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posted by martyb on Wednesday August 16, @01:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the fly-on-the-wall dept.

Unsealed court filings in the Waymo vs. Uber case include texts between former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski, the engineer accused of stealing secrets from Waymo/Google:

On March 19, 2016, before Uber acquired Otto, Levandowski and Kalanick exchanged messages catching up on their recent "jam" session. The pair were apparently trying to prod an engineer, whose name is redacted in the filings.

"Internet, electricity, self driving cars and key things will always find a way," Levandowski texted Kalanick, linking to a YouTube clip from the 1987 movie "Wall Street." In the clip, the main character gives a famous speech of why "greed is good." "Here's the speech you need to give ;-)."

Kalanick briefly updated Levandowski on Uber's food delivery business, then wrote, "The way you keep China in check is showing up when they ask every once in a while."

But Uber was losing $1 billion a year in China, and by August, Uber sold its Chinese business to rival Didi Chuxing.

Kalanick was also eager to partner with Google as it sought to enter into the ride-hailing market, and dismissive of Tesla's autonomous mode safety claims.

The best exchanges:

9/19/2016 Levandowski: We're going to take over the world

9/19/2016 Levandowski: One robot at a time

10/7/2016 Kalanick: Down to hang this eve and mastermind some shit

Original Submission

Related Stories

Waymo v. Uber Continues, Will Not Move to Arbitration 1 comment

Uber's attempt to move Waymo's trade secrets lawsuit out of an appeals court and to an arbitrator has not succeeded:

Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo can proceed with a planned October trial over claims Uber Technologies Inc. stole trade secrets for self-driving vehicles after a U.S. appeals court declined to punt the case to an arbitrator and rejected an effort to keep Waymo from seeing critical evidence.

Uber had argued the dispute should be considered in secret before an arbitrator because the heart of Waymo's allegations are related to the actions of engineer Anthony Levandowski, a former employee of both companies. Uber's appeal was rejected Wednesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, as was Levandowski's request that Waymo not be allowed to see a report by a cyberforensics firm that looked into Uber's purchase of his company, Otto LLC.

Levandowski's employment contract with Waymo included a broad provision that any disputes would go before an arbitrator. Waymo never sued Levandowski; instead the question of whether he violated that contract is before an arbitrator, with a hearing scheduled for April. A three-judge appeals court panel said that requirement didn't extend to Uber. Waymo pledged not to rely on the Levandowski employment contract in its case, though Uber argued that wasn't a realistic promise.

Also at Reuters.

Previously: Waymo Drops Three of Four Patent Claims Against Uber
Uber's Former CEO Travis and Google Co-Founder Both Face Deposition in Trade Secrets Case
Text Messages Between Uber's Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski Released

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @01:52AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @01:52AM (#554522)

    The internals of *real* progress scare people. Sure, the diction might be a little coarse, but I can say from experience that this is how real minds interact. "Take over the world", "mastermind some shit", this is the stuff of dreams. Let's not let our tender sensibilities get in the way of the way actual people discuss ideas. There's no filter in the heat of the moment... it's shameful that people have turned it into a circus over some harsh words.

    Let 'em try to take over the world! Let us all try to take over the world!

    • (Score: 1) by Virindi on Wednesday August 16, @02:04AM

      by Virindi (3484) on Wednesday August 16, @02:04AM (#554524)

      The difference is, not everyone* gets so excited and haughty in these sessions that they completely ignore morality and the law. Haha! Laws! Screw them, let the legal team deal with it later!

      *More and more all the time though.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @02:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @02:45AM (#554534)

      If you consider stealing your ex-employers designs as "real progress". An alternative would have been to stay at Google and build the f*cking cars we keep hearing about.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @02:55AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @02:55AM (#554538)

      "Mastermind some shit" is stereotypical youthful bravado. It doesn't mean shit, just like Stewie Griffin's continual attempts to murder his mother and take over the fucking world.

