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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 Feature

JB-9 jetpack makes spectacular debut flying around Statue of Liberty

The dream of personal flight took a great leap forward last week as Jetpack Aviation unveiled its JB-9 jetpack in spectacular fashion. Lifting off from a boat, inventor and aviator David Mayman flew the powerful, agile JB-9 around the Statue of Liberty, pausing to salute and pirouette before touching back down. Running on kerosene and using two vectored jet engines, the JB-9 can reach high speeds and altitudes and offers a flight time over 10 minutes, depending on pilot weight. We spoke at length with Mayman to discover how the JB-9 works and how long it'll be before we can buy one.

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— Motorcycles Review

Video review: BMW S1000XR is sportier and tourier than most sports tourers

The BMW S1000R super-naked is an absolute monster, but now it's got a much more respectably dressed older brother in the S1000XR adventure sports machine. Sharing the same 999cc, 160-horsepower, extreme performance engine, the XR adds luggage, centrestands, a more comfortable touring rider position, and pretty much every practicality you can think of. Don't let the beak fool you, this is no adventure bike – it's a next-gen sports tourer that's both sportier and tourier than any sports tourer I can think of. We spent 10 days with the S1000XR for the latest in our motorcycle review videos, enjoy!

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— Automotive

Local Motors' LM3D Swim set to be the world's first 3D-printed electric production car

Arizona-based Local Motors is aiming to become the first to bring a 3D-printed electric car to market. The LM3D Swim is a demonstration of the speed at which additive manufacture can bring ideas into reality, as well as showing off Local Motors' production ethos of "form over function." The functional chassis of the car is able to be "skinned" with any number of body concepts to give it all sorts of visual character – and since the car is 3D-printed, one-off body shapes are not a problem.

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— Digital Cameras Review

Review: DJI's Osmo brings stabilized video to the rest of us

The DJI Osmo looks like a weird little eyeball on the end of a stick, but it's effectively a motion-stabilized action camera that can smooth out rough, bumpy and wobbly footage for a clean, cinematic look. Easy and intuitive to use, the Osmo brings smooth handheld video into the price range of the average filmmaker, the same way DJI's all-in-one drone packages have opened up aerial shooting for the average Joe. We took one out for a weekend to see how it performs.

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— Automotive

Mercedes-Benz unveils autonomous social commuting concept for "Generation Z"

Mercedes-Benz is clearly putting its resources toward a self-driving future. After showing the bizarre F 015 at CES earlier this year, it’s now pulled the covers off another autonomous concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Targeted at "Generation Z," the Vision Tokyo is a youthful and funky take on social commuting, a kind of high-tech karaoke booth on wheels with some very out-there features that give an insight into what the company feels personal transport will be like in the next couple of decades.

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— Digital Cameras

​The Leica SL (type 601) – full frame, mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera

Leica has released details of its full-frame mirrorless, interchangeable system – the Leica SL. Using the same excellent 24-megapixel CMOS sensor as the Leica Q we reviewed in June, the SL debuts with a 24-90 mm f/2.8-4 zoom lens. It looks like a beast, but it’s going to sit in an awkward spot – it’ll struggle to compete with full-frame workhorse DSLRs for resolution, lens choices or autofocus speed, and it’s far too big to enjoy the portability advantages of other mirrorless full-frames like Sony’s A7R II. And the price? Put it this way: if you sold both your kidneys at the average Iranian black market rate, you’d still be short.

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— Architecture

Ultra-efficient SURE HOUSE wins the 2015 Solar Decathlon

The US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has been run and won for 2015. It’s a nationwide contest between collegiate teams to see who can build the most attractive, cost-effective and efficient solar home. Fourteen teams duked it out for this year’s competition, and the winning team from the Stevens Institute of Technology drew inspiration from Hurricane Sandy to create a sustainable, solar coastal home that opens up for entertaining in summertime but locks down to resist severe weather damage in the winter – and uses some 90 percent less energy than a typical home.

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