Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Loz Blain

Loz Blain
Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.
Top Articles by Loz Blain
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

Eco-Motive's dual-fuel H-motor splits the engine into two more efficient halves American inventor Herns Louis has come up with an interesting way to reduce inefficiencies inherent in regular dual-fuel motors. His H-motor design features two cylinder banks, each running on a single fuel source – so the left can be tuned for power and efficiency on gasoline, and the right can be tuned for CNG.  Read More

WaveNET - a floating, flexible, modular and massively scalable wave power generation idea ...

Scotland's Albatern is putting a new, modular spin on renewable energy generation. WaveNET is a scalable array of floating "Squid" generator units that harvest wave energy as their buoyant arms rise and fall with the motion of the waves. Each Squid can link up to as many as three others, effectively creating a large, floating grid that's flexible in every direction. The bigger this grid gets, the more efficient it becomes at harvesting energy, and the more different wave movements it can extract energy from. Albatern's 10-year target is to have 1.25 kilometer-long floating energy farms pumping out as much as 100 megawatts by 2024.  Read More

The Soundracer VX plugs into your cigarette lighter and lets you choose between half a doz...

Our original look at the SoundRacer became one of Gizmag's most popular videos ever, and it’s easy to see why. Plug a SoundRacer into your quiet, responsible family car, and suddenly the engine sounds like a race-tuned V8 monster – at least, inside the car. Now, SoundRacer is raising money for the SoundRacer VX, which carries a bunch of different engine sounds and lets you choose between them on the fly.  Read More

BikeHUD Adventure - a significant step forward for BikeHUD

When we reviewed Bikesystems' BikeHUD motorcycle heads-up display earlier this year, we had two big problems with it. We weren’t impressed with the chunky "monocle" unit that sits inside your helmet, and we didn’t like the tangle of wires between the HUD and its on-bike componentry. But BikeHUD was always a product in development, and now the company is moving to fix both those problems with BikeHUD Adventure, a thin, transparent display that can run wirelessly off a smartphone, or hook into a fuller in-bike installation to give you extra functionality like live rear view camera and front/rear video recording.  Read More

Loz and Noel take the Sea-Doo Spark for a run

The Sea-Doo Spark is by far the cheapest and least powerful jet ski you can buy. It's also much, much lighter than its competition, giving it a competitive power to weight ratio and some unique handling abilities. And it burns just over a tenth of the fuel the big boys do. Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan take it for a spin.  Read More

Gizmag's Loz Blain comes to grips with the Sea-Doo Spark (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag.com)

The PWC market has been in decline for a number of years, possibly because jet skis have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry that they've stopped appealing to younger folk. Sea-Doo is starting to turn that around, though, with the release of the Spark. Half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange jet ski, the Spark delivers 90 percent of the fun of a more expensive PWC in a way that's much more accessible and attractive to newcomers … and burns nearly ten times less fuel than the big boys. If it's newbies the Spark is hoping to attract, then we've got a total newbie on the team to test it. The completely inexperienced Loz Blain and the moderately experienced Noel McKeegan take to the water to see how she goes. Rejoice, dear readers, that Loz didn't fit into a wetsuit, and is thus not depicted in skin tight clothing.  Read More

Rolls Royce Ghost Series II (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag.com)

Ultra-luxury brand Rolls-Royce has updated its "entry level" model with the release of the Ghost Series II. Targeted at a younger, entrepreneurial market, and more of a driver's car than a chauffeur's, the new Ghost gets a subtle facelift, an upgraded interior and a more affordable price tag, even if you're still talking the kind of dollars that would get you a nice bit of real estate. Technology-wise, the Ghost receives a number of updates, including headlights that automatically adjust so your high beams don't dazzle oncoming drivers, and a GPS-aided transmission that reads the road ahead and pre-selects the best gear for an upcoming hill or corner. Gizmag spoke to Sven Ritter, General Manager of Asia Pacific, about the new car, the brand's record setting sales run and the reasons why only high-altitude bulls get to donate their leather to a Rolls-Royce interior.  Read More

The Motoped Survival: Black Ops edition is being touted as a perfect bike for the zombie a...

The Motoped Black Ops is a shameless, shallow grab for attention that has 100 percent done its job on me. A zombie hunting moped? Seriously? But the product behind it is actually pretty sweet. A highly customizable moped with a 500-mile (805 km) range, 200 mpg (1.2 L/100km) efficiency and heavy-duty engineering. It easily converts to an ultralight dirtbike if you swap the 49cc stock engine for something larger, and its long travel suspension should make it pretty capable on dirt tracks.  Read More

The Ashkelon Visor is a budget HUD screen that leverages the power of your smartphone

Augmented reality and heads-up displays are popping up all over the place lately with a seemingly endless trail of companies trying to find ways to put more information in front of us in ever more situations. Most of these technologies are complicated and expensive, but here's one that'll cost just 20 bucks.  Read More

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