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.

Jason Lytle, Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London

Maybe you think you haven't heard of Jason Lytle.

Album: Brasstronaut, Mount Chimaera (Unfamiliar)

Here's something different.

Money Insider: Put your credit rating back on track with the help of good old-fashioned banking

It seems that barely a day passes without a bank or building society launching a new super-low-rate loan, an interest-free credit card or a cheap overdraft. However tempting this seemingly never-ending supply of low-cost finance may sound, the reality is that unless you have a pristine credit record you'll have little or no chance of being accepted for any of it. Whilst the tightening of lending policy will protect the bottom line for providers, the flip side is that a rapidly increasing number of people are now finding themselves excluded from mainstream credit.

Leading article: Thanks to the internet, the customer is king again. Long may he reign

TripAdvisor, the consumer website for travellers, faces the threat of a lawsuit from hoteliers and others who claim they are being damaged by unsubstantiated and malicious reviews. The website, it appears, may have to fight its corner in court.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steinter looks to the future as sales climb by 30%

The chief executive of Ocado, the online grocer, said his focus was on its share price over the medium term as they tumbled again yesterday.

Album: Hayes, The Passions / Schola Cantorum...(Glossa)

William Hayes spent most of his working life in Oxford. Doomed to obscurity by metrocentricity, he is revealed as a significant talent in this rendition of The Passions (1750) with Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Brian Viner: Pressing all the wrong buttons

Alexander Graham Bell would turn in his grave if he knew how many people have come to regard his great invention as the enemy

Consuming Issues: Why food shops are becoming DIY superstores

Beep, beep ... BEEP! Being a checkout assistant surely can't be one of the most interesting jobs in what my school used to call "the world of work". Waiting in a queue of time-poor, mildly peeved shoppers is not much fun either. So there are unlikely to be many tears shed at the end of the traditional checkout, but it's a tearless revolution which causes me some internal harrumphing, and probably won't do the retailers much good either.

Electric dreams: Is it the end for robot development?

We were promised a life of leisure thanks to hard-working robots and fiendishly clever cyborgs. But the android fantasy has largely been terminated, argues Michael Fitzpatrick

Minor British Institutions: The British Toilet Association

It is all too easy to deride the BTA – until you find yourself caught short, in which case you might want to sign up to their mission statement: "More and better toilets". It reminds us that our public lavvys were once the envy of the world, a national expression of our excellence in sewerage and plumbing.

Album: El Nuevo Mundo, Folias Criollas / Savall (Alia Vox)

Viol supremo Jordi Savall continues his exploration of musical colonialism with this sumptuous collection of Spanish, Creole and Mestizo canarios, cantadaos, fandangos, jácaras and morenas.

Ton Koopman/Tini Mathot, Wigmore Hall, London

It may be thirty years since ‘early music’ escaped from its ghetto, but we are still finding fresh worlds within it.

Chloride's £864m offer from ABB could spark Emerson counterbid

Chloride Group is all set for a bidding war after recommending a £864m offer from the Swiss electrical engineering group ABB, just weeks after turning down a £723m bid from US rival Emerson Electric.

Jonsi, HMV Forum, London

Sonic seer is a wonder of nature

Summertime 2100, and the living isn't easy

What will London be like a century from now? Seven degrees warmer, with water-absorbent streets and parched public parks. Marek Kohn paints an unnerving picture of metropolitan life in the sweaty grip of a radically changed climate
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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
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests