The Skinny

The Skinny

WRAL Local Tech Wire Publisher and Editor Rick Smith dishes out tidbits from the local technology sector.

Updated 4:07 p.m. yesterday

Unions call for 'reorientation' at IBM in joint statement

IBM Global Union Alliance  Alliance@IBM in the U.S. joins with two other unions in Western Europe and the IBM Global Union Alliance wants IBM to show more "appreciation" for Big Blue workers, a "new jam" with management about how to shape IBM's future, and "meaningful investments" rather than being focused on driving up earnings. They use a quote from retired chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano about iBM's greatest invention being its workers as part of their argument.

1:32 p.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Red Hat 'supports' new Linux security initiative but isn't a listed funder

The Linux Foundation is launching a "multi-million dollar project" to improve security in the wake of the Heartbleed OpenSSL crisis. Big-name tech companies are contributing to the fund - but Red Hat, a backer of OpenSSL and the global Linux commercial leader, isn't among the listed funders. Red Hat says it "supports" the initiative but remains mum on specifics. The Hatters do acknowledge that their director of security response is a "founding member" of OpenSSL. They say Red Hat OpenSSL problems have been fixed but won't say anything else about the new program.

Core's supporters include many big tech names Core's supporters include many big tech names

1:49 p.m. Tuesday

Premium Lock MCNC expands network capabilities in deal with Sentinel Data Centers

MCNC, the operator of the statewide North Carolina Research and Education Network, is adding capabilities to its own fiber and data infrastructure in a deal with Durham-based Sentinel Data Centers.


Updated 1:25 p.m. Tuesday

Unions spell out 'demands' to IBM, plan to step up organizing

While IBM didn't announce any more job cuts during a conference call last week to discuss its latest earnings, unions representing IBMers overseas and Alliance@IBM, which wants to unionize workers in the U.S., met in Europe to discuss strategy. They agreed on a series of "demands" that call for Big Blue to "protect" its "loyal work force."

Lee Conrad picketed IBM in RTP two years ago Lee Conrad picketed IBM in RTP two years ago

Updated 8:04 a.m. Monday

Aereo case shows that in technology vs. tradition we all win - and lose

Scot Wingo, CEO at ChannelAdvisor, asked me why I wanted to learn about the book business. "What makes you think there will be a book business in the future," he asked. Excellent question. As the Aereo vs. broadcasters case unfolds before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, its CEO defends the right of innovation and says no industry is "sacred." But as more and more traditional businesses disappear, who really are the losers? Us.

A screenshot from Aereo A screenshot from Aereo

April 18

Premium Lock VC deals surge nationally - but not in Triangle, rest of NC

New venture capital investment statistics from two different sources illustrate an increasingly apparent reality: VC is losing its relevance as an investment tool for growing startups in North Carolina. While deals and dollars are at the highest levels since 2001, both numbers remain paltry in the Tar Heel state which often ranked among the top 10 for VC action in the past.

Dow Jones Venture Source graphic notes lack of VC in southeast Dow Jones Venture Source graphic notes lack of VC in southeast

Updated April 17

With record numbers, international growth, WRALTechWire's Insider turns 1

WRALTechWire's new look launched a year ago A year ago today, WRALTechWire launched its Insider service - providing selected content to subscribers for an annual fee. Year two begins with a re-commitment to this strategy to deliver the most comprehensive technology and life science reporting every business day in the Triangle and across the state.

Updated April 16

IBMers fear more layoffs; Street expects another revenue drop in report today

Layoffs IBM is due to report in latest quarterly financials today, and speculation is circulating that Big Blue may announce another work force "rebalancing." In other words, layoffs. Meanwhile, Citigroup has cut IBM shares to "neutral" from "buy," and the Street expects the tech giant to report an eighth straight quarterly decline in revenue.

Updated April 16

Premium Lock Ex-IBMer Dick Daugherty a very deserving Raleigh Hall of Fame choice

Richard "Dick" Daugherty, a former senior executive at IBM, a longtime champion of NCSU's Centennial Campus, and a driving force behind the new strategic plan for Research Triangle Park, is among the latest inductees for the Raleigh Hall of Fame. Way to go, Dick. You deserve this honor.

Dick Daugherty, center, with Jim Jenkins Dick Daugherty, center, with Jim Jenkins

Updated April 15

Premium Lock As Google Glass hits street, group warns: Don't be a 'Glasshole'

The Drudge Report almost daily links to reports about how those wearable computers known as Google Glass are being abused - from invasions of privacy to just plain old obnoxious uses. And as Glass becomes widely available today for $1,500, a consumer group unveils a Top 10 list of reasons why not to be a "Glasshole."

