Life and Style

The Z1 Compact offers identical hardware to the S1, but shrinks the screen from 5 inches to 4.3 - David Phelan gives us the first full UK review

Stereo, video - notebooks are bulging

Multimedia portables are where the action is. Cliff Joseph reports

Letter: MMC ruling on gas pipelines

Sir: You state ("Let the MMC settle the gas pipeline battle", 10July) that, "as far as the regulator is concerned the point about depreciation is non-negotiable: either TransCo accepts this downgrading of the amount of depreciation it is allowed to take out of charges or the whole thing goes to the MMC". TransCo's position on allowing full CCA depreciation is that determined by the MMC in 1993 and that applied by Ofgas in setting the TransCo formula which applies between 1994 and 1997. It appears that Ofgas is certain it can persuade the MMC that the MMC's decision in 1993 not to apply what it called an "arcane adjustment" to depreciation is wrong.

Company calls off AIM flotation

A company that had been seeking a stock market listing on the Alternative Investment Market has pulled its flotation, blaming a "soft market".

Past, but not gone

In a museum in Manchester the exhibits are being brought to life by local artists. Michael Bracewell witnessed the transformation

MMC gives South West tighter code

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission has imposed tough price controls on South West Water after 10 months of investigation. The decision is a severe blow to South West, the only one of the 10 major water and sewage companies to go to the MMC rather than accept controls proposed by the regulator, Ofwat.

Scottish Hydro-Electricis a special case

With South Wales Electricity now into its second shares buy-back, the idea of a windfall tax to punish greedy utilities is rapidly becoming something of an irrelevance. Far from hoarding cash, boards are scorching the earth. Labour will find little of value to plunder to meet its promise of retribution for excessive profits.

Core business pays dividends

Investment Column

Pentium chip prices fall

Pentium chip prices fall

This is the PC that Dorothy built

Miracle of miracles, writing appears on the screen. It works!

Time for BT to shut up

There is really only one way of describing last night's capitulation by BT to all but one of the demands being made by the regulator, Oftel. BT is behaving like a wimp. After all the posturing and bluster of the last month or two, it has meekly caved in to everything Don Cruickshank was asking for bar paying for the costs of number portability. That issue will now go the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, but everything else has been accepted - this, despite BT's insistence that enough was enough and this time it was going to give the regulator a jolly good hiding.

Worth stating the obvious

THE view that "just because it is obvious does not mean it is not worth saying" has kept management consultants in business for years. Now one of their number has founded a new career on the same premise.

Science Update: Flexible friend

AN ELECTRONIC newspaper that can be rolled up and stuffed in a bag has been brought a step closer by a team of French scientists. They have developed a fully flexible transistor - the basis of the silicon chip - which uses plastic and graphite instead of the metal and silicon used in conventional chips. The breakthrough will allow silicon chip components to be etched on to a variety of flexible surfaces including smart credit cards and ultra-thin and light computer screens.

Jargon buster: 16-bit video

The processing of the data that makes up the computer screen display is done separately from the main processor either on a separate chip on the main processing motherboard or on a separate add-on board. The resolution and quality of the display depends on the power of the chip used. A basic 8-bit video processing chip will give only a limited range of colours and therefore a screen display of limited quality, 16-bit video gives a range of thousands of colours, while a 24-bit video card is needed to give the maxiumum 16.7 million colours.

Computers: Swapping new PCs for old: William Gallagher tears out his innards and enhances the performance of his system

YOU WAS robbed. When you paid pounds 3,000 for that state-of-the-art 386 PC- compatible system four years ago, you may well have got a good deal. Probably no one tried to con you. Perhaps you even got a good working life out of it. But try to run the latest version of Microsoft Word or Wordperfect on your 386 PC and it laughs.

Radstone raises 7m pounds

RADSTONE Technology, a manufacturer of computer sub-systems for defence and industrial uses, is raising pounds 7m net of expenses through a placing of 65 per cent of its shares, writes Diane Coyle. The placing price of 125p values the company, formed six years ago as a management buyout from Plessey, at pounds 19.2m.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam