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.
Researchers are zeroing in on what looks like an effective treatment for the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Teams from UC Riverside and New York's Rockefeller University have both used the same compound, indazole chloride, to successfully reverse the progression of MS in mice. The drug appears to be able to stimulate the regeneration of the myelin sheath – the nerve pathway coating that is progressively destroyed as MS attacks the nervous system.
BMW is doubling down on its electric eDrive technology by announcing that it plans to eventually produce plug-in hybrid versions of all its core-brand models. The electrification process will start with the presentation of a 3 series prototype, as well as a group of plug-in hybrid concepts that can get around town on battery power alone, but that can also burn some dinosaur bones if you need to take a longer trip. The new BMW hybrid concepts will be presented in Miramar, France.
As was foreshadowed last year
, Harley-Davidson is making some extraordinary moves
to bend its storied brand into something that will attract younger riders and push forward into the next generation of motorcycling. The latest is the Street 500, the much-anticipated Harley "learner bike." At 492cc, it's the first hog that fits into the restricted license categories in many markets – and it's also by far the cheapest Harley, which could help cut H-D a slice of the massive and growing motorcycle segment in India.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.