11/10/2014
11 Oct 2014

Who's hacking now?

11 Oct 2014

Who's hacking now?

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Features
Nick CohenNick Cohen
Our suicidal newspapers are throwing press freedom away

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_9_Oct_2014_v4.mp3" title="Fraser Nelson and Lord Falconer discuss the police's use of Ripa" startat=57] Listen [/audioplayer]With the possible, although far from certain, exception of the men and women who hire me, it is fair to say that Britain’s editors have a death wish. They suppress their own freedom. They hold out their wrists and beg the state to handcuff them.

Our suicidal newspapers are throwing press freedom away
Ross Clark
My investment secret: be as boring as you can

Have a read of the following list and see if you can guess its significance: lubricants, iron ore, steel, oil, pharmaceuticals, ships, telecoms, food packaging, oil, property. With the exception of telecoms and property, and perhaps pharmaceuticals, are they just boring, old, dirty industries which are part of Britain’s industrial heritage but play a declining part in our dynamic, 21st-century service-based economy? In fact they are, in order, the principal business interests of the British residents who occupied the top ten places in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

My investment secret: be as boring as you can
Fraser Nelson
Every 73 seconds, police use snooping powers to access our personal records. Who’ll rein them in?

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_9_Oct_2014_v4.mp3" title="Fraser Nelson and Lord Falconer discuss the police's use of Ripa" startat=57] Listen [/audioplayer]At its peak, the Stasi employed one agent for every 165 East Germans. Spying was a labour-intensive business then — you needed to monitor telephone calls, steam open mail, plant a bug, follow suspects on shopping trips and then write reports for the KGB.

Every 73 seconds, police use snooping powers to access our personal records. Who’ll rein them in?
Andrew J.
The US military should be winning wars, not fighting Ebola

As a general rule, soldiers should be employed in the business of soldiering — preparing to fight or actually fighting (preferably infrequent) wars. In response to the Ebola outbreak afflicting West Africa, the Obama administration has decided to waive that rule. His decision to do so has received widespread support. Yet the effect of his decision is to divert attention from questions of considerable urgency.

The US military should be winning wars, not fighting Ebola
Justin Marozzi
I’ve spent years in war zones. And the most terrifying moment of my life just happened in Norfolk

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_9_Oct_2014_v4.mp3" title="Justin Marozzi and Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, discuss vicious dogs" startat=1287] Listen [/audioplayer]It happened so quickly, as these things always do. My wife Julia and I were pootling about on Wells beach with our fluffy mongrel Maisie when suddenly two fighting dogs, English bull terriers, came flying towards us like calf-high missiles.

I’ve spent years in war zones. And the most terrifying moment of my life just happened in Norfolk
Peter Oborne
The unbearable vanity of Kevin Pietersen

Seven years ago Kevin Pietersen produced his first attempt at autobiography, Crossing the Boundary: The Early Years in My Cricketing Life. Atrociously written, it demonstrated no awareness of the world outside himself. This time round Mr Pietersen has taken the precaution of hiring an excellent ghost writer, David Walsh of the Sunday Times. It is hard to overpraise Mr Walsh’s vivid prose. The book is a brilliant portrayal of Pietersen as a misunderstood genius continually brought down by lesser men: a Mozart beset by a sequence of Salieris.

The unbearable vanity of Kevin Pietersen
Mark Asquith
Stock pickers vs robots

Most people manage to hide from their own failure, so pity the poor fund manager, whose every wild blast is measured in unforgiving performance numbers. Between 70 and 80 per cent of fund managers have underperformed a passive index over the past five years, a ratio known as the slaughtered three quarters. Fund managers are exposed by two things — their performance is quantified on a daily basis and there is a non-human alternative to compare them against.

Stock pickers vs robots
Elliot Wilson
Why everyone will suffer if China cracks down on Hong Kong

With all the chaos and confusion engulfing Hong Kong in recent weeks, it’s worth reminding ourselves what an extraordinary city it is — and what a loss to investors the removal of one of the world’s great safe havens would be. Hong Kong has long operated in a culturally neutral zone somewhere between China and the world, a bridgehead between the West and the world’s rising superpower. By the time London handed it back to Beijing in 1997 after 150 years of British rule, a once barren rock had been transformed into a genuinely global city.

Why everyone will suffer if China cracks down on Hong Kong
Tom Leonard
A casino clash worthy of James Bond reaches its climax in the High Court

It is said that all you really need to know about casinos is that the house always wins. I wouldn’t bet on it this week. The supposed iron law of gambling is being tested in the more salubrious surroundings of the High Court, and cardsharps and casinos across the world are agog to see what happens. Phil Ivey vs Crockfords of Mayfair pits an American widely regarded as the world’s best poker player against Britain’s oldest and smartest casino.

A casino clash worthy of James Bond reaches its climax in the High Court
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