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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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home