      This is locker room banter. Put it in perspective, motherfucker.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @03:28AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @03:28AM (#554542)

        Bollocks! If no one ever believed that we would "mastermind some shit", perhaps in not such graphic terms, nothing great would ever happen! Look at the space program in the 60s. Kennedy said, "yeah, it's hard, but let's mastermind some shit! Lets change the world!" Why can't we do the same now. Sure the guys who want to do it now are reported as pariahs, those miserable fucks who try to defy the status quo. But tell me, who ever got anywhere without challenging society?

    • (Score: 2) by n1 on Wednesday August 16, @03:11AM (4 children)

      by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16, @03:11AM (#554539) Journal

      Masterminding a plan to take over the world with robots may be how successful sociopaths plan their businesses. It is certainly not how i've ever approached any of my work projects or discussions with business partners.

      Maybe that's why i'm not on that level of success and making that kind of 'progress', because I treat my colleagues, employees and clients as human beings and not as vehicles to advance my own power and wealth.

      What's that Zuckerberg quote? 'for some reason those stupid fucks trust me' or something along those lines...

      This is how the really 'successful' people operate, manipulating others and creating 'progress' regardless of the wider human or social cost. The dollars and leverage of power over others are the only tangible value we measure with any conviction in this society. The most recent entrants to the billionaire class certainly live up to that standard. They can produce nothing of value themselves, but are talented at extracting value and monetizing other people's potential in new ways, even without the client or employee understanding the full context of business transaction they're involved in.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @03:23AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @03:23AM (#554540)

        Give yourself some perspective. Do those "stupid fucks" not trust the Zuck? Look at the unwashed masses filling social media!! Did he not have some sense of perspective in believing that those same unwashed masses would file in one by one to reveal themselves to the machine?

        • (Score: 2) by n1 on Wednesday August 16, @03:37AM (2 children)

          by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 16, @03:37AM (#554545) Journal

          He was not wrong. I did say these people are very talented... However, it's not mandatory to exploit people at every opportunity, although it can be very rewarding financially.

          I can't sleep at night if i'm complicit in the exploitation of someone. I have worked for immoral people who saw no issue in this. It was one of the most stressful and depressing times in my life, learning how I was being exploited at the same time as being complicit in the exploitation of others. Thankfully I was able to walk away, but other people in the same position as me did not have the option. The rent is still due and none of your bills go away just because you took a moral decision to leave a certainly immoral and potentially criminal business.

          • (Score: 1) by a262 on Wednesday August 16, @03:51AM (1 child)

            by a262 (6671) on Wednesday August 16, @03:51AM (#554548)

            Ay, I feel your grief good sir. However, one must accept the brutal, capitalist society in which we live. People feed off of other people for success. As my sonofabitch father taught me when I was very young, you must discover what the game is, and then win at that game. The name of our modern game is "misanthropy".

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:31PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @10:31PM (#555004)

              Eeeeeehhhh, I'm gonna disagree. There is merit to that viewpoint, but I would rather go to my deathbed happy in the fact I never screwed people over intentionally and systematically. If you play to win, and you play by their rules, then you lose. Unless you desire becoming a sociopath, which would mean you win?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @12:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @12:33PM (#554680)

      I've got no love for Uber, but I found nothing damning in this at all. I've been on both sides of that conversation. This is how people often talk when they're making moves.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by a262 on Wednesday August 16, @03:34AM

    by a262 (6671) on Wednesday August 16, @03:34AM (#554543)

    Yes! This poor, sore AC has finally decided to join the sordid sods who compose this fine community. You may call me Ay-two-six-two, the finest of machines set to bestow grief upon the unwashed masses.
    Destroy those who would flounder under change, let those who would take advantage thrive!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @05:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, @05:11PM (#554789)

    so these two geniuses used the slave phone network to text? they couldn't pay someone to setup an xmpp server and omemo supporting client on their phones? couldn't "mastermind that shit", i guess? a douche is gonna douche.