Mar 10, 2017

Waymo asks judge to block Uber's self-driving car project

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, has asked a federal judge in California for a preliminary injunction to block Uber's self-driving car project, according to new court documents obtained by news outlets.

Expert testimony: Waymo also filed the sworn testimony of Gary Brown, a forensic security engineer at Google since 2013, according to The Verge. Brown says that according to logs from Google's secure network, Anthony Levandowski, a Google engineer who left the company to start the self-driving car startup Uber acquired last year, downloaded 14,000 files from Google containing proprietary information before leaving the company in early 2016. Brown also names two other engineers, Radu Raduta and Sameer Kshirsagar, who he claims also downloaded proprietary files before leaving Google to join Levandowski.

In late February, Waymo filed a lawsuit against Levandowski's startup and Uber, claiming they stole intellectual property from Google.

What to watch: Uber has called the lawsuit "baseless," so it's likely to try to prove that its own technology is different from Waymo's. Last year, in an interview with Forbes, Levandowski emphasized his team didn't steal any intellectual property from Google and it has "all the logs" to show that.

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The next frontier for Big Science

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In 1945, engineer and science administrator Vannevar Bush laid out a framework for support of science in the U.S. that drove prosperity and American dominance. That model isn't enough anymore, experts said at an event this week in Washington, D.C.

The big picture: With China threatening to overtake the U.S. in R&D spending even as research becomes more international, science must manage the tension between cooperation and competition.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 mins ago - Science

U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process to end the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable to pull the remaining 13,000 American troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.