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A Little Va-Va-Vacuum

Dyson is about to release its first robot vacuum cleaner after 18 years in development. Jonathan Beckman challenges it – and its competitors – to clear up his living room

Podcast: the end of traffic jams

In the past decade self-driving cars have gone from an engineer’s fantasy to a reliable technology. Once they are widely adopted – which could be by the middle of this century – our overcrowded, congested cities will look very different: carparks will be turned into parks, there will be no more traffic jams, and commuters will be able to live further away. In this podcast, Joel Budd and Matthew Sweet discuss what a driverless future might look like.

Facing realities

Face-recognition technology has suddenly become much more powerful. That, as Tom Standage argues, has troubling implications for privacy

Time Trials

Smartwatches have not been strapped to wrists as snappily as expected. Alexandra Suich takes their pulse

Rocket Men

The rivalry between two billionaires is reducing the cost of space travel. Tom Standage climbs into the cockpit