WRAL's Bill Leslie dons Google Glass WRAL's Bill Leslie dons Google Glass

April 15

Pulitzer Prize shows importance of a free press in era of high-tech snooping

"Give me liberty or give me death" still means something in the United States and the western world. Proof of that is the Pulitzer Price awarded to The Washington Post and the U.K. Guardian's U.S. operation for the fortitude each demonstrated in publishing the NSA disclosures of Edward Snowden. Don't ever take your freedom for granted, dear readers. Once lost, it's likely never to be regained.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden         NSA leaker Edward Snowden

Updated April 8

Premium Lock Bravo! 'The Escapist' is a finalist for a 4th Webby Award

The Webby game is on again at The Escapist. The Durham-based news and entertainment web site that is the self-proclaimed "mouthpiece for the gaming generation, is gunning for a fourth Webby Award. Founder and General Manager Alexander Macris is one excited exec - and he shares with WRALTechWire the five reasons why he believes the site could be giving another five-word acceptance speech - but "funner" this time.

The Escapist goes for another Webby The Escapist goes for another Webby

April 8

Premium Lock With long-time leader Warmenhoven out, what next for NetApp?

The sudden replacement of Dan Warmenhoven as chairman at NetApp and his retirement from the storage technology firm's board likely means more change is coming. As the company, which has a big presence in RTP, struggles to deal with the era of "cloud computing," CEO and now Chairman Tom Goergens has even more control over its future.

NetApp's RTP campus NetApp's RTP campus

Updated April 4

Premium Lock Startup Factory partner on firing a co-founder: 'It burns your soul'

Chris Heivly, co-founder of The Startup factory along with Dave Neal, writes a story in Inc. about how to fire a co-founder. So The Skinny asks Heivly: How did Neal react? Jokes aside, Heivly notes that firing a partner "burns into your soul."

Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal

April 4

Lenovo, IBM face 'perfect storm of issues' in US server deal review

Lenovo has already secured office space in RTP for some 2,000 IBMers who are expected to be transferred as part of then $2.3 billion deal for Big Blue's x86 server business. But Bloomberg news reports that the deal faces a "perfect storm of issues" in winning U.S. government approval. It's deja vu 2005 all over again.

IBM's x86 server business operates globally IBM's x86 server business operates globally

April 3

Premium Lock How do you find a job? Network, say recruiting experts

Jobs At a recent jobs and recruiting event put on by the NCBiotech Jobs Network, three corporate recruits stressed one important fact for job seekers: Networking is crucial.

Updated March 28

Premium Lock Haven't heard of I-Cubed? You will - and they're hiring

The "help wanted" sign remains on at the headquarters of high-tech services firm I-Cubed on N.C. State's Centennial Campus. They have 20 jobs open right now and expect to add more. Just this week, the privately held company bought an analytics group in Chicago. CEO Donald Thompson Jr. talks about what's driving his company's success.

I-Cubed talks PLM - product lifecycle management I-Cubed talks PLM - product lifecycle management

Updated March 28

Just call red-hot Red Hat the 'OpenStack' company

Red Hat will forever be known as the company that commercialized open source Linux, but it's quickly becoming the driver in OpenStack - or open source - for cloud computing. CEO Jim Whitehurst says in a conference call: "Yes, obviously there is substantially more interest in OpenStack, frankly than there has been in really any products since Linux."

OpenStack: At the core of Red Hat "clouds" OpenStack: At the core of Red Hat "clouds"

Updated March 26

If not for Canadian government, Lenovo might have bought Blackberry

Where there was smoke there really was fire last year when rumors circulated that Lenovo was going to buy BlackBerry. The deal never happened. CBC News reports why. Then Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility for $2.8 billion. Wow. How different Lenovo's future could look today ...

A BaclKerrby Q10 with keyboard A BaclKerrby Q10 with keyboard

Updated March 26

Premium Lock Does 'Midas List' of VCs show big reason why Triangle lacks investment capital?

Forbes The chase for venture capital has always been a "chicken vs. egg" debate. But what if it's really chicken (capital) vs. egg (ideas) vs. hatchery (VCs)? Can you have a productive venture capital-sparked startup community like Silicon Valley without top-drawer VCs?