Tesla sues ex-Autopilot director for taking proprietary info, poaching employees

Tesla sues ex-Autopilot director for taking proprietary info, poaching employees

Tesla has sued former employee Sterling Anderson, who acted as Director of its Autopilot Programs for just over a year, for breach of contract. The suit accuses Anderson of having tried to recruit away employees from Tesla, with the intent of starting his own autonomous driving company, and of also taking Tesla proprietary confidential information to support this goal.

Tesla alleges in its complaint that Anderson and recently departed head of Google’s self-driving project Chris Urmson (also named as a defendant) were going to use the information and personnel taken from Tesla to begin their own self-driving car company, dubbed Aurora, with the aim of charting a similar path to companies including Cruise Automation and Otto, both of which went on to enjoy lucrative exits.

In the suit, Tesla also alleges that Anderson downloaded “hundreds of gigabytes” of proprietary data from his work computer to a personal storage device, and that he then manually hacked the timestamps on files to hide evidence of his acquisition of the information. He also wiped the iPhone issued by Tesla, the suit says, in order to erase evidence of his attempts to poach fellow employees. These attempts were met with only limited success, however, as only two employees apparently ever jumped ship to the new venture.

Tesla is seeking damages for its losses as a result of its breaches suffered due to Anderson’s actions, as well as punitive damages for what it terms “malicious” acts on Anderson’s behalf. It’s also looking for injunctions against Aurora’s technologies pending Tesla’s vetting for use of its proprietary tech.

The suit was filed Thursday morning at the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara and seeks a jury trial to resolve the matter.

Tesla declined to provide comment when contacted.

Aurora provided the following statement to TechCrunch via email when asked for more information:

Tesla’s meritless lawsuit reveals both a startling paranoia and an unhealthy fear of competition. This abuse of the legal system is a malicious attempt to stifle a competitor and destroy personal reputations. Aurora looks forward to disproving these false allegations in court and to building a successful self-driving business.

Source: Tech Crunch

Nokia introduces MIKA, a digital assistant for engineers and telecom operators

Nokia introduces MIKA, a digital assistant for engineers and telecom operators

Nokia’s got a nice, adorable name picked out for its new voice assistant. MIKA stands for “Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant,” letting engineers and telecom operators access information through voice commands.

The system is powered by the company’s cognitive services platform, using “augmented intelligence with automated learning to provide access to an extensive range of tools, documents and data sources.”

Essentially MIKA is designed to offer quick answers to engineer questions, based on experience drawn from other networks – so, it’s not entirely unlike Siri or Alexa, but it’ll provide answers to engineering questions, instead of turning on a smart lightbulb or checking the local weather.

The announcement comes as the company’s been building a fair amount of heat in the weeks leading up to Mobile World Congress. The world’s biggest phone show is set to see the once-beloved brand’s big return to the smartphone space it once so unceremoniously left behind.

Of course, that’s the HMD version, the Nokia name being licensed out by a local company formed from ex-pats of the tech giant. Those devices are more likely to get paired with Google Assistant than Nokia’s new offering.

Source: Tech Crunch

Rogers Q4 2016 earnings: Average postpaid subscriber bill increases by 5.6%

Rogers Q4 2016 earnings: Average postpaid subscriber bill increases by 5.6%

Rogers postpaid subscribers paid an average of 5.6 percent more on their monthly bills in 2016.
Meet Facebook’s VP of VR: Hugo Barra joins social network to lead virtual reality

Meet Facebook’s VP of VR: Hugo Barra joins social network to lead virtual reality

SAN FRANCISCO — Hugo Barra, the former Google executive who left Xiaomi Corp. this week, has signed on at Facebook to lead all of the giant social network’s virtual reality efforts including Oculus.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the surprise announcement in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

“Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They’ll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,”  Zuckerberg wrote.

The Facebook post was accompanied by a digitized image of the two executives in Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. “Hugo’s in China right now,” Zuckerberg wrote. “So here we are together in VR. It seems fitting.”

Joining Facebook as VP of virtual reality (VPVR!) to lead Team @Oculus. So excited! Mark posted about it here: http://ocul.us/HugoBarra 

In a Twitter post, Barra, who this week left Xiaomi where he ran the Chinese phone maker’s global division, said he was signing on as Facebook’s vice president of virtual reality.

In a comment on Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, he wrote: “It’s been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments of science fiction; now we’re taking selfies in virtual worlds.”

Zuckerberg has hailed virtual reality as the next major computing platform after mobile devices. That spurred Facebook’s purchase of Oculus. Beyond Oculus, Facebook envisions a not too distant future in which people can connect and gather in virtual spaces.

Last February during an appearance at Mobile World Congress, Zuckerberg hailed VR as “the most social platform.”

“Pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there, right there in person,” Zuckerberg said.

Picking up Barra is a major coup for Facebook. Barra, who was recruited by Xiaomi from a top Android job at Google in in 2013, will lead Oculus which has been without a CEO since last month when Brendan Iribe took on a different role.

“I’ve known Hugo for a long time, starting when he helped develop the Android operating system, to the last few years he’s worked at Xiaomi in Beijing bringing innovative devices to millions of people,” Zuckerberg said.

Barra brings experience with mobile software and with hardware, which he will need to guide Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Gear products which have yet to develop mainstream appeal. He also helped Xiaomi debut its own virtual reality headset.

In testimony last week in a lawsuit brought against Oculus by game publisher Zenimax, Zuckerberg said Facebook would spend $3 billion over the next decade to help bring virtual reality to the world.

Source: USA Today

THE IoT 101 REPORT: Your essential guide to the Internet of Things

THE IoT 101 REPORT: Your essential guide to the Internet of Things

You’ve likely heard the phrase Internet of Things, or IoT, at some point if you have been following any tech news in the last several years.

But at the same time, you might be scratching your head figuring out what it is or what it means past a flashy buzzword.

Simply put, the IoT refers to the connection of devices (other than typical fare such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, refrigerators, juicers, wine racks, heart monitors, ovens, watches, and more are all candidates for connection.

A new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, called IoT 101: The Essential Guide to the Internet of Things, outlines the basics of the IoT and what this next wave of technology means to the everyday individual. The report dives into key IoT terms, predictions and trends for the IoT in the next five years, the industries that the IoT will affect the most, and the biggest challenges facing the IoT.

Here are the key takeaways from the report:

  • The IoT will surge into the mainstream by the end of this decade to include 24 billion devices. This would mean that approximately four IoT connected devices would exist for every human being on the planet.
  • Governments and companies will invest billions of dollars into IoT devices in the next few years. And that investment will pay off by generating trillions of dollars by 2025.
  • The IoT will profoundly transform daily life for governments, consumers, and businesses. These changes will occur in transportation, agriculture, utilities, smart cities, and more.
  • There are dozens of companies with their hands in the IoT space, and more will soon join them. The list includes Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Fitbit, IBM, Google, Amazon, and more.

In full, the report:

  • Reveals the best IoT companies in which to invest.
  • Explains why system integration is the biggest challenge to those in the IoT space.
  • Details the biggest security and privacy issues that the IoT creates.
  • Dives into the 5 Stages of the IoT and explains why many companies have yet to fulfill the IoT’s true potential.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

  1. Purchase the Ultimate IoT Reports Bundle to receive this report PLUS 36 other expertly researched IoT reports. SAVE 89% >> BUY THE BUNDLE
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the IoT.

Source: Business Insider

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