U.S. judge says lawsuit over married immigrants’ arrests can proceed

A lawsuit attempting to block the Trump administration from arresting illegal immigrants seeking to legalize their status based on their marriages to U.S. citizens can move forward, a federal judge in Boston ruled on Thursday.

Man sentenced to eight years for Charlottesville beating

A white supremacist convicted of being part of a group of men that beat a black man in a Virginia parking garage during a “Unite the Right” rally last year in Charlottesville was sentenced on Thursday to eight years in prison, local media reported.

‘Scores’ of Employees Have Left Tesla for Apple Over the Last Year

Dozens of Tesla employees have left Tesla for Apple since late 2017, according to research conducted by CNBC.

The Tesla employees that have left Apple have joined multiple departments, with the hires not limited to Project Titan, Apple’s car development effort.

In 2018 so far, LinkedIn data shows Apple has hired at least 46 people who worked at Tesla directly before joining the consumer electronics juggernaut. Eight of these were engineering interns. This year Apple has also hired former Tesla Autopilot, QA, Powertrain, mechanical design and firmware engineers, and several global supply chain managers. Some employees joined directly from Tesla, while others had been dismissed or laid off before joining Apple.

A Tesla engineer who has kept in touch with his Apple colleagues spoke to CNBC and said that based on what he’s been told, Apple appears to be taking steps to “more tightly control manufacturing processes and equipment used to make products.”

A number of Tesla employees who have switched over to Apple have not yet updated their LinkedIn profiles with their new job descriptions, including notable hire Doug Field.

Field, who previously served as Apple’s VP of Mac hardware engineering, rejoined the company after spending five years at Tesla overseeing the production of the Model 3. Field’s hiring, along with rumors from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have led to speculation that Apple is once again developing a full Apple-branded self-driving vehicle rather than focusing solely on autonomous software.

Tesla employees told CNBC that Field’s departure from the company led to a dip in morale among engineers and technicians at Tesla. Even before Field left, however, more people were leaving Tesla for other companies like Apple.

According to Tesla, voluntary attrition has decreased by one-third over the last 12 months, with the company also claiming that it has added talent from Apple and other companies. From a Tesla spokesperson:

“We wish them well. Tesla is the hard path. We have 100 times less money than Apple, so of course they can afford to pay more. We are in extremely difficult battles against entrenched auto companies that make 100 times more cars than we did last year, so of course this is very hard work. We don’t even have money for advertising or endorsements or discounts, so must survive on the quality of our products alone. Nonetheless, we believe in our mission and that it is worth the sacrifice of time and the never ending barrage of negativity by those who wish us ill. So it goes. The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now.”

Apple’s “leadership, competitive pay, and products” are among the driving factors that have encouraged employees to leave Tesla for Apple. Multiple sources told CNBC that Apple pays about one-and-a-half times the salary for technicians, software, and manufacturing engineers compared to Tesla.

Other employees have cited Apple stock and the volatility of Tesla CEO Elon Musk as factors for leaving.
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Fortnite’s Sky Rift Just Shot Out Lightning Into This Specific Spot On The Map

Fortnite’s sky rift has been getting smaller and smaller in recent weeks, but today it’s turned a pink-ish purple, and at about 5:03 PM ET, it just made a loud boom and shout out lightning into the desert part of the map.

Teardown of Magic Leap One reveals highly advanced placeholder tech

The screwdriver-happy dismantlers at iFixit have torn the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset all to pieces, and the takeaway seems to be that the device is very much a work in progress — but a highly advanced one. Its interesting optical assembly, described as “surprisingly ugly,” is laid bare for all to see.

The head-mounted display and accompanying computing unit are definitely meant for developers, as we know, but the basic methods and construction Magic Leap is pursuing are clear from this initial hardware. It’s unlikely that there will be major changes to how the gadget works except to make it cheaper, lighter and more reliable.

At the heart of Magic Leap’s tech is its AR display, which overlays 3D images over and around the real world. This is accomplished through a stack of waveguides that allow light to pass along them invisibly, then bounce it out toward your eye from the proper angle to form the image you see.

The “ugly” assembly in question; pic courtesy of iFixit

The waveguide assembly has six layers: one for each color channel (red, blue and green) twice over, arranged so that by adjusting the image you can change the perceived distance and size of the object being displayed.

There isn’t a lot out there like this, and certainly nothing intended for consumer use, so we can forgive Magic Leap for shipping something a little bit inelegant by iFixit’s standards: “The insides of the lenses are surprisingly ugly, with prominent IR LEDs, a visibly striated waveguide “display” area, and some odd glue application.”

After all, the insides of devices like the iPhone X or Galaxy Note 9 should and do reflect a more mature hardware ecosystem and many iterations of design along the same lines. This is a unique, first-of-its-kind device and as a devkit the focus is squarely on getting the functionality out there. It will almost certainly be refined in numerous ways to avoid future chiding by hardware snobs.

That’s also evident from the eye-tracking setup, which from its position at the bottom of the eye will likely perform better when you’re looking down and straight ahead rather than upwards. Future versions may include more robust tracking systems.

Another interesting piece is the motion-tracking setup. A little box hanging off the edge of the headset is speculated to be the receiver for the magnetic field-based motion controller. I remember using magnetic interference motion controllers back in 2010 — no doubt there have been improvements, but this doesn’t seem to be particularly cutting-edge tech. An improved control scheme can probably be expected in future iterations, as this little setup is pretty much independent of the rest of the device’s operation.

