As Amazon currently scouts the United States in search of a location for its new HQ2 city mayors from several major cities have been using their best chat-up lines to woo the retail giant. Photograph: David Ryder/Getty Images

We have turned corporate and political courtship into an art form

While many firms in Ireland are still playing catch-up, innovative legal apps have been in use for some time

A look at some of the newest and most widely adopted products and services being offered for the law firms of tomorrow

Innovation in Law

While robots will never be able to replace lawyers entirely, many firms are investing in AI as a way of automating junior tasks

On average, ‘HQ Trivia’ attracts about 400,000 viewers in the afternoon and more than 600,000 during prime time in the US.

Developers of quiz show-based app face challenges posed by exponential growth

‘Weather balloons are the only technology we have to get a sample of what’s actually happening inside a storm.’ Image: iStock

In the age of satellites and drones, the old-fashioned weather balloon is making a comeback, as meteorologists realise it is still(...)

Many charities continue to target potential new donors through direct, public fundraising despite the negative press. Why? Because it works

‘People still want to give, and leveraging new technologies responsibly is the way to get to new donors’

Much of the change currently happening in the modern workplace is being driven less by millennials than it is by their parents, or even their grandparents

John Holden: There is a growing cohort of older workers joining the new economic space

It never rains but it pours: Ireland is facing the double whammy of Brexit and the impending overhaul of US tax policy. Photograph: iStock

We look ahead to 2018 and our future relationship with our two key trading partners

Master of all s/he surveys?

John Holden: Tech and organised religion may seem world’s apart but they have one thing in common: both are taken way too seriousl(...)

Eight out of the 10 largest medical device companies in the world – including Pfizer, Boston Scientific, Bayer and Medtronic – have substantial Irish operations

Four decades of continuous investment has made Ireland the location of choice for international life sciences companies

‘The culture of Ireland is amenable to team success rather than individual glory’

Singapore, The Netherlands and Switzerland are other countries that have also succeeded in creating synergy between science and in(...)

Most of the wind and solar energy powering Georgetown in Texas is travelling halfway across a state on a par with France in terms of physical size.

Georgetown’s change to wind and solar prompted by lower cost of green energy

Salesforce are one of the few major tech companies which has addressed the gender pay gap and, while it requires constant surveillance to ensure pay rises are spread evenly across male and female staff, it’s working. Photograph: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Comparably is helping to tackle this issue by informing firms if they are underpaying staff

While AI has been around for decades in various guises, the technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past 10 years.

Knowing how to apply machine learning confounds many business owners

The United States now offers the greatest opportunity for Ireland to thrive in a post-Brexit global economy. Photograph: iStock

Ireland’s continued economic success, post-Brexit, will come from maintaining and strengthening ties with the US, chief creative officer of 3d Systems Corp, speaking at Dreamforce. Photograph: Michael Short/Bloomberg

The customer relations management giant’s recent conference looked a bit like a cult

“Salesforce reimagined AI, bringing it out of the lab and into the hands of business users with Salesforce Einstein, which now generates more than 475 million predictions every day,” said John Ball, general manager and senior vice president, Salesforce Einstein

New Salesforce AI platform promises to ‘empower’ developers

Lyft’s tenacity in pursuing Uber’s market share has paid off, with Alphabet injecting $1 billion of fresh investment into the ride-sharing service. Photograph: Lane Turner/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Alphabet decision welcome for sector in need of more even-handed competition

Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of,  delivers the keynote speech during the DreamForce Conference in San Francisco.

Business customers wii have access to their combined customer intelligence data

In 2009, having still been no more than a glint in chief executive and founder Gavan Walsh’s eye, the concept for iCabbi was born.

Can Irish tech firm born ‘in the cloud’ save regular taxi industry from extinction?

