A British-born chief executive has hit the Silicon Valley jackpot for the second time in his career after selling US social media analytics firm Topsy to Apple for a reported $200m (£122m).

For sale: a double plot by Marilyn, Swifty and Burt

"BURIAL CRYPT. Join Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Burt Lancaster, Swifty Lazar, Darryl Zanuck. Two side-by-side spaces for sale at Westwood Village Memorial Park. Private Party." So went the advert that appeared recently in Variety, the best known trade paper to "the industry".

The delicate art of growth

Inside Business: Large companies need clear objectives when they go down the capital venture route or they may well get lost, writes Roger Trapp

You can lose your data and not lose your mind

Backing up your files via the Internet means that spare copies are always available.

Northern Telecom buys Bay Networks

THE CONVERGENCE of computer technology with telecommunications took another huge step forward yesterday, as Northern Telecom bought Bay Networks.

Leading in IT, Bristol-fashion

Hewlett-Packard's lab in England is a key player in the search for technology 'people like', says Roger Trapp

Profit from passion

Two studies show that people work better if they believe in what they are doing and are emotionally engaged with the company they work for. Roger Trapp reports

Brown's gamble should not go unchallenged

LAST WEEK in an interview with the Financial Times, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown repeated his mantra: "Britain for the first time has a chance of establishing a credible framework for both monetary policy and fiscal policy." The question is what this mantra means.

Banks to determine loans on firms' millennium awareness

Companies may be refused a bank loan unless they can show that their computer systems can cope with the so-called `millennium bug'. Year 2000 compliance is to become an increasingly important determinant of credit ratings. Lea Paterson reports.

Movers & shakers

ECsoft, the pan-European IT consultancy, has appointed Simon Bates as UK sales director. Previously, Bates was director of business development for ECsoft's Practice Group activities.

Smaller companies group presses for a three-tier market


Ascend descends on US rival in $3.7bn deal

The merger mania in the US network computers industry continued yesterday when Ascend Communications agreed to buy its smaller rival Cascade Communications in a $3.7bn (pounds 2.31bn) deal.

A bit more backbone

Internet II is in the wings. US researchers have built a new, superfast network and they love the results. Joseph Gallivan on life in the very fast lane

Celebrating the fresh face of Urban Decay

Sandy Lerner has a passion for purple - and not just because it is sometimes the colour of her waist-length hair. At 40, the computer nerd who made a mint ($200m actually) out of her Silicon Valley company Cisco Systems is the kind of woman who enjoys the odd bout of mediaeval jousting and riding a Harley. But then she discovered that the world had a purple problem.

California: where wealth stretches out to greet you

YOUR MONEY Investment tourists: if you want dramatic returns and you're willing to take a risk, head for Silicon Valley
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor