As Top Executives Leave Tesla, Elon Musk Is Left With 29 Direct Reports

The tech news site The Information has obtained an internal–and very revealing–organizational chart of Tesla leadership. According to the chart, it appears CEO Elon Musk currently has 29 people reporting to him directly. 

Imagine a gathering of your own direct reports. Not your entire team or your entire company, just the people who have no other boss between you and them. How many of them would there be? Whatever the number, I’m betting it’s a lot lower than 29. According to The Information, Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, has only 12 direct reports. Ford CEO James Hackett has only nine.

Asked for a comment, Musk told The Information that an org chart pulled off the site earlier this month was “rife with errors.” Beyond that, he did not comment on the people reporting to him, except to say that it is “high by most standards.”

Even for Musk, 29 is an unusually high number of reports, and results in part from the recent turmoil at Tesla. What with the SEC investigation and lawsuit caused by an ill-considered tweet that is forcing Musk to step down for three years as Tesla chair (while remaining CEO), an anguished and sleep-deprived interview with The New York Times, and the struggle it took for the company to finally meet its Model 3 production target, you could be forgiven for failing to notice that in the middle of it all, the company had to lay off 9 percent of its employees

It would be easier still not to notice the departure of upper executives this summer and fall–particularly since the company is oddly closed-mouthed about all its executives other than Musk. Tesla does not provide an external organizational chart or even much information about its executive team. The only information about management anywhere on the Tesla website lists only three executives, Musk as chairman, product architect, and CEO, JB Straubel as CTO, and Deepak Ahuja as CFO.

According to Bloomberg, since early June, many many key executives have departed Tesla. These include Doug Field, SVP of engineering, Dave Morton, chief accounting officer, Gabrielle Toledano, chief people officer, and Sarah O’Brien, vice president of communications. Bloomberg reported that five more senior executives besides these have left as well, and The Information reporter Amir Efrati noted the the internal org chart “helped to confirm” that Gil Passin, head of manufacturing for years, was also gone from the company. And, The Information reported, Matt Casebolt, in charge of body and door development and a direct report of Doug Field’s was recently removed from the internal org chart, suggesting that he too has moved on. (Tesla would not comment to The Information on whether Casebolt is still an employee and so far has not responded at all to a request for comment from Inc.com.)

Thus, The Information estimates, about a dozen executives are reporting to Musk because their immediate boss left the company and has not yet been replaced. Presumably–although really, who knows?–the company will fill those executive positions at some point and Musk will go back to a more “normal” estimated 18 direct reports. 

Musk has said he wants Tesla to be a flatter organization, and indeed flat organizational structures are a popular concept and can confer competitive advantage for many reasons, including that you save a lot of money on manager salaries. But Tesla’s lack of transparency about its leadership team other than Musk is pretty weird. One insider told The Information that Tesla’s management team has few meetings and its members are rarely all in the same place. If true, that’s weird as well. Meantime Musk is known for often communicating directly with employees who would be far below him in the hierarchy if there was one. It all points to something we all already know about Musk: He’s bad at delegating.

He needs to get better. Executives who don’t feel their CEO trusts them to handle the people and projects directly assigned to them are likelier to quit. So are executives whose bosses hog the limelight and leave them in the shadows. We may be seeing both these dynamics in action at Tesla. 

Musk could do himself and his company a huge favor by bringing some of his executive team more into the public eye, and trusting them to oversee their own areas. Better yet, he could finally get a little sleep.

In a Stunning Announcement, McDonald's Reveals New Breakfast Menu in Bid to Get Back on Top

And what are the changes announced by McDonald’s? Triple Breakfast Stacks, which will be offered at U.S. restaurants beginning on November 1.

A Triple Breakfast Stack is a supersized breakfast sandwich with triple meat — two sausage patties with bacon, two slices of cheese (American, of course), and an egg. There will be three different options when it comes to the bread part of the sandwich: biscuit, McGriddle, or McMuffin.

It’s no secret that McDonald’s business has been trending downward over the past several years. While revenue was $25.4 billion in 2015 — a drop of 7.32% from the previous year — this figure slid to $24.6 billion in 2016 and then dropped to $22.8 billion in 2017. While this is not quite a going-out-of-business plan, company executives have reason to worry, and to shake things up.

Things have gotten tougher out there for McDonald’s when it comes to breakfast, with competitors such as Starbucks, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts, and others all offering breakfast food options. According to Steve Easterbrook, “It’s very competitive out there at breakfast. We’re still losing a little share…it continues to be a battleground. We want to do better at breakfast.”

Based on the company’s ongoing downward revenue trend, I suspect that McDonald’s needs to do better at lunch and dinner too.

Published on: Oct 24, 2018

Stepping Into an Amazon Store Helps It Get Inside Your Head

Infrared light flooded down invisibly as I eyed the pastries in Amazon’s new convenience store in downtown San Francisco. It helped cameras mounted on the store’s ceiling detect that I picked up a croissant, then put it back.

My flirtation with a $3.19 morsel of flaky pastry was recorded during a preview of the Amazon Go store that opened in San Francisco’s financial district this morning. As in the five other such stores in Seattle and Chicago, shoppers gain entry by scanning a QR code in the Amazon Go mobile app to open a subway-style entry gate. Hundreds of cameras on the ceiling, plus sensors in the shelves, then record what each person picks up, so they can walk out without having to visit a checkout.

Amazon Go’s design offers shoppers an eerie freedom. Breezing out of a store without breaking stride feels efficient but also a little like shoplifting. Less perceptibly, the cameras and shelf sensors also log data that provides Amazon a remarkable view of what people do in a physical store. “Anything that you pick up, anything that you put back, is kept track of,” says Dilip Kumar, the vice president responsible for the technology behind Amazon Go.

Tracking shoppers like that puts Amazon in a position to teleport some of the data-driven tactics from its dominant online shopping business to the physical world. Kumar likened the way his system logged my moment of temptation with the croissant to how the company’s online store logs what people click. “It’s the equivalent of interest on an Amazon detail page,” he said.

Peter Fader, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, compares the data that Amazon Go stores could collect to an earlier retail revolution—the debut of barcode scanners. That technology also streamlined the experience for shoppers while revealing new information to store owners, such as which items were frequently bought together.

When someone visits an Amazon Go store, the Seattle company’s technology can see not just what they bought but what they picked up and discarded, and also in what order they handled different items. That information could be used to optimize a store’s selection and design, and to power personalized marketing messages, Fader says. “It becomes possible to figure out what’s the bait to attract and retain and build relationships with the most valuable customers,” he says.

Cashier-less systems can collect impressively detailed data on shoppers. Standard Cognition is one of several startups offering similar technology to existing retailers. The company boasts that, unlike Amazon Go, its system uses only overhead cameras, not shelf sensors, making it easy to deploy in existing stores. Evan Shiue, who leads strategy at Standard Cognition, says the startup’s technology can log things like how often people picking up a can of Pepsi look at its nutrition panel, or whether they put it down and buy a Coke instead.

“You get a lot of great behavioral data in ecommerce—what I added to my basket and then took out and how long I looked at a particular item,” says Shiue. “We can now do this in bricks and mortar through computer vision.”

Visitors to an Amazon Go store are watched closely from above by conventional and depth cameras—aided by infrared illumination—from the moment they scan their app to gain entry. Amazon trained machine-learning algorithms to recognize when items have been picked up using thousands of hours of footage of people grabbing items from shelves, Kumar says. Weight sensors in a store’s shelves help the system confirm what item, and how many, a person has taken.

Kumar wouldn’t discuss in detail how Amazon might use the data it collects in Amazon Go stores. He acknowledged that the company could one day combine information from my visit with my record of Amazon.com purchases—potentially helping customer data analysts at both businesses—but said that wasn’t the project’s “primary purpose.” A company spokesperson said that any sensitive data collected by Amazon Go stores is treated in accordance with Amazon’s existing data security policies, and directed WIRED to a privacy notice in the convenience stores’ app.

The success of other companies that use technology to merge online and offline customer tracking suggests that Amazon could reap considerable benefits. Stacy Smollin Schwartz, a professor at Rutgers Business School, points to Starbucks’ popular mobile app, which uses loyalty points and personalized challenges to lure customers into stores, and Disney’s MagicBand wristbands that track visitors’ perambulations around theme parks. Both have shown that a digital lens on a person’s real-world actions can open up new ways to change their behavior.

For Amazon, that might mean sending people targeted promotions through the Amazon Go app—for example, to encourage someone who grabs a daily breakfast sandwich to also drop by for lunch. “Knowing people’s habits and being able to individually try to manipulate those habits to increase the individual loyalty and profitability of each customer is very valuable,” says Smollin Schwartz.

