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According to insiders, Tesla has laid off high-performing employees and made significant cuts in certain departments

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According to a reliable source, Tesla management informed employees on Monday that the recent layoffs, which resulted in a significant reduction of staff in certain divisions, including high-performing individuals, were primarily a result of the company’s weak financial performance.

The team was informed of the layoffs only one week prior to Tesla’s anticipated release of its first-quarter earnings. Tesla’s decision to take this step is a response to the ongoing electric vehicle (EV) price competition, which has caused a decline in the company’s profit margin for multiple consecutive quarters. In 2023, the corporation achieved a remarkable milestone by delivering a total of 1.81 million automobiles, setting a new record. However, Tesla’s profit margins were negatively impacted as they constantly reduced prices in order to increase sales and gain a competitive advantage.

Tesla has notified its employees that around 14,000 workers, which accounts for over 10% of the global organization’s workforce, will be laid off. These job cuts will affect Tesla’s businesses in the United States, Europe, and China. The layoffs, which impacted staff in all departments and at various levels of seniority, were implemented to decrease expenses and enhance efficiency in anticipation of the company’s forthcoming expansion, as stated in an internal email from CEO Elon Musk that has been accessed.

High achievers also reduce
According to two anonymous sources who spoke, a significant number of the people that were let go were highly skilled and accomplished. A source expressed astonishment at the magnitude of skilled personnel laid off and observed that a significant percentage of those impacted were engaged in projects that had been deprioritized by Tesla. The source refrained from specifying the particular projects.

According to sources, certain divisions experienced layoffs that exceeded the 10% reduction mentioned in the companywide email. Management informed me that a reduction of 20% was made to their workforce.

“I experienced a 20% reduction in my team, including some highly skilled players,” they stated.

The shakeup is occurring concurrently with Musk’s ongoing efforts to steer the company towards the development of fully autonomous vehicles. Tesla has lately abandoned its ambitions to manufacture a more affordable electric vehicle (EV) with a starting price of approximately $25,000. Instead, they have decided to utilize the ongoing development of a foundational platform to support a purported robotaxi, which Elon Musk claims will be unveiled on August 8th.

According to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, Musk made an effort in the past to give priority to the project focused on developing vehicles specifically for robotaxi services. In 2022, he informed the employees of his desire for a “clean robotaxi” devoid of any steering wheel or pedals. Tesla’s lead designer, Franz von Holzhausen, and engineering VP, Lars Moravy, clandestinely spearheaded the development of the affordable electric vehicle (EV) project and eventually persuaded Elon Musk to pursue both options. However, recent reports indicate that Musk has now reversed his decision.

High-level executives depart
Two prominent executives, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy, and Rohan Patel, Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development, have both departed from the business.

Patel informed me that he made the decision to resign from Tesla on Sunday evening due to significant general changes occurring within the firm. Patel, who had been routinely interacting with Tesla customers and enthusiasts on X in recent months, chose not to provide detailed information. In his message, he acknowledged that it would be more prudent for him to refrain from making conjectures. “Tesla will experience a significant increase in strength and resilience, and change will be beneficial,” he further stated.

Baglino informed me that he decided to depart from Tesla after a period of 18 years. “I am satisfied with the positive influence I have had; my leadership team is competent, and the energy businesses under my responsibility are performing well,” he expressed in a message.

“Baglino’s responsibility included overseeing powerdrives and new battery projects. According to Sandeep Rao, the head of research at Leverage Shares, a financial services company based in London, there is a perception that there is currently a lack of sustainable innovation. This perception may be one of the reasons why Baglino is leaving,” speculated Rao in an interview.

Baglino’s resignation occurred shortly after the departure of Tesla’s former CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn. In January, Musk expressed his desire on X, then known as Twitter, to obtain approximately 25% voting control of Tesla. His intention is to devote more attention to the firm itself than to his other ventures and contribute to Tesla’s leadership in the fields of AI and robots.

 

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Artificial Intelligence

Android’s latest Theft Detection Lock feature serves as a deterrent against smartphone thefts and snatch-and-grab incidents

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Imagine yourself engaged in your own affairs, seated on a park bench, gazing at your mobile device. Explosion. An individual seizes your device and swiftly flees with it. While Android and iOS devices do have certain security measures, what about the brief period of time when the phone is still unlocked? Is there a method available to remotely erase its data?

Burglars can obtain a substantial amount of information within that brief duration. Each moment is significant. During the Google I/O 2024 developer conference, Google unveiled a new feature for Android called Theft Detection Lock. This feature is specifically designed to safeguard against the increasing risk of theft. Once activated, the AI-driven function will automatically secure the device.

According to Google, if your phone detects a typical movement related to theft, it will rapidly lock the screen to prevent thieves from easily accessing your data. An instance of such a stimulus is a mechanism that abruptly initiates rapid motion in the opposite direction.

Google is implementing an offline device lock feature, specifically designed to safeguard the device in the event of intentional disconnection from the network. Occurrences such as consistently failing to authenticate the phone will activate that functionality.

The forthcoming update will also introduce functionality that enhances the level of difficulty for malefactors attempting to perform a remote factory reset on your device. According to Google, this upgrade prevents thieves from setting up a stolen device again without having knowledge of your device or Google account credentials, even if they force a reset. By rendering a stolen device unsellable, it diminishes the motivation for individuals to engage in phone theft.

Biometric authentication will be mandatory for modifying sensitive information while the device is connected from an unsecured location.

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Artificial Intelligence

As AI comes out, Google adds a “Web” search filter that shows old-school text links

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Google is undergoing a transformation to adapt to the AI era. As part of this, the company is now providing AI summaries directly in its search results. Additionally, Google is introducing a new feature that allows users to filter their search results to only display text-based links. The addition of the new “Web” filter at the top of the results page will allow users to specifically filter for text links, similar to how they can currently filter for images, video, news, or shopping.

The announcement was made on Tuesday through a post on X during Google I/O, the company’s developer conference. During the conference, Google introduced significant changes to its search engine, including AI-organized search results and AI overviews in search.

Google states that the new “Web” filter will be visible either at the top of the results page or within the “More” option, depending on the specific search query.

The launch acknowledges that there are instances when individuals simply desire to display text-based links to web pages, which are typically considered less significant nowadays as Google either provides answers directly in its informational Knowledge Panels or, more recently, through AI experiments.

The Google SearchLiaison X account is noted. The post stated that this addition was made in response to feedback from users who expressed a preference for seeing only web page links in their search results. This preference may arise when users are searching for longer-form text documents, using devices with limited internet access, or simply preferring text-based results to be displayed separately from search features. “If you belong to that particular group, I hope you have a pleasant experience!”

Google has specified that on mobile devices, the new “Web” filter will be displayed by default, along with the other filters, without necessitating users to access the “More” menu. On desktop, Google will display the filters that appear to be the most pertinent to the search results.

Google announced that the feature will be gradually released to users worldwide over the course of today and tomorrow.

The announcement of a “Web” filter is bound to spark some controversy, especially among the SEO community. These experts have always strived to enhance their links in order to secure a spot on the first page of Google search results for specific keywords. However, this type of SEO manipulation has potentially diminished the usefulness of Google compared to its early days. At that time, search experts weren’t manipulating the PageRank algorithm.

The move is a significant gamble that suggests the future of search may not revolve around presenting website links. Instead, users may find the answers they are looking for in alternative forms of content or even AI responses that provide sources for those who want to explore the topic in more depth. It is yet to be determined how these changes will impact industries that heavily depend on clicks and visitors.

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Artificial Intelligence

New 3D displays are coming out from Looking Glass

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Looking Glass produces immersive mixed-reality displays that create a three-dimensional visual experience without the requirement of specialized eyewear. Today, it introduces two new displays, one of which is a 16-inch model priced at $4,000. Additionally, there is a 32-inch screen available, which comes with a price tag that is intentionally kept high to deter those who cannot afford it from inquiring about its cost. The displays are offered in both landscape and portrait orientations, allowing for increased versatility to accommodate various content formats and applications.

The price of the previous 15-inch model was $6,000, thus indicating a slight decrease in prices. Additionally, a few years ago, the company unveiled a $350 holographic digital photo frame along with software that enables the enhancement of your vacation photos to produce a three-dimensional effect.

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The new displays offer stunning group 3D visualization without the need for headsets. This means that professionals working with 3D content can get things done without having to deal with the hassle and fatigue of wearing extra hardware. The company says that its products are made for professionals in design, engineering, education, research, and healthcare who need cutting-edge visualization tools.

The new displays, along with the recently announced Looking Glass Go, complete the company’s range of space-related products. Looking Glass Go turns 2D photos into 3D memories, but the bigger formats are better for XR developers and professionals.

Groups can view the content, which is another advantage of these displays. This is especially useful when working together. The business says that up to 100 different people can use the content at the same time.

The screens can show a lot of different types of media, like holographic images, high-quality videos, and real-time apps. They also have gesture-based controls that make the experience even more immersive without having to touch the computer screen.

Looking Glass has many ways to make content, such as plugins for Unity, Unreