The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated July 25

Wedding bell blues? Not at Raleigh startup WedPics

Remember that big hit "Wedding Bell Blues" from the 5th Dimension Well, there's no such thing at Raleigh-based WedPics, which is cashing in to the tune of 30,000 brides a month and 5,000-plus weddings a weekend for a growing menu of services that enable brides, grooms, families, guests and the world to see those wedding days - in a growing number of ways.

WedPics' growing number of services WedPics' growing number of services

Updated July 25

Premium Lock Lenovo catches Internet of Things fever - is it good idea?

The virus sweeping the global information technology business - "IoT" or Internet of Things - is driving up the fever within Lenovo. The world's No. 1 PC manufacturer announced a wearable "smart glasses" deal on Thursday and has created a "New Business Development" team focused on IoT opportunities. But is the company overreaching?

Lenovo wants workers in China wearing smart glasses Lenovo wants workers in China wearing smart glasses

July 24

Premium Lock N.C. Senate OKs bill with crowdfunding but future is 'uncertain'

NC JOBS Act The state Senate on Thursday approved with a final vote a bill that includes crowdfunding legislation. Now it goes to the House. But the bill faces an "uncertain" future there due in part to the fact it's bundled with controversial sales tax language.

Updated July 24

National tech news site Xconomy launches in RTP

Xconomy, an expanding technology news operation that also puts on events, launched its Raleigh-Durham site today. The Triangle operation becomes the 10th in the firm's growing network.

Xconomy's Triangle home page Xconomy's Triangle home page

Updated July 24

Vivek Wadhwa blasts Twitter's 'proud' response to diversity report

Former Triangle tech entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, now an academic and an outspoken defender of immigration reform as well as increasing corporate diversity, blasts Twitter for how the company responded to its disclosure of abysmal minority employment statistics. "To say they are proud is disgusting," Wadhwa says - via Twitter.

Twitter's work force diversity statistics Twitter's work force diversity statistics

Updated July 23

Premium Lock N.C. Senate gives tentative OK to bill including crowdfunding

NC JOBS Act The state Senate on Wednesday afternoon gave tentative approval to a bill that includes crowdfunding legislation. One more vote is needed before the bill can go to the House, Economic development legislation also moved forward as part of the bill.

Updated July 22

Premium Lock Crowdfunding bill moves - again - as part of different legislation

NC JOBS Act The General Assembly's move toward authorizing crowdfunding in North Carolina took another twist on Monday. The bill is now part of a larger piece of legislation in the Senate where it's likely to be OK'd. But what happens next?

Updated July 21

Premium Lock AT&T already seeking permits for rollout of ultrafast network

Don't be surprised if you are a Triangle resident - even in Durham, a non-AT&T market in the old telco days - and you see an AT&T crew touting "Gigapower" logos on shirts or trucks in the near future. The telecommunications giant is wasting no time in rolling out a fiber-optic network as part of the North Carolina Next Generation Network. With all six cities involved now on board, AT&T is moving fast - the old Ma Bell knows that Google could be a threat. So, too, is RST Fiber which has already targeted Wake Forest for testing. Watch out, folks, fiber is coming quickly.

AT&T touts its GigaPower   AT&T touts its GigaPower

Updated July 18

Premium Lock Latest stats show institutional venture capital in N.C. becoming a joke

Despite a wealth of IPOs in 2013, numerous lucrative "exits" through mergers and acquisitions and the robust growth of investment-backed startups, one huge threat could hammer the Triangle's entrepreneurial community: The continuing lack of institutional venture capital. Statistics from Dow Jones VentureSource and PricewaterhouseCoopers tell the grim story.

VC investments climb in US. VC investments climb in US.

Updated July 18

Premium Lock With cities on board, N.C. Next Generation Network is rolling toward first big deployment target

When the Town of Carrboro inked its agreement with AT&T for deployment of a fiber network, the North Carolina Next Generation Network's goal of bringing ultrafast Internet service took a huge step toward network workout. The next big date: Oct. 1 as NCNGN and partners identify where they want AT&T to provide free net access. But Google Fiber remains an option. WRAL TechWire Insiders get the details.

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

Updated July 17

Premium Lock Is IBM-Apple deal a slap in the face for Lenovo?

If Lenovo has a "parent" in its rise as a global technology powerhouse, it's IBM. After all, Big Blue's sale of its PC division to Lenovo in 2005 took the China-born company international. Now, Lenovo is trying to buy IBM's x86 server business and Google's Motorola Mobility to accelerate growth in servers and smartphones. So what does IBM do as Lenovo grows as a threat to Apple? The Skinny talks with an analyst about IBM's big deal with Apple. Is it a slap in the face to Lenovo? By the way, BlackBerry already is caught up in fallout from the deal.

Apple teams with IBM Apple teams with IBM

Updated July 16

Premium Lock A rare look into economic recruitment, requirements: Cary's disappearing 1,237 jobs document

IT jobs The Town of Cary published, albeit briefly, a document spelling out details of a job recruitment proposal that could lead to the addition of 1,237 information technology jobs from an "international information technology and engineering services firm." For those interested in how economic recruitment works, this is interesting reading. The package includes $17 million in state tax credits and a $123,700 matching grant from Cary for a state One North Carolina Fund grant.

July 15

Premium Lock N.C. Senate committee to consider crowdfunding bill

NC JOBS Act Crowdfunding in North Carolina could take a big step toward becoming law on Wednesday as a Senate committee schedules the legislation for a hearing. A key backer says "this is very good news." But nothing's guaranteed. Meanwhile, a key life science investor throws his weight behind the bill.

Updated July 15

Premium Lock NCTA renames its '21 Awards,' to honor winners with 'Beacon'

North Carolina's "Academy Awards" program for technology is getting a new name from the North Carolina Technology Association. A wide variety of individuals and companies will receive "Beacon" honors as "21 Awards" disappears.

NCTA's new awards NCTA's new awards

Updated July 7

Vivek Wadhwa's book 'Innovating Women' hits markets Sept. 2

How have some of the most successful women in technology found success? What lessons can they share to others who hope to crack the "glass ceiling?" Former Triangle tech entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, now an academic and author, examines the challenges women face in the tech industry through a new book based on input from hundreds of female executives and tech workers around the world.

Vivek Wadhwa's new book Vivek Wadhwa's new book

Updated July 2

Premium Lock Capital watch: Crowdfunding bill in a 'mess;' patent troll bill advancing

NC JOBS Act Two key bills in the North Carolina General Assembly that concern the tech community - crowdfunding and patent trolls - are still pending. What's happening? Let's go inside the sausage-making process that is politics ...

July 2

The Startup Factory looks to hire venture associate, marketer

The Startup Factory With talk about raising a new fund and possibly expanding beyond the Triangle, The Startup Factory is gearing up for growth. It's looking to hire two full-time people with partners Chris Heivly and Dave Neal saying they "need rockstars."

Updated July 1

Fed up IBMers protest in France over working conditions

For the second time this year, IBM faces a rebellion by workers. This time, the strike is taking place in France where IBMers are protesting job cuts that they say "have deeply damaged working conditions." IBM's proposed x86 server sale to Lenovo triggered a March strike in China. But don't hold your breath that a walkout might occur in the U.S.

Five unions back IBM protest in France Five unions back IBM protest in France

Updated June 30

Sunday Times: Sex tape ignited GSK's China scandal

"Revealed: Sex tape blew open Glaxo's China bribery scandal," reads the big headline in the prestigious The Sunday Times says. A "clandestinely" filmed video of GSK's top China executive that was sent to GSK's CEO set off a company investigation that in turn ignited China's bribery probe against the drug giant, the paper says. In a statement to Reuters, GSK confirms the tape's existence.

Sunday Times report on its website Sunday Times report on its website

Updated June 30

'To Facebook, we are all lab rats' - are you outraged?

All of you Facebook and social media users who can't wait to share your story as well as your "likes" and 'tweets" had best read a New York Times story about how Facebook manipulated news feeds as part of an experiment. So you think you can trust any of these social tools? Don't be naive.

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