On the agenda: Imagine Children's Festival; The Voice; Googlebox; gender neutral toys

Middle-class problems: Gender neutral toys

The number crunch: Will Big Data transform your life - or make it a misery?

The age of Big Data is upon us. Fuelled by an incendiary mix of overblown claims and dire warnings, the public debate over the handling and exploitation of digital information on an astronomically large scale has been framed in stark terms: on one side are transformative forces that could immeasurably improve the human condition; on the other, powers so subversive and toxic that a catastrophic erosion of fundamental liberties looks inevitable.

On reflection: a woman meditates the traditional way

Rhodri Marsden: Home is where the heart of absurd technology is but is the automation revolution just pointless frippery?

It probably contravenes some unwritten rule to begin a light-hearted examination of the week in technology with a reference to Jimmy Savile, but a few days ago I remembered an episode of Jim'll Fix It in the 1980s where some lucky youngster had his room kitted out with all the latest gadgets from the Ideal Home Show, including some automated curtains. These curtains elicited gasps of wonder from my teenage self as I entertained the notion that, in the future, we'd be relieved of the endless, life-sapping drudgery of having to drag light pieces of material along a rail, sometimes as frequently as twice a day.

From bacterial robots to synthetic blood cells: The biotech boom at British universities

Imagine bacteria that eats pollution in water or can recycle gold from electronics - the scope of synthetic biology is practically limitless

Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact takes strong design and makes it smaller

The hits of CES: From Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact to the Parrot Jumping Sumo, the show didn't disappoint

Our technology expert reflects on this year’s Consumer Electronics Show

Samsung showed off an 85in television that can be either flat or curved

CES: is gadgets flaunting their curves innovation?

Geek mythology

Keep on trucking: driverless trucks could soon be a common sight on the world's roads

Autonomous vehicles: How safe are trucks without human drivers?

Experiments are already under way testing out trucks that can drive themselves. But how safe will these juggernauts be without a human at the helm? Mark Piesing reports

Rhodri Marsden buys his 'milibit' online

Get a piece of the Bitcoin action: How easy is it to lay your hands on the virtual currency?

'The process was like wagering cash on a dull greyhound race and then having to jump through hoops to claim the winnings'

Rhodri Marsden: Smartphone users moan about battery life but don't choose mobiles with the longest

My current phone has been my trusty companion, faithful friend and indispensable conduit to the outside world for 23 months now. In four weeks, I'll be urgently embarking on the biennial horror of the upgrade process – not because I'm desperate to experience the thrill of developments such as fingerprint readers, virtual surround sound or support for communicating in Swahili, but because my relationship with my phone's battery has reached breaking point. We're barely speaking. It's not putting in anywhere near the effort that it used to, and despite regular admonishment, it refuses to mend its ways. Only today, I cursed its uselessness as it counted down from 100 per cent to 0 per cent at record-breaking speed, and I vowed to consign it to an unecological landfill grave as soon as possible.

Goggle box: the blocky looks of the Oculus Rift belie the breath-taking experience of what the wearer sees

Virtual reality just got real: Could the Oculus Rift headset change the way we play, work and learn?

Cyrus Nemati tries out the headset that has far-reaching implications beyond the world of video gaming

Private Eye was typically gushing in its appraisal of the birth of Prince George
Smoke and mirrors: In March, the world watched a chimney no grander than a prison's ventilation pipe for news of a decision about a new Pope

The silly list, Part 1: A look back at the most ridiculous moments that summed up 2013

A toy-train company bidding to run the west coast mainline. The rise of dinosaur erotica. Cameron and Obama taking a selfie at Mandela’s funeral. And Miley. Dear, sweet, bizarrely ridiculous Miley. It really has been the most absurd year – so how better to end 2013 than to look back at its most ludicrous moments…

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Gadgets & Tech

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

IT Portfolio Analyst - Prince2

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...

Project Co-ordinator - Birmingham - Permanant

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week