Mashable: Latest 6 News Updates - including “World’s First Social Headphones Offer Spectacular Sound [REVIEW]”

Mashable: Latest 6 News Updates - including “World’s First Social Headphones Offer Spectacular Sound [REVIEW]”

World’s First Social Headphones Offer Spectacular Sound [REVIEW]

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 03:30 PM PDT

Today we don a pair of flashy headphones and give them a close listen. Billed as “the first social headphones” because of their integrated duo jack, these $170 cans were designed by the same sound engineer who created the Monster Cable “Beats.” We so happen to also have a pair of the Beats Studio by Dr. Dre headphones on hand, so let’s compare the two.

Stifling our giggles at its anatomical-sounding Fanny Wang brand name, it didn’t take us long to get used to these garish red phones, affectionately dubbed by their maker as “On Ear Wangs.” Given that name and their shiny fire-engine-red hue, be prepared for ridicule if you hang out with jokesters. If their ribbing gets to be unbearable, just let them listen to these headphones for a few seconds, and their snide remarks will soon diminish. If it’s just that red color that’s bothering you, they’re also available in white or black with red trim.

Social, indeed. That extra jack included in the detachable cable turned out to be a boon for us in testing. We plugged both the Wangs and our Beats Studio headphones into the two jacks, and noticed that regardless of whether one or two pairs were plugged in, there was no diminishment of the sound. Even though adaptors are easy to find that let two people listen to the same source, including that extra jack in the cable is a lot more convenient, and assures you you’ll always have that capability when you want someone else to hear that great song you’re listening to. Excellent idea, especially for us socialites.

To be fair, let’s point out that the Beats Studio headphones are over-the-ear style, while these Wangs are on-the-ear, not completely enclosing your ear as the Beats do. Fanny Wang also offers an over-the-ear style, and Monster Cable offers on-ear Beats headphones as well.

The fact that the Beats headphones are completely enclosed should have given them an advantage in sound isolation. Surprisingly enough, the Beats still sounded louder to people standing next to me than the Wangs did. By the way, both are highly efficient, creating tremendous volume from an iPhone 4 cranked up to 11.

Sound advice. How did the sound of the two pairs of headphones compare? Even though the Beats headphones retail for $350 (commonly available for between $250 and $300), their sound was only slightly better than these On Ear Wangs. Both have remarkable sound quality, with seriously accurate and powerful bass, lifelike presence in the midrange and some of the crispiest highs I’ve ever heard. However, the thunderous tightness of the Beats’ bass touches the edge of what I call the “scary zone,” nearing the point where the smacking thump of the bass drum sounds like it’s happening right there in the room, almost making me jump.

On the other hand, the Wangs are more travel-ready, folding up into baseball-sized package that will fit into even a thoroughly packed carry-on, and they don’t require batteries like the Beats do. Do the Beats sound $130 better than the Wangs? No. Do they almost look the same? Yes, making me think there was a good reason for Monster Cable and Beats Electronics to sue Fanny Wang Headphone Company just before CES 2011, attempting to prevent the company from showing its wares on the show floor. But according to Fanny Wang, a judge denied Monster’s request for a temporary restraining order, because “convincing evidence of infringement was not proven.”

They’re brothers. Not only do the two headphones look alike, they sound nearly alike too. That makes sense, considering that the same engineer designed both of them. Consumers are the winners here, because for $120 less, you can get almost the same sound and a similar appearance, with a more-portable pair of earphones. A bonus is the dual cable that really does make the Wangs more social.

I think these Fanny Wang On Ear headphones are excellent, well worth the $170 and your consideration.

Fire-Engine Red

if you're looking for flashy headphones, you've found them here.

Full View

Notice there's no cable? It's detachable, and it has a springy, almost organic feel.


Fanny insists on her signature in five places, and I like that large L there, easy to spot when you're putting on the cans.


They're comfortable, even for extended listening sessions. Thanks to my lovely wife for posing for this one.

Dual Jack

The included cable has an extra jack that lets a friend plug in and listen to the same source you're listening to. And it doesn't even diminish the sound at all. Good idea.

More About: audio, Beats, Fanny Wang On Ear, Headphones, review, trending

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47 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 01:48 PM PDT

icons image

What a week for Mashable! We recently launched Follow, our social layer to help you create a profile and find and share stories to the public. Despite the good news close to home, this week was also a tough one for the journalism community with the death of two top photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who were hit by an rocket-propelled grenade while working in Libya.

Despite the ups and downs, the good folks at Mashable have come up with another batch of tools and resources to help you follow whatever news and topics interest you. This week we have stories about Obama’s visit to Facebook, the evolution of web design, PR pro tips for YouTube, and eight ways to improve live events using social media.

Looking for even more social media resources? This guide appears every weekend, and you can check out all the lists-gone-by here any time.

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tech & Mobile

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Business & Marketing

For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Webtreats Etc.

