The Skinny

The Skinny

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

December 2

Premium Lock Lenovo launches new data app, bets $50M on 'cloud' hubs

Lenovo just didn't buy IBM's x86 server business to sell hardware, which is a low-margin business as are PCs. Rather, the world's top PC maker has an eye on selling high-margin services. Proof: A new initiative to build 50 "cloud" computing centers in China and to train some 1,000 workers on delivering services. Plus, its lineup of apps is growing.

Lenovo's new app Lenovo's new app

Updated December 2

Google Fiber exec to keynote gigabit conference in Raleigh

Fiber optic network                   With AT&T now saying it's deploying the North Carolina Next Generation Network and a fiber decision still possible from Google, there's more interest that ever in ultrafast Internet access for business and homes in the Triangle. An upcoming conference will provide plenty of insight into what to expect from fiber networks.

Updated December 1

Premium Lock Lost amid layoff news: GSK's advance toward Ebola vaccine

The Ebola outbreak isn't generating big headlines in the U.S. these days, but forthcoming layoffs at GlaxoSmithKline are a hot topic. Unfortunately for GSK, the job cuts have overshadowed the company's progress in developing the first vaccine for the deadly Ebola.

GSK's Andrew Witty talks strategy GSK's Andrew Witty talks strategy

November 28

Green light back on for AT&T's ultra-fast Internet project in Triangle

Fiber optic network                   Communications giant AT&T says it will deploy previously announced fiber-optic network projects, including the North Carolina Next Generation Network. In a letter to the FCC and in statements provided to WRAL TechWire, AT&T says a recently announced "pause" won't impact plans announced earlier this year.

Updated November 21

Premium Lock Obama's immigration moves don't satisfy tech sector, entrepreneurs

Immigration President Obama's changes in immigration don't go far enough to satisfy the high-tech sector, which has been demanding more visas. Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists had sought broader changes as well.

November 21

Premium Lock FCC: 'Big dogs' will sue any new net neutrality rules

FCC Not only is the FCC pushing back any new "net neutrality" guidelines but the chair warns that "big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out." That's hardly good news for backers of the N.C. Next Generation Network, which is to be built by AT&T. Fiber projects are already on hold at the telecom giant, and now the net neutrality debate is extending into sometime next year. What's this mean for NCNGN? Does this open the door for Google Fiber?

Updated November 21

Premium Lock Forbes: Wilmington, Raleigh, Asheville, Durham-CH are 'smart' cities

Forbes Forbes' "America's Smartest Cities" report shows North Carolina has plenty of "smarts" outside of the Capital City. While Raleigh ranks No. 7 among the 51 largest cities, Wilmington actually scores better nationally at No. 5 overall among 380 metro areas. Asheville and Durham-Chapel Hill also crack the top 15.

Updated November 21

Premium Lock Consumer Reports: Republic Wireless is top prepaid provider

Raleigh-based Republic Wireless is the top-rated provider of prepaid wireless services, says Consumer Reports in a new survey of cell-phone service providers.

A Moto X as sold by Raleigh-based Republic Wireless A Moto X as sold by Raleigh-based Republic Wireless

Updated November 19

Premium Lock AT&T topples Verizon in latest Raleigh wireless tests

A substantial boost in download speeds helps AT&T regain the top spot from Verizon in wireless service, according to independent testing firm RootMetrics. However, Verizon keeps its grip on the top spot at RDU International Airport.

AT&T tops RootMetrics score in Raleigh AT&T tops RootMetrics score in Raleigh

Updated November 20

Premium Lock Reality check: Next Glass goes live with wine, beer app

Wilmington-based startup Next Glass moves from a successful beta test to full launch today with its widely publicized and much anticipated app designed to help wine and beer buyers find brands they will like - before opening any bottles. And the CEO is nervous but excited.

November 19

Premium Lock Survey shows corporate progress in embracing LGBT equality

A new survey from the Human Rights Campaign finds that a record number of companies, including seven in North Carolina, received perfect scores in corporate inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and GlaxoSmithKline are among those receiving a "100" on the Corporate Equality Index.

Survey finds more LGBT equality in corporate America Survey finds more LGBT equality in corporate America

Updated November 18

Premium Lock Raleigh digital marketing agency hiring up to 30 after acquisition

Raleigh-based digital marketing agency Click Optimize Creative Group is looking to hire as many as 30 people following its acquisition by Healthgrades. COCG and its core management team will remain in Raleigh as the company expands under new ownership.

COCG web page COCG web page

Updated November 17

Premium Lock Appia's CEO plans to 'stay engaged' as $100M deal unfolds

Appia  Don't look for Jud Bowman, founder and CEO of Appia, to step away from his post or from a spot on the board of Mandalay Digital any time soon. Bowman shares with WRAL TechWire his plans and thoughts about the $100 million deal that will make the Durham startup part of Mandalay Digital.

Updated November 14

Premium Lock More help wanted: High-tech job openings across NC surge 6%

Good news for information technology job seekers: The daily average of advertised job listings across North Carolina surged 6 percent in October to 3,780. Leading the way is a big demand for systems and engineering support.

IT Job demand grows IT Job demand grows

Updated November 14

Premium Lock Despite pause, AT&T to 'continue working' with NC Next Generation Network

North Carolina AT&T President Venessa Harrison says the company will "continue working" with the ultra-fast North Carolina Next Generation Network project even though the telecommunications giant has put a "pause" on fiber projects. NCNGN also reaffirms its commitment to AT&T.

Venessa Harrison Venessa Harrison

Updated November 13

Premium Lock Is NC Next Generation Network in jeopardy? No one's talking

An event discussing the impact of gigabit Internet access on the Triangle sponsored by AT&T is still a "go" for Thursday, but whether the communications giant will proceed with the North Carolina Next Generation Network and other fiber projects in the Triangle is not clear after AT&T's CEO announced a "pause" in deployments. No one involved will comment specifically. Will AT&T's delay impact Google Fiber's decision making?

Service area as spelled out for NC NGN in RFP Service area as spelled out for NC NGN in RFP

Updated November 12

Premium Lock Crowdfunding allies reboot after key ally loses re-election bid

Republicans may have won on a vast scale nationally in elections last week but a local loss in the Triangle has cost backers of crowdfunding legislation in North Carolina a key ally. However, supporters of the NC JOBS Act plan to keep pushing.

Gov. Pat McCrory talks jobs at SAS Gov. Pat McCrory talks jobs at SAS

Updated November 12

Premium Lock Forward Triangle, aka Triangle Entrepreneurship Week, folds

Forward Triangle, which replaced Triangle Entrepreneurship Week and was one of the region's highest profile startup-focused events, is no more. Founder Jon Leonardo is moving on to a new event focusing on what it says will be unique events linking artists and their audiences.

Forward Triangle Forward Triangle

Updated November 12

Premium Lock Events this week show - again - US vets have ally in Lenovo

Lenovo banner at a trade show Lenovo, with deep U.S. roots it acquired in buying IBM's PC business nearly a decade ago, shows a continuing commitment to U.S. military veterans - men and women - and their children with a series of events this Veterans Day.

November 10

Premium Lock 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.