After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.
RIM's BlackBerry Bold
line is set for a major upgrade with the imminent arrival of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 Smartphones. Combining the familiar full QWERTY keypad with a new "Liquid Graphics" touch screen, the new models are the first to run on the new BlackBerry 7 OS and pack 720p HD video, built-in NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, a 1.2 GHz processor and the thinnest BlackBerry form factor yet – 10.5 mm (0.41-inches).
is on standby for its first international flight this week. Brussels has been chosen as the destination for the first venture outside Swiss borders, which follows the solar powered aircraft's maiden flight
and first overnight flight
last year and will mark another important step towards the goal of flying around the world in 2012.
More power. Less fuel. That's the bare bones of the latest V8 equipped Mercedes AMG performance model – the E 63 AMG. The car's 5.5 liter biturbo V8 gives it a peak output of 386 kW (525 hp) and torque
of 700 Nm – add on the optional AMG Performance package and it jumps to 410 kW (557 hp) and 800 Nm. Acceleration is specced at zero to 62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.2 seconds, top speed
is 155 mph (250 km/h - electronically limited) and fuel consumption is down almost a quarter on its naturally aspirated predecessor at 24 mpg (9.8 liters per 100 kilometers). Needless to say, there's some impressive tech underlying these figures.
The millions of years of natural selection that lies behind the immense biodiversity found on our planet is fertile ground for keeping robotics research rolling ... in this case, literally. Some caterpillars in the Crambidae family have the amazing ability to spring into a wheel shape and roll away when it's time to get out of Dodge fast, and it is this talent that has inspired the creation of GoQBot – a 3-inch cm long soft-bodied robot that could provide a blueprint for versatile search and rescue robots of the future.
Sony has announced its intention to crash into the tablet PC
market with two devices set for release later this year. Codenamed S1 and S2, both models will support WiFi and WAN (3G/4G) connections and run on the tablet-oriented Android 3.0 OS. There's little in the way of specifications available at this stage, but Sony is clearly looking to stand-out from the crowd in terms of form-factor. The S1 features a 9.4-inch display and looks pretty much like a "traditional" tablet aside from its wedge-shaped "off-center of gravity" design aimed at improving stability, grip and comfort. S2 gets a little more radical with its portable, horizontally hinged design and dual 5.5-inch displays which can be used separately or combined as a single large screen.
Looking to soup-up your supercar? The Maserati-dedicated arm of tuning specialists NOVITEC, a company best known for its Ferrari performance enhancements
has turned its attention to the open-top Maserati
GranCabrio. The result is a supercharged engine that puts out 590 hp / 434 kW, peak torque of 572 Nm and a top speed of 301 km/h (187 mph). Hold on to your hat!
Solid-state laser weapons are a step closer to operational capability with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR
) reporting that it has successfully disabled a small target boat during testing off the Californian coast. Stemming from the Defense Department's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL
) program, the Northrop Grumman
developed Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) was installed on the deck of the Navy's test ship the USS Paul Foster for the demonstration, making it the first time such a system has been integrated with a ship's radar and navigation system and the first time a high-energy laser has been fired at sea from a moving platform.
Fast cars, shiny shoes, monster flat screen TVs ... all these things play a role as status symbols in our adult lives, but cast yourself back to your early school days when nothing said cool as much as a crackingly good pencil case. What I would have given to have one of these beauties in tow instead of my brothers' graffiti-ridden hand-me-down! Faber-Castell is the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of wood-cased pencils and the company is marking its 250th Anniversary with this Limited Edition Wood Case set.
First shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2010, Porsche's highly innovative and deliciously proportioned Hybrid 918 Spyder
is now available for order. Powered by a 500 hp V8 assisted by two electric motors, no more than 918 units of the new two-seater supercar will be made with production slated to begin in September 2013. The asking price: US$845,000.
NASA has reported that its MESSENGER spacecraft is now in orbit around the planet Mercury – the first ever mission to achieve this feat. More than 40 years on from the first moon landing
in the age of the Mars rovers
and space tourism
, it's easy to overlook just what a remarkable a feat this is. These amazing facts might just jolt our sense of wonder – before reaching orbit on Thursday at approximately 9 pm EDT, MESSENGER traveled for six and a half years and covered 4.9-billion-miles in which it went through three flybys of Mercury, one of Earth and two of Venus. After firing its main thruster for 15 minutes the spacecraft slowed by 1,929 mph (leaving around 10 percent of fuel in the tank for orbit correction maneuvers) and it is now in a 12 hour elliptical orbit around the innermost planet some 96.35 million miles from Earth.