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.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Met Police confirm it was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Eccentric Fury star, 28, reveals he is 'not a really confident actor'
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell
Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home
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- 2 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Sophia Loren: How I rejected Cary Grant and 'pulverised' Marlon Brando with my eyes
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
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