The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated January 28

Premium Lock Grim stats show how badly Lenovo smartphone biz is struggling

If you want to understand why Lenovo is turning its smartphone business inside out - from dropping the Motorola name to gutting Motorola's headquarters through layoffs to management changes - then check out the latest global statistics from IDC. They aren't good for Lenovo.

Motorola's Lenovo banner   Motorola's Lenovo banner

Updated January 28

Premium Lock FCC could take 'immediate action' to speed up broadband

The FCC is scheduled to unveil a new report today about the availability of broadband. But it's also likely to create more tension between the industry and the agency which already are fighting in court over "net neutrality" and Internet regulation.

Tom Wheeler    Tom Wheeler

Updated January 27

'Watching IBM:' Former union group launches already fiesty Facebook page

Alliance@IBM - the effort to unionize IBMers - is closing down. But a new Facebook page titled "Watching IBM" organized by long-time Big Blue workers Lee Conrad vows to "fulfill the information gathering and dissemination that the Alliance did." Among the first posts: A reiteration of a report that another round of layoffs is about to hit the tech giant.

Watching IBM Watching IBM

January 27

Premium Lock Triangle entrepreneurs slightly more optimistic entering '16

Economy A new quarterly survey of Triangle entrepreneurs finds that they are more optimistic about sales, spending and employment growth entering 2016 than they were in the previous two quarters. But the overall sentiment is still lower than the previous three.

Updated January 27

Premium Lock Report: Among 'Best of the Rest,' Triangle is No. 1 in startup deals

A new report from a Silicon Valley startup that focuses on in-depth analysis of venture capital and angel funding says that the Raleigh/Triangle market is No. 1 in startup deals over the past year among markets outside of the Valley, Boston and New York. The report examines the "Best of the Rest" in numerous categories, and the Triangle does very, very well.

Raleigh's growing skyline  Raleigh's growing skyline

Updated January 26

Why attend WRAL TechWire's drone event? Read bios of our experts

There's still time - but not much - for you to register to attend WRAL TechWire's Executive Exchange event this evening which focuses on opportunities and challenges in the rapidly growing drone industry. Read the bios of our expert participants if you need more reasons to attend.

Executive Exchange: Drones Executive Exchange: Drones

January 26

As layoff rumors surface, IBM cuts severance pay allowance

IBM layoffs     IBM, which has reported a loss in revenue for 15 consecutive quarters, is reportedly gearing up for layoffs this week. The move comes less that a week after Big Blue cut severance pay allowances from as much as six months pay to one month.

Tags: IBM, Layoffs
Updated January 26

Drones are hot: Report projects 84% growth in 2016

A new report shows why several startups and hosts of researchers in North Carolina see potential for high-flying success in the drone industry. Sales of commercial drones such as those being developed by Raleigh-based PrecisionHawk are expected to skyrocket 84 percent in 2016.

A PrecisionHawk drone  A PrecisionHawk drone

Updated January 25

Premium Lock Smartphone with VR for $184? Lenovo sells 10k in <1 second, but ...

It's time for Lenovo to bring its smartphones to America. A deal only available in India combines a new smartphone with virtual reality for $184. Is there a market for mobile VR? More than 500,000 people registered to buy the K4-VR combo. Wow.

Lenovo is doing well in India Lenovo is doing well in India

Updated January 26

Premium Lock 'Twittergeddon:' Beginning of the end (shares drop 4%) or rebirth?

Updating our post on Twitter from Monday: Whether the 7.0 earthquake that shook Twitter's executive ranks over the weekend signals a rebirth of the company or the precursor to potential collapse and possible acquisition won't be known for a while yet. The stock market today could offer some insight. But one analyst sees the "monstrous changes" being made by CEO Jack Dorsey could very well "unlock a lot of value in this stock." Two others see big danger signs.

Twitter's Jack Dorsey Twitter's Jack Dorsey

Updated January 22

Premium Lock AT&T's fiber network surges past 23,500 business customers in NC

The Broadband Report       In December, AT&T put on a job fair in the triangle, hoping to hire 80 technicians for its expanding GigaPower and fiber-optic network services. Part of the reason became clear this week: AT&T has added more than 23,500 business customers to its network over the past couple of years.

Updated January 21

Tips for preparing to telecommute on snow days

Telecommute If your boss is requiring you to work on a "snow day," are you ready to telecommute or work remotely? A Chicago firm focused on telecommuting jobs offers tips on how to prepare to clock in and work even in a blizzard or other bad weather.

Updated January 21

Premium Lock As global chaos grows, 5 'tough questions' for CEOs

A new global survey of CEOs finds that "geopolitical uncertainty" has risen to the No. 2 concern for top corporate executives. And as chaos spreads, from terrorism to wars, the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers poses five "tough questions" any CEO worth a paycheck - from startup to multi-national - ought to be thinking about in what Cisco chair John Chambers calls "the new normal." As the stock markets melt, is it time to rethink?

Declining CEO confidence Declining CEO confidence

January 19

Premium Lock Bull City Venture Partners kicks on 2016 with another sell-out VC preview

They are not trade show or conference executives, but David Jones and Jason Caplain have developed quite a knack for putting on events. The co-leaders of Bull City Venture Partners are putting on a venture capital preview event today in Raleigh - and it's a sellout as usual with more than 400 people expected.

Bull City Venture Partners Bull City Venture Partners

Updated January 15

North Carolina firms land $675M in venture capital - best year since 2000

After virtually drying up in 2012, venture capital flowed back into North Carolina startups in 2015. A new report shows that N.C. firms enjoyed a near-flood of money compared to recent years, netting $675 million. That's the best annual total since the "dot com" boom year of 2000.

Venture capital funding   Venture capital funding

Updated January 14

Premium Lock Filing: Jud Bowman's new venture closes on $4.2M, lands 17 investors

Jud Bowman Jud Bowman's new startup, which is a spin-off of Digital Turbine Media, is launching with $4.2 million in investment capital. Bowman is an investor in the new firm as is Wakefield Group, a long-time investor of Bowman-led startups.

Updated January 14

Premium Lock X-Co answer: PPD spins off X-Chem, which it acquired in 2014

X-Chem PPD has wrapped up the spin-off X-Chem to its private equity owners, the Wilmington company says. The X-Chem deal was behind the "X-Co Holdings LP" mystery that unfolded after an SEC filing.

Updated January 14

Premium Lock Mysterious 'X-Co' in Wilmington raises $71M in PPD spinoff

Questions Just in time for the return of the "X Files" on Fox, a mysterious "X-Co Holdings" company has emerged from the shadows in Wilmington, N.C. X-Co has numerous links to PPD and its private equity owners. PPD spun off a company, X-Chem.

January 13

Premium Lock Informatica completes management reshuffle, formally announces ex-SAS exec as CMO

Big data firm Informatica, which has a growing footprint in the Triangle, has completed its management shakeup after going private last summer. Former SAS Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis is part of the big four in changes that include a permanent title for the CEO, a new board chair and a new chief financial officer.

Jim Davis Jim Davis

Updated January 13

Lenovo drives up PC sales in US even as global sales decline

Global personal computer sales fell in 2015 for the fourth consecutive year, but there's good news for No. 1 seller Lenovo in the data. The company drove up sales in the U.S. and also grew its worldwide market share even as net sales dropped.

Lenovo's gaming-geared laptop  Lenovo's gaming-geared laptop