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.

This tiny implant that conducts blood tests under the skin which could greatly improve the tracking and treatment of cancer and other diseases, say researchers

Revealed: the tiny Bluetooth weapon in the fight against cancer

Updates on vital health information like proteins, sugar and organic acids in the blood can be displayed on doctor's mobile phone

Cyber culture: The message after the beep is: your time is up, answerphones

Cutting edge technology is replacing outmoded ways of recording a message, like voicemail and the carrier-pigeon

Yes, I can wear pants all day, but the novelty wears off – there’s work to be done

The clichés about  working from home are true. You can stay in your underpants all day

Kweku Adoboli outside Southwark Crown Court yesterday

The downfall of UBS trader Kweku Adoboli is another morality tale from the City. But have we learnt anything from the Great Crash?

We ought to have spurned the grabby ethic of the City - but did the opposite

Pair who sent millions of spam text messages face massive fine

Two people who sent millions of spam text messages face being fined more than £250,000, the information watchdog said today.

Torrential rain on the Aberystwyth promenade yesterday

Washout Britain's wettest summer in a century

The washout summer ending today was the wettest in Britain for 100 years, the Met Office has said.

Album: Stealing Sheep, Into the Diamond Sun (Heavenly Recordings)

You can't move for Wicker-Man-soundtrack-influenced bands these days, but when these three Liverpool lasses let their freak-folk flag fly their abandon is contagious.

MellowHype

Album: Heiner Goebbels, Stifters Dinge )ECM New Series)

This soundtrack to Heiner Goebbels' installation piece Stifters Dinge is one of the most gripping musical experiences I've had in ages.

Joanne Harris: Criticism is fine, but do you have to spoil the plot?

The business of reviewing has lost a lot of its former style, as well as the respect of the general public

The $1bn city where human beings are not welcome

A scientific ghost town in New Mexico's oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology – but no people.

The record-breaking Rube Goldberg machine

Inventions: Heath Robinson, eat your heart out

A team of geeks has devoted 5,000 man hours over six months to building a van-sized contraption designed to do nothing more complicated than pop a single balloon. Because, well, why not?

Country house date for Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn takes his latest opera, Dr Dee, to London's Covent Garden in June. Yet before the work about the mysterious Elizabethan alchemist and scholar opens at the Coliseum, the Blur frontman takes a short detour to Wiltshire with a band that includes Guinean musician Madou Diabaté.

Asteroid will miss Earth, scientists predict

A 164ft (50m) long space rock with the destructive power of an H-bomb will narrowly miss the Earth next year, scientists predict.

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Moss and Grimshaw arrive at the party
peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities