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Features


— Environment Feature

How Chile's fogcatchers are bringing water to the driest desert on Earth

"It's easy for people in the cities. They don't have to think about it. They turn on the tap and they have water to wash and water to drink. Here, access to water is a much more complicated issue." Daniel Rojas might have been talking about any place on Earth where water is hard to come by, but his words have a particular salience in Peña Blanca, Chile. The remote, drought-stricken community lies on the fringes of an expanding Atacama Desert, the driest (non-polar) desert on Earth. Parts of this parched, desolate land have never seen a single drop of rain, but by using a cleverly designed system the locals are able to harvest the mist that rolls in from the Pacific for farming, preserving native vegetation, and even producing beer.

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— Marine Feature

DeepFlight Dragon review: The awesome underwater quadcopter anyone can drive

When you get an opportunity to go fly a 1.5 million dollar electric personal submarine that looks like a Formula One car, but operates like a quadcopter in reverse, on beautiful Lake Tahoe, California, damnit you take that opportunity. Even when you're ten pounds heavier than the maximum weight it's designed to handle. Even when the sub's stabilization software isn't finished yet and the team is still in preliminary testing. Gizmag joins pioneering submarine engineer Graham Hawkes to drive the Deepflight Dragon, a submarine so idiot-proof even Loz Blain can drive it.

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— Automotive Feature

Monterey Car Week Auctions: The cars that fetched more than a million

The Monterey Car Week auctions have come and gone, and the analysts are still trying to sort through the numbers to figure out what they mean. There were more auctions and more cars presented this year than ever before, and the two biggest collectible car auction houses (RM Sotheby's and Gooding & Co.) grew sales considerably year-on-year, but the overall gross take for the combined auctions comes in within a few dollars of last year's record numbers. Like all those who ply the trade as buyers or sellers, the market appears stronger at the top end and slightly softer in the middle.

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— Automotive Feature

2015 Monterey Car Week and Pebble Beach Concours Pictorial

The sixty fifth anniversary of the first Pebble Beach auto racing weekend is now much greater than anyone could have envisaged when California's Monterey Peninsula community began this journey. Originally a race and low-key concours boasting European style racing cars, it has now evolved into what is known as Monterey Car Week. Camera in hand, Somer Hooker attended almost everything of significance at the 2015 event.

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— Automotive Feature

Man vs. machine: Can self-driving cars really replace human drivers?

Self-driving autonomous vehicles have been dominating the headlines this year like never before: they've gone from sci-fi fantasy to actual reality in a very short space of time, and manufacturers say some form of automobile automation will arrive by 2020 or even earlier. If you're wondering exactly how far the technology has come and how far it has to go, we're here to answer some of those questions.

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— Motorcycles Feature

Ten motorcycles that remind us why we miss two-strokes

During the last 20 years two-stroke motorcycles have practically vanished from the streets, substituted by cleaner, safer and more reliable four-strokes. Their demise is unquestionably a good thing when it comes to air quality in big cities, but despite that many people still miss them, seeking solace in restorations and custom builds. For those who understand this nostalgia, here are ten modern motorcycles that keep the oil-burning spirit alive. Some are available to buy, although most of them can hardly be considered cheap, easy to find or environmentally-friendly. The dilemma, of course, is that they're all likely to deliver a delicious ride.

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— Automotive Feature

Monterey Car Week auctions prepare to smash records

This week is Monterey Car Week, an event which has evolved over the last 65 years to become the single most important celebration of automotive heritage in the world. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has become the world's most important such event, and the round of collectible car auctions (seven almost concurrent auctions this year) now sells almost half the world's most valuable cars. Includes internet viewing guide and times.

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— Automotive Feature

Penniless in Pebble Beach (the poor man's guide to Monterey Car Week)

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Car Week often conjure visions of the rich and famous sipping champagne as they cruise about in chauffeured Bugatti Royales. Tickets for some events run to $450 and sell out in a heartbeat, but that's not the end of the story. Somer Hooker explores the many less-costly aspects of the massive festival and details how to have a good time on a very limited budget.

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— Space Feature

New Horizons spurs new calls to make Pluto a planet once again

After nearly a decade in the wilderness of celestial classification, Pluto is on the rise again. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted to adopt a new definition of what makes a body a planet, and to specifically demote Pluto to the status of dwarf planet. Now, with new data and images streaming in from New Horizons showing that Pluto is not only a little larger than previously thought, but also home to some remarkable geological features (including what may be some of the solar system's youngest mountain peaks, reaching to 11,000 ft/3,353 m high), many are saying it's time to restore the ninth planet to its previous station.

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