Feds Nixed Intel China Facility; Apple Paying $30 Million to Store Employees for Bag Check Time; Tesla Deploying Starling Satellite Dishes at Superchargers; Google Plays Nice With Free Trial

The White House gave thumbs down to Intel’s plan to build a chip plant in China, citing security concerns. According to Bloomberg, it could have been online by the end of 2022. Intel is already building 2 new plants in Arizona, where TSMC out of Taiwan is also building a semiconductor plant. Intel has been seeking federal assistance to ramp up production and research in the US. 

There has been an ongoing battle between Apple and its retail employees over off the clock bag searches of employee bags before they leave work. Now, apple insider.com reports that Apple has agreed to pay $29.9 million in a settlement. This litigation has been going on for a stunning 8 years! After a stop at the Ninth Circuit, and then the California Supreme Court, the writing was on the wall…as the California Supremes ruled last year that Apple was on the hook for payment for the mandatory searches. The Court pointed out a legal requirement in the state’s wage law that indicates employees should be entitled to compensation during the time they are subject to a company’s control.

Tesla has begun deploying Starlink satellite dishes at some of its Supercharger locations. Engadget.com says that so far, Tesla hasn’t commented on the dishes, and its unknown if they will be available to customers. It’s possible that they are there to replace or supplement the existing connections to handle payments and charger status. Such a setup would allow Tesla to put in stations in remote areas that don’t have broadband. It’s also possible that the might make them available to customers while charging to stream content to their cars…for those who don’t have Premium Connectivity. The chargers themselves don’t need gobs of bandwidth, so it makes sense that some of the connectivity would be available for customers.

Google has committed what has been called ‘a shocking act of decency.’ In a departure from virtually every other firm…tech or otherwise, Google doesn’t automatically turn the 30 day free trial for the Nest Aware into a subscription unless you automatically stop it. Zdnet.com notes that you have to actually have to give them permission, and click a ‘subscribe’ button to continue on after your free trial. While this may not negate all the data mining of everything about you that Google does, it is at least a small baby step towards their old ‘Don’t Be Evil’ slogan.


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