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.

Banks reveal extent of 'dark pool' trading

Six big investment banks published trading volumes for their "dark pools" for the first time yesterday, showing them as a tiny fraction of the market and not the major hidden rivals to stock exchanges that some argue.

Taxman may start chasing the low-paid for underpayments

A new system means that tax mistakes will come to light more easily – but that means some people will be asked to pay more, with pensioners and part-time workers most at risk.

Investment Column: Cobham is more than just defensive

Immunodiagnostic Systs; Eckoh

Guest Review: Son of Dave, 'Shake a Bone'

What with the vigourous pressures of making good of one's art via musical artistes/singer-songwriters/solo artists, it's somewhat of a welcome return for Canada's Son Of Dave's third album outing with Shake A Bone. Son of Dave is a one-man band starring Benjamin Darvill with many strings to his bow, quite literally. For prior to becoming the offspring of David, he was a former member of 90's folk group Crash Test Dummies playing guitar and mandolin. You may remember them from such seminal tracks as Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm and er, that's..about it.

Fly by Wire, By William Langewiesche

"Have you any ideas?" asked Captain Sullenberger. "Actually not," replied co-pilot Skiles. So their Airbus A320 crash-landed on the Hudson River in the shadow of Manhattan's skyscrapers. "The fluency they exhibited at such a critical moment," writes Langewiesche, "helps to explain why their passengers survived."

YouTube turns on captions on millions of videos

YouTube is adding captions to millions of Internet videos. The feature unveiled yesterday expands upon speech-recognition technology that YouTube began using to make captions available on a limited number of videos late last year.

Seasonal tariffs planned in bid to preserve water supplies

Householders face paying more for their water during the summer after a water company announced plans to introduce a so-called seasonal tariff.

Labour broke privacy rules with phone campaign

Labour breached privacy rules by making unsolicited automated phone calls to almost half a million people without their consent, the Information Commissioner's Office ruled today.

Agile, smaller enterprises are leading a revival in the industry

Excessive focus on big manufacturers is a distraction from the sector’s real innovators

Album: These New Puritans, Hidden (Angular)

These New Puritans come with a manifesto of sorts, declaring themselves "anti-experimental, anti-distortion, anti-avant garde", like an audio wing of the Stuckists.

Leading article: Cheque out

In this fast-moving age, is it not rather civilised to be given almost nine years' notice of a change? But perhaps this is how long it will take to wean us off a habit grown up over 350 years. The cheque, it seems, is to be phased out in 2018.

The Cribs, Kentish Town Forum, London

Northern souls win more hearts

Call for debate on robot ethics

Technology experts have warned that mankind should think before rushing into a world of autonomous robots as their development outpaces the ethical and legal issues surrounding their use.

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine