'Alexa literally listens to everything you say, waiting to hear the magic wake word.' Photograph: Getty Images

I’ve fallen into some very bad habits lately. I’ve given over a certain amount of control of my house – and family – to another woman. It makes sense (...)

Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa  is built into its Echo devices, ranging from the budget-friendly Echo Dot to the smart home hub Echo Plus. Photograph: Daniel Berman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Let’s lay it on the line: I am a fan of robots and automation. I have a small army of devices in my home to make my life a little easier, from wifi l(...)

R is for the recycling “myth”. Only 6 per cent of new plastic material comes from recycling. Photograph: Getty Images

When Íde Mhic Gabhann set up her own organic food business last year, it was for practical rather than philanthropic reasons. She had been buying in b(...)

 British prime minister Theresa May drinks next to Xi Jinping, China’s president, during a tea ceremony at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing on Thursday. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/EPA

Theresa May has held talks with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing on her mission to drum up support for a favourable post-Brexit trade deal, wi(...)

Pupils from St Nicholas’ Parochial School in Galway putting their message across at Eyre Square during the launch of Galway Plastic Free Week on Monday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Ros na Rún actors, a rugby flanker and restaurateur are among participants in Galway’s initial “plastic-free” week, spearheaded by the city’s first ci(...)

About 2.5 million bottles are being disposed of through landfill and incineration every day in Ireland alone.

Admit it: you cried a little bit at the David Attenborough show Blue Planet. When the mother pilot whale was carrying around her newborn calf, killed (...)

Mark O’Halloran and Pat Shortt. Photographs: Alan Betson and Brian McEvoy

When did you last cry? Mark: I’m a great person for crying at films, I have to say. Pat: Yeah Mark: I love when that happens because it means you’r(...)

Goldfinches at the feeder. Illustration: Michael Viney

The goldfinches hung on like trapeze artists, swinging back and forth until an ultimate gust tore both birds and feeder from the twig. They blew like (...)

''Fix us!' we demand of our TV screens, or Ryan Tubridy when we grab him by the shoulders on the street. 'Make us better!''

I fondly recall the day the algorithm chose for me a wife. It’s amazing what Facebook can do nowadays, with just your purchasing data, medical records(...)

A recycling facility in Clonshaugh, Dublin. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

It has been predicted there will be more plastic waste than fish in our oceans by 2050 – another indication of the scale of contamination it is wreaki(...)

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