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
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears