news-arrows-red-resizedWill Google Robocar Lawsuit Terminate Uber?

The lawsuit lodged by Waymo, a unit of Google, seems like something out a film noir movie. Essentially, Waymo claims that Uber improperly helped itself to a valuable trove of technical files that could help it dominate the self-driving vehicle category.

 “Waymo is bringing this suit under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a federal law that sailed through Congress last May as the largest expansion of the intellectual property regime in a half-century,” writes Aarian Marsahll in Wired. “Although the law is designed to punish foreign secret stealers, it has…big implications that should worry Uber.”

There’s even a chance that Uber executives could go to jail over the matter if Waymo refers the case to the FBI. “A successful criminal case could mean even more dollars moving from the Uber to Waymo accounts—a large fine, plus restitution…and maybe prison time…Stealing trade secrets carries up to 10 years,” writes Marshall.

 

AWS Meltdown ‘Wreaks Havoc’ for East Coast Web Sites

Amazon is great at delivering packages to your door, but it had a hard time earlier this week delivering service to its S3 users.

“Problems with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) started in the US East-1 region sometime around 12:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, and the AWS disruption lasted more than four hours before being fully resolved. S3 is integral to multiple AWS cloud services, and the region is one of the major hubs for its customers' data,” writes Trevor Jones of TechTarget.

It was Amazon’s first major outage in a year, but as Jones notes, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time, or in a worse place. “US East-1 is the original and oldest AWS region, and it's believed to be one of the largest in terms of client usage. The disruption also highlights the reach of AWS, as large swaths of the internet were affected Tuesday afternoon.”

 

Wal-Mart Using Tech to Battle Back Against Amazon

In addition to its other issues this week, Amazon now has to contend with what could be significantly more robust competition from Wal-Mart, its brick and mortar rival.

Walmart is testing a technology that would allow customers to skip checkout lines and pay for purchases with their smartphones instead,” writes Hayley Peterson of Business Insider.

If Wal-Mart’s “scan and go” technology sounds a lot like Amazon’s checkout system for its new chain of grocery stores, it’s probably not a coincidence. Wal-Mart certainly isn’t throwing in the towel, and it’s good to see the spirit of competition is alive and well in the retail industry.