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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How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
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Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
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A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

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10 best baking books

10 best baking books

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Jury still out on Pellegrini

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Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

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Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

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Mad Men returns for a final fling

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Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

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