From killer robots and heatwaves to Heathrow and smartphones: Here's what got us talking this week

 
Catherine Neilan
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Who didn't feel a bit like this at times this week? (Source: Getty)

Here's what got us talking this week

1) London was hotter than the surface of the sun
Good gosh, it was hot. The trains went into meltdown and fires broke out right, left and centre (or rather, in at least two Tube stations and Wimbledon, where 3,000 people were evacuated) as the mercury touched 36.7*. Which, it turned out, was significantly higher than us Britons like to keep things.
2) Heathrow got the go-ahead
Yes, after three years and almost £20m, Sir Howard Davies came out in favour of Heathrow. Here's five things you can get for the same price as the Airport Commission's report cost.

But anyway, no doubt it will join the list of other things with a never-ending deadline (c/f Greece) - because while business is very supportive of the plans, it's something of a political headache for David Cameron.

And what about those historic villages? This map shows you exactly what will have to go to make room for runway number three.
3) Your smartphone is making you dumb
Actually, it's causing something called digital amnesia, which when you.... oh, we forget. But, while our IQ is going down the toilet because of our whizzy new phones, the amount we spend is shooting up, as we're spending billions shopping online while commuting. Perhaps we can send the bill to Apple...
4) There was a spot of tennis
And Nadal crashed out in a shock defeat against the world number 102 Dustin Brown. The Spaniard has now made less money in his last five Wimbledon tournaments than when he last won, back in 2010. Brown's fortunes, however, are on the opposite trajectory - setting him up for the biggest prize money year of his career.

We have also crunched the numbers for Andy Murray to find out how much he has earned at SW19.
5) Not much changed in Greece
There was plenty of posturing, but to be honest not much more. Alexis Tsipras called a snap referendum to see whether the Greek electorate likes the terms they've been offered (while finance minister Yanis Varoufakis passively-aggressively said he'd resign if they said they did), while the IMF warned Greece would need a lot more money before the saga ends and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said he felt “betrayed” by the refusal to agree a deal.

By Friday afternoon, Tsipras was telling voters to reject the “blackmail and ultimatums. We should find out after Sunday's vote – although what the next move will be is anyone's guess.

Leisurely Reads

And we consider how Alexis Tsipras has been using Twitter as his secret weapon in the negotiations, merrily leaking crucial documents, publishing “private” speeches and even tweeting straight from the negotiating table. This is politics, millennial style.

Great Reads from Elsewhere

After learning that a robot had crushed a man to death in a Volkswagen factory in Germany this week, the FT has put together an interesting piece arguing that rather than being the beginning of the war between man and machine as some commentators believed, we are in fact entering a period of relative peace.
If the prospect of killer robots wasn't bad enough, there is grave news suggesting we are seeing the death of the quick pint. According to a new report, fewer than one in 10 visits to the pub are solely for the purpose of having a drink. We urge you, dear readers, to right this wrong.
But if a good pint doesn't slake your thirst, perhaps a spot of music is what you're craving. Apple Music launched this week, and this article from The Verge tracked the highs and lows of the first 24 hours of its lauded radio station Beats 1. It wasn't perfect, but it was distinctly British.

The Last Word

Interview with a robot: Life, love and everything as seen by a sentient machine

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