A few minutes after I walked out of the store’s electronic gate Friday, the Amazon Go app buzzed for my attention. It showed an itemized receipt for the Advil, curry paste, and Amazon Go-branded chocolate bar I had grabbed from the shelves and stuffed into my pockets. The price total and tax were noted. Not visible—what Amazon learned about me.


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Japan tells Facebook to improve data protection

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government on Monday told U.S. technology firm Facebook Inc (FB.O) to better protect its users’ personal data following lapses this year affecting tens of millions of people globally.

The logo of Facebook is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

The government asked the world’s largest social media network to fully communicate security issues to users, increase surveillance of providers of applications on its platform, and inform regulators of any change in security measures.

The request comes after Facebook this month said attackers stole data from 29 million user accounts. That followed the April revelation that personal data of nearly 87 million users was improperly accessed by British firm Cambridge Analytica.

Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission, which investigated the Cambridge Analytica incident with authorities in Britain and elsewhere, issued a statement on Monday detailing its request to Facebook. The request carries no administrative orders or penalties and is not legally binding.

Facebook has promised to detail on its Japanese-language website how it will address the request, the Commission said.

It also said the Cambridge Analytica incident potentially affected up to 100,000 users in Japan, and that the cyber attack may also have had an impact on users in Japan.

Representatives of Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; additional reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing

Gadget Lab Podcast: Pinterest’s Evan Sharp on What Makes Good Software

Why did Apple’s Jony Ive name Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp as one of the figures in technology who he believes will change the future?

If you were wondering about that, here’s a great chance to learn a little bit more about Sharp and make the call yourself. During the 25th anniversary festival for WIRED last week, the Gadget Lab team had the chance to interview Sharp on stage, among other high-profile technologists. Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing these taped conversations as a part of the podcast.

In this particularly interview, Mike and Arielle ask Sharp what it’s like to receive praise from Ive, how machine learning is changing software design, and whether Pinterest can remain once of the internet’s last happy places.

Show notes: Click here to read more about Jony Ive’s nomination of Evan Sharp for our 25th anniversary issue. And here’s Lauren’s WIRED 25 interview with Kevin Systrom, which we mentioned in this week’s show.

Recommendations this week: Lauren recommends the Dakota backpack from Dagne Dover. Mike recommends these awesome smartphone accessory lenses made by Moment.

Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s released. If you still can’t figure it out, or there’s another platform you use that we’re not on, let us know.

The Airline Says One Thing. The Flight Crews Pictured Sleeping On the Floor Say Another. This Is What They All Told Me

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

An airline’s crew were lying on the floor, apparently trying to sleep in a brightly-lit room.

It looked a little too perfectly damning, to be honest. 

These were, though, 24 members of four Ryanair crews stranded by weather in Málaga, Spain and not provided with a hotel by the airline.

So it took to Twitter and Facebook and posted video of the crew staging the image.

I asked Ryanair whether this wasn’t a slightly unseemly move, one that may even have privacy implications.

An airline spokeswoman told me: 

The publication of this video reveals the facts and exposes the SNPVAC union fake news/false claims.This video proves that the original picture was staged and no crew ‘slept on the floor.’ All Ryanair offices and crew rooms are equipped for security reasons with CCTV cameras and notifications of same as required by GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation]. 

Why, though, didn’t the airline offer the crew a hotel for the night? Ryanair’s spokeswoman insisted: 

Due to storms in Porto (13 Oct) a number of flights diverted to Malaga and as this was a Spanish national holiday, hotels were fully booked.  The crew spent a short period of time in the crew room before being moved to a VIP lounge, and returned to Porto the next day (none of the crew operated flights).

Oddly, local resident Alex Macheras noted that Booking.com showed more than 1,800 hotel rooms available in Malaga that night.

Ryanair’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew insisted that the airline had called 42 hotels.

There was nothing for it but to dutifully ask Bruno Fialho, vice-president of the SNPVAC union, to offer me his two minutes on Ryanair’s claims.

Please Fasten Your Seat Belts. 

Fialho’s version was a little different.

He told me that the 24 crew members were placed in the Ryanair crew room “so that they were kept isolated from the hundreds of passengers that were in the terminal.”