More About: business, facebook, Features Week In Review, gadgets, List, Lists, Mobile 2.0, social good, social media, tech, technology, twitter

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How Are Mac & PC People Different? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 12:25 PM PDT

In an infographic that’s bound to cause arguments and perhaps fistfights, researchers at Hunch placed data from about 700,000 of its website visitors onto a deep illustration that shows just how different users of Macs and PCs are.

They came up with interesting correlations between users’ chosen computing platforms and their demographics and personalities, as well as tastes in food, fashion and media.

Did it sort out like a comparison between Tea Party members and liberals? Are PC users geeks and Mac users hipsters, in keeping with common stereotypes? Almost. Mac users are more educated, eat more hummus, prefer modern art over impressionist art, and are 21% more likely than PC users to say that two random people are more alike than different.

Dive into the infographic below (feel free to click the graphic for an enlargement), full of insights and data, drawn from a huge sample. Of course, there are exceptions to every trend. Please let us know in the comments if you think its data is accurate or not.

Infographic courtesy Hunch, used with permission

More About: demographics, hunch, infographic, Mac vs. PC, trending

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Google Offers Easier Way to Transfer Video From Google Video to YouTube

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 10:56 AM PDT

Google’s listening. After notifying the world last week that Google Video was shutting down with no videos viewable after April 29, and giving users until May 13 to download them before they would be removed, Google’s backed away from that.

Numerous voices spoke out, asking why Google couldn’t create a quick way to transfer videos from Google Video to another of its video services, YouTube. Good news: The company’s done just that.

Besides eliminating that ominous April 29 deadline, Google says it’s “working to automatically migrate your Google Videos to YouTube.” In the meantime, Google’s added an “Upload Videos to YouTube” option, making it easy to send videos from a Google Video account to an associated YouTube account.

Here are the details from Google, posted on Google’s Webmaster Central blog on Friday and sent out to all Google video users early on April 23:

Dear Google Video User,

Last week we sent an email letting you know we would be ending playbacks of Google Videos on April 29 and providing instructions on how to download videos currently hosted on the platform. Since then we've received feedback from you about making the migration off of Google Video easier. We work every day to make sure you have a great user experience and should have done better. Based on your feedback, here's what we're doing to fix things.

Google Video users can rest assured that they won’t be losing any of their content and we are eliminating the April 29 deadline. We will be working to automatically migrate your Google Videos to YouTube. In the meantime, your videos hosted on Google Video will remain accessible on the web and existing links to Google Videos will remain accessible. If you want to migrate to YouTube now, here's how you do it:

We've created an "Upload Videos to YouTube" option on the Google Video status page. To do this, you'll need to have a YouTube account associated with your Google Video account (you can create one here). Before doing this you should read YouTube's Terms of Use and Copyright Policies. If you choose this option, we'll do our best to ensure your existing Google Video links continue to function.

If you'd prefer to download your videos from Google Video, that option is still available.

As we said nearly two years ago, the team is now focused on tackling the tough challenge of video search. We want to thank the millions of people around the world who have taken the time to create and share videos on Google Video. We hope today’s improvements will help ease your transition to another video hosting service.

Thank you for being a Google Video user.


Mark Dochtermann Google Video Team

It’s great to see Google taking action on this, but we’re wondering why the company didn’t offer this option in the first place.

More About: download, Google, Google Video, transfer video, youtube

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Hungry Birds Have Their Own Twitter Account [VIDEO]

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 09:32 AM PDT

Carefully arrange pieces of pork fat on a keyboard, place it where birds congregate, hook them up with a Twitter account, and suddenly you have a flock of birds spreading their wisdom far and wide on Twitter.

That’s what Latvian bird lover Valdemars Dudums did, setting up his specially modified hypersensitive keyboard and letting the birds tweet away with illuminating missives such as “wowowow,” “poppoppop,” and our personal favorite, “lololol.” Hey, this is better than a lot of the Twitter accounts we’ve been following. After all, you’d think birds would know a thing or two about tweeting.

These aren’t angry birds, they’re just plain hungry, and their Twitter account is named accordingly: @Hungry_Birds. However, it looks like that Twitter account has been rather quiet for the past 10 days, and a visit to Valdemars’ site at BirdsonTwitter shows that he’s shut down his operation until November. At that site, he set up a live camera showing the birds’ activity, and while he’s not streaming live video at the moment, you can see recordings of the birds in action. Here’s his message “from the birds”:

Spring is here! Time to catch bugs and build nests. Thanks for the lard, have a nice summer and see you in November!
Happy Birds

Aww. Maybe we can convince Valdemars to fire up his webcam for the spring and summer as well. What do you think, commenters?

More About: birds, trending, Tweeting, twitter, Valdemars Dudums, video

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Top 10 Twitter Trends This Week [CHART]

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 08:32 AM PDT

Twitter Chart Image

Ah, Twitter — the only place where pro sports, pot smoking, boy bands and nipples can co-mingle without messy side effects like jail.

Soccer, a trend that rarely leaves the top Twitter topics, came in at number one this week, after a player from Madrid dropped his team’s tournament trophy from the bus during a victory parade. Butter fingers like that are a clear indication this guy chose the right profession.

Everybody’s favorite psychoactive drug-themed holiday “4/20″ came in at number two, as people from around the world tweeted about their “friend” who was planning to “celebrate” the occasion, I assume with brunch and gifts.

And if you were suffering from “Obsessive Jonas Disorder” this week, you weren’t alone. Thousands of fans tweeted their symptoms, sending the boy band to number three on this week’s chart.

To see the full list, check out the chart below. Because this is a topical list, hashtag memes and games have been omitted from the chart. The aggregate is based on Twitter’s own trending algorithm, and does not necessarily reflect raw tweet volume.

You can check past Twitter trends in our Top Twitter Topics section.

Top Twitter Trends This Week: 4/15 – 4/21

Real Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0 to win the Copa del Rey tournament on April 20. Sergio Ramos, the right defender of Real Madrid, dropped the Copa del Rey Cup from the top of the team bus during Real’s victory parade through the streets of Madrid and it was crushed. It was later replaced.
Wednesday was April 20 (4/20), a counterculture holiday relating to the drug reference "420" for consuming marijuana.
Jonas Brothers fans are sharing symptoms of the "Obsessive Jonas Disorder."
The NBA Playoffs began and the most discussed players include Dwyane Wade (Heat), Ray Allen (Celtics), Chris Paul (Hornets), Jared Jeffries (Knicks), Jeff Foster (Pacers), Evan Turner (76ers) and Jermaine O’Neal (Celtics).
This trend was started by a fake Rebecca Black account and retweeted. Then, people couldn’t stop asking why it was trending.
The 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was last weekend and it was broadcast live on YouTube. Bands that trended include Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, Gogol Bordello and Freelance Whales.
Elisabeth Sladen, who starred as Doctor Who’s Sarah-Jane Smith, has passed away after a long fight with cancer.
Jamie Laou, better known online as iJever, is a Justin Bieber lookalike from Australia who is getting a lot of criticism because he reportedly hates Bieber and his fans.
Justin Bieber fans once again caused him to be a top trending topic as they discussed "KidRauhl," Bieber’s original YouTube account. Longtime fans are tweeting "Kidrauhl is forever."
This is trending because fans of the boy band One Direction are having a Twitter feud with the fans of boy band The Wanted. One Direction is a band that was formed by Simon Cowell on the UK TV series X Factor.

Data aggregate courtesy of What the Trend.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, 123render

Interested in more Twitter resources? Check out Mashable Explore, a new way to discover information on your favorite Mashable topics.

More About: jonas brothers, justin bieber, soccer, social media, Top Twitter Topics, twitter, twitter trends

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This Week in Politics & Digital: The 2012 Battle Begins

Posted: 23 Apr 2011 07:30 AM PDT

us flag tech image

There’s still an entire year and seven months until the U.S. presidential election on November 6, 2012, but social media has already played a huge role in the burgeoning race.

Before this week, Mitt Romney had already announced his bid on YouTube and Tim Pawlenty had already joined the race through his Facebook page. President Obama also kicked off his reelection campaign with a number of digital initiatives.

Below, we’ve picked out some of the top announcements and news from the past week or so to keep you in the know, something we’ll be doing weekly on Mashable.

President Obama Visits Facebook

Barack Obama stopped by Facebook HQ for a town hall meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. They asked questions about the economy, funding innovation and the future of technology and fielded questions from the live audience in attendance and over the web.

Facebook Lobbying Keeps Growing

Facebook has been ramping up its lobbying on tech-related issues, Politico reported. Facebook spent $230,000 in the first quarter of 2011, according to its lobbying disclosure. It’s also brought on lobbyists like Cathie Martin and an outside lobbying firm.

“Silent” Speech Goes Viral

Rep. Joe Crowley delivered a “speech” on the House floor without saying a single word. The clip started to pick up steam and eventually went viral. It now has more than 250,000 views in a litle more than a week.

Lieutenant Governor of California Writes Book on Social Media

Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor and former mayor of San Francisco, signed a deal with Penguin Books to write about “the intersection of social media and government,” reported the Newsom originally broke the news on his Twitter account. The book, which remains untitled for now, is slated for a 2013 release.

Obama Uses Facebook To Help Fund Campaign

Obama’s MyBo — a personalized version of the Obama for America site — recently integrated with Facebook to make it easier to target individual communities and spur the grassroots micro-donations that helped him win the presidential election in 2008, reported Internet Revolution. The Facebook integration allows direct interaction between users with the campaign as a way to target communities with micro-segmented appeals and one-click donations from within Facebook.

What do you make of social media’s role in modern politics? What U.S.-based social media stories made you take notice? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Pgiam

More About: 2012 election, barack obama, election, facebook, obama, politics, social media, trending, week in digital politics

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