The Skinny

The Skinny

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

November 10

BlackBerry CEO meets Lenovo's Yang but says he's not looking to sell

BlackBerry's Passport   Rumors have circulated for months that Lenovo is interesting it buying BlackBerry. And with the big IBM and Google Motorola Mobility deals closed, perhaps it's time to shop again. But BlackBerry's CEO says he met with Lenovo's top exec to talk partnership, not a sale.

November 10

Premium Lock The Startup Factory's big news: After just 2 1/2 years, an 'exit'

Startups  Big news for The Startup Factory comes in the form of its first 'exit:" Arcametrics, which focuses on predictive modeling, is now part of Adroit Digital. "We are pretty psyched that two and a half years (after launch) we have our first exit," say TSF's co-founders.

November 6

Lenovo banking on Ashton Kutcher in holiday sales drive

Jay Parker, Lenovo's top executive for North America, says the company is successfully absorbing IBM x86 employees and is now looking to drive more server sales. But he's also aiming to improve Lenovo's PC and tablet share - with the help of Hollywood's Ashton Kutcher and new Yoga devices.

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

Updated November 6

Premium Lock Exclusive: Why StepLeader chose to hire a top SAS executive

Veteran entrepreneur Brian Handly came to Capitol Broadcasting's News Over Wireless venture in 2012 with the mission to reshape and grow it. But much continues to change at the mobile data startup beyond its different name (StepLeader). On Wednesday, StepLeader disclosed the hiring of a high-profile SAS executive as its chief technology officer whose specialty is big data analytics. What's the hiring mean and why make this hire? We have the exclusive story for WRAL TechWire Insiders.

Brian Handly Brian Handly

Updated November 5

Premium Lock Exclusive Q&A: Why Jared Dean left SAS for StepLeader

Jared Dean is leaving a top spot at SAS where he was senior director of research and development to join Raleigh-based StepLeader as its chief technology officer. Why leave such a job at the world's largest privately held software company for a startup? We have the details for our WRAL TechWire Insiders.

Statistical guru Jared Dean, left, and son at 2013 game Statistical guru Jared Dean, left, and son at 2013 game

Updated November 4

Premium Lock Cloud burst! Cisco's explosive data growth report shows why 'cloud' is so hot

If you were wondering why Red Hat, IBM, Cisco, NetApp and so many other tech firms are so enthralled with "cloud" computing, just follow the data. Cisco's latest "Global Cloud Index" report forecasts hosted data will nearly triple over the next four years to more than 8.6 zettabytes per month. And most of that is going to the cloud, not traditional data centers.

Soaring data growth forecast from Cisco Soaring data growth forecast from Cisco

Updated November 5

Premium Lock A Starbucks offers Durham Bulls fans a preview of fast Wi-Fi to come

Come next spring, fans at Durham Bulls games can expect super Wi-Fi access powered at gigabit capacity from Frontier Networks. Capitol Broadcasting CEO Jim Goodmon has a vision for Wi-Fi powering just about everything fans want to do, expect hit fourth in the batting order. Maybe virtually? Well, anyway, a Starbucks in Kansas City shows what's coming to the Bull City. Here's a look.

Google's "community room" with gigabit access Google's "community room" with gigabit access

November 4

As IBM reportedly cuts 50,000 India jobs, CEO replaces Global Services leader

IBM is said to be making huge job cuts but few people in the U.S. know about it because the reductions are taking place in India. Some reports say the cuts are hitting as many as one third of the 165,000 Big Blue workers there. Meanwhile, IBM's CEO is replacing the head of Global Technology Services, the biggest revenue driver for the tech giant.

Slide from IBM shows declining services revenues Slide from IBM shows declining services revenues

Updated November 4

Uber defends its prices in wake of expensive Halloween rides

All you Uber riders and potential users, be aware of what your fare is going to be via the Uber app before you ask for a ride. Some Uber users received big bills for rides on Halloween, including a $326 fare that's received national media attention, but Uber says it's pricing is clear. No trick. In one RTP case, however, Uber is rebating back part of a charge but says that's not related to what it calls 'dynamic pricing."

A screen shot from Uber shows fare estimate A screen shot from Uber shows fare estimate

October 31

Premium Lock Entrepreneurs vs. regulation: The Uber debate

Do rules and regulations not apply to entrepreneurs? They certainly do when it comes to drug development. The FDA routinely cracks down on products that can be dangerous, have not been approved or promise more than they deliver. But on the tech side, look at the ongoing Uber ride-sharing app debate and the recent Aereo vs. broadcaster case. Is anything fair in tech wars?

