The Skinny

The Skinny

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

7:51 p.m. yesterday

Microsoft paints sunny earnings picture

Microsoft CEO Nadella Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella painted an upbeat vision of the future Tuesday, saying that the next version of Windows will be unified across screens of all sizes.

Tags: Microsoft
Updated 8:01 a.m. yesterday

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 6:00 a.m. Monday

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.

Facebook Facebook

June 30

Premium Lock Report: N.C. not even in top 10 for U.S. broadband

Broadband technology firm Akamai's new report on global and U.S. broadband availability documents North Carolina's need for faster broadband service. The Tar Heel state isn't even in the top 10 - and the U.S. ranks seventh globally. But take heart, Americans, we are only 1 percentage point behind Latvia! As for 4K TV - well, our networks have a long way to go.

Google Fiber network to "hut" to home Google Fiber network to "hut" to home

Updated June 27

Premium Lock Attention high-tech job hopefuls: It's 'absolutely a job-seekers market'

Chief Information Officers in the Triangle area are either ramping up plans for hiring or are looking to fill open positions. Yet they are having trouble finding candidates. Why? And if you are looking for a job, what advice can help you land a coveted position? A talent management executive offers his insight.

Help wanted sign  Help wanted sign

Updated June 26

Premium Lock Crowdfunding bill now on N.C. Senate agenda

NC JOBS Act The chances of crowdfunding becoming law in N.C. improved greatly Wednesday when backers of the bill in the state Senate incorporated it into a large "regulatory reform" package. But backers are taking nothing for granted.

Updated June 25

Premium Lock VC attorney: Aereo case will deter investors, not entrepreneurs

Technology startups aren't likely to be scared away from innovation due to Aereo's loss at the Supreme Court, but investors are going to "be more careful," says Jim Verdonik, a veteran attorney who works with venture capitals and startups. Is Uber the next startup headed for a crash?

A screenshot from Aereo A screenshot from Aereo

June 25

Premium Lock Attorney general warns about crowdfunding 'crooks' - just in time for N.C. bill crunch-time

Dollar sign N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has issued a warning about consumer risks in crowdfunding - "CROOKS EMBRACE CROWDFUNDING" - just as backers of the NC JOBS Act launch a final push for passage of a crowdfunding bill in the General Assembly.