News

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).

Cisco executive is Skyped as competition heats up

Skype, the pioneering internet phone and video conferencing company, is switching chief executives, in a move designed to improve prospects for its multibillion dollar stock market flotation.

Police smash £12m computer fraud gang

A high-tech international crime gang that targeted one of the world's largest computer companies has been smashed by police.

Dell raises bid for 3Par in takeover battle with HP

Dell has put the ball back in Hewlett-Packard's court in the computer manufacturing rivals' battle for control of 3Par, a California data storage company.

Industry video standard to launch in autumn

A consortium of 55 entertainment and technology giants hoping to standardize digital formats for video playback has said it will start beta testing in the fall as it added two more companies to its ranks and unveiled its brand name, Ultraviolet.

NTT agrees to buy Didata for £2.1bn

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) has agreed to buy the South African IT company Dimension Data for £2.1bn as it seeks growth in emerging markets to offset a stagnant economy at home.

Cisco unveils iPad competitor for business

Cisco is launching a tablet computing device aimed at business customers, becoming the latest company to wade into the red-hot tablet market.

Can you look her in the iPad?

We're more aware than ever of where our food and fashions come from. But few of us consider the human cost of the latest must-have gadgets. It's about time we did, says Nick Harding

The dangers and opportunities of moving into foreign markets

Why it pays to do your homework

Investment Column: Genus offers seeds of farming recovery

Stobart Group; Dimension Data

The Week Ahead: Intercontinental to find room for optimism

Analysts have their fingers crossed ahead of tomorrow's quarterly update from Intercontinental Hotels Group, with the hospitality specialist expected to report improving trends in Asia and the US.

The new generation of enterprising entrepreneurs

Fancy yourself as the next James Dyson? You could come up with a design and promote it on YouTube – but if you want your device to succeed, there's a lot of work ahead, entrepreneurs tell Simon Usborne

Ofcom plans to force BT to open network to broadband rivals

Ofcom, the communications regulator, hopes to accelerate the march of "superfast" broadband across the UK by demanding BT offer rivals access to its fibre network as well as its underground ducts and telegraph poles.

James Moore: Mandy's right on predatory takeovers

Outlook: When news of a bid breaks, there tends to be precious little talk about whether it's a good or a bad idea

Huge 'botnet' amputated, but criminals reconnect

The sudden takedown of an Internet provider thought to be helping spread one of the most promiscuous pieces of malicious software out there appears to have cut off criminals from potentially millions of personal computers under their control.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there