Uber's coverage area in RTP  Uber's coverage area in RTP

October 30

Premium Lock Mojo from Motorola: Lenovo's new branding challenge

In the name alone, Lenovo declares a new branding strategy from its many acquisitions over the years. "Motorola: A Lenovo Company." So declares the new logo unveiled Thursday as Lenovo formally closed on the $2.9 billion acquisition of the former Google Motorola Mobility. How times have changed since Lenovo bought IBM's PC business a decade ago.

Motorola's new Lenovo banner Motorola's new Lenovo banner

Updated October 30

Uber: No retreat in dispute with RDU on drivers

Executives with ride-sharing service Uber vow to keep fighting for full access to RDU International Airport for its drivers. The California-based startup also defends its strategy in taking on taxis and other services while continuing to recruit more drivers in the Triangle.

Sign of the times - an Uber vehicle Sign of the times - an Uber vehicle

Updated October 30

New stats: Lenovo would be No. 3 if Motorola deal had closed before IDC released its latest stats

Well, just minutes after WRAL TechWire posted a story about the latest smartphone statistics, Lenovo announced closing of its deal for Google Motorola Mobility. With Motorola sales included, Lenovo would have returned to the No. 3 spot. So here's a revised story.

Orange bars show growth of Xiamoi Orange bars show growth of Xiamoi

October 24

Triangle entrepreneur survey finds mix of optimism and worry

Startups  If you're not an optimist, then you're not an entrepreneur. You have to believe you will succeed - or why try? But at the same time the best entrepreneurs are realists, acknowledging challenges and preparing to overcome them. So a new survey of Triangle entrepreneurs from NCSU is a mix of dreams and reality. Which means this is a valid survey.

Updated October 23

Frontier rolling out gigabit Internet in several Durham, RTP locations

Frontier Communications is providing the Triangle's first taste of gigabit Internet speeds - some 100 times faster than cable connections - at several Durham and Research Triangle Park locations. Capitol Broadcasting plans fast wireless access at Bulls stadium. An RTP building also is being rewired to support gigabit access for tenants. But gigabit service is not cheap.

Frontier  Frontier

Updated October 23

Premium Lock A new 'Frontier' in speed: Gigabit Internet hits Triangle

Frontier Chair and CEO Maggie Wilderotter is kicking off the launch of the first gigabit Internet service in the Triangle at an event in Durham today. AT&T is coming, and look for Google Fiber to hit town in December. But for now, Frontier is the only game in the Triangle.

Maggie Wilderotter Maggie Wilderotter

Updated October 22

Premium Lock Massive SAS building, more jobs reflect Goodnight's enduring loyalty to home state

Jim Goodnight runs the world's largest privately held software company with more than $3 billion in revenues and operations from China to Latin America. Yet the billionaire founder of SAS continues to invest in jobs and in facilities at the company's Cary headquarters. On Tuesday, he unveiled the latest building - a massive structure named "Q" - and he talked about more jobs. So why build in N.C.? There are many reasons, perhaps none more than old-fashion loyalty.

Updated October 21

Premium Lock Exclusive: Fresh off academic triple crown, DeSimone focuses on new startup

Dr. Joseph DeSimone's academic resume just keeps getting more impressive. So, too, does his entrepreneurial record. In an exclusive Q&A, the inventor-entrepreneur-academic talks about his new 3D printing technology venture in Silicon Valley and Monday's announcement that he is now part of the Institute of Medicine as well as academia's other big two (Engineering, Sciences). As DeSimone signs every email: "La vita e bella."

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, left, shares a good moment with his group Dr. Joseph DeSimone, left, shares a good moment with his group

Updated October 20

Premium Lock Rank-and-file IBMers pay the price as Big Blue's reboot accelerates

IBM is shedding workers faster than trees drop leaves. More than 7,000 in the x86 server sale to Lenovo. Thousands more in giving away - yes, literally giving away with a $1.5 billion cash bonus - by dumping its chip business. And coming next? A $600 million resource action. In other words, more layoffs. One thing is clear: As IBM reported a drop in revenue for the 10th consecutive quarter its management is doubling down on more, rapid changes.

Virginia Rometty  Virginia Rometty

Updated October 20

Premium Lock DeSimone launches 3D print venture in Valley, earns another honor

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, the serial entrepreneur and world-class researcher at NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill, is launching a new 3D printing venture in Silicon Valley. But he also keeps adding honors, the newest one being election to the Institute of Medicine.

Joseph DeSimone  Joseph DeSimone