Voices

The wise knew the demise would be slow. Bill Gates gave newspapers another 50 years

Bill Gates to take part in UK phone chat

Business chief and philanthropist Bill Gates is to take part in a telephone conversation with British people today ahead of a global conference on vaccines.

JJB set to unveil £30m cash-call

JJB Sports, the beleaguered sports retailer, is poised to announce a £30m fund-raising and the departure of its chairman, to safeguard its future.

Why nerds are inheriting the earth

The best-selling books, hottest cinema tickets and most desirable gadgets have one thing in common – they have a high nerd count. Alice-Azania Jarvis offers a spotter's guide to the geeky species that is inheriting the earth.

Steve Connor: An open letter to Bill Gates

Lab Notes

Charity doesn't begin at home for China's Bill Gates

Clifford Coonan on the billionaire philanthropist who won't help his poverty-stricken family

Dyson ready to clean up in pursuit of Ryder Cup berth

Superb 65 puts Englishman in position for win which would virtually clinch spot

Ed Roberts: Pioneering electronics engineer who built the first widely available home computer

Ed Roberts was one of the early pioneers in the world of personal computing, an electronics engineer who designed and created the first widely available home microcomputer in 1974. With no keyboard, no screen and only a set of switches to programme it, this was a different beast to today's laptop and desktop PCs. However, it is thanks to Roberts and his colleagues that computers emerged out of the worlds of academia, the military and commerce to make their way into our homes.

Creative Capitalism, ed Michael Kinsley

"Creative capitalism", the brainchild of Bill Gates, is the idea that capitalism can and should be used to solve the world's problems. In fact, Gates argues, capitalists should be much better at doing so than governments: they can "[match] business expertise with needs in the developing world to find markets that are... untapped." This book is drawn from a web-based discussion of Gates's idea, with economists, journalists and business people weighing in; some supportive, some acidly sceptical.

Bill Gates says internet needs to thrive in China

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates today said the Internet needs to thrive in China as an engine of free speech and described official online censorship by Beijing as "very limited."

The greatest wine sale ever known

The Tour d'Argent's cellar is one of the best in the world, but it is running out of space. So the Parisien restaurant has decided to sell off 18,000 bottles – and there are bargains to be had.

Dominic Lawson: Here's another phoney war: the one on climate change

There's no glory in spending $10m a year on giant nozzles that squirt sulphur dioxide

Business Diary: JJB gets charitable backing from Bill Gates

Either Microsoft supremo Bill Gates knows a bargain when he sees one, or the definition of charity is getting somewhat stretched as a result of the recession taking its toll on some of the high street's most well-known names.

Claire Beale on Advertising: Bill Gates as a comedian – now that's worth watching on YouTube

Bill Gates is shopping for shoes. He's a size 10, and he likes his leathers on the cheap side. In fact, he's a bone fide, platinum card-carrying member of the Shoe Circus Clown Club.

Office romance: how Bill met Melinda

In summer 1986, freshly graduated from Duke University with a degree in computer science and economics, Melinda Ann French was working as an intern for IBM. She told a recruiter she had one more interview – with a new company called Microsoft. The recruiter was keen. "If you get a job offer from them," she said, "take it, because the chance for advancement there is terrific."

Time to log off: Bill Gates steps down from the top job at Microsoft

In 1975, he declared it his ambition to put 'a computer on every desk and in every home'. As Bill Gates today steps down from the top job at Microsoft, and focuses instead on his extraordinary philanthropic legacy, Stephen Foley examines how this geek from Seattle changed our world
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there