Computers

Spring cleaning was in the air for Apple this week as the company announced its plan to pay a dividend and institute a share buyback programme. The announcement had many tech commentators putting themselves in the shoes of Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, to ask: what else could Apple have done with its cash? Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple has announced plans to pay a dividend and institute a share buyback  programme as it deals with a cash mountain that has grown to more than $100bn.

The maker of the iPhone and iPad said it would begin with a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share, sometime in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins on July 1.  A $10bn share buyback would begin in its next fiscal year, starting September 30 and be executed over three years.

Apple held a conference call to discuss the moves (it also revealed a record weekend of sales for the new iPad). Our live blog on that, and the reaction to it, is after the jump. Read more

Acer and its former chief executive Gianfranco Lanci may have parted ways for almost a year now, but it is apparently not quite water under the bridge between the two sides.

The Taiwanese company said on Tuesday that it has initiated legal action in Mr Lanci’s home country of Italy, alleging that Mr Lanci violated non-compete clauses in the contract he signed with Acer upon leaving in Febuary 2011 – Mr Lanci joined Lenovo as a consultant in September, and the Chinese company last month announced Mr Lanci would head its Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, effective April. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple has finally named a successor to Ron Johnson as head of its retail store operation, choosing John Browett, chief executive of the British electronics retailer Dixons.

Mr Browett (pictured left) will join in April as senior vice president of Retail, reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Mr Johnson was named last June as the new chief executive of JC Penney, the US department store chain. Read more

Apple has done it again. For a brief moment last week, following the announcement that it beat quarterly forecasts with record numbers, the Silicon Valley company once again became the world’s most valuable company.

This time, though, things were different, with Tim Cook, who took over as Apple’s chief executive from co-founder Steve Jobs, now at the helm. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel has announced a management reshuffle that provides fresh clues to the eventual successor to Paul Otellini as chief executive.

Brian Krzanich, (pictured left), head of manufacturing, is also taking on a chief operating officer role – a position that has not existed since Mr Otellini held it prior to becoming CEO in 2005. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Livescribe, the digital pen company, has announced a new chief executive, new funding and a new strategy as its founder Jim Marggraff steps down.

Gilles Bouchard, a former senior HP executive, becomes CEO. $10m has been added by existing backers in a new round and the company plans to release a wireless version of its Echo smartpen later this year as it explores cloud services. Read more

Maija Palmer

Facebook has taken the unusual step of making public the names and personal details of five men it believes to be behind the Koobface computer worm that attacked hundreds of thousands of computers through the social network’s profiles.

The alleged gang appear to be living in St Petersburg and were tracked by Facebook and a team of researchers over three years. Read more

Joseph Menn

Smack in the middle of the ultrabook and tablet hoopla from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes a sobering report from the market researchers at IDC: PC shipments in the critical fourth quarter were down 0.2 per cent from a year before. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Marvell and One Laptop Per Child will unveil their first tablet prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday evening.

The chipmaker and the non-profit trying to bring affordable computing to schoolchildren worldwide plan to show a fully functional version of the long-awaited X0 3.0, which they describe as “a low-cost, low-power, rugged tablet computer designed for classrooms around the globe”. Read more