Elon Musk says Tesla robotaxis will hit the market next year

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company should have robotaxis on the roads in 2020. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « I feel very confident predicting autonomous robotaxis for Tesla next year, » Musk said on stage at the Tesla Autonomy Investor Day in Palo Alto, California. They won’t be « in all jurisdictions, because we won’t have regulatory approval everywhere, but I am confident we will have at least regulatory approval somewhere, literally next year, » he said. Musk’s optimism is based on the amount of data…

Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel

Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announced her plans to leave in…

Today’s Earth Day Google Doodle focuses on some of the planet’s record-breaking creatures

It’s Earth Day, a day to appreciate the large chunk of rock that serves as our protective spaceship as it transports us through the Universe. Google is celebrating today by highlighting six strange creatures and organisms that also call this spaceship their home. Today’s Google Doodle animation takes people on a journey from the top of Earth’s atmosphere to our planet’s deepest caves where all kinds of diverse plants and organisms reside. The cartoon highlights creatures such as the wandering albatross, which sports the widest wingspan of any bird alive,…

Microsoft workers pressure company to stand by embattled Chinese GitHub repo

Microsoft employees have put forward a petition in defense of a trending GitHub repository they believe could be under threat of Chinese censorship. The repository, called 996.ICU, was established in late March by Chinese tech workers who were protesting extreme overwork. The stories name some of the biggest companies in China, including Alibaba, Huawei, ByteDance, DJI, Tencent, Vivo, and others. The protest has enraged Chinese censors, and many local browsers are already blocking access to 996.ICU, including browsers from Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi, and Qihoo 360. Still, the repository remains available…

Leica says it wasn’t behind a controversial ad depicting Tiananmen Square protests

A promotional video for camera maker Leica showing photojournalists covering global conflicts — including the Tiananmen Square protests in China in 1989 — has resulted in the company’s name being banned on Chinese social media and the marketer denying responsibility for the video. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The five-minute film is called « The Hunt. » It depicts photographers covering conflicts, including one capturing images of the « Tank Man, » who stood in front of a convoy of Chinese military tanks the day after the Tiananmen Square…

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL start at $399 through Google Fi

In celebration of Google Fi’s birthday, Google is slashing the cost of its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones for new and existing users. The Pixel 3 usually costs $799, but you can get it for as little as $399. Doubling the Pixel 3’s 64GB storage to 128GB only costs an extra $50. If you want the Pixel 3 XL, it starts at $449 for 64GB; the 128GB model is $50 more. This offer is valid today, April 22nd, until 11:59PM PT, and you’ll only be able to reap…

Apple will release a 5G iPhone in 2020 with chips from Qualcomm and Samsung, top analyst says

Apple could release iPhones in 2020 equipped with 5G modems, according to research notes from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The modems could be provided by both Qualcomm and Samsung, according to the research. Access to 5G modem parts is one major reason why Apple settled a bitter legal battle withQualcomm last week. A 5G-equipped iPhone with a faster and more reliable cellular internet connection could give consumers a reason to upgrade from older models as iPhone sales growth stalls. Apple typically releases…

Disney heiress calls CEO Bob Iger’s $65.6 million total compensation ‘insane’

Disney CEO Bob Iger’s $65.6 million total compensation is « insane, » according to Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of the company’s co-founder. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The Disney heiress and philanthropist criticized the gap between Iger’s pay and that of his employees at the Fast Company Impact Council on Thursday. A recent Equilar study found Iger’s pay was 1,424 times that of the median Disney employee. It’s not the first time the Disney heiress and philanthropist has criticized CEO pay. In March, Disney stopped short of commenting on…

Social media was shut down after bombings in Sri Lanka, some warn that could make things worse

In an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation, Sri Lankan officials blocked social media in the country after a series of bombings at local churches and hotels on Easter Sunday killed nearly 300 people. But academics have raised concerns that the decision could do more harm than good. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Facebook and its Messenger service, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google-owned YouTube, Viber and Snapchat have all been blocked in the country, according to internet monitoring group NetBlocks. T he companies and the Sri Lankan embassy in the…

This homeowner avoided ‘energy-guzzlers’ for more efficient options and it’s paying off

When Bruce Sullivan set out to build his dream retirement home in 2015, his goal was to get his utilities costs as low as possible. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Today, the 900-square-foot Bend, Oregon, home that he shares with his wife has more than accomplished that, he said. The one-bedroom, one bathroom house is what Sullivan calls a « zero energy » home. « It actually generates more electricity, more energy overall, than it uses, » Sullivan said. « And it charges our electric car. » And that’s…

Apple spends more than $30 million on Amazon’s cloud every month, making it a top AWS customer

As Apple and Amazon compete for a greater share of consumer dollars and attention, they also have a particularly intimate business relationship: Apple is spending more than $30 million a month on Amazon’s cloud, according to people familiar with the arrangement. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Apple’s cloud expenditure reflects the company’s determination to deliver online services like iCloud quickly and reliably, even if it must depend on a rival to do so. As Apple’s top product, the iPhone, approaches market saturation, the company has begun pointing more to…

The OnePlus 7 will have a ‘breakthrough’ display and a beefed-up 5G version

Speaking exclusively with The Verge in the buildup to his company’s next flagship phone launch, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has confirmed some rumors and hinted at what we should expect from the next device. The big strategic change is that the OnePlus 7 will be arriving with a plus-one: a super flagship, rumored to be called the OnePlus 7 Pro, which will feature 5G and a few other niceties that the regular OnePlus 7 will miss out on. That model can probably be expected to land at a price near…

Samsung postpones China launch event for its foldable phone amid reports of screen issues

Samsung is postponing its China launch event for its foldable smartphone just days after reports of defective screens on the nearly $2,000 device. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The South Korean electronics giant had scheduled an event in Shanghai for April 24 to launch the Samsung Galaxy Fold. A spokesperson confirmed that had been canceled but had no official statement to give. It’s unclear for when that event will be rescheduled or when the phone will be available in China. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, unveiled in full in February, is…

Huawei says its first-quarter revenue jumped 39% despite political pressure

Huawei reported a 39 percent year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue on Monday as it continues to see growth despite continued political pressure. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The Chinese networking equipment maker said revenue totaled 179.7 billion yuan ($26.8 billion) for the first three months of 2019. The company said it shipped 59 million smartphones in the first quarter. Huawei said in a press release that 2019 « will be a year of large-scale deployment of 5G around the world » and its carrier business « has unprecedented opportunities…

The US is attacking Huawei and China — without its own 5G strategy

The United States and China are racing to build out high-speed 5G networks, and President Donald Trump doesn’t want America to come in second place. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Last week, Trump introduced initiatives to speed up the rollout of new wireless networks across the U.S., saying « the race to 5G is a race America must win. » But experts say the U.S. still lacks a clear 5G strategy that goes beyond attacking Huawei, a Chinese tech giant and the world’s biggest supplier of telecommunications equipment. «…

Facebook and Google scandals have made recruiting easier for start-ups with a strong social mission

Start-up executives in health and education say they’re having success recruiting from tech giants like Facebook and Alphabet, where they previously struggled. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The tech giants have suffered a variety of scandals and negative press in the last couple of years, making retention harder in the notoriously cutthroat competition for talent in Silicon Valley. Facebook has dealt with a series of crises, from allegations that the company doesn’t do enough to protect user data, to a one-day 20% stock plunge in the wake of a…

US intelligence reportedly says Huawei funded by Chinese state security

U.S. intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West. The CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source. Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence shared its claims with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New…

This new ETF lets you invest in the rapidly growing, $400 billion space industry

The flood of young companies into the $400 billion space industry is sparking investor interest but there’s a common issue: A lack of public U.S. companies that generate the majority of revenue from space business. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « The space industry is one that is still fairly new as far as corporations and the commercial viability of companies in space go, » Andrew Chanin, co-founder and CEO of ProcureAM, an exchange-traded product issuer. SpaceX, Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, Virgin Galactic and others are some of thetoo…

Here’s what it feels like to be blind in my mind — a condition called ‘aphantasia’

I was recently asked to visualize the size and shape of my laptop, which I’ve had for more than a year, while shopping for a replacement part. As usual, my mind’s eye was completely blank. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « I think it’s purple, or maybe pink? » I bumbled to the Apple Store clerk, who gazed back at me with a look of total confusion. I’ve had this problem for as long as I can remember, where I can’t conjure up images no matter how hard I…

Here’s how advertisers are getting tech companies to clean up their act or risk losing billions

Advertisers haven’t been afraid to pull money out of Facebook or YouTube campaigns, following the exposures of controversial content hosted on the platforms, but they always seem to come crawling back. div > div.group > p:first-child »> They’re caught in a Catch-22. Tech companies may get caught hosting content like terrorist videos or targeted comments from pedophiles, but their massive audiences make their platforms next to impossible for advertisers to quit in the end. But at least one major advertising group, representing close to a trillion dollars worth of buying…

Science doesn’t explain tech’s diversity problem — history does

Editor’s note, April 19th, 2019: We’re republishing this story today because of a report at Quartz that — like the infamous memo from former Google employee James Damore — some Microsoft workers are now internally criticizing the company’s diversity policies, suggesting yet again that biological differences may make women less suited for engineering jobs. This story may help explain why that logic is flawed. In 2017, the idea that biological differences drive social inequality is considered fairly offensive. For the incurious, the taboo around this argument makes it exciting. But…

Lawmakers call for Zuckerberg to be held accountable for Facebook’s privacy fumbles

Pressure is mounting in Washington D.C. to take action against Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for the company’s handling of customer data. Two Democratic senators voiced support for Zuckerberg to be held personally responsible for the company’s privacy fumbles following a Washington Post report that claimed the Federal Trade Commission is considering how to hold him directly accountable. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « Facebook was put on notice about its practices long ago — the FTC must now take aggressive enforcement action and name names, » Connecticut Democratic…

Samsung’s $2,000 folding phone gave me a tantalizing glimpse of the future — before it broke

Sharper screens and better cameras have not been enough for people to upgrade their phones. Consumers are holding on to phones longer than ever before – up to 4 years according to a Bernstein report from February – and smartphone shipments are down across the globe to levels not seen since 2014. That means companies like Samsung and Apple are looking for new ways to attract phone buyers. The Galaxy Fold is a $1,980 example of a new form factor that might get people to care about new phones again……

Zoom’s CEO emigrated from China 22 years ago and spoke little English — now he’s worth $3 billion

Not even Eric Yuan’s closest friends, oldest advisers and earliest investors thought Zoom needed to exist. It was 2011, and the market was littered with videoconferencing systems from Google, Skype, GoToMeeting and Cisco, where Yuan had been leading WebEx’s engineering team. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « He came to a market that everybody said was done, » said Dan Scheinman, Cisco’s former head of corporate development who’s now an angel investor and Zoom board member. « He was competing with free and some pretty big incumbents. » Yuan,…

Nintendo shares surge more than 16% after tie-up with Tencent to sell Switch console in China

Nintendo shares surged more than 16% on Friday after Tencent won approval to start selling the Japanese gaming giant’s Switch console in China. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Regulators in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong approved the Nintendo Switch and the game « New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe » to be released in China. Nintendo shares responded by hitting their highest level since an intra-day high on October 18, 2018. Investors have been asking for a long time when Nintendo will enter the world’s largest gaming market…

Ancestry is pulling ad with apparent slavery-era theme

Genealogy company Ancestry has apologized for a commercial that depicted a Civil War slavery theme and said it is in the process of pulling the ad from television. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The spot, titled « Inseparable, » depicted a white man urging a black women to « escape to the North … across the border » to be together. The ad then cut to black with the text, « Without you, the story stops here, » with a voiceover reading « Uncover the lost chapters of your…

Uber announces $1 billion investment into its self-driving car group, weeks before going public

Uber has announced a deal for a $1 billion investment in its self-driving vehicle unit, just weeks before its initial public offering. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Toyota and Japanese auto-parts supplier Denso will together invest $667 million, while Softbank’s Vision Fund will invest $333 million. SoftBank is already Uber’s largest shareholder and Toyota invested $500 million last year. The investment values the division, known as the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), at $7.25 billion and creates a newly formed corporate entity with its own board. Representatives from the investors…

HP’s first 15-inch Chromebook features a full-size keyboard and IPS touchscreen for $449

Chromebooks continue to impress in the price-for-quality department, and the HP Chromebook 15 is no exception. The first ever 15-inch HP Chromebook (15.6 inches to be exact) comes not only with a full-sized keyboard and number pad, but also a blacklit IPS touchscreen and 64GB of base flash storage. That model starts at $449, and you can pay extra for double the eMMC storage and a faster Intel Core i5 processor, but the company isn’t yet saying how much that will cost. HP says the device starts shipping today from…

Cramer: Overvalued stocks like Pinterest, Zoom could lead to a market peak

The debuts of Pinterest and Zoom Video Communications on public markets also came with froth, which could lead to a market peak, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Froth is a condition that usually precedes a market bubble. « The top of the market always comes when there is tremendous euphoria, and today we saw that euphoria in the two deals that went off hot, » the « Mad Money » host said. After a $19 IPO, Pinterest closed its first day of trading at…

SEC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seek one-week delay to resolve contempt motion

div > div.group > p:first-child »> Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission have asked for a one-week delay to resolve their contempt of court dispute, the parties announced today in a joint submission a federal judge. « While we have not reached an agreement, counsel for the SEC, Mr. Musk, and counsel for Tesla met and conferred for over an hour by telephone earlier this week and are continuing to discuss potential resolution. Because our discussions are ongoing, we respectfiilly request to provide the Court with…