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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:

— Computers

nOb offers precision control of virtually any onscreen element

The scroll wheel of a computer mouse can be a bit of an imprecise monster when it comes to making fine adjustments in media production software like video editing suites or digital audio workstations, leading to frustrating back and forth marathons or manual interventions to get onscreen elements to behave. The delightfully retro-looking nOb is kind of like a supercharged scroll wheel that's used for making ultra-fine adjustments of parameters, settings and screen elements.

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— Music

Hifiman eyes high end mobile market with Edition X headphones

Earlier this year, Delaware-based high-end headphone maker Hifiman launched a new flagship planar magnetic open back headphone to much audiophile and pundit applause, with the nanometer-thick diaphragm and non-symmetrical planar driver design offering critic-silencing clarity and sonic detail. They were big. They were beautiful. And, at US$3,000, they were eye-wateringly expensive. Hifiman's president and founder Dr. Fang Bian says that he wanted to offer a model with similar features and performance, but one that was more portable and didn't need a large expensive amp to run it. This has been realized in the new Edition X.

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— Aircraft

Students create a human-carrying multicopter

This year, we've seen a number of important developments in the race to bring personal flyers to market. A team of flying enthusiasts from Hungary took to the skies in a proof of concept tricopter named Flike in March, Malloy Aeronautics announced plans to develop its Hoverbike for the US Department of Defense at the Paris Air Show in June, and the JB-9 made its maiden flight around the Statue of Liberty just last month. Now a team of students from Singapore has joined the fray with a battery electric multicopter called Snowstorm that's being designed for recreational flying.

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— Home Entertainment

Stunning Ikarus boutique amp nears completion

Australian-born artist and designer, electrical engineer and recording engineer Kostas Metaxas started making and selling high-end audio systems in 1981. He considers art and design to be "visual music" and has combined haute horology watchmaking techniques, electrical and mechanical engineering and fine art for his latest eye-popping project – the Ikarus integrated amplifier. First revealed earlier this year in a series of computer-generated images, the Ikarus is now being readied for release.

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Radial puts guitar and amp switching in a compact box

Back in 2007, Vancouver's Radial Engineering launched a rack-mounted device called the JX44 Air Control which provided guitarists with a quick and easy way to control instruments, effects and amplifiers on stage. The company says that it has received a constant stream of requests for a smaller and cheaper version ever since, and has now responded with the JX-42 guitar and amp switcher.

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— Music Review

Review: Going truly wireless with Earin Bluetooth earphones

Last June, a team led by mechanical and design engineer Olle Lindén embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to bring some new Bluetooth earphones into production. There are a good many wireless earphones already available of course, but what made the Earins stand out from the crowd was a world's smallest claim, and that they really were wireless. Where other BT plugs, like the NuForce earphones we reviewed a couple of months back, have a cable running between each earpiece, the Earins have none. Project backers started to receive their Earin earphones in early October, and they've just recently been made available for non-backers to buy, too. Gizmag was sent some to try out.

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— Music

Producer Box comes packed with music-making tools, and 25 years of insider knowledge

Not so long ago, musicians wanting to record and release an album would need to head to a brick and mortar studio, gather together all manner of technical specialists and disappear for a few months. And probably have a major label bankrole the operation. But powerful and affordable personal computer systems and the general release of pro-level music creation software have put high quality music production within reach of the average working band. However, the learning curve for getting the most out of feature rich suites like Ableton Live, Cubase or Pro Tools can be very steep indeed. For his latest album release, veteran French musician, remixer and producer Joachim Garraud has decided to share some of the secrets of his trade, and provide a limited number of bedroom producers with all the tools needed to lay down some top notch tracks.

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— Electronics

Poco serves as actioncam, multimedia player, gaming machine and more

Nearly five years ago, Iain Sinclair Designs launched a credit card-sized compact camera concept called the Poco Pro. Though it generated quite a bit of interest, component supply difficulties meant that the project quickly ran aground. Now Iain's son, Grant, has updated the design and launched an Indiegogo to bring the new Poco to production. Built around a Raspberry Pi compute module, the pocket-sized "supercomputer" can be a bike-mounted actioncam, hi-res music player, handheld gaming console and portable web browser.

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