It was 1.15 a.m. Then, Fialho told me: 

For hours, the Crew attempted to contact Ryanair OPS and LESMA (local RYR Ground handling agent) to obtain information about the hotel accommodation and both replied that there weren’t any hotels available. The Crew also contacted directly some hotels in the Málaga area and there were rooms available.

This is already not looking good. Fialho says that the crew were sent to an airport lounge at around 3.45 a.m. There were chairs, sofas and toilets available, but no food or drinks.

Next, Fialho says, the crew were told they’d be flown to Portugal on a 10 a.m. flight, but still no food or drinks were offered. In addition, Fialho says, the crew was guarded by security personnel, preventing them from leaving.

Then, mordant comedy. Fialho told me: 

After the security guard made several phone calls, the Crew was allowed into the airport terminal to have some breakfast. Finally, at 9 a.m. the LESMA duty manager informs that he managed to get a hotel for everyone. However, the Crew was already informed of the flight at 10:00 a.m. (just 1 hour later) which the duty manager wasn’t aware.

No, it wasn’t over. Fialho again:

At 09.55 a.m. the Crew is sent on a bus to the aircraft with the information that 2 pilots were already there to take the aircraft ferry to Porto. When they got there, the aircraft was closed and the crew were left on the ramp. The Pilots decide to open the aircraft to wait inside as the weather conditions were adverse.

So the took off shortly afterwards, right? Well, no, says Fialho.

At 10.40 a.m. the Crew is informed of a 2 hour slot restriction and that they have to wait for another 10 pilots from Málaga Airport and other bases to take the same flight to Porto in order to operate the afternoon flights. The operating captain didn’t have permission to leave Málaga before those 10 pilots arrived.

Please tell me you’re still with me, as there’s more. A lot more. Next, Fialho says:

At 11.20 a.m., the Crew asks the operating Captain to open the aircraft bars and get something to eat, a request that was denied by Operations. The Crew decided to ignore the instruction and opened the bar anyway, as they were feeling very hungry.

Fialho says that the flight finally landed in Porto at 1.42 p.m. Worse, he says, the Crew Controller was convinced that the crews had been given hotels and were properly rested, so they were being scheduled for new flights.

Yes, I hear you cry, but what about the staged photo? According to Fialho: 

The photo was a gesture of protest, that immediately became viral. Laying on the floor was the only option to rest — their ‘suitable accommodation.’ And precisely due to the unusual, deplorable and despicable treatment given to the Crew, Ryanair became the object of a social media frenzy.

Fialho added another kink to the story of the photo: 

Ryanair rushes to call it ‘staged,’ but not before the Company’s Chief Operating Officer apologized to the crew via Twitter.

Fialho believes this is merely another example of Ryanair’s cold-blooded attitude to employee relations. But what about the privacy issue with the video? He told me: 

Regarding the evident breach of the Global Data Protection Regulations we will discuss this in the appropriate institutions. Ryanair did us all a favor by providing evidence that in fact there were no minimum conditions for their employees to spend the night with dignity.

The People’s Verdict.

If you look on Twitter and Facebook, sympathy largely rests with the cabin crews. 

Above all, however, a single impression remains — that relations between Ryanair and its employees are parlous at best. 

How you treat your employees says so much about how your company is run. And once employer/employee unpleasantness reaches the public sphere, please imagine what your customers will think.

Then again, I fear that many will merely mutter: “Yup, that’s Ryanair for you.”

Hacked, scammed and on your own: navigating cryptocurrency 'wild west'

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke learned in January that hackers cracked a 40-character password and cleaned out their cryptocurrency wallet, they did not go to the police or alert the tokens’ issuer, the Berlin-based technology group IOTA.

FILE PHOTO: Giant electronic billboards display adverts for crypto currency investment companies as commuters arrive at Canary Wharf tube station in London, Britain April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Walker/File Photo

They bought more coins.

The Cyprus-based German couple, who describe themselves as financial educators, figured they had no chance of recovering the coins and it was not even clear who might take up their case. Yet they took the roughly $14,000 loss in stride – something that comes with the territory when one bets on a new, exciting technology in a yet unregulated market.

“We really believe in cryptocurrencies. We have studied this for about a year before investing, so we are aware of the risks,” Peggy Lachmann-Anke said. “There was nothing we could do.”

