Life and Style Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact takes strong design and makes it smaller

Our technology expert reflects on this year’s Consumer Electronics Show

Metro Choice: CD=Christmas Day

The games box hotly tipped to distend Christmas stockings is the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer System, priced at pounds 400 from Panasonic. It can also play Kodak's Photo-CD home photography albums and CD video, the new format for movies. The games come in CD-ROM format, cheaper to produce than Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo, while 3DO's sumptuous use of the latest silicon makes it the superior performer: the hardware is as close to TV-quality as you'll get, but it's the software that matters. Early 3DO games weren't very good, but with titles like 'Twisted' (an interactive quiz show with more personality than most of the real genre, above) and 'Total Eclipse' (space war deluxe) starting to cut the mustard, the machine should win the battle that matters - on shop demo stands. You can judge at the HMV shop (150 Oxford Street) from Monday to Wednesday, when the 3DO roadshow proffers its joysticks to the London public.

The Independent Management Game 1994: Thirty to fight it out in semis

THIRTY teams representing businesses ranging from Norwich Union, the insurance company, to Boots, the pharmaceuticals group, and Panasonic, the electronics company, will contest the semi-final of the Independent Management Game, which resumes on Tuesday after the summer break.

Rail union rebuffs offer of peace talks

RAILTRACK yesterday offered to meet the RMT for five days of intensive negotiations to solve the rail signalmen's dispute, but the suggestion was dismissed by the union last night.

More top directors get bonuses

IN A FURTHER indication of economic recovery, more of Britain's highest-paid directors are receiving bonuses, according to the latest survey of board earnings by Monks Partnership, the remuneration advisers, writes Roger Trapp.

Sports Letter: ITV fiasco

Sir: A virgin letter writer until now, ITV's World Cup coverage has finally prompted me into action. I have been amazed by the hopelessness of their sports coverage. They have now set new standards with the Matthew Lorenzo ITV Dallas Show. How did he get a job on national sports television? The only words he feels confident in uttering are 'live and exclusive' on ITV, but even then, he seems to be struggling for the autocue.

Doubt cast on Tiphook boss

THE LONG-TERM future of Robert Montague as chief executive of Tiphook, the heavily-indebted transport leasing company, was put in doubt yesterday by the appointment of BOC's finance director as chairman, writes Tom Stevenson.

RAC puts patrols on the data highway

STRANDED motorists will soon be greeted by RAC patrol crews packing electronic books instead of bulky motoring manuals, to speed up fault diagnosis and improve the rate of breakdowns repaired at the roadside.

Multimedia: Music business faces big shake-up

NEXT TIME you want to listen to Beethoven or Bon Jovi why not watch them as well?

Best-sellers: Top 10 mobile phones

1 Nokia 101a

On the road

Mondial Assistance, the roadside assistance company, is offering its Roadservice Gold policy covering Europe for pounds 99 a year. Call 081-681 2525 for details.

Economic demise greatly exaggerated: Bright spots are fast emerging in Japan - even if the West can't see them, writes Terry McCarthy in Tokyo

SINCE Japan's economy started slipping into recession in 1991, the Western media, particularly in the US, have taken great satisfaction in declaring that the 'Japanese economic miracle' is over, the eccentric threat from the Asian nation of samurai-style workers has been overblown, and that at the end of the day, good old free-market capitalism, as practised in the US, has triumphed over the restrictive, centrally stewarded Japanese model.

Nurdin cries foul on Japanese suppliers: Cash-and-carry group complains to OFT

NURDIN & Peacock, the cash-and- carry group, has complained to the Office of Fair Trading about Sony and other Japanese electrical goods makers refusing to supply its new US-style discount warehouse.

Athletics: Dick's departure leaves athletics in a state of flux: A sport already uncertain of its future faces more difficult decisions after the head coach's resignation this week. Mike Rowbottom reports

THE abrupt departure of Frank Dick from the post of director of coaching which he has held for the last 14 years will leave a very large hole. The 52-year-old Scot was a meticulous planner, particularly before major championships, an effective motivator and an articulate presence at the top end of the sport.

Saturday Night: A little advice from a lap-top oracle

In a penthouse office suite with vertiginous views over the Thames, Guy Damian-Knight, director of Tao Management, sits cross-legged on the carpet, his hand hovering over a lap-top computer. He is about to demonstrate the new business software package he has designed. I would rather he left me to explore it myself, but I sit patiently, willing him to invite me to try it.
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