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This morning's big news in Palo Alto
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Scoble and Thomas Hawk and their respective posses were alarmed this morning by the arrival of a UPS truck at the Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto. Did the truck deliver the iPhones for the waiting phone phans? No one knows! Anyway it's been fun to watch the guys wait in line and do the play by play. They're practicing for something important, that's for sure. πŸ™‚

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That Was the Year That Was - 1998
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1998 After many years of troubles in Northern Ireland both sides agree to the Good Friday peace agreement. The US President Bill Clinton denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but later admits it. The Soviet Union Banking system suffers a meltdown when the Rouble lost 70% of its value against US dollar in 6 months with several of the largest Russians banks collapsing. U.N.I.C.E.F. reports there are approximately 250 million child laborers worldwide.

Politically, there was real progress in Northern Ireland when, after 30 years of violence and nearly two years of intensive peace talks, an agreement was reached. The 'Good Friday Agreement', as it was called, laid down a future of friendship and harmony and led to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Republic of Ireland's leader, Bertie Ahern, receiving acclaim from all corners.

The much talked about 'Human Rights Act' received royal assent, meaning that the UK had to fall in line with the 'European Convention on Human Rights'. Amongst other things, it gave a legal right to life, a fair trial and freedom of expression; prohibiting discrimination, torture, and the death penalty. Some saw it as necessary for a civilized society whilst others saw it as yet more interfering European bureaucracy.

Another arrival from Europe causing debate was the 43rd Eurovision Song Contest. This year's competition was held in Birmingham and hopes were high for UK entry Imaani and her song 'Where Are You?'. She pulled off an admiral 2nd place behind Israel's entrant, male-to-female transsexual Dana International. The winner attracted much post-contest hype and publicity, then everyone remembered that it was only the Eurovision song contest anyway. As for Imanni, the fact you don't even recognise the name tells you all you need to know about her subsequent music career.

Also giving hope to the UK (well, the English part of it anyway) was World Cup 98 in France. As always, fans were hoping / praying / begging that this would indeed be the year and, as near always, things went a little bit wrong. England were the victims of penalties again (this time to Argentina) and, new face on the block David Beckham was the victim of his own temper. Having been sent off for a silly kick at one of the Argies, Beckham got blamed for everything and was hated by everyone (including, probably, Victoria).

No doubt Jim, Barbara, Anthony, Dave and Denise, of the Royle family, would have been watching the World Cup from the comfort of their sofa in their council house in Manchester. Who would have thought that a TV show about other people watching TV would be such a success? Actually, they didn't just watch TV, they also smoked cigarettes, made cups of tea and broke wind! It's doubtful whether Jim Royle would have been impressed with American cult import 'South Park' but the rest of the UK certainly got into it; millions tuning in every week to see "Who killed Kenny?" (many more may have tuned into find out who had killed Beckham!)

The cinemas saw a swing back to America for the big successes of the year with no noticeable UK films coming out in 1998. The bloody 'Saving Private Ryan' was a second world war hit starring Tom Hanks; the story involving a group of soldiers with orders to safely take home a Private James Ryan to his mother, whose other 3 sons have already been killed. A lot less bloody and a lot more singing and dancing was the re-release of 'Grease'. The high school love story coming back to the big screen 20 years after its original release (this time with enhanced colour and digital sound).

Easter 1998 floods

At the start of Easter 1998 (9-10 April) a stationary band of heavy rain affected the Midlands. This resulted in floods in which five people died and thousands had to be evacuated from their homes. The wettest area, with over 75 mm, stretched from Worcestershire towards The Wash and the flooded towns included Evesham, Leamington Spa, Stratford-on-Avon, Bedford, Northampton and Huntingdon.

TV Soaps

Hayley Patterson, British soap's first transgender character, is first seen in Coronation Street. Hayley (played by Julie Hesmondhalgh) is a regular in the series for several years, and helps to change public attitudes towards transgender issues. The character is killed off in a dramatic and emotional right to die storyline in January 2014 after Hesmondhalgh decided to leave the show.

An episode of Coronation Street in which the character Deirdre Rachid is jailed for mortgage and credit card fraud is watched by 16.5 million viewers, giving the soap its highest Sunday viewing figures since the weekend episode was added in 1996. The crimes having been committed by her lover, Jon Lindsay, Deirdre's wrongful conviction sparks a public outcry. Her case is championed by national newspapers, and even Prime Minister Tony Blair offers to refer the conviction to Home Secretary Jack Straw.
17 April – Coronation Street character Deirdre Rachid is freed from prison after her lover Jon Lindsay is exposed as a bigamist. Four separate tabloid newspapers subsequently claim victory in securing her release, but the soap's producers say they always planned for the jail storyline to conclude after three weeks.

14 September – Data released by the National Grid indicates that a special edition of EastEnders aired the previous evening beat ITV's Sunday edition of Coronation Street. Power surges recorded as the programmes ended suggest three times as many viewers tuned into EastEnders than did Coronation Street.

29 September – Former Spandau Ballet guitarist turned actor Martin Kemp is to join the cast of EastEnders as a nightclub owner, it is confirmed.

The National Grid reports a surge in the use of electricity at 8.00pm, as the Coronation Street episode featuring the death of the character Des Barnes (played by Philip Middlemiss) reaches its conclusion.

22 November – The BBC confirms that Patsy Palmer, who plays Bianca Butcher in EastEnders will leave the soap in 1999 to spend more time with her family.

2 December – The Commission for Racial Equality has called on British soaps to change the way black and Asian people are portrayed after Marcus Wrigley, a new black character in Coronation Street, was seen breaking into a house in one of his first scenes.

21 December – Coronation Street unveils its first Asian family, the Desais, who will be seen on screen from the New Year. They are Ravi Desai (played by Saeed Jaffrey, his daughter Nita (Rebecca Sarker) and son Vikram (Chris Bisson), and will take over the running of the corner shop from Fred Eliot (John Savident).

The National Federation of SubPostmasters criticises the forthcoming Christmas Day episode of Emmerdale for featuring the death of a village postmaster during a robbery, expressing concerns it could prompt a spate of copycat incidents. The union calls on ITV to pull the episode, which sees the character Vic Windsor (Alun Lewis) killed after he strikes his head during a robbery at his post office. ITV says it has taken care not to breach Post Office security during the episode's filming.

30 December – Provisional viewing figures indicate that BBC One had seven of the top ten most watched programmes over the Christmas weekend. The 28 December episode of EastEnders achieved first place with 15.7m viewers, followed by an episode of Coronation Street from the previous day with 15.1m. The final episode of Men Behaving Badly was watched by 14m viewers.

31 December – An episode of EastEnders in which the character Tiffany Mitchell is killed when she is hit by a car driven by Frank Butcher is watched by 22 million viewers.

Byker Grove: When Ant and Dec were PJ and Duncan. Twenty five years before "gritty" and "groundbreaking" became standard TV adjectives, the BBC's teen soap Byker Grove was just that. Filmed on Tyneside, based around a local youth club, its cast was recruited from ordinary schools, unearthing future stars who say they would not be where they are today without it.

Although it is almost unthinkable, it was a time when Ant did not automatically come with television co-presenter Dec. Declan Donnelly played Duncan in the first series of Byker Grove but Anthony McPartlin's PJ did not appear until series two. "I don't really remember you being there," Ant has said. "You weren't really on my radar."

Dec has admitted they did not "hit it off". Their characters became friends before they did. Starting on 8 November 1989, the show's first run was only six episodes long. But the BBC's decision to bring in EastEnders director Matthew Robinson was testament to its commitment. Storylines about teenage pregnancy, drug addiction and child abuse hauled in the audience and earned it a Bafta nomination. With success came complaints from parents and, in the case of the famous gay kiss, nationwide tabloid outrage and calls for Robinson's head.

Although Noddy Fishwick's shy peck at Gary Hendrix's cheek in a dark '90s cinema was angrily unrequited, it was the first gay kiss on UK children's television. Former head of BBC children's television, Anne Home, has said it "did cause a certain amount of furore". "We had a number of complaints but often adults don't watch long enough to see that actually there is a very strong moral at the end of it."

Location manager and assistant director Si King - now one half of the Hairy Bikers - believes the show was "loud and proud" of its regional identity and its focus on serious issues "everybody in the country could relate to". It lasted for 17 years and more than 340 episodes.

Google was founded

The world’s most popular search engine was launched in 1998. It’s pretty crazy to imagine a life without Google since it’s how we access information online.

The first Apple iMac was introduced

Remember those colorful bubble desktop computers that were frustratingly slow? Apple’s iMac has certainly improved, but man, that pinwheel of death was the worst.

The Furby became every child’s worst nightmare

It served no purpose but to creep you out at unexpected moments. The Furby tripled in price for the 1998 holiday season. The worst part is that it was REVIVED in 2012, with digital eyes, no less.

