The Morning After: Tesla accuses engineer of stealing Warp Drive secrets

And an iPhone 12 mini rival?

Gado via Getty Images

Good morning! We start the week as Tesla tries to keep its trade secrets and technology safe. This time, it’s suing engineer Alex Khatilov for allegedly stealing the company’s custom Warp Drive software (which automates purchasing and other systems) within three days of starting his job at Tesla in late 2020.

He reportedly copied “thousands” of files to his personal Dropbox account, and when investigators grilled him, he claimed he “forgot” about the files. The engineer even tried to delete the Dropbox app and other files at the start of the interview with Tesla.

The company has previously sued rivals, such as Rivian, for hiring staff that brought Tesla secrets and technology with them. The challenge this time might be that the pandemic has forced many workers, including new recruits, to work from home, making tracking and the verification of deleted files harder to do.

— Mat Smith

Apple warns against putting an iPhone 12 too close to your pacemaker

MagSafe magnets could interfere with medical implants.

Morning After

Apple has updated a support document to warn against keeping the iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories too close to pacemakers, defibrillators and other implants that might respond to magnets and radios. Apple says you should keep devices at least six inches away in regular use, or at least a foot away if the iPhone is wirelessly charging.

Oddly, despite updating its support docs, the company says the extra MagSafe magnets inside new devices shouldn’t increase risks compared to older iPhones. It comes days after doctors reported they found an iPhone 12 interfered with a defibrillator implant, putting it into a suspended state when it got near. Continue reading.

Pixar's 'Soul' was so popular on streaming that it beat 'The Office' and ‘The Mandalorian’

Disney+ is doing well.

Morning After

Pixar’s latest movie topped Nielsen’s streaming rankings for December 21st through December 27th, racking up 1.669 billion minutes of viewing. It even beat the regular streaming champ, The Office (1.435 billion minutes). Disney’s flagship streaming show, The Mandalorian, was fifth place with ‘just’ 1 billion minutes as it finished up its second season. Netflix took fourth- and third-place spots with the George Clooney sci-fi drama The Midnight Sky (1.1 billion minutes) and alt-history series Bridgerton (1.2 billion). Continue reading.

Sony might make another tiny Android phone

Its Xperia Compact series would face-off against the iPhone 12 mini.

Morning After

If you want a tiny smartphone in 2021, the only realistic option seems to be Apple’s iPhone 12 mini. If you’re an Android user, well, you’d have to go back to 2018’s Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact.

At least for now. The latest phone leak from OnLeaks claims to show a new Sony phone with a 5.5-inch screen, dual rear cameras and, gasp, a headphone jack. Continue reading.

Netflix delivers improved sound for Android app viewers

Sound quality should be more reliable on cellular, too.

Morning After

While we’re more likely to be in front of our TVs or laptops at the moment, Netflix’s Android app has picked up a new audio codec that features a variable bitrate to keep sound quality at its best depending on the connection. There’s also a new loudness management feature to smooth out jarring volume changes between shows and to compensate for noisy environments. Continue reading.

And there’s more!

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