Far from unusual, the episode is emblematic for a market where few rules apply and where investors’ faith in the blockchain technology goes hand in hand with the belief that it also helps criminals cover their tracks so well that trying to catch them is a fool’s errand.

Patrick Wyman, FBI supervisory special agent at the financial crimes section of the agency’s anti-money laundering unit acknowledges cryptocurrencies pose some unique challenges.

“A decentralized currency system like bitcoin, or another form of virtual currency is not governed by any entity, suspicious reporting activity, and any anti-money laundering compliance,” Wyman told Reuters.

Various estimates show cryptocurrency crime is on the rise, keeping pace with the market’s rapid growth. That forces investigators to focus on high-profile cases, security professionals and officials say, effectively leaving small investors to their own devices.

“We do not pretend that every law enforcement agency is devoting resources to every single crime. That would not be possible,” said Jaroslav Jakubcek, an analyst at Europol, which serves as a center for the European Union’s law enforcement cooperation, expertise and intelligence.

UNREPORTED CASES

Officials still encourage people to report cryptocurrency theft to local police like any other crime, saying failing to do so only emboldens criminals.

Yet because many victims simply do not see the point, cryptocurrency theft is far more common than any published estimates suggest, security professionals say.

According to financial research firm Autonomous NEXT and Crypto Aware, which works with investors affected by crypto scams, about 15 percent of cryptocurrencies have been stolen between 2012 and the first half of 2018, representing a cumulative $1.7 billion in value at the time of the theft and with a rising tendency. In the first half of this year alone, more than $800 million has already been stolen, according to the data. (Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2Nq3ngy)

Yet Lex Sokolin, a partner and global director of fintech strategy at the firm, estimates that as much as 85 percent of crimes go unreported and says the published statistics only represent publicly reported heists.

Reuters interviews with half a dozen victims paint a similar picture. Out of that group only two reported their losses to the authorities and one soured on cryptocurrency investments.

Armin Fischer, a Vienna-based IT specialist said he lost about $5,300 in ether coins in a phishing scam in the summer of 2017 and immediately alerted the local police just to find out that the duty officer had no idea what he was talking about.

He said it took many months of knocking on doors to get his case ultimately taken up by Vienna prosecutors’ office, but it is still pending. Fisher says by now he has had enough.

FILE PHOTO: Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. Picture taken February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

“I have seen firsthand how big the security leaks are.”

Others are more philosophical.

Dave Appleton, a blockchain developer for HelloGold, a gold trading app company in Kuala Lumpur, said he lost about $3,000 of ether coins when scammed by a fake site touting a startup’s token pre-sale. He said he just moved on, glad he did not lose more.

“The point is there’s no one to report the crime to,” Appleton said. “I am not sure what country or jurisdiction it would come under.”

According ICO tracker Coinschedule a record $21.3 billion flowed into new tokens so far this year as investors keep snapping up “initial coin offerings,” undeterred by high-profile heists, bitcoin’s and other currencies’ slide from late 2017 peaks, and government warnings of widespread fraud and theft.

MILLIONS AT STAKE

David Jevans, chief executive of cybersecurity firm CipherTrace in Menlo Park, California, estimates that even when exchanges or trading platforms get hacked, perhaps only a fifth of stolen coins is recovered because of the ease with which digital tokens can move across several borders.

“You have to get law enforcement in five countries interested enough, have time enough, and have evidence enough to open a case,” he said. “By the time they agree, get the information, do all the paperwork, the money has been moved.”

Security experts say in most cases millions need to be at stake to justify such an effort.

U.S. entrepreneur and long-time cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin, who says he got robbed twice, learned firsthand that not all hacks are created equal.

He said first time when criminals accessed his cellphone with stolen SIM card credentials, emptied a wallet connected to it, and tricked his friends into sending money by impersonating him on Skype, he contacted a friend at the FBI.

But once she learned that only $60,000 got stolen, she advised him to file a report via the FBI’s internet crime center website. Terpin said he did, but never heard back.

Then, when last January he lost almost $24 million in tokens from his mobile account, he went straight after the service provider AT&T, filing a $224 million lawsuit accusing it of negligence that allowed “digital identity theft,” a claim AT&T denies.

Undeterred, Terpin says he remains committed to blockchain comparing it to the early days of Amazon.com Inc when the online retailer faced much skepticism and even derision.

“That’s similar to today’s narrative that all ICOs (initial coin offerings) are scams and nothing will ever be developed of value because they’re not already fully deployed,” he said.

