Drop by drop: water molecules are made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. Isolated hydrogen is known for its highly flammable properties, which make it a perfect fuel.

Scientists are making strides in the discovery of potentially viable solar fuel materials

Ignorance of the law can bring crippling fines which frequently put a painful dent into a business’s finances and reputation. Photograph: iStock

Many businesses are in breach of laws they aren’t even aware exist

Prof John Goodenough (95): ‘I’m old enough to know you can’t close your mind to new ideas’

A new battery cell prototype may be the best chance tech has at creating faster, safer and longer-lasting rechargeable battery pow(...)

Fleetwood Mac in 1968.  From left: Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Jeremy Spencer

Fleetwood Mac are celebrating 50 years of making music. Mick Fleetwood discusses the line-up changes, the turbulent times, and the(...)

Crystal engineering refers to the design and synthesis of molecular solid-state structures with intended properties.

Materials developed here have commercial potential worldwide

Attendees wear cardboard “faceboxes” at the SXSW interactive festival in Austin. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Austin’s mayor to lead trade group to Ireland in July to help forge new links

Actor Michael Fassbender takes part in the Made in Austin: A Look Into “Song To Song” panel discussion during  the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Photograph:  Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Benefits to business links ‘work both ways’ for US and Irish economy

Chris Sacca, founder of Lowercase Capital, speaks to Alex Konrad at the 2017 South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Photograph: David Paul Morris

This year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, is not shying away from politics

Tinder’s decision to let users define their own gender identity has proved ‘hugely popular’

Hugh Forrest: “One of the big reasons why people like coming to SXSW is the city itself.” Photograph: Heather Kennedy/Getty Images

The Interactive director talks Trump, Web Summit and keeping sane over two decades

French president François Hollande shakes hands with Cybedroid robot Leenby at the Élysée Palace in Paris during the Viva Technology conference. Photograph: Michel Euler/AFP/Getty Images

Futurologists use computer modelling to analyse trends and predict likely outcomes

Handy friends or planning to take over? Olivier Stasse of CNRS tests the hand of Pyrene, a humanoid robot handyman. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Artificial intelligence will be explored at this year’s SXSW Interactive festival

Teen idols One Direction endorsing Coca Cola.

More cola than carrots: study confirms celebrity endorsements aimed at children and teens are almost entirely for unhealthy foods (...)

Prada Marfa, a sculpture of the designer’s shop front in Marfa, Texas. Photograph: Getty Images

West Texas is more sophisticated than the ‘cowboys and oil rigs’ stereotypes. The wild west also boasts unique attractions, includ(...)

“Our number one mission is to be objective, but  various unconscious influences on the scientific mind make bias-free research virtually impossible,” says Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry at TCD. Photograph: iStockphoto

Even scientific research is prone to bias, whether conscious or unconscious

 A US  border protection agent drives along a fence  separating the cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico – a frequent crossing point for people entering the US illegally. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A virtual wall of fibre optics, lasers and drones is more effective, says Texas Republican

Nanorockets could potentially serve as tiny medicine cargo transporters for the human body

Scientists are close to perfecting the use of tiny machines to deliver medicines

Last man on the moon: US astronaut Eugene Cernan, who died last week,   in 1972. Photograph: Nasa/EPA

Could Donald Trump’s presidency herald a new era of co-operation in space?

Scientists involved in the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment at the McDonald Observatory in west Texas hope to gain a better understanding of the mysterious dark energy. Photograph: Ethan Tweedie

Telescope gets major upgrade for study on one of the great mysteries of the universe

Market forces: “I think many Americans would love to see Apple repatriate Irish tax revenue,” says Carey Milley, a California estate agent. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Since the EU ruled that Apple owes Ireland €13bn in tax, more Americans have views on Ireland’s tax policies – and even compare(...)

Blockchain technology has had  its share of sceptics, principally because of its association with bitcoin, above, a cryptocurrency that has, in the past, been used  for the sale of illicit drugs and arms, among other things.

Blockchain Association of Ireland aims to make global hub for technology here

Colorado has one of the most developed marijuana industries in the US with 10 companies  accounting for 25% of the  local market. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Cannabis derivatives offer viable pain relief, so why has big pharma ignored them so far?

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the United States has been producing more oil and natural gas than any other nation every year since 2012

Surveys suggest it could hold up to 20bn barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of gas

Philip King pictured in Dún Chaoin on the Dingle Penninsula in Co Kerry. Other Voices is usually filmed in St James’s Church in Dingle but the latest recording was made in Austin, Texas. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Growth of Irish company offers valuable lessons in small business expansion

Dell Technologies chief executive Michael Dell: “Please think of us as one company, as that’s what we are now.”

