Apple Watch Walkie Talkie Temp. Disabled; Close to 10% of Tesla Autopilot Team Bails; Former Tesla Employee Uploaded Autopilot Code to iCloud; Amazon Retraining Workers As Automation Takes Tasks

Apple has temporarily killed the Walkie Talkie app on the Apple Watch due to a vulnerability discovered. Techcrunch.com reports that it could allow a person to listen to another’s iPhone without consent. The Walkie Talkie feature works like the push to talk (PTT) button on older cell phones. They haven’t given a time frame, but say they will patch the bug and restore the app to operation as soon as possible.

Issues at Tesla….close to 10% of the Autopilot software team has reportedly exited after a shakeup. According to arstechnica.com, at least 11 members of that team have left in the last couple months…starting with the removal of the group’s leader Stuart Bowers around the first of May.

Meanwhile, in a court filing this week, former Tesla engineer Guangzhi Cao admitted to uploading zip files containing Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud account in late 2018 when he still worked at Tesla. The company sued Cao earlier this year for allegedly stealing trade secrets and taking them to Chinese EV startup Xiaopeng Motors, also called Xmotors, or XPeng. That firm is backed by tech giant Alibaba. Cao is now ‘head of perception’ at XPeng, where is is working on autonomous driving tech.

In a candid admission that automation is taking jobs, Amazon is launching a $700 million dollar initiative to retrain its US workforce. Geekwire.com reports that the company will spend the money over the next 5 years to ‘upskill’ almost 100,000 employees…that’s about 1/3 of their US workforce. It will help workers transition into hot new areas like data mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect, and business analyst. Although $700 million is a hell of a lot of money, it only amounts to a tenth of 1% of Amazon’s cumulative net sales the past 5 years! The company will drop $800 billion just this quarter as they switch from 2 day to one day Prime shipping!

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