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Bulletins

Uber sheds its self-driving car business in deal with Aurora

Uber is offloading its ATG its self-driving car unit to the autonomous-car startup, Aurora, the companies announced Monday. As part of the deal, Uber will invest $400 million in Aurora, "a fire-sale end to a high-profile but star-crossed effort," The New York Times said.


Unlike Uber's focus on replacing the human driver for its ride-sharing service, Aurora will likely continue to work on its self-driving tuck efforts first, Aurora's CEO Chris Urmson told the Times. The sale is an end to a costly endeavor for Uber, which set up an autonomous center in Pittsburgh and bought Otto Trucking, a deal that resulted in an intellectual property lawsuit with Google. One of Uber's test vehicles also struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in 2018, which caused ATG to pause operations for several months.

Urmson was previously the lead on Google's self-driving car project within its X lab before it was spun out into Waymo, and worked on early autonomous efforts at Carnegie Mellon, where much of Uber's early talent at ATG was poached from.

Uber is also reportedly in talks to jettison another one of its experimental units, its Uber Elevate division, to startup Joby Aviation.

Power

Yes, GameStop is a content moderation issue for Reddit

The same tools that can be used to build mass movements can be used by bad actors to manipulate the masses later on. Consider Reddit warned.

WallStreetBets' behavior may not be illegal. But that doesn't mean it's not a problem for Reddit.

Image: Omar Marques/Getty Images

The Redditors who are driving up the cost of GameStop stock just to pwn the hedge funds that bet on its demise may not be breaking the law. But this show of force by the subreddit r/WallStreetBets still represents a new and uncharted front in the evolution of content moderation on social media platforms.

In a statement to Protocol, a Reddit spokesperson said the company's site-wide policies "prohibit posting illegal content or soliciting or facilitating illegal transactions. We will review and cooperate with valid law enforcement investigations or actions as needed."

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Issie Lapowsky
Issie Lapowsky (@issielapowsky) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University’s Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing. Email Issie.
Protocol | China

More women are joining China's tech elite, but 'Wolf Culture' isn't going away

It turns out getting rid of misogyny in Chinese tech isn't just a numbers game.

Chinese tech companies that claim to value female empowerment may act differently behind closed doors.

Photo: Qilai Shen/Getty Images

A woman we'll call Fan had heard about the men of Alibaba before she joined its high-profile affiliate about three years ago. Some of them were "greasy," she said, to use a Chinese term often describing middle-aged men with poor boundaries. Fan tells Protocol that lewd conversations were omnipresent at team meetings and private events, and even women would feel compelled to crack off-color jokes in front of the men. Some male supervisors treated younger female colleagues like personal assistants.

Within six months, despite the cachet the lucrative job carried, Fan wanted to quit.

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Shen Lu

Shen Lu is a Reporter with Protocol | China. She has spent six years covering China from inside and outside its borders. Previously, she was a fellow at Asia Society's ChinaFile and a Beijing-based producer for CNN. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The New York Times and POLITICO, among other publications. Shen Lu is a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, a community serving and elevating Chinese professionals in the global media industry.

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