The Skinny

The Skinny

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

7:31 a.m. today

Premium Lock Startup warning sign? Silicon Valley VC confidence falls to 2-year-low

Golden egg hunt for investors The venture capital industry's biggest canary-in-the-coal-mine indicator - the confidence level of Silicon Valley venture capitalists - has set off another alarm. VC confidence is down to its lowest level in two years. Why? Our Insiders get the answers.

Updated 4:21 p.m. yesterday

Video: IBM may dump Lenovo's ThinkPads for MacBooks

Apple teams with IBM An internal IBM video leaked to news website MacRumors contains footage of Big Blue's Chief Information Officer Jeff Smith saying that the tech giant could buy up to 200,000 Macs annually for employees. What do they use now? Lenovo ThinkPads.

9:22 a.m. yesterday

Reports: Lenovo smartphone shipments, market share plummet

Data from two reports clearly demonstrate why Lenovo Chair Yang Yuanqing shuffled leadership in the company's smartphone business: Shipments of Lenovo and Lenovo Motorola smartphones plummeted in the second quarter.

Lenovo mobile exec out Lenovo mobile exec out

Updated 8:32 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Epic Games' CEO: Augmented reality is next really big thing

You won't need to buy a 70-inch TV to enjoy the latest in big-screen entertainment if augmented reality through wearable computers such as Google Glass and virtual reality headsets deliver on the promise of the immersive technology, says Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. And when this tech guru talks, you would be smart to listen.

Trying out virtual reality headset Trying out virtual reality headset

Updated 7:40 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Its 'pivot' made, Reveal Mobile raises $750K, looks to hire

Reveal Mobile turned itself inside out with a "pivot" to move the Raleigh startup in a new direction in April. And investors have rallied to the cause, pouring $750,000 into the company in an oversubscribed round. A top priority for use of the funding is hiring additional staff.

Brian Handly pitches Reveal at recent show Brian Handly pitches Reveal at recent show

Updated 7:03 a.m. yesterday

No bull: Durham ranks No. 9 on 'Best Cities for Creatives' list

For a host of reasons, the Bull City is a place so-called "creatives" want to live, says a new survey from financial management firm SmartAsset. Yes, Durham has become a hot high-tech startup hub. But the website notes entertainment and the arts are helping transform the city, too.

Top 10 cities for "creatives" Top 10 cities for "creatives"

Updated July 31

AT&T, CenturyLink, trade groups won't cave to FCC net regulation

Fiber optic network                    In a new court brief, Internet providers including AT&T, CenturyLink and several trade groups are refusing to give up their fight against Internet regulation as a utility that the FCC imposed earlier this year. AT&T made concessions to FCC demands to win approval for its DirecTV buy, but the brief shows lingering concern about what the FCC is doing.

Updated July 30

Global tablet sales falter - including Lenovo despite hiring Ashton Kutcher

Some local media are trumpeting Lenovo's growing market share in the global tablet market. Don't be mislead. Lenovo is in trouble just like Apple, Samsung and others. In fact, Lenovo sales are down sharply from just six months ago despite all the hype surrounding Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher touts a Lenovo tablet Ashton Kutcher touts a Lenovo tablet

July 29

Premium Lock Is GSK open to a merger? 'A big issue to cross,' CEO says

In a conference call, GlaxoSmithKline's top executive is asked if he would consider "pairing up" with another drug company. Back in May, an analyst started talk of a "PfizerKline" merger. GSK's CEO Andrew Witty notes a merger would be a "big issue to cross."

Andrew Witty      Andrew Witty

July 29

Ex-GSK employees facing layoffs at Parexel; firm won't comment

Layoffs        As many as 200 former GlaxoSmithKline employees who were transferred to life science services firm Parexel earlier this year are reportedly being laid off today. However, the Boston-based company which has a large presence in the Triangle, isn't talking.

