Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Jack Martin

Paper strips used in toxin detection with progressively increasing number of coatings with...

Engineers at the University of Michigan have developed a strip of paper infused with carbon nanotubes that can quickly and inexpensively detect a toxin produced by algae in drinking water. The paper strips perform 28 times faster than the complicated method most commonly used today to detect microcystin-LR, a chemical compound produced by the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) commonly found on nutrient-rich waters. Microcystin-LR is among the leading causes of biological water pollution and is believed to be the culprit of many mass poisonings going back to early human history.  Read More

The coming Fenix Supercar

One of the world’s most accomplished automotive designers, Lee Noble, is to once more start his own company, and plans to produce an ultra light weight mid-engined V8 Grand Tourer supercar. Two images were released today and that's one of them at right. Noble's track record is good as it gets, having penned a string of the world’s best-handling and fastest accelerating supercars including the Ultima GTR, Ascari Ecosse and Noble M12, but in announcing his new company, to be known as Fenix, Noble has promised a 1200 kg 638 bhp car with a 0-100mph time of under seven seconds and a price tag under USD125,000. The car will target serious track day drivers, while also being completely usable on the public road.  Read More

The Razer Onza Professional Gaming Controller for Xbox 360

Precision gaming manufacturer Razer is moving into the console peripheral business with the release a US$50 (EUR45) Onza high-end gaming controller and US$130 (EUR110) Chimaera headset for the Xbox 360®. The Onza will feature Hyperesponse™ buttons, analog sticks with customizable tension, a programmable multi-function button (MFB) and wired connectivity for “virtually lag free gameplay.” The Chimaera is equipped with a 5.1 Channel Virtual Surround sound system, a Daisy-Chain cable system and a circumaural design.  Read More

The computer-controlled Climbstation vertical treadmill

Now here's one of those ideas that leaps out at you with its commercial potential. Climbing offers extreme exercise with a nuclear fun factor and teaches fundamental coordination skills but it can be dangerous and scary with the heights involved, and besides, a climbing wall requires a serious commitment to locate and build. The computer-controlled ClimbStation is like an intelligent vertical treadmill for climbers, so it provides real climbing without the need for a safety harness because you never got more than a metre off the ground. ClimbStation hydraulically tilts between +15 degrees and minus 39 degrees, the holds are interchangeable, and the most significant thing about the ClimbStation is that it can be transported with a normal car trailer, making it an ideal relocatable owner-operator or amusement attraction.  Read More

Happy 40th birthday to the computer mouse

Computer peripherals giant Logitech recently shipped its billionth mouse, quite some feat given there are only 6.7 billion humans and a billion PCs on the planet. The mouse, in conjunction with the dastardly QWERTY keyboard, has become the cornerstone of the Computer Human Interface. The milestone comes within days of the fortieth anniversary of the first public demonstration of the computer mouse. On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart gave a live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, which included the first mouse. The accompanying image is of the great grandaddy of the thing you’ve probably got in your hand as you read this.  Read More

The Volkner car-swallowing ultra-luxury motorhome

The concept of incorporating secondary last-few-miles transport in a motorhome starts with a fold-up bicycle, steps upwards through a motorcycle riding piggyback and we’ve occasionally seen a full blown car being towed behind the largest beasties. So we were blown away when we saw the latest from German Motorhome specialist Volkner Mobil at the recent Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf. Volkner has been using CAD for more than two decades in tailoring its extraordinary high-end vehicles for those who insist in living in luxury no matter what. In order to fully cater for this elite clientele, it has created (and patented) a central garage concept that allows a luxury sports car to be ingested by the bohemoth, so that when you get there, you'll want for nothing (check the gallery and other luxury appointments). Volkner began been building the motorized garage into its high end Performance models in late 2006 and has now built motorhomes capable of swallowing whole Porsche 911s, Jaguar XK8 Cabriolets, BMW 6 Series Cabriolets, Maserati Quattroportes and this Mercedes Sports.  Read More

The new Nokia N97

Gizmag's Dave Weinstein attended the Nokia World Conference this week in Barcelona. This is the first of a series of articles on the flurry of announcements: Nokia has announced its next generation flagship device, the N97. Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's Executive Vice President Markets, unveiled the device as walked through the design process that yielded a powerful device that aims to capture the hearts and minds of the public as a primary internet and communications terminal as well as an entertainment and gaming device.  Read More

Nokia's vision of a connected mobile world

It’s not surprising that the world’s largest phone manufacturer has a grand vision as global mobile device subscriptions pass the four billion mark. Nokia’s latest white paper paints a picture of a connected global network based around the world’s most distributed and pervasive sensing instrument – the mobile phone. Thanks to an increasing number of built-in sensors - ambient light, orientation, acoustical, video, velocity, GPS - each device can capture, classify, and transmit many types of data with exceptional granularity. The perfect platform for sensing the world is already in our hands. If you only read one article today, this should be it.  Read More

The era of the personal Internet dawns with the Nokia N97

Nokia today unveiled the Nokia N97, the world’s most advanced mobile computer, which Nokia is hoping will transform the way people connect to the Internet and to each other. Designed for Internet-savvy consumers, the N97 combines a 3.5 inch touch screen with a full QWERTY keyboard, providing an ‘always open’ window to favorite social networking sites and Internet destinations. Nokia’s flagship Nseries device introduces leading technology – including multiple sensors, memory, processing power and connection speeds – for people to create a personal Internet and share their ‘social location.’ The Nokia N97 is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of EUR 550 before taxes or subsidies.  Read More

Lotus Evora attracting celebrity waiting list

Lotus won seven F1 titles, and pioneered too many automotive engineering firsts to mention. Its road cars are legend for their roadholding, light weight and remarkable power-to-weight ratios and anyone who has driven one will perhaps also mention their distinctly spartan interiors and lack of creature comfort. That all changed this year with the announcement of the Evora. It will be the world’s only 2+2 sports car when it hits showrooms early next year and it has another significant world first – it’s the first Lotus with a luxury interior and, as the delicately worded press release puts it, “a more refined ownership experience.” Perhaps we’ll see a few more refinements in future Lotus models, as the order book already looks like a who’s who of celebrity car buffs – already signed on the dotted line for a 3.5-litre 206kW V6Evora are two out of the three Top Gear TV presenters (the nice ones), current and past 007s Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan, Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Jay Leno, musician Jay Kay, supermodel Jodie Kidd, Beyoncé, Dave Grõhl, Kelly Rowland, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Patrick Dempsey and JLo.  Read More

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