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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
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Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone