Former Google exec Anthony Levandowski sentenced to 18 months for stealing self-driving car secrets

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US-TRANSPORT-TECHNOLOGY-UBER-AUTOPhoto by Angelo Merendino / AFP / Getty Images

Controversial engineer Anthony Levandowski, who worked for the Google division that would become Waymo before founding trucking company Otto and selling it to Uber, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for trade secret theft during his various stints in the self-driving industry. His sentencing closes the book on a multi-year legal saga stemming from Levandowski’s high-rising and equally fast-falling career in Silicon Valley spanning much of the past decade.

Levandowski was initially sentenced back in March, when the US District Attorney’s office recommended a 27-month sentence. Judge William Alsup on Wednesday sentenced Levandowski to 18 months in prison, to be served at a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to T…

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Google Pay will support mobile checking accounts starting next year

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is getting into mobile banking through a new partnership announced on Monday with a total of eight US-based banks, including the US division of the Bank of Montreal (BMO) and BBVA. The bank accounts will exist entirely within Google Pay, with customers able to access checking accounts handled digitally on the front end by Google while partner banks handle the infrastructure, FDIC insurance, and other backend technology.

It’s unclear at this time if customers will have access to physical debit cards issued through Google or its partners, but the banking feature is slated to go live sometime in 2021. News of Google’s mobile banking plans, known internally as the “Cache” project, first surfaced last year, when the company formally…

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Rite Aid used facial recognition in secret across hundreds of its stores

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Drugstore chain Rite Aid secretly deployed facial recognition software across a network of security cameras in hundreds of locations in the US, according to a new investigation from Reuters published on Tuesday. The company had been doing so for more than eight years, and it only recently stopped using the technology, it told Reuters, following a “larger industry conversation” around facial recognition and the grave concern over privacy risks and racial discrimination it presents.

Yet, Reuters says Rite Aid initially defended its use of facial recognition as a deterrent against theft and violent crime, having nothing to do with race. The investigation found that not to be entirely true. “In areas where people of color, including Black…

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Go read The New York Times’ incredible account of how the Twitter attack may have happened

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Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge

Reporters are starting to piece together the behind-the-scenes events of the unprecedented Twitter attack on Wednesday almost as fast as the official investigators themselves. And the clearest idea of what may have happened two days ago — when roughly 130 accounts were compromised using internal company tools — comes courtesy of The New York Times this afternoon.

Reporters Nathaniel Popper and Kate Conger tell the stories of four individuals involved in the hack and how exactly it spiraled out of control and resulted in the takeovers of some of the platforms most high-profile and sensitive accounts.

The Times report says the attack can be traced…

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Go read this investigation from The Guardian on Facebook’s failure to contain QAnon

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook has a fringe conspiracy theory problem, and it’s getting worse by the day. According to a new investigation from The Guardian, the far-right QAnon movement continues to flourish on the social network, despite its attempts last month to begin removing accounts and pages promoting it.

The investigation, by journalist Julie Carrie Wong, details in depth how QAnon account and page owners caught wind of Facebook’s crackdown in early May and the clever methods they relied on to avoid detection. Earlier today, Verizon announced its participation in a growing advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram, in part it appears because its ads continue to show up next to QAnon content.

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The studio behind Kill la Kill and Promare is making a Cyberpunk 2077 anime for Netflix

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Image: CD Projekt Red

Studio Trigger, the anime production company made up of former members of the legendary studio Gainax, is producing a Cyberpunk 2077 anime for Netflix set to premiere in 2022. Called Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the anime will be a standalone story set in the world of developer CD Projekt Red’s upcoming open-world action roleplaying game.

Here’s how CD Projekt Red describes it:

CYBERPUNK: EDGERUNNERS tells a standalone, 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future. Having everything to lose, he chooses to stay alive by becoming an edgerunner—a mercenary outlaw also known as a cyberpunk.

Trigger, besides being founded by members that worked on seminal anime like Neon…

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