Self-driving-car engineer Anthony Levandowski was sentenced to 18 months in prison by a federal judge in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon, after pleading guilty to one count of trade secret theft in May.
The once-celebrated engineer was at the center of Waymo's legal fight with Uber.
Levandowski was a founding member of Google's "Project Chauffeur," which eventually became Waymo.
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After pleading guilty to trade secret theft, Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer at the center of a massive legal fight between Waymo and Uber, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by a federal judge Tuesday afternoon.
He also agreed to pay Google $756,499 in restitution, to compensate the company for helping the government prosecute the case. Levandowski will not begin his prison sentence until the COVID-19 pandemic has entirely passed, and will also be charged a fine of $95,000.
Levandowski, 40, was indicted on 33 criminal counts of trade secret theft and attempted trade secret theft in August 2019.
The Department of Justice alleged he had left Google with troves of confidential technical documents with the intent to use them for his personal gain. Those same charges were at the heart of Waymo's 2017 lawsuit against Uber, which did not name Levandowski as a defendant.
The engineer left Google's team — which he had helped found in 2009 — in January 2016 to found a trucking-focused startup called Otto. The Google effort, meanwhile, took on the name Waymo in December 2016, when it became a standalone company under the Alphabet umbrella. A few months after Otto was founded, Uber acquired the small outfit for a reported $680 million and put Levandowski in charge of its entire self-driving effort.
Waymo alleged that the ride-hailing giant set up the deal with Levandowski so it could use Google IP to accelerate its self-driving research, which then-CEO Travis Kalanick believed was key to Uber's long-term survival. After a year of legal wrangling, the case went to trial in February 2018, only to be settled within a week. By then, Kalanick had fired Levandowski, who declined to testify in the case, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Levandowski soon founded another self-driving truck startup, Pronto, but resigned his post as CEO when the DOJ indicted him. He initially declared himself innocent and promised to fight the charges, which could have landed him in prison for decades. In March, he accepted a deal in which he pled guilty to one of the 33 counts, involving a weekly report that tracked the Google team's progress, detailed technical challenges, and included notes on how the team had solved various problems in the past.
As part of his plea, the engineer acknowledged that that document counted as a trade secret, and that he had intended to use it for personal gain. He also admitted to downloading about 14,000 files from a Google server and moving them onto his personal computer. "I'm happy to put this behind me," he told Wired at the time.
In his hearing, Levandowski's attorneys asked that he serve 12 months in home confinement at his house in Marin County, California, citing respiratory problems (he's suffered two bouts of pneumonia in recent years) and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Levandowski also proposed he do community service involving talking to engineering students about lessons from his case.
"Mr Levandowski can solve big problems," Judge William Alsup — who also tried the Waymo v. Uber case — said. "I respect that. I want you to know that." But, Alsup said, "This was not a small crime...This was the biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen." He cited the importance of deterring others from committing such crimes. "I want them to think, 'I could end up in federal prison.'"
Alsup also instructed Levandowski that, after serving his sentence, he must give a speech to a total of 200 people, titled "Why I Went to Federal Prison." Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Saved by rival regional outdoor fun specialist Looping Group.
The poetry editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association talks about medicine, metaphor, and how literature can even improve patient outcomes.
So you can cosplay as a gig economy worker.
August could be an auspicious month for Android, and not just because Samsung will be dumping a whole lot of devices next week. Although it seems to have flip-flopped on the exact dates, it seems that the years-long wait for Microsoft Courier fans is coming to an end. Although coming in a completely different form, the Surface Duo is expected … Continue reading
A disinfo operation broke into the content management systems of Eastern European media outlets in a campaign to spread misinformation about NATO.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I want to stress that this is a very highly unusual event. In fact, this is the only confirmed fatality in Maine waters from a shark attack," — Patrick Keliher, commissioner of Maine Department of Marine Resources, on the Monday great white shark attack that killed 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach, who was swimming 20 yards offshore.
LISTEN OF THE DAY
Should schools reopen? We sat down with Insider Audio's Charlie Herman for a lively discussion about what it will take to make it happen, and what's at stake if it doesn't. Click here to listen to the full conversation. — HB & DP
The Big Tech hearing is underway: Follow along. The House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust is questioning the CEOs of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
Joe Biden will announce his running mate next week. It's one of the most consequential picks in recent history, since Biden's age means he may not run for a second term if he wins in 2020, making the VP the de facto party leader going into 2024. Biden has said he will pick a woman.
"Umbrella man" is a white supremacist who was trying to incite violence. Minneapolis police say the man filmed calmly smashing the windows of an Auto Zone early in the George Floyd protests is a member of the Hell's Angels and an Aryan gang. Other demonstrators suspected at the time he was a provocateur.
GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas tested positive for coronavirus. He has refused to wear a mask, and reportedly spoke to AG Bill Barr yesterday, maskless, at close range.
The Trump administration is talking to Oregon officials about removing some federal agents from Portland in exchange for more local police intervention against the protests.
VIEWS OF THE DAY
The US is in the midst of a constitutional crisis
The US is in the midst of a constitutional crisis. It doesn't feel like it. Congress is still in session; no judge has been hauled off to jail; the president's enemies have not been put up against the wall and shot.
This is a quieter kind of constitutional crisis.
First, and perhaps most alarmingly, the Trump administration is blatantly defying the Supreme Court ruling on DACA. SCOTUS ruled that the Trump administration improperly ended the program, and a federal judge this month ordered DACA returned to its pre-cancelation status. But acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf — the same brutal minion who's assaulting Portland — is ignoring the order by refusing to accept new DACA applications and only renewing DACA holders for one year, even though they're entitled to two-year renewals. Wolf is brazenly flouting a federal court order, and saying, essentially: You can't do anything about it.
When one branch of government refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of another branch, that is a constitutional crisis.
Second, the Trump administration has exacerbated and magnified the Portland protests by dispatching federal paramilitaries to Portland against the wishes of local and state officials. These federal agents have occupied streets away from federal buildings.
When the federal government uses force to seize state streets and property, against the express wishes of a popularly-elected state government, that's also a constitutional crisis.
Third, Attorney General Bill Barr strongly hinted to Congress yesterday that he would consider casting doubt on the 2020 election because of the use of mail-in ballots. Previously Barr and Trump have used the DOJ and pardon power to prevent Roger Stone and Michael Flynn from being punished, to harry the government officials who investigated Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and to undermine the Mueller investigation.
In short, Barr and Trump used the federal Department of Justice to clear those who worked to corrupt the 2016 election in Trump's favor, and Barr has signaled that he might use the DOJ to shape the 2020 election too.
When the fairness and safety of the election is under threat because of the President and his AG, that too is a constitutional crisis. — DP
Keeping authoritarians happy is expensive, it turns out.
Senate Republicans are grumbling about something countries around the world have known for ages: It's expensive to keep authoritarian leaders happy.
This week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented his caucuses proposal for the next coronavirus aid bill, and pretty much everyone hates it. The most contentious item is a White House ask — $1.75 billion for a new FBI building that Trump wants. No one sees the point.
But it's clear Senate Republicans included it because they were tired of dealing with the White House's delays. For a while Trump was holding up negotiations because he wanted Senate Republicans to defund coronavirus testing.
That didn't make it into the Senate Republican proposal, and it's unlikely that the FBI building funding will make it into the final bill once House Speaker Nancy Pelosi starts negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Senate Republicans spent precious time writing an expensive proposal they hate so that Trump could pretend he was going back to his old Bob the billionaire Builder life for a few moments. He co-opted the process for his vanity project, and even Republicans — as invertebrate as they've been — seem ashamed of that.
This is the kind of stuff authoritarians do, and it's expensive. — Linette Lopez
Serious Trump lasted exactly one week
One week ago today, following President Trump's just-barely-OK briefing in which he praised masks and didn't say anything truly grotesque, we asked: "How long will the new, serious Trump last? A week?"
The president, of course, is trying to feign sobriety — especially about the pandemic — in order to regain public approval.
He managed for just six days. His daily briefing on Tuesday veered into the usual Trump wetland of self-pity and conspiracism. He malingered on the question of why Anthony Fauci, who works for him, has a high approval rating, while "nobody likes me."
