BOOK PUBLISHERS FEAR THREAT OF DIGITAL PIRACY
Publishers have warned that the fight against illegal copying of digital books could impose a huge cost on the industry, raising fears of a new wave of online piracy. Gail Rebuck, chairman and chief executive of The Random House Group, part of Bertelsmann, said illegal copying was “engrained culturally”. She cited The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown’s follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. It had spawned more than 1,000 illegal websites by the end of its first week on the market.
RBS EYES SALE OF PRIORY TO PRIVATE EQUITY
The Royal Bank of Scotland is examining a private sale of the Priory Group, owner of the celebrity rehab clinic, after shelving plans to launch an initial public offering to raise more than £1bn owing to turbulence in the capital markets.
SCIENTISTS CREATE A LIVING ORGANISM
Scientists have turned inanimate chemicals into a living organism in an experiment that raises profound questions about the essence of life. Craig Venter, the US genomics pioneer, announced on Thursday that scientists at his laboratories in Maryland and California had succeeded in their 15-year project to make the world’s first “synthetic cells” – bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides.
UK ACTIVISTS WARN GOOGLE ON ERASING DATA
The pressure on Google over its interception of private WiFi data intensified on Thursday after a UK watchdog said it would complain to the police if the company did not stop deleting the data by Monday. Google revealed last week it had accidentally collected 600GB of private data from homes.
QINETIQ TOUTS FOR WORK AS STAFF FEAR 1,000 JOB CUTS
QinetiQ, the defence research company derided by rivals as “intellectually arrogant” for its pick-and-choose attitude towards contracts, is touting for almost any form of business in the wake of a collapsing share price. Leo Quinn, chief executive, is understood to have held meetings with the heads of rival companies and made it clear that QinetiQ was willing to take on a much wider range of work.
CARMAKERS IN THE UK ACCELERATE PRODUCTION LEVELS
The number of cars made in Britain increased by 44 per cent last month compared with the same period last year, industry data showed today. The growth in manufacturing came despite a slowdown in overall sales in the same month. A total of 98,290 cars were made in April.
The Daily Telegraph
NEW 'BINMAN BLACKBERRY' COMING TO A BIFFA GARBAGE TRUCK NEAR YOU
BlackBerrys, once restricted to the most high flying executives, are coming to a garbage truck near you. Biffa, one of the UK's biggest rubbish collection companies, has given 1,500 of its binmen BlackBerry-type devices so they can “get more done on the move”.
GUNS FOUND IN CARBON TRADING 'FRAUD' RAIDS
Tax investigators found guns and “huge piles of cash” as they arrested four men suspected of taking part in a £38m carbon trading fraud. Raids on seven properties took place in Leicester and London early on Thursday morning. A spokesman for HM Revenue & Customs confirmed they were in connection with an inquiry into traders who have allegedly defrauded the taxpayer.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
ASDA, SAINSBURY TO SELL PRIVATE CANCER DRUGS AT COST PRICE
J Sainsbury said it will match rival Asda Group on retail pricing for cancer drugs after the Wal-Mart Stores chain said it will sell treatments on private prescription at cost price. Asda--the second-largest supermarket retailer in the UK by sales and market share behind Tesco -said the not-for-profit price would be effective in its stores from May 24. Sainsbury's offer will start the same day.
HSBC GETS HEAT OVER PEMGROUP
HSBC Holdings was accused by a court-appointed receiver of aiding an international fraud perpetrated by the late California financier Danny Pang. In a lawsuit against HSBC, Robert Mosier, the receiver, alleged that the London-based bank’s US arm helped Pang and others create and send false accounting reports.