The first portable MP3 player is released

The MPMan music player debuted in Asia in March 1998, and it was the first mass-produced portable solid state digital audio player.

1998 Timeline

5 January – The UK takes over the Presidency of the EC's Council of Ministers until 30 June.

6 January – The BBC and ITV agree their scheduling arrangements for the 1998 World Cup, which will see both England and Scotland's opening matches airing on BBC One, while each nation's second group match will air on ITV.

7 January – The BBC confirms that Helen Rollason will return to TV screens to present weekend sports bulletins for BBC One and BBC Two following treatment for colon cancer.

8 January – The ITV docudrama Miracle at Sea: The Rescue of Tony Bullimore reconstructs the events of yachtsman Tony Bullimore's dramatic rescue after his boat capsized during the 1996 VendΓ©e Globe yacht race.

9 January – Chat show host Michael Parkinson returns to television after several years with a new series of Parkinson. Guests on the first edition are Sir Anthony Hopkins, Barry Manilow and Paul Merton.

12 January – Location filming begins for a one-off episode of Australian soap Home and Away set in Ironbridge, Shropshire. This is the first occasion the serial has filmed an episode overseas. The storyline, aired later in the year, sees Irene Roberts (Lynne McGranger) arrive in the UK to help Selina Roberts (Tempany Deckert), who is recovering from a bout of malaria. Selina is also reunited with her on screen fiancΓ© Steven Matheson (Adam Willits).

21 January – The former Conservative MP Rupert Allason loses a libel action against BBC Worldwide and Hat Trick Productions over comments made in a 1996 book based on the satirical television programme Have I Got News for You. A paragraph in Have I Got 1997 for You, had noted "...given Mr Allason's fondness for pursuing libel actions, there are also excellent legal reasons for not referring to him as a conniving little shit".

26 January – Hayley Patterson, British soap's first transgender character, is first seen in Coronation Street. Hayley (played by Julie Hesmondhalgh) is a regular in the series for several years, and helps to change public attitudes towards transgender issues. The character is killed off in a dramatic and emotional right to die storyline in January 2014 after Hesmondhalgh decided to leave the show.

3 February – Stamps commemorating Diana, Princess of Wales go on sale across Britain.

4 February – Debut of The Pepsi Chart Show on Channel 5. Initially presented by Rhona Mitra and Eddy Temple-Morris the programme is intended as a stablemate to the Pepsi Chart that airs across commercial radio. The show becomes one of the channel's most watched programmes, but has difficulty attracting some of the bigger acts of the day.

6 March – Central Weekend is briefly taken off air when a member of the audience becomes aggressive during a discussion about women's football.

7 – 22 February – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and win one bronze medal.

9 March – The name Tyne Tees Television is returned to ITV viewers in the North East of England, having been rebranded as Channel 3 North East two years previously.

12 February – Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed, says that he is "99.9% certain" that his son's death in the car crash that also claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997 was a conspiracy to kill rather than an accident. He also claims that his son had purchased an engagement ring just before the crash and had been preparing to propose marriage to Diana. A lawyer in Mr Al Fayed's native Egypt is planning to sue The Queen and prime minister Tony Blair on the grounds that they had conspired to kill Diana because her love for a Muslim would embarrass the state.

2 March – Channel 5 begins a rerun of the 1980s Australian soap Sons and Daughters. This is the programme's first networked showing as its previous run on ITV had varied from region to region.

3 March – Millennium Dome construction begins.

29 March - BBC America launches in the United States.

31 March – Rolls-Royce Motors acquired by the German car manufacturer BMW.

April – Vauxhall launches its fourth generation Astra small family car range. The initial range consists of hatchbacks and estates, with coupe and saloons due next year and a cabriolet in two years.

1 April – The historic counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire are re-established, 24 years after they merged to form Hereford and Worcester.

10 April – The Good Friday Agreement, an agreement between the UK and Irish governments, and the main political parties in Northern Ireland is signed.

27 April – Kevin Lloyd, who has played Tosh Lines in The Bill since 1988, is dismissed from the role by ITV due to his alcoholism. He died, aged 49, within a week.

2 May – Police in Maryland, United States of America, reveal that they have arrested and bailed former footballer Justin Fashanu over an allegation of sexual assault against a 17-year-old male, and they believe he has now breached his bail conditions and fled the country.

9 May – Eurovision Song Contest held in Birmingham at the National Indoor Arena. The contest is presented by Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson and won by Israel's Dana International singing "Diva".

15 May – 24th G8 summit held in Birmingham.

20 May – Nurses Deborah Parry and Lucille McLauchlan, who had been convicted in Saudi Arabia for the murder of Yvonne Gilford the previous year, have their sentences commuted by the order of King Fahd and are returned to the UK.

23 May – A referendum on the Good Friday Agreement is held in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with 95% and 71% support respectively.

25 May – Labour MP George Galloway demands an investigation into an edition of Panorama aired on 21 May, which he describes as "racist". The edition had focussed on two British nurses accused of the murder of Yvonne Gifford, a colleague with whom they worked in Saudi Arabia, and included a reconstruction of the two women being interrogated by Saudi Police. Galloway describes the programme as "tabloid television at its worst".

28 May – Channel 4 is censured by the Broadcasting Standards Commission for an episode of the series TV Dinners in which a woman's afterbirth was served up to friends and relatives as pΓ’tΓ©. Several viewers, including MP Kevin McNamara complained about the programme, shown in February, which the Commission deemed had broken a taboo and "would have been disagreeable to many".

3 June – The Big Breakfast co-presenter Denise van Outen apologises for taking an ashtray and tissue box holder from Buckingham Palace. She took the items while attending a royal reception two days earlier, but returns them with a note of apology following criticism in the press.

5 June – The BBC signs a deal with BSkyB to make BBC channels available through Sky Digital when it is launched later in the year.

9 June – Film critic and host of The Film Programme, Barry Norman announces he will leave the BBC after 25 years to join BSkyB. He will leave Film 98 at the end of its current run and join Sky in September.

10 June – The BBC switches on its digital signal.

10 June – 12 July – The BBC and ITV show live coverage of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

11 June – Blue Peter presenters Katy Hill and Richard Bacon bury a time capsule containing various items associated with the programme in the foundations of the Millennium Dome. It will be opened in 2050.

13 June – Jason Searle wins the ninth series of Stars in Their Eyes, performing as Neil Diamond.

15 June – First general-circulation issue of a two pound coin, with a bi-metallic design (dated 1997).

The DVD format is released onto the UK market for the first time. Among the first set of titles released on the new format is Jumanji.

25 June – The final episode of BBC One's The Human Body is the first British television programme to show the final moments of a cancer patient. Herbert Mower, who died the previous year, had given permission for his death to be recorded for the series.

26 June – Launch of the music channel Kiss TV.

3 July – So Graham Norton debuts on Channel 4.

10 July – BBC Chairman Sir Christopher Bland officially opens the BBC News Centre.

12 July – Three young children are killed in a loyalist arson attack in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland.

31 July - Crime and Disorder Act receives Royal Assent. It introduces Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Sex Offender Orders, Parenting Orders, and 'racially aggravated' offences. It makes it possible for a young person between ten and fourteen to be presumed capable of committing an offence and formally abolishes capital punishment for treason and piracy, the last civilian offences for which the death penalty remained theoretically available.

The government announces a total ban on the use of landmines by the British military.

10 August – Manchester United TV begins broadcasting, making Manchester United F.C. the world's first football team to have its own television channel.

12 August – The Independent Television Commission upholds a viewer's complaint after a member of the girl band B*Witched used the phrase "feck off" during a live interview on children's channel Nickelodeon on 13 May.

15 August – A car bomb explodes in the Northern Irish market town of Omagh, killing 29 people – the worst terrorist atrocity in the history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

19 August – It is reported that talk show host Vanessa Feltz has been sacked by Anglia Television because of her "unreal" demands to have her wages doubled to Β£2.75 million.

22 August – Reading F.C. move into their new Madejski Stadium, named after chairman John Madejski, near junction 12 of the M4 motorway in the south of Reading. It seats more than 24,000 spectators.

24 August - First RFID human implantation tested in the United Kingdom by Kevin Warwick at the University of Reading.

The Netherlands is selected as the venue for the trial of the two Libyans who are charged with the Lockerbie aircraft bombing that killed 270 people in December 1988.

25 August – Channel 5 is reprimanded by the Independent Television Commission for showing a commercial during its soap, Family Affairs after both featured the same actor. The advert for McDonald's, aired on 18 May, featured actor Stephen Hoyle, who plays Liam Tripp in the series. The ITC has strict rules governing the separation of television programmes and commercials, and after two viewers complained about the incident, rules that Channel 5 had breached its regulations.

