Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
A present-day salt lake in the south of Russia
 Pic Credit: Dr. Ludwig Weißflog/UFZ

A new report by an international team of scientists has suggested that the largest mass extinction in the history of the earth may not have been caused by volcanic eruptions, methane hydrate or the impact of an asteroid as previously surmised. It may actually have been triggered by giant salt lakes, whose emissions of halogenated gases changed the atmospheric composition to such an extent that vegetation was irretrievably damaged. While this is a lot less dramatic than a volcanic eruption or an asteroid, the effect would be no less devastating and may have implications for us today with forecasts predicting an increase in the surface areas of deserts and salt lakes due to climate change that researchers expect will also lead to an increase in the effects of these halogenated gases.  Read More

The ATI Radeon HD 4890 sure packs a graphical punch

To meet the ever increasing graphical demands of modern games AMD has introduced the ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card that boasts a staggering 1.36 TeraFLOPs of compute power, GDDR5 memory, and engine clock speeds capable of nearly 1GHz.  Read More

Nikon introduce eco-friendly ecobins binoculars

Nikon has put a green spin on its latest binocular offering - the ecobins. The 10x25 glasses utilize lead and arsenic-free Eco-Glass™ lenses and prisms, non-chloride rubber, biodegradable materials for the case and strap and are made without the use of harmful inks or dyes according to the company's release.  Read More

Raven UAV

AeroVironment's Raven UAV system has been used to demonstrate the viability of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as a low-cost surveillance alternative in a continuous 30-hour persistent surveillance test flight. Conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Army Product Manager for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), the demonstration involved unbroken surveillance of a target site using one standard production Raven RQ-11B baseline system (three aircraft and two ground control stations) operated by two-person crews working in eight-hour shifts.  Read More

The GHP-04NC headphones

As recently reported here at Gizmag, when it comes to headphone quality a growing number of consumers seem to be sacrificing sound for style. Fortunately there are companies out there still looking to cater for aural afficianados and the latest effort from Genius - the GHP-04NC Noise Cancelling headphones - have the added bonus of costing half as much as the company's offering from 18 months ago.  Read More

The Mobiler

The Gizmag team has been slaving away over a hot keyboard to bring you a new sister site covering all things mobile, called The Mobiler. Today we've written about AT&T offering $49.99 netbooks if you sign up for a two-year data plan, HTC's Snap handset which promises to keep you from drowning in unimportant e-mail, Palm opening up the Mojo SDK for their upcoming Pre handset, Clearwire's Clear Spot personal WiMax hotspot, and plenty more. Point your browser at the-mobiler.com and let us know what you think!  Read More

Quick! Out of the way, it's the Walking House!

For anyone who has wanted to get away from it all without leaving the comforts of home Dutch design group N55 has just the thing – a walking house. Consisting of a basic module measuring 3.5m high by 3.5m wide and 3.72m long the walking house can cover a decidedly leisurely 60m an hour on its six insect like legs.  Read More

Honda demonstrates its brain-machine interface

Honda has taken some very significant steps into what could be an absolute revolution in human-computer interface. Honda Research Institute, Japan, has demonstrated a Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) that enables a user to control an ASIMO robot using nothing more than thought. Wearing a headset containing both electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) sensors, the user simply imagines moving either his right hand, left hand, tongue or feet - and ASIMO makes a corresponding movement. The system is still huge and slow, and the commands are quite crude and imprecise - but Honda's baby steps represent a huge leap in technology. The next task is to refine the system to work with fine motor controls, add the ability to decode non-motor brain signals and speed it all up. Then, the doors will be open for a whole range of machines that can sense your thoughts, intentions and feelings, and act directly upon them. BMI has staggering potential - this is just the beginning.  Read More

BBQnique is a dining and cooking product in one

The BBQnique is a barbecue with a difference. The barbecue burner is incorporated into an outdoor granite dining table and offers a multitude of cooking options. Within minutes it can be changed from from a grill to a hot plate, oven or even a wok burner. Now, your dinner guests will be able to help prepare their own meal!  Read More

Main ramp in living room

For skating lovers who heard the phrase ‘don’t you dare skate in the house’ one too many times as a kid, this might just be the dream home you’ve always wanted. The unique dwelling is described as having a ‘curved form interior’ (otherwise known as a ramp), but it's not just 'a house with a ramp in it'. Archivirus Architecture and Design's creation sets out to deliver a completely 'skatable habitat' for the client (which is not actually Tony Hawk -he has his half-pipe built in the backyard) with smooth concrete and curved spaces to enhance the idea of motion.  Read More

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