Life and Style

Slovakian designer Martin Vargic has mapped out the major sites of the web - click the image above or the gallery below for more detail

Simon Darwen and Laura Elphinstone in Virgin

Theatre review: Virgin, Watford Palace Theatre

Fittingly for a play which is in part about the difficulties of saying what you think, Virgin is a little unclear as to what it thinks it is saying. EV Crowe’s play aims to explore how far our online lives mirror our offline ones, but the internet felt strangely incidental to her story. It could just as easily have been a marketing project for better roads, or a new hospital, and not a scheme to roll out broadband to rural communities, that the play’s central character, Emily (Laura Elphinstone), is trying to convince her male employers to let her lead. In fact, the play is often at its best when it deals straightforwardly with gender politics in the workplace and when the internet is left, so to speak, unconnected. 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has appealed to the UK's IT experts to sign up to the Joint Cyber Reserve Unit when recruitment opens in October

UK to spend big in drive to create cyber defence force

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond appeals to the UK's IT experts to sign up to the Joint Cyber Reserve Unit when it launches next month

Album review: Agnes Obel, Aventine (Play It Again Sam)

Agnes Obel's 2010 debut Philharmonics grabbed attention through its understatement, eventually achieving quintuple-platinum status in her native Denmark. Aventine follows in like vein: the hushed preciosity of her murmur recalls the similarly understated Ane Brun, while her piano settings are strongly redolent of Erik Satie, especially the opening instrumental "Chord Left", melodically reminiscent of one of the Gnossiennes. Obel's piano and cello arrangements are worked out with Einaudi-esque care and logicality. It's all neatly-dressed, buttoned-down and restrained but sometimes suffocatingly introspective, with lyrics mining a private image bank; even so, some moments cut to the emotional quick.

Album review: Haim, Days Are Gone (Polydor)

Given their status as BBC Sound Of 2013 poll-winners, it's hard not to feel somewhat underwhelmed by Haim's debut album. The LA girl group are pleasant enough - though early descriptions of them as a folk/R&B crossover are absurdly wide of the mark - but there's an insubstantiality at their core. They plug unashamedly into their West Coast heritage: sleek with a veneer of mystique, "Falling" could be a Fleetwood Mac outtake, but the pop-rock of "Forever" and "The Wire" brings to mind the likes of The Bangles and The Go Gos. Even when they attempt something a bit more outré, like the contrast of lumbering drums with sleek harmonies in "My Song 5", it sounds like something off Tusk. Okay, but not much more.

Album review: Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience 2 Of 2 (RCA)

Comprising as it does outtakes from the sessions for The 20/20 Experience, it's hardly surprising there should be a drop-off in quality for this follow-up; but it's a pretty steep fall. With four tracks dragged out beyond seven minutes apiece, longueurs are a serious problem, particularly on "TKO" - Timbaland's irritatingly itchy percussive backdrop sounds like a machine afflicted with fleas. And adding a rotten dub-reggae coda to the already overlong "Only When I Walk Away" simply adds insult to infamy. Elsewhere, the album is awash in vapid bubblebath-soul bleating and feeble falsetto on tracks like the '80s R&B-styled "Take Back The Night", which exposes Justin Timberlake's Michael Jackson fixation as empty imitation.

Album review: Anna Netrebko, Verdi (Deutsche Grammophon)

Anna Netrebko's contribution to the ongoing Verdi bicentennial celebrations opens in startling fashion with a suite of five arias from Macbeth which will surely divide opinion. Personally, I find her delivery here too shrill and imposing. The two songs from Giovanna d'Arco are more evenly modulated, especially the penumbral "O Fatidica Foresta", while the emotional topography of "Mercé, Dilette Amiche" from I Vespri Siciliani is negotiated with compelling subtlety. The most technically testing piece here, the lengthy "Tu Che le Vanità" from Don Carlo, is dispatched with confidence, while her interpretation of the lighter "D'amor Sull'ali Rosee" from Il Trovatore is perfect, its coloratura elements handled with an airily engaging touch.

Fifa 14 vs PES 14: which is the better game?

The twin titans of football gaming duke it out for another year, but which offers the best experience?

Former Pc Gareth Gricks found dead on day he faced child sex charges

A former police officer has been found dead on the day he was due to be charged with a series of serious sexual offences.

Landmark moment for media industry as Lloyd’s List goes digital-only

Daily newspaper has been providing shipping news for marine and insurance industries since 1734

GTA 5: Online - will microtransactions power Rockstar's multiplayer game world?

Discovery of "cash cards" in GTA .xml files suggests that online gamers will be able to use real cash to solve in-game money problems

Haynes confident print manuals will survive

The publishing group behind the ubiquitous Haynes car manual has given a confident forecast about the print market even as revenues fall and fast-growing digital fails to offset that decline.

Saudi women activists have called for a new day of defiance next month of the longstanding ban on women driving.

Saudi women to get behind the wheel on October 26 to defy driving ban

Activists have launched another campaign against the ban on women driving. Their website is urging women to get behind the wheel on 26 October in defiance.

Business week in review

In profit...

Tom Hodgkinson: Bore them round the campfire? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves

As a hack myself, I ought not to be surprised if I myself become the victim of hackery. But last week I was royally stitched-up and for a moment, I confess, I had a sense of humour failure.

GCSEs and A-levels 'will be taken online within 10 years'

All public examinations - including GCSEs and A-levels - will be taken online within the next decade, an independent education chief is forecasting.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
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news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
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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
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on