Let’s not judge Magic Leap on this interesting public prototype — let us instead judge them on the farcically ostentatious promises and eye-popping funding of the last few years. If they haven’t burned through all that cash, there are years of development left in the creation of a practical and affordable consumer device using these principles and equipment. Many more teardowns to come!

Why engineers are looking to animals for new technology

As a race, human beings have a lot of shortcomings. We’re not very fast, not all that strong and while we have been able to create technology that helps us overcome our environments, we’re not very good at adapting to them. Animals, on the other hand, have been successfully adapting and evolving to meet the world’s challenges long before we were stumbling around.

While it might be too late for us to learn these lessons ourselves from our animal counterparts, it’s not too late to pass them on to our inventions. And biomimetic and bio-inspired labs across the world are doing just that.

“If you think about mobility technology in the engineering world, we have airplanes in the air, ships in the water, but none of these technologies are available without our artificial modification of the environment,” Dr. Sangbae Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and director of the university’s Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory, told TechCrunch. “Animals have evolved to be the best at mobility, because, for most of them, it’s critical for survival.”

Crafting technology to mimic nature is nothing new, Kim says. From developing aerodynamic technology to small conveniences like Velcro, humans have been taking a cue from the natural world for as long as we’ve been inventing. The field of engineering, says Kim, has this kind of inspiration as an intrinsic feature and it will be crucial to solving problems such as disaster reconnaissance, labor and even elderly care.

“This is technology we must have,” says Kim. “Not just something cool to have.”

With new technological developments, this kind of inspired design has gone far beyond Velcro in recent years.

Cheetah 3

A prodigy of Kim’s lab, the Cheetah 3 is a 90 pound rescue robot designed to traverse terrain that is dangerous or inaccessible to humans (e.g. power plant inspection of natural disaster reconnaissance) with cat-like reflexes and motion. Its predecessors have been able to make autonomous running leaps over obstacles in their path (granted, at a considerably slower speed than its namesake) and Cheetah 3 has the added functionality to complete all these tasks while blind. By not relying on its sensors and cameras, Cheetah 3 is designed to have a better intuitive knowledge of its environment and perform in scenarios that are either too dark or “noisy” (too visually stimulating.)


Natural inspiration is not only found in robotics, but in material engineering as well. In 2002, Dr. Anthony Brennan, a material science and engineering professor at the University of Florida, was participating in Naval research to design strategies to keep vessels from growing algae and barnacles on their sides. While exploring the question, Brennan discovered that sharks — who spend their lives slowly moving through water — had answered it long ago. Examining the patterns in a shark’s scales, Brennan discovered that the unique ribbed, diamond structure of the shark’s scales discouraged microorganisms from settling on the surface.

Taking this discovery beyond naval ships, Brennan founded the company Sharklet in 2007 to design medical instruments built with this topology and create a non-toxic antibiotic alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.

Biomimetic Worm Bot

Out of Case Western Reserve University’s Biologically Inspired Robotics lab, this creepy-crawly bot is helping both roboticists and neuroscientists better understand a type of motion called peristalsis — or movement through contracting and expanding of muscle. While this kind of movement is not unique to earth-worms (humans, in fact, do it when swallowing), the ability to propel and maneuver their bodies through tight spaces with it is. To study this motion, the lab created the CMMWorm (Compliant Modular Mesh Worm) — a soft robot with a Lego-like capability to have segments detached and rearranged. Researchers told Gizmodo that they hope this kind of soft robot could be useful in situations as small as medical endoscopies and as large as investigating blocked pipes.



And who could forget, man’s best friend, Boston Dynamic’s SpotMini. This electric robot weighs about 66 pounds, stands at just under three feet tall and can last for 90 minutes on just one charge. At TC Sessions: Robotics held at UC Berkeley this summer Boston Dynamics announced its plans to move SpotMini into pre-production and begin selling the bot in 2019 — marking the first move toward commercialization for the company. Boston Dynamics says that SpotMini would fit well into a home or office space, but doing what exactly is still a little unclear.

If you’re just looking for some canine-like companionship, you might be better off cozying up to Sony’s pricey Aibo instead.

Eventbrite files for $200 million IPO

Eventbrite filed an IPO today for $200 million, confirming reports earlier this summer that the event-planning company plans to go public later this year.

According to the document, the company plans to raise $200 million from selling Class A shares, but has yet to list the price per share.

As for what Eventbrite intends to do with the new funds, many are pointing to the need to recover the company’s recent losses. While the company reported a net profit of $201.6 million in 2017, operating and loss expenses still left the company unprofitable that year. The company reported a net loss of $38.5 million in 2017 and a loss so far in 2018 of $15.6 million.

However, the company does report a net revenue growth of 51 percent and reported a net revenue of $142 million so far in 2018.

The filing lists Goldman Sachs as a lead underwriter and bolsters the company’s commitment to providing a platform to “creators of all types” as a competitive advantage. To continue this commitment, the company says it intends to add extended capabilities across categories and countries.

While the company has been in the event space for a while, even older companies like Ticketmaster, StubHub and Live Nation continue to give the company a run for its money — and its customers. For perspective, in 2017, Live Nation reported a record $10.4 billion in revenue.

Social platforms like Facebook have also recently complicated this space by integrating ticket purchasing portals onto its site to direct customers to both Ticketmaster or Eventbrite. While driving one-time purchases to the services, these on-site portals keep users sequestered on Facebook and in turn don’t allow them to browse other options offered by the ticketing sites.

As it stands now, prior to its stock market debut, Eventbrite has raised $332.3 million over nine funding rounds since 2006, including a debt funding round for $1.5 million in 2008, with the backing of investors like Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and DAG Ventures.