Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
The BeatBuddy with its footswitch (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

When musician David Packouz couldn't find a stomp-based drum machine that didn't sound, well, like a drum machine or one that could provide fills, changes and accent hits on the fly, he set about designing and building his own. He took his BeatBuddy project to Indiegogo in December 2013 and it went on to raise more than four times its funding goal by the close of the crowdfunding campaign. The first post-crowdfunding production run started shipping at the end of August and Gizmag was offered a system for review. But with my attention focused elsewhere during September (namely the IFA and Photokina trade shows), I had to hold off until mid-October to start spending some quality time with this nifty drummer-in-a-box pedal. And it was definitely worth the wait.  Read More

In the future, could architects click-and-print their projects? (Photo: Skanksa)

Following our recent report of a Chinese company printing 10 houses in a day, the potential for architects to essentially click-and-print complex large-scale projects on a regular basis has moved a step closer to reality. This week, the UK's Loughborough University announced a deal with construction company Skanska and architecture firm Foster + Partners to develop and commercialize 3D concrete printing.  Read More

Sawdust can be converted into a fuel additive – among other things – using a new chemical ...

This is science at its best: Decades ago, the only practical use for sawdust was to soak up vomit, but thanks to scientists at a Belgian university who developed a new chemical process, that same sawdust could soon be used to create gasoline and other products normally derived from petroleum.  Read More

Reiter Engineering has announced a new version of the its Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 racecar

Lamborghini's Gallardo GT3 partner Reiter Engineering has announced a new version of the car. The GT3 is a modified race-spec version of the famous Gallardo. The new upgrade will make the car wider, lighter and more powerful than the existing Gallardo FL2 GT3 version.  Read More

Plan V, by Sydney-based Flintu

Smartphones are more powerful than ever, but they still have an annoying tendency to run out of juice just when you need them most. The Kickstarter-backed Plan V could get you out of such a fix, as it's a small and light keyring-based device that can be used to charge your smartphone from a 9-volt battery.  Read More

The Miito is an induction kettle that heats only the liquid you need (Photo: Miito) We all know that you should boil only what you need in a kettle to avoid wasting energy, but overfilling is still very common. The Miito combats this problem by using induction heating to boil just the water you need.  Read More

The POD-Indawo was designed by architect Clara Da Cruz Almeida (Image: Brett Rubin)

A team of designers and architects based in South Africa has produced this charming prefabricated tiny home designed especially for the climate and conditions of their country. The versatile POD-Indawo can operate on or off-grid, and sports a decent-sized porch and an upstairs sleeping area.  Read More

Launch of the rocket TEXUS-49 (Image: Adrian Mettauer)

It may sound like the first chapter of a Quatermass thriller, but scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered that DNA can survive not only a flight through space, but also re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, and still remain active. The findings are based on suborbital rocket flights and could have considerable impact on questions about the origins of life on Earth and the problems of terrestrial space probes contaminating other planets.  Read More

Uber's Android app is acting like malware, reporting personal data back to the company tha...

Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.  Read More

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