Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Loz Blain

The Benelli BN302 (Photo: Loz Blain)

Benelli has rolled out the welcome mat to new riders with the release of its BN302 twin cylinder, 300cc nakedbike. Affordable, good looking and unmistakably Italian, the BN302 is one of a host of new models set to debut in the coming 24 months (including a 1200cc TnT, a fully faired sportsbike and an 1800cc cruiser) as Benelli’s new owner Qianjiang seeks to re-establish the historic brand.  Read More

Google Camera's new Lens Blur effect simulates bokeh

With the new Google Camera app, you can choose where your photo is focused after you shoot, and then dial in whatever amount of lens blur you like to separate the subject from the background. It's a very clever piece of software that simulates the bokeh effect you get from using an expensive, large-sensor SLR camera and an expensive, wide aperture telephoto lens.  Read More

This jury-rigged, lab-built graphene speaker is already delivering better sound quality th...

Graphene is frankly just showing off at this point. Not content with breezing in and smashing records in solar efficiency, kicking the butt of lithium-ion batteries, being the strongest known material in the Universe, being 1,000 times more light-sensitive than any known camera sensor and a thousand other achievements, now this smug supermaterial is having a crack at audio. How’s it going? Well, with basically zero acoustic development, a graphene loudspeaker is already boasting a better frequency response curve than a set of Sennheiser MX-400s.  Read More

The Amphibicruiser 4-door amphibious SUV takes to the water

"We wanted it to be as solid on water as the Land Cruiser is on land." That's Dutch Amfibious Transport co-founder Dirk-Jan de Jong talking about his company's heavy duty amphibious 4WD, the Amphibicruiser. Built around a Toyota Land Cruiser engine, it's a fully fledged on and offroad cruiser that can be driven up a river or out to sea with next to no training.  Read More

Drew Hobbs with the MK.II replica Colt rifle

The zombie-killing gore masters at IRLShooter are preparing to launch their second "real life video game" in Melbourne, Australia – Lazarus, a sequel to the very successful Patient Zero they ran in 2012. Surrounded by dangling corpses, Dave and Drew chatted with us about the new game, the new weapons, the infamous "pain belt" and the opportunity for players to join the zombie horde and scare seven different shades of crap out of their friends.  Read More

Johammer's unique looking electro-cruiser motorcycle

The Johammer is one of the first production electric motorcycles to break the 200 km (124 mi) range mark. It's also pretty much the strangest looking two-wheeler we've ever come across. With hub-center steering and the dash built into its bug-eyed mirrors, it's an absolute rolling oddity. All hail the snail!  Read More

Spitzlift's miniature cranes make lifting a bike into a truck easy SpitzLift has updated its miniature crane, cutting the weight to 30 lb (13.6 kg), while retaining the ability to lift up to 900 lb (408 kg). It mounts just about anywhere, including on a truck, in a van, or on a pier.  Read More

The Buoyant Air Turbine, from Altaeros Energies

Winds are stronger and steadier at higher altitudes, that’s why the Buoyant Air Turbine (BAT) from Altaeros is pushing to be the highest wind turbine in history. Already tested to 500 feet off the ground in 45 mph winds, this helium-filled shell with a wind turbine in the middle is soon shooting for a world record 1,000 ft float. Packing down into a shipping container for transport, the BAT is being proposed as a quickly deployable tethered power source for remote areas and emergency zones.  Read More

Andra's motion focus system – a creative and sophisticated autofocus system for large sens...

Cinema Control Laboratories has come up with a system it calls Andra, which is like an incredibly advanced and configurable autofocus system for large sensor cameras with wide aperture lenses – and it’s already creating some beautiful footage that would be ridiculously hard to capture manually.  Read More

USB 3.1 Type C – the next generation USB cable

Rejoice! The boffins in charge of USB standards appear to have settled on a design for the much-anticipated USB 3.1 Type C connector. For starters, there’s no “right way up” – that alone will trigger a sigh of relief from many of us. Both ends of the cable will be the same, it’ll make an audible "click" when it’s connected, it’s about the same size as a current micro-USB connector, and it can handle device charging as well as 10 Gbps data transfer rates.  Read More

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