The Skinny

The Skinny

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

April 2

More high-tech execs, including Microsoft CEO and Cisco's No. 2, condemning Indiana law

Human Rights Campaign The top exec at Microsoft, the chief operating officer at Cisco and a host of other high-tech execs have added their names to a joint statement from the Human Rights Campaign in protest of the recently passed religious freedom law in Indiana and legislation that is pending in Arkansas. A bill is also planned in North Carolina. The execs join Apple CEO Tim Cook in saying such laws allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.

April 2

Republic shares PC Mag wireless award but criticized for lack of phone choice

A Moto G     Raleigh-based Republic Wireless, which earned the top prepaid honor from Consumer Reports last November, is co-No. 1 in a new "Readers' Choice" survey from PC Mag. And the company is moving to address the one big complaint from customers: Lack of phone choice. Big carriers offer more phones but ranked much lower in the survey: T-Mobile No. 5, Verizon No.7, AT&T No. 12 and Sprint No. 13.

April 2

Premium Lock Two Toasters' task: 'Redefine' mobile ticketing for Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster North America's president defines the next mission for Two Toasters, the mobile messaging app developer bought by the ticketing giant on Wednesday: Redefining mobile ticketing. Our Insiders get the details on how the deal came about and what will happen to TT in the Bull City. Suffice to say: The Toasters are not toast.

Two Toasters' app for Valetine's Day Two Toasters' app for Valetine's Day

Updated April 1

High-tech execs join Apple's Cook in condemning Indiana law

Human Rights Campaign Executives from Cisco to Yelp, AirBnB to Zillo have signed a joint statement from the Human Rights Campaign in protest of the recently passed religious freedom law in Indiana and legislation that is pending in Arkansas. A bill is also planned in North Carolina. The execs join Apple CEO Tim Cook in saying such laws allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Updated April 1

Is this a joke? Google Fiber says it slows down net for 'dial-up' mode

For all the demand that is driving Google Fiber and other companies to deliver ultra-fast Internet, there also are people who want downloads to take longer so they can get a cup of coffee. So says Google. The result: Engineers have actually invented a way to slow down fiber - they call it "dial-up mode" - while you get that hot drink or go to the bathroom. Is this a joke? Well, Google announced it March 31 - not on fools' day.

March 31

Premium Lock So why did Quintiles form a joint venture to take on LabCorp?

DNA      Quintiles, the world's largest life science services company, is going to get even bigger - but through a joint venture rather than an acquisition. The deal announced Tuesday to partner with Quest to take on No. 1 lab tester LabCorp is seen as the best way for Quintiles to capitalize on a changing market, a Q executive explains.

Updated March 31

Premium Lock Take that, Google: AT&T rolls out gigabit Internet in Google's backyard

AT&T GigaPower   AT&T is taking the battle for ultra-fast Internet business into Google's own backyard, launching service this week in Cupertino - the hometown of Apple. Coverage of the story in the Valley is quite interesting. Take a look.

March 28

AT&T donates $33,000 for PC training at gigabit Internet kickoff

AT&T's Foundation is making a $33,000 to a PC and Internet training program in Raleigh as part of the launch for ultra-fast Internet access known as the North Carolina Next Generation Network. The City of Raleigh's "Digital Connectors" program is receiving the money.


March 27

Races are on: Hundreds already voting in 'Full Steam Ahead Awards'

WRAL TechWire's third "Full Steam Ahead Awards" is shaping up as the biggest to date - by far - in early voting. And registrations for WTW's party to celebrate the winners are filling up fast. Have you voted for your favorites? Have you signed up to attend?

Full Steam Ahead Awards Full Steam Ahead Awards

Updated March 27

Ultra-fast Internet network coming first to Raleigh community center

The North Carolina Next Generation Network formally launches on Saturday at a community center in Raleigh. AT&T is building the network across the Triangle and parts of the Triad in partnership with several municipalities and four universities.

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

Updated March 26

Red Hat sizzles: Stock soars to 2nd highest all-time price

Red Hat      Shares in Red Hat haven't been this hot since the go-go days of the "dot com" boom when the company went public and its shares soared to $105. On Thursday, shares soared 11 percent to a new 52-week high of $76.70 after a strong earnings report on Wednesday. And Wall Street analysts are impressed.

March 26

Will new NC crowdfunding bill ('Paces') bring clarity, win passage?

Crowdfunding bill Crowdfunding may yet become a reality in North Carolina with the filing of a new bill in the state Senate on Wednesday. It's called PACES, or "Providing Access To Entrepreneurs/Small Business." Legislation also has been introduced in the House. The debate continues ...

Updated March 26

WTW's 'Full Steam Ahead Award' field is set; cast your vote today

From startups to global giants, entrepreneurs to corporate CEOs and chairs, WRAL TechWire will honor 12 of the best at its "Full Steam Ahead" awards next month. We have the full list of finalists. Cast your votes today to help determine the winners.

Full Steam Ahead Awards Full Steam Ahead Awards

Updated March 25

Premium Lock Red Hat earnings: Another surprise or will strong dollar wreak havoc?

Surprising Wall Street on earnings report day has become quite the habit at Red Hat. But will the Hatters have a disappointing surprise this afternoon when they report how business went in the last quarter? Analysts and media have plenty of ideas and speculation. If Oracle's earnings are an indicator, currency could play a big role.

Red Hat's shares over past year Red Hat's shares over past year

Updated March 24

Internet providers file lawsuits against FCC 'net neutrality' rules

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Internet service providers on Monday filed two lawsuits against the new "net neutrality" rules adopted by the FCC. Previous net neutrality rules were struck down in federal court, and providers such as AT&T and Verizon are trying the legal route once more to halt new rules that seek to govern Internet providers as utilities.

Updated March 23

RDU's wireless access plunges in latest report on performance

RDU's wireless service slips Travelers passing through Raleigh-Durham International Airport are not getting the fastest and most reliable wireless Internet and phone service as they get at other airports, according to a new report. RDU drops to No. 40 from No. 14 among 50 major airports.

Updated March 23

Premium Lock After 7-year run, NCTA pults hold on high-tech jobs report

NCTA The North Carolina Technology Association's monthly information technology job trends report is no longer being published. Why? Will it return? Our Insiders get the details.

March 20

Despite Bill Gates' warning, will world prepare for the next Ebola?

Bill Gates The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation took a major role in trying to find a vaccine to treat Ebola, even providing funding to Durham-based Chimerix. Now, Bill Gates is warning that the world must prepare for future epidemics. If we are smart, we will listen and learn from what's happened from an outbreak that has killed some 10,000 people.

March 20

Want to cut cable costs? Buying a modem may make dollars and sense

Cable With all the new streaming services coming online and with more people "cutting the cord" on cable TV, one problem remains: You still need Internet access, preferably high speed. But a way to cut Internet costs could be buying rather than renting a modem from your provider. And a new Internet modem calculator from WalletHub offers ways to possibly cut costs.

March 19

Premium Lock So what do Lenovo executive changes mean to Triangle? To company?

Lenovo's Jay Parker In an exclusive interview, Lenovo's head of North America operations talks about the impact of the tech giant's many management changes announced on Thursday mean to the company, the Triangle and the top two Lenovo execs in the Triangle.