Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
Artist's rendering showing a NIF target pellet inside a hohlraum capsule with laser beams ...

Lasers, is there anything they can’t do? If they’re not shooting down UAVs, they’re fighting AIDS or bringing us the next generation of HDTVs. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to lasers there’s none bigger than the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California - an instrument capable of delivering 500 trillion watts of power in a 20-nanosecond burst which is now nearing completion. Its myriad uses will include providing fusion data for nuclear weapons simulations, probing the secrets of extrasolar planets and could even lead to the holy grail of energy production - practical fusion energy.  Read More

Apple updates Mac mini and iMac

The second major product announcement from the folks at Apple this week is an update to its iMac® and Mac® mini desktop lines, including a 24-inch iMac. At the same recommended retail price as the previous generation 20-inch model, the 24-inch iMac update offers 30 percent more screen real estate and has twice the memory and twice the storage while the Mac mini boasts new integrated graphics.  Read More

4moms Cleanwater Infant Bath tub

Bathing a baby has to be one of the harder jobs for a new parent. Not only do you have to continually support their slippery, wet, little body, you also have to make sure the bath water is at exactly the right temperature. The 4moms Cleanwater Infant Bath tub with digital thermometer could make the job of bathing baby a little easier via a unique design that allows clean running water to enter the tub and be tested for correct temperature before coming into contact with your baby’s delicate skin.  Read More

Giugiaro hybrid supercar revives classic British nameplate

It seems almost every brand from the automotive industry’s past is ripe for revival – no matter how long ago cars bearing the name last rolled off the production line. The latest candidate is Frazer-Nash, a British sports and racing car maker whose roots date back to the 1920s – but which last made a car in the late 1950s. The company doing the reviving is none other than Italdesign-Giugiaro, and the new Frazer-Nash is a radical hybrid electric car, the fastest of its type in the world.  Read More

The touchy, feely Rubik's TouchCube

Looks like mobile phones aren’t the only things going touch screen crazy. As a new Rubik’s puzzle gets ready to hit stores an updated version of the classic Rubik’s Cube does away with the manual turning of the cube’s sides in favor of utilizing the very latest in touch and motion technologies, so users swipe a finger across the surface to “turn” a side.  Read More

Smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive

Following on from the cosmetically customized version of the Tesla Roadster which debuted at the Essen Motor Show 2008, German tuning house BRABUS has seen the writing on the wall and launched a second electric car, this time based on a Smart fortwo. Drowned in matt green throughout the exterior and interior, the car comes with the same style monoblock light-alloy wheels and the (somewhat gimmicky) LED Daytime running lights as used on the Tesla, as well as some real technical innovation in the drive train.  Read More

Kogan's Kevin37

Like many governments around the world, Australia's leaders are pouring taxpayer dollars into the economy via stimulus packages designed to counter the effects of the global economic downturn. In Australia, this translates to tax-free payments of AUD$900 destined for the bank accounts of those who earned under AUD$100,000 in the 07-08 financial year. The idea is for consumers to spend the money, and Kogan has cleverly capitalized on what's been dubbed the "flat-screen TV bonus" with the announcement of their "High Definition Stimulus" - a $900, 37-inch 720p HDTV called "Kevin37".  Read More

GE G3WP - waterproof digital compact camera

General Imaging, the licensee for GE digital cameras, has launched its first-ever waterproof model at PMA 2009 - the G3WP. The 12.2 megapixel compact is waterproof to 10 feet, has a 4x optical zoom, Image Stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD screen that automatically adjusts to changes in ambient light.  Read More

Morris Architects Rig Resort design

Think "oil rig" and what comes to mind? Deafening noise, pounding seas, people covered in black muck and ugly metal structures? Perhaps even explosions and Red Adair, but it’s unlikely "luxury resort" popped into your head. However, thousands of decommissioned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico could in future be given a new lease of life as exclusive, self-sufficient eco-resorts that make use of renewable energy and cater for those looking for a new and unique holiday experience. The idea is catching on, with Morris Architects' program to turn a disused rig into a high-end resort experience winning it the firm a $10,000 Grand Prize in the Radical Innovation in Hospitality awards.  Read More

Nissan releases GT-R Spec V: no more horsepower, but an additional US$65K on the price tag

Nissan has announced a new limited-production Nissan GT-R Spec V model which we’re still having trouble wrapping our collective brain cells around. The GT-R was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007, and it has taken all before it since then - it is a technological masterpiece that looks like a relatively normal car, but outperforms cars worth double, triple and more. In Japan it sells for 8.6 million yen, translating into the cheapest production supercar the world has yet seen. Now, the Spec V is being shown at Geneva and has already gone on sale in Japan for 15,750,000 yen (JPY) – an increase of 83% in price – and the engine produces NO more horsepower. So what do you get for an extra US$72,000?  Read More

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