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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?