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Nick Lavars

Nick Lavars

Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.

Follow Nick:

— Urban Transport

Lexus Hoverboard gets off the ground

By - August 4, 2015 4 Pictures

When it comes to taunting us with the prospect of a fully-functioning hoverboard, ambitious designers, startups and pranksters alike have really stepped up their game recently. But this effort from Lexus officially takes the cake. The automaker has released a short film of professional skateboarder Ross McGouran riding its magnetic levitation Hoverboard around a purpose-built skatepark, which, as you'd expect, makes for some pretty awesome viewing.

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— Medical

Three-protein biomarker raises possibility of a urine test for pancreatic cancer

By - August 4, 2015 1 Picture

With a lack of clear symptoms even when the disease is well progressed, more than 80 percent of pancreatic cancer diagnoses come after the cancer has already spread. This has led some researchers to look beyond blood to urine testing, which is a less complex fluid. Among those is a team at the Queen Mary University of London, which has uncovered a three-protein biomarker in the urine of pancreatic cancer sufferers, suggesting a less invasive, early stage test may be on the way.

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— Science

World's first "aqueous solar flow battery" outperforms traditional lithium-iodine batteries

By - August 3, 2015 3 Pictures

The scientists that revealed the "world's first solar battery" last year are now, following some modifications, reporting its first significant performance milestone. The device essentially fits a battery and solar cell into the one package, and has now been tested against traditional lithium-iodine batteries, over which the researchers are claiming energy savings of 20 percent.

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— Digital Cameras

Canon's new four million ISO video camera leaves nothing in the dark

By - August 2, 2015 5 Pictures

Ever been poking around in low-light with your camera and thought, "you know what, I could really do with an extra few million ISO"? To be honest, neither have we because such a light-sensitivity would be ludicrous for most users. Well, that hasn't stopped the folks at Canon stepping things up in a big way with its full-frame ME20F-SH, a 4,000,000 ISO HD video camera that seems sure to bring the noise.

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— Telecommunications

Facebook takes aim at expanding internet access using laser-equipped drones

By - July 30, 2015 3 Pictures

In its quest to connect all corners of the globe – and get even more people signing onto the social networking juggernaut – Facebook has completed the first full-scale model of its internet-broadcasting drone. Dubbed Aquila, the solar-powered aircraft is made to fly for months at a time and has a wingspan equal to that of a Boeing 737, yet weighs less than a car.

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— Telecommunications

Google's Project Loon balloons to cover Sri Lanka with internet access

By - July 29, 2015 4 Pictures

Bringing internet to remote regions by sending internet-enabled balloons into the stratosphere sure sounds like a wild idea, but it's about to become a reality for the resident of Sri Lanka. The government of the island nation has just announced a partnership with Google that will bring affordable high-speed internet access to every inch of the country using the company's Project Loon balloons.

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— Aircraft

Amazon makes its case for dedicated drone highways in the sky

By - July 28, 2015 1 Picture

Much of the talk around the feasibility of Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery service is rightly centered around how the vehicles can be safely squeezed into US airspace. But under plans outlined by the company at a NASA convention today, these aerial robotic couriers could have as much to do with larger manned aircraft as a school bus does with a freight train. By setting aside a low-altitude chunk of sky and splitting it into high-speed and low-speed droneways, Amazon believes that the needs of this fast-growing industry can be accommodated without bringing all manner of things crashing to the ground.

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