Dell Technologies unveils array of new offerings at Austin expo following merger

Staff at both tech companies worldwide have been on shaky ground for almost a year since Dell chief executive Michael Dell (above) announced, in October 2015, plans to purchase EMC Corporation for a record $67 billion. The deal was finally closed in September on the biggest tech acquisition in history.

Austin conference Dell’s first since acquisition of ‘Byzantine federation’ EMC

Dell Technologies chairman and chief executive Michael Dell: “All I know is something cool is going to happen.” Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Companies awash with data do not know how to exploit it, says Dell Technologies chief

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg can appear “awkward” when giving presentations, according to John A Daly, former president of the National Communication Association in the US. Photograph: Kim White/Bloomberg

Most chief executives need help to become more ‘show’ and less ‘biz’ at major events

The garage in Palo Alto, where Bill Hewlett and David Packard founded the company in 1938, is also considered the birthplace of Silicon Valley.

HP embraces globalisation to succeed in world of 3D print technology

Holbox has been a popular tourist destination for years, particularly for mainland Mexicans, but its island status has sheltered it somewhat from the wheels of progress

Dirt roads, patchy internet and power cuts just add to the authentic charm of Holbox

“Good mastering rooms are incredibly, acoustically accurate and allow the mastering engineer to make the best possible decisions for the material.”

Since loud became the new normal, the skills of music mastering engineers are essential

Oracle chairman Larry Ellison speaking at the OpenWorld 2016 conference in San Francisco. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Software giant has turned from sceptic about cloud to evangelist for it

A rack of iPhone 7s waiting for dispatch. Photograph: Reuters

Sometimes it’s worth being labelled the bad guys

Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp, speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2016 conference in San Francisco, California. Photograph: Bloomberg

Tech billionaire tells San Francisco event industry in midst of ‘generational change’

“Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030” looks at the likely effects of AI technologies on urban life. Image: iStock/Askold Romanov, Mlenny & Tricia Seibold

A new project aims to provide insight and guidance on the future impact of AI

Construction requires sand with angular grains, found in rivers and other water sources. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Struggle to meet ever-growing demand for sand is extending from developing world

Colonies of E coli bacteria. Phages “till” about half the bacteria on the planet every two days. Image: US Centers for Disease Control/Reuters

It’s been used in the former USSR for a century. Now the West is taking notice

Email drawbacks: “Confusion surrounds how emails should be structured, what salutations are appropriate, levels of formality and so on.” Photograph: iStock

Our new reliance on texts and emails cuts across human evolution in a profound way. What are the costs of losing the primacy of fa(...)

Amelia Showalter was digital director for the 2012 Obama presidential campaign and hopes to offer some lessons to Irish non-profit operations at an upcoming workship behind held by Irish Charity Lab next month

Former Obama digital director sees a huge overlap between politics and charity in the digital marketing space

Performances can be watched by using an AR-based smartphone app and a mini-stage the size of a business card that can be printed off Firstage’s website, or at a growing number of locations in Dublin.

‘Virtual stage’ app enables artists to showcase live performances

Virtual reality: The introduction of new technologies into pornography can also serve to compound complex, societal ills. Photograph: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Technology is helping the adult entertainment industry enter the mainstream

Technology is driving huge investment in fintech groups

Irish firms have had a very good working relationship with the fintech industry in London. Photograph: Istock

Experts are hopeful that a strong indigenous fintech sector will weather any fall-out from Brexit

US multinationals are increasingly discovering there are many benefits to locating outside Dublin and other major urban centres

New recruit “Pepper” the robot, a humanoid robot designed to welcome and take care of visitors and patients, holds the hand of a new born baby next to his mother at AZ Damiaan hospital in Ostend, Belgium. Photograph: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Prof Tom Davenport to those concerned by the growing influence of robotics technology: ‘you can’t beat ‘em, so join ‘em.

Bright open workplaces can open up creativity while empowering staff by, for instance, consulting them on design and the projects they work on encourages them to invest in a company’s success

The design of a working environment has a huge impact on staff performance

Tesla’s  Gigafactory 1

Not since Henry Ford’s Mustang in 1964 has there been such hysteria about a motor vehicle

 Richard Branson. Photograph: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

How much closer is the co-founder of Microsoft to making space open source?

Pushing for change: Some parts of Texas  have already introduced gender-neutral bathroom policies with little opposition. Austin has enforced this rule for all premises with single-use facilities for more than a year. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Safety issues raised after retailer Target allows use of facilities based on gender identity

 EMC’s CTO Bill Schmarzo

Before jumping into data science, business executives need to work out what they’re trying to accomplish with big data, and data(...)

“Sure, it is cost effective to locate in Ireland, but we’ve been there for a long time and many of our people have established roots. So there are no plans to leave anytime soon,” says EMC products and marketing president Jeremy Burton. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Consolidating two large firms involves challenges of staff, markets and goods

EMC has had a presence in Cork since the 1990s. Beginning with tech support, it has gradually expanded into other areas such as management software development and product management.