Later, he again shilled for hydroxychloroquine, and defended sharing a video from a quackish doctor who claims preposterously that the drug is a cure for COVID She also claims that many gynecological ailments are caused by women having sex with demons. Trump abruptly ended the briefing soon after a reporter asked about the demon sex.
Will he try gravitas again? Or will the White House conclude, as it has so many times before, that Trump can only be Trumpish? — DP
Cuomo's "victory" lap is a slap in New York's face
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be keeping his head down, humbly doing the public service for the state which — even though the curve has been flattened — is still ravaged by the coronavirus.
Instead, he's sitting for backslapping late night TV interviews, flouting mask and quarantine rules, and screwing small businesses with a short-sighted and puritanical crackdown on "to-go cocktails."
In my new column, I argue that Cuomo is no hero, he's just cosplaying as a "man of action."
Yes, New York was one of the first states hit hard by the virus at a time when governors had far less equipment, knowledge, and time to prepare than they have had in recent months. Under his governance, New York has successfully flattened the curve. And Cuomo pulled this off with virtually no help from the federal government.
But he also dithered in the pandemic's early weeks and made a catastrophic decision to force nursing homes to take COVID patients.
Now that the public accounting is due, he's blaming the media — which created the myth of his heroism in the first place — for the bad optics of thousands of dead elderly New Yorkers, and he's refusing out of hand the prospect of an independent investigation of the state's response.
He is, however, making it a point to assign a multi-agency crackdown on bars and restaurants selling to-go booze, even as those businesses are gasping for survival and the people still have little to do during a sweltering summer heat wave as we enter the fifth consecutive month of hell. — Anthony Fisher
IDEA OF THE DAY
China is the first surveillance superpower.
The Atlantic's Ross Andersen details how China has built a monumental surveillance infrastructure with cameras everywhere, facial recognition, natural-language AI analysis of social media and cell communication, and much more. It's tested it on the Uighurs, using it to suppress and control them. "China is what Orwell feared."
Now it's beginning to export to the rest of the world, giving governments and corporations elsewhere insidious tools for quashing dissent, chilling free speech, and ensuring political dominance. The Chinese technology is making life easier for the most thuggish authoritarian leaders out there.
If American values are going to survive, we can't be Luddites and hide from the technology. We need to come up with a persuasive alternative in which surveillance technology and AI are somehow used to increase freedom, and build connections at a grassroots level. That's a hard problem to solve! — DP
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Insider investigates the MLM Young Living, which sells essential oils. The business claims $1.5 billion in revenue, but 89% of its sellers are on the bottom rung, where the average annual wage is $4.
Jeff Bezos's former wife MacKenzie has donated $1.7 billion of her $60-plus billion fortune since their divorce. Most of the money has gone to efforts to promote racial equity and economic mobility. She has also changed her name to MacKenzie Scott.
Google has started laying a fiber optic undersea cable from the US to the UK and Spain. The cable, named Grace Hopper after the pioneer computer scientist, is Google's fourth cable overall and first to the UK.
The baseball card of Anthony Fauci mid-pitch is ToppsNow's bestseller ever. It's sold more than 51,000 copies in just a few days.
Instagram is offering TikTok stars huge payments to join their new competitor Reels. Reels is being tested already in Europe and will go broadly live in August. It limits videos to 15 seconds.
THE BIG 3*
Not surprisingly, Belarus's dictator got COVID. He had told his people you could avoid the disease by drinking vodka and going to the sauna.
Stella Immanuel, the doctor in the COVID misinformation video endorsed by Trump, belongs to a pro-Trump group of medics. America's Frontline Doctors is also supported by Tea Party Patriots, which has opposed lockdowns.
Employment discrimination continues to be rampant in the US. A new study of Seattle restaurants found them turning away black job applicants while asking identically qualified white ones to start work immediately.
*The most popular stories on Insider today.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
Microsoft has unveiled new subscription and management options for Microsoft Teams Rooms devices.
It’s not too late for the world to change course.
We could see the refreshed iMac in August, or there might be a chance that it turns up even sooner.
