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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Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

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Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

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Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
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Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor