Extras

From Apple's latest shiny playthings to the best smartphones from Google, we pick our favourite gadgets of 2013

Outside the Box: Derby's ban on white beards is clause to keep 'cuddly Ken' out

Relations between Leeds United and Derby, which as the book and film of The Damned United pointed out, have rarely been harmonious, seem unlikely to improve in the immediate future after last week's fixture at Elland Road. Nigel Clough, whose late father made no secret of his loathing for the club he managed for 44 days, had wanted to watch the game from the directors' box but was banned because he was wearing a tracksuit; not unreasonable attire for a football manager. Steve Bruce, Sunderland's manager, fell foul of the same dress code when he dared to turn up without a tie for the Carling Cup tie against Lincoln in midweek. Word reaches us that Derby officials are considering reprisals for the return fixture, when they could unveil a little-known regulation banning white-bearded septuagenarian chairmen from their boardroom. Father Christmas will be allowed in.

The publishing house that Stieg Larsson built

When Quercus bought 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' it was a tiny firm in a rented office. Yesterday, from its West End HQ, it revealed record sales of £15m a year

Barnes & Noble for sale after plunge into red

Barnes & Noble, the world's largest bookshop chain, put itself up for sale last night, in the latest sign of turmoil in the industry.

You can't tell a book by its cover: Kindle arrives in UK

Visitors to Amazon's UK website yesterday were confronted not by the usual gaudy array of book covers, but by a simple letter from its founder, Jeff Bezos. He outlined his belief in the "transformative power of reading", before announcing the launch in the UK of the Kindle, an e-reading device that has been Amazon's best-selling product in the US for two years, and has transformed its book market: digital books outsell hardbacks on Amazon's US store by nearly 3 to 2.

Amazon offers £109 wireless Kindle for mass appeal

Amazon.com launched a cheaper, wireless-only Kindle on Wednesday, betting that the lower price will turn its latest electronic reader into a mass-appeal device as Apple Inc's iPad gains ground.

Andrew Franklin: Parasites on the back of real books

There is a clear conflict of interests between representing an author's case and selling their books

Amazon profit misses as costs surge

Amazon.com Inc's quarterly profit fell far short of Wall Street estimates, hurt by a 40 per cent jump in expenses and by price cuts on its Kindle electronic reader, sending its shares down 14 per cent.

Amazon says price cuts bolstering Kindle eBook sales

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc has said that the recent price cut to its Kindle electronic reader has spurred sales of both the device and e-books.

Amazon landmark for digital books

Sales of digital books for e-readers have surpassed hardbacks for the first time on Amazon, marking what the online retailer called a "tipping point" for book publishing.

Cultural Life: Amy Macdonald, musician

Music: I have always been a fan of the Guillemots. Fyfe Dangerfield, the lead singer, has recently produced a debut solo album called 'Fly Yellow Moon'; he has the most amazing voice ever. I got an advanced copy of the new Paul Weller album, 'Wake Up the Nation', which I really like. Sometimes I just set my playlist to shuffle and listen to a lot of different songs, which always brings up some new finds. My latest discovery is the song "You're the Best" from 'The Karate Kid'.

Boyd Tonkin: All at sea with Mankell's mission

The week in books

It's too soon to write off the paperback

iPads, apps, e-publishing...When did settling down with a good book become such hard work?

Google nears launch of digital bookstore 'Editions'

The technology giant Google has confirmed plans to launch its digital bookstore over the summer, which will bring the group into direct conflict with Amazon and Apple.

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