Two children from opposite ends of reality are about to collide, and all the worlds will change with them.
Qualcomm rival aims SoC at mid-tier next gen 5G mobiles, doesn't appear to support mmWave Taiwanese Qualcomm rival MediaTek has lifted the lid on its latest 7nm-process chip, aimed at the mobile mid-range.…
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For many years battery researchers around the world have been researching ways to eliminate the need for cobalt from high-energy batteries used in various electronic devices. The reason such effort is being put into eliminating cobalt from batteries is due to the high cost of the material and human rights. The problem with removing cobalt so far has been that … Continue reading
Unprotected database shows many VPN companies collect much more user data than they let on.
Plenty of rugged phone features for not too much money.
A marooned Captain Gullivarrr references a "double-crossin'" pirate.
At the OPPO next-generation super flash charging conference this afternoon, the company released a couple of charging solutions. The Chinese manufacturer unveiled the 125W super flash ...
The post OPPO 110W super flash mini charger released: supports VOOC, PD, PPS, QC, and more appeared first on Gizchina.com.
The last decade of programming has seen a number of revolutionary transformations. One has arisen from a cluster of practices around devops, which aligns development and operations teams into a shared work process, and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), in which devops teams deliver constant incremental updates to a codebase. Another transformation has come from the related move from monolithic codebases to cloud-based microservices running in containers managed by orchestration platforms like Kubernetes.To read this article in full, please click here
Microsoft Teams on Wednesday unveiled a slew of new updates to its video conferencing software, including a "Together mode" that puts participants in a virtual meeting hall. That and other changes will be rolled out to users next month.The most significant update is the new Together mode, which, as the name suggests, aims to make video conferences more informal and bring participants together. Instead of 49 individual participant rectangles appearing in gallery mode, switching to Together mode removes the barriers between participants and uses “AI segmentation technology” to place the head and shoulders of participants side by side in a virtual auditorium.To read this article in full, please click here
the Winner of the twenty-first of the Swedish Steel Prize is awarded the prize for pioneering the use of martensitic steel in a 3-d shape pipe construction of the roof racks for the automotive industry.in the U.s., Shape Corporation has developed a pipe construction of the roof rails, which is the first of its kind in the automotive industry, which will lead to a reduction in costs for manufacturers, and safer vehicles to the public.Through the use of 3d shaping, rather than the traditional method of hydro-forming, they have been able to take up smaller profiles than the traditional solutions.This allows for better visibility for the driver, more interior room, and better location of the air bag.This is a high potential for a challenge to the other materials, with a stållösning, which allows for a circular flow of writes to the jury.”The Shape is very advanced.”
ToneWoodAmp loaned me their product to review — it's a small device that attaches to the back of an acoustic guitar to provide effects and amplification without plugging into a conventional amplifier.Acoustic guitars have come a long way over the past 50 years.Hence the now-legendary Martin dreadnoughts and later, Gibson jumbos.Gradually, however, the music business and performers figured out how to take the feedback that's inherent when amplifying a hollow box of wood and develop pickups and built-in electronics that enable acoustic to survive on stage.A newer innovation, however, does away with amplifiers (and interfaces with sound systems), allowing acoustic guitarists to use the resonance and vibration of their instruments to create interesting tonal soundscapes unplugged.One of the more innovative products is the ToneWoodAmp, a $250 device that can turn any acoustic guitar into an amplified instrument capable of using various effects ranging from reverb to overdrive.
The Mazda CX-30 is coming to America.Japanese automaker Mazda announced the new crossover will make its US debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show next week and will go on sale in the US at a later date, Roadshow confirmed with the brand.The company said in a Wednesday announcement that we'll see the tweener crossover alongside the ever-so-slightly updated 2020 CX-5 and CX-9 crossover SUVs.In Mazda's SUV hierarchy, the CX-30 will sit between the subcompact CX-3 and the more midsize CX-5.In all seriousness, it feels like the CX-30 could outright replace the CX-3 thanks to its longer wheelbase and lengthier proportions that still keep things on the compact side.It's simply far prettier to look at and wears Mazda's second generation of "Kodo Soul of Motion" supremely well.
