back to article Laser sauce, cheat code, jam seshs: The Waymo vs Uber trial kicks off

According to former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, a "cheat code" is tech bro slang for a hack. Or, in his words, "elegant solutions to problems that haven't already been thought of." The lawyers who were lined up against him in a San Francisco courtroom on Wednesday morning are pretty sure that "cheat code" follows a more …

  1. eldakka Silver badge
    Happy

    Nom nom nom. Nom nom nom.

    That's the sound of me eating popcorn.

  2. imanidiot Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Scumbags

    "Waymo's lawyers are hoping that it will stick in the jurors' minds when they consider the relationship between the two: that they were both driven by greed, and to hell with the law and whatever else got in the way."

    And this right here is why everybody hates lawyers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scumbags

      >"And this right here is why everybody hates lawyers."

      The problem is with the jury as well - if the outcome was to be relied on a single judge or group of judges with no jury, there wouldn't be need to characterise people and other Perry Mason showmanship because judges are usually rather level headed and can mentally just skip the irrelevant parts.

      As it is in a technical court cases this one may turn out to be, the jury may believe some very different technologies are too similar to prove theft. A layman (think of your granny) can't make head or tails in program listing but could spot identical rows here and there and think it was theft.

      I live in a country that doesn't have juries and I'd say justice is usually served pretty well because of the unemotional proceedings.

  3. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Holmes

    Intriguing definitions of 'cheat code' - at least one of which is totally balls.

  4. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    ..."Did you ask Levandowski to bring Google information to Uber?" Uber's lawyer asked his former CEO. "I did not. Ever." A follow-up: "Did Mr Levandowski tell you he was going to bring Google information to Uber?" Kalanick: "He did not."...

    Um. In any job interview the company recruiter is interested in what advantage in skills, knowledge, background etc the applicant will bring to the company?

    It would be incredible if Levandowski was NOT asked about the work he did at Google, and what aspects of that would be of value to UBER. In fact, if the hiring was really above board, the topic of intellectual property and restrictive covenants limiting Levandowski's employment should have been a major topic of converstation.

    If they weren't, well....

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      "Google information"

      "Did you ask Levandowski to bring Google information to Uber?"

      "In any job interview the company recruiter is interested in what advantage in skills, knowledge, background etc the applicant will bring to the company?"

      Yes. Or at least should be. In this case Kalanick could have just hire him immediately without HR intervention.

      Uber cannot ask Levandowski to bring "Google information" since that sounds very much like intellectual property theft. Whatever Levandowski has in his head is fine, but he still cannot bring anything copied from Google, nor can he obviously use anything that Google has patented.

    2. bobajob12

      But interviews at this level are not really interviews at all. You or I might apply for a job like Network Engineer IV and thered be a process with HR, screening, etc etc. In the Valley it's more like "I want to hire Jimmy. Make it happen" and then the paperwork follows to make it right.

      In this case, the lawyers would have you believe that Kalanick wanted Lewandowski, Lewandowski wanted money, and neither of them appeared to be troubled by ethics. Based on Kalanick's track record at Uber, I'm inclined to believe them.

  5. Bob Wheeler
    Boffin

    Is the Waymo technology somewhere in Uber's technology?

    this sounds rather like the SCO vs. IBM case where SCO claimed large chunks of their UNIX code was used by IBM in it's AIX.

    If I remember rightly, after exhaustive code analysis, this was shown not the be the case.

  6. teknopaul Silver badge

    We are absolutely sure that no Google tech is in our cars but we haven't seen it ever. Oh really.

    Can't they have him for purgory just on those two conflicting statements?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lawyers for both sides were heard to say

    "Im getting a new Ferrari with my fees, what about you?"

    "Im buying a small island in the Florida Keys"

    Neither set of Lawyers gives a toss about a specific outcome. They both know there will be appeals, and further appeals, and they will get helluva rich off the backs of something both sides should have agreed in a board room. Uber going "Full Bro, Bro" is gonna cost them everything.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, hello? Surely, to know whether Uber have included Waymo's tech within their own tech, they would have had to have seen Waymo's tech in the first place?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese walls

    Uber's corporate email is provided by Google. You always wonder, don't you?

    On a practical note, I thought *all* self driving cars used LIDAR...

  10. TonyJ Silver badge

    One thing I am intrigued by...

    ...is how his ex-nanny seems to have such a perfect recollection of the things Levandowski was shouting all night - specifically the names.

    In my limited experience, people generally remember the gist of things being said and might even remember a name or two, but that all seems to be rather verbatim.

    Meh - either way it'll be interesting to see where this goes.

    1. gypsythief

      Re: One thing I am intrigued by...

      From what I recall of the original Nanny article here on the Reg, she was a bit rubbish at nannying, and rather good at fact recall and finding out useful stuff.

      I think she was a plant: an undercover PI placed by Google to dig up some dirt. And the perfect recall? Recording device. Heck, probably had his whole house bugged.

      That would make the law suit she's bringing a cunning sham to get the dirt into the public eye and nicely discredit Kalanickers.

      1. CommsFogey

        Re: One thing I am intrigued by...

        AS I recall of the nanny - she had previously made a student film, and any aspiring film people, authors and commedians that I know always keep a diary/note book of ideas, observations, and just anything they think might lead to an idea one day. So if she felt she was at the beginning of a soap opera/documentuary fodder, keeping detailed notes would be expected.

  11. Noonoot

    Just a ploy?

    And what if Levandowski ending up at Uber was just a conspiracy by the big G to get rid of its competitor?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a ploy?

      Competitor in what? Google were miles ahead.

  12. viscount

    'He will "take the fifth"'

    This is civil case, so taking the fifth means he is avoiding incriminating himself and preventing a future criminal action. In a civil case the jury are allowed to take an adverse view of that action, so he could blow Uber out of the water.

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