London! I'll be at Pages of Hackney tonight with Olivia Sudjic! (then Liverpool, Birmingham, Hay...) (!)

Last night's sold-out Walkaway tour event with Laurie Penny at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road was spectacular (and not just because they had some really good whisky behind the bar), and the action continues today with a conversation with Olivia Sudjic tonight at Pages of Hackney, where we'll be discussing her novel Sympathy as well as Walkaway. Read the rest

London! I'll see you tonight on the Walkaway tour! (then Liverpool, Birmingham, and Hay...) (!)

Last night's kick-off event for the UK Walkaway tour was brilliant, thanks to the magic combination of the excellent Tim Harford, the excellent people of Oxford, and the excellent booksellers at Blackwells. Read the rest

Burbank: I'm coming to you today on the Walkaway tour! (then Oxford, London, Liverpool...) (!)

I took great advantage of my 36 hour hiatus from the Walkaway tour, but I'm back at it today, with a 2PM appearance at Burbank's Dark Delicacies, before I go straight to the airport to fly to the UK for my British tour. Read the rest

Insider whistleblower says London police hired Indian hackers to surveil journalists, politicians and activists

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating a tip-off from a current or ex-London police officer that the London Metropolitan Police's National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit asked Indian police to use their hacker contacts to break into the private communications of hundreds of British people and groups, from journalists to Greenpeace. Read the rest

Map of where London's train stations go

I lived in Britain for 20 years and am still amazed by Drunk-Scientist's map of London's commuter drainage basins. Read the rest

Man gets off London Underground train, runs to the next stop before the train gets there

London, city of slow trains and fleet foxes. [Via Pepo Jiménez] Read the rest

Britons enjoy bagel on train

In honor of America's appreciation for Britons' intellectual and cultural sophistication, I hereby present this video of some of them enjoying a bagel on a train. Posted by Dougie Stew, it has the dimensions of an epic drama, with a call to action, a threshold guardian, a journey to the cave, and a hero returning clad in the golden fleece. It has everything.

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Gallery of London's urban foxes

Shot here by Natalie Lowe sunbathing on the roof of its convertible, a fox relaxes before evening's activities come due. Below, a fox pop takes a trip on the London Underground, as observed by Stephen Ebert. Check out the full gallery at Londonist. A common sight in London, foxes moved in after World War II and have become a symbol of the city. They're mostly harmless, but the tabloids there love to run fox-ate-my-baby stories.

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It used to take 3 years for a British family to save for a home down-payment; now it takes 20 years

The Resolution Foundation's Living Standards 2017 is an eye-opening look at the current state of the British experiment in allowing wealth inequality to expand without any check, to use a combination of austerity, the elimination of protection for tenants, reckless lending, offshore money-laundering and public subsidies for speculators to turn the human necessity of shelter into the nation's leading asset-class. Read the rest

China's capital controls are working, and that's bursting the global real-estate bubble

More news on the Chinese crackdown on money-laundering and its impact on the global property bubble: the controls the Chinese government has put on "capital outflows" (taking money out of China) are actually working, and there's been a mass exodus of Chinese property buyers from the market, with many abandoning six-figure down payments because they can't smuggle enough money out of the country to make the installment payments. Read the rest

London Mayor sends VW a £2.5m bill for Dieselgate cheaters' Congestion Charges

Drivers in London have to pay a daily "congestion charge" intended to encourage the use of public transit and bicycles, but low-emission vehicles are exempt, and so for years, drivers of VW diesels got free rides thanks to the company's fraudulent claims about their cars' pollution. Read the rest

Ecuadoran Embassy confirms it changed its wifi password to lock out Assange

The Ecuadoran Embassy in London has confirmed Wikileaks' accusation that it terminated Julian Assange's access to its wifi network because it disapproved of Assange and Wikileaks' "intervention in the affairs of other states" by publishing material pertaining to the impending US election. Read the rest

Apple to occupy Battersea Power Station, legendary London brownfield site

The question of what to do with Battersea Power Station, a disused yet oddly beautiful pile of bricks in London, long occupied the city's planners. The latest developers have scored a coup that sounds a lot like the final answer: it's going to be Apple's London headquarters.

Countless schemes came and went for the massive structure, whose four towers belched coal smoke until 1983 and graced the legendary cover of Pink Floyd's Animals. But it was only in the last few years that plans came together for a modern, mixed-use combination of homes, shops and businesses. Apple will be the single largest tenant, London's Evening Standard reports, taking the top 6 floors inside the old boiler house.

Apple’s main European HQ will remain at Cork, Ireland, where it employs 4,000 people, but the Battersea site will be one of its biggest in the world outside America. The Californian giant, the world’s most valuable company, will be the largest single tenant in the 42-acre complex of homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities....Apple is leasing 500,000 sq ft in total, making it one of the biggest single office deals signed in London outside the City and Docklands in the past 20 years.

It is expected all the firm’s “central function” staff in London in areas such as finance and human resources will move to the power station. Apple has 2,530 staff in total in the capital, including about 1,100 working in its stores. It has taken enough space for 3,000 employees, giving it room to hire more as its operation grows in London.

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Geographically representative map of the London Underground

The Transport for London tube map, building on Harry Beck's pioneering work in 1931, is rightly hailed as a masterpiece of simplification and clarity in data visualisation. Read the rest

Watch artisans make Freddie Mercury's Blue Plaque

Freddie Mercury's childhood home in London will now have a blue plaque, the UK's acknowledgement of a significant historical person or place. This endearing film chronicles how it was made. Read the rest

Fire garden honors 350th anniversary of Great Fire of London

This weekend was the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, so The Tate Modern erected a fire garden with performers and fire-spewing sculptures. Read the rest

Parking-ticket bot will now help homeless people get benefits

Stanford computer science student Joshua Browder, whose DoNotPay bot helps you fight parking tickets in London and New York (it's estimated to have overturned $4M in tickets to date) has a new bot in the offing: a chatbot that helps newly homeless people in the UK create and optimise their applications for benefits. Read the rest

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