Rhodri Marsden: This new app Yo is a funny idea but $1.2m of funding is no joke

The internet has made us an excitable bunch. We jump on speeding bandwagons, keen to be in on something early and eager to get people to join us. Our behaviour can be measured down to the last unit, our rapidly changing interests charted across the web on hit-counters and graphs, soaring as we embrace something, and then levelling off or plummeting as we get bored. Last week, that almost violent capriciousness was demonstrated perfectly by a little app called Yo.

Life on the line: the Swedish TV series ‘Real Humans’

Real Humans: Are the robots taking over?

In a hit Swedish TV drama, soon to be remade in English, lifelike robots do the all the dirty work. Pure science fiction, wonders Gerard Gilbert – or a glimpse of the future?
Breaking Bad
Teaching? Too much hassle. I’ll just cook up some crystal meth to fund the cancer treatment. Bit harsh, this drug dealing

Skimo: The essential TV catch-up service for those who have FOMO

Bypassed 'Breaking Bad'? Too busy for 'The Bridge'? Don't worry, technology firm Skimo has developed a condensed TV catch-up service. Hannah Verdier gets up to speed
Taking the biscuit: Nestlé capitalised on the Facebook shutdown to tweet a Kit-Kat advert

When Facebook broke, users railed or mocked, but most kept refreshing their news feeds

As we mocked Facebook's meaninglessness, we knew deep down that we were mocking ourselves, says Rhodri Marsden

On locations: Ed Parsons at Google’s London HQ

The man who's making Google Maps smarter

Google Maps has changed the way we navigate, poked its cameras into our lives – and come close to sparking border conflict. Simon Usborne meets the geography fanatic who is the tech giant's mapping evangelist

Rhodri Marsden: They may have passed the test, but the robots aren't taking over yet

The news was announced with such fanfare and excitement that you'd have forgiven us for bracing ourselves for psychological subjugation at the hands of an army of sentient robots. "Turing test passed for the first time", screamed the headlines, before going on to explain that a Russian-produced chatbot had managed to convince a panel of humans attending an event at the Royal Society that it, too, was human.

Rhodri Marsden: Struggling to express your emotions? There's a sticker for that...

Nothing says "I appear to be veering towards narcissim" like a picture of a chubby cat. <b>Rhodri Marsden</b> extolls the virtues of a well-placed sticker

A very different ball game: the England team walk out in ‘Fifa 14’

Fifa Interactive World Cup: Meet the virtual footballers with their sights set on winning

The players are training hard for the tournament of their careers, which this year takes place in Brazil. On video games
Slenderman was crafted as a lanky man, with a featureless face, sometimes with tentacles protruding from his back, who would stalk and abduct children before murdering them in the woods

Slender Man: Horror character may have led two teenage girls to brutally stab a classmate. But who - or what - is he?

Until this week, Slender Man was known only to internet horror fans who would write stories about him and share his legend. But his tale took a sinister turn after it was revealed that two Wisconsin schoolgirls had allegedly stabbed a classmate because they wanted to please the mythological character

Pay day: a wedding in Benin City, Nigeria. The groom will have been told how much his bride is ‘worth’

Nigeria's Bride Price app: Cause of controversy, but is it just a sly social commentary on the past?

The concept of bride price is a window to our past, a past which is not always glorious or edifying when viewed through a modern lens, says Bim Adewunmi
Nature calls: half of people aged 18-29 use their phones on the loo

Texting on the toilet may be a good use of time - but it's a sign we're under too much pressure

Loo texter Katherine Mangu-Ward tackles the etiquette of conducting work and social business in the throne room
20 Day Stranger anonymously pairs you up with a stranger at random

Rhodri Marsden: Is Twitter making you miserable? Befriending a stranger might help

I've just been reading about a social-media campaign where a marketing team spent two months planning a tweet about a brand of cheese. When finally unleashed, said tweet disappeared up the timeline virtually unnoticed, burning out immediately like a moth in a flame.

We'd be foolish to think we don't carry our emotions over to the digital world

Defriending someone on Facebook is the 21st-century way of ending a relationship - but is it the coward's way out?

When a virtual pal got too close for comfort, Dana Rossi blocked him on Facebook. Here, she wonders if the site's easy intimacy can make for bad habits

Rhodri Marsden: Believe it or not, the author of Game of Thrones likes to keep it simple

I'm typing this on a blank screen. If we disregard the pigeon outside my window and the movement of my fingers on the keyboard, there are no other visual distractions. No menus, no toolbars, no bouncing alerts, no wavy lines to help with my speling (sic) or opportunities to change the way that the words look. It's got to be that way.

News
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s supreme leader, found little to laugh about when an American comedy film was produced about a plot to kill him
sony hack
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
coded message
Life and Style
spy phone
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
interview demand
Life and Style
upnotes
News
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s supreme leader, found little to laugh about when an American comedy film was produced about a plot to kill him
north korea
Life and Style
Commander Barry 'Butch' Wilmore with his new wrench
printer issues
Life and Style
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special
shershock
Life and Style
soaksoaked
Life and Style
watching netflix
Life and Style
A ruling banning Dutch ISPs from letting subscribers access The Pirate Bay torrent website has been lifted.
pirate back
Life and Style
Multilingual: the Skype Translator in action
how you say
Life and Style
death rays
Life and Style
iSob
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car tech
Life and Style
tipsy tip-offs
Life and Style
war games
Life and Style
spotifriends
Life and Style
GCHQ in Cheltenham. Master’s degree graduates need a detailed knowledge of ‘malicious code’ and ‘adversarial thinking’
child's play
Life and Style
Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaks after receiving the first ever Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki in 2004
net worse
News
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s supreme leader, found little to laugh about when an American comedy film was produced about a plot to kill him
sony hack
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
coded message
Life and Style
spy phone
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
interview demand
Life and Style
upnotes
News
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s supreme leader, found little to laugh about when an American comedy film was produced about a plot to kill him
north korea
Life and Style
Commander Barry 'Butch' Wilmore with his new wrench
printer issues
Life and Style
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special
shershock
Life and Style
soaksoaked
Life and Style
watching netflix
Life and Style
A ruling banning Dutch ISPs from letting subscribers access The Pirate Bay torrent website has been lifted.
pirate back
Life and Style
Multilingual: the Skype Translator in action
how you say
Life and Style
death rays
Life and Style
iSob
Life and Style
car tech
Life and Style
tipsy tip-offs
Life and Style
war games
Life and Style
spotifriends
Life and Style
GCHQ in Cheltenham. Master’s degree graduates need a detailed knowledge of ‘malicious code’ and ‘adversarial thinking’
child's play
Life and Style
Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaks after receiving the first ever Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki in 2004
net worse
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there