Former Twitter Employees Charged With Spying For Saudi Arabia
The Justice Department has
charged two former Twitter employees for allegedly spying on behalf of the Saudi government. A third man is also being charged but didn't work at Twitter. Instead, he allegedly served as an intermediary for the Saudi government and the Twitter staffers. Engadget reports:
The Justice Department has charged Ali Alzabarah (the one whose activities first surfaced) and Ahmad Abouammo with using their combined access to monitor Twitter accounts on behalf of the Saudi government. Abouammmo, an American citizen, reportedly snooped on three accounts that included one revealing inner details of Saudi leadership. Alzabarah, a Saudi citizen, is alleged to have obtained personal info for more than 6,000 accounts, including that of high-profile dissident (and Jamal Khashoggi ally) Omar Abdulaziz.
A third man charged at the same time, Ahmed Almutairi, is also facing spying charges but didn't work at Twitter. Instead, he allegedly served as a go-between for the Saudi government and the Twitter staffers. According to both clues in the indictment and a Washington Post source, the trio supposedly partnered with Bader Al Asaker, a Saudi official who runs a charity belonging to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The Justice Department claimed that Asaker started grooming the Twitter employees in 2014 in a bid to obtain info. Asaker paid Abouammo a minimum of $300,000 (plus a $20,000 Hublot watch) for his espionage work, while Alzabarah reportedly became the director of bin Salman's private office. Twitter says that sensitive info was limited to a group of "trained and vetted employees," and that there were "tools in place" to protect both users' privacy and their ability to do "vital work."
The Washington Post reports that this marks "the first time federal prosecutors have publicly accused the kingdom of running agents in the United States."
Trend Micro Security Incident Involving Selling Customer Data Was an Inside Job
Mark Wilson shares a report from BetaNews:
Security firm Trend Micro has revealed details of an inside scam which led to personal details of its customers being exposed. The security incident dates back to August this year, and the company says that it was made aware of customers being contacted by fake Trend Micro support staff. Following an investigation lasting until the end of October, it was determined that it was a member of staff that had fraudulently gained access to a customer database and sold personal data to a third party.
Trend Micro says that the employee was able to access names, email addresses, support ticket numbers and telephone numbers, stressing that it was an inside job and not an external hack. The finger of blame points squarely at "a Trend Micro employee who improperly accessed the data with a clear criminal intent", and law enforcement is now involved. While the company says that the incident affects less that 1 percent of its 12 million consumer customers, this still means that the details of over 100,000 people could have been exposed.
UPS Drone Makes First Home Prescription Deliveries For CVS
UPS subsidiary Flight Forward has
completed the first prescription medication delivery to a customer's home by drone. Reuters reports:
Flight Forward's maiden delivery flight on Friday in Cary, North Carolina, beat rivals in one phase of the race for the nascent market. The second drone flight delivered medications to a public space at a retirement community. The packages, roughly the size of small shoeboxes, were lowered from drones hovering at an altitude of about 20 feet. UPS and CVS said on Tuesday the deliveries were the first of their kind under an program approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Regulators are still hammering out rules for how the unmanned winged vehicles will operate in U.S. airspace and guidelines are expected in 2021.
Boeing Whistleblower Raises Doubts Over 787 Oxygen System
A Boeing whistleblower has claimed that passengers on its 787 Dreamliner
could be left without oxygen if the cabin were to suffer a sudden decompression. The BBC reports:
John Barnett says tests suggest up to a quarter of the oxygen systems could be faulty and might not work when needed. He also claimed faulty parts were deliberately fitted to planes on the production line at one Boeing factory. Boeing denies his accusations and says all its aircraft are built to the highest levels of safety and quality. Mr Barnett, a former quality control engineer, worked for Boeing for 32 years, until his retirement on health grounds in March 2017. From 2010 he was employed as a quality manager at Boeing's factory in North Charleston, South Carolina.
In 2016, he tells the BBC, he uncovered problems with emergency oxygen systems. These are supposed to keep passengers and crew alive if the cabin pressurization fails for any reason at altitude. Breathing masks are meant to drop down from the ceiling, which then supply oxygen from a gas cylinder. Mr Barnett says that when he was decommissioning systems which had suffered minor cosmetic damage, he found that some of the oxygen bottles were not discharging when they were meant to. He subsequently arranged for a controlled test to be carried out by Boeing's own research and development unit. This test, which used oxygen systems that were "straight out of stock" and undamaged, was designed to mimic the way in which they would be deployed aboard an aircraft, using exactly the same electric current as a trigger. He says 300 systems were tested -- and 75 of them did not deploy properly, a failure rate of 25%. Mr Barnett also says that Boeing failed to follow its own procedures, intended to track parts through the assembly process, allowing a number of defective items to be "lost."