27 August – Vanessa Feltz signs an exclusive two year contract with the BBC.

28 August – The satellite TV channel Bravo launches The Doll's House, an online series enabling internet users to observe the lives of four women living in a house in London. The women were selected from 250 applicants to live rent free in the house for six months, with weekly highlights of their activities being aired on the channel's men's magazine, The Basement. The project, inspired by JenniCam, a US site established by Jennifer Ringley, follows an experiment by Bravo earlier in the year, where cameras chronicled the life of actress Sara West over three months. The Doll's House later attracts some media attention after one of the housemates slept with a male partner, unaware they were both on camera at the time.

29 August – The BBC's domestic TV channels become available on Sky Digital's satellite service. An unintended consequence of this is that people in the rest of Europe can now watch BBC One and Two, using viewing cards from the UK, as the signal is encrypted for rights reasons. This applies even within the UK: people in England can now watch BBC channels from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and vice versa.

September – Ford launches its new Focus range of family hatchbacks, saloons and estates, which will eventually replace the long-running Escort.

1 September – Channel 4 pulls a documentary from the following day's schedule after learning that it was faked. Daddy's Girl told the story of aspiring model Victoria and her father, Marcus, who spoke candidly of his feelings about his daughter's career. But father and daughter were revealed to be boyfriend and girlfriend when Victoria's real father contacted Channel 4 after seeing a trailer for the documentary.

4 September – ITV broadcasts the first edition of its new game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

5 September – ITV's football magazine programme On the Ball debuts with Gabby Yorath as presenter.

Debut of The Moment of Truth, a game show presented by Cilla Black in which families or groups of friends can win prizes if one of their number is able to complete a difficult task, such as getting 24 tiddlywinks into a pot in under two minutes or memorising then playing the US national anthem on a xylophone. The programme achieves audiences of nine million, but is criticised as cruel because children are shown the prizes even though they could lose, and are visibly distressed when their family loses. Black herself later admits she was not "emotionally prepared" for the reaction of losing contestants, and the rules are changed to allow larger consolation prizes for the second series.

8 September – The Real IRA announces a ceasefire.

9 September – Manchester United informs the London Stock Exchange that it has accepted a Β£623.4m takeover bid by Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting.

10 September – Sky Movies Screen 1, Sky Movies Screen 2 and Sky Movies Gold are Change to Sky Premier, Sky Moviemax and Sky Cinema.

In Northern Ireland, David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party meets Gerry Adams of Sinn FΓ©in β€” the first such meeting between Republicans and Loyalists since 1922.

14 September – Data released by the National Grid indicates that a special edition of EastEnders aired the previous evening beat ITV's Sunday edition of Coronation Street. Power surges recorded as the programmes ended suggest three times as many viewers tuned into EastEnders than did Coronation Street.

16 September – The Union Jack dress worn by the Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is sold at Sotheby's for Β£41,320.

17 September – ITV's This Morning conducts the first live test of the anti-impotence drug Viagra.

18 September – In an attempt to attract more viewers to its soap Family Affairs, Channel 5 announces that its entire central cast, the Hart family will be killed off in a dramatic storyline.

21 September – Footage of US President Bill Clinton's recent testimony to a Grand Jury about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky is released to US television networks, and aired by broadcasters around the world, including in the UK.

23 September – BBC Choice, the UK's first digital-only TV station, launches.[46] BBC Parliament also launches on the same day, having replaced The Parliamentary Channel.

The BBC warns Blue Peter viewers to ignore a hoax chain letter claiming to be supported by the programme.

ITV's autumn schedule will include what is reported to be the most expensive costume drama the broadcaster has ever madeβ€”the seafaring adventure Hornblower, which will cost Β£3 million an episode to produce.

28 September – Three police officers are awarded substantial libel damages against Granada Television at the High Court after the broadcast of an April 1992 edition of World in Action which accused them of fabricating evidence against a prisoner charged with the murder of his cell mate.

29 September – Former Spandau Ballet guitarist turned actor Martin Kemp is to join the cast of EastEnders as a nightclub owner, it is confirmed.

1 October – Digital satellite television launches in the UK, operated by Sky Digital. This sees the start of UK channels transmitting in 16:9 widescreen.

Sky Sports News is launched.

5 October – ITV adopts a new set of idents with lower case lettering, and themed around a heart design.

Sarah, Duchess of York makes her debut as a television talk show host on Sky One with the first in a ten-part series titled Sarah... Surviving Life. Each week she will interview guests who have been through traumatic experiences, discussing with them how they overcame their difficulties. Guests in the first episode include a woman who was raped by serial killer Fred West, a man who killed someone, and a car crash survivor. The programme is panned by critics, and axed in February 1999 because of poor viewing figures.

6 October – The BBC announce plans to revamp its news bulletins following an 18 month review of news programming, the largest ever undertaken in the UK. Changes will include a new look Six O'Clock News concentrating on national and regional stories, and an increase in world news stories for the 'Nine O'Clock News.

7 October – On the day's edition of The Big Breakfast, Denise van Outen announces her intention to leave the programme at the end of the year.

10 October – BBC Two airs Blue Peter Night, a selection of programmes celebrating 40 years of the children's television series Blue Peter.

13 October – Debut of Delia's How to Cook, a basic cookery programme presented by Delia Smith. The series is criticised by chef and restauranteur Gary Rhodes for its back-to-basics approach, while the Devon Fire Brigade criticise a piece of advice she gives in an edition to people who wish to season a new frying pan–to heat oil in it and leave it to simmer on low heat for eight hours.

15 October – The BBC loses the broadcasting rights to test match cricket after the England and Wales Cricket Board accepts a rival Β£103 million four-year bid from Channel 4 and BSkyB. The decision brings to an end sixty years of continuous cricket coverage by the BBC.

16 October – Police place General Augusto Pinochet, the 83-year-old former dictator of Chile, into house arrest during his medical treatment in Britain at the request of Spain.

A man who got drunk and ran amok on the set of Central Television's Central Weekend during a debate on women's football in March, forcing the show to be taken off the air, is jailed for 12 months over the incident.

19 October – Richard Bacon becomes the first ever Blue Peter presenter to have his contract terminated in mid-run after the tabloid newspaper News of the World publishes a report of him taking cocaine. After his dismissal the Head of BBC children's programmes, Lorraine Heggessey, goes on air to explain the situation to CBBC viewers.

27 October – As part of its Q.E.D. strand, BBC One airs Hope for Helen, a documentary following television presenter Helen Rollason's fight against terminal cancer. She had been diagnosed with the condition the previous year and given three months to live.

November – Peugeot launches the 206 supermini, which is being built at the Ryton plant near Coventry.

9 November – Human Rights Act receives Royal Assent.

15 November – Digital terrestrial television launches in the UK, operated by ONdigital which became ITV Digital almost 3 years later.

18 November – The British Egg Information Service reports that egg sales have increased by 10% since the debut of Delia Smith's BBC Two series Delia's How to Cook, a series that teaches viewers basic cookery skills.

The National Grid reports a surge in the use of electricity at 8.00pm, as the Coronation Street episode featuring the death of the character Des Barnes (played by Philip Middlemiss) reaches its conclusion.

19 November – ITV is given permission to move its 10.00 pm news bulletin by the Independent Television Commission, a decision that will allow the channel to axe News at Ten in early 1999. ITV wanted to move the programme because of declining ratings, and to make way for films and television dramas to air uninterrupted in its evening schedule, but the plans had been criticised by senior journalists and politicians, who fear it will lead to a reduction in the quality of evening television. Once the changes are implemented, ITV's main evening bulletin will air at 6.30 pm, with a shorter news programme at 11.00 pm.

Members of the National Assembly Against Racism, one of Britain's leading anti-racism groups, stage a protest outside the headquarters of Channel 4 as the channel airs a Dispatches documentary that claims to have established that most juvenile gang rapes are carried out by black youths.

20 November – The Independent Television Commission orders ITV to take its advertising campaign for digital television off air because it is "derogatory" towards satellite television. The campaign had featured a crossed out satellite dish, and had attracted complaints from other major broadcasters in the week it was shown. The regulator also decides that future digital television advertising campaigns by ITV must be submitted to the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre before going on air.

At London's Wandsworth County Court the makers of Channel 4's Fifteen to One are awarded a county court judgment against Trevor Montague, a former series champion who broke the show's rule that losing contestants cannot appear on the programme again. Having lost in 1989, Montague re-applied under a different name in 1992 and went on to become series champion, but was subsequently identified by a contestant who watched a repeat of the show on Challenge TV. Montague must pay Β£3,562 in compensation, and return his prizes – two goblets and a set of decanters – to Regent Productions.

22 November – The BBC confirms that Patsy Palmer, who plays Bianca Butcher in EastEnders will leave the soap in 1999 to spend more time with her family.

24 November – The Queen's Speech is interrupted by MPs and peers, when the Queen began to outlay the government's plan to abolish the rights of 700 hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords.

26 November – Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Oireachtas (Irish parliament).

27 November – ITV has scrapped plans for a documentary investigating claims of anti-English racism in Scotland because there was not enough evidence to support it, the Daily Record reports.

December – The Ford Focus is voted European Car of the Year.

2 December – ITV airs the first celebrity special of Stars in Their Eyes, an edition that includes Carol Vorderman performing as Cher, and five female cast members of Coronation Street as The Spice Girls. The edition is won by Steven Houghton as Tony Hadley.

3 December – Channel 4 announces it has secured a Β£400,000 deal to air the only international interview with Monica Lewinsky, the woman at the centre of the sex scandal involving US President Bill Clinton.

7 December – Long-running current affairs series World in Action ends after 35 years.

Launch of the UK's second digital-only TV station ITV2.

9 December – Channel 4 News unveils a new look for its hour long bulletin and a new set, which will be seen on air from January 1999 and marks the biggest change for the programme since its launch in 1982. Jon Snow will continue to present the bulletin.

10 December - John Pople wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his development of computational methods in quantum chemistry".

John Hume and David Trimble win the Nobel Peace Prize.

11 December – BBC governors reject a request to give Scotland its own Six O'Clock News bulletin. Instead an extra Β£20m will be spent on new jobs and programming in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

12 December – The Commission for Racial Equality has called on British soaps to change the way black and Asian people are portrayed after Marcus Wrigley, a new black character in Coronation Street, was seen breaking into a house in one of his first scenes.

Viewers of The Living Channel accidentally see five minutes of an adult film being aired by Television X following a switching error by the company relaying both channels. The interruption, which occurs during an edition of The Jerry Springer Show generates seven complaints to the Independent Television Commission. The company responsible for the glitch later apologises, and makes technical changes to ensure it won't happen again.

14 December – After a world-record-breaking 75 consecutive victories, Ian Lygo makes his final appearance on the Channel 5 game show 100%, after being forced to retire by the show's producers.

After 25 years presenting Sooty Matthew Corbett announces his retirement and hand picks Richard Cadell and Liana Bridges as his successors in the very last edition of Sooty & Co.

15 December – Holiday presenter Jill Dando rules herself out of becoming the face of a planned relaunched BBC Six O'Clock News following much media speculation on the topic. Dando says she plans to leave BBC News to concentrate on her presenting roles.

16 December – Regular programming is interrupted when the United States and United Kingdom launch air strikes against Iraq after that country failed to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.

17 December – Jane Root is appointed Controller of BBC Two, becoming the first female head of a BBC channel. She will replace the outgoing incumbent, Mark Thompson in January 1999.

18 December – BBC political correspondent Huw Edwards is confirmed as the new face of the Six O'Clock News, taking over when the programme is revamped next year.

Carlton Television is fined Β£2 million by the Independent Television Commission for a 1996 documentary titled The Connection in which actors pretended to be drug traffickers.

19 December – Denise van Outen presents the final of the first Record of the Year for ITV, a show allowing viewers to vote for their favourite single of 1998 through a phone-in poll. More than a million viewers call to register their vote, making the poll the UK's largest ever television phone poll. Of the ten songs shortlisted for the show, Irish boy band Boyzone's single "No Matter What" emerges as the winner.

21 December – Coronation Street unveils its first Asian family, the Desais, who will be seen on screen from the New Year. They are Ravi Desai (played by Saeed Jaffrey, his daughter Nita (Rebecca Sarker) and son Vikram (Chris Bisson), and will take over the running of the corner shop from Fred Eliot (John Savident).

The National Federation of SubPostmasters criticises the forthcoming Christmas Day episode of Emmerdale for featuring the death of a village postmaster during a robbery, expressing concerns it could prompt a spate of copycat incidents. The union calls on ITV to pull the episode, which sees the character Vic Windsor (Alun Lewis) killed after he strikes his head during a robbery at his post office. ITV says it has taken care not to breach Post Office security during the episode's filming.

24 December – A Β£30 million advertising campaign for the Millennium Dome kicks off with a 60 second commercial voiced by actor Jeremy Irons that invites viewers to imagine the achievements of the past 1,000 years had happened in one day. Major events such as the Consecration of Westminster Abbey, the plays of William Shakespeare and the Fall of the Berlin Wall are highlighted against the backdrop of the Easter Island Statues from sunrise to sunset.[95]
25 December – Channel 4 airs The Omen, a film depicting the Antichrist, at 10.30pm.[96][97] This leads to six viewer complaints that its scheduling on Christmas Day was in poor taste, and the Broadcasting Standards Commission later agrees with this sentiment.[98] However, the ruling in May 1999 draws criticism from Channel 4 Chief Executive Michael Jackson, who describes it as "typical of how the commission fails to get things in proportion" and says he would schedule the film similarly again.

26 December – Great Boxing Day Storm: Severe gale force winds hit Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England. Roads, railways and electricity are disrupted.

29 December – Killing of British tourists in Yemen: Three British tourists are amongst those shot during a gun battle to free them from kidnappers in Yemen.

Mathematicians Richard Borcherds and William Timothy Gowers win Fields Medal.

The DVD format, first sold in the UK in June this year, sells just over 6,000 discs by the end of the year.

30 December – Provisional viewing figures indicate that BBC One had seven of the top ten most watched programmes over the Christmas weekend. The 28 December episode of EastEnders achieved first place with 15.7m viewers, followed by an episode of Coronation Street from the previous day with 15.1m. The final episode of Men Behaving Badly was watched by 14m viewers.

31 December – An episode of EastEnders in which the character Tiffany Mitchell is killed when she is hit by a car driven by Frank Butcher is watched by 22 million viewers.

Television

BBC1

20 July – Heartburn Hotel (1998–2000)
14 September - The Royle Family (1998–2000, 2006–2012)
Bob the Builder (1998–present)
12 November – Dinnerladies (1998–2000)

BBC2

15 January – Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
15 February – This Morning with Richard Not Judy (1998–1999)
13 October – Delia's How to Cook (1998–2002)

ITV (Including ITV and ITV2)

24 January – Ice Warriors (1998)
6 March – Airline (1998–2006)
April – Diggit (1998–2003)
16 May – Don't Try This at Home (1998–2001)
23 June – Cadfael The Holy Thief (1998 Season 4 Episode 1)
29 August – SMTV Live (1998–2003)
CD:UK (1998–2006)
4 September – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (1998–2014)
15 November – Cold Feet (1998–2003)
23 December – Cadfael The Potter's Field (1998)
28 December - Cadfael The Pilgrim of Hate (1998, Season 4 Episode 3, last)
Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1998–1999)

Channel 4

12 April – Scrapheap Challenge (1998–2010)
3 July – So Graham Norton (1998–2002)
30 September – The 11 O'Clock Show (1998–2000)
25 October – T4 (1998–2012)
30 October – Streetmate (1998–2007)

Channel 5

2 January – PB Bear and Friends (1998)
4 February – The Pepsi Chart Show (1998–2002)
28 April – Open House with Gloria Hunniford (1998–2003)

Nickelodeon UK

23 February – Renford Rejects (1998–2001)

Cartoon Network

18 November – The Powerpuff Girls (1998–2005)

Charts Number-one singles

"Perfect Day" - Various Artists
"Never Ever" - All Saints
"All Around the World" - Oasis
"You Make Me Wanna" - Usher
"Doctor Jones" - Aqua
"My Heart Will Go On" - CΓ©line Dion
"Brimful of Asha" - Cornershop
"Frozen" - Madonna
"My Heart Will Go On" - CΓ©line Dion
"It's Like That" - Run DMC vs Jason Nevins
"All That I Need" - Boyzone
"Under The Bridge / Lady Marmalade" - All Saints
"Turn Back Time" - Aqua
"Feel It" - The Tamperer featuring Maya
"C'est la Vie" - B*Witched
"Three Lions '98" - Baddiel & Skinner and the Lightning Seeds
"Because We Want To" - Billie
"Freak Me" - Another Level
"Deeper Underground" - Jamiroquai
"Viva Forever" - Spice Girls
"No Matter What" - Boyzone
"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" - Manic Street Preachers
"Bootie Call" - All Saints
"Millennium" - Robbie Williams
"I Want You Back" - Melanie B featuring Missy Elliott
"Rollercoaster" - B*Witched
"Girlfriend" - Billie
"Gym and Tonic" - Spacedust
"Believe" - Cher
"To You I Belong" - B*Witched
"Goodbye" - Spice Girls
"Chocolate Salty Balls" - Chef

Making MacBreak weekly from the Apple iPad launch
Apple Watch News
Image by Steve Rhodes
Some photos already at

www.demotix.com/news/232948/leo-laporte-and-other-media-a...

I'll upload more later

You can watch (or listen to) the episode of MacBreak weekly they're recording at

twit.tv/mbw177

A few nice Apple Watch News images I found:

That Was the Year That Was - 1976
Apple Watch News
Image by brizzle born and bred
It saw the birth of punk and the death of Chairman Mao, it was a time when Britain was at its financial peak, even though the country was bailed out by the International Monetary Fund.

1976 Inflation continues to be a problem around the world. Concorde enters service and cuts transatlantic flying time to 3 1/2 hours. One year after Microsoft is formed Apple is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Nadia Comaneci scores the first ever perfect score in Gymnastics. In South Africa Riots in Soweto on June 16th mark the beginning of the end of apartheid. In music the first of the Punk Bands appear The Damned release New Rose classified as Punk Rock Music.

It was the year in which Harold Wilson resigned and Jimmy Carter became US President, a space probe landed on Mars. These were simpler times - fear of crime was low, people were less suspicious of others, and "traffic flowed freely and, by and large, British Rail was just wonderful".

There were fewer lager louts and it was safe to go out clubbing on a Saturday night. There was less pressure for children and teenagers to live up to their peers -'keeping up with the Jones'. Children played in the parks and streets instead of becoming couch potatoes or computer geeks.

The economy was in desperate straits. The reservoirs were empty. The government was in danger of falling apart.

Youth unemployment was rising. And British sports people were preparing for an Olympic Games. There was a national water shortage, inflation reached 27 per cent, there were widespread strikes and the West Indies cricket team left us grovelling for mercy. Amid many strikes in public sectors, there was also raging inflation. Britain was forced into the humiliating position of asking international bankers to lend it billions of pounds, revealing the full scale of the economic failure the country was facing.

It was a turbulent time for Britain, we agreed to keep trawlers out of Icelandic waters after a third β€œCod War”. In the heat of the summer, riots broke out at the Notting Hill carnival. 100 police officers were taken to hospital after they tried to break up rioters armed only with dustbin lids and milk crates. It was a good year for technology, for 1976 saw the first commercial Concorde flight, the unveiling of the first space shuttle, Enterprise, and the start-up of a new business, the Apple Computer Company, by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. And Matsushita introduced the VHS home video cassette recorder to compete with Sony's Betamax system.

Cost of Living

Strikes in public services were just something people had to deal with. The standard rate of tax stood at 35 pence in the pound. Inflation raged at around 17%. The industrial unrest and economic crisis led within a few years to the winter of discontent and then the Thatcher revolution. In terms of individual wealth, we were certainly poorer. The average wage was around Β£72 a week. Only half of us had phones - landlines, that is. No-one had a computer. Far fewer of us owned our own homes and it was much more difficult to get a mortgage. There was less crime and lower energy consumption because there were fewer cars and centrally-heated houses.

In terms of quality of life, only half the country had a telephone, no one had a computer and just over half of homes were owner-occupied compared with seven in 10 today. Our quality of life was improved by an affordable cost of living – petrol was 77p a gallon, a pint 32p and a loaf 19p – low crime levels and fewer cars on the road.

There was also a large investment in the public sector and a narrowing in the wage gap between the sexes. For the really wealthy there was a chance to travel on Concorde, which started flying from Heathrow to Bahrain that January. And for the rest of us we could book a seat on the first InterCity 125 trains or save up for one of the new Ford Fiestas or Mark IV Cortinas, costing Β£1,950. It was also the year of the Ford Fiesta, Rover SD1, Ford IV Cortina and the Hyundai Pony.

There was less traffic on British roads in 1976, but far more people were killed on them – more than 6,000 deaths compared to fewer than 2,500 annually now. Cars now have better brakes, airbags, side-impact bars and drivers are less likely to be drunk and it is now illegal not to wear seatbelts, even in the back. It was actually far more risky to be a child cycling round 1970s Britain than it is today and greatly more dangerous to be a child passenger in a car.

In 1976 we earned less money and we paid more tax (the basic rate then was 35 per cent rising to a pip-squeaking 83 per cent on earnings over Β£20,000 (about Β£110,000 today) and things largely cost far more than they do now. Travel abroad was still something of a luxury (currency restrictions were still in place meaning it was hard even if you had the cash) and largely restricted to the middle classes and above, although the era of the cheap package to Spain and elsewhere was beginning. Things that we think of as essentials – televisions, stereos, kitchen white goods and so forth were hugely expensive. In the mid-1970s a colour television cost two months’ salary; today, like all electronic goods prices have dropped in real terms by 80 per cent or more.

Far fewer of us owned our own homes and it was much more difficult to get a mortgage. Interest rates hit a whopping 15 per cent in October. Yet despite all this the new study, the first-ever global snapshot of quality of life over time, reckons 1976 was a golden year for Britain.

Clothes, travel and eating out were all significantly dearer back then, but university education (free, and you got a maintenance grant as well), public transport and some basic foodstuffs were cheaper. Petrol was cheaper too, although not by as much as we usually think. Adjusting for inflation, a litre of four-star in 1976 cost about 89p (Β£4 a gallon) but adjusting, again, for earning power (how much people actually had to spend on things like petrol) the real cost of motoring has fallen quite dramatically in the last four decades. As to the price of cars themselves, in 1976 a new, mid-range Ford Cortina cost around Β£18,000 in today’s money compared to about Β£16,500 for a Ford Focus in 2012).

The major dent in our finances today is not the cost of petrol but the ludicrous price of housing, especially in South-East England. In 1976 even the wealthiest parts of London contained a number of lower-income householders; there were bits of Chelsea and Kensington that were actually quite shabby. Now, the most desirable parts of the Capital (some wards now have average house prices over the Β£2m mark) have become effectively sterilised by money, with housing so expensive that only offshore trusts, crooks and oligarchs can afford to buy it. But this is a local phenomenon; across much of England, Wales and Scotland housing is still relatively affordable.

In most measurable ways things were no better in 1976, and in many ways worse, than they are now. We were poorer, paid more tax and most things cost more. We died sooner, smoked more and suffered more illness. We were less likely to be burgled, take drugs or have our car broken into but no less likely to be murdered, raped or robbed. And we mustn’t forget that in 1976 large sections of the population really were dramatically worse off than they are now. This was an era of casual racism and sexism, where women, gays, blacks and Asians could be openly discriminated against, where snobbery was still rife and where police corruption was so serious and widespread that 400 Metropolitan Police officers had to be quietly sacked.

But what we are REALLY nostalgic for, of course, is not the weather, the clothes or the alleged freedom but our youth. And that we can never get back.

Sport

And in sport, it was hardly a year of triumph to be cherished as a golden era. On the cricket field England were walloped by Australia and the West Indies. Our much vaunted athletics team at the Montreal Olympics came back with just one bronze medal between them.

Only dashing racing driver James Hunt saved the day somewhat by winning the Formula One championship. Lawrie McMenemy’s second division underdogs Southampton beat Manchester United 1-0 to win the FA Cup. This was one of the biggest upsets in cup history.

Highlights included one of the hottest summers on record, the Montreal summer Olympics, and John Curry winning a gold medal for ice-skating in the winter Games. Southampton won the FA Cup. Other sporting triumphs in 76 came from British figure skater John Curry, who won Olympic gold in Innsbruck, and on the cricket field England we were walloped 3-0 by the West Indies and our much-vaunted athletics team at the Montreal Olympics came back with a single bronze, won in the 10,000 metres by Brendan Foster.

Music

It was also the year that, for many, the music died, with Abba and Elton John being elbowed aside by the rude young men of pop, including the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Fears of a younger generation with a safety pin through its nose stalked society; what punk might do to the country was a serious concern for many - not least the punks themselves. Punk rock group The Ramones released their first album, U2 got together and the Brotherhood of Man won the Eurovision Song Contest with Save Your Kisses for Me.

Top selling singles of the year were ABBA with Dancing Queen, Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody - whose video more or less changed the face of pop music - and Chicago with If You Leave Me Now. Many outdoor festivals and shows were held in the U.S. as it celebrated its bicentennial - Elton John, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top all drew huge crowds. Music fans bought Dancing Queen by Abba or Forever and Ever by Demis Roussos.

Meanwhile the Stones were in full flow, with a 33-year-old Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, both now 69, playing in front of a reported 200,000 at Knebworth Fair. The band are still on the road, packing out Hyde Park and Glastonbury 37 years on. In the charts Brotherhood of Man’s Eurovision winner Save All Your Kisses For Me and The Wurzels’ Combine Harvester were firm favourites.

