Private health insurer VHI has announced further cuts to premiums for the majority of its plans from March. Photograph: Hugh Macknight / PA Wire

Company also plans to add benefits to some plans for those renewing from March 1st

Almac Group chief executive Alan Armstrong with DUP leader  Arlene Foster at a previous jobs announcement for the company.

Company plans to have new facility operational in January next year

Tech Tools: The domestic helper’s blank stare will chill your very soul

Gecko Governance’s Shane Brett and Damien Cahill with InterTradeIreland’s Laurence Lord.

Dundalk-based firm plans recruitment following Cosimo Ventures’ backing

Apparently the robot breathes too – it’s a way to help reduce stress

The screen quality is impressive. The colour reproduction is excellent, and on 4K native content, you’ll see a real difference.

Impressive new generation model ticks all the right boxes – but at a price

Margot Moore, a first-year student from Loreto College, Foxrock, in Dublin, has a hair-raising experience at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke

Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition entrants show Stem subjects thriving

Clothes hang on the rack at a Karen Millen clothing store.  Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

Sales of clothing, accessories and footwear flat but firm turns to digital business for growth

First acquisition for firm since it was bought from DCC last year

Picketers outside Shelbourne Park dog track in April 2017 protesting at the closure of the Harold’s Cross stadium. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Dog track ran final race in February 2017, with Department of Education set to pay €23m for land

 Santander Bay in Spain. The ferry crossing from Cork to Santander will take 26 hours

Brittany Ferries will sail from Cork to Santander twice a week

Photograph: iStock

Company has appointed new chief commercial officer and head of planning

The number of ferry passengers using Dublin Port rose to 1.8 million last year.   Photograph: Eric Luke

Big year also for cruise ships as 127 liners bring 210,000 visitors to the city

Always look at the URL before clicking on links. Photograph: iStock

Scam uses fake Netflix branding to fool customers into giving payment details

Facebook is changing, and so will users’ and media companies’ relationship with the platform.

Tech giant wants to get all personal again. But why, and will it work?

A legal case involving a 14-year-old girl and a “shame” page on Facebook has potentially cast the social media giant in a leading role for future legal challenges. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Social media giant named in Belfast case involving 14-year-old girl

Device can be clipped to your clothing or worn as a watch

Camera (€199) slots into the smarthome system to put you at ease when you are away

IBM’s facility at Damastown, Co Meath. Photograph: Alan Betson

Among recent ideas include a smarter way for passengers to get picked up by taxis

DCC chief executive Donal Murphy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Group continues to expand LPG business with latest acquisition

Grafton Group chief executive Gavin Slark. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Ireland, Netherlands left total revenue at builders merchanting firm

Portable printer churns out retro-themed photographs

An attendee looks at book-reading robots called Luka at CES International. Other tech unveiled at the event included wifi-connected showers, skin-analysing smart mirrors and a clothes-folding robot. Photograph: Jae  Hong/AP

Trade show lacks real breakthroughs, settling instead for improved nice-to-haves founder Irish entrepreneur Oisin Hanrahan is concerned Brexit may affect the supply of  workers. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Tighter immigration controls could cut off supply of workers for services such as Handy

Aminex  said production at its Kiliwani North-1 well was 95m cubic feet of gas during the month of December, with the well producing 3.6bn   cubic feet of gas during the year in total. Photograph: iStock

Dublin-listed exploration firm issues update on activities in region

The Xperia L2.

The Xperia XA2 and L2 will be available in Ireland next month

Cubic Telecom chief executive Barry Napier

Dublin-based firm teams up with Qualcomm for new connectivity management system

Photograph: iStock

Lojuxta deal is ‘key step’ in growing company’s business for drug in EMEA region

Technicians in front of a Hey Google booth at the Las Vegas Convention Centre as they prepare for the 2018 CES. Photograph: Steve Marcus

Major tech firms gather to promote their latest products at vast CES industry fair

Apple said its iPads, iPhones and Macs were affected by Spectre and Meltdown, but it had taken steps to protect users of iOS 11, MacOS and its latest Apple TV software from the flaw. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Tech giants focus on software updates to prevent hackers accessing user data

Apple has admitted its iPhone and Mac products are affected by the Spectre and Meltdown flaws in the hardware chips. Photograph: EPA

Spectre and Meltdown potentially leave devices open to malicious hackers

Photograph: iStock

Security researchers find malware that uses ‘deep links’ to Uber app to fool users

Hackers could potentially read computer memory to access passwords and other information.

Security hole threatens to expose sensitive data of computer users to hackers

DCC chief executive Donal Murphy said the acquisition of TEGA would provide DCC LPG with a platform in the “large, relatively fragmented German LPG market”.

Company strengthens European business with purchase of TEGA

Businesses are  more optimistic, with the index measuring expected business activity levels in 12 months’ time at its highest since September.  Photograph: Mark Coote/Bloomberg News

Sector is driven by domestic economy as growth in new export orders moderates

CRH chief executive Albert Manifold. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Deal worth €2.2bn was announced in August last year

Shell’s LPG business is a leading supplier in the market in Hong Kong. Photograph: iStock

Acquisition valued at £120m marks group’s first major move into the Asian market

A digger loads large rocks from the pit floor onto a truck at a CRH  quarry.  Photograph: John Cogill/Bloomberg News

Dalata, Kingspan return to stock picks list for 2018

ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell. Photograph:  Mac Innes Photography

Ship will carry 1,800 passengers and crew and 330 containers on Dublin-Holyhead route

The rate of growth in new orders in the manufacturing sector was the highest on record. Photograph: iStock

Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index shows record employment growth in sector

Photograph: iStock

It’s that time of year again . . .

Photograph: iStock

Picked up a new games console over Christmas?

 Photograph: Michael Short/Bloomberg

Slow iPhone? You may not be imagining things

Photograph: iStock

Business group estimates job growth but says changes are needed to bolster it

Two-factor authentication is easy, safe and sensible. Photograph: Bloomberg

From iCloud and Gmail to Snapchat and WhatsApp, do your best to keep intruders out

Photograph: iStock

Find yourself with a smartphone too many?

Photograph: iStock

Call us paranoid, but we’re not leaving anything to chance

Got a new phone for Christmas? Here‘s how to set it up

Photograph: iStock

Still feel the need for proper laptop? Read on for some suggestions

Lenovo Tab 3

From top-dollar to budget buys, here are the best options

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

From junior coders to budding Robot Wars contestants, there’s still time to find exactly the right present

Push: 10% of profits go to charity

It may not be as technologically advanced as bigger firms’ offerings, but it has advantages

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is Huawei’s best phone to date

Beefed-up flagship smartphone will keep you going for two days on single charge

iMac Pro: a powerful machine aimed at creative professionals

The least you’ll have to invest for Apple’s most powerful computer is a cool €5,599

 Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8

Mobile phones for all price brackets – from €60 to over €1,000

Take your pick from R2D2 to Dyson’s supersonic hairdryer

Smarter’s iKettle

Smarter’s high-tech kettle offers remote boiling, but is it worth €115?

Sphero’s R2-D2 droid

Tech Tools: Chief function of new toy is probably racing it against BB-8

Fitbit Ionic: has built-in GPS, and is water-resistant up to 50m, which means you can take it swimming.

Tech review: Fitbit Ionic monitors your activity and comes with great battery life

Twitter users will see the new feature appearing in the coming weeks as the company rolls out the change to web, iOS and Android users.

Update to platform will see a ‘plus’ button added in response to trend for threading

The Sprocket uses Zink technology – zero ink, which is a process that uses heat applied to special paper to create images in a single pass

Fun-sized printer delivers mini-sized images on sticky photo paper to swap and share

The Sonic Soak  is a handy portable device will deep-clean everything from your clothes to fruits and vegetables

Tech Tools: The Sonic Soak claims to disintegrate dirt using ultrasonic technology

The clothing range has a printable heating technology called Flexwarm built in, which is a flexible heating element that can be layered directly on to fabric.

Tech tools: Heat zones can be controlled via link to smartphone

The Moon camera acts also works for conference and video calls, automatically turning towards the active speaker

Tech Tools: Moon’s ‘stabilised levitation’ function gives it full 360 degree vision

Apple Watch Series 3

Better fitness tracking too but still no watch plans from networks for Irish owners

The ‘smart’ Zee pillow that also promises to be comfortable

Tech Tools: €230 pillow also plays music and records your movements in your sleep

Quartz: get two months from a single charge

Simply press a button and UV light eliminates most harmful germs

“It was only when I hooked up the Sky Soundbox to my TV that I really noticed the difference a good speaker can make.”

