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…

This device uses electrodes to convince the brain that it is ‘tasting’ something

Apps that can communicate touch, taste and smell: A taste of what’s to come

Rhodri Marsden wonders if it’s more than people can stomach

The GameStick: A big-screen gaming experience that fits in your pocket

A week with GameStick - the world's most portable TV games console

A console in your pocket with cheap and cheerful titles

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A land of the outright bizarre
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The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
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A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

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The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

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