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Engadget

Honda quits Formula 1 to focus on fuel cell and EV technology

Honda is ending its participation in Formula 1 in order to focus its research and development on fuel cells and battery EV technologies, the company announced. It currently builds the turbocharged hybrid power units for Red Bull Racing, which sits in second place in the F1 constructor standings, along with Red Bull’s adjacent team Scuderia AlphaTauri. Honda said that it achieved its goal of earning victories with three wins last season and two so far in 2020. However, it believes that the auto industry is going through a “once-in-one-hundred-years” period of transition and it has decided to strive for carbon neutrality by 2050. As such, it will funnel its R&D money into green power unit and energy tech like fuel cell and battery EV technology. All the knowledge it amassed in F1, particularly in the areas of energy management and fuel technologies, will be transferred to its new research center. Source linkContinue readingHonda quits Formula 1 to focus on fuel cell and EV technology

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Mashable

Facebook engineer quits, says company is ‘profiting off hate’

A Facebook engineer has published a scathing resignation letter accusing the company of “profiting off hate” and criticising it for “choosing to be on the wrong side of history.”  “I’m quitting because I can no longer stomach contributing to an organization that is profiting off hate in the U.S. and globally,” wrote Ashok Chandwaney in the letter obtained by the Washington Post.  Chandwaney, whose pronouns are they, them, and theirs, posted the letter to Facebook’s internal employee network on Tuesday, stating that it was their last day after five and a half years with the company. In it, they systematically detailed how Facebook has failed to uphold its five core values when it comes to addressing hate on the platform. These values are “Be Bold,” “Focus on Impact,” “Move Fast,” “Be Open,” and “Build Social Value.” “[T]he absence of them in the company’s approach to hate has eroded my faith in this company’s will to remove it from the platform,” wrote Chandwaney.  “To me being bold means seeing something that’s hard to do but, knowing it’s the right thing to do, rolling up my sleeves, and diving in,” they wrote, noting the common notion that removing hateful content is difficult. “Boldness is not, on the other hand, taking a pass on implementing the recommendations from organized civil rights advocates … as we have done.” Chandwaney’s letter is full of links citing specific incidents of Facebook’s failures, such as the company obstructing an investigation into genocide in Myanmar and failing to…Continue readingFacebook engineer quits, says company is ‘profiting off hate’

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VentureBeat

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits after less than 3 months

(Reuters) – TikTok Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer has left the company, less than three months after he joined the hit short video app, and U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas will replace him on an interim basis, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. The development comes days after TikTok sued the Trump administration over an executive order banning transactions in the United States with the popular short-form video-sharing app. Mayer was Walt Disney’s top streaming executive before he joined TikTok on June 1. He was also appointed as chief operating officer of TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance at the time. “In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mayer said in the letter. “Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.” TikTok, in an emailed statement, confirmed the departure and said that the political dynamics of the last few months had “significantly changed” the scope of Mayer’s role. ByteDance’s founder and CEO Zhang Yiming said in a separate letter that the company was “moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the U.S. and India.” He said Mayer had joined the firm just as it was “entering arguably our…Continue readingTikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits after less than 3 months

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Engadget

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits just three months after taking the job

When Kevin Mayer left Disney’s direct to consumer operations and took over as CEO of TikTok in May, he probably didn’t foresee the company becoming such a popular target of politicians, specifically the president. Now, just three months later, and in the middle of a government-forced sale-or-shut down process, the Financial Times reports Mayer told TikTok employees in a letter that he’s stepping down. In the interim, current TikTok general manager Vanessa Pappas will lead the company. In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson said to Engadget, “We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin’s role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision. We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well.” Source linkContinue readingTikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits just three months after taking the job

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Engadget

Toshiba officially quits the laptop business

It’s not certain exactly what prompted Toshiba’s decline, although there are a number of likely factors. Toshiba’s failed bet on HD DVD didn’t help — it produced media-centric laptops whose main feature became useless once Blu-ray and streaming took over. As The Register observed, rivals like Apple, Dell, and Lenovo also beat Toshiba at its own game with ultraportables like the MacBook Air and XPS series. Add a shrinking PC market and Toshiba was facing stiff competition in a market where there wasn’t much money for anyone but the very largest contenders. Toshiba is still a major name in computing through categories like printing and storage, and it has fingers in categories like energy and retail. The Dynabook brand will live on, for that matter. Still, it’s a sad moment — whatever you thought of its products, Toshiba was a mainstay in the personal computing landscape. Source linkContinue readingToshiba officially quits the laptop business

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Engadget

BMW and Mercedes call it quits on their self-driving car partnership

BMW and Mercedes may have also been too ambitious. When they announced the collaboration last July, they said their goal was to start selling Level 4 self-driving cars, with the ability to handle freeway driving and parking on their own, by 2024. Automotive executives like Ford CEO Jim Hackett have said companies have “overestimated” how soon they’ll be able to roll out the technology. In 2019, Uber similarly said it would be a while before self-driving cars become a frequent sight on roadways. A recent study also found most American drivers aren’t enthusiastic about the idea of autonomous vehicles.    While they’re not working together on autonomous driving technology anymore, BMW and Mercedes are still partners in other areas. In 2015, Audi, BMW and Mercedes parent Daimler joined forces to buy Nokia’s Here maps platform for €2.8 billion (roughly $3.07 billion). Source linkContinue readingBMW and Mercedes call it quits on their self-driving car partnership

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TechCrunch

EU digs in on digital tax plan, after US quits talks – TechCrunch

The European Commission has reiterated its commitment to pushing ahead with a regional plan for taxing digital services after the US quit talks aimed at finding agreement on reforming tax rules — ramping up the prospects of a trade war. Yesterday talks between the EU and the US on a digital services tax broke down after U.S. treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, walked out — saying they’d failed to make any progress, per Reuters. The EU has been eyeing levying a tax of between 2% and 6% on the local revenues of platform giants. Today the European Commission dug in in response to the US move, with commissioner Paolo Gentiloni reiterating the need for “one digital tax” to adapt to what he dubbed “the reality of the new century” — and calling for “understanding” in the global negotiation. However he also repeated the Commission’s warning that it will push ahead alone if necessary, saying that if the US’ decision to quit talks means achieving global consensus impossible it will put “a new European proposal on the table”. C’è bisogno di una #DigitalTax adeguata alla realtà del nuovo secolo. Serve un’intesa nel negoziato globale. Se lo stop americano la rendesse impossibile, la @EU_Commission metterà sul tavolo una nuova proposta europea. — Paolo Gentiloni (@PaoloGentiloni) June 18, 2020 Following the break down of talks, France also warned it will go ahead with a digital tax on tech giants this year — reversing an earlier suspension that had been intended to grease the negotiations.…Continue readingEU digs in on digital tax plan, after US quits talks – TechCrunch