UK's worst cities for mobile phone signal ranking topped by Birmingham, Leeds and London

Network operators focus too much on data speed at the expense of reliability, research shows
Birmingham, Leeds and London have the worst mobile phone signal in the UK, according to a new study.
Research by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) showed O2 was the best performing network, with Vodafone ranked as the worst based on testing using both Android and iOS devices in 32 cities and towns across the UK. Telefonica-owned O2 was rated the most reliable network in 17 places, while Three was most reliable in 12 – including London – and EE came out on top in three.
Meanwhile, when it comes to criteria for selecting a network consumers are twice as likely to choose reliability over network speed, according to surveys and focus groups conducted by YouGov on behalf of GWS.
More than two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents said the most important phone function is making calls, while 53 per cent selected texting as the highest priority, followed by 43 per cent who chose internet browsing. ..

Google boss Sundar Pichai to receive $380m pay day this week

One of the largest single payouts to a public company executive in recent years
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai is about to have a very big week. On Wednesday, an award of 353,939 restricted shares he received before a promotion in 2014 will vest.
At the end of last week, the grant was worth about $380m (£272m), making it one of the largest single payouts to a public company executive in recent years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Mr Pichai, 45, who has led Alphabet’s Google ince 2015, received the shares before his promotion to senior vice president of products a year earlier, when he took over many of co-founder Larry Page’s responsibilities.
Read more Hunt threatens Facebook and Google with new age-limit laws The award swelled in value as Alphabet’s stock surged 90 per cent since the grant date, compared with a 39 per cent advance of the S&P 500. He has received two more nine-figure stock grants since then. The company has yet to disclose Pichai’s compensati..

Culture Secretary could intervene in Trinity Mirror purchase of the Express and Star

Potential impact on editorial independence and media plurality cited
The culture secretary, Matt Hancock, has said he is “minded to” intervene in Trinity Mirror's proposed purchase of the Daily Express, Daily Star and a number of other titles on two public-interest grounds.
He cited the potential impact the transfer of newspapers would have on editorial decision making and independence, as well as the need for a sufficient plurality of views in newspapers.
Trinity Mirror also plans to buy the Sunday Express, Daily Star and celebrity magazine OK!, among other titles, from Richard Desmond's Northern and Shell.
Read more Daily Mirror publisher Trinity to change name to Reach Mr Hancock said he had taken into account that the merged entity would own 9 out of 20 national UK newspaper titles.
It would become “the second largest national newspaper organisation in circulation terms, with a 28 per cent share of average monthly circulation based on circulation figures for 2017..

Zero good news on zero hours contracts?

It's true that the latest figures show that their growth has plateaued but there are still too many people on them who are being exploited and the Government's proposed response is woeful
There would appear to be modest signs of progress when it comes to the exploitative zero hours contracts that hundreds of thousands of Britons find themselves stuck on in the latest data.
Official figures show the number of firms using them did rise to 1.8m in the year to November, up from 1.7m the previous year.
Not exactly good news, but the Office for National Statistics noted that the survey methodology had changed so cautioned against drawing firm conclusions.
Read more Number of zero-hours contracts rises by 100,000 in 2017, says ONS McDonald's faces more strikes as union ballots workers One in three zero-hours workers juggle at least two jobs at same time Meanwhile the proportion of the workforce on them stayed flat at 6 per cent, and the available evidence at least seem..

Facebook: How much of a problem is personal finance guru Martin Lewis' planned libel action with results due?

The MoneySavingExpert founder is unhappy over fake ads bearing his likeness and name
A knockout judgement against Facebook coming from a libel suit planned by personal finance guru Martin Lewis, the founder of MoneySavingExpert? It would barely register as a financial hit.
In 2017 – characterised as a ‘hard year’ for the social network – it generated $12.8bn (£9.2bn) in revenues, up 49 per cent, and turned a net profit of $4.3bn on that.
Its growth might be slowing, users might be spending less time on it, but the financial train is still rolling along the tracks. The company looks set to gobble up close to a fifth of the enormous digital ad market this year.
Read more Martin Lewis to take legal action against Facebook over 'scam ads' Bitcoin fraudsters using images of celebrities to scam people Martin Lewis: Students 'can't trust Government to keep its word' The 2018 first quarter numbers that are due on Wednesday will be closed watched for any sign ..

Co-op's £140m takeover of Nisa cleared by competition watchdog

There are enough local alternative grocery stores to ensure people can still shop around to get the best value, CMA says
The UK’s competition watchdog has cleared the Co-op’s proposed £143m takeover of member-owned groceries wholesaler Nisa.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the two companies do not compete head-to-head and that the deal would not result in reduced quality of service or higher prices for customers.
The CMA said it had carefully considered the impact of the deal because Nisa supplies over 4,000 groceries stores but it took into account the fact that those outlets would still be free to set their own prices and decide which products to stock after the merger.
Read more Co-operative Group secures Nisa deal in injury time thriller After an initial investigation, the CMA decided not to refer the deal for an in-depth “Phase 2” probe.
There are enough local alternatives to both Co-op and Nisa-supplied stores to ensure that people can still shop ar..

City drinks Capita kool aid as shares soar but is this wise?

Investors and ministers are desperately hoping new CEO Jon Lewis can pull off a turnaround. The man who called Capita's problems two years ago says they're taking a lot on trust
Talk about a strange start to the week: Troubled outsourcer Capita started it as the stock market’s hot share.
A company that sparked real fears of it being the next outsorucing domino to fall after Carillon shot up like one of Elon Musk’s rockets as it unveiled details of a £700m cash call, and a £300m disposal programme, four days earlier than expected. Alongside the small matter of a half billion pound pre tax loss.
If that makes you go ‘hmm’, the explanation for it is that there are an awful lot of people who really, really, really want to believe that turnaround specialist Jon Lewis can fix the thing. There are just as many of them working in the City of London as in there are in Westminster, where the government needs another Carillion like a hole in the head.
Read more Capita shares jump a..

Pound sterling falls to five week low against US dollar as GDP and Brexit pressures increase

Sterling has fallen back from a post-Brexit high last week
The pound fell to a five-week low against the dollar on Monday morning, continuing the downward momentum seen last week off the back of worse than expected economic data.
By mid-morning, sterling was down 0.2 per cent to $1.3971, a significant dip from last week’s post-Brexit vote high of more than $1.435.
“After being dragged lower by a disappointing wage growth/inflation/retail sales data hat-trick, and subsequent dovishness from Bank of England chief Mark Carney, the currency was unable to regain any of its first half of April momentum in Monday’s early moments,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at SpreadEx.
Read more Pound continues to slide as May interest rate rise put in doubt Traders had been pricing in an almost certain May rate hike, but comments by Mr Carney last week cast doubt on the prospect of rising interest.
“I don’t want to get too focused on the precise timing, it is more about the general p..

TSB apologises after customers complain of online banking 'data breach'

Some customers say they can view other people’s accounts through app after bank completes technology upgrade
TSB has apologised to customers who could not access their accounts through the company’s app and online banking service on Sunday night and Monday morning.
A number of customers complained of a “data breach” and said that they were able to view other people’s account information through the app.
The problems came after TSB carried out planned upgrade work to its technology over the weekend. The bank had warned that some services would not be available from 4pm on Friday to 6pm on Sunday but customers found that problems persisted beyond this, leaving them locked out of their accounts.
Read more Major companies pull advertising from Facebook over data breach One customer told the BBC that he had been credited with a large sum of money that was not his once he managed to get back into the app.
“My balance, because of my overdraft, is in minus, but my balance was showing a..