Waymo accuses Otto and Uber of stealing LiDAR designs

Alphabet’s Waymo gave us more background on their lawsuit against Otto and Uber today:

“…we received an unexpected email. One of our suppliers specializing in LiDAR components sent us an attachment (apparently inadvertently) of machine drawings of what was purported to be Uber’s LiDAR circuit board — except its design bore a striking resemblance to Waymo’s unique LiDAR design.

We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board. To gain access to Waymo’s design server, Mr. Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop. Once inside, he downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation. Then he connected an external drive to the laptop. Mr. Levandowski then wiped and reformatted the laptop in an attempt to erase forensic fingerprints.

Beyond Mr. Levandowki’s actions, we discovered that other former Waymo employees, now at Otto and Uber, downloaded additional highly confidential information pertaining to our custom-built LiDAR including supplier lists, manufacturing details and statements of work with highly technical information.”

From iOS to Android

iPhone to PixelThis long time iPhone user recently made the leap over to the world of Android and switch to using the Google Pixel phone. The two main reasons I included:

I got a taste of the Google assistant via the Google Home. Although Amazon has a similar assistant, Alexa, on their Echo product, the Google Assistant seems to be full of knowledge. This capability comes from its access to the Google Knowledge Graph and clearly sets it apart from Alexa.  In addition to automating your home, the Google Assistant can search all of its knowledge of the Internet to answer any of your questions.

A new cellphone use law in California, which went into affect in 2017, prohibits the use of a cell phone while driving. Tapping and swiping is only allowed if the phone is mounted on the dash. The Android Auto app allow drivers to easily access maps, music, and read & write text messages via the Google Assistant, taps, and swipes.

I plan to share my transition experience on the next few posts. Stay tuned.

$18 Security Key Protects Your Gmail Account from Hacks

FIDO U2F Security Key

Phishing attacks were in the news again during this past election cycle.  Clinton Campaign Chairman’s email was hacked because he clicked on a phishing link.  The Chinese government also has a history of phishing for Gmail accounts too.

The use of this $18 FIDO U2F Security Key would have prevented the hack.  Companies such as Google, Facebook and Dropbox already require their employees to use FIDO U2F Security Keys, why don’t you use it to protect yourself?  My Gmail account is not only used for emails, but authentication across the internet.  It is worth the $18 and 2 minutes of your time.

Here are the instructions to activate Two-Factor authentication, if you don’t already have it turned on for your Google account.