The Skinny

The Skinny

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

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.

Updated June 25

Premium Lock Startup community lobbies N.C. Senate hard for crowdfunding bill

NC JOBS Act We've updated this story with more developments. Supporters of the so-called NC JOBS Act, which would authorize crowdfunding for new and emerging businesses, have launched another lobbying effort to convince the N.C. Senate to pass a bill that the House agreed to a year ago. "This grassroots effort is helping," says a key backer. But time is running out. And now Attorney General Roy Cooper is warning about crooks in crowdfunding.

Updated June 25

Lenovo seeks patent for device similar to Google's Glass

In a patent application filed last December and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Lenovo says it has created a unique "electronic device and sound capturing method." But it sure looks a lot like Google Glass.

A drawing of the device in Lenovo's patent application A drawing of the device in Lenovo's patent application

Updated June 23

Premium Lock MCNC's departing CEO leaves a statewide network legacy - with perhaps more fiber to come

Joe Freddoso's own "salute" to North Carolina may continue well after his formal departure date of June 30 after some seven years on the job. Before leaving, Freddoso wrapped up paperwork for a possible $20 million addition to high-speed bandwidth efforts across various parts of the state.

The New NCREN The New NCREN

Updated June 19

Premium Lock Cisco's love affair with Canada intensifies with $150M for startups

Networking giant Cisco loves North Carolina, to be sure. It's bringing another 550 jobs to RTP and is a limited partner in the new Bull City Venture Partners fund. But Canada - now there is a love affair between a company and a country. O Canada!

John Chambers  John Chambers

June 19

Premium Lock Time running out for crowdfunding bill in NC Senate

NC JOBS Act If you are among those who want to see crowdfunding brought to North Carolina to help finance startups then you had better step up your phone calls and emails to the state Senate. The NC JOBS Act isn't a top priority - and time is running out to get the bill passed.

Updated June 18

Premium Lock Inside Red Hat's latest deal: Why another OpenStack acquisition?

Wednesday's $95 million deal to buy Paris-based eNovance commits Red Hat even more deeply to OpenStack "cloud computing" solutions as its bet for the future. Two Red Hat executives spell out the reasoning for the deal in a WRAL TechWire Insider exclusive.

How OpenStack cloud works How OpenStack cloud works

June 18

Premium Lock Lingering email outage a black eye Time Warner Cable doesn't need

e-mail  Facing the threat of increased competition for high-speed Internet and cable TV customers, the last thing Time Warner Cable needed was a service problem. But it's got one - a week-long email "issue."

Updated June 17

Premium Lock Crowdfunding advocates launch last-second appeal for support in NC Senate

NC JOBS Act After a crowdfunding bill passed decisively in the N.C. House last year, advocates have tried in vain to get the measure passed in the Senate. With the latest session of the general Assembly nearly its close as the last big battle (budget) heads toward a climax, crowdfunding supporters are hoping for a last-second approval. Will they get it?

Updated June 12

Premium Lock Automated Insights: We passed 'Turing Test' long before Russian programmers

A group of Russian programmers created quite a stir this week when they were reported as the first to beat the so-called "Turing Test," convincing humans that the "speaker" was human, not a computer. But Durham-based Automated Insights, a provider of robotic writing and reporting software, reacts with: "Bah, humbug!"

Does Automated Insights robotic content fool you? Does Automated Insights robotic content fool you?

June 11

Premium Lock 'The SuperHuman Age Manifesto:' Vision of startup Szl.IT's CEO

Anyone who has met Richard Boyd - tech entrepreneur and 3D pioneer - over the years knows that Boyd is a visionary thinker. Now he has a new startup after having left a top job at defense contractor Lockheed Martin. And in a recent"manifesto," Boyd makes clear his vision for a future in which humans make technology serve us rather than the other way around. Here, here!

Richard Boyd Richard Boyd

June 10

Premium Lock At CEO's direction, SAS software quickly boosts typhoon relief

Data analytics as a tool to help save lives in an emergency? Yes. Thanks to the compassion of billionaire Jim Goodnight, rescue organizations in the Philippines were able to make rapid use of analytics to crunch big volumes of data - such as tweets from a disaster zone - to deliver actionable results. I.e., helping to save lives. Analytics is not thought to be a quick process. In the case of super Typhoon Haiyan, that belief turned out to be wrong.

SAS analytics helps track typhoon disaster data SAS analytics helps track typhoon disaster data

Updated June 9

Premium Lock Brookings Institute gives a thumbs up to RTP's future plan

In a new report titled "The New Geography of Innovation," the Research Triangle Park receives high marks for its still-unfolding plan to remake the five-decade-old science and research park. While several cities are recognized for revitalizing urban zones as hubs of entrepreneurship and innovation, RTP is cited as the model for turning traditional office parks into an "urbanized science park."

Light rail in RTP future? Light rail in RTP future?

June 9

Premium Lock NC 29th for Silicon Valley talent; you wouldn't guess who is No. 1

A new report breaks down where Silicon Valley firms draw their talent and, yes, North Carolina is on the list. But the state ranks below Missouri (??) and other states not known as high-tech hotbeds. But where is the top talent source? Hint: It's not what you think.

Cisco engineer and NCSU grad Bil Dry wows Pat McCrory Cisco engineer and NCSU grad Bil Dry wows Pat McCrory

Updated June 6

Premium Lock Cisco's D-Day salute to USofA: New jobs in RTP

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers has been fighting corporate U.S. tax policy for years and has said more than once the networking giant wasn't going to hire or grow in the U.S. until policy changed. Then came Friday's news that 550 new jobs - and 143 lost through layoffs - will be added to Cisco's RTP campus. So what's going on?

In constant motion, leaders talk new jobs at Cisco In constant motion, leaders talk new jobs at Cisco

Updated June 5

Premium Lock Overlooked: AT&T-DirecTV deal means more fixed wireless broadband

AT&T is touting to regulators that its proposed acquisition of DirecTV would enable the combined company to speed up deployment for ultra-fast Internet and entertainment networks. But buried deep in an SEC filing, AT&T also offers the prospect of more fixed wireless broadband at cable-like speeds. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear al a carte content offerings are on the menu.

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