Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

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The Legson Kayira Community Center and Primary School was completed earlier this year (Pho...

Shipping container-based buildings can suffer – indeed, usually do suffer – from significant insulation issues. But Johannesburg-based firm Architecture for a change (A4AC) recently built a community center and school in Malawi from shipping containers that aims to mitigate this with an open design. The firm also installed rainwater harvesting and solar power to allow the school to operate off-grid.  Read More

Gizmag's Loz Blain comes to grips with the Sea-Doo Spark (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag.com)

The PWC market has been in decline for a number of years, possibly because jet skis have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry that they've stopped appealing to younger folk. Sea-Doo is starting to turn that around, though, with the release of the Spark. Half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange jet ski, the Spark delivers 90 percent of the fun of a more expensive PWC in a way that's much more accessible and attractive to newcomers … and burns nearly ten times less fuel than the big boys. If it's newbies the Spark is hoping to attract, then we've got a total newbie on the team to test it. The completely inexperienced Loz Blain and the moderately experienced Noel McKeegan take to the water to see how she goes. Rejoice, dear readers, that Loz didn't fit into a wetsuit, and is thus not depicted in skin tight clothing.  Read More

New research suggests that during the Big Bang, the curving of space-time – gravity – held...

Not only does gravity keep us safely on the ground and hold the planets in alignment, but now it may soon get the credit for saving the whole universe. Physicists at the Imperial College London and the Universities of Copenhagen and Helsinki believe that the interaction between Higgs boson particles and gravity had a stabilizing effect on the very early universe, thereby preventing the Big Crunch – a catastrophic collapse into nothing – from occurring shortly after the Big Bang.  Read More

New research suggests synesthesia, a condition that sees people experience an overlapping ...

Tasting lemons when they see a number seven, regarding a certain letter as being yellow in color. Not a great deal is known about why some people experience an overlapping of the senses, a phenomena known as synesthesia. But a new study conducted at the University of Sussex has suggested that specific training of the mind can induce the effects of the condition. The study even suggests that such training can boost a person's IQ.  Read More

The Golf R Wagon at the LA Auto Show (Photo: CC Weiss / Gizmag.com)

Volkswagen's Golf R hot hatch has been given a practical, wagon makeover for the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Golf R Wagon will sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, but still has space for the family in the back – and their dog in the boot.  Read More

Stack Lighting's Alba BR30 standard recessed bulb, ready for pre-order

While Wi-Fi-enabled lighting like the Phillips Hue is nothing new, it still requires making lighting changes via a smartphone app. Stack Lighting, on the other hand, embeds the necessary smarts directly in the bulb, enabling the device to read room conditions and adjust its lighting accordingly, with little to no effort by the user.  Read More

The Jellyfish Barge operates off-grid and produces its own water via an onboard system of ...

Italian design office Studiomobile has teamed up with the University of Florence's Professor Stefano Mancuso, who is the director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology, to produce a prototype floating greenhouse in a bid to improve food security in areas with little arable land. The Jellyfish Barge operates off-grid and produces its own clean water via an onboard system of solar distillation.  Read More

The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services

Last year's redesign of the long-awaited Martin Jetpack was accompanied by plans to begin commercial sales in 2014, starting with emergency response services and individual sales to follow thereafter. The release date for the first responder Jetpack has since been revised to 2016, a prediction bolstered by the fresh announcement of a partnership between Martin Aircraft Company and US company Avwatch to develop air-based, first responder solutions for the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.  Read More

Here's a look at notable new features in the latest build of Windows 10

As Microsoft continues development of its new desktop operating system, it recently released a new build of Windows 10 for members of the Windows Insider program. We previously showed you how to become a Windows 10 Technical Preview tester and looked at some of its features. Now we move on and take a look at the new features in the latest build of Windows 10.  Read More

The Mind4 drone takes a different approach to tracking athletes from above

Among the swarm of consumer drones to emerge this year, a number have been aimed squarely at action sports devotees. What defines these vehicles is a tracking feature that enables the drone to autonomously follow athletes from above, but these generally require the user to carry a smartphone to communicate their GPS position. Streaming from a built-in camera to a smartphone app, the Mind4 drone instead allows users to select any object to follow onscreen, a feature that could lead to new possibilities in aerial drone photography.  Read More

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