back to article Former Googler Anthony Levandowski ‘fesses up to pinching trade secrets about self-driving cars

Former Google exec Anthony Levandowski has agreed to plead guilty to pinching secrets about Google’s self-driving car tech and sharing them with Uber. The case against Levandowski alleged that he downloaded 14,000 files from Google's self-driving subsidiary Waymo. The files concerned Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) tech, …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge

    What happens

    To the $680m he got from Uber? Is Uber or Google going after it or does he come out of his white collar prison a rich crook?

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: What happens

      Already has somewhere between $50m and $100m as a result of the Uber transaction. Appropriate sentence: take all his money away and make him do community service as an Uber driver for free.

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Is that...

    Is that a rape joke, right there in the article?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Is that...

      Please be outraged in the name of every other reader then, it’ll spare us the effort.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Is that...

      You're going to have to help me - I can't find anything that I can be outraged about. Which part of the article are you referring to?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is that...

        I started off agreeing with you. But then as someone reasonably fluent in French, I am guessing the OP thinks "fesses up" is a French-English hybrid rather than a common expression in demotic speech.

        Was it intentional? Well, to use another expression relating to crime and punishment, it's a bit of a long stretch.

    3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Is that...

      Ummm... no.... are we all reading the same article?

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Is that...

        I’m not seeing it either. I expect that those of us who aren’t seeing it just aren’t woke enough or at all.

  3. trevorde

    Google got Uber stock

    sounds like the booby prize to me

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "admit guilt for only the charge of lifting the tracking document"

    Why of course, let the guilty determine what he will be charged for. Don't forget : the USA has the best justice money can buy !

    He's fucking guilty. Get him on all counts and be done with it already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "admit guilt for only the charge of lifting the tracking document"

      Indeed. The American justice system demands the extradition of people from other countries with no regard for how much money they have or their health, but if anyone suggests prosecuting a "successful" American businessman then all sorts of plea bargaining takes place and the poor soul is allowed to decide their own punishment in case they suffer in any way...

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: "admit guilt for only the charge of lifting the tracking document"

        A majority of convictions in the US are the result of plea bargains, regardless of the wealth of the defendant. The plea-bargain system and its abuse by prosecutors is a problem, but it is not exclusively a class problem.

  5. John Lilburne

    But he's a Google exec ...

    ... isn't it the practice of Gopogle, Amazon, Facebook, Uber, et al to purloin the work of others?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: But he's a Google exec ...

      Only while they work for Google. We need some sort of principles.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    OK, so he's guilty but ...

    ... when are we going to see these self-driving cars? Reading the news all I see is self-accidenting cars. Remember the capacitor chemical theft about 12 years ago? They all blew up too.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: OK, so he's guilty but ...

      The news covers them a lot when they crash, but their safety record is rather good, especially compared to other things let alone driver-controlled cars. That said, there are very many reasonable concerns about safety under some conditions such as rough weather or weird road conditions. Those trying to perfect them have been extending their test sites to ensure they have all of that, but we're talking about a long and difficult process. You won't get one tomorrow--the manufacturers want to be ultra careful that the cars are safe so they don't get sued, then the governments will want to make ultra sure as well, then potential dealers will want to be very careful too, then customers will probably still need to have certain abilities to override them which weren't included the first time, then the manufacturers will need to submit the revised designs to their own safety departments to ensure they haven't messed something up, which needs to be verified by a government safety check, Error: comment compilation loop detected, aborting.

  7. Insert sadsack pun here

    U wot, m8?

    "Mr. Levandowski is a young man with enormous talent..."

    Levandowski is 40 years old. Meanwhile at the other end of the courthouse corridor, children - predominantly black - are being tried and convicted as adults to do real time.

  8. formerprogrammer

    Ahoy me hardees! Happened all the time in the 80s/90s in the US

    It was a matter of course. Go in as a tech, rise to management, leave the company and start your own company, taking all the customer contacts and the employees and their security clearances... they simply plundered it like pirates and was what getting ahead was about. Many a high-flying technology company's pretty steel and glass buildings around silicon valley are now plowed over and replaced by townehomes.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Ahoy me hardees! Happened all the time in the 80s/90s in the US

      See: Fairchild Semi, which pretty much spawned Silicon Valley with all the smart employees leaving to start their own companies.

      The Wikipedia page reads like a script from the "General Hospital" '80s soap

      "Noyce also expressed his belief that silicon semiconductors would herald the start of disposable appliances that, due to cheap electronic components, would not be repaired but merely discarded when worn out"

  9. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    he was able to download...

    "... and that he accessed the document after his resignation from Google."

    You can do that at Google? At all of my clients when they fire a person or when someone resigns, they are locked out before they ever even leave the office they quit or were fired in. By the time the interview is over, there is a list of what needs to be returned and also what the person has downloaded recently (about 1 yr.)

    In fact a few of my clients have key people when hired agree to submit to a whole body scan on entrance and exit. This always includes me too although I never need to bring in anything.

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