Not Just Startups

Uber’s Former Boss of self-driving Unit Ordered to pay $179 Mn to Google

Today’s top five trending stories from the tech world touches on Uber, General Motors, Google, Twitter and Quibi   

1

Anthony Levandowski ordered to pay $179 Mn to Google

Image Source: Techcrunch

Google’s once blue eyed and star engineer, Anthony Levandowski, has been ordered to pay $179 Mn to his former company.  A San Francisco County court confirmed on Wednesday arbitration panel’s ruling that the star engineer had breached the contract with his former employer, Google.  Levandowski was at the heart of trade secret lawsuit between Google’s Waymo and Uber, following his controversial exit and later starting his own autonomous vehicle startup called ‘Otto. Otto was later acquired by ride hailing major Uber, an acquisition that spooked Google very badly.

2

General Motors has a $20 Bn plan to take on Tesla

Photo by Steve Fecht / General Motors

General Motors (GM) will be splurging more than $20 Bn in the next 5 years in its quest to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) as well as the autonomous vehicle market. GM’s CEO Mary Barra made an elaborate presentation on Wednesday, but the details of the upcoming products and the timeline of their launch is still very hazy. However, it is pretty clear that the Detroit headquartered company will be launching series of EV products in next five years in a desperate bid to surmount challenge to Tesla. The company is pinning its major hopes on new lithium-ion battery, called Ultium, claiming it be amongst the most affordable EV batteries out there. Well, GM has lot of catching up to do if it is serious about challanging Tesla.

3

Twitter starts testing ephemeral tweets, which disappears after 24 hours

Twitter

Unlike Snapchat, Facebook or WhatsApp, Twitter doesn’t allow its users to share their stories. But this is likely to change in future, with the microblogging company announcing on Wednesday that it has started testing a new sharing format called ‘ephemeral’ in Brazil. These ephemeral content, which  disappears completely after 24 hours, is probably Twitter’s way of allowing their users to share their intimate stories about their lives.  But unlike stories on Facebook and WhatsApp, Twitter’s new fleets can’t receive likes, replies or retweets.

4

Federal court rejects presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard’s lawsuit against Google

In a setback to Democratic representative and presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, a US federal court rejected her lawsuit against search engine giant Google. Last year Gabbard, the first Hindu member of the US Congress, had filed a lawsuit demanding $50 Mn in compensation from Google. She had accused the search engine giant of blocking her campaign to buy ads following the first Democratic debate and thereby deliberately suppressing her freedom. However, the federal judge outrightly rejected this claim by immediately dismissing the lawsuit. Guess, even the judge thought that this was Tulsi Gabbard’s bad PR stunt.

5

Video streaming startup Quibi has raised $2 Bn and it has not been even launched yet

Image Source: Variety.com

Most startups aren’t very lucky when it comes to fundraising, but Quibi has proved to be grand exception in this case. The video streaming startup raised $750 Mn in its latest fundraising round, taking its total fundraising amount to $2 Bn. But its astronomical fundraising amount may startle many people, given that Quibi has not even been launched in the market. Quibi will officially debut on 6th April, which would allow US consumers to enjoy high quality premium web series and films in flat 10 minutes on their phones. Sounds pretty interesting.

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