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Paul Ridden

Paul Ridden

While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.

Follow Paul:

— Music

Zivix adds hexaphonic pickup and Bluetooth to pocket string picker

There are many iOS apps that offer onscreen versions of musical instruments and, though a convenient way to practice chord positions or to quickly jot down a song idea, they can be a pretty poor substitute for the real thing. In 2013, Zivix launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to bring a backpack-friendly MIDI guitar designed for the mobile musician called the JamStik to production. Now the company is back with an improved mini guitar that boasts better picking detection and processing speed, and uses Bluetooth LE instead of Wi-Fi to keep surfing channels open while playing. Read More
— Robotics

Festo unveils robotic ants, butterflies and chameleon tongue gripper

Designing a robot that can convincingly move like a member of the animal kingdom is a much more difficult prospect than merely building something that has the outward appearance of one. Some of the best examples of both have come from the engineers at Festo, including a herring gull named SmartBird and a bit of a bounder known as the BionicKangaroo. As a taste of things to come at next month's Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, the company has now revealed three more biomimetic creations: a small colony of ants, a gripper modeled on a chameleon's tongue and some fine flyers in the shape of some big blue butterflies. Read More
— Music

Aalberg announces two more effects pedals ahead of Frankfurt reveal

Changing parameters on a floor-based stomp while playing a song on stage or in the studio is tricky. Aalberg Audio's first effects pedal announced last year aimed to bring some setting-switching ease to the process by allowing players to wirelessly control parameters using a little box that could be attached to a guitar strap or belt. Even though the Ekko and Aero double act is still to be released, the company has already announced two new additions to the family ... the Rom and Trym. Read More
— Music

Yamaha's motorcycle designers make some (musical) noise

Engineers and designers from the Yamaha Corporation and the Yamaha Motor Company have changed places for a rather special project called Ah A May (that's Yamaha backwards). Musical instrument creators have been tasked with producing motorcycle and bicycle prototypes, while folks from the motorcycle design house were let loose on a pair of percussion instruments. Let's have a look at the latter. Read More
— Music

Gibson and Coronet create world's most valuable guitar

Though full to bursting with showy and expensive luxury wearables, the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show is not usually the kind of venue where you'd expect to find guitar maker Gibson displaying one of its custom instruments. This year, however, saw a US$2 million diamond-encrusted SG called the Eden of Coronet verified as the world's most valuable guitar by Guinness World Records.

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— Urban Transport

Leap luxury buses start rolling in San Francisco

This past week, natural gas-fueled buses from private transport company Leap started making their way through San Francisco along the company's first route, dubbed the Lombard Express. Rather than squeeze as many people as possible into a mobile sweat box, the high-end Leap buses are decked out like a swanky coffee shop and include a number of technologies to support today's gadget obsessed commuter. Read More
— Robotics

Tiny Ringo teaches kids about robotics

Though you can work with your kids on all sorts of crazy electronics projects by adding numerous shields, break-out boards and attachments to existing development platforms or going wild with Lego Technic building blocks, such solutions just weren't cute enough for Kevin King and his kids Halley and Parker. Their digital pet is called Ringo and thanks to a successful crowdfunding effort, the teeny Arduino-based robotics and programming learning tool could be swarming toward backers in the coming months. Read More
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