Tools of Trump’s Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids

To protect his boss at critical junctures in his improbable political rise, the lawyer relied on intimidation tactics, hush money and the nation’s leading tabloid news business, American Media Inc., whose top executives include close Trump allies.

..  in the summer of 2015, when a former hedge-fund manager told Mr. Cohen that he had obtained photographs of Mr. Trump with a bare-breasted woman. The man said Mr. Cohen first blew up at him, then steered him to David J. Pecker, chairman of the tabloid company, which sometimes bought, then buried, embarrassing material about his high-profile friends and allies.

.. a female former Trump business partner had accused him of sexual misconduct, Mr. Cohen released a statement suggesting that the woman, Jill Harth, “would acknowledge” that the story was false. Ms. Harth said the statement was made without her permission, and that she stands by her claims. It was not the last time Mr. Cohen would present a denial on behalf of a woman who had alleged a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.

.. American Media publications, which include The National Enquirer, Star, Us Weekly and Radar.

.. July 2015 when Mr. Cohen received a phone call from Jeremy Frommer, a hedge-fund manager turned digital entrepreneur, who had obtained photos of Mr. Trump appearing to autograph the breasts of a topless woman from the estate of Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse magazine.

.. “He was in a rage,” Mr. Frommer said in an interview. “He’s like, ‘If you show those photos, I’m gonna take you down.’”

.. It was a job Roy Cohn, a New York lawyer best known for advising Senator Joseph McCarthy, had done decades earlier for Mr. Trump.

.. Mr. Pecker and Mr. Trump, a staple of the American gossip media since the 1980s, have a friendship that goes back decades. The relationship benefited Mr. Trump throughout the campaign as The Enquirer lionized him and hammered rivals like Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and, finally, Hillary Clinton.

 

The tech behind Google-Uber legal beef could be ready to boom

The tech behind Google-Uber legal beef could be ready to boom

 .. Waymo alleges that six weeks before resigning, Levandowski copied 14,000 confidential files and trade secrets from his company-issued laptop. Among those files were designs for Google’s custom-designed Lidar system, the technology that gives autonomous vehicles their vision.
.. Waymo learned of the alleged theft when a Lidar component supplier inadvertently attached machine drawings of what was said to be Uber’s Lidar circuit board in an email, a design it said is strikingly similar to Waymo’s own unique design.
.. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is not a fan, and his aversion to Lidar brings up some questions about how widespread its use will be. He believes radar-based visual systems are better, and is focusing on those for Tesla’s self-driving automobiles. Unlike radar, Lidar cannot penetrate fog, heavy rain, or snow, but radar has its own issues, including difficulty detecting non-moving objects and certain materials such as metallic objects.
.. Rasgon believes that radar in conjunction with cameras may become more widely used than Lidar.
“Radar is easier, cheaper, more ubiquitous,” he said in an interview. “Ideally, you would want to use the cheapest solution that you can…The performance is very good in Lidar, but if you can get by with cameras and radar, that is probably the best way to go.”
.. Google’s Waymo said in the lawsuit that by designing its Lidar systems itself, it has already driven down the costs; its Lidar systems are now less than 10% of the cost of Lidar systems just a few years ago.