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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.

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— 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
— Motorcycles

Motoped Survival: Black Ops edition – a fully functional zombie hunting moped

By - November 12, 2014 45 Pictures
The Motoped Black Ops is a shameless, shallow grab for attention that has 100 percent done its job on me. A zombie hunting moped? Seriously? But the product behind it is actually pretty sweet. A highly customizable moped with a 500-mile (805 km) range, 200 mpg (1.2 L/100km) efficiency and heavy-duty engineering. It easily converts to an ultralight dirtbike if you swap the 49cc stock engine for something larger, and its long travel suspension should make it pretty capable on dirt tracks. Read More
— Motorcycles

The 300+ horsepower Bienville Legacy and the return of American master craftsmanship

By - November 10, 2014 18 Pictures
On face value, the Bienville Legacy is a weird, vastly overpowered and visually shocking motorbike with a completely unique suspension system. But to the team that created it and the eccentric entrepreneur that bankrolled it, it's not just a motorcycle. It's a two-wheeled expression of blue-sky design, the realization of an idea unhindered by commercial realities – and the start of a movement that aims to celebrate and re-invigorate the idea of master craftsmanship in America. Read More
— Bicycles

Interview with a madman: Francois Gissy hits 333 km/h on rocket-powered bicycle

By - November 9, 2014 26 Pictures
Last November, Frenchman Francois Gissy hit 285 km/h (177 mph) on a rocket-powered bicycle. Now, at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France, he's knocked his own world record out of the park. Dialing in a massive 4.5 kN of thrust, which generates roughly the equivalent of 560 horsepower (418 kW), Gissy took his rickety-looking rocket bike up to a monstrous 333 km/h (207 mph), hitting top speed in just 4.8 seconds and generating about 1.96 Gs worth of acceleration. We had a quick chat with Gissy, who tells us he's hoping his next run will put him over 400 km/h (249 mph) in less than two seconds on a machine he's calling the "Spine Crusher." Read More
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