Tech company, which employs 3,000 people in Ireland, outlines expansion plans

Facebook: social media engagement should be part of the work day.  Photograph:  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Ask open-ended questions, be curious, and most importantly listen to the response

Paul O’Brien: Growth Hacker and start-up consultant

Attention to detail is recommended when assessing tech hubs beyond Silicon Valley

San Francisco: “If you’re in tech, you need to go to the US in order to succeed. It’s that simple,” says Andrew Mullaney, chief technical officer of Irish Social Content Discovery Platform, NewsWhip

The biggest mistake any Irish tech start-up can make is not trying to break the US market

Man robot: “You need to start thinking about how cognitive science and psychology can help augment any artificial lifelike android into a convincing replica,” says Prof Hiroshi Ishiguro.

The latest advances are nothing if a robot is not psychologically conceived

US president Barack Obama  at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival: “I don’t recall the phrase being, ‘Yes I Can’. It’s ‘Yes We Can’.”  Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Austin’s South by Southwest festival still attracts big names and even bigger ideas

What makes us laugh? Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Can something as intangible as humour be understood scientifically, its parts isolated and explained mathematically? It would appe(...)

Macnas presents its pop-up theatre spectacle on 6th Street in Austin, Texas sponsored by IDA Ireland during SXSW

A healthy mix of business and creativity makes South By SouthWest Interactive 2016 a success for ‘Ireland Inc’

Katherine Power of Clique Media Group and Emily Weiss of Glossier at SWSX: the conference heard from Jacquelline Fuller,   the head of Google’s  philanthropic arm, that about about 70 per cent of  staff in the tech world is male. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Creative answers are needed to increase participation, SWSX Interactive hears

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, waves to the audience after speaking with Evan Smith, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, during the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas

Obama says we have ‘fetishised’ the security of our phones above every other value

Participants at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, this week: Barack Obama attended the festival on Friday, becoming the first US president to do so. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

President asks tech community for help in improving civic engagement in digital age

Consul General Adrian Farrell (left) with Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler (right)

The South By Southwest festival may bring whole new influx of Irish startups to the Texas city

Electronics is one industry that can always use more light, yet strong materials like magnesium.  Photograph: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

Could magnesium be the element of choice in the future? Some hope so

Gamma rhythms can be likened to the ocean’s waves advancing and receding. More surfers can catch the slower waves, just as more information can be saved on a slow gamma. Photograph: Getty Images

New research into memory transmission may impact treatment of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s

“Mice bring several really important advantages for discovery-based research.” Photograph: Thinkstock

Lab work that involves animals is controversial but such research is heavily regulated

The cryptocurrency known as bitcoin and the digital ledger upon which its transactions are recorded, the blockchain, are now being taken seriously by more than just e-pirates. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Most simply and accurately described as a digital ledger, the technology, still in its infancy, cannot be ignored

Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network

Unicorns are dropping like flies in Silicon Valley and being replaced by a more proletarian ruling force: the cockroach

Pavlok is a wearable device which will vibrate, beep or send “zaptic” feedback to help change one’s naughty behaviour

A wearable aversion therapy device helps smokers and nailbiters break the habit

China’s first domestically-developed electrically-powered light aircraft (Rui Xiang RX1E). The two-seater airplane is made of a carbon-fibre composite material and is powered by an electric motor running on lithium batteries, with each recharge using only 10KW at a cost of about 80 cent. Photograph: Chinafotopress/Getty Images

There are many reasons to invest more in research into electric flight

Flavour is still proving tricky with meat produced in vitro, but some commentators joke that cultured meat still tastes better than many vegan options currently on the market

At the intersection of food and medical science, cultured meat produced in cell culture is slowly moving into the mainstream

Facebook’s “Like” logo: Social media providers are in the unique position of being able to turn passive empathy into the more active variety.   Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Digital campaigns that encourage empathy still have long-term positive effects

‘The technology to extract water and other precious minerals from asteroids is there – we just need to deploy it,’ says Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources.  Photograph:  REUTERS

‘Armageddon’ saw a mining crew drill into an asteroid. It’s not so far-fetched

An artist’s impression of the Hyperloop: its backers say it can never crash and is immune to weather

The potential of Elon Musk’s rail system will be examined at a Web Summit forum

The historic cable car on San francisco city

The Camino De San Francisco continues to attract Irish tech start ups in their droves. Can anyone or anything stop the growth of S(...)