July 23

Survey: More Triangle startups to cut spending, reduce hiring

State of the economy Layoffs have recently hit several large high-tech firms in the Triangle with Qualcomm becoming the latest to announce job cuts on Wednesday. Now a new survey finds optimism among the Triangle's booming startup community is cooling with more firms planning job cuts and less hiring.

Updated July 22

San Francisco firm acquires Raleigh-based social marketer Expion

Raleigh-based Expion, a five-year-old social marketing firm with a high-profile list of clients and offices in the U.K. as well as China, has been acquired by San Francisco-based Sysomos. In an exclusive interview, Expion founder and CEO Peter Heffring discusses the deal.

A sample of Expion's work A sample of Expion's work

Updated July 21

IBM layoffs? Top finance exec sees more 'workforce rebalancing'

IBM layoffs     Reports continue to trickle out that IBM continues to cut jobs in the Research Triangle, but Big Blue seldom if ever talks publicly about cuts. However, in a conference call Monday to discuss IBM's 13th straight quarter of losing revenue, its CFO conceded that "workforce rebalancing" continues.

July 21

Tech giants keep spending big on lobbying in DC

Dollar sign      Money talks in Washington, D.C., and technology giants keep spreading around the cash as it lobbies for everything from tax breaks to more business. AT&T stepped up its lobbying, for example, as it continues to try to win approval for its DirecTV deal. But the communications giant has plenty of company when it comes to investing in D.C.

July 6

Premium Lock 'Humbled' veteran Quintiles exec gears up for new role as Q2 CEO

Q2 Solutions, the new life science services subsidiary launched by Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics, has a familiar face leading it as CEO: Costa Panagos, who has worked at Quintiles for the past 15 years. So why give up corporate security to take the new job? How does he feel about it? And what does Q2 offer in terms of improving healthcare? WTW Insiders get the exclusive details.

Costa Panagos Costa Panagos

Updated July 3

Premium Lock Will there be layoffs as well as new jobs as Quintiles' Q2 launches?

DNA      Quintiles' new joint venture with Quest formally launched Thursday with a work force of some 2,000 people. But will there be layoffs due to any overlap in job functions? Might there also be new jobs created? Let's take a look.

Updated July 1

Premium Lock The Startup Factory takes its first step toward going statewide

Chris Heivly and Dave Neal are taking the first step in expanding The Startup Factory accelerator across North Carolina with a "boot camp" in Winston-Salem. In a Q&A with WTW, Heivly talks about the expanded mission and how TSF hopes to make money. Plus, he says, TSF is not taking its eyes off the ball of its primary mission.

Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal

Updated June 29

Premium Lock State to add 105,000 jobs this year, jobless rate to fall says NCSU economist

N.C. flag      North Carolina employers will add 105,000 jobs this year, with most of those coming in the Triangle and other metro areas, and the state's unemployment rate will drop to 5.5 percent, says N.C. State economist Dr. Michael Walden in a new analysis.

Updated June 29

Premium Lock A nearly $2B IPO adds to legacy of Lenovo's founder

When does legend become fact? In the case of Lenovo and its founder Liu Chuanzhi, the fact is the company and Liu are bona fide entrepreneurial success stories dating back to humble beginnings in 1984. A big IPO for Lenovo's parent adds to a remarkable legacy. And Liu shares some advice for others to emulate.

Liu Chuanzhi Liu Chuanzhi

Tags: Lenovo
Updated June 25

Premium Lock Remembering Triangle's first 'disruptors' from 2007 - and warnings still relevant today

The late Neal Page, Ryan Allis, Jud Bowman, Bob Young and their companies (Inlet, Broadwick, Motricity, Red Hat) were branded among the original "disruptors" by Business 2.0 magazine in 2007. WTW takes a look back at them in light of Cisco's new "Digital Vortex" report on the latest "disruptor" trend.

Ryan Allis, left, and Jud Bowman: "Disruptors" Ryan Allis, left, and Jud Bowman: "Disruptors"