Editor’s note: WRALTechWire’s “Bulldog” is named after the old newspaper tradition of a “bulldog edition” for providing a quick and early look at news. We recently chose to relaunch the Bulldog as a way to incorporate local and other technology and life science news in our daily reports in a concise way so that we can provide more news to our readers.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK - In our Bulldog blog’s regional tech and life science news update: Facebook shares are at a record high; Pappas Ventures names a new partner; ChannelAdvisor execs hit the road to talk business; Google to ferry workers to the Valley; Samsung’s new phone may include eye recognition.

  • Facebook Shares Close at Record High 

NEW YORK –  Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) shares closed at a record Wednesday after analysts this week said the company is getting better at making money and engaging users.

Facebook rose less than 1 percent to $58.23 at a market capitalization of $147.9 billion, beating its closing price of $57.96 on Dec. 24. The share price doubled last year as Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg focused on gaining mobile users.

The Menlo Park, California-based company has improved advertisers’ ability to target its more than 1 billion members, according to Ross Sandler, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG who has a buy rating on the stock. Facebook has also expanded promotions on mobile devices and in other countries, he said.

“Monetization is firing on all cylinders according to our checks, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see ad revenue growth re-accelerate” in fourth-quarter results, Sandler wrote in a note to investors yesterday. “Engagement continues to increase broadly for Facebook, owing to the strong footprint in mobile.”

Facebook, which said it was limiting the number of advertisements it showed users, is now charging more for the promotions, Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc., said in a Jan. 6 note to investors.

“Wall Street didn’t know how they were planning to grow revenue, and now you’re seeing that pricing has more than compensated as there’s more and more demand for their ad units,” he said in an interview.

Social-media stocks, which also include microblogging service Twitter Inc., have soared in recent months amid optimism that social-media advertising will grab a bigger slice of the market for digital promotions.

As marketers shift spending to social-media services, both Facebook and Twitter will expand their share of the digital-ad market, according to EMarketer Inc. By 2015, Facebook will grab an estimated 9 percent, up from 5.9 percent in 2012, while Twitter may take 2.2 percent, up from 0.6 percent, the researcher said last month.

  • Venture Firm Pappas Names New Partner

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Scott Weiner, a member of the Pappas Ventures team since 2006, has been promoted to partner.

“We are pleased to recognize Scott’s many contributions to the development and success of our firm,” said Art Pappas, Managing Partner at Pappas Ventures, and its founder. “His knowledge of the life sciences industry and broad transaction experience is valued immensely both by my Pappas colleagues and by our many portfolio companies.”

Weiner has worked with Pappas investments such as Tesaro, Achillion Pharmaceuticals and Athersys. He serves on the boards at Gentis and Milestone Pharmaceuticals and is a board observer at three other firms, including Triangle-based Liquidia.

  • ChannelAdvisor Execs Hit the Road

MORRISVILLE – Scot Wingo, chief executive officer, and David Spitz, chief operating officer, will be talking up ChannelAdvisor (NYSE: ECOM) next week in New York City.

Spitz will talk to investors at the annual Needham Growth Conference in the Big Apple on Jan. 15 at 2:10. A webcast is scheduled.

Meanwhile, Wingo will deliver a talk at the National Retail Foundation’s Expo on Jan. 14. Wingto will talk about “Strategic Partner and Fierce Competitor: Amazon’s Retail Impact.”

“Amazon is a huge force in the retail industry, so it’s crucial that retailers have a comprehensive understanding of how this tech titan operates,” Wingo says about the talk. “I’m pleased to be included in this year’s NRF lineup and to have the opportunity to peel the onion on Amazon for retailers, giving them more insight on how to make the best possible decisions for their retail businesses.”

  • Google to Ferry Works to Valley

SAN FRANCISCO – Google has started shuttling workers on a ferry from San Francisco to Silicon Valley, amid criticism that the Internet search giant and other technology companies are overburdening the city with buses for employees.

Google hired contractor Multinational Logistics Services to run the program, according to Peter Dailey, maritime deputy director at the Port of San Francisco. The 30-day trial service will take employees from the Ferry Building in San Francisco to Redwood City on a catamaran that holds 149 passengers. A fee will be paid to the port as part of the trial, Dailey said.

Companies with campuses in California’s Silicon Valley have come under increased pressure over the large buses they send to San Francisco to transport employees to work. The buses take up too much space on public streets and add traffic, while affluent technology workers living in the city have contributed to a rise in housing prices, some residents say. The companies and the city, meanwhile, say that the shuttles keep thousands of cars off the road, minimizing traffic and benefiting the environment.

Earlier this week, a group of companies including Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Genentech Inc. agreed to pay the city a daily fee for the buses to use existing stops as part of a pilot program, to cover the cost of administration, Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said in a statement. The agreement also will establish guidelines for the buses’ use of the stops.

“We certainly don’t want to cause any inconvenience to S.F. residents and we’re trying alternative ways to get Googlers to work,” the Mountain View, California-based company said yesterday, without commenting specifically on the new ferry service.

  • Samsung’s New “Eye” Phone

NEW YORK – Samsung Electronics will release its Galaxy S5 smartphone by April and is studying using eye scanner technology for the first time as it readies the high-end handset to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhones.

The S5 will be paired with a new wearable device that will be an evolution of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of the company’s mobile business, said in a Jan. 6 interview. Samsung, which posted profit this week that missed analyst estimates, will debut the new products together as it also boosts marketing of tablet computers.

“We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time,” Lee said. “When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved.”

Samsung, which sells one of every three smartphones globally, is adding new features and models to fend off Apple in the high-end market and Chinese makers luring budget customers with handsets for $100. Asia’s biggest technology company will announce at least one other wearable device this year, Lee said without elaborating.

Samsung registered a design in South Korea in October for eyeglasses that can show information from a smartphone and enable users to take calls.