Posts Tagged ‘UK’

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David Cameron: world on brink of new economic crisis

imageThe world stands on the brink of a new economic crisis that would leave countries like Britain “staring down the barrel”, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister said that the failure of leaders in the US and Europe to tackle government deficits now “threatens the stability of the world economy”.

Mr Cameron spoke as stock markets around the world fell sharply again, with the FTSE–100 suffering its biggest drop for more than two years.

Politicians, central bankers and investors are increasingly worried that the world’s biggest economies are sliding back into a recession, dragged down by government debts. (more…)

Nick Clegg: banking reforms could come in ‘well before’ 2019

imageLib Dem leader says date of implementation of reforms could be far earlier than that recommended by Sir John Vickers’ Independent Commission on Banking

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister, has said banking reforms designed to prevent another taxpayer bailout of the system could be implemented “well before 2019”.

Clegg said he thought the date of implementation for reforms of Britain’s biggest banks could be far earlier than that recommended by the Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers. (more…)

Chilcot to ‘heavily criticise’ Tony Blair over Iraq war

imageOfficial inquiry into Iraq war expected to focus on former PM’s alleged failure to consult cabinet fully in run-up to invasion Tony Blair is reported to be heading for heavy criticism by the official inquiry into the Iraq war, which is likely to focus on his alleged failure to consult the cabinet fully in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

The Mail on Sunday reports today that Sir John Chilcot, the former permanent secretary at the Northern Ireland Office who is chairing the inquiry, has identified a series of concerns. These include: (more…)

UK economy: Cameron backs Osborne’s upbeat assessment despite weak growth


PM moves to quash rumours of frustration with the chancellor’s handling of economy, which grew just 0.2% last quarter

David Cameron described the UK economy’s latest growth figures of 0.2% as “positive” as he gave his backing to the chancellor, George Osborne.

The prime minister responded to the GDP figure for the past three months after Labour called for the government to “change course” over the economy “before it is too late”.

Cameron said both he and Osborne were “working together to make sure the economy is growing”, but warned it would “take time” to produce the required growth in jobs. (more…)

Apple ‘bidding for Hulu’

Apple is believed to looking at buying Hulu, the US online TV aggregator, according to reports.

Bloomberg has cited two unnamed sources as saying the technology giant is in early stage talks to join the bidding for the successful online TV player, co-owned by News Corporation, Walt Disney and NBC.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

By the end of the summer, the video site is expected to have one million paid subscribers. (more…)

UK robot football post-match analysis



Edinferno, the Scottish team in the 2011 robot footbal World Cup, might not have won any matches but they can still claim that the tournament was a success. Ian Douglas met their manager

Subramanian Ramamoorthy is back in his office at Edinburgh University’s Institute of Action, Perception and Behaviour after competing in RoboCup 2011, the robot football world cup in Istanbul. Despite not actually winning any matches he’s cheerful and keen to talk about the benefits of the tournament beyond adding to Scotland’s long list of heroic sporting defeats.

‘We competed in two leagues: the standard platform [small robots, all of which are built from identical hardware but programmed by the individual teams] which is the flagship league, and the simulation league [an entirely virtual competition consisting of artificial intelligences battling directly within a computer]. There’s an initial pool divided into groups of four, an elimination round, then quarter finals, semi finals and so on. We lost all of our matches in the standard league, I think the scores were 1-nil, 3-nil and 1-nil.’ (more…)

Public sector strikes won’t defuse Britain’s demographic timebomb

imageThe fastest growth in the pensioner population in the whole of the 21st century will take place in this Parliament, writes Lucy Parsons.

Today 750,000 teachers and civil servants will go on strike over the Government’s proposed changes to public sector pensions. Union leaders say the changes will leave their members working longer, paying more and getting less from the state. It’s not an easy sell, but they are absolutely right. With a shortfall of £10 billion in 2008-09 in the public sector pension pot and a rapidly growing number of retirees, the generous pensions public sector workers have until now enjoyed will have to be a thing of the past. (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Tab price guide

imageOur guide to getting the best value Galaxy Tab on offer At launch, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is available across all five of the UK’s major networks. But it doesn’t exactly come cheap, with prices starting at around £499, which makes it more costly than the entry-level iPad.

Currently just about the best Android tablet out there, the Galaxy Tab appears the only serious option for those keen to try Google’s mobile OS on a tablet computer. Its pricing, however, could mean that only true Android fans buy one. (more…)

Traffic safety will depend on driverless cars, not fictional police

Police will be able to hand out £100 on-the-spot fines to dangerous drivers, who will also risk three points on their licence, says the Department for Transport.


At present offences such as the tailgating and undertaking are left unpunished, says Phillip Hammond, the Transport Secretary.

‘The police, under pressure of resources, have simply stopped addressing this offence. By giving them the fixed-penalty notice procedure, we hope to allow them effectively and efficiently to address poor driving skills and behaviour on our roads, while at the same freeing up court and police resources to tackle the really dangerous drivers that are the real problem on our roads.’ Under pressure of resources. (more…)

Me and my iPad: Suzi Perry

Suzi Perry describes how her iPad is set up and explains why GarageBand is her favourite app.

