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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:

— Automotive

BMW announces plans to electrify its entire core range

By - December 1, 2014 1 Picture
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. Read More
— Motorcycles

The hoglet: Harley-Davidson's Street 500 "learner bike"

By - December 1, 2014 24 Pictures
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. Read More
— Telecommunications

Uber's Android app caught reporting data back without permission

By - November 26, 2014 1 Picture
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. Read More
— Environment

WaveNET – the floating, flexible wave energy generator

By - November 26, 2014 24 Pictures
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. Read More
— Automotive

SoundRacer VX: Choose your car’s engine sound on the go

By - November 24, 2014 3 Pictures
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. Read More
— Motorcycles

BikeHUD Adventure to include transparent display and front/rear HD cameras

By - November 23, 2014 12 Pictures
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. Read More
— Marine Review

Review: Sea-Doo Spark, the jet ski that might save the industry

By - November 19, 2014 37 Pictures
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. Read More
— Automotive

Up close with the extraordinary Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

By - November 13, 2014 35 Pictures
Ultra-luxury brand Rolls-Royce has updated its "entry level" model with the release of the Ghost Series II. Targeted at a younger, entrepreneurial market, and more of a driver's car than a chauffeur's, the new Ghost gets a subtle facelift, an upgraded interior and a more affordable price tag, even if you're still talking the kind of dollars that would get you a nice bit of real estate. Technology-wise, the Ghost receives a number of updates, including headlights that automatically adjust so your high beams don't dazzle oncoming drivers, and a GPS-aided transmission that reads the road ahead and pre-selects the best gear for an upcoming hill or corner. Gizmag spoke to Sven Ritter, General Manager of Asia Pacific, about the new car, the brand's record setting sales run and the reasons why only high-altitude bulls get to donate their leather to a Rolls-Royce interior. Read More
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