The Skinny

The Skinny

WRAL TechWire Publisher and Editor Rick Smith dishes out tidbits from the local technology sector.

7:57 a.m. today

Premium Lock Entrepreneurs vs. regulation: The Uber debate

Do rules and regulations not apply to entrepreneurs? They certainly do when it comes to drug development. The FDA routinely cracks down on products that can be dangerous, have not been approved or promise more than they deliver. But on the tech side, look at the ongoing Uber ride-sharing app debate and the recent Aereo vs. broadcaster case. Is anything fair in tech wars?

Uber's coverage area in RTP Uber's coverage area in RTP

3:34 p.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Mojo from Motorola: Lenovo's new branding challenge

In the name alone, Lenovo declares a new branding strategy from its many acquisitions over the years. "Motorola: A Lenovo Company." So declares the new logo unveiled Thursday as Lenovo formally closed on the $2.9 billion acquisition of the former Google Motorola Mobility. How times have changed since Lenovo bought IBM's PC business a decade ago.

Motorola's new Lenovo banner Motorola's new Lenovo banner

Updated 10:48 a.m. yesterday

Uber: No retreat in dispute with RDU on drivers

Executives with ride-sharing service Uber vow to keep fighting for full access to RDU International Airport for its drivers. The California-based startup also defends its strategy in taking on taxis and other services while continuing to recruit more drivers in the Triangle.

Sign of the times - an Uber vehicle Sign of the times - an Uber vehicle

Updated 8:57 a.m. yesterday

New stats: Lenovo would be No. 3 if Motorola deal had closed before IDC released its latest stats

Well, just minutes after WRAL TechWire posted a story about the latest smartphone statistics, Lenovo announced closing of its deal for Google Motorola Mobility. With Motorola sales included, Lenovo would have returned to the No. 3 spot. So here's a revised story.

Orange bars show growth of Xiamoi Orange bars show growth of Xiamoi

October 24

Triangle entrepreneur survey finds mix of optimism and worry

Startups If you're not an optimist, then you're not an entrepreneur. You have to believe you will succeed - or why try? But at the same time the best entrepreneurs are realists, acknowledging challenges and preparing to overcome them. So a new survey of Triangle entrepreneurs from NCSU is a mix of dreams and reality. Which means this is a valid survey.

Updated October 23

Frontier rolling out gigabit Internet in several Durham, RTP locations

Frontier Communications is providing the Triangle's first taste of gigabit Internet speeds - some 100 times faster than cable connections - at several Durham and Research Triangle Park locations. Capitol Broadcasting plans fast wireless access at Bulls stadium. An RTP building also is being rewired to support gigabit access for tenants. But gigabit service is not cheap.

Frontier  Frontier

Updated October 23

A new 'Frontier' in speed: Gigabit Internet hits Triangle

Frontier Chair and CEO Maggie Wilderotter is kicking off the launch of the first gigabit Internet service in the Triangle at an event in Durham today. AT&T is coming, and look for Google Fiber to hit town in December. But for now, Frontier is the only game in the Triangle.

Maggie Wilderotter Maggie Wilderotter

Updated October 22

Massive SAS building, more jobs reflect Goodnight's enduring loyalty to home state

Jim Goodnight runs the world's largest privately held software company with more than $3 billion in revenues and operations from China to Latin America. Yet the billionaire founder of SAS continues to invest in jobs and in facilities at the company's Cary headquarters. On Tuesday, he unveiled the latest building - a massive structure named "Q" - and he talked about more jobs. So why build in N.C.? There are many reasons, perhaps none more than old-fashion loyalty.

Updated October 21

Premium Lock Exclusive: Fresh off academic triple crown, DeSimone focuses on new startup

Dr. Joseph DeSimone's academic resume just keeps getting more impressive. So, too, does his entrepreneurial record. In an exclusive Q&A, the inventor-entrepreneur-academic talks about his new 3D printing technology venture in Silicon Valley and Monday's announcement that he is now part of the Institute of Medicine as well as academia's other big two (Engineering, Sciences). As DeSimone signs every email: "La vita e bella."

