High-end iPad bag: Booq Cobra Courier XS review

Carrying an iPad a year ago involved searching for the perfect bag, and the problem back in 2012 was that many bag makers hadn't figured out the iPad yet. Flash forward to mid-2011, and the iPad 2 and original iPad feel nearly ubiquitous--so, too, do iPad bags. Finding one that matches the iPad's sleek styling is a harder challenge, and one the Booq Cobra Courier XS meets while still offering ample storage in a small package. $145 is a lot to pay for a small bag, but it's hard to do better if you're looking for a sturdy, stylish, practical triple threat. In fact, over the course of our time using this model, we haven't found much better.

Related links • Searching for the perfect iPad bag • Booq Boa Squeeze review

The Booq Cobra Courier XS feels in some ways like a microminiaturized version of the Booq Boa Squeeze, a backpack we loved back in 2009.… Read more

Web conquest complete, cats set sights on iPad

By the middle of the past decade, cats of all sorts emerged as the driving force that keeps the Internet turning daily. With cats no longer restricted to cameo appearances on "America's Funniest Home Videos," the feline media empire has grown exponentially and continues to search for new places to seed its influence.

It is part of our mission at CNET to preserve the human race, and it is with that mission in mind--and with deference to our kitty overlords--that we present this gallery of the most important new iPad applications for cats. We encourage you to take a look and educate yourself about the new tools our enemies furry pals are using.

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Control location access by system services on iOS 5

Locationgate was a good wake-up call for consumers who weren't aware that smartphones were accessing their locations for various reasons. Apple rolled out an OS update that took care of the location cache the iPhone was storing, and assured users that it was never accessing users' locations; the location was being stored only to improve the user experience.

Whether you believe that or not, Apple has stepped up its effort to help ease consumer fear concerning location information. In iOS 5, users can now decide whether or not to allow system service access to their location.

To access the … Read more

Digital City 134: Streaming video services snub NYC; doing the new Netflix math

This week, we poll everyone on their favorite online music service, and find out why New Yorkers can't get the latest and greatest in streaming TV services. Plus, we've got some Spotify invite codes to give away!

Bonus: Download the show's jaunty theme song as a free MP3 here.

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Samsung clears up iPad 2 Smart Cover controversy

Samsung has distanced itself from a Galaxy Tab accessory maker that developed a screen cover mimicking the functionality of Apple's iPad 2 Smart Cover.

Dubbed the Anymode Smart Case, the accessory can be attached to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and double as a screen cover and folded stand. The accessory, which was discovered yesterday by 9to5mac, comes in multiple colors.

According to Samsung, it generally "reviews and approves all accessories produced by partners" for its mobile products. When it does so, it gives those products the "Designed for Samsung Mobile" designation. In the … Read more

Pad & Quill's Contega case for iPad 2 reviewed

Finding an appropriate case or cover for an iPad is a matter of personal taste. Some prefer the thin vinyl Smart Covers offered by Apple, which provide minimal protection, but also add minimal weight and heft. On the other end of the spectrum is the Pad & Quill line of cases, which are unapologetically large and solid.

It's especially pleasing to see a product so clearly evolve over the course of a few short generations. We liked earlier Pad & Quill iPad cases, but with reservations. The original was just too heavy and thick, especially compared with the still-new … Read more

Amazon lets students rent Kindle textbooks

Amazon today unveiled a textbook rental service for the company's Kindle e-reader. Students can rent e-textbooks for as few as 30 days and extend rental periods in one-day increments.

A key feature is you can keep annotations and highlighting after the rental period ends. The notes are stored in the Amazon cloud and can be automatically synced if you re-rent a textbook. The amount of storable highlighting allowed is determined by the individual publishers, according to an Amazon spokesperson.

Of course, the devil is in the details. John Wiley & Sons isn't saying how much highlighting they allow … Read more

Reckless Getaway: Ridiculous fun

Time for a pop quiz. Are you a fan of:

(A) Bank robberies?

(B) High-speed chases?

(C) Vehicular destruction?

(D) Jumps, power-ups, and coin-collecting?

All of the above? Me, too! What you'll want to do, then, is toss the sofa cushions, scrape together $2.99, deposit those coins in your PC, and buy a copy of Reckless Getaway--the single most fun racing game I've played all year.

If the "Reckless" part sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Reckless Racing, which was among my favorite games of 2010. Developer Polarbit is the shop behind both, … Read more

Russian campaign: Strip for Putin, win an iPad 2?

Leave it to Russia to combine nudity, politics, and gadgets. With a presidential election approaching in 2012, an active movement is under way to get popular former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin back into the presidential seat.

What better way to drum up support for the candidate than having women who support Putin appear to suggest stripping down for a chance at winning an iPad 2? According to an article in The Telegraph, a video proposing just that showed up on parliamentarian Kirill Shchitov's blog. You can check it out below. Don't worry. It's safe for work.

The busty woman in the video scribbles, "I will tear my clothes off for Putin" on a tank top with blazing red lipstick. The iPad 2 makes a sultry cameo appearance for incentive. (Clarification, 1:52 p.m. PT: There is some debate as to whether the girls in the vid are literally talking about stripping or are simply using a Russian pun for "I will tear" to say they love Putin so much they will tear anyone apart who is against him and show it by ripping their clothes apart.)

In any case, the video is definitely suggestive, as the girl featured in it says, "Please upload a video where you tear something or someone apart for your president" and she proceeds to tear her shirt apart. The campaign comes courtesy of a group that calls itself Putin's Army. Women are encouraged to submit videos of themselves tearing their clothes for Putin, and one lucky winner will take home an Apple tablet.… Read more

The 404 862: Where we blow it in the 9th (podcast)

Everyone knows Wilson G. Tang is an Apple fanboy, but today we discover that there's an actual science behind blind dedication to certain brands. And it's not just tech, either--on today's podcast, we're exploring a brain synapse that causes a breach in rationality.

Other stories today include an app for jailbroken iPads that lets you create multiple user profiles, laptop stickers that show you where to drill in case of emergency, and a family of dudes named Casey Anthony getting harassed on Facebook.

The 404 Digest for Episode 862

Jeff finally gets iPad profiles. The science behind fanboyism. Laptop stickers show you where to drill in case of emergency. A Philadelphia man with an unfortunate name gets harassed on Facebook. Alex's video voice mail from the top of Grays Peak!

Episode 862 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more