Life and Style

It probably contravenes some unwritten rule to begin a light-hearted examination of the week in technology with a reference to Jimmy Savile, but a few days ago I remembered an episode of Jim'll Fix It in the 1980s where some lucky youngster had his room kitted out with all the latest gadgets from the Ideal Home Show, including some automated curtains. These curtains elicited gasps of wonder from my teenage self as I entertained the notion that, in the future, we'd be relieved of the endless, life-sapping drudgery of having to drag light pieces of material along a rail, sometimes as frequently as twice a day.

GTA 5: Rockstar bans gamers stealing in-game money worth millions

An alternate game world dubbed the 'cheater's pool' has been created for infringing players, but stats show that cheaters have accumulated trillions in in-game currency

Nearly two thirds of global web activity is thanks to bots, say study

Increasing levels of non-human activity reflects a rise in automated web services that collect data for us - as well as an influx of more sophisticated hackers

Defibrillator iPhone app launched to help locate life saving first aid equipment

iPhone and iPad app locates nearest defibrillator for people suffering cardiac arrest

Brewbot lets you brew beers with your iPhone

Automated machine lets you feed in the ingredients, set a timer and wait for your home-brewed beers

Google say the scanning of emails is common industry practice

Google: Gmail users can’t expect privacy when sending emails

A lawsuit says the tech giant is breaking the law when it scans emails to target adverts to users

Cyber Culture: Sorry TomTom, I would like to update you, but I can't be bothered

Last week, my TomTom satnav app kept trying to send me the wrong way down a one-way street in Peckham, south London. This was mildly annoying – although fortunately I've got sufficient sense of direction to successfully execute emergency procedures.

Department for Work and Pensions forced to spend £1m on extra staff after IT delay

More than 100 civil servants will have to be employed to manually verify whether people should be hit by the new benefit cap, because of delays to the Government’s IT system for its welfare reform programme.

The Royston ruling could have wider implications on the use of number-plate tracking in other parts of the country

The Royston ring of steel: Data watchdog warns police that surveillance scheme in rural Hertfordshire town is 'unlawful'

Monitoring of car number plates by CCTV cameras is ‘excessive’,  rules data Information Commissioner's Office

Liu Yipeng was a classmate of the two earlier victims

Chinese schoolgirl, 15, named as third victim of Asiana runway crash

The third person to die from injuries sustained when an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in San Francisco has been identified as a 15-year-old classmate of the two earlier victims.

Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 is engulfed on the tarmac after crash landing at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California

Asiana Airline pilots 'stayed silent until two seconds before crash' at San Francisco airport

Lee Hang-kook and co-pilot did not say a word to one another until shortly before plane's tail section clipped the seawall at the end of the runway

Album review: Buika, La Noche Más Larga (Chusma)

The Mallorcan singer goes a bit more uptempo on this, her sixth album, and it’s a welcome move.

Facebook will remove adverts from restricted content after M&S and Sky become the latest to suspend their advertising

New system promises to stop adverts appearing next to controversial or offensive material

Agenda: John Newman; Julia Davis; wedding season; 10 O'Clock Live; New York-style dining

People, places, notes and observations...

Album: Gwyneth Herbert, The Sea Cabinet (Monkeywood)

Recorded by the sea in Aldeburgh, Herbert's sort-of concept album is changeable as the ocean.

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Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

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The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

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Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
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Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

The US is getting frayed at the edges

Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

Celebrating 100 years of Leica

A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world