"He claims that under-pressure workers even fitted sub-standard parts from scrap bins to aircraft on the production line, in at least one case with the knowledge of a senior manager," reports the BBC. "He says this was done to save time, because 'Boeing South Carolina is strictly driven by schedule and cost.'"
Intel Performance Strategy Team Publishing Intentionally Misleading Benchmarks
An anonymous reader shares a post:
This week something happened that many may not have seen. Intel published a set of benchmarks showing advantage of a dual Intel Xeon Platinum 9282 system versus the AMD EPYC 7742. Vendors present benchmarks to show that their products are good from time-to-time. There is one difference in this case: we checked Intel's work and found that they presented a number to intentionally mislead would-be buyers as to the company's relative performance versus AMD.
Earth Just Experienced Its Hottest-Ever October
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News:
Last month was the hottest ever October on record globally, according to data released Friday by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, an organization that tracks global temperatures. The month, which was reportedly 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average October from 1981-2010, narrowly beat October 2015 for the top spot. According to Copernicus, most of Europe, large parts of the Arctic and the eastern U.S. and Canada were most affected. The Middle East, much of Africa, southern Brazil, Australia, eastern Antarctica and Russia also experienced above-average temperatures. Parts of tropical Africa and Antarctica and the western U.S. and Canada felt much colder than usual, however. While all major oceans experienced unusually low temperatures, air temperatures over the sea were still much higher than average.
October is following a 2019 trend. The hottest-ever September follows a record-setting summer, which included the hottest-ever June and July and the second-hottest August. Overall, 2019 will make history as one of the top five warmest years on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Temperatures from November 2018 to October 2019 were above average for "virtually all of Europe," and most other areas of land and ocean, Copernicus said.
James Dean, Who Died In 1955, Will Return To the Big Screen Via CGI
Two VFX companies
are bringing James Dean back to the big screen to star in the Vietnam era action-drama
Finding Jack. Dean passed away in a 1955 car crash at the age of 24. From The Hollywood Reporter:
Directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, the project comes from the filmmakers' own recently launched production house Magic City Films, which obtained the rights to use Dean's image from his family. Canadian VFX banner Imagine Engine will be working alongside South African VFX company MOI Worldwide to re-create what the filmmakers describe as "a realistic version of James Dean." Adapted by Maria Sova from Gareth Crocker's novel, Finding Jack is based on the existence and abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War. Dean will play a character called Rogan, considered a secondary lead role.
While Finding Jack will be live action, The Hollywood Reporter understands that Dean's performance will be constructed via "full body" CGI using actual footage and photos. Another actor will voice him. Preproduction on Finding Jack starts Nov. 17, with a goal for a worldwide release on Veterans Day 2020. Magic City Films is handling the foreign sales. "We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean," said Ernst, who also produces with Golykh for Magic City Films alongside Donald A. Barton of Artistry Media Group. "We feel very honored that his family supports us and will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down."
Fitbit Says Data of Its 28 Million Users Will Not Be Sold Or Used For Google Ads
acquiring Fitbit for $2.1 billion last week, many users were left wondering if Google would have access to their health information, such as the number of steps they take each day, their breathing patterns, sleep quality or menstrual cycles. Fitbit has since addressed those concerns in a blog post,
claiming user data would not be sold or used for Google advertising. "Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit's DNA since day one, and this will not change," the company said in a statement. From a report:
Google already keeps a trove of information on people, including location data, search history and YouTube viewing history. The company also creates advertisement profiles of users based on information such as location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income. Even if Google claims it won't use Fitbit health data for advertising, the acquisition is probably bad for user privacy, said Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate with Comparitech. Just because the companies say user data will not be used for advertising now does not mean that won't change, he said.
"Fitbit says health and wellness data will not be used for advertising, but that leaves plenty of other information for Google to gather, including users' locations, device info, friends' lists, messages, profile photos, participation in employee wellness programs, and usage logs," he said. The report notes that users can delete their accounts
via the Fitbit website. The company said it would then permanently delete data associated with the account after a seven-day grace period.
