The man with a secret is the man with power, Aristotle observes, and no life could illustrate the truth of the maxim more emphatically than that of Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby, pupil of Westminster School and Cambridge graduate, clubman, cricket enthusiast, bon viveur and tireless party-thrower, ace undercover agent and, as Ben Macintyre would have it, great betrayer. Not only did he condemn many people, perhaps hundreds, to cruel and ignominious deaths, he also clandestinely manipulated some of the leading figures in western security services for decades, charming out of them all manner of the most sensitive information and passing it on to the KGB. As more than one of his dupes ruefully observed, he fooled them all. Yet what kind of power is it that the double agent enjoys? Of the people Philby moved among – wives, lovers, children, friends, fond colleagues – not a single one was taken into his confidence. He hugged his secret to him and, one presumes, … [Read more...] about A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal – review
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SMARTPHONE season is upon us, and all the top brands are showing off their new toys – Google included. I've had a chance to play with the new Google Pixel 3 XL: the tech giant's top model for 2018, and a direct rival to the iPhone XS. But is it better? What is the Google Pixel 3XL? Google launched its Pixel series of smartphones back in 2016, promising a range of handsets that were designed, developed and marketed entirely in-house. They proved seriously successful, leading to a pair of follow-up handsets in 2017 – and then 2018, as it turns out. This year's pair are named Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and they're largely the same device. The latter is bigger, a little more impressive in terms of hardware, and pricier – and I've spent nearly a week trying it out.Google Pixel 3 XL design – beautiful, but with a dodgy notch The Google Pixel 3 XL is a genuinely stunning handset. It's got a glassy two-tone exterior that allows for wireless charging. Our model came … [Read more...] about Google Pixel 3 XL review – the best Android phone of 2018 has one BIG problem
ONEPLUS is back with its best-ever device: the OnePlus 6, a £469 underdog with specs to match its pricey foes. The emphasis is squarely on performance this time round, with design flourishes pinched from Samsung and Apple. The end result is a zippy device that’s ideal for everyday app use and hardcore gaming, but a mixed bag elsewhere. It looks like an iPhone X, thanks to the notch at the top, which is quickly becoming all the rage on Android phones. The premium feel extends to its all-glass design – a first for the Chinese startup – with Galaxy S9-style curved edges to top it off. And if you decide to toggle off the notch, it ends up looking even more like Samsung's flagship device.OnePlus 6 specsThe tech specs in detail... Screen: 6.28-inch fullHD AMOLED display Chip: Snapdragon 845 (64-bit, 2.8GHz) RAM: 6GB / 8GB Storage: 64GB / 256GB Battery: 3,300mAh Dimensions: 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75 mm Weight: 177 grams Waterproof: Yes (no IP-rating) Rear Camera: … [Read more...] about OnePlus 6 review – this £469 smartphone is a better buy than Apple’s iPhone X
Mandy is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who will take a film like this entirely seriously.Nicolas Cage) driven to maniacal violence after the loss of his beloved wife, here the titular Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). Swearing vengeance and haunted by his beloved, can he punish all of those who took her from him? Drenched in neon reds and blues, it is a complete visual treat for the eyes - luminous shots of landscape, Riseborough’s blank canvas of a face, and the maniacal blood-drenched Cage. Despite some abstract sequences that serve to only hypnotise, the film includes demonic bikers, chilling cult members, highly graphic violence, full-frontal nudity, animated cosmic scenes, unearthly landscapes, and Nicolas Cage getting drunk in his y-fronts in the ugliest bathroom you’ll ever see. Brit Linus Roache offers a cartoonish, camp, and unnerving turn as the head of the cult that rips Mandy from Red’s arms. The entire cast of actors playing the cult is … [Read more...] about Mandy review: Nicolas Cage goes berserk in “weirdest film of the year”
LOOK out, Apple – the supercharged Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone is finally here, and it's ruddy fantastic. The Sun has spent nearly two weeks with the high-end blower, and we reckon it's as good an iPhone rival as they come. Here's why. Samsung Galaxy S9 design – one of the best looking phones we've seen If you're settled on getting an Android phone, you can't do much better than Samsung's latest. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the most attractive phone the firm has ever produced, boasting a svelte 8.5mm body that feels great in the hand. It's also got a huge 5.8-inch Quad HD curved Super AMOLED display that fills most of the phone's front – and it looks great. Check out the best deals on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ here. Samsung Galaxy S9 specs and performance – a true powerhouse It's powered by Samsung's latest Exynos processor. That's good news, because the octa-core chip is probably going to remain the fastest smartphone processor in the world for the rest of … [Read more...] about Samsung Galaxy S9 review – it’s on sale today, but should you buy it?