The Soundbox is a great deal for Sky Q customers seeking a new speaker setup

OnePlus 5T: has a dual camera that may do well in low light thanks to a dedicated f1.7 lens.

5T has a six-inch display and a ceramic fingerprint sensor

Mophie’s wireless charging base:  take advantage of “drop and charge” technology.

Tech Tools: slick device to keep your phone topped up

Take Better Selfies: the handy kit includes a macro lens, a wide angle, a fish eye, telescopic and circular polarising lens. The lenses clip on and off.

Tech Tools: lens kit enhances the visual features of your phone

The iPhone X is the iPhone that should always have been. Photograph: Getty

Facial recognition, vivid screen and great camera make this the best iPhone so far

The One X is the Xbox for 4K fans, and those who want to get the best of the platform in the coming years

It’s designed to do battle with Sony’s Playstation, but it comes with a hefty price tag

Wyze Labs’ WyzeCam: “the $19.99 smart home camera for everyone”

Tech Tools: $20 WyzeCam offers cheap alternative to Nest but is only available in US

See.Sense Ace: Belfast based See.Sense claims the light can be seen up to a mile away

Tech Tools: See.Sense Ace ‘can be seen a mile away’ and is expected to retail for £25

Twitter has decided to make permanent a new 280-character limit on tweets. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Doubling of original character limit becomes a permanent feature after three-month trial

Sphero Mini comes with mini traffic cones and skittles so you can set up an obstacle course on your desk.

Sphero Mini is an app-controlled robot ball you control with facial expressions

Belt up, plug in and charge

This charging belt will get you out of the danger zone and keep you connected

The Dot Watch: has a braille keyboard.

The Dot Watch delivers notifications to your wrist, displaying information in braille

The Ultimate Ears Blast speaker is water proof and lasts up to 12 hours on single charge

Tech Tools: Smart portable speaker is waterproof and offers 360-degree sound

The iPhone 8 Plus retains its predecessor’s design for the most part, but it also keeps its dust- and water-resistance rating.

New chip delivers faster performance in context of modest aesthetic changes

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III has a 3x optical lens and Canon’s premium DIGIC 7 processor

Tech Tools: Weather-sealed design makes camera well suited for Ireland’s weather

Martial arts is about more than learning how to punch and throw fancy kicks; it’s about respect and discipline too

Chipolo enables you to find your belongings by sound, see them on a map or use community search to recover lost items.

If more of your life is spent on the road than in the office, then these are tools, from cloud storage to tablets and tracking dev(...)

Invizbox Go: a handy device for those unfamiliar with VPNs but care about their privacy when online

Device is a portable VPN service and Tor router but can also charge your smartphone

Is this the Bluetooth speaker you’re looking for?

Tech Tools: This Stormtrooper manages to hit its target with decent sound

Sony SRS XB2 speaker: Looks-wise, the XB2 isn’t bad

Tech Tools: The SRS XB2 speaker may be small in size, but it’s mighty on sound

Instagram recently made a change that opens up the photo-sharing site to mobile web users at least.

Want to ditch the Instagram app? Now there’s an option

Tech Tools: This wifi-connected system has a camera that can talk to your toddler

Tech Tools: This battery pack for portable electronics inspired by digital pet

Google and Apple both have handy ways to track down your vehicle via your smartphone

Battery life is about five hours, but the case for the ear buds recharges them several times

Tech Tools: Dash Pro adds translation for 40 languages to the mix

The whole device is shock resistant and waterproof

Tech Tools: Aimed at bike riders, the Beeline keeps things simple

New Tinitell smartwatch - with GPS

Tech Tools: Tinitell smartwatch with GPS and call capability

There’s an adjustable stand built into the case too, so you can use it when watching movies and TV shows

Tech Tools: Firm’s Metropolis case series claim to have military standard protection

Samsung SmartThings hub (€130): you can make it the heart of your smart home for the future.

Easy to set up, Samsung SmartThings hub permits automation of your home devices

Tech Tools: Tradfri kits embrace the Internet of Things, but where’s the remote access?

Tech Tools: Swiss designer Yves Behar has turned the telly into a work of art

Tech Tools: It’s still at prototype stage, but a cassette revival is worth waiting for

Storkbox founders  Sophie Cafolla and Dr Vicki O’Dwyer

New company has range of prepacked maternity bags and boxes covering essentials

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