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, left, shares a good moment with his group Dr. Joseph DeSimone, left, shares a good moment with his group

Updated October 20

Rank-and-file IBMers pay the price as Big Blue's reboot accelerates

IBM is shedding workers faster than trees drop leaves. More than 7,000 in the x86 server sale to Lenovo. Thousands more in giving away - yes, literally giving away with a $1.5 billion cash bonus - by dumping its chip business. And coming next? A $600 million resource action. In other words, more layoffs. One thing is clear: As IBM reported a drop in revenue for the 10th consecutive quarter its management is doubling down on more, rapid changes.

Virginia Rometty Virginia Rometty

Updated October 20

Premium Lock DeSimone launches 3D print venture in Valley, earns another honor

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, the serial entrepreneur and world-class researcher at NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill, is launching a new 3D printing venture in Silicon Valley. But he also keeps adding honors, the newest one being election to the Institute of Medicine.

Joseph DeSimone  Joseph DeSimone

Updated October 20

Frontier CEO coming to Durham for fiber news; Capitol is first customer

Frontier is rolling out its top gun - chairman CEO Maggie Wilderotter - on Thursday for its big network expansion and upgrade in Durham on Thursday. Look for Frontier to announce its own fiber network plans as it prepares to take on AT&T. And the American Tobacco Campus is the first "ground zero" battlefield.

Maggie Wilderotter Maggie Wilderotter

October 17

Premium Lock Why Terri Lomax is leaving NCSU for RTI - in her own words

In an exclusive Q&A with WRAL TechWire, Dr. Terri Lomax of N.C. State, explains why she is joining the management team at RTI International. But she will remain involved with "InnovateRaleigh." Our Insider subscribers get access to every word.

How will you help innovate? How will you help innovate?

Updated October 16

Premium Lock Lenovo forming new company in China targeting smart devices

Lenovo              Lenovo is putting a new spin on its "protect and attack" strategy by doing a lot of both in its largest market: China. A new company led by the top executive for China and other Asian markets is being formed for launch next April.

Updated October 14

Frontier vs. AT&T in Durham: Let the fiber fight begin

Frontier Communications plans to announce on Oct. 23 details about its own gigabit Internet service in Durham County. The announcement sets the stage for head-to-head competition with AT&T, which is bringing its U-verse with GigaPower to the Triangle.

October 13

AT&T ramps up to gigabit speed, doubling Wi-Fi speeds in Austin

AT&T GigaPower  In a precursor to what the Triangle can expect from the North Carolina Next Generation Network, AT&T on Monday says it is ramping up its "Gigapower" network in Austin, Texas, to gigabit speeds. Plus, Wi-Fi speed will be doubled.

Updated October 13

Gigabit Internet is going to change our world - Are you ready?

If you are following the power and money in this growing Internet of Everything world as described by Cisco's John Chambers, then you know that fiber is the highway on which it will run. Gigabit Internet is going to change the way we live. And that's why a lot of powerful people, including investors, will be at WRAL TechWire's "Fiber Transforms the Triangle" conference. Gigabit Internet, in the words of wiz angel investor Dave Gardner, "a game-changer." We are getting gigabit Internet in RTP with or without Google Fiber because of the N.C. Next Generation Network and AT&T. Get ready for a fast ride.

Just how fast is gigabit Internet? Just how fast is gigabit Internet?

October 10

September surprise: NC high-tech job openings tumble 6%

In what is described as a surprise, the number of information technology jobs publicly advertised on a daily basis across North Carolina fell 6.1 percent last month. So reports the North Carolina Technology Association. But perhaps saddest of all is this: Job openings remain below those posted in September of 2013 and 2012. However, job demand spikes in a few categories.

IT job openings drop IT job openings drop

October 10

Blair Levin, a new Brookings fellow, to talk 'broadband nexus' at Fiber Transforms Triangle event

Don't miss your opportunity to hear about the future of broadband when Blair Levin keynotes the "Fiber Transforms the Triangle" conference at SAS on Monday. Levin led fast-Internet strategy at the FCC, headed up the Gig. U university gigabit Internet consortium and this week was named a fellow at the prestigious Brookings Institute.

Blair Levin Blair Levin

Updated October 8

Premium Lock Nagoya University's RTP exec: Nobel Prize a 'huge' boost

If you weren't aware that Japan's Nagoya University has a technology transfer and business development office in the Triangle, you should be now. After all, on Tuesday two Nagoya professors shared the Nobel Prize for Physics. The award "surely will increase our reputation" as Nagoya seeks more deals, says its RTP executive.

A blue LED as invented by Nagoya U. professors A blue LED as invented by Nagoya U. professors