Business Diary: Bebo website founder splashes his cash
Thursday 17 December 2009
Michael Birch isn't short of a few quid, having flogged his social networking site Bebo to AOL for £850m last year. Still, you can't help admiring his generosity: at a benefit evening he hosted for Charity Water this week, Birch amazed guests by promising to personally match all their donations, up to a total of $1m.
Wise words from the Dragon's Den
We are indebted to Theo Paphitis for the following piece of advice, imparted so wisely in a new charitable book with chapters written by various folk, including entrepreneurs such as Paphitis. "Live in the moment and focus on the here and now," he says. "As they say: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
Orange stress-buster that winds you up
Does Orange get the irony of its supposedly stress-busting new service? Phone customers feeling the strain can call in to hear soothing sounds including the sea lapping against the shore, a crackling fire, singing birds and the sounds of the forest. Just one hitch: you have to use one of those awful automated menus to find the sound you want, raising the blood pressure still further.
Insurer Aviva loses out at Christmas
Poor old Aviva. The insurer is upset because Britons apparently spend up to 26 times longer shopping for Christmas presents than choosing the right pension. You can see its point – people should spend more time on something so important – but is Aviva really claiming that it is surprised by the findings of its survey?
Sportacus free to fight another day
Good news from Lazytown, home to Sportacus, the athletic hero of children all over the country who watch his exploits on the BBC's CBeebies channel. The programme's future had looked to be in doubt after reports that the Icelandic company behind it – built up by Magnus Scheving, the actor who plays Sportacus himself – was in financial difficulties. Now Mr Scheving says he has reached a deal with lenders.
Number of the day: £89
The average amount by which 5 million households are currently in credit with their energy companies.
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- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
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'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
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