Classic albums Hotel California by the Eagles and Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life were released in 76 but there were signs of a shift in musical tastes.

A shocked nation saw the Sex Pistols’ foul-mouthed TV interview with Bill Grundy and The Damned released New Rose, widely regarded as the first punk single. Some saw punk as the death of pop but to others it was bringing music back to life while raising two fingers to the establishment.

Sex Pistols swear on live TV 1976

Punk rock band the Sex Pistols achieve public notoriety as they unleash several swearwords live on Bill Grundy's TV show, following the release of their debut single Anarchy in the U.K. on 26 November.

Punk group The Sex Pistols cause a storm of controversy and outrage in the UK by swearing well before the watershed on the regional Thames Television news programme Today, hosted by Bill Grundy. Grundy, who has goaded them into doing so, is temporarily sacked. Today is replaced by Thames at Six a year later.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0IAYFh0CaI

Film & Television

Filming began on George Lucas' first Star Wars film. Among the films released that year were Sylvester Stallone's Rocky, the original Freaky Friday, starring Jodie Foster, and John Wayne's final film, The Shootist.

On television, we were watching The Muppets, Starsky And Hutch and The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, The Muppet Show, Starsky and Hutch. At the cinema, Sylvester Stallone captured everyone’s heart as gutsy boxer Rocky and the film clinched the best picture Oscar. But perhaps the most chilling performance of the year came Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. On TV wheeler dealer Mike Baldwin, played by Johnny Briggs, started his 30-year stint on Coronation Street.

THE SIZZLER OF '76 - one of the hottest summers on record

Many people fondly remember the year when the mercury topped 28C (82F) for a record-breaking 22 days… and for once the nostalgia is not misplaced.

It was the driest summer since 1772 so hours of sunny outdoor fun made 1976 a favourite. It's the weather that stands out in most people's memories. Day after day of temperatures in the 90s, as people rolled up their flared trousers to sunbathe in the park. That had its downside, of course, with a drought leading to scorched earth and hundreds of thousands of people dependent on standpipes for their water supply. There was even a Minister of Drought, Denis Howell, who within days of his appointment became Minister of Floods, as the heavens opened.

Henry Kelly, who was on the radio even then, recalls the heatwave: "As a radio reporter I covered the old chestnut of a man frying eggs on the pavement near Oxford Circus."

With the sunny weather here at last, We turn back the clock to the now legendary summer of 1976 - a year when the heat was really on Rationed: With water supplies running dry, many families had to rely on standpipes Heatwave: During the long, dry summer of 1976, even the mighty Chew Valley Reservoir virtually dried up AFTER basking in the sun for the last couple of weeks, let's hope we can look forward, with the help of a little global warming, to some long, hot summer days.

We're certainly due them after a dismal winter and cold spring. But how many readers, I wonder, recall the record-breaking long, hot summer of 1976, now an unbelievable 30 years ago? If you do, you'll have memories of what a summer should really be like, with day after day of unbroken sunshine and temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Weathermen said that it was the hottest year overall since 1826, though it was just a little cooler in the West. But Bristol certainly had the hottest June on record. Readers of the Post were asked to 'cool it' as ice cream was rationed, kids stripped off and jumped into the pool in front of the Council House and tempers became frayed. The outdoor swimming pools, like Portishead and the old Clifton Lido, came into their own and shops reported shortages of suntan oil and sunglasses.

Wildlife had a field day, with a plague of ladybirds descending on the seafronts at Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare. The local authorities started spreading sand on the roads to stop the tar from melting (which didn't work) and the water authorities became so stretched that they considered bringing in extra supplies to Avonmouth from Norway. Pupils at Winterbourne school were forced to attend lessons as the temperature topped 37.8 degrees in the classroom. But in more sensible Somerset, some children started school at 8am and finished at 1pm - missing at least some of the heat of the day. Despite constant warnings, youngsters just couldn't be stopped from diving into the area's many rivers and watercourses to cool off. More dangerously, many Bristol people started jumping into the icy, deep waters of the docks.

By the end of June it was official - Bristol was England's hottest spot, with a temperature of 91F (33C). By this time many people had had enough of the heat - but amazingly it just went on and on, right throughout July and August. With temperatures at night remaining very high (63 degrees) people found that they couldn't sleep. In fact, you could still feel the heat wafting off the pavements at midnight. The weathermen tell us that it did rain, but amounts were very small, and soon drought conditions set in.

Then, after over a month without rain, the brewery draymen went on strike - so we soon had beer rationing as well as water rationing to add to our misery. A hosepipe ban was implemented and the washing of cars was outlawed. There was much goverment advice on water-use, including the suggestion that only five inches of water was to be used in a bath, and that baths, it was daringly suggested, should be shared). A minister for drought, Denis Howell, was appointed. Just to prove he meant business a hastily conceived Drought Bill, implemented on July 14, allowed for fines of up to Β£400 for water misuse.

On June 28, the record for the hottest June day was broken when 32.8C (91F) was recorded. August was a record month with an amazing 264 hours of sunshine - more than eight hours a day. But not everyone lapped up the sun. There were casualties. In July, a local woman died from hyperpyrexia - caused by not drinking enough water or having enough salt in hot weather. It was something usually restricted to countries with very hot climates. Wildlife suffered, too. Thousands of salmon and trout died in the region's rivers as the water became starved of oxygen. Many trees, especially those which had just started to recover from Dutch elm disease - started to wilt and die. Dust clouds covered the land as firemen strugled to cope with up to 20 grass-fires a day. In the Cotswolds, so-called dust-devils were reported.

These were small whirlwinds which only occur on fine, hot days. Brooks and springs which had never been known to dry up, even in the hottest weather, did just that and bowling greens and golf courses closed their doors to members as their 'greens' turned to 'browns'. Water was being lost by evaporation from the Mendip reservoirs at an alarming rate - nearly six million litres a day throughout August. The level in the vast Chew Valley reservoir fell so low that visitors could actually walk on the exposed baked earth and make out the old road bridges and skeletal remains of long-since drowned farms.

As temperatures stayed in the 90s, many country areas came to rely on standpipes and buckets of water. Some, with very limited supply, or even none at all, had water delivered by tanker. Finally, on August 28, the worst drought since 1921 came to an end with violent storms and flooding. Strangely, many people stood at their back doors and welcomed the rain back with open arms.

1976 The Murders of the Yorkshire Ripper

20 January – 42-year-old married woman Emily Jackson is stabbed to death in Leeds; it is revealed that she was a part-time prostitute. Police believe she may have been killed by the same man who murdered Wilma McCann in the city three months ago.

Sutcliffe's assaults on Rogulsky, Smelt and Tracey Browne were puzzling random attacks on women but not regarded in the same mould as the murder of Wilma McCann in Leeds or indeed of Joan Harrison in Preston. Wilma's killing was the first linked Ripper murder and was probably motivated by Tracey's desire to rob her, a prostitute nearly at home after a night on the town, with extreme violence, rather than a planned commencement of a series of ritual murders. Harrison was also robbed.

'The well-described stocky bearded Irishman seen with Emily Jackson was never traced. Mrs Jackson was never seen alive again and her van lay parked in the Gaiety car park to which she never returned. This man was always believed to be her killer by the police and his description is quite different to Peter Sutcliffe. This man or a similarly described man was observed at the scene of two subsequent Ripper murders. These fact along with many others shows that Peter Sutcliffe didn't commit the murder of Emily Jackson.'

9 May – 20-year-old Leeds prostitute Marcella Claxton is badly injured in a hammer attack.

Marcella Claxton, aged 20, and a prostitute, was attacked in Leeds in the early hours of Sunday, May 9 1976. The police did not link the attack to the Yorkshire Ripper series, though they did re-examine the file after the next murder in February 1977.

1976 Timeline

January – Korean cars are officially imported to the United Kingdom for the first time, as Hyundai launches its Pony family saloon on the British market.

2 January – Hurricane-force winds of up to 105 mph kill 22 people across Britain and cause millions of pounds worth of damage to buildings and vehicles.

5 January – Ten Protestant men are killed in the Kingsmill massacre at South Armagh, Northern Ireland, by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, using the cover name "South Armagh Republican Action Force".

7 January – Cod War: British and Icelandic ships clash at sea.

18 January – The Scottish Labour Party is formed.

20 January – 42-year-old married woman Emily Jackson is stabbed to death in Leeds; it is revealed that she was a part-time prostitute. Police believe she may have been killed by the same man who murdered Wilma McCann in the city three months ago.

21 January – The first commercial Concorde flight takes off.

29 January – Twelve Provisional Irish Republican Army bombs explode in London's West End.

2 February – The Queen opens the new National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, situated near the city's airport.

4–15 February – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and win one gold medal.

