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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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— Collectibles

Drysdale's unique 2-wheel drive, 2-wheel steering motorcycle up for grabs

A fascinating and utterly unique piece of motorcycle history is about to go under the hammer on eBay, with less than two days remaining on its auction. Australian inventor Ian Drysdale, best known for his radical V8 sportsbikes, built the bizarre Dryvtech 2x2x2 motorcycle back in his post-university days in 1990. Not only does it feature hydraulic two wheel drive, it also uses hydraulic two wheel steering. With the auction set to start at AU$10,000, the 2x2x2 would be a bizarre and irreplaceable addition to any collection – or a really interesting ride for those brave enough to take it for a spin. Read More
— Around The Home

Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" – the world's most expensive belt buckle

Roland Iten attacks the problem of holding trousers up with a vigor and ingenuity that has to be seen to be believed. His pieces are as much mechanical jewellery as they are clothing, made with intricate mechanisms, exotic materials and the finely detailed machining of a Swiss watch. Pretty much everything this guy makes will secure a trouser with tactical precision. If you see a man wearing a Roland Iten belt buckle, and his pants are down, that's no accident. You can be damn sure those pants are down for a reason, and you'd better plan your next move accordingly. Read More
— Aircraft

Micronautix Triton concept aircraft: Passengers get a front seat too

Perhaps one of the reasons most people are so blasé about the miracle of human flight these days is that for the most part, we're totally cut off from it. Peering through the milky, scratched glass of a passenger plane window offers just a tiny, claustrophobic glimpse of the world falling away beneath you - what the pilot sees would make the layman's heart sing with joy. And that's the simple thought behind the Triton concept design – to give passengers the most involving and magnificent experience possible, and maybe even inspire them to become pilots themselves. Read More
— Medical

New drug promises to reverse the progression of Multiple Sclerosis

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. Read More
— Automotive

BMW announces plans to electrify its entire core range

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"

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

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

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