Life and Style

New software will focus on three main areas: better multitasking, access to apps and quicker set-up for first-time smart TV users

Circuit City files for bankruptcy

Circuit City, the second largest electronics retailer in the US, has filed for bankruptcy, owing $2.3bn to more than 100,000 creditors.

Sony recalls 100,000 laptop batteries

Computer makers are recalling 100,000 laptop battery packs made by Sony after 40 reports of overheating, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

McCain's economic adviser out of limelight after gaffe

The public face of John McCain's campaign on the economy disappeared from public view yesterday after she queried whether he and his running-mate, Sarah Palin, were capable of leading a large US corporation.

The Ten Best Mini-Laptops

Get clicking on the go

Andrew Keen: VideoJug is the anti-YouTube

New Media: The British CEO teaching YouTube how it's done – among other things

Leading article: Meeting of minds

The news that some universities are going out into British companies and other organisations to develop tailor-made courses for adults in work is a welcome development. For too long, universities have lived in their own little world where, if they got enough 18-year-olds, the money would roll in and staff could continue teaching the same material, year after year. Now that is changing. Nudged by the Government, the universities of Coventry and Chester are joining local companies to improve the skills of their workforces. It should be a win-win situation - universities will make money in the long run, and the country will benefit from better-skilled staff.

Sky boasts it's beating NTL

Broadcaster claims it can reach more UK homes

The Novel Now, by Richard Bradford

Clever as hell

Loyola de Palacio

Politician and EU commissioner

Only in France: the black, anti-Semitic comedian at a rally of Le Pen's far right

Ségolène Royal's runaway success has brought the ends of the political spectrum together in the face of a common enemy

Cover stories: ChavLit; Coleen McLoughlin; London Book Fair

The culture of celebrity dominates TV screens, many newspapers and magazines and, ever-increasingly, bookshops. Here the fad is no longer ChickLit but ChavLit, on which Random House has announced "a drive". Riding high on the second volume of Jordan's memoirs, it will shortly launch the first of her two "novels". This week it also signed Chantelle for a ton of money. Jade Goody has topped the charts for HarperCollins. Penguin has splashed out on a self-improvement manual by Victoria Beckham, while Orion has bought a second autobiography from Welsh warbler Charlotte Church (above). Hodder has just acquired Billie Piper, Dr Who's sidekick. And Pan Macmillan has signed yet another Osbourne, Jack.

Art of the smile

The Royal College of Art's exhibition of 33,000 images of smiles celebrates one of the most powerful human actions.
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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas