Alphabet's Waymo is suing Otto and Uber for allegedly stealing the design of a key self-driving system - Recode

Waymo, formerly Google’s self-driving car unit, is suing Otto — the self-driving trucking company co-founded by former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski and quickly acquired by Uber — for allegedly stealing the company’s proprietary design for its laser-based radar system.

According to Waymo, before Levandowski left what was then a part of Google’s moonshot labs, he downloaded 14,000 “highly confidential” files to an external hard drive, including the design for the company’s lidar circuit board.

The company decided to perform a forensic investigation of Levandowski’s former company computer after a Waymo employee was inadvertently copied on an email from a lidar supplier with the subject line “Otto Files.” The email was being sent to a list of people that Waymo believes were Uber employees. Attached to the email were drawings of Otto’s lidar circuit board.

It looked just like Waymo’s design, the company alleged in the suit filed today, “the design of which had been downloaded by Mr. Levandowski before his resignation.”

“The Replicated Board reflects Waymo’s highly confidential proprietary LiDAR technology and Waymo trade secrets,” the complaint reads. “Moreover, the Replicated Board is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with many other Waymo trade secrets and in the context of overall LiDAR systems covered by Waymo patents.”

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Ford GT Competition Series Sheds Weight, Honors Rolex 24 Win - Motor Trend

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A month after its win at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Blue Oval has introduced the Ford GT Competition Series which will see the supercar’s weight drop and enthusiasts do just about anything to grab a spot for its very limited production.

According to Ford, the GT Competition Series “was engineered to build on the car’s innovative lightweight and aerodynamic design.” The already svelte supercar gets a host of new carbon fiber additions, including a lightweight carbon livery, a manual engine cover latch, carbon fiber prop rod, carbon fiber A-pillars, and carbon fiber side mirrors. The Ford GT Competition Series also uses Plexiglas over the engine and a thinner, lighter Gorilla Glass bulkhead to decrease the supercar’s curb weight of around 3,300 pounds.

Standard on the Ford GT Competition Series are the carbon fiber wheels that are optional on the standard GT. The special model also gets titanium lug nuts and a titanium exhaust. In addition to the weight-reducing carbon fiber and Plexiglas bits, the Competition Series exposes the carbon fiber on the console, registers, and door sills. The paddle shifters and instrument panel have been anodized in red to bring a pop of color into the Ebony Alcantara suede seats, instrument panel, and headliner.

The Competition Series will be offered in six colors, including Shadow Black, Frozen White, Ingot Silver, Liquid Blue, Liquid Gray, and Triple Yellow. However, only the United States will get the Competition Series. Ford is remaining mum on how many Competition Series cars will be built; only stating that it will be offered throughout “all announced production years.”

“The Ford GT has racing in its blood. The Competition Series was developed with the most hardcore track enthusiasts in mind, providing a tailored set of lightweight features and a unique livery to match,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive V.P., global product development, and chief technical officer, in a statement.

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FCC lets “billion-dollar” ISPs hide fees and data caps, Democrat says - Ars Technica

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ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers won't have to follow rules that require greater disclosures about fees and data caps after a vote today by the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC's Republican majority approved the change to help small providers avoid "onerous reporting obligations" included in the 2015 net neutrality order, they said. But by setting the threshold at 250,000 subscribers and exempting small ISPs owned by larger companies, the FCC is effectively "exempt[ing] billion-dollar public companies" from rules that can be complied with in mere hours each year, said Mignon Clyburn, the FCC's only Democrat.

The commission's 2015 order temporarily exempted ISPs with 100,000 or fewer subscribers from the so-called enhanced transparency requirements, but that exemption expired in December 2016. Clyburn said she would support reinstating the exemption for ISPs with 100,000 or fewer subscribers, but she dissented from today's order.

The 250,000-subscriber exemption won't apply to the top broadband providers such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, and others. But it will exempt many ISPs owned by conglomerates, Clyburn said.

"Many of the nation’s largest broadband providers are actually holding companies, comprised of many smaller operating companies," Clyburn said. "So what today’s Order does is exempt these companies’ affiliates that have under 250,000 connections by declining to aggregate the connection count at the holding company level."

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FCC chips away at net neutrality rules - CNET

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Former Federal Communications Commission commissioner Ajit Pai (center) is now the new chairman of the agency. Mignon Clyburn (right) and Michael O'Rielly (left) remain as commissioners. STEVE BALDERSON/FCC

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission still hasn't said if it will dismantle the controversial net neutrality regulations, but it's already picking apart the rules to make them less potent.

On Thursday, the agency voted 2-1 along party lines to suspend the net neutrality transparency requirement for broadband providers with fewer than 250,000 customers. Under the previous administration's policy such exemptions were only allowed for providers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers.

Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. The transparency rule, which was the only part of the original 2010 FCC rules that survived a court challenge in 2014, requires broadband providers to inform customers about their network management practices.

Expanding the number of broadband providers that won't have to comply with the transparency rule comes as Ajit Pai, who took over as FCC chairman a month ago, and Republicans in Congress discuss plans to dismantle the regulation. Pai hasn't said whether the FCC will repeal the regulation or if it will wait for Republicans in Congress to write a new law that replaces the regulation. A repeal of the rules by the FCC could face legal challenges, since a federal appeals court last year upheld the rules and the FCC's authority.

Pai has signaled he has no intention of enforcing the rules. Earlier this month, he closed an investigation into AT&T's and Verizon's zero-rating practices, which allow customers to watch video from certain applications from their mobile devices without it counting against their monthly data caps. In December, the FCC said the companies' plans violated the net neutrality rules because they prioritized some services over others.

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Halo split-screen combat is coming back—and it's here to stay - Ars Technica

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Behind you, red!

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LAS VEGAS—In a Thursday speech at the gaming-minded DICE Summit, Microsoft's head of its 343 Industries group (meaning, all things Halo) confirmed a return to split-screen modes in the series' first-person shooter games.

"We will always have split-screen support going forward" for all first-person shooter games in the series, 343 chief Bonnie Ross told the Vegas crowd. Ross did not clarify if that ruling would apply to either cooperative or competitive modes in the series going forward, nor did she clarify how split-screen modes would work in any potential "Xbox Play Anywhere" entries in Halo that work on Windows 10. (This month's Halo Wars 2 is the first true "Play Anywhere" game in the Halo series.) We have reached out to Microsoft to seek clarification, and we will update this report with any response.

2015's Halo 5: Guardians was a peculiar release in the series for a few reasons, but one stands out to the couch-combat fans at Ars Technica: its lack of split-screen combat, either in four-player local versus modes or in its campaign, which revolved around four-player co-op battling (as opposed to many prior games that limited campaign co-op to two players). While the game was in development, a 343 developer told fans via Twitter that Halo 5 would include split-screen modes, but the studio eventually walked that statement back.

Ross admitted that fan outcry over the feature was significant, telling the DICE crowd, "it was incredibly painful for the community and for us." She added that the removal "eroded trust" with the game's fanbase. Weirdly, Ross didn't take the opportunity to speak about the other major ball dropped by 343 in regard to Halo: the woeful launch of the Master Chief Collection, which continues to inspire outrage from fans wanting its bugs and issues fixed.

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