News

Capita has won a five-year, £145 million deal to run the congestion charge, which it helped set up in London 11 years ago.

Dow sheds gains in choppy trade

The giddy mood that gripped Wall Street on Tuesday amid the reports of a possible super-merger in the pharmaceuticals industry was quickly forgotten yesterday when stocks were sent back downwards. David Usborne reports from New York .

AN EYE ON... inventions

AN EYE ON... inventions

Technofile: A Magical Play-Off: Disney Versus IBM

Crayolas and colouring books are cheap, widely available, and easy for children to use. Then along comes Big Blue. IBM Brings You Crayola Magic 3D Colouring Book, says the title (Iona, Windows, pounds 19.95). Why do you need IBM to bring you this? IBM's answer is that children can't do 3D rendering with crayons, because that's magic. The real answer is more down to earth. Children's drawing software has one outstanding advantage over its paper relations. It doesn't make a mess on the floor.

Mandelson's mystery man

Peter Mandelson, Minister without Portfolio, is set to renew discussions over a proposed pounds 1bn, 6,000-job electronics factory with a man who is reluctant to reveal his backers and will give no details of his previous employment.

Apple Computer's biggest mistake - and what might have been

What if the Macintosh operating system predominated on PCs? It's not such a fanciful question - if Bill Gates had got his way in 1985, it almost certainly would have happened.

THE BROADER PICTURE; THE SCHOOL FOR SWAMPIES

Malibu, California: the annual Ruckus Society three-day training camp for self-improving eco-warriors. Six hundred of them have come here (by environmentally sound transport) to tough it out, sharpen up, get in the loop. Like jazzmen, they work on their chops: not scales and riffs, but abseiling, neck-locks, knotwork and passive resistance, buffing up their improvisations before they go live. They work on their names, too. Charles F Dornfelder III won't do. You have to be Stumpy, Boz, Raindance, Jezz, Ferret, Laa-Laa or Po.

Midlands Electricity pays millions to pull plug on computer billing system

Midlands Electricity yesterday joined the long list of utilities that have had to abandon expensive computer billing systems. Michael Harrison reports on the casualties.

Solid IBM allays Wall Street blues

International Business Machines Corporation yesterday reported solid second-quarter earnings, saying its results showed continuing strength in its broad product portfolio, despite declines in some hardware lines. IBM reported net income of $1.4bn (pounds 848m), or $1.46 a share, compared with $1.3bn or $1.26 last year, adjusted for a two-for-one stock split.

Network: CD-Roms: The joy of useless facts

Want to know all about goats? Maybe not, but William Hartston finds they're a good test of an interactive encyclopedia

Letter: Deep ignorance

Deep ignorance

Bunhill: Deep Blue reaches cut-off point

So the meaning of life has been staring us in the face all this time and we've only just woken up to the fact: it's a board game. Well, we can't say no one ever told us. The German writer Goethe said many years ago that: "Nature gave us the chess board

Have you talked to your PC lately?

With the latest speech recognition packages, a computer can develop an acute ear for an individual's voice and deliver impressive results - and all for less than pounds 100.

In a Deep Blue mood

the trials of following the match online

Man mastered by machine as Deep Blue triumphs

Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion, has been beaten by a machine. Last night in New York, the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue trounced Kasparov in only 19 moves in the deciding encounter of their six-game match.

The big question a computer cannot ask: Is Kasparov making the wrong moves?

What is Garry Kasparov playing at in New York? After four games of his chess match against the IBM computer, Deep Blue, he has scored a win, a loss and two draws. He should have drawn the game he lost - indeed, his game could still have been saved in the final position when when he resigned - and he held a clear advantage in both drawn games. At the end of the fourth game yesterday, Kasparov said: "I believe it was a win ... but I was tired and I couldn't figure it out."
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable