I have an app for BBC news on my tablet and I was working my way through the daily dose of drama, incompetence and misery when I came upon an article about spying. Since computers have been so thoroughly taken over, both by Google and the authorities, many diplomats and senior civil servants have taken to using typewriters. Unfortunately they are no safer, it seems. Whole reports can be restored from a typewriter ribbon, and with concealed listening devices crafty spies can tell which part of a typewriter ball is striking the paper and thereby transcribe what is being written. In some cases customs inspectors have attached bugs to typewriters when they were imported.