The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated May 22

Premium Lock House OKs new venture fund for NC with decisive vote

In a slam-dunk vote, the N.C. House sided with Gov. Pat McCrory to create a new venture capital fund for startups totaling $40 million. It's part of the House-approved budget, which passed by a wide bipartisan margin. But what will happen in the Senate?

The end game for the Innovation plan The end game for the Innovation plan

Updated May 22

Uber expanding ride-sharing to North Carolina's coast

uber Uber is putting its collective foot on the gas pedal, looking to speed up growth in North Carolina. On Thursday, the aggressive startup disclosed plans for expanding its ride-sharing service to much of coastal Carolina just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

May 21

Premium Lock New state venture fund that would provide startups a cash infusion advances

N.C. flag    Crowdfunding legislation in the General Assembly remains in limbo but the House does appear to be moving ahead on the establishment of a new venture capital fund that could provide North Carolina startups with an infusion of cash.

May 21

Premium Lock Lenovo's 'attacking' strategy: Targeting the 'social mobile Internet'

If only one thing has become clear to most observers about Lenovo's top executive Yang Yuanqing since the company bought IBM's PC business a decade ago, it's this: He's always on the attack, looking to grow the world's No. 1 PC manufacturer. His new target of opportunity: What he calls the "social mobile Internet." And that means continuing change for the company, which already has diversified into a global powerhouse.

Lenovo's "YY" takes a selfie at kickoff meeting in Raleigh Lenovo's "YY" takes a selfie at kickoff meeting in Raleigh

Updated May 19

Sources: NetApp cutting 15 percent of its work force at RTP campus

NetApp, its stock price under pressure and with competition "disrupting" its data storage business, is cutting some 15 percent or 200 positions of its work force at the company's big campus in Research Triangle Park, sources say. NetApp says it can't comment.

NetApp's new 155,000 square foot lab in RTP NetApp's new 155,000 square foot lab in RTP

May 19

Road risks: 70% now using social media, net while driving

Texting A new survey from AT&T finds that the threat of distracted drivers using smartphones has spread well beyond texting. Some 7 in 10 people now admit to web surfing, video chatting and even taking selfies while they are behind the wheel.

Updated May 19

CenturyLink fast Internet service targets much of eastern NC, Triangle

Fiber optic network                    CenturyLink is bringing fiber-optic Internet speeds to much of eastern North Carolina and parts of the Triangle, targeting what the communications company calls the "Fiber Gap." CenturyLink thus becomes the latest firm trying to cash in on the demand for ultra-fast net services.

Updated May 20

CEOs want our state, but does General Assembly want CEOs?

Economy Volvo's decision to build a $500 million vehicle manufacturing plant in South Carolina not too far from a Boeing aircraft assembly plant and across the state for a booming auto-related corridor near Greenville is just another slap in the face for the future of economic growth in North Carolina. As our state's battle over incentives - and crowdfunding - drags on, North Carolina's rivals cash in. So even though CEOs in a new survey say they like N.C., does the General Assembly like CEOs?

May 14

AT&T, trade group take FCC fight to court in attempt to stop new rules

FCC        The trade group USTelecom and AT&T are not giving up their fight to stop FCC rules that would impose regulation on the Internet, taking their case to federal court. The FCC last week rejected a "stay" on the rules. But AT&T and the group insist they are not opposed to "net neutrality." They oppose overall net regulation, predicting a "Department of the Internet."

May 14

'Venom' security risk hits cloud; Red Hat warns about vulnerability

Red Hat       The world of "cloud computing" has been hit by another serious security vulnerability called "Venom." Raleigh-based Red Hat warns that "all" of its products that include a particular open source tool are vulnerable.

Updated May 14

Premium Lock Cisco unveils incoming CEO Robbins - with guidance from John Chambers

Chuck Robbins So if you are one of thousands if not millions of people wondering how Cisco chair and CEO John Chambers will act as chair only when UNC-Chapel Hill graduate Chuck Robbins takes over as CEO in July, the Chambers-Robbins management team debuts in a conference call on earnings. The call makes clear: Chambers will remain very, very involved.

Tags: Cisco
Updated May 13

Premium Lock John Chambers' last Cisco earnings call? Don't count on that

John Chambers  After 20 years of hearing the evangelist of all things tech (AKA John Chambers), Wall Street veterans are gearing up for a Cisco earnings call today that is set to be the last of his tenure. But take it from a Cisco vet, Chambers isn't fading into history just yet.

May 13

Judges divide $7B in bankrupt Nortel assets, but is nightmare over?

Judges in the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday ruled on how to divide the more than $7 billion in assets from bankrupt Nortel Networks. After years of legal wrangling it appears the economic disaster that rocked the Triangle and cost thousands of jobs could finally be drawing to a close. Or is it?

Nortel's former RTP campus Nortel's former RTP campus

Updated May 12

Premium Lock Big news for banking startup nCino: A global deal with Deloitte

nCino, the Wilmington-based startup that has the potential to revolutionize the banking industry, is going global. In a new partnership with Deloite Digital, nCino receives something venture capital money can't buy: Credibility.

nCino nCino

May 12

Premium Lock IBM picks Triangle for first 'dojo' cloud computing lab

As IBM continues its shift to "cloud computing" applications and development with projects such as Watson and away from hardware, its campus in RTP could be a key to that evolution. Proof in part is Big Blue's decision to open its first cloud computing lab, or "dojo," in RTP where the focus is on open source, collaborative application development.

Updated May 11

Lenovo confirms layoffs, says 235 people lose jobs in server group

Layoffs        Lenovo confirms that it is cutting jobs in its x86 server business with 235 people being told Monday they were being laid off. Of those, 155 are based in the Triangle, a company spokesperson says. Lenovo only cut jobs in the U.S. Some contractors also were let go.

May 11

Sources: Lenovo will be laying off workers at x86 server business in RTP

Layoffs        Lenovo will begin laying off workers at its server business in Research Triangle Park today, according to sources within the company. Lenovo won't talk about what's happening, but workers say employees were told last week that those being let go would be told Monday.

Updated May 11

GSK, UNC-Chapel Hill form company to seek HIV cure

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an attempt to find a cure for AIDS. The two will form a new company called Qura Therapeutics and will launch an "HIV Cure Center" in Chapel Hill. GSK is committing $20 million over the next five years to fund the project.

Updated May 8

Premium Lock Cary mobile healthcare startup keeps raising money: Now at nearly $2.9M

SmartLink, which aims to help doctors cash in on a new revenue opportunity called Chronic Care Management, is off to a fast start. Founded by veteran entrepreneur Siu Tong, the company has developed technology designed to link physicians and doctors as well as providers. Physicians that do so can receive $40 per month per patient through Medicare. The company also continues to raise money as a new SEC filing shows.

How SmartLink works How SmartLink works

May 8

Premium Lock Former Epic exec Mike Capps joins Unity Technologies as advisor

Mike Capps, the long-time president of Cary-based Epic Games who stepped down three years ago, is getting back in the game business. He's signing on as an advisor to Unity Technologies, which happens to have its own game engine. So does Epic: Unreal, one of the industry's most popular. So what's he going to do exactly?

Mike Capps Mike Capps