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Loz Blain

Porter & Davies' BC2 - vibrations travel up the spine via bone conduction and are heard as...

The thunderous punch of a bass drum is the time-honored foundation on which all of rock 'n' roll is built. That thud that hits you in the chest and moves your whole body … it taps into a deep and primal place in our subconscious. But while the crowd is enjoying the power of the bass drum amplified through huge sub-woofers, the poor drummer himself is usually hearing a poxy, paper-thin, bassless pop from a tiny onstage foldback speaker. Trying desperately to feel the bass, they often turn the onstage monitors up to ear-splitting volumes, but you just can't get that kind of low end out of small speakers. Enter the BC2 (formerly known as the BumChum) from Britain's Porter and Davies - a simple two-part system that takes the bass drum signal and literally shakes the drummer's butt with it through a vibrating stool.  Read More

Hublot's Antikythera watch - up for auction

Late last year we ran a story on the mysterious Antikythera mechanism - and Hublot's attempt to recreate it in wristwatch form. The article went on to be one of the highest rating Gizmag stories of all time due to its thoroughly remarkable subject and the fascinating adventure story that brought this piece of ancient genius into the modern world. The wristwatch version looked pretty snappy, too - and if you wanted to get your hands on one, here's your chance! Only four have been built, with three headed to various European museums, but the fourth is up for auction. We doubt it will go cheap.  Read More

Ghost Rider's 500-horsepower turbo Hayabusa - up for grabs

Of all the colorful characters in the motorcycle world, few polarize opinion as strongly as Sweden's mysterious "Ghost Rider." It's not hard to see why - with five DVDs full of heinous traffic law violations, including 300 km/h (180 mph) wheelies, police baiting and near-suicidal top speed time trials around the Swedish freeway system, he's probably the most famous flaunter of road rules the world has ever seen. And now, his most famous steed, a 499-horsepower turbocharged, naked Hayabusa, is being given away through a website lottery. Only ridden to church on Sundays, it's the perfect practical getabout to take down to the shops.  Read More

Magic Lantern's new HDR video feature - the blended image.

Those cheeky gear hackers at the Magic Lantern team have announced a very interesting upgrade to their custom Canon firmware mod. As of tomorrow, owners of 550D, 600D and 60D DSLR cameras will be able to use a very cool new tool to shoot video in HDR, meaning that you can capture scenes where the lights would normally be too bright and the shadows too dark to get a workable exposure level. Check out the demo video after the jump.  Read More

MT Tempera, one of the new class of double acting reversible ships, going backwards to act...

The Arctic North end of Russia is believed to hold as much as a quarter of all the world's oil deposits - an utterly monstrous economic prize, hidden in one of the toughest and least hospitable environments on the planet. Getting to this prize, and then transporting it back to refineries, is a monolithic task that requires one of the most awe-inspiring pieces of machinery man has ever built - the nuclear icebreaker. Purpose-built to the point of being almost unseaworthy on the open waves, these goliaths smash their way through 10-foot thick ice crusts to create viable pathways for other vessels - but fascinating new technologies could mean the days of the dedicated icebreaker are numbered.  Read More

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

The watersports world has been a little spoiled in the last week with news of the Zapata Flyboard breaking - but even though that one's going to be very tough to top, we thought the Abyss Board was pretty unique and fun in its own right. Towed quite slowly behind a boat, this simple device lets you steer yourself around under the water. With separate control of right and left side wings, you can dive, rise, bank, carve and barrel roll your way through the water. As you're underwater the whole time, you don't need to be going fast to get quite a motion thrill - so in a way the Abyss Board is a reasonably eco-friendly rush. I tell you what though, I wouldn't want either of my brothers at the boat throttle while I was playing with this thing - and they wouldn't want me driving either!  Read More

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

We don't think Franky Zapata knows what's about to hit him. The French jet ski champion has just put together an absolutely insane leisure product, released a short video about it - and then took off on honeymoon, where presumably he's having about the least romantic getaway of his life as his phone and email inbox go absolutely bananas. And here it is: the Zapata Flyboard. This ingenious and deceptively simple device bolts on to the powerful motor of a jet ski, then routes the resulting water jet through a long hose that connects to a pair of jet boots and hand-held stabilisers. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron Man style, up to 9 metres in the air - or leap headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin. The best part? You can buy it for under 5000 Euro (US$6700). That is, once Franky digs his way out from under the avalanche of orders he's going to come home to.  Read More

The world's first molybdenite microchip has been successfully tested in Switzerland.

Back in February, Darren Quick wrote about the unique properties of Molybdenite and how this material, previously used mostly as a lubricant, could actually outshine silicon in the construction of transistors and other electronic circuits. In brief: it's much more energy efficient than silicon, and you can slice it into strips just three atoms thick - meaning that you can make transistors as much as three times smaller than before, and make them flexible to boot. Well, the technology has now been proven with the successful testing of the world's first molybdenite microchip in Switzerland. Does this mean Lausanne will become known as "Molybdenite Valley?"  Read More

Nissan's JUKE-R concept

Happy times must be returning to the world economy when a car company can put its cash toward a concept like this. Nissan has fulfilled the wet dreams of hot hatch lovers all over the world by cramming the engine, drivetrain, suspension, electronics and sheer maniacal giggle factor of its monstrous GT-R supercar into the compact dimensions of the funky Juke city car. The Nissan Juke R (which can really only be pronounced as "Jew car") is an outstanding example of what happens when you give your best engineers the freedom to build what's in their hearts - in this case, a 480-horsepower, 4WD mega-mini-SUV that handles like a racer and should eat Ferraris for breakfast on the way to pick up the kids from soccer. Awesome.  Read More

Aedes aegypti, the #1 disease vector for dengue fever (Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim, publ...

War, plague, famine, heart disease, cigarettes, road trauma: six very effective killers of human beings. But they're all amateurs when their records are compared to the number one mass murderer of all time. The humble mosquito, and the deadly diseases it carries, is estimated to have been responsible for as many as 46 billion deaths over the history of our species. That staggering number is even more frightening in context - it means that mosquitoes are alleged to have killed more than half the humans that ever lived. So if any species deserves the full wrath of human technology, this is the one. And here, it seems, is how we might take our revenge - genetically modified strains of mosquito that are designed to cripple their own offspring and systematically destroy entire populations. And these mutant, auto-genocidal mozzies are already loose in the wild.  Read More

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