11 February – John Curry becomes Britain's first gold medalist in skating at the Winter Olympics.

19 February – Iceland breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain over the Cod War.

March – Production of the Hillman Imp ends after 13 years. It is due to be replaced next year by a three-door hatchback based on a shortened Avenger floorpan.

1 March – Merlyn Rees ends Special Category Status for those sentenced for crimes relating to the civil violence in Northern Ireland.

4 March - The Maguire Seven are found guilty of the offence of possessing explosives and subsequently jailed for 14 years.

6 March - EMI Records reissues all 22 previously released British Beatles singles, plus a new single of the classic "Yesterday". All 23 singles hit the UK charts at the same time.

7 March - A wax likeness of Elton John is put on display in London's Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.

The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention is formally dissolved in Northern Ireland resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London via the British parliament.

9 March - The Who's Keith Moon collapses on stage ten minutes into a performance at the Boston Garden.

16 March – Harold Wilson announces his resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to take effect on 5 April.

19 March – Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon announce that they are to separate after 16 years of marriage.

26 March – Anita Roddick opens the first branch of The Body Shop in Brighton.

3 April – The United Kingdom wins the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time with the song "Save Your Kisses for Me", sung by Brotherhood of Man. It remains one of the biggest-selling Eurovision songs ever.

5 April – James Callaghan becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom upon the retirement of Harold Wilson, defeating Roy Jenkins and Michael Foot in the leadership contest. Callaghan, 64, was previously Foreign Secretary and had served as a chancellor and later Home Secretary under Wilson in government from 1964 until 1970.

7 April – Cabinet minister John Stonehouse resigns from the Labour Party leaving the Government without a majority in the House of Commons.

9 April – Young Liberals president Peter Hain is cleared of stealing Β£490 from a branch of Barclays Bank.

26 April – Comedy actor and Carry On star Sid James dies on stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre having suffered a fatal heart attack.

1 May – Southampton F.C. win the first major trophy of their 91-year history when a goal from Bobby Stokes gives the Football League Second Division club a surprise 1-0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

3 May - Paul McCartney and Wings start their Wings over America Tour in Fort Worth, Texas. This is the first time McCartney has performed in the US since The Beatles' last concert in 1966 at Candlestick Park.

4 May – Liverpool F.C. clinch their ninth Football League title with a 3-1 away win over relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers, fighting off a close challenge from underdogs Queen's Park Rangers.

6 May – Local council elections produce disappointing results for the Labour Party, who won just 15 seats and lost 829 that they had held, compared to the Conservatives who won 1,044 new seats and lost a mere 22. This setback came despite the party enjoying a narrow lead in the opinion polls under new leader James Callaghan.

9 May – 20-year-old Leeds prostitute Marcella Claxton is badly injured in a hammer attack.

10 May – Jeremy Thorpe resigns as leader of the Liberal party.

19 May – Liverpool win the UEFA Cup for the second time by completing a 4-3 aggregate victory over the Belgian side Club Brugge K.V.

20 May - Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is involved in a car accident. Cocaine is found in his wrecked car. Richards is given a court date of 12 January 1977.

27 May – Harold Wilson's Resignation Honours List is published. It controversially awards honours to many wealthy businessmen, and comes to be known satirically as the "Lavender List".

June – British Leyland launches its innovative new Rover SD1, a large five-door hatchback that replaces the ageing P6 series.

1 June – UK and Iceland end the Cod War.

14 June – The trial for murder of Donald Neilson, known as the "Black Panther", begins at Oxford Crown Court.

22 June–16 July – Heat wave reaches its peak with the temperature attaining 26.7Β°C (80Β°F) every day of this period. For 15 consecutive days, 23 June–7 July inclusive, it reaches 32.2Β°C (90Β°F) somewhere in England; and five days - the first being 26 June - see the temperature exceed 35Β°C (95Β°F). This is contributing to the worst drought in the United Kingdom since the 1720s.

28 June – In the heat wave, the temperature reaches 35.6Β°C (96.1Β°F) in Southampton, the highest recorded for June in the UK.

29 June – The Seychelles become independent of the UK.

2 July - Benjamin Britten is created Baron Britten of Aldeburgh in the County of Suffolk, less than six months before his death.

3 July – Heat wave peaks with temperatures reaching 35.9Β°C (96.6Β°F) in Cheltenham.

7 July – David Steel is elected as new leader of the Liberal Party.

10 July – Three British and one American mercenaries are shot by firing squad in Angola.

14 July – Ford launches a new small three-door hatchback, the Fiesta - its first front-wheel drive transverse engined production model - which is similar in concept to the Vauxhall Chevette and German car maker Volkswagen's new Polo. It will be built in several factories across Europe, including the Dagenham plant in Essex (where 3,000 jobs will be created), and continental sales begin later this year, although it will not go on sale in Britain until January 1977.

17 July–1 August – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Olympics in Montreal, Canada, and win 3 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals.

21 July – Christopher Ewart-Biggs, the UK ambassador to Ireland, and a civil servant, Judith Cooke, are killed by a landmine at Sandyford, Co. Dublin.

22 July – Dangerous Wild Animals Act requires licences for the keeping of certain animals in captivity.

27 July – United Kingdom breaks diplomatic relations with Uganda.

29 July – A fire destroys the pier head at Southend Pier.
August - Drought at its most severe. Parts of South West England go for 45 days with no rain in July and August.

Government and Trades Union Congress agree a more severe Stage II one-year limit on pay rises.

5 August – The Great Clock of Westminster (or Big Ben) suffers internal damage and stops running for over nine months.

6 August – The last Postmaster General, John Stonehouse, is sentenced to seven years in jail for fraud.

14 August – 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women demonstrate for peace in Northern Ireland.

30 August – 100 police officers and 60 carnival-goers are injured during riots at the Notting Hill Carnival.

September – Chrysler Europe abandons the 69-year-old Hillman marque for its British-built cars and adopts the Chrysler name for the entire range.

1 September – Drought measures introduced in Yorkshire.

3 September – Riot at Hull Prison ends.

4 September – Peace March in Derry attracts 25,000 people in a call to end violence in Northern Ireland.

9 September – The Royal Shakespeare Company opens a memorable production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in the lead roles, directed by Trevor Nunn.

12 September – Portsmouth football club, who were FA Cup winners in 1939 and league champions in 1949 and 1950 but are now in the Football League Third Division, are reported to be on the brink of bankruptcy with huge debts.

20 September & 21 September - 100 Club Punk Festival, the first international punk festival is held in London. Siouxsie and the Banshees play their first concert.

23 September – A fire on the destroyer HMS Glasgow while being fitted out at Swan Hunter' yard at Wallsend on Tyne kills eight men.

29 September – The Ford Cortina Mark IV is launched.

4 October – InterCity 125 trains are introduced on British Rail between London and Bristol.

8 October - The Sex Pistols sign a contract with EMI Records.

15 October – Two members of the Ulster Defence Regiment jailed for 35 years for murder of the members of the Republic of Ireland cabaret performers Miami Showband.

22 October – The Damned release New Rose, the first ever single marketed as "punk rock".

24 October – Racing driver James Hunt becomes Formula One world champion.

25 October – Opening of the Royal National Theatre on the South Bank in London, in premises designed by Sir Denys Lasdun.

29 October – Opening of Selby Coalfield.

16 November – The seven perpetrators of an Β£8 million van robbery at the Bank of America in Mayfair are sentenced to a total of 100 years in jail.

1 December – Punk rock band the Sex Pistols achieve public notoriety as they unleash several swearwords live on Bill Grundy's TV show, following the release of their debut single Anarchy in the U.K. on 26 November.

10 December – Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan win the Nobel Peace Prize.

15 December – Denis Healey announces to Parliament that he has successfully negotiated a Β£2.3 billion loan for Britain from the International Monetary Fund on condition that Β£2.5 billion is cut from public expenditure: the NHS, education and social benefit sectors are not affected by these cuts.

Inflation stands at 16.5% - lower than last year's level, but still one of the highest since records began in 1750. However, at one stage during this year inflation exceeded 24%.

Opening of Rutland Water, the largest reservoir in England by surface area (1,212 hectares (2,995 acres)).

First purpose-built (Thai style) Buddhist temple built in Britain, the Wat Buddhapadipa in Wimbledon, London.

Television

3 April – The 21st Eurovision Song Contest is won by Brotherhood of Man, representing the United Kingdom, with their song "Save Your Kisses for Me".

5 April – Patricia Phoenix returns to the role of Elsie Tanner on Coronation Street after an absence of three years.

7 April – Margot Bryant makes her last appearance as Minnie Caldwell on Coronation Street.

1 July – US Sci-Fi series The Bionic Woman makes its debut at No.1 in the ratings – an almost unheard of event for a Sci-Fi series.

