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In Brief: Free music for Xbox fans

BUYERS of tablets that run Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 8, are in for a pleasant musical surprise.

They will be able to pick from millions of songs and stream them for free, as long as they put up with an audio advert every 15 minutes.

The new feature, called Xbox Music, is not on offer anywhere else at the moment.

The free version of Xbox Music will not let users download songs and save them for offline playback.

That service will require a monthly fee.

9/11 families can watch trial

THE families of people killed in the September 11 attacks have been invited to military bases to watch pre-trial hearings at Guantanamo Bay for five men charged with planning or assisting the attacks.

The hearings, which begin later today, are closed to the public, but relatives who register in advance can watch on closed-circuit television at bases in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York.

The suspects on trial include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the September 11 attacks.

It's White Van Woman now

THERE is now a good chance that the familiar road user White Van Man may actually be White Van Woman.

As many as a third of van drivers interviewed for a survey were females using their vehicles for business purposes, a poll by AXA Business Insurance found.

About 14pc of those polled found the White Van Man label outright insulting, while only 39pc believed perceptions associated with the tag were accurate.

Amphibious car for ¤30k

AMPHIBIOUS vehicles aren't just for James Bond anymore. A one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal watercraft is scheduled to go on sale by the end of this year.

The vehicle -- called the Quadski -- goes up to 72kph on land. To go in the water, the driver presses a button and the wheels fold into the sides in five seconds. The Quadski also goes 72kph in the water. It will cost around $40,000 (¤30,000).