As the ghost trains rumble on, it’s time to bring the railways back to life

Distance learning: rail travellers must acquire the habit once again: Simon Calder
Distance learning: rail travellers must acquire the habit once again: Simon Calder

My journalistic colleagues are a responsible bunch. During an online meeting this week I asked a dozen of them, “Who’s been on a train since March?”

None had. Neither has Mark Smith, the international rail guru who founded the website. He told me: “I haven’t been on one for four months, possibly the longest train-free period of my adult life.

“But feedback from those who have (travelling outside the peaks) suggest a huge amount of fresh air is being shipped around.”

The government should be delighted with how successful its persuasion has been. In possibly the most bizarre scenario of this wretched pandemic, the taxpayer is paying train operators to run a virtually full service – with almost no passengers.

The Campaign Against Rail Travel (or Cart, as I shall call it) begins even as you contemplate

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5 Tips for saving battery life in your PlayStation 4 controller

The PlayStation 4 is a brilliant system with an absolutely killer lineup of exclusive games. That means we’ve spent plenty of time with its wireless controller, the DualShock 4. Though we appreciate its large face buttons, terrific direction pad, and responsive, snappy triggers, the DualShock does not have fantastic battery life. Typically, the DualShock 4 lasts for four to eight hours of play per charge (typically on the lower end of that range), far less than the Xbox One controller or the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.

Why does the DualShock 4 battery die so quickly? Simple — it’s equipped with a 1000mAh battery, which is substantially smaller than standard AA batteries used in the Xbox One gamepad. Unless you want to commit to a wired connection, you’re going to want to take some steps to squeeze extra life out of your PlayStation 4 controller. Luckily, we have some tricks to

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Failed brands try to fashion a new life online

Laura Ashley - Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Laura Ashley – Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Other than being fashion failures, what do Laura Ashley, Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis and Warehouse have in common?

Despite collapsing and closing all their stores, the brands are surviving online after being bought by a mix of trade buyers or indeed rivals. These brave – or perhaps crazy – businesses are hoping that the brand DNA is strong enough to lure shoppers to their respective websites and convince them to spend.

Other than Laura Ashley, which is still trading from stores for now, all of the aforementioned brands have been bought by Boohoo.

The timing is seemingly in their favour, as click-and-collect in shops might become less popular with more people working from home and able to accept deliveries. Plus, with over a quarter of shoppers now planning to spend more online after the lockdown restrictions are lifted, according to Global Data, it is

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Internet use hits record high, with people now spending more than a quarter of their life online

People in the UK have been spending record amounts of time on the internet during the coronavirus lockdown, new data has revealed.

In April 2020, UK adults spent longer than four hours online each day – more than a quarter of their waking life.

It marks an increase of more than half an hour since January and means people now spend substantially more time online than watching television or listening to the radio.

The figures were revealed in Ofcom’s Online Nation report, which detailed the habits and trends of internet users between November 2019 and April 2020.

People aged 18 to 24 were the most heavy users, clocking an average of more than five hours spent online per day.

A large portion of the study focussed on internet habits in 2019, which revealed that technology giants now control an even greater share of internet traffic.

The research by the regulator

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