1 December – Punk group The Sex Pistols cause a storm of controversy and outrage in the UK by swearing well before the watershed on the regional Thames Television news programme Today, hosted by Bill Grundy. Grundy, who has goaded them into doing so, is temporarily sacked. Today is replaced by Thames at Six a year later.

Dennis Potter's Play for Today Brimstone and Treacle is pulled from transmission on BBC1 due to controversy over its content, including the rape of a woman by the devil. It is eventually screened on BBC2 in 1987, after having been made into a film starring Sting in 1982.

BBC1

6 January – Rentaghost (1976–1984)
8 January – When the Boat Comes In (1976–1981)
8 September – The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976–1979)
2 October – Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (1976–1982)

BBC2

17 February – One Man and His Dog (1976–present)
20 February – Open All Hours (BBC2 1976, BBC1 1981–1982, 1985, 2013)

ITV

1 July – The Bionic Woman (1976–1978, 2007)
1 September – Star Maidens (1976)
6 September – George and Mildred (1976–1979)
27 September – The Muppet Show (1976–1981)
Chorlton and the Wheelies (1976–1979)
19 October – The New Avengers (1976–1977)

Music

This year saw the emergence of disco as a force to be reckoned with, a trend which would hold for the rest of the decade and peak in the last two years. This was also the year which truly established ABBA as the top selling act of the decade with them achieving their second, third and fourth number ones (as well as releasing the biggest-selling album of the year).

The ABBA formula was also replicated in the biggest-selling song of the year - the Eurovision-winning "Save Your Kisses for Me" by Brotherhood of Man, who began a three-year run in the UK charts from 1976. Other acts to achieve notable firsts were Elton John, who scored his first UK number one single this year (albeit as a duet with Kiki Dee), Showaddywaddy had their first and only number one and long-standing hit-maker Johnny Mathis also scored his biggest hit this year.

The album charts saw TV advertising become a major factor in changing the landscape of big sellers with non-regular singles artists achieving high sales with compilations. Among these were Slim Whitman, Bert Weedon, Glen Campbell and The Beach Boys, who remained at number one for ten consecutive weeks.

Also emerging this year was a new trend, which became known as punk rock. This was little evident on the charts as yet, and was more a lifestyle choice, but would become much more significant the following year, as many new acts who typified the trend came onto the scene.

Overall, 1976 is not considered a vintage year by music critics, with its overwhelming dominance by pop and MOR acts. Certainly, many consider 1976 to be the nadir of British music and hold the year's charts up to be the very reason why Punk and New Wave music emerged with such force the following year.

Britain's foremost classical composers of the late 20th century, including Sir William Walton, Benjamin Britten and Sir Michael Tippett, were still active. Sir Charles Groves conducted the Last Night of the Proms, and the soloist for "Rule Britannia" was contralto Anne Collins; the programme included Walton's Portsmouth Point overture.

Number One singles

"Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen
"Mamma Mia" - ABBA
"Forever and Ever" - Slik
"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" - The Four Seasons
"I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)" - Tina Charles
"Save Your Kisses for Me" - Brotherhood of Man
"Fernando" - ABBA
"No Charge" - J.J. Barrie
"The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)" - The Wurzels
"You to Me Are Everything" - Real Thing
"The Roussos Phenomenon EP" - Demis Roussos
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" - Elton John and Kiki Dee
"Dancing Queen" - ABBA
"Mississippi" - Pussycat
"If You Leave Me Now" - Chicago
"Under the Moon of Love" - Showaddywaddy
"When a Child Is Born" - Johnny Mathis

War (2/3)
Apple Watch News
Image by ncomment
Full sized is a must of course:
www.flickr.com/photos/25036088@N06/4192738180/sizes/o/
Blogspamed:
ncomment.com/blog/2009/12/17/war-23/

Submitted to Digg by MrBabyMan:
digg.com/comics_animation/The_Great_Digg_vs_Reddit_war_Pa...
Submitted to Reddit by The_REAL_MrBabyMan:
www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/afv9x/after_too_long...
and
www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/afva0/finally_part_2_of_nc...
MBM adds it to Mixx:
www.mixx.com/videos/9852743/ncomment_war_pt_2_now_with_mo...

Commentary:
Thomas Marban blogs the Popurls cameo:
pophub.com/digg-vs-reddit-war/
SilentJay blogs about the story so far at Collective Thoughts:
collective-thoughts.com/2009/12/18/war-rages-on/
io9 discusses the concept:
io9.com/5429351/if-websites-were-nations-digg-and-reddit-...
Chas Edwards demands Reddit return the captured algorithm:
chasnote.com/2009/12/18/the-war-between-digg-and-reddit/
Barrett Garese:
www.barrettgarese.com/post/289151985/moth-the-great-digg-...
JD Rucker comments on Social News Watch:
socialnewswatch.com/social-news-war-pt-23-ncomment-does-i...
TechNews.am:
technews.am/socialmedia
BigShinyRobot:
www.bigshinyrobot.com/reviews/archives/11007
Amy Vernon and Will Paoletto discuss it on BigOak:
www.bigoakinc.com/blog/meet-amy-vernon-the-first-top-25-f...
The Catastrophist:
catastrophist.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/digg-censorship-un...

Interviewed on TDD:
thedrilldown.com/2009/12/21/the-drill-down-117-ncomments-...
Interviewed on Social Blend:
social-blend.com/2010/02/15/social-blend-101-with-ncomment/

Nice Apple Watch News photos

Some cool Apple Watch News images:

Making MacBreak weekly from the Apple iPad launch
Apple Watch News
Image by Steve Rhodes
Some photos already at

www.demotix.com/news/232948/leo-laporte-and-other-media-a...

I'll upload more later

You can watch (or listen to) the episode of MacBreak weekly they're recording at

twit.tv/mbw177

The New Website!
Apple Watch News
Image by BARF SA
The new website was launched this week! It is not just a website but full network of services. Watch some videos on YouTube, keep up with the news on Twitter, view photos on Flickr, and listen to the podcast on the website or subscribe in iTunes.

www.barfsa.com.au

A few nice Apple Watch News images I found:

MacBreak Weekly from the Apple iPad event at Yerba Buena
Apple Watch News
Image by Steve Rhodes
You can watch (or listen to) the episode of MacBreak weekly they're recording at

twit.tv/mbw177

ybca.org

Some of these photos are at

www.demotix.com/news/232948/leo-laporte-and-other-media-a...

and some from the night before (which are also in this set)

www.demotix.com/news/231785/preparations-apple-ipad-produ...

Check out these Apple Watch News images:

Microsoft's Zune owned by tiny iPod Shuffle
Apple Watch News
Image by inju
Launched today, the New York Times reviewer on the right explains how the complicated Zune works, but as soon as the CNN newscaster on the left whips out her tiny iPod Shuffle, the game was over. She looked so please with herself, that moment was priceless. Watch it for yourself and have a laugh...

Image from page 295 of "Home school of American literature:" (1897)
Apple Watch News
Image by Internet Archive Book Images
Identifier: homeschoolofamer00bird
Title: Home school of American literature:
Year: 1897 (1890s)
Authors: Birdsall, William Wilfred, 1854-1909, [from old catalog] comp. and ed Jones, Rufus Matthew, 1863- [from old catalog] joint comp. and ed
Subjects: American literature English literature
Publisher: Philadelphia, Pa., Elliott publishing co
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress

View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book

Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

Text Appearing Before Image:
oyage gone !Night and morningHannahs at the window, binding shoes. Fair young HannahBen, the sunburnt fisher, gayly woos; Hale and clever,For a willing heart and hand he sues.May-day skies are all aglow,And the waves are laughing so !For the weddingHannah leaves her window and her shoes. May is passing:Mid the apple-boughs a pigeon coos. Hannah shudders,For the mild south-wester mischief brews.Round the rocks of Marblehead,Outward.bound, a schooner sped:Silent, lonesome,Hannahs at the window, binding shoes. Tis November.Now no tears her wasted cheek bedews. From NewfoundlandNot a sail returning will she lose,Whispering hoarsely, Fisherman.Have you, have you heard of Ben ? Old with watching,Hannahs at the window, binding shoes. Twenty wintersBleach and tear the ragged shore she views. Twenty seasons;β€”Never has one brought her any news.Still her dim eyes silentlyChase the white sail oer the sea :Hopeless, faithless,Hannahs at the window, bindinir shoes. ^*^- MMMH^MMMME^^M^^^2oSMMM2^o3

Text Appearing After Image:
S%^2^S%5S2^P*JP*^PSS%(S^SP*JP*S^2^^*(S2^^^2^P^[^ 4^ ALICE AND PHOEBE GARY. THE SISTER SPIRITS OF POESY.

Note About Images
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