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Tesla sues former employee for $1 million over trade secret theft

Tesla is suing a former employee for $1 million, alleging the man hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties, according to court documents. The lawsuit also claims the employee leaked false information to the media. The lawsuit against the former process technician Martin Tripp was filed Wednesday in Nevada. Tesla declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was first reported by CNBC . The lawsuit only lists the legal team representing Tesla. Efforts to reach Tripp have so far been unsuccessful. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made allegations of sabotage and filed lawsuits against former employees claiming theft before, at least one of which was dropped after the parties reached an agreement and no wrongdoing was discovered. Earlier this week, Musk sent an email, which CNBC first reported on, about a factory fire and referenced possible sabotage. Another email from Musk alleged that he had discovered a saboteur at the company. Two years ago, an investigation into possible sabotage was launched at Musk’s other company, SpaceX, after a rocket exploded while being fueled up. And in Musk’s view, sabotage is a forever looming and real threat

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Comcast drops bid for “gigabit” tax cut that was created for Google Fiber

(credit: Comcast ) Comcast has agreed to pay $155 million in back taxes to Oregon in order to settle a nine-year property tax dispute. Comcast will also drop its attempt to secure a tax break that Oregon created as part of a failed attempt to bring Google Fiber to the state. Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the settlement with Comcast yesterday, noting that the legal battle "likely would have continued for many more years because several distinct and complex legal questions were in dispute." Oregon accepted the $155 million payment despite previously arguing that Comcast owed $200 million. "The cable TV company's fight with Oregon tax collectors dates to 2009, when the state changed its methodology for assessing Comcast's telecommunications equipment," The Oregonian wrote . Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Hulu re-org sees departure of Content Chief Joel Stillerman, top SVPs

On the heels of Hulu’s news of its growing live TV business, which has now reached 800,000 subscribers , the streaming service today announced a major re-organization of it business focused on four strategic priorities, effective immediately. These include “the subscriber journey, technology & products, content and advertising,” says Hulu. The changes see three major execs departing: Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Distribution Tim Connolly and SVP Experience, Ben Smith. In addition, Hulu has hired two new executives to help it with its goals: CTO Dan Phillips, previously of TiVo, and Jaya Kolhatkar of Walmart Labs, who will claim the newly-created Chief Data Officer role. Phillips had previously led TiVo’s engineering, product and professional services workforce of more than 1,000 members, and helped TiVo shift its business from being known only as a DVR maker, to a cloud services provider as well. He also previously worked at Uniscape, Crossworlds Software, and co-founded enterprise software company Metasystems, Inc. At Hulu, Phillips will oversee a now unified Technology & Product organization, which includes engineering, Hulu’s data center operations, its network and broadcast operations center, I.T. and program management, plus product management, user experience, and product development. Hulu’s Santa Monica, Seattle, Marin, and Beijing teams will report to Phillips, who’s based in Santa Monica, on his first day, June 4. Meanwhile, Jaya Kolhatkar, previously Senior Vice President, Global Data and Analytics Platform for Walmart Inc., is being appointed to the newly created executive management role of Chief Data Officer, which reports directly to CEO Randy Freer. She will also be based in Santa Monica as of July 2.

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How GDPR is affecting the games you love

The tech world has been bracing for a new set of European privacy rules that go into effect: the General Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR. Companies will have either changed how they handle their EU users' personal data or face seriou...

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Instapaper on pause in Europe to fix GDPR compliance “issue”

Remember Instapaper? The Pinterest-owned , read-it-later bookmarking service is taking a break in Europe — apparently while it works on achieving compliance with the region’s updated privacy framework, GDPR , which will start being applied from tomorrow. Instapaper’s notification does not say how long the self-imposed outage will last. WTF is instapaper doing with data? pic.twitter.com/eG2dhtkvnd — Sam (@smithsam) May 23, 2018 The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation updates the bloc’s privacy framework, most notably by bringing in supersized fines for data violations, which in the most serious cases can scale up to 4% of a company’s global annual turnover. So it significantly ramps up the risk of, for example, having sloppy security, or consent flows that aren’t clear and specific enough (if indeed consent is the legal basis you’re relying on for processing people’s personal information). That said, EU regulators are clearly going to tread softly on the enforcement front in the short term. And any major fines are only going to hit the most serious violations and violators — and only down the line when data protection authorities have received complaints and conducted thorough investigations. So it’s not clear exactly why Instapaper believes it needs to pause its service to European users. It’s also had plenty of time to prepare to be compliant — given the new framework was agreed  at the back end of 2015 . We’ve reached out to Pinterest with questions and will update this story with any response. In an exchange on Twitter, Pinterest product engineering manager Brian Donohue — who, prior to acquisition was Instapaper’s CEO — flagged that the product’s  privacy policy “hasn’t been changed in several years”.

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FBI exaggerated the number of phones it can’t unlock by up to 550 percent

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | erhui1979) The Federal Bureau of Investigation has repeatedly claimed that it was unable to access data on nearly 7,800 encrypted devices in fiscal 2017, but the FBI now admits the number is far lower. In reality, there were just 1,000 to 2,000 devices that the FBI couldn't unlock last year, The Washington Post reported yesterday . The FBI apparently counted individual phones multiple times, an error related to the agency's use of three separate databases. The FBI used the inflated number as evidence that companies like Apple should weaken smartphone security in order to help the agency access encrypted devices. For example, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the following in a January 2018 speech: In fiscal year 2017, we were unable to access the content of 7,775 devices—using appropriate and available technical tools—even though we had the legal authority to do so. Each one of those nearly 7,800 devices is tied to a specific subject, a specific defendant, a specific victim, a specific threat... Being unable to access nearly 7,800 devices is a major public safety issue. That's more than half of all the devices we attempted to access in that timeframe—and that's just at the FBI. Wray said the 7,800 locked devices illustrate the scope of the "Going Dark" problem, in which criminals benefit from the standard smartphone security features that protect consumers at large. But the FBI's transcript of Wray's speech now carries a correction saying that "Due to an error in methodology, this number is incorrect. A review is ongoing to determine an updated number." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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One week left to get a free ticket for TC Hackathon at VivaTech

One final shout-out across Europe to all the creative coders, hackers, programmers and tech makers who suffer from severe procrastination. This is your last chance to register for a spot in the next TechCrunch Hackathon , which takes place at VivaTech on May 25-26 at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. You have one week left to get your free ticket . The TC Hackathon — open to residents from one of these European countries — represents an amazing opportunity for you to show off your creative coding skills to the movers and shakers in the European tech scene. Whether you come to build something fun, innovative or life-changing, you’ll be surrounded — and pushed toward greatness — by the best and brightest coders on the continent. Here’s how the Hackathon works. Competitors form ad hoc teams, and they have just 24 hours to create, code and hack their way to a working product using BeMyApp , the official Hackathon platform. You’ll have to rely on your legal stimulant of choice — coffee, energy drinks or sugar — because once the 24-hour clock stops, each tired team gets just 60 seconds to pitch their creation to a panel of judges. And they’re wide awake. The judges will award each team a score between 1-5. The top-scoring team wins the €5,000 grand-prize, and each team that averages a three or better wins five tickets to VivaTech 2019 plus two Innovator tickets to  TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin  in November. But we’re not quite finished in the cash-and-prizes department. Thanks to our generous sponsors, you can hack away at any of these contest challenges from leboncoin, Renault, GEFCO & Talan, Microsoft and also our final sponsor IBM: IBM Challenge: Think you can build an awesome AI-powered app for iOS in a few hours? You can with IBM’s Watson and Apple’s Core ML. You’ll train your own machine learning models and use them in your apps quickly.

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Apple Hit With Lawsuit Over 2016 MacBook Pro Keyboard – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Apple Hit With Lawsuit Over 2016 MacBook Pro Keyboard Ubergizmo According to a recent report, it was revealed that Apple's use of the new butterfly mechanism on its 2016 MacBook Pro keyboards are failing at twice the rate compared to the previous design. A petition was even launched asking that Apple recall its ... Butterfly Keyboard Class Action | Laptop | Apple Inc. - Scribd Scribd Apple hit with class action suit over MacBook, MacBook Pro butterfly switch keyboard failures AppleInsider Petition · Apple: Apple: Recall MacBook Pro w/ Defective Keyboard, Replace with DIFFERENT Working Keyboard ... Change.org all 39 news articles »

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What do AI and blockchain mean for the rule of law?

Digital services have frequently been in collision — if not out-and-out conflict — with the rule of law. But what happens when technologies such as deep learning software and self-executing code are in the driving seat of legal decisions? How can we be sure next-gen ‘legal tech’ systems are not unfairly biased against certain groups or individuals? And what skills will lawyers need to develop to be able to properly assess the quality of the justice flowing from data-driven decisions? While entrepreneurs have been eyeing traditional legal processes for some years now , with a cost-cutting gleam in their eye and the word ‘ streamline ‘ on their lips, this early phase of legal innovation pales in significance beside the transformative potential of AI technologies that are already pushing their algorithmic fingers into legal processes — and perhaps shifting the line of the law itself in the process. But how can legal protections be safeguarded if decisions are automated by algorithmic models trained on discrete data-sets — or flowing from policies administered by being embedded on a blockchain? These are the sorts of questions that lawyer and philosopher Mireille Hildebrandt , a professor at the research group for Law, Science, Technology and Society at Vrije Universiteit Brussels in Belgium, will be engaging with during a five-year project to investigate the implications of what she terms ‘computational law’. Last month the European Research Council awarded Hildebrandt a grant of   € 2.5 million to conduct foundational research with a dual technology focus: Artificial legal intelligence and legal applications of blockchain. Discussing her research plan with TechCrunch, she describes the project as both very abstract and very practical, with a staff that will include both lawyers and computer scientists. She says her intention is to come up with a new legal hermeneutics — so, basically, a framework for lawyers to approach computational law architectures intelligently; to understand limitations and implications, and be able to ask the right questions to assess technologies that are increasingly being put to work assessing us. “The idea is that the lawyers get together with the computer scientists to understand what they’re up against,” she explains. “I want to have that conversation… I want lawyers who are preferably analytically very sharp and philosophically interested to get together with the computer scientists and to really understand each other’s language. “We’re not going to develop a common language. That’s not going to work, I’m convinced

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