Online reviewers fill a vacuum for the average consumer - and our opinions carry huge weight

At this time of year in particular, we find ourselves relying on customer reviews to help us make tricky consumer decisions online

Up in the air: a DJI Phantom drone takes to the sky

Drones are set to take off this Christmas - but there are unexpected dangers in the skies

Now that they have cameras and a vaguely menacing name, remote-control flying gadgets are set to be a very popular present this year - but think before you stick one under the tree, says Seth Stevenson, as he turns test pilot

Orion capsule is headed into deep space – and it takes hopes for commercial space travel and Mars with it

After a private rocket blew up just weeks ago, and as public enthusiasm for space travel surges, the Orion launch could make or break commercial space travel and hopes for exploration of Mars

Art broken: the images that used to appear on DIY posters and leaflets are no longer part of Microsoft Office

Goodbye Clip Art: Vitally important bad design

Microsoft's Clip Art provided simple images for decorating documents with. Now it has been declared obsolete, and DIY leaflets will never be the same, says Rhodri Marsden

Christmas cooking with help from your tablet: how to replace cookbooks with apps

Tablet apps can make a good alternative to cookery books — and can still be operated without hands. David Phelan takes in a cookery school taught using a tablet, and explores the best apps for Christmas chefs

Remember to have a good stretch at your desk

Laptops, tablets and phones don't encourage good posture - let's spare a thought for our bodies

A few months ago, I found myself lying face down on a bench somewhere in London's Square Mile, being viciously pummelled by a South African sports injury specialist who'd just diagnosed me with some kind of acute shoulder blade complaint. It became apparent to her through casual questioning that this injury had not been sustained through vigorous activity. Feeble inactivity was more to blame.

An undated handout photo provided by Google on 19 October 2012 shows hundreds of fans funnelling hot air from the server racks into a cooling unit to be recirculated in the Google data center in Pryor, Oklahoma.

Google: Just what does the search engine know about us?

Even as you search Google, it turns out, Google is also searching you

The inexorable expansion of social media presents the Facebooks and Twitters of this world with a problem: how to prevent us from waking up one morning, looking at our timelines or news feeds and thinking, “Sod this, I’ve got no idea who these people are or what they’re on about. I quit.”

Rhodri Marsden: Why social-media marketing is about to get really sneaky

The inexorable expansion of social media presents the Facebooks and Twitters of this world with a problem: how to prevent us from waking up one morning and thinking, 'Sod this, I quit'

Hello dolly: component parts are assembled

Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

British toy maker Alice Taylor: 'It’s an opportunity to make a doll that isn’t just about tiny waists and legs that go up to here'

Keeping it real: David and Debs Hurst (right) with their children Daniel and Darley

Forget Facebook: One man's quest to see his nearest and dearest in person

The loss of two loved ones convinced David Hurst and family that 'seeing' friends on social media is no substitute for real-life meetings – so they set out on an extraordinary road trip
Sean O'Grady tries out a virtual reality suit at the UCL

Virtual reality self-help: 'Is this my inner child that I see before me, weeping?'

A remarkable experiment aims to help stressed adults develop ‘self-compassion’ via a virtual-reality headset. Sean O’Grady tried it out

Mother and daughter looking at computer screen

With today's children having never known a world with no internet, should their parents be worried?

No study yet knows exactly what this iChildhood will look like when our children are full-grown people

IP Cam Trolling has been going on ever since security cameras had internet access

Home security cameras are anything but secure

I've never felt quite so aware as I do these days. The volume of stuff being slung at us every day seems to push our capacity for awareness to its limits. And thanks to the feverish competition for that awareness, we've become only too aware of the phrase "raising awareness" and the attention-grabbing activities attached to it – the Ice Bucket Challenge being a notable recent example.

Paper dreams: the DodoCase VR

DodoCase VR: How to turn your smartphone into a virtual-reality machine for just £15.50

The viewer may be made of cardboard and look a bit silly, says Will Oremus, but the results are spectacular and herald a new age of VR play
'We don’t love email; we’re just duty bound to deal with it'

We don't love email, despite what Google claims about its new service, Inbox

After spending a day wading through tedious missives, filing electronic receipts and deleting invasive corporate greetings, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the system of email is broken. We know that some emails are significantly less important than others, but they all arrive with equal status, holding their heads high, whether it's a work opportunity, a retweet notification or a confirmation of an order for a takeaway curry.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power