Autumn statement: Osborne only has scrawny rabbits to pull out of his hat | Andrew Rawnsley

The chancellor’s failure to meet his deficit targets leaves him with no money to hand out pre-election bribes

On Wednesday, George Osborne will stand before MPs to present his “autumn financial statement” – and there are two terminological inexactitudes just in the title of the event. Only astrologers and the Treasury, who have it in common that they make dodgy predictions that only the credulous would plan their lives by, regard early December as belonging to the autumn. The Met Office along with everyone else thinks of this time of year as being winter.

Financial statement? That implies a cool and objective accounting of the national balance sheet. The chancellor will read out a lot of figures, trumpeting those on growth that make him feel good, and racing through those on the deficit that make him look bad. Some of his numbers may even bear a glancing relation to reality. But this will be, above all else, a political event. Mr Osborne would not be Mr Osborne if he were not hoping to extract every drop of partisan advantage from the occasion. Six months out from a general election that is more unpredictable than any for at least 40 years, it is the political calculus that most interests the chancellor and his party.

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Digital Storage And The Internet Of Things

The explosion of data gathering from the things around us although small for individual things, will be large in aggregate. The requirements for IoT will be a significant driver in digital storage demand and architectures in the next few years. In a sense the Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing us closer to the Storage of Everything (SoE).

Falling oil prices offer the west a great chance to refashion itself. Let’s seize it | Will Hutton

With the black stuff cheaper than it has been in years, Europe’s governments must invest in their infrastructure

For the past 18 months, the world’s biggest oil producer has been the US. Saudi Arabia, eat your heart out. Courtesy of the fracking revolution, the US will maintain this new standing for the foreseeable future, according to official projections.

The world as we’ve known it for the past 50 years is being stood on its head. Which provides cause for optimism. But an international landscape increasingly dominated by nationalist firebrands, conservative zealots and policy makers in thrall to austerity economics is always apt to waste opportunities.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3: Long Term Test Drive Report

One of my most popular posts here on Forbes was an initial quick-hit review of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3.  The first few Microsoft Surface-branded devices were all well-built products that featured quality materials and innovative designs, but consumers didn’t take to them very well.  Microsoft continues to struggle in […]