In today’s wrapup of technology and life science news:

  • Business North Carolina magazine is sold
  • FDA fast-tracks a Biocryst drug
  • Uber caps pricing during big storm
  • Microsoft’s earnings don’t excite the markets

The details:

  • Business NC magazine is sold

“I started work here two days before Christmas 1985 — which happened to be my son’s 16th birthday — but my first Up Front column didn’t appear until the May 1987 issue, after I became editor. This will be my last. Ben — now 45 and the magazine’s publisher — and I are selling the business. He’ll run it for the new owners; I’m retiring.”

So wrote David Kinney on Monday, disclosing the sale of Business North Carolina magazine – one of the state’s best providers of in-depth coverage of technology and life science news as well as more general business.

“[T]his puts Business North Carolina in good hands — and not just because they’re the kind that can slide into deeper pockets than the narrow one binding my billfold to my butt. The buyer is Old North State Magazines LLC, formed by the five men who own The Pilot LLC, which publishes the newspaper in Southern Pines and local magazines there and in Greensboro and Wilmington. Three are members of the family that owned the Raleigh News & Observer for 101 years — and this magazine for 13 of those,” Kinney wrote.

Read more about the sale: http://www.businessnc.com/blog/2015/01/26/blog/up-front-turning-a-page/

  • FDA fast-tracks BioCryst drug

The FDA is fast-tracking a drug developed by Biocrypst Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BCRX) that could be a treatment for a rare genetic condition called HAE.

“HAE is a rare, severely debilitating and potentially fatal genetic condition that occurs in approximately 1 in 50,000 people,” BioCryst notes. “HAE symptoms include recurrent episodes of edema in various locations, including the hands, feet, face, genitalia and airways.”

“Fast Track” designation means the FDA will work with BioCryst to expedite and review the drug for possible approval. 

  • Uber caps surge pricing during winter storm

Want a ride home from car service Uber during the major snowstorm descending on the Northeast on Monday? Expect to pay more than the usual fare.

Still, after taking heat for big price increases during past storms, Uber has capped how much prices can rise in U.S. cities during disasters or emergencies.

In New York City, surge pricing will be capped at 2.8 times — nearly triple — the normal fare. The San Francisco company is also planning to donate the proceeds after paying drivers to the American Red Cross. That’s part of its nationwide policy during disasters and emergencies after criticism when prices surged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

At smaller rival Lyft, prices never go higher than three times the regular rate.

  • Microsoft earnings report doesn’t excite market  

Big jumps in sales of its Surface tablets, cloud computing software and Lumia smartphones drove Microsoft’s quarterly revenue above expectations, as CEO Satya Nadella continues to steer toward the mobile gadget market and shift Microsoft away from its traditional focus on the PC.

Revenue from cloud computing products, in which businesses pay to use online software housed in Microsoft’s data centers, more than doubled. The division is now on track to bring in $5.5 billion in sales this year. Surface revenue spiked 24 percent to over $1 billion. Another big seller? Xbox — which sold 6.6 million consoles in the holiday quarter. And while profit dropped on big charges for layoffs, other restructuring efforts and integrating the Nokia phone business, Microsoft’s earnings matched Wall Street estimates.

So why is the stock down over 4 percent after-hours?

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said investors are reacting to results in Microsoft’s “core” business of Windows software, which he called “not great.” While Nadella is pointing Microsoft toward mobile, the Redmond, Washington, company still relies heavily on selling Windows software for PCs. And that flagship business is struggling as global shipments of personal computers have fallen for the last ten quarters in a row, according to research firm IDC.

“The PC isn’t dead, but people are much more mobile and they don’t spend all their time on their PC,” said Anthony Clendenen, a tech expert at En Pointe, a California firm that helps businesses buy and install commercial software from Microsoft and other companies.