News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

Virgin Media defend file-sharing clampdown

Virgin Media today insisted they will not be prosecuting illegal file-sharers.

Virgin warns illegal downloaders: stop or face prosecution

The age of illegal music downloads could soon be over. The UK's largest provider of home broadband is to warn internet users building up vast libraries of music that they could be prosecuted.

Virgin puts iPlayer on cable TV platform

Virgin Media launched the BBC iPlayer on its cable television platform yesterday, upping the ante in its ongoing rivalry with BSkyB in the pay TV market.

Online tracking firm Phorm sees losses double

Phorm, the online advertising service accused of illegally tracking individuals' web-browsing histories in order to target marketing, announced annual losses of $32.8m (£16.6m) yesterday.

Freeview to carry free-to-air HD channels

Sky television faced a rare setback as its stranglehold on high definition (HD) TV was effectively broken up by Ofcom, allowing millions to watch shows in the ultra-clear format without subscribing to the Murdoch-owned satellite provider or cable.

Get switched on to phone, internet and TV packages

Finding the best deals can be tricky, so you need to do your research, says James Daley

BT holds on to broadband crown

BT said today it remained the UK's biggest broadband supplier after securing the lion's share of new connections at the end of last year.

Sky told to reduce its 18 per cent stake in ITV to 7.5 per cent

Sky booked a £343m loss on its investment in ITV after the Government risked the wrath of the country's biggest media company by ordering it to reduce its stake in the broadcaster.

BSkyB must slash ITV stake and faces £250m bill

The Government today ruled that broadcasting giant BSkyB must offload some of its controversial 17.9 per cent stake in ITV.

Questions Of Cash: The danger of paying energy bills online

Q. In 2004, I switched energy suppliers from British Gas and Powergen to Scottish Power. For the first year, my monthly payments were £44. A year later, this was reassessed to £42.50 monthly. But in November, I received a statement showing that I owed £598.96 and my monthly payments would now be £121.50. This means that my annual bill has risen from £510 to £1,458. Yet throughout the last three years, I have e-mailed my meter readings when requested. AC, Ipswich

Gemstar in patent row with Virgin

Virgin Media has dismissed a patent infringement case brought against it by the American company Gemstar as "flagrant opportunism" over its use of a standard grid-based electronic programme guide, or EPG.

Victoria Summerley: Town Life

Chatter among the child-rearing classes at London dinner parties tends to be dominated by three things: property prices, schools and transport. These days, property prices and the battle to find a place at a school have become genuinely terrifying, however, so the transport items tend to come as a bit of light relief.

Telewest chief back at work as NTL merger rumours intensify

Barry Elson has returned to work as chief executive of Telewest after a successful fight against cancer, adding to expectations that the cable company could announce merger talks with rival NTL in the near future.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick