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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Elon Musk Has Finally Picked a Fight He Can't Win

The Tesla CEO’s decision to refuse an SEC settlement sets him up for battle against the government, and shareholders aren’t happy.
Source: Wired

Facebook breach put data of 50 million users at risk – CNET

The vulnerability had to do with the social network’s “view as” feature.
Source: CNET

ITC says Apple infringes a Qualcomm patent but iPhones shouldn't be banned – CNET

Qualcomm had asked for iPhones to be banned from import because of alleged patent infringement by Apple.
Source: CNET

Elon Musk, Tesla and the SEC: How we got here, and what happens next – Roadshow

What a long, strange trip it’s been, and there’s still plenty of it left.
Source: CNET

US government loses bid to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls

US government investigators have lost a case to force Facebook to wiretap calls made over its Messenger app.

A joint federal and state law enforcement effort investigating the MS-13 gang had pushed a district court to hold the social networking giant in contempt of court for refusing to permit real-time listening in on voice calls.

According to sources speaking to Reuters, the judge later ruled in Facebook’s favor — although, because the case remains under seal, it’s not known for what reason.

The case, filed in a Fresno, Calif. district court, centers on alleged gang members accused of murder and other crimes. The government had been pushing to prosecute 16 suspected gang members, but are said to have leaned on Facebook to obtain further evidence.

Reuters said that an affidavit submitted by an FBI agent said that “there is no practical method available by which law enforcement can monitor” calls on Facebook Messenger . Although Facebook-owned WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to prevent eavesdroppers, not even the company can listen in — which law enforcement have long claimed that this hinders investigations.

But Facebook Messenger doesn’t end-to-end encrypt voice calls, making real-time listening in on calls possible.

Although phone companies and telcos are required under US law to allow police and federal agencies access to real-time phone calls with a court-signed wiretap order, internet companies like Facebook fall outside the scope of the law.

Privacy advocates saw this case as a way to remove that exemption, accusing the government of trying to backdoor the encrypted app, just two years after the FBI sued Apple over a similar request to break into the encrypted iPhone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.

Neither Facebook nor the FBI responded to a request for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

Your next oil change is on us! – Roadshow

Roadshow will grant 10 lucky winners each a $100 Jiffy Lube gift card to cover their next oil change. This giveaway ends October 14, 2018
Source: CNET

Gadget Lab Podcast: Oculus Quest, Elon Musk and the SEC, and More

The Gadget Lab team talks to WIRED editor and author Peter Rubin about the new Oculus Quest. Also: Why the SEC is suing Elon Musk.
Source: Wired

Facebook's Massive Security Breach: Everything We Know

Up to 50 million Facebook users were affected—and possibly 40 million more—when hackers compromised the social network’s systems.
Source: Wired

Online education unicorn Udacity has quietly laid off 5% of staff — at least 25 people — since August

Online education is a $160 billion+ industry today, but as it continues to mature, there are some inevitable ebbs and flows. In the latest development, TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Udacity — the $1 billion startup co-founded by Sebastian Thrun that specialises in “nanodegrees” in tech subects that range from AI and coding through to the how-tos of digital marketing — has quietly cut about five percent of its staff since August across multiple offices globally.

“Back in August, five percent of our global employees were laid off based on carefully considered, strategic business decisions,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch in an emailed statement. “We are supporting our former and current employees through the transition. Our business continues to grow, with offices in India, China, Germany, Brazil, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to Silicon Valley. We continue to hire for key roles.”

The company does not disclose an exact number of employees it has across globally, except to say that it is over 500, meaning that this change is affecting about 25 people — the same number that a source had originally give us.

It’s not clear exactly what is going on at Udacity to prompt the layoffs, either in terms of the existing business or what it may have planned for the future.

Udacity says that it has over 50,000 students enrolled in its six-12-month nanodegree programs, but that is a figure that it has not updated in almost a year, when it emerged that Shernaz Daver, the CMO who was credited for turning around the company, was leaving Udacity.

Overall, Udacity says the number of registered students on the platform is higher than this, now at over 10 million — which also includes one-off free courses as well as partnerships with businesses. Udacity works with companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and others to develop its curriculum, and it counts Accenture, AT&T, Bank of America, GE and Ford among its customers.

The company made $70 million 2017, but it has not provided guidance on how it is doing this year. (That $70 million figure was first released in February this year, when Udacity’s CEO Vishal Makhijani hinted the company was eyeing up an IPO.)

In terms of funding, Udacity has not raised any money since 2015 — when it closed a $105 million round led by publisher Bertelsmann that catapulted it to a $1 billion valuation. It’s raised $163 million to date, with other investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Ballie Gifford, Charles River Ventures, Cox Enterprises and GV.

A rush of companies have entered the online education space — which has been around in one form or another since the start of the web, and indeed you could argue went hand-in-hand with some of the earliest intentions behind the internet. Offerings run the gamut of what “education” can entail: single courses, full degrees, professional development, casual hobbies, gamefied children’s education, and much more — using videos, mobile technology, VR, AI to tailor courses, curriculums approved by leading academics and educators, and much more to make the learning more sticky and effective.

Udacity has competitors, effectively, from many parts of that spectrum, but some of the more notable include Coursera, Lynda (which is now part of LinkedIn and Microsoft) and Khan Academy.

Sebastian Thrun (Udacity) at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017

Since its launch in 2011, Udacity has played a few different roles within that evolution. The company initially started as one of the early providers of “MOOCs” (Massive Open Online Courses): Thrun (pictured above, who co-founded the company with David Stavens and Mike Sokolsky; neither are with the company anymore) left a position as a professor of AI at Stanford to start Udacity when he found that 160,000 students signed up for an open invite he made to take his class for free online.

Higher educational institutions worked closely with Udacity in the early days, although the company appeared to move away from that focus that in 2013 after some hiccups, including San Jose State University suspending a pilot with the startup after pass rates were deemed too low.

Instead it started to work with a number of large tech players like Google (where Thrun is credited with the company’s early work on building self-driving cars) to develop a new set of courses to target older people and those already in the workforce. That pivot appeared to turn the company profitable at one point, as it expanded its sights to further markets like India.

Then, Thrun stepped away as the CEO (he’s now president) and the role was taken on by Makhijani, who had been the COO. Under him, the company appeared to focus a little more: it looked set to build deeper coding experiences with its first acquisition, of CloudLabs; and it spun out its self-driving car program, which was renamed Voyage and is now building its own business. It’s likely that this latest turn is one more step in how Udacity is aiming to position for whatever comes next.


Source: TechCrunch

Intel acknowledges supply issues, will prioritize premium chips

Intel interim CEO Bob Swan issued an uncharacteristically frank letter today, highlighting the company’s supply issues. The executive blames the surprising growth of an unexpectedly rebounding PC industry for the shortage. Swan says that rebound is driven by “strong demand for gaming as well as commercial systems.”

It’s a bit of a perfect storm here. Higher demand coupled with the longstanding yield issues for its 10nm architecture have spread things thin for Intel. Though Swan says it’s “making progress” with those chips, with production ramping up in 2019.

“[S]upply is undoubtedly tight,” Swan acknowledged in the letter, “particularly at the entry-level of the PC market.” But he believes that Intel does have enough supply to meet its full-year revenue outlook.

In the short term, Intel plans to prioritize the premium market, including Xeon and Core processors, so it “can serve the high-performance segments of the market.” Beyond that, the company plans to invest $15 billion in capital expenditures this year, including $1 billion going toward the manufacture of 14nm silicon in the U.S., Ireland and Israel.

These issues have left the broader PC industry in a rough spot. On the face of it, a shortage due to increased demand seems like a good problem to have, but ultimately a lack of processors could create a major issue if the market continues to grow, perhaps ultimately reversing some of that success.


Source: TechCrunch

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