My homescreen is completely different to the default one. I’ve rammed it full of all the apps I love and use the most.

I use Twitbird Pro an awful lot to actively engage with my devoted Twitter followers, so that is a must-have home screen app for me; I’m still amazed at quite how many people want to follow me. (more…)

Top tablets: reviews

A quick look at each of the top six tablets currently available, in no particular order Pre-eminent and still the best tablet currently on the market, the iPad 2 is light, slim and a delight to use.

But it’s not just the fact that you can read books, check your emails, browse the webs or watch videos that mean Apple, for now, own this market: the iPad has spawned a library of Apps that is continuing to grow rapidly and that has changed how many consumers think of media.

That means that there are countless, excellent games as well as apps that reinvent magazines and serve purposes that were impossible on other devices. Even cab drivers collecting passengers at airports are using iPads for the name of the person they’re picking up. (more…)

Pakistan has questions to answer over Bin Laden, says Cameron

imageDavid Cameron has said the Islamabad authorities have “lots of questions” to answer over the support given to Osama bin Laden during his stay in Pakistan, but stressed that a “massive row” with Pakistan’s political leadership was not in Britain’s national interest.

The prime minister said it was important to “engage” with Pakistan and deal with the extremists rather than “throw up one’s hands in despair” because the stronger the country’s democracy, the more it would work with international partners to combat terrorism. (more…)

Syrian funding causes embarrassment at British university

imageUniversity of St Andrews to review acceptance of funding arranged by Bashar al-Assad’s controversial regime in Damascus A prestigious British university is to review the work of one of its academic research centres because its funding was arranged by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Guardian can reveal.

The University of St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton studied, has received more than £100,000 in funding for its centre for Syrian studies with the assistance of Syria’s ambassador to the UK, Sami Khiyami. (more…)

AV result could be determined by young Londoners – if they turn out to vote

imageCapital’s younger demographic may be crucial to hopes that yes campaign can overturn poll results in referendum On Thursday 5 May, Martin Radford will pop out of his London flat overlooking the Royal Victoria Dock in the capital’s east end and stroll next door to the polling booth to have his say in the UK’s first national referendum in 35 years.

Radford, a retired restaurateur who serves as a magistrate, has received leaflets from both the yes and no campaigns and concludes that switching to the alternative vote is a good idea. “It will be a fairer way of voting,” he says.

The fear is that Radford will be in the minority of Londoners when it comes to casting a vote for or against replacing the first past the post system, with turnout predicted to be as low as 15% among an eligible electorate of more than five million.

Less than 50 metres from Radford’s door, the referendum result will be announced on 6 May in the Platinum Suite of the expansive ExCeL convention centre. (more…)

Cardinal Keith O’Brien warns of threat from ‘aggressive secularism’

imageThe leader of the Catholic church in Scotland has used his Easter address to attack “aggressive secularism”, suggesting there were “those who would indeed try to destroy our Christian heritage and culture and take God from the public square”.

He made the address as David Cameron publicly endorsed the “enormous contribution” of Christian values to Britain, days before he welcomes senior churchmen to Downing Street for an Easter celebration. (more…)

A pint of shatterproof glass, please: what the Design Council does for us

imageHow can we stop pub violence, eradicate superbugs, and save British businesses? With safety glass, superloos and flowerpots inspired by the recently saved Design Council Every year there are 87,000 incidents of violence involving the drunken wielding of glassware. This costs the NHS an estimated £2.7bn (I’ve no idea how they work this out).

Is there anything we can do about this? The police proposed compulsory plastic glasses, but this smacked too much of the nanny state. Instead, as part of its Design Out Crime initiative, the Design Council commissioned an unbreakable pint glass that was still made of real glass. The agency Design Bridge came up with two solutions: one uses a coating of bio-resin that strengthens it considerably; the other uses two thin layers of glass bonded together like a car windshield. In both cases, the glass will crack but not shatter. When these models actually make it into pubs we can expect “glassing” to be a thing of the past, although the NHS may see the incidence of alcohol-related bruising go through the roof. (more…)

How mobile phones are turning into phantom limbs

imagePhantom limb’ syndrome is suffered by many amputees, who feel strange and often painful sensations coming from their missing limbs. For a long time, doctors either dismissed these reports or thought they were due to irritation coming from severed nerve endings. The true cause of ‘phantom limb’ syndrome turned out to lie in the way the brain re-organises itself after it stops receiving signals from a limb’s nerves: even though the limb was gone, the part of the brain associated with it remained, ‘remapped’ to different parts of the body. (more…)

Microsoft aims for ‘beautiful PCs’

image‘The Collection’ will group together PCs that combine style and performance, Microsoft has said Microsoft has launched a bid to make PCs objects people aspire to own, with a new focus on design and style. (more…)

Big Issue sellers to be given smartphones

imageHomeless people selling The Big Issue are to be given smartphones and encouraged to use Twitter and Facebook  Homeless people who sell The Big Issue are to be equipped with smart phones and encouraged to act “as news gatherers”, the magazine has announced.