Honda och GM, Ford och Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler och Waymo – nu slår tillverkarna sina påsar ihop för att gemensamt utveckla självkörande och eldrivna bilar.Revisions- och rådgivningsfirman PwC har släppt sin årliga Automotive Trends-rapport, där de studerar utvecklingen inom den globala fordonssektorn.En av de tydligaste trenderna i årets rapport, är att allt fler biltillverkare samarbetar med varandra i utvecklingen av CASE-mobilitet (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified).– Barriären mot att gå ihop har blivit mindre.Men i framtiden, med elektriska drivlinor, försvinner mycket av det här identitetsskapandet samtidigt som man ser dyra nyinvesteringar framför sig, säger Bo Karlsson, automotive leader på PwC Sverige.Bland exemplen nämns Honda och GM, som sedan tidigare utvecklar elbilsbatterier tillsammans, och där Honda nu gått med i GM:s affärsenhet Cruise Automation som utvecklar självkörande fordon.
There's flashback, lore hints, armour upgrades, but most importantly: What the hell is the deal with ?In case you haven't watched, The Mandalorian takes a sketchy bounty job from the one and only Werner Herzog, then infiltrates a base full of bad dudes alongside a bounty hunting robot.After slaughtering everyone with what can only be described a blaster crossed with a WW1 vickers-style mini-gun, The Mandalorian finds the bounty and...I'm not sure any of that registers or makes sense.According to the show itself, this "baby" is 50 years old.This is completely normal in terms of the Star Wars universe (Yoda died at 900 years old) but that doesn't tie in with any possibility of a Yoda reincarnation.
Google has fired one employee and put two more on leave for allegedly leaking company information to media, according to Bloomberg.The suspensions have fueled fears among Googlers that management is retaliating against employees.Google said the employees were placed on leave for improperly accessing and sharing documents and for tracking employees' calendars.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Google has fired one employee and put another two on leave for allegedly violating company policies, according to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday that a Google spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.The spokesperson told Business Insider that, following an investigation, Google fired an employee for leaking other employees' names and personal information to the media.
Xiaomi is well-known for accessories apart from their smartphones.One of their most popular products is the wireless mouse which was introduced back in 2017 for a mere 69 Yuan(~$10).And now, after two years, the company has finally released its successor, the Xiaomi Wireless Mouse 2 at a price tag of 59 Yuan(~$8), 10 Yuan cheaper than its predecessor.Like any other Xioami product, the Wireless Mouse 2 features a minimalistic design, literally resembling a mouse.It comes in black and white color paint jobs and both of them look cute as well as cool.The new mouse from Xiaomi comes equipped with a 1000 dpi photoelectric sensor for accurate positioning while moving it across the surface.
Sony filed a patent in June describing what appeared to be a game cartridge design for an unannounced PlayStation-branded handheld device.Now, there’s speculation that this patent describes a custom external SSD for the upcoming PlayStation 5 console.Brazil’s Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI or National Institute of Industrial Property) published Sony’s patent on November 5, 2019.Translated, the title reads “configuration applied to/in data recording and storage device.” Little information resides within the patent, though an illustration clearly resembles a game cartridge-like device.Discovered by LetsGoDigital, the patent lists the design as a Class 14.99 device, which translates to “Electronic game accessories” in Japan, which led to speculation of a possible handheld gaming device given that the PlayStation Vita relied on small cartridges.The older PlayStation Portable used the failed Universal Media Disc cartridges.
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Huawei is reportedly rewarding employees who are strengthening the company in the US-China trade war.According to a report in the Financial Times, the Chinese telecoms giant will pay out $286 million in bonuses and double its employees' October salaries for helping the firm reduce the impact of the sanctions.According to the FT, these employees have been helping reduce Huawei's reliance on foreign partners through research and development, and finding new supply chains, essentially helping the firm stand on its own.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Huawei is reportedly rewarding its employees with lavish bonuses for helping counteract the negative effects of US trade sanctions.According to a report in the Financial Times, the Chinese telecoms giant will pay out two billion yuan ($286 million) in bonuses to staff and double their October salaries for helping it circumvent the sanctions.