simon williamson

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China orders square dancers to heel and toe the line

In China few activities escape the watchful eye of the state – and soon that will include square dancing.<p>Ever-growing numbers of enthusiastic dancers – usually “damas”, meaning elderly women – have gathered on the street corners of China’s cities in recent years to gyrate in unison. Some urban …

Barbados PM says island will replace the Queen and move towards republic

Prime minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart says the shift to a republic will happen in the near future<p>The Queen could be the monarch of one less country next year after the prime minister of <b>Barbados</b> announced his intention to replace Her Majesty as the country’s head of state.<p>Freundel Stuart told a …

There's a surprising gadget everyone at mega tech conference SXSW is using

South by Southwest is in full swing in Austin. It's a conference where some now-huge companies first caught their big breaks. Twitter, for example, launched and caught fire at SXSW a few years ago. Then Foursquare exploded in Austin. Group-texting service GroupMe also gained traction at SXSW before …

SXSW

Sony Shows Off New Project Morpheus VR Prototype, Announces 2016 Release

Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset will launch in the first half of 2016, the company announced this afternoon at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.<p>The device, originally announced at GDC in 2014, has undergone significant design improvements since its debut, according to …

How to be a success? Get up before dawn

Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 3.45am, while American Vogue editor Anna Wintour is woken at 4.30am for a game of tennis. You snooze, you lose...<p>I have never understood the impulse that drives people to do things because they have seen someone famous doing them. If anything, you’d think it would be …

Idris Elba's 20 questions on the meaning of life

Is the sky really blue? Why do we believe in God? And is time just an illusion? BBC series hosted by Idris Elba will attempt to answer the questions<p>Idris Elba is to host an interactive BBC series asking 20 questions about the meaning of life.<p>Story of Now will feature scientists, academics and …

British minister in cultural gaffe after giving Taipei mayor 'taboo' watch

Transport minister Lady Kramer apologises after presenting gift to mayor of Taiwan’s capital Ko Wen-je<p>A British minister was left red-faced after giving the mayor of Taipei the gift of a watch – a taboo act in Chinese culture – only for him to joke he would “sell it to a scrap dealer”.<p>Ko Wen-je, a …

Transportation

What Is Microsoft's Smartphone Strategy With Windows 10?

Last week’s showcase event by Microsoft demonstrated Windows 10 in many of its form factors. The most interesting to me was the demonstration of the new OS running on the Lumia 1520 smartphone. Microsoft has fought long and hard to establish its presence in mobile. Now Windows Phone and the Lumia …

Theo Walcott Injury: Updates on Arsenal Star's Groin and Return

Theo Walcott is nursing a groin problem as his injury disrupted season at Arsenal continues, but he was available to play vs. Liverpool on Dec. 21.<p>Continue for updates.<p><i>Sunday, Dec. 21</i><p><b>Walcott Available vs. Liverpool</b><p>Arsenal announced Walcott's status:<p><i>Thursday, Dec. 18</i><p><b>Slim Chance of Walcott Return at</b> …

Mobile phones unlikely to harm human health, scientists find

Key proteins in the human body are completely unaffected by the magnetic fields of mobile phones, scientists have found<p>The magnetic fields created by mobile phones and power lines are not harmful to human health, the University of Manchester has found.<p>Several studies have suggested that …

Magnetism

Animals out in the cold - in pictures