News Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

James Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive containing the cryptographic "private key" needed to access the digital currency

Heseltine overrules MMC and triggers submarine warfare

BY RUSSELL HOTTEN

Head of MMC backs reform

Graeme Odgers, the chairman of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, this weekend called for the reform of competition legislation to give the Office of Fair Trading tougher powers against restrictive practices. He also added to the pressure on Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, to admit that Britain is in danger of falling behind in competition policy and change the law.

Watch out! There's a Ram-raider about

Why are memory chips such hot items for smart thieves? Mike Hewitt explains

Decision due on VSEL bids

BY RUSSELL HOTTEN

Churchill's legend lives on

YOUR article about the Churchill archives mentions fleetingly the possibility of "transferring everything into computer memory". In fact, a computer system could not only store the documents, but also greatly enrich the archive. By means of appropriate "document imaging" techniques, the entire archive can be indexed to a depth which is totally impractical for paper, photocopies or microfilm. Individual documents can be "linked" permanently to any number of other related documents and all of the documents can be available all of the time to several researchers simultaneously. Storing copies in computer systems means that the intellectual content of the archive is secured against catastrophic loss because back-up copies can easily be kept at several sites. All this could be achieved today for a fraction of the amount spent just on transferring the ownership of the original documents. A photocopier might indeed have done just as well, but a document imaging system would have done better.

BAe to get go-ahead for VSEL

BY RUSSELL HOTTEN

A concept that will really click

Digital photography could soon be accessible to all, thanks to a new system developed by Kodak. Paul Rodgers reports

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.

BT to face monopoly inquiry

BY MARY FAGAN

BAe fuels VSEL hopes in cash call for VSEL hopes deckys

British Aerospace has underlined its confidence it will win the battle with GEC for VSEL by reviving the second part of a rights issue to fund the takeover.

CREULTY WITHOUT BEAUTY

LETTER:

Techno-suit: a snip at half the price

Sartorial saviour or end of an era? Robin Dutt tries laser suits for size

Heseltine may challenge MMC decision

The Government would not overrule any decision by the electricity regulator, Offer, to refer the Trafalgar House bid for Northern Electric to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, writes Mary Fagan.

G A D G E T S Great pics, shame about the noughts

If you're a photography freak with lots of money, take a look at Kodak's new DCS 460, billed as the "world's highest resolution, portable, single shot, digital camera". It looks like the motor drive that clips on to the bottom of standard SLR cameras and is designed for the Nikon N90; there is an equivalent for the Canon EOS-1N, too. But the DCS 460 costs £24,950 and contains a light-sensitive plate, a chip to digitise the image, a PCMCIA memory card to store it, a microphone and a battery pack.

Generators plan hefty dividends

National Power and PowerGen set out to woo shareholders yesterday by unveiling hefty dividends for the current financial year. Marking the pathfinder prospectus for the £4bn goverment sale of shares in the companies, National Power said that the payout would rise by 24 per cent per share to 15.45p while PowerGen will increase its dividend by almost 19 per cent to 15p. The increase was announced as the Government confirmed that private investors must pay a minimum of about £1,000 to participate in the sale, buying a package of at least 200 shares in the companies. The minimum investment is higher than in other recent government offers, suggesting it is targeted at more sophisticated private investors.
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