This is from the big Bloomberg article/interview that came out today:
'Kalanick began courting Levandowski this spring, broaching the possibility of an acquisition during a series of 10-mile night walks from the Soma neighborhood where Uber is also headquartered to the Golden Gate Bridge. The two men would leave their offices separately—to avoid being seen by employees, the press, or competitors. They’d grab takeout food, then rendezvous near the city’s Ferry Building. Levandowski says he saw a union as a way to bring the company’s trucks to market faster.'
Which implies to me that the plan was for Uber to acquire Otto all along.
"Otto was designed to be sold to Uber before it was created, there's a reason it was self-funded despite having nearly 100 employees by the time it was acquired. Anthony Levandowski met Travis Kalanick years ago and had been planning something like this for a while. It's basically an open secret."
>the subtext of Alphabet’s filing is an even bigger bombshell. Reading between the lines, (in my opinion) Alphabet is implying that Mr Levandowski arranged with Uber to:
>Steal LiDAR and other self-driving component designs from Waymo
>Start Otto as a plausible corporate vehicle for developing the self-driving technology
>Acquire Otto for $680 million
Sounds like a farytale to me, unless those logs are captures and stored independently then otherwise anyone can claim having any kind of evidence against anyone involved.
Besides, there might be many reasons of him doing that, let the backup be one.
- He installed custom software to access the files.
- The files were in a data store he had no normal access to.
And here's my best guess as to why Google knows so much:
- Google requires access to their networks using either your Google assigned device, or a pre-approved list of devices of your own (basically chromebooks). I know from past interactions with a friend that works at Google that they often give beta versions of software (Android) and/or hardware (Nexus phones, chromebooks) to employees to test. It's entirely possibly that quite a lot of debugging data is reported on some build. Additionally, that same friend noted that Google has a whole department dedicated to rooting our invalid access like what is alleged here, and since they control the devices available to access their network, there's really no conceivably limit to the amount of activity data they could collect about employee usage.
In short, I see no reason why Google couldn't have as much data as they allege and possibly much more. to me, the fact that they waited until this stage to present it also seems calculated to benefit the most from those trying to defraud them (why not stop the forming of Otto initially, or the buyout?). If that's the case, I don't really have much sympathy for Uber, as they seem to possibly have been integral to the crime, and may have escaped punishment if it hadn't gotten this far.
Edit: Whoops, said Waymo where I meant Otto,
You mean Otto?
My point wasn't that Google doesn't have data; my point is that they want to use it as evidence.. but said evidence has been created by themselves!
I imagine logs by themselves might not sway some people, but logs combined with whatever is found in a discovery process from Uber along with the fact that a parts supplier of Waymo happened to be making the exact same part for Otto (either because the secret part was requested or because they were provided the exact same design docs), doesn't make it look very good for Otto/Uber (if that allegation is correct).
That's like saying the police created their own evidence by performing an investigation.
I guess it's up to the legal process to decide if he did or not.
Makes sense! (cough)