Steadfast commitment to the new technology and belief that it gives sophisticated criminals the upper hand mean that even some multimillion heists go unreported.

For example, when hackers stole about $9 million worth of ether tokens from a Zug, Switzerland-based company Swarm City in July 2017, the peer-to-peer digital platform did not report the theft to the police, business leader Bernd Lapp said.

“It’s impossible to track and return the funds. We live and die with this technology.”

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Tomasz Janowski

SAP raises guidance as cloud transformation gathers pace

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s SAP said that its cloud revenues grew by 41 percent in the third quarter as its business transformation gathers pace, enabling management to raise guidance for revenues and profits this year.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at its headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

SAP, Europe’s most valuable tech company, said it now expects revenues to grow by 7.5-8.5 percent in 2018 and operating profits by 9.5-11 percent, its confidence buoyed by a strong order pipeline for the final quarter.

“The future has never been brighter at SAP – we’re fired up and ready to go,” CEO Bill McDermott told reporters on a conference call.

($1 = 0.8699 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Thomas Seythal

Samsung Electronics buys network analysis firm Zhilabs in 5G push

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) said on Wednesday it has bought Barcelona-based network data analysis firm Zhilabs, as the South Korean giant gears up to launch products for connected devices and 5G mobile services that require fast data crunching.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung did not disclose the value of the deal, which marks the first announced acquisition in new technologies since companies in the Samsung group pledged in August a 25 trillion won ($22.23 billion) investment in artificial intelligence, 5G, electronic components for autos, and biopharmaceuticals.

Samsung is betting that Zhilabs, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze network data, would help its transition to newer 5G gear, as it uses automated network analytics tool for fast data crunching.

Established in 2008, Zhilabs provides analyses of network condition, performance, and data traffic for about 50 telecom companies. Fully owned by Samsung, Zhilabs will continue to operate independently under its own management.

Samsung also said on Wednesday that it “will also explore and invest in other business opportunities powered by the emerging technologies”.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Jack Dorsey Has Problems With Twitter, Too

It contributes to filter bubbles, he said. It risks silencing people, he said. And when it’s not silencing them, it might be incentivizing them to behave badly, or basely, he said. His biggest criticism of the social media site he runs was that it could be nudging its users in the wrong directions.

“What does the service currently incentivize?” asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on stage at the WIRED25 summit today. It’s the question he and his whole team are asking themselves right now—about every aspect of the site “Right now we have a big Like button with a heart on it and we’re incentivizing people to want it to go up” and to get more followers, he pointed out. “Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentive healthy conversation?”

When he co-founded the website 12 years ago, it was meant as a place for friends to share pictures of their lunch. “Now it’s become a place to launch nuclear war,” said Wired editor in chief Nick Thompson. That evolution, from innocuous late-night destination for cryptic jokes to lubricator of social movements to a cesspool of outrage and the platform for geopolitical discourse was not a result of Twitter’s code, Dorsey’s argued. But it was inevitable.

From the second it launched, Twitter was a free app with which anyone could text message the entire world. “Once the world saw that, there was no taking it back,” Dorsey said. “Once they saw it, they needed it. Our job now is to make sure we are actually serving that need.” By which he means the need for a global public square, a place for a global conversation to discuss the most important topics—he cited climate change and poverty as topics that can only be tackled in a global discussion—which he feels it is Twitter’s responsibility to facilitate.

If that means not being an absolutist about free speech, so be it. “We can only stand for freedom of expression if people feel safe to express themselves in the first place,” he said, adding, “A lot of people come to Twitter and they don’t see a service. They see what looks like a public square and they have the same expectation as they have of a public square, and that is what we have to get right.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (right) on stage with WIRED editor in chief Nick Thompson.

Amy Lombard

To get it right, Dorsey indicated everything was on the table. Twitter, he indicated, may need to be radically changed. He noted right now the service only allows you to follow accounts, not topics. It only allows you to like or retweet. What should it allow you to do instead? He’s not sure, but he’s considering every option.

And he’s open to your ideas. “When we started the company, we weren’t thinking about [any of] this at all,” he said. “One of the interesting things about Twitter has been this amazing experiment in creating with others—the hashtag, the thread, the retweet—have all been invented by the people using our service, not us.” So if you have ideas for how to fix Twitter, make it known. Dorsey is listening.


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