Screen Time Might Be Physically Changing Kids' Brains
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review:
A study published today in JAMA Pediatrics warns that kids' literacy and language skills suffer with screen use, and MRI scans of their brains appear to back up the findings. Forty-seven 3- to 5-year-olds took a test to measure their cognitive abilities, and their parents were asked to answer a detailed survey about screen time habits. Questions included: How frequently do they use that screen? What type of content are they viewing? And is there an adult sitting with the child talking about what they're watching? The answers were scored against a set of screen time guidelines put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The kids also had their brains scanned in an MRI machine.
The scans revealed that kids who spent more time in front of screens had what the authors call lower "white matter integrity." White matter can be roughly thought of as the brain's internal communications network -- its long nerve fibers are sheathed in fatty insulation that allows electrical signals to move from one area of the brain to another without interruption. The integrity of that structure -- how well organized the nerve fibers are, and how well developed the myelin sheath is -- is associated with cognitive function, and it develops as kids learn language. Lead author John Hutton of Cincinnati Children's Hospital told MIT Technology Review there's a clear link between higher screen use and lower white matter integrity in the children his team studied. That structural change appears to be reflected in the results of the cognitive test the kids took as well, which showed high screen time associated with lower levels of language and literacy skills. Signe Lauren Bray, a researcher at the University of Calgary who was not involved in the study, downplays the findings by pointing out that it's a small and preliminary study. "It's absolutely not clear that screen time causes differences in brain development and there are many factors that could explain the association found here," she says.
Regardless, "Caution is warranted," Hutton says. "Children are not small grown-ups, and their needs change with development."
China's Minors Face New Limits On Mobile Games In War On Gaming Addiction
New anti-addiction guidelines for minors that
set out limits for time and money spent on mobile games have been introduced by China's state censor, following previous calls to curb excessive gaming.
State media published the new rules on Tuesday, which introduced a stricter real-name registration system and, for the first time, an age rating system. The State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP) guidelines also include limiting gaming to between 8am and 10pm, with no more than 1.5 hours each day -- or three hours on holidays -- and no more than 400 yuan (US$57) to be spent each month on in-game purchases. Gaming analyst Daniel Ahmad said the new rules were in line with expectations as many of the limits already existed in computer games and were being extended to mobile titles. He expected the real-name registration and rating system to have the greatest impact on underage players. "The introduction of a stricter real-name registration and age rating system is certainly new and will have a larger impact given that these systems will be harder for minors to hack or cheat," said Ahmad, who works for gaming consultancy Niko Partners.
Facebook Sued by California Over User-Data Practices Subpoenas
California revealed for the first time an 18-month investigation into Facebook's privacy practices and accused the social media giant in a court filing on Wednesday of
hampering the investigation. From a report:
Revelation of the probe is the latest bad news for Facebook, which is already under investigation by 47 U.S. states. Some states, particularly New York and Nebraska, have raised concerns that Facebook and other big tech companies engage in anti-competitive practices, expose consumer data to potential data theft and push up advertising prices. Facebook had no immediate comment. The Facebook investigations are part of a larger landscape of probes of big tech firms by the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. California's investigation began in 2018 as a probe into the Cambridge Analytica scandal but "expanded over time to an investigation into whether Facebook has violated California law, by among other things, deceiving users and ignoring its own policies in allowing third parties broad access to user data," the agency said in a court filing.
Google Asks Three Mobile Security Firms To Help Scan Play Store Apps
Google announced today that it partnered with three private cyber-security firms -- ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium --
to start a new project called the App Defense Alliance. From a report:
The purpose of this new project, Google said, was to unify malware and threat detection engines and improve the security scans that Android apps go through before being published on the Play Store. Currently, when an app developer creates and submits an Android to be listed on the official Play Store, the app is scanned by Google employees with a system called Bouncer and another called Google Play Protect. In the past, Google said that both systems have been able to detect thousands of malicious Android apps submitted to the Play Store. However, while this system has been efficient, it hasn't been perfect, and many malicious apps slipped through across the years, from banking trojans to ransomware strains. Over the past few years, Android malware authors have also adopted to counteract and negate Bouncer and Play Protect scans.
Tesla Will Unveil Its Cybertruck Pickup on Nov 21 in LA, Elon Musk Says
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday
said Tesla will
unveil the Cybertruck, its pickup truck on Nov. 21 in Los Angeles. Musk also tweeted that it's the location and month in the opening credits of the movie Blade Runner. From a report:
Musk has teased the pickup truck before. In summer 2018, he said the truck would include "power outlets allowing use of heavy duty 240V high power tools in the field all day, no generator needed." In January, he said that Tesla might be ready to unveil it by the summer "It will be something quite unique, unlike anything," Musk said at the time. Then, in June, Musk said on the podcast "Ride the Lightning" that the Tesla pickup truck "will be better than a [Ford] F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911."
Apple TV, Apple TV, Apple TV, and Apple TV+
writes about Apple TV:
Apple TV is a hardware device. Apple TV is an app on Apple TV that curates content you can buy from Apple and also content you can stream through other installed apps (but not all apps, and there is no way to tell which ones). Apple TV is an app on iOS/iPadOS devices that operates similarly to Apple TV on Apple TV. Apple TV on iOS/iPadOS syncs playback and watch history with Apple TV on Apple TV, but only if the iOS/iPadOS device has the same apps installed as the Apple TV -- and not all apps are available on all platforms. Apple TV is also an app on macOS, but it does not show content that can only be streamed from external apps on an Apple TV or iOS/iPadOS device.
Apple TV is an app or built-in feature of other devices, like smart TVs and streaming set-top boxes, but when Apple TV is running on a third party device, it does not show content from other installed apps on that device. Apple TV Channels is a feature on all Apple TV apps that lets you subscribe to external services like HBO and Showtime, which then display content within Apple TV. When Apple TV is on Apple TV or iOS/iPadOS, though, most Apple TV Channel services also have their own app. If you are logged into the app, the service's content already shows up in Apple TV. Apple TV Channels can only be viewed within Apple TV; you cannot watch an Apple TV Channel service's content on any non-Apple TV device, app, or the web. [...] Apple TV+ is a subscription streaming service from Apple that functions like an Apple TV Channel but is not an Apple TV Channel. Apple TV+ content can also be viewed in a web browser at tv.apple.com; no other Apple TV apps, devices, or features can be used in a web browser. He adds, "other than that, though, Apple TV is relatively straightforward."
This Website Has Solved Cybersecurity
A new parody website generates random excuses to
explain why companies got hacked and apologizes to their users. From a report:
Big companies that hold our personal data get hacked almost every day, but most don't really know how to deal with getting hacked, especially when it comes to telling users what happened. If you've read some data breach disclosures or notices, you know the classic "we take your privacy and security seriously" -- truly the "thoughts and prayers" of cybersecurity. No matter how bad the hack is, companies always have an excuse. Luckily, there's now a website that automatically generates more original, and entertaining, apologies you can use if your company gets hacked. It's called "Why the fuck was I breached?" and its excuse generating algorithm spills out truly hilarious excuses.
Here are a few examples:
"The fucking hacking people used Heartbleed to hack the coffee maker. But we have since worked with industry leading specialists, so it will never happen again."
"The fucking Fancy Bears used a vulnerability in Windows XP SP1 to hack the coffee maker. But we have since worked with industry leading specialists, so it will never happen again."
"The fucking Iranians used the open door in our basement to transfer 7 petabytes of data. But we have since upskilled our cafeteria staff, so it will never happen again."
"The fucking teenage hacking prodigies used nefarious techniques to partially disrupt our services. But we have since watched a YouTube video on cyber security, so it will never happen again."
"The fucking cyber terrorists used IoT malware to extract some private keys. But we have since worked with law enforcement, so it will never happen again."
This Is How the US Military's Massive Facial Recognition System Works
Over the last 15 years, the United States military has developed a new addition to its arsenal. The weapon is deployed around the world, largely invisible, and grows more powerful by the day. From a report:
That weapon is a vast database, packed with millions of images of faces, irises, fingerprints, and DNA data -- a biometric dragnet of anyone who has come in contact with the U.S. military abroad. The 7.4 million identities in the database range from suspected terrorists in active military zones to allied soldiers training with U.S. forces. "Denying our adversaries anonymity allows us to focus our lethality. It's like ripping the camouflage netting off the enemy ammunition dump," wrote Glenn Krizay, director of the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency, in notes obtained by OneZero. The Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency (DFBA) is tasked with overseeing the database, known officially as the Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS).
DFBA and its ABIS database have received little scrutiny or press given the central role they play in U.S. military's intelligence operations. But a newly obtained presentation and notes written by the DFBA's director, Krizay, reveals how the organization functions and how biometric identification has been used to identify non-U.S. citizens on the battlefield thousands of times in the first half of 2019 alone. ABIS also allows military branches to flag individuals of interest, putting them on a so-called "Biometrically Enabled Watch List" (BEWL). Once flagged, these individuals can be identified through surveillance systems on battlefields, near borders around the world, and on military bases. The presentation also sheds light on how military, state, and local law enforcement biometrics systems are linked. According to Krizay's presentation, ABIS is connected to the FBI's biometric database, which is in turn connected to databases used by state and local law enforcement.
Leaked Documents Show Facebook Leveraged User Data To Fight Rivals and Help Friends
A cache of leaked Facebook documents shows how the company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg,
oversaw plans to consolidate the social network's power and control competitors by treating its users' data as a bargaining chip. NBC News reports:
This trove comprises approximately 7,000 pages in total, of which about 4,000 are internal Facebook communications such as emails, web chats, notes, presentations and spreadsheets, primarily from 2011 to 2015. About 1,200 pages are marked as "highly confidential." Taken together, they show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook users' data -- including information about friends, relationships and photos -- as leverage over the companies it partnered with. In some cases, Facebook would reward partners by giving them preferential access to certain types of user data while denying the same access to rival companies.
For example, Facebook gave Amazon special access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising. In another case the messaging app MessageMe was cut off from access to data because it had grown too popular and could compete with Facebook. All the while, Facebook planned to publicly frame these moves as a way to protect user privacy, the documents show. State and federal authorities are now closely scrutinizing Facebook's business practices. In October, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that 47 attorneys general from states and U.S. territories plan to take part in a New York-led antitrust probe into Facebook. Over the summer, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings over antitrust concerns in Silicon Valley while the Federal Trade Commission also continues to examine the firm's practices.
'Alarming' Loss of Insects and Spiders Recorded
Insects and spiders are
declining in forests and grasslands across Germany, according to new research. From a report:
Scientists have described the findings as "alarming," saying the losses are driven by intensive agriculture. They are calling for a "paradigm shift" in land-use policy to preserve habitat for the likes of butterflies, bugs and flying insects. Recent studies have reported widespread declines in insect populations around the world. The latest analysis, published in the journal, Nature, confirms that some insect species are being pushed down the path to extinction. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the drivers of insect decline are related to farming practices, said Dr Sebastian Seibold of the Technical University of Munich in Freising, Germany. "Our study confirms that insect decline is real - it might be even more widespread then previously thought considering, for example, that also forests are experiencing declines in insect populations," he told BBC News. "I think it's alarming to see that such a decline happens not only in intensively-managed areas but also in protected areas -- so the sites that we think are safeguarding our biodiversity are not really working anymore."
IBM Calls For Regulation To Avoid Facial Recognition Bans
IBM, one of several big tech companies selling facial recognition programs, is
calling on Congress to regulate the technology -- but not too much. From a report:
China has built a repressive surveillance apparatus with facial recognition; now, some U.S. cities are rolling it out for law enforcement. But tech companies worry that opponents will react to these developments by kiboshing the technology completely. IBM's proposal joins calls for federal facial recognition regulations from Microsoft, Amazon and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Big Tech is threatened by a yearlong groundswell of bans and proposed restrictions on facial recognition bubbling up in cities like San Francisco and states like Massachusetts. The companies say these moves would cut off beneficial uses of the technology, like speeding up airport security or finding missing children.
In a white paper, IBM is calling for what it calls "precision regulation." That means limiting potentially harmful uses rather than forbidding use of the technology entirely. IBM proposes treating various kinds of facial recognition differently. Face detection software, which simply counts the number of faces in the scene, is less prone to abuse than face matching, which can pick specific people out of a crowd. "There will always be usecases that will be off limits," IBM Chief Privacy Officer Christina Montgomery tells Axios. "That includes mass surveillance and racial profiling."
SoftBank Reveals $6.5 Billion Loss From Uber, WeWork Turmoil
Masayoshi Son is finally disclosing the damage from SoftBank Group's bets on WeWork and Uber. From a report:
The Japanese investment powerhouse on Wednesday reported its first quarterly operating loss in 14 years -- about $6.5 billion -- after writing down the value of a string of marquee investments. It swallowed a charge of 497.7 billion yen ($4.6 billion) for WeWork, whose spectacular implosion turned the once high-flying shared-office startup into a Silicon Valley punchline. The losses call into question the billionaire founder Son's deal-making approach just as he's trying to raise an even larger successor to his $100 billion Vision Fund. The investment vehicle had been a driver of profit growth at SoftBank, contributing over $14 billion in mostly paper gains over the past two years. Now, the shrinking valuation of Uber and WeWork, once among the brightest stars in the SoftBank constellation, raises the prospects of more writedowns in the Vision Fund's portfolio with its high exposure to businesses that prioritize growth over profitability.
'Game-Changer' Warrant Let Detective Search Genetic Database
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times:
Last week, a Florida detective announced at a police convention that he had obtained a warrant to penetrate GEDmatch and search its full database of nearly one million users. Legal experts said that this appeared to be the first time a judge had approved such a warrant, and that the development could have profound implications for genetic privacy. "That's a huge game-changer," said Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University. "The company made a decision to keep law enforcement out, and that's been overridden by a court. It's a signal that no genetic information can be safe."
DNA policy experts said the development was likely to encourage other agencies to request similar search warrants from 23andMe, which has 10 million users, and Ancestry.com, which has 15 million. If that comes to pass, the Florida judge's decision will affect not only the users of these sites but huge swaths of the population, including those who have never taken a DNA test. That's because this emerging forensic technique makes it possible to identify a DNA profile even through distant family relationships. [...] Genetic genealogy experts said that until now, the law enforcement community had been deliberately cautious about approaching the consumer sites with court orders: If users get spooked and abandon the sites, they will become much less useful to investigators. Barbara Rae-Venter, a genetic genealogist who works with law enforcement, described the situation as "Don't rock the boat." A spokesman for 23andMe said in a statement: "We never share customer data with law enforcement unless we receive a legally valid request such as a search warrant or written court order. Upon receipt of an inquiry from law enforcement, we use all practical legal measures to challenge such requests in order to protect our customers' privacy." Ancestry.com did not respond to request for comment.
Tesla Owners Say Autopilot Makes Them Feel Safer
"Bloomberg has conducted a survey of Tesla Model 3 owners," writes Slashdot reader
Thelasko. "Some of the most interesting data
are responses to questions about Autopilot." Here's an excerpt from the report:
We asked 5,000 Model 3 owners about their experience with the electric sedan that Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk says will lead the world into a new era of driverless transportation. [...] Six drivers claimed that Autopilot actually contributed to a collision, while nine people in the Bloomberg survey went so far as to credit the system with saving their lives. Hundreds of owners recalled dangerous behaviors, such as phantom braking, veering or failing to stop for a road hazard. But even those who reported shortcomings gave Autopilot high overall ratings. More than 90% of owners said driving with Autopilot makes them safer -- including most of the respondents who simultaneously faulted the software for creating dangerous situations. Bloomberg also asked Model 3 owners about the
quality and reliability of their vehicles, as well as the
service and charging.
SpaceX Goes For Two Big Reuse Milestones With Next Launch
SpaceX is returning to the launch pad to send its second batch of Starlink Internet satellites into low Earth orbit. "On Tuesday, SpaceX completed a static test firing of the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage that is presently scheduled to launch on November 11 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida," reports Ars Technica. "Beyond the primary mission, this flight
is going for two rocket reuse milestones." From the report:
This will be the first time that SpaceX has attempted to fly the same Falcon 9 first stage four times. This particular stage flew on July 25 (Iridium 7 mission) and October 8 (SAOCOM 1-A) in 2018 as well as February 22 (Nusantara Satu and Beresheet spacecraft) this year. Additionally, SpaceX will also attempt to reuse a payload fairing for the first time. After a Falcon Heavy launch of the Arabsat-6A mission in April, SpaceX recovered both halves of the payload fairing from the Atlantic Ocean. Those fairings have since been refurbished -- it is not clear how much work needed to be done to clean them and mitigate the effects of any salt water damage -- and will now fly on the Starlink mission.
Xerox Considers Cash-and-Stock Offer For HP
According to The Wall Street Journal, Xerox is
considering making a cash-and-stock offer for HP
(Source paywalled; alternative source), which has a market value of about $27 billion. From the report:
There is no guarantee Xerox will follow through with an offer or that one would succeed. HP, which installed a new chief executive just last week, is more than three times the size of Xerox and any bid would be at a premium to its current stock price, the people said. Working in Xerox's favor: It expects a $2.3 billion windfall from a deal to sell stakes in joint ventures with Fujifilm Holdings Corp., which was announced Tuesday along with the dismissal of a $1 billion-plus lawsuit filed against Xerox by the Japanese technology company. Xerox has also received an informal funding commitment from a major bank, known as a "highly confident letter," the people said.
A deal would join two household names with storied pasts that have been scrambling to retool their businesses as the need for printed documents declines. Both companies are in cost-cutting mode and a union could afford new opportunities to shed expenses -- to the tune of more than $2 billion, the people said.