Weapons giant Lockheed Martin agrees to buy Black Hawk maker for $8bn

Lockheed to purchase Sikorsky Aircraft, US military’s largest helicopter supplier, in its biggest buy in two decades – which government will examine closely

Lockheed Martin, the largest US weapons maker, has agreed to buy United Technologies’ Sikorsky Aircraft unit, the maker of Black Hawk helicopters, for more than $8bn, a source familiar with the negotiations said on Sunday.

The two companies plan to announce the deal on Monday before both report second-quarter results on Tuesday, said the source, who was not authorised to speak publicly.

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Whatever happened to the ‘JD Salinger of gaming’?

Matt Smith invented Manic Miner for ZX Spectrum … then disappeared

Of all this year’s 80s revivals, the reappearance of the ZX Spectrum is the most eagerly awaited. At least, it is among middle-aged geeks who get a warm feeling just thinking about its tactile rubber keys and fuzzy sprites.

Launched by Sir Clive Sinclair in 1982, the home gaming console sold a million, inspired a generation to program, and hit the start key on the British games industry. This month, two Spectrum replicas are being released, in the shape of the crowdfunded Vega handheld and a full-size unit from Elite Systems.

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Why appeasing governments over encryption will never work

David Cameron and the director of the FBI have both asked for ‘backdoors’ to be included in encryption software

Ever since the internet emerged into public view in the 1980s, a key question has been whether digital technology would pose an existential challenge to corporate and governmental power. In this context, I am what you might call a recovering utopian – “utopian” in that I once did believe that the technology would put it beyond the reach of state and corporate agencies; and “recovering” in the sense that my confidence in that early assessment has taken a hammering over the years. In that period, technology has sometimes trumped politics and/or commercial power, but at other times it’s been the other way round.

The early battles were over intellectual property. Since computers are essentially copying machines, making perfect copies of digital goods became child’s play. As a celebrated trope put it: “Copying is to digital technology as breathing is to animal life.” So began the copyright wars, triggered by widespread piracy and illicit sharing of copyrighted files, which emasculated the music industry and led to the emergence of new corporate masters of the media universe – Apple, Spotify, YouTube and the rest – and the taming of the file-sharing monster. Result: Technology 1, Establishment 1.

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