Editor's Blog

The latest blog posts from our WRAL Tech Wire and WRAL editors.

27 minutes ago

82% advertising surge lifts Facebook past Street expectations

Facebook's Nearby Friends  Facebook's earnings and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.

32 minutes ago

Apple plans $30B stock buy-back, split its stock

New iPhones        Apple plans to buy back an additional $30 billion of its stock, raise its quarterly dividend by 8 percent and split its stock for the first time in nine years.

Updated 1:18 p.m. today

Novozymes to build $36M facility, create 100 jobs in Cary

Biofuels The company will build a new bioagriculture research and development facility in Cary. The company said it will invest $36 million over the next three years and create 100 new jobs at the facility. Salaries will start at $70,000.

12:54 p.m. today

Vivek Wadhwa: 'Location, location, location' is not mantra for tech success now

Opinion: Oculus, the latest technology startup to be acquired for billions of dollars, was based not in Silicon Valley but in Irvine, Calif. Snapchat, which is rumored to be worth billions, is based in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles area is a good place to live and has great weather, but it has no real advantage as a technology center. These companies could have been based anywhere with equal success. You can't predict which technology hub the next Oculus will come from--or whether it will be a hub at all. Anyone anywhere--whether in an incubator, garage or tent--can now build world-changing technology.

Epic Games demos Unreal 4 with Oculus VR Epic Games demos Unreal 4 with Oculus VR

12:39 p.m. today

Can entrepreneurs help reinvent public schools?

ExitEvent ExitEvent news: Durham School Board has joined a growing national movement to get entrepreneurs involved in education. ExitEvent's Laura Baverman reports in this latest story that is part of the news partnership between WRALTechWire and ExitEvent.

12:28 p.m. today

Government contracts likely mean immunity for big Novartis vaccine plant

Plans for pharmaceutical giants Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly to swap business lines may have shaken up the stock market Tuesday, but work at a Novartis flu vaccine plant in Holly Springs hummed along, and local officials said they expect it to remain that way.

Novartis plant in Holly Springs Novartis plant in Holly Springs

12:17 p.m. today

Microsoft expands advertising-free Bing search for schools

Bing Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier this year, is now available to all U.S. schools, public or private, from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

Updated 6:51 a.m. today

Premium Lock Deals ahead? Cree CEO looking for 'strategic opportunities'

Cree Chairman and CEO Chuck Swoboda drops hints in a conference call with Wall Street analysts that the global LED manufacturer and developer is looking for deals. Nothing is imminent, he says, but "we're starting to look" at possible deals "more seriously."

Cree's Chuck Swoboda Cree's Chuck Swoboda

5:53 a.m. today

Installment plans for phones drive AT&T wireless growth

AT&T Next Although customers in the installment plan, called Next, aren't locked into traditional two-year service contracts, they pay the entire cost of phones in installments. As a result, AT&T doesn't have to pay hundreds of dollars per customer in subsidies. In return, customers can get a new phone as often as every year instead of every other year.

5:38 a.m. today

Aereo vs. broadcasters: Justices skeptical, concerned

Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

Aereo's mini-antenna  Aereo's mini-antenna

1:14 p.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Cisco picks RTP as a hub for new 'Threat Defense' service

Cisco Cisco is rolling out a new "Managed Threat Defense" offering to help networks deal with mounting security challenges. RTP will be one of two hubs for the service, according to Network World.

12:52 p.m. yesterday

Can Campus Cruizer replace the taxicab at NC State (and beyond)?

ExitEvent Sarah Bill, writing for ExitEvent, reports about the efforts of two NCSU students' startup that provides pre-registered designated student drivers. This is the latest post that is part of the news partnership between WRALTechWire and ExitEvent.

Tags: NCSU, Startups
Updated 12:37 p.m. yesterday

AT&T joins investment group to launch $500M online video venture

AT&T The move comes amid rapid growth in online video services. AT&T, a telecoms giant, already offers TV content through its U-Verse service, which competes with more traditional cable TV providers. With online video, though, it could attract customers of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other services - including people who've stopped paying for traditional broadcast, cable or satellite TV.

Updated 11:15 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Novartis-GSK deals slide show: How they change Novartis

Drug giants Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline each offered investors online presentations that spell out graphically how the deals announced Tuesday will affect each company. Here's a look at three key slides from the Novartis presentation.

Novartis gains GSK's oncology portfolio Novartis gains GSK's oncology portfolio

Updated 11:13 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock GSK-Novartis deals slide show: How they change GSK

Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis each offered investors online presentations that spell out graphically how the deals announced Tuesday will affect each company. Here's a look at three key slides from the GSK presentation.

GSK's proposed new vaccine portfolio GSK's proposed new vaccine portfolio

Updated 7:55 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock RTP's robotic David (TransEnterix) takes on a giant (Intuitive Surgical)

TransEnterix, which is developing an innovative robotic surgery platform, completed its move to the NYSE MKT, launched its first "advanced energy flexible instrument," and is ready to take on industry leaders. But CEO Todd Pope says one of his biggest challenges early-on was convincing investors he could build the firm in the Research Triangle.

TransEnterix CEO Todd Pope TransEnterix CEO Todd Pope

6:50 a.m. yesterday

Apple, its NC data center already 'green,' widens anti-pollution efforts

Apple goes greener With its four big data centers, including one in western North Carolina, utilizing renewable energy, tech giant Apple says its retail stores will go that route for power needs. The company on Monday also announced a free recycling program.

Updated 11:22 a.m. yesterday

Glaxo CEO: Major deals to 'improve long-term earnings'

GSK's top executive Andrew Witty says the multiple deals announced early Tuesday with Novartis promise to deliver "broadly sustainable sourced sales growth and improve long-term earnings."

Andrew Witty   Andrew Witty

Updated 11:21 a.m. yesterday

Novartis swaps businesses with GSK, plans to sell Holly Springs plant

Novartis Two drug giants with major operations in the Triangle, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, are swapping businesses in two major deals. Meanwhile, Novartis plans to sell its huge Holly Springs plant in a separate deal and also strikes an agreement to sell its animal health business to Eli Lilly. No layoffs are planned, Novartis says.

Updated 1:37 p.m. Monday

AT&T expands gigabit Internet plan to more Triangle, NC markets

AT&T touts its GigaPower AT&T says it will expand super-fast Internet services to as many as 100 additional cities in 25 metropolitan areas, several of which are in the Triangle and North Carolina. Apex, Garner and Morrisville have been added to the Triangle target list that already includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carborro and Cary.