away from a power socket, your phone, your PC and/or the rest of civilisation.

The trouble is that over the system’s rich sounds, you can also hear the faint jingling of a cash register as its creators race off with £179 of your hard-earned to deposit in a (Swiss) bank. Pity.


YouTube launches biggest redesign in its history

YouTube has launched the biggest redesign in its history with a brand new homepage featuring greater integration of social networks and content channels.

The Google-owned website has given itself “a fresh coat of digital paint” in a redesign of the service that attracts more than three billion video views every day.

Following an announcement in October that over 100 original channels are coming to YouTube, the revamp is primarily focused on making this new material more accessible to users. YouTube

The new homepage is intended to be a “gateway to a vast entertainment universe”, including a bar on the left side featuring options to personalise YouTube, adding links to videos shared by your Google+ and Facebook friends.

The navigation bar also lists all the channels to which you are subscribed, along with the topics that are trending worldwide at that moment.

Accessing a channel or video flagged on the social networks shifts the clip to the middle section, which is intended to be Facebook-esque newsfeed featuring recent activity.

The video feed, announced earlier in the year, will auto-populate with videos from subscribed channels and social networking friends in default mode.

On the right hand side, a column features recommended content related to users’ recent YouTube video viewing history.

YouTube said in a blog post: “Our recent Channels expansion, our grants and educational programmes, and this new design are all focused on helping you discover a broader range of entertainment on YouTube.

“We’re always innovating and testing new stuff out to make the experience the best it can be for you. We rely on your feedback to figure out when we’ve gotten it right and when it needs further tweaks. So let us know what you think.”