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— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

"For Special Services" – on James Bond's creator, his closeness to the CIA, and the real spy gadgets he inspired

It's one of the most memorable moments in perhaps the best James Bond film, From Russia with Love: SPECTRE agent Rosa Klebb, posing as a hotel maid, drops her gun, and appears to be at a disadvantage as she goes toe to toe with Sean Connery's imposing Bond. That is until she deploys her iconic poison-tipped dagger shoes, which have gone on to be copied in other notable action films … and Wild Wild West. But as kitsch as Klebb's cleaver clogs might seem, the CIA attempted to replicate them, and another classic Bond gadget, in real life, according to research by Dr. Christopher Moran of Warwick University. At the heart of the story is the close friendship of Bond author and Ian Fleming and former CIA Director Allen Dulles. Gizmag spoke to Moran about 20th century Intelligence, and its peculiar relationship with the fictional British spy … Read More
— Computers

Altair 8800 Clone: A near-empty box filled with history

Owning a piece of computer history can be expensive and not much fun. You can buy a vintage MITS Altair 8800, one of the world’s first successful desktop computers, on eBay, but a good one will cost you over US$4,000. That’s why computer enthusiast Mike Douglas developed the Altair 8800 Clone. It’s a modern, inexpensive, functional reproduction of the historic Altair 8800 computer that uses 21st century technology to recreate a bit of computer history for hobbyists and educators. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

Dambusters 70 years on: Barnes Wallis – an engineer ahead of his time

It's seventy years to the day since No. 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force returned from Operation Chastise, in which specially designed bouncing bombs were dropped in an attack on the Möhne, Sorpe and Eder Dams in Germany during World War II. Though the bouncing bomb is without doubt the invention for which Barnes Wallis is most renowned (thanks in no small part to its depiction in the film Dambusters) Wallis' other work before, during, and after World War II was of great importance, and in some cases, far ahead of its time. Gizmag spoke to Dr. Andrew Nahum, Principal Curator of Technology at the Science Museum where many of Wallis' papers are archived, about swing-wing aircraft, earthquake bombs, improbable mathematics lessons, and the geodetic Wellington Bomber. Read More
— Automotive Feature

50 years of the Raging Bull: A Lamborghini retrospective

Fifty years ago, a young, ambitious Italian farmboy by the name of Ferruccio Lamborghini decided his talent for mechanical enhancement, engineering and marketing would be better served designing high-performance automobiles. Since 1963 Lamborghini has seen its share of bad relationships and financial hardship, but has still managed to create some of the most extreme and immediately recognizable vehicles on the road today. Here's a look back at the Raging Bull's major achievements as the company celebrates its 50th anniversary. Read More
— Good Thinking

NeoLucida brings 19th Century sketching tech into the present

As long ago as 1807 – and possibly up to 200 years earlier – many artists used an optical device known as a camera lucida to help them in sketching subjects. A controversial theory even suggests that some of the famous Old Masters created their masterpieces not by sketching freehand, but by using such gadgets. Now, two art professors are trying to bring the camera lucida back, in the form of the low-cost portable NeoLucida. Read More
— Computers

CERN recreating the world's first website

To old fogeys like me, it seems like only yesterday that the coolest way to go online was to dial up the AP wire service bulletin board on a 300-baud modem, but it was actually two decades ago that the web as we know it burst onto our world. On Tuesday, it was 20 years ago that the World Wide Web went public, when CERN made the technology behind it available on a royalty-free basis. To mark the occasion, the organization announced that it is recreating the world's very first website for posterity. Read More
— Science

Who needs a time machine? Scientists reconstruct ancient languages with software

Imagine the wealth of knowledge we could uncover if it was possible to travel back in time and re-construct ancient languages. While that’s impossible right now, scientists at UC Berkley and the University of British Columbia reckon they’ve managed the next-best thing, by developing new software which uncovers existing fragments of “proto-languages” from languages still in use. Read More
— Automotive

The extraordinary Rolls Royce Jonckheere Aerodynamic Coupe may rise again

One of the highlights of the Windsor Concurs d’Elegance that we featured here a few months ago was the extraordinary 1924/35 Rolls Royce Jonckheere Aerodynamic Coupe, now owned by the Petersen Museum in California. Jonckheere, the original coachbuilders, are still in business. Although they now specialize in bus and coach bodies, they have commissioned Turkish designer Ugur Sahin to create a modern interpretation of the original hand-built one-off. The “Round Door Rolls” might live again. Read More