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop  was the subject of a keynote speech at SXSW Eco

The opportunity for mining water from asteroids was just one of the topics discussed at SXSW Eco

Tommy Furey of the Marine Institute onboard the Celtic Explorer with maps of mountains in the Atlantic Ocean. Ireland is leading the world in deep-sea mapping. Photograph: Andrew Downes/XPOSURE

There is a growing movement to map the oceans, so why is space getting all the publicity?

‘We are not in a position to control a cloud brightening experiment scientifically,’ says one critic of the idea

A project aims to manipulate cloud formations in order to combat climate change. The naysayers are lining up, but the group argues(...)

A Facebook page affiliated with Islamic State shows the group’s militants in Damascus, Syria. Photograph: Rased News Network, via AP

Data analysts are developing tools to help combat the spread of terrorism online

Research at NASA for the last two decades has focused on the International Space Station

NASA may no longer rule space, but it is still a launchpad for technical innovation

US border patrol agents detaining undocumented immigrants  after they crossed the border from Mexico into Texas. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Republicans ‘just come here to get their pictures taken’ grouses Democrat

Artist’s rendering of unit to remove CO2 from air. Any such machine must be able to run passively, “like a tree standing in the wind”, says Prof Klaus S Lackner, who has designed a prototype.

Scientists mimic trees to provide another potential solution to growing CO2 emissions

It is easy, relatively speaking, to compare humans and chimps. When one moves to more distant comparisons, however, the DNA sequence becomes more divergent. Photograph: Altrendo Images/Getty Images

All life on Earth shares a single common ancestor, but is it possible to measure our genetic similarities accurately?

The technology underlying brain-to-brain communication has already been used effectively in a number of clinical settings

Irish researcher leads team in cutting-edge brain-to-brain communication

 Hacker attack: everything from your car to your home appliances are vulnerable. Illustration: Getty Images/iStockphoto

US and EU taking measures to protect drivers’ privacy and security from hackers

Differences in culture, business approach and regulation may put many people off the possibility of growing into places such as Africa but that doesn’t mean there aren’t major opportunities there

Irish innovators are overcoming differences in culture and regulation to do business beyond traditional markets

Photograph: Thinkstock

A marine scientist has placed a ‘minimum figure’ on the value of the seven seas in an effort to revive conservation. But isn’t the(...)

José del R Millán from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the electrode-studded hat capable of analysing brain signals which are then given to a robot as instructions to follow. These instructions are transmitted in real time over the internet

Thought-controlled robotics designed to assist people with physical disabilities takes another step forward

Optical fibre: researchers at San Diego received data after it voyaged 12,000km through cables with standard amplifiers and no electronic regenerators.

Engineers have set new power and distance records for fibre-optic communication

The data showed the total number of calls made by individuals who had recently lost their jobs dropped by 51 per cent following their layoffs

Algorithms examine call data from two European countries to measure unemployment rates

Dallas police officers during a standoff with a gunman who attacked the police headquarters on June 13th. Photograph: Ralph Lauder/EPA

Austin police chief says law will put people at risk and create unease in community

In a data set recording more than one million users’ credit card transactions for three months, researchers were able to identify 91 per cent of people’s identities. Photograph: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

It is easy for criminals to find out your credit card details in just a few clicks

Agriculture is the number one consumer of water in California. Photograph: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Surviving with growing populations and shrinking water supplies is the new normal in parts of the US

University of Texas Austin campus:  students at the university and from Dublin are coming together later this month to take part in a unique international student-focused start-up event for social enterprises

An event in Dublin this month aims to help Irish and American students who are interested in setting up social enterprises based(...)

Harry Potter receives the Cloak of Invisibility: now German researchers have engineered a portable invisibility cloak powerful enough to be used for demonstrations in classrooms or lecture halls

While cloak couldn’t conceal an entire wizard, it can make smaller objects disappear

Inspirational: Star Trek’s replicator was the original inspiration for the Genie

Inspired by ‘Star Trek’ , a new concept may revolutionise how we prepare our food

An airbnb floating house in London: the tech start-up is considered a unicorn as it has reached a €1 billion or more valuation. Photograph: Mikael Buck/airbnb/PA Wire

The explosion in new technology has led to a wave of new web-based services

GPS in a smartphone might be affected by interference from other applications, frequent movement or our sweaty hands getting in the way

New centimetre-accurate GPS to revolutionise drone delivery, vehicle safety and gaming

Rev Scott Hopkins of the United Methodist Church, in Vienna, Virginia, voices his support of gay marriage as Tracy Grisham, of Amarillo, Texas, shouts her disapproval. Photograph: John Boal/EPA

Even if the US supreme court rules in favour, conservatives will still fight on

Tough time: John and Mackenzy moved to the US to care for Mackenzy’s mother after her cancer diagnosis

Our problems are the same as everyone’s. There may be occasional banana daiquiris, but there are also sick mothers-in-law and mone(...)

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