The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated 11:09 a.m. yesterday

FCC to NC on broadband law: 'That dog won't hunt'

FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler dismissed criticism of taking action to override North Carolina law on municipal broadband networks: "As they say in North Carolina, that dog won't hunt." Thus, the City of Wilson gains the right to expand its fiber network. But the issue is far from settled. U.S. Senator Thom Tillis is already fighting back. Plus: "This issue is headed for the courts," says a technology think-tank executive.

FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler

Updated 11:44 a.m. Friday

Lenovo vows 'cyber attack' investigation but won't discuss all damage hackers did

Lenovo's website is fully accessible after being knocked offline for several hours Wednesday following a hack attack. Lenovo vows to tighten security and to find out what happened but won't discuss what all hackers - allegedly from Lizard Squad - did.

Lizard Squad Lizard Squad

Updated 5:13 a.m. Thursday

Lenovo website hacked; group known as Lizard Squad claims responsibility

A group of hackers called Lizard Squad is claiming responsibility for a hack of Lenovo's website on Wednesday evening. A check of Lenovo's site early Thursday found that it is back online. The hackers said they attacked Lenovo in response to the raging Superfish adware controversy.

Hackers Lizard Squad claims attack on Lenovo Hackers Lizard Squad claims attack on Lenovo

Updated 9:43 a.m. Wednesday

Premium Lock IBM makes $1.5B profit on x86 server sale to Lenovo

IBM reports it is making a $1.5 billion profit in the $2.1 billion sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo. The disclosure came in IBM's annual report filed with the SEC on Tuesday.

Lenovo's x86 server business operates globally Lenovo's x86 server business operates globally

Updated 7:31 a.m. Wednesday

Premium Lock Is crowdfunding doomed again at General Assembly?

N.C. flag   A crowdfunding bill that many investors and entrepreneurs want passed in North Carolina has been dropped - for now - in a big House package. Is that reason to panic? Will crowdfunding fail again? We've got the inside story.

Updated 9:47 a.m. Wednesday

IBM's work force drops by 50,000 in 2014 under reboot

IBM layoffs     IBM's reboot as a company to focus more on cloud computing and software under top executive Ginni Rometty led to a massive reduction of its global work force in 2014. According to a filing with the SEC, Big Blue says it reduced headcount by more than 12 percent to under 380,000 from 431,000. The cuts came primarily through the sale of business groups such as the x86 server unit based in Raleigh to Lenovo. IBM says more change is coming in a "remix" of skills and resources.

Updated 3:25 p.m. Tuesday

Premium Lock SAS creates new division focusing on risk research, is hiring

SAS is putting together a new group to focus on helping clients deal with financial risks, and the world's largest privately held software firm has promoted a recently hired banking executive to lead the new group.

Troy Haines Troy Haines

Updated 8:53 a.m. Tuesday

Premium Lock Slideshow: Why Valeant is buying Salix in a $14B deal

In a presentation to investors, Valeant executives on Monday spelled out in great deal why the Canadian firm decided to buy Raleigh-based Salix in a deal worth $14 billion. We've got a slide show about the Valeant presentation.

Why Gastrointestinal Why Gastrointestinal

Updated 7:48 a.m. Tuesday

Lenovo apologizes for adware; feds repeat security risk warning

Lenovo's chief technology officer issues a formal apology to customers about the Superfish adware - many call it malware and a security risk - in an attempt to quell a storm of global criticism. The world's No. 1 PC maker concedes that it was unaware of a security flaw until informed by others.

Peter Hortensius Peter Hortensius

Updated 8:10 a.m. Monday

Premium Lock Sale won't end turmoil at Salix - look for more in short term

Salix       Sunday's announced acquisition of Salix by Valeant will not quite the turmoil that has engulfed one of the Triangle's best pharmaceutical success stories. In fact, in the short term, life is likely to get worse in a merger that is likely to lead to job cuts as part of $500 million in cost savings. Plus, the Triangle is losing another corporate headquarters.

February 20

Premium Lock Epic offers $5M in grants to boost Unreal game developers

Epic Games' Unreal development engine is one of the most popular around the world for developers of not only games but other interactive tools from entertainment to training. Its latest version, Unreal 4, is helping drive virtual reality use. Now, the Cary company is offering $5 million in grants to help developers embrace it latest tool suite. How do you get your grant?

Unreal Engine 4 Unreal Engine 4

Updated February 19

Lenovo: We're no longer installing adware in reaction to complaints

Lenovo               Lenovo says it has stopped installing "Superfish" adware on consumer notebooks. The company also says it has found no signs of a possible security loophole in the adware, which some have labeled "malware." Lenovo reacted to a worldwide flurry of news reports Thursday, many of which criticized the world's No. 1 PC manufacturer.

Updated February 19

Lenovo says adware "helps users;" customers aren't buying it

In an online forum, Lenovo recently defended the inclusion of Snapfish in "consumer systems" and said it has requested changes in the software that "addresses" concerns about security. But customers are still upset.

Lenovo Flex D laptop  Lenovo Flex D laptop

Updated February 19

Is Lenovo spying on you? PC giant under fire for secretly installed adware, security threat

Lenovo banner at a trade show     Lenovo, the world's No. 1 PC manufacturer, is taking a huge public relations hit today around the world after news surfaced that its PCs come pre-loaded with adware that some experts say pose a privacy and security threat.

Updated February 18

Premium Lock As Connelly exits, GSK's Triangle campus shakeout continues

The retirement of Deirdre Connelly as GSK's top North American executive on Monday, the naming of her replacement and new roles for two other senior managers are the latest in a series of changes transforming the drug giant's Triangle operations. We've got the latest update.

GSK's R&D facility in RTP   GSK's R&D facility in RTP

Updated February 13

Premium Lock Street resumes its Cisco love affair: Stock soars to 5-year high

One glance at Cisco's stock chart over the past year - and even more impressively over the last 5 - shows that Wall Street is once again enthralled with the John Chambers networking show. Analysts praise Cisco in a big chorus after Wednesday's results and Chambers' bravo sales pitch to analysts. But ...

Cisco stock soaring .... Cisco stock soaring ....

February 12

Automated Insights: Proof that Triangle's entrepreneurial network delivers

Council for Entrepreneurial Development "Success has many parents," writes Steve Hinkson, director of communications at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. And Robbie Allen, CEO of Automated Insights which made its "exit" through acquisition on Thursday, is proof - as Allen recently told the CED.

February 12

Beware, digital Valentine: That dating app may invite a hack

It's not bad enough that you risk being hacked when you shop or go to the doctor. Now you have to worry about dating apps. So says IBM. In a study released just in time for Valentine's Day, IBM says more than 60 percent of dating mobile apps are vulnerable to cyber attack.

February 12

Chambers boasts Cisco cut 'more than 30% of our leaders' in layoffs, reorg

John Chambers  Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers is back in his bombastic, evangelistic war mood after the network giant's latest financials. And many of the victims were Cisco's own managers. "More than 30 percent of our leaders" were replaced in a recent reorganization - bloodbath? - he boasts. And 40 percent of all Cisco workers were put through a "realign." Reasons to boast?

Updated February 11

Verizon, AT&T top NC wireless performance; Sprint surging

AT&T has rallied to regain a share of first place with Verizon in overall wireless performance across North Carolina, according to the latest test data from RootMetrics. But the independent testing firm's data shows Sprint is gaining ground.

A tie for first in NC wireless performance A tie for first in NC wireless performance