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Today's Tech: Microsoft Surface Pro debut, Ofcom's 2013 4G auction, and Quarkie Snake Eye headphones review

Compared to full-scale headphones, where the scope for interesting design features and striking aesthetics is pretty large, separating earphones from the crowd by appearance is rather more difficult. Audio manufacturer Quarkie feels a radical approach is needed to bring some excitement to earphone design - something that's made abundantly clear in its eye-catching and occasional unusual range of products.

Fortunately for Will Dalton, the Quarkie Snake Eye review sample he spent some quality time with recently is one of the firm's more conventional designs - relatively speaking, of course. Despite concluding that the earphones showcase some above average audio technology, there's much that detracts from the Snake Eyes, too, not least their overly enthusiastic pricing and still-garish aesthetics. Or, to put it in Dalton's own words, it's like taking a "fine bottle of champagne then slapping a Panda Pop sticker on the front and a curly straw in the top."

In news, Ofcom has announced the bidders in its upcoming 4G auction, confirming the presence of leading UK networks EE, BT, Vodafone, O2 and Three at the January spectrum sale. The telecommunications regulator also noted that two other companies with lower public profiles had thrown their names into the hat, including a Hong Kong-based company. Everyone, it seems, has a desire to eke out some high-speed bandwidth in the UK, and the presence of wildcards as well as industry stalwarts makes the showdown an even more intriguing prospect than we initially imagined.

Elsewhere, it wasn't the end of the world as predicted by the Mayans many moons ago, but it is still the the end of the year, and that means one thing: CES, the world's largest consumer electronics trade show, is just around the corner. The 2013 iteration of the annual event looks set to be just as focused on next-generation products as ever. In preparation, we've rounded up our top three predictions for CES 2013.

According to our editor, Desire Athow, the event is likely to see a number of important launches, including the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, Intel's new Haswell architecture-based fourth-generation processors, and Nvidia's Tegra 4 chipset. Stay tuned to ITProPortal for live coverage of CES 2013 in January.