Adrian Newey, the chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing: he among the speakers at The Future festival. Photograph:   Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Event has the potential to fill more than the tech/start-up gap left by the Web Summit

Amazon is becoming less of an open marketplace where various brands and manufacturers compete for consumers

Online commercial giant is quietly taking over the retail sector and nobody seems to mind

Oracle’s “old-school” reputation isn’t helped by chief executive Mark Hurd (40), who is of the traditional “suit and tie” generation of company heads. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The enterprise services giant is striding ahead in cloud technology, the next frontier in data storage

Larry Ellison, chairman and co-founder of Oracle speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2017 conference in San Francisco, California.

Larry Ellison targets Amazon in keynote speech

Know the code: a whole new tongue – the language of computers – will be what separates the educated from the ignorant masses of tomorrow.

Here are eight reasons why being able to write code for computers is so highly prized

The 50th and final dare of the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, sadly, has been completed by approximately 200 players worldwide: suicide.

The ‘Blue Whale’ project exhibits a deeply sinister side effect of life in the digital age

People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Locals come out for my ill-advised gig in a diverse city growing used to severe flooding

A Deliveroo worker goes about his business. As the law tries to catch up with the technology, a couple of companies dig their heels in – Air BnB, Uber, Lyft, Deliveroo, TaskRabbit, Deliveroo. Photograph:  Mikael Buck/Deliveroo

Lawmakers scramble to enforcing regulations on burgeoning economic model

Daybreak at Gale Crater

Colonising Mars requires overcoming significant challenges but human entrepreneurship knows no bounds

We all see the internet through Google-tinted glasses. Photograph: Getty

But the ways users search for and retrieve information online are changing dramatically

Most workers in the gig economy can’t believe their luck.

Politically motivated complaints about workers’ rights ignores laissez faire earning choices made by many

Prof Guihua Yu He has created an all-stretchable battery for wearables using sugar cubes as a platform for designing the battery materials. Photograph: David Crockett/Getty Images

Sugar is the surprise ingredient in a stretchable battery for wearable technology

“Data has the power to shape a company’s fortunes if utilised correctly.”

Data is the new digital frontier and companies who fail to embrace it will be left behind, warn experts

“Even though we can still only read approximately 260 words per minute, we get to read only the newest and most relevant information gathered on our behalf.”

What happens when human bias finds its way into User Interface Design?

John Goodenough: the electric car is his  focus  in terms of application of his  new battery

Goodenough says the scientist is doing his best to keep man from destroying the planet

Iron Man 3: still some way from becoming reality

Big money is being spent on exoskeleton research but serious problems persist

Microsoft Build: the annual conference for software engineers and web developers using any of the firm’s growing products and services list took place last week in Seattle, Washington

Software conference offers snapshot of tech giant’s handle on emerging trends

John Holden: “Now pushing 40, I’m still as defiant as ever when it comes to joining the rat race.”

An insight into jobs whose reward is not security but the freedom to choose hours

Bullet proof: New research doesn’t take into account the immediate impact of playing violent games such as Grand Theft Auto 6 (above).

We make negative assumptions about videogames, they have benefits, a study claims

The US military test fires an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile  at Vandenberg Air Force Base,  California.  Photograph: Ringo Chiu/AFP/Getty

The US military’s research arm is interested in far more than simply combat 

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella opens the US technology titan’s annual Build Conference in Seattle on May 10th, 2017. The focus is on artificial intelligence that follows people from device to device. Photograph: Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty Images

Microsoft looks to position itself at leading edge of global cloud storage market

The KingramRed report on the state of digital transformation in Ireland 2017 found a majority of the participants  still believed responsibility for going digital lay below CEO level with IT departments. Photograph: iStockphoto

KingramRed Digital Transformation report finds businesses lack vision for digital future

An Uber driver during a strike against withdrawal of driver incentives in New Delhi, India, earlier this year. Photograph: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The ride-sharing service uses psychological tricks and data to stack the odds in its favour

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 th(...)

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 s(...)

“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

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