Timothy B. Lee
Timothy B. Lee
Timothy B. Lee began his journalism career writing for Ars in 2007. He then spent time at the Washington Post and Vox before returning home to Ars in 2017. Today he covers technology policy, artificial intelligence and the future of transportation. He holds a master's degree in computer science from Princeton. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.Source
Washington, D.C., Virginia
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Coinbase doubles down on anti-politics stance with exit package offer

Coinbase doubles down on anti-politics stance with exit package offer

In the last few years, big technology companies have faced growing pressure from employees to become involved in social justice issues. This pressure intensified this summer with the George Floyd protests. But this week, CEO Brian Armstrong of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase staked out a contrarian stance. "While I think these efforts are well-intentioned, they have the potential to destroy a lot of value at most companies, both by being a distraction, and by creating internal division,"  in a blog post. "We've seen what internal strife at companies like Google and Facebook can do...

September 30, 2020
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Who will win the self-driving race? Here are eight possibilities

Who will win the self-driving race? Here are eight possibilities

The self-driving technology industry is in a strange state right now. A number of companies have been pouring millions of dollars into self-driving technology for years, and many of them have prototype self-driving vehicles that seem to work.Yet I know of only one company—Waymo—that has launched a fully driverless commercial taxi service. And I only know of one company—Nuro—that's running a driverless commercial delivery service on public roads. You'd expect these companies to be capitalizing on their early leads by expanding rapidly, but neither seems to be doing that.Meanwhile, several...

April 19, 2021
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Amazon admits its drivers sometimes have to pee in bottles

Amazon admits its drivers sometimes have to pee in bottles

Amazon has to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) for a denying that it makes its workers urinate in water bottles.The controversy started with a by Pocan blasting Amazon for its treatment of workers—a topic of particular public interest as workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama were ."Paying workers $15/hr doesn't make you a 'progressive workplace' when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles," Pocan wrote."You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?" Amazon responded on March 24. "If that were true, nobody would work for us."Recode's Jason Del Rey that...

April 3, 2021
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FTC urges courts not to dismiss Facebook antitrust case

FTC urges courts not to dismiss Facebook antitrust case

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday urged a federal judge in DC to reject Facebook's request to dismiss the FTC's high-stakes antitrust lawsuit. In a 56-page legal brief, the FTC reiterated its arguments that Facebook's profits have come from years of anticompetitive conduct."Facebook is one of the largest and most profitable companies in the history of the world," the FTC wrote. "Facebook reaps massive profits from its [social networking] monopoly, not by offering a superior or more innovative product because it has, for nearly a decade, taken anticompetitive actions to neutralize,...

April 8, 2021
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How the Supreme Court saved the software industry from API copyrights

How the Supreme Court saved the software industry from API copyrights

Google and Oracle's last October left opponents of API copyrights extremely nervous. For the previous decade, Google had been arguing in lower courts that it didn't infringe copyright law when it re-implemented Java for use in Android. Google had lost—twice—at the appellate level.Last October, justices for the nation's highest court seemed skeptical as well. Not only were they asking Google's lawyer, Tom Goldstein, a lot of tough questions, a number of them didn't seem to even understand what an API was. That seemed like a bad sign for Google because the distinction between code that...

April 6, 2021
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Supreme Court rules API copying is fair use

Supreme Court rules API copying is fair use

The Supreme Court has in its decade-long legal battle with Oracle over the copyright status of application programming interfaces. The ruling means that Google will not owe Oracle billions of dollars in damages. It also has big implications for the broader software industry, since a ruling in the opposite direction could have triggered a wave of lawsuits against software companies that re-implemented other companies' APIs.The case dates back to the creation of the Android platform in the mid-2000s. Google decided to base Android on Sun's Java programming language, enabling existing Java...

April 5, 2021
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This is Intel’s plan to dominate driverless car technology

This is Intel’s plan to dominate driverless car technology

I've that Mobileye, an Intel subsidiary , is among the most formidable and underrated players in the self-driving sector. The Israeli company is the leading supplier of the chips, cameras, and software that power today's driver-assistance systems—a couple of years ago, Mobileye claimed 70 percent market share. The company is hoping to enjoy a similarly dominant position in the emerging market for fully self-driving systems.On Monday, Mobileye that its self-driving technology stack would be branded Mobileye Drive. Mobileye says the technology will be "a turn-key self-driving system ready for...

April 13, 2021
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Short-selling firm accuses Lordstown of exaggerating truck pre-orders

Short-selling firm accuses Lordstown of exaggerating truck pre-orders

The short-selling firm Hindenburg Research has published a alleging that startup electric truckmaker Lordstown Motors has been exaggerating customer demand to aid in fundraising. CEO Steve Burns has claimed that Lordstown already has more than 100,000 pre-orders—enough to keep its Ohio factory busy for more than a year once the company starts production. In reality, these pre-orders are non-binding. And Hindenburg claims that some of the supposed customers don't seem to have the financial resources to make good on their multi-million dollar orders even if they wanted to.Hindenburg is in the...

March 12, 2021
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Report: Tesla is secretly building a giant 100 MW battery in Texas

Report: Tesla is secretly building a giant 100 MW battery in Texas

Tesla is best known as an electric car company, but the firm also has a thriving business in battery storage—including utility-scale battery installations to support the electric grid. Bloomberg that Tesla is currently building a battery installation in Tesla CEO Elon Musk's new home state of Texas. The project is in Angleton, about an hour south of Houston.Tesla hasn't publicized the project, which is operating under the name of an obscure Tesla subsidiary called Gambit Energy Storage LLC. When a Bloomberg photographer visited, a worker discouraged picture-taking and said the project was...

March 8, 2021
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In new deal, Wisconsin slashes controversial Foxconn subsidies 30-fold

In new deal, Wisconsin slashes controversial Foxconn subsidies 30-fold

The state of Wisconsin has negotiated a dramatically scaled-back deal with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn. The move, announced Tuesday by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, is a repudiation of a deal negotiated four years earlier by Evers' Republican predecessor Scott Walker.The original deal envisioned Foxconn spending as much as $10 billion to manufacture a state-of-the-art factory for manufacturing large liquid-crystal display panels. The deal was announced in 2017, and then-President Donald Trump traveled to Wisconsin for the 2018 groundbreaking, the new factory as "the eighth wonder...

April 21, 2021
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