The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated January 23

Google's 'reserve the date' notice could mean fiber for Triangle

After years of lobbying now, Triangle residents and leaders may get their wish next week: Google Fiber. A "save the date" notice sent out by Google's Triangle media representatives promises news of some sort next week.

Google's "Save the date"  Google's "Save the date"

January 22

Premium Lock Just who is driving for Uber? And why? You might be surprised

Uber's XL service  So you decide to try Uber or Lyft as an alternative to taxi or mass transit or a limo. Just who are these independent contractors that you are relying on for a safe, affordable trip? A new survey profiles Uber's drivers - who they are and why they drive for Uber. You'll find the results interesting.

Updated January 21

Premium Lock Cree's top exec gets a curve ball to end earnings call - Might he split the company?

Chuck Swoboda Corporate suits never know what questions a Wall Street analyst will ask when discussing earnings. These guys are Randy Johnsons, not AAA journalists. Such was the case Tuesday evening when Cree's chair and CEO sat down for his give-and-take with men and women looking for any insight into the company's future. And as the call ended, he got a curve ball. Did he hit it out of the park?

Tags: Cree
Updated January 20

There's a RIoT going on in Durham - Internet of Things, that is - tonight

All the buzz about the Internet of Things is helping drive it as a trend among developers across the Triangle - and the state, for that matter. Just what is driving potentially the Internet's next big wave will be on full display at an NC RIoT event tonight in Durham.

NC RIoT NC RIoT

Updated January 20

Premium Lock As backlash against 'shared economy' grows, is this the next 'dot com' bomb?

Checking out Lyft The news that taxi drivers in Boston have filed a suit in federal court against ride sharing services Uber and Lyft is the latest sign of a growing rebellion against the so-called "shared economy." The growing backlash triggers this prospect: The shared economy could be the next "dot com" bust. Remember Aereo?

Updated January 16

Governor's 'Innovation' plan shows potential for entire state, not just RTP

The McCrory administration put together an all-star list of leaders in venture funding, technology and university R&D to form its "Moving Forward on the Innovation Triangle" plan. And the proposal outlined by Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday shows considerable promise, obviously reflecting the talent on the panel. Unlike what has happened so far with crowdfunding legislation (stymied by in-fighting at the General Assembly), let's hope this proposal finds legislative support - and especially the needed funding. But this really is a state-wide plan and should be promoted as such.

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

January 16

Premium Lock Venture investor on NC deal flow: 'Great to be back in the top 10'

Bull City Venture Partners co-founder David Jones sees lots of good news in the latest venture capital statistics. He also likes the promise of 2015. Bull City focuses on startups but demonstrated its power locally and nationally by putting on a venture event earlier this week that drew some 300 people but, most importantly, significant venture investors from across the U.S. So what does Jones have to say about the latest VC trends?

Talking venture capital Talking venture capital

January 16

Premium Lock Angel investor: VC stats 'moving in the right direction for us'

Mark Easley Three venture capital reports out this week include good news for startups and investors in the Triangle and North Carolina. WRAL TechWire reached out to some key players for their reaction. One of the most active angel investors around, Mark Easley, likes what he sees but wants more.

January 16

Premium Lock Durham startup CEO on VC funding surge: 'I love it'

Windsor Circle's Matt Williamson is all smiles The latest venture capital statistics out this week in three major reports include good news for startups in North Carolina, especially in the Triangle where most of the deals were made as usual in 2014. WRAL TechWire reached out to some of the players on both sides of the game to gauge their reaction. Startup CEO Matt Williamson of Windsor Circle, which raised more than $5 million, is excited by the news. He goes one-on-one with The Skinny.

Updated January 15

Premium Lock Dow Jones: NC venture deals up in value but fall in raw numbers

North Carolina's venture capital business receives mixed news in the latest Dow Jones VentureSource survey. The number of deals and the amount invested fell from 2013 levels but a surge in the dollars-per-deal reflects a national trend.

Tracking VC deals nationally Tracking VC deals nationally

Updated January 14

Premium Lock '14 venture report: NC funding surges, state is 12th in deals, 9th in exits, 4th in IPOs

The first of three major venture capital industry reports is out - and there's some good news for North Carolina. Funding is up and the state ranks in the top 10 for venture-capital-backed exits and fourth in IPOs. But the state remains outside the top 10 in VC deals at 12th, according to CB Insights, a venture industry tracker. Our Insiders get the details.

VC deals surge VC deals surge

Updated January 14

Lenovo mulls spinning off its new mobile device unit

Yang Yuanqing Facing a growing threat from China-based startup Xiaomi, which is valued at a whopping $45 billion, Lenovo's chairman and CEO says he is considering spinning off a new unit that is focused on selling mobile and Internet-connected devices.

Updated January 13

Lenovo's grip on No. 1 PC spot slips as HP surges

New statistics show that Lenovo is selling more PCs than ever and its global market share is growing. It's also closing in on Apple for the No. 3 spot in U.S. sales. But former No. 1 HP is surging, with a global growth rate twice that of Lenovo.

HP surges to virtual tie with Lenovo HP surges to virtual tie with Lenovo

January 13

Premium Lock Inside a deal: Founder talks his pitch, mission of $2.5M-funded startup SmartLink

Siu Tong, a former aerospace engineer at GE, has now built and sold one company, founded another and stepped away as its CEO, and on Tuesday unveiled his latest startup. But not only did Tong publicly launch SmartLink Mobile, he also disclosed the new venture had raised $2.5 million from angel investors. In an exclusive Q&A, Tong talks with WRAL TechWire about his new venture, the pitch he made, and more.

Siu Tong Siu Tong

Updated January 13

Premium Lock Cary mobile healthcare startup lands $2.5M from investors

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.

How SmartLink works How SmartLink works

Updated January 12

Rometty launches major reorganization within IBM

Virginia Rometty   An internal memo from Chair and CEO Ginny Rometty outlines a big shakeup in how IBM is structured, and various reports add other details. "Our industry is rapidly re-ordering," Rometty told IBMers in a memo, and so is Big Blue as she remakes the company in her image for the future.

Tags: IBM
Updated January 9

Premium Lock Wall Street analysts bid gracious farewell to Red Hat's retiring CFO

Red Hat threw analysts a curve ball when announcing earnings last month, disclosing in a conference call that long-time chief financial officer Charlie Peters was retiring. Their comments reflect respect on the Street for what Peters has helped the Hatters accomplish. So what did they have to say?

Charlie Peters Charlie Peters

Tags: Red Hat
Updated January 8

Premium Lock Scot Wingo finds another way to boost a startup: He joins board at 3D firm

Scot Wingo not only runs ChannelAdvisor, which he took public, but also actively invests in startups. He hopes to help other entrepreneurs succeed as he has. But his latest move means offering even more formal advice . Wingo is the latest board member at South Carolina-based ZVerse.

3D sample from ZVerse: A Fighting Gamecock 3D sample from ZVerse: A Fighting Gamecock

Updated January 7

Premium Lock Buyout news puts damper on Lenovo's gadget show parties

Lenovo in recent years has turned the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas into one big party - from award-winning products to champagne-laced kickoffs. But today rain fell in the form of news that Lenovo is offering buyouts to veteran employees. While execs celebrate in Vegas, workers are mulling whether to take the money of a buyout and run or face the possibility of being laid off.

Yang Yuanqing   Yang Yuanqing

Updated January 7

Lenovo offering buyouts to veteran workers to 'remain competitive'

Lenovo, its work force swollen by several thousand employees after two major acquisitions in 2014, is offering buyouts to veteran workers. The world's No. 1 PC manufacturer says the offers are voluntary and includes several business units.

Lenovo's growing PC, tablet share Lenovo's growing PC, tablet share