The Skinny

The Skinny

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

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.

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

Premium Lock 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