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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.

Follow Loz:

— Aircraft Review

Review: A critical look at DJI's Phantom 3 Professional

By - July 30, 2015 25 Pictures

China’s DJI made a gutsy move with the release of the Phantom 3. The Phantom 2 Vision+ was still clearly the best all-in-one prosumer camera drone on the market, so the Phantom 3 could easily have been an incremental upgrade. Instead, it's a total overhaul, and an amazing piece of aerial camera gear that equals gear that costs twice as much (like DJI's own Inspire One) in many areas. But is it perfect? No - and not by a long way. There's some pretty clear areas for improvement, even if the Phantom 3 Professional is still miles ahead of the competition.

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— Automotive

Hackers remotely take over Jeep Cherokee

By - July 21, 2015 1 Picture

The minute you connect a car to the internet, you’re exposing it to the risk of hacking – and even if it’s only the entertainment system that’s supposed to be online, a skilled hacker can now remotely take control of just about any electronically controlled part of your car, including the steering, throttle and brakes. And this isn't some distant thing to worry about in the future. One Wired reporter just had the terrifying experience of having his Jeep Cherokee taken over by hackers while he was on the freeway. Like a scene in a horror movie, he found himself a helpless passenger in his car as he lost control of its functions one by one.

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— Motorcycles

Honda files patents for brand new, fuel injected two-stroke engine

By - July 19, 2015 6 Pictures

Two-strokes are far simpler machines than four-stroke engines. They’re also lighter, easier to work on, and downright angrier, pumping out a lot more power per cubic centimeter of displacement, which has won them a lot of fans. But they’ve had a reputation for belching out a fair bit of smoke and unburned fuel, a situation that just couldn’t fly alongside tightening emissions regulations around the world, so they’ve fallen out of favour. But now there’s a glimmer of hope. Earlier this month, Honda submitted a patent application for a brand new two stroke motor that uses direct fuel injection for a cleaner burn and better piston cooling. We may yet see a resurrection of the ring-dingers.

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— Space Feature

State of the Game #2: Deep Space Exploration

New Horizons is making headlines today with its historic flyby of Pluto – and if that's caught your imagination, welcome to the tip of the iceberg! Deep space exploration represents some of humanity's most astonishing achievements, so we've decided to feature five active space missions that absolutely blow our minds. Meet the Mars Orbiter, New Horizons, Rosetta and the intrepid Voyager spacecraft in our second State of the Game video presentation.

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— Computers

Ziosk e-menus: Improving the restaurant experience for owners, diners… AND waiters

By - July 13, 2015 4 Pictures

At first glance, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the Ziosk tablet heralds the end of table service jobs. After all, these faceless waiters can take your food and drink orders at any time you like, they can offer you today's specials and upsell you, they can take your payment and tips – heck, they can even entertain your kids or post a group photo to Facebook for you. So what's left for your friendly, fleshy, human wait staff to do? More of what they're best at, as it turns out.

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— Bicycles

Video: Stealth Bomber electric bike packs a serious punch

By - July 10, 2015 15 Pictures

Australian company Stealth makes the kind of electric bicycles everyone would love to make if there were no government-imposed 200-watt power restrictions pooping the party. Packing 4.8 kW of peak power and with a top speed in excess of 80 km/h (~50 mph), the original Stealth Bomber is a far cry from your urban commuter – it's one wild ride. Watch Gizmag's Editor Noel McKeegan and a couple of slightly unhinged buddies put this electric powerhouse through its paces in our video review.

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— Robotics

June 2016: America and Japan to face off in giant robot combat

By - July 7, 2015 22 Pictures

"You have a giant robot, we have a giant robot – we have a duty to the science fiction lovers of this world to fight them to the death." America laid down the challenge; Japan has accepted. In one year's time, the two countries will face off on neutral soil for the world's first international giant robot dual. Two 15-foot-tall steel gundam suits with one or two pilots inside, facing each other in battle. There will be guns, there will be giant swinging steel fists, and the fight won't be over until one has pounded the other into scrap. Can you hear that sound? It's the gentle foaming of a million anime fans.

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— Environment

Australia's vast geothermal energy resources represent thousands of years worth of untapped power

By - July 5, 2015 3 Pictures

Australia is sitting on top of some of the world's most potent geothermal energy sources, according to government estimates. Just one percent of the hot rock energy less than 5 km under the surface would be enough to meet the whole country's entire power needs for 26,000 years if it was tapped. So why aren't we seeing more movement on it?

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— Automotive

Ford's new split-view camera helps drivers see around corners

By - June 24, 2015 3 Pictures

One frustrating thing about living in any neighbourhood that gets an influx of SUVs is that it gets hard to see past rows of tall cars to work out when it's safe to nose out or back out of your driveway. Ford is tackling this kind of problem with a new split-view camera mounted on the front and rear bumpers that gives drivers a 180-degree view from the bits of the car that poke into traffic first, effectively giving them the ability to see around corners.

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— Motorcycles

Intelligent Cranium's iC-R – the most ambitious smart motorcycle helmet yet

By - June 23, 2015 13 Pictures

The Intelligent Cranium iC-R motorcycle helmet is a design concept stuffed to the gills with futuristic functionality. We're talking twin full-colour LED heads-up displays, twin rear-facing cameras, built-in Bluetooth communications, phone connectivity, voice controls, LiDAR rear-ender collision warnings, an electronically controlled LCD visor that tints itself dark at the touch of a button and a solar panel built into the top. All this for a projected expected retail price of US$1600. Can it be done?

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