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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.

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Invensys' aerospace arm sold for pounds 109m

INVENSYS, THE automation and controls group, yesterday passed the half way point in its pounds 1.8bn disposal programme after announcing the sale of its aerospace division to Smiths Industries.

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DUSHA BATESON

PO posts pounds 386m loss over computer fiasco

THE POST Office yesterday reported a pounds 386m loss for the half- year after taking a huge exceptional charge linked to the collapse of a project to computerise benefit payments.

Leading Article: The greedy banks must not exclude the poor

BARCLAYS BANK would like to charge a pounds 1 fee to customers of other banks who use Barclays' automated teller machines to take cash out of their accounts. There is a Yiddish word for this sort of effrontery: chutzpah. First the banks take our money to swell their ability to make loans, then they charge us for access to it.

IMS Group may float football website

IMS GROUP, the Leeds-based telecoms and new media services company, is considering a separate flotation of its popular football news Internet site Teamtalk.com, the chief executive, Bill Wilson, said last night.

Letter: Less time off, please

Sir: Michael Hager ("Let's have an eight-day week", 21 July) is about 50 years too late when he calls for more leisure time.

You've got the brains, but have you got the touch?

Forget IQ - your boss in the Zeros will be after your EQ (that's emotional quotient, dummy). Give yourself a hug and prepare for the new millennium, says MEG CARTER

Letter: `Laws' of science

Sir: David Packham speaks true. As one FRS recently told me: "I have long taken the view that all our theories, including new ones, are wrong; it is merely that we do not yet know how or by how much."

BTR Siebe appoints pounds 2bn sale advisers

BTR SIEBE, the merged automation and controls group, yesterday confirmed it had appointed investment bankers to review its portfolio of 500 businesses, setting the scene for the disposal of up to pounds 2bn of assets, writes Michael Harrison.

BTR and Siebe pay pounds 500,000 to become Invensys

BTR SIEBE, the merged automation and controls group, yesterday joined the growing band of companies which are adopting meaningless new names by announcing that it is henceforth to be known as Invensys.

Volex shuts plant

VOLEX, the electrical equipment group, yesterday said it would close its South Wales factory and streamline operations at its main Manchester plant, with the loss of 185 jobs.

Network: Welcome to the money-go-round

My Technology: Merlyn Lowther, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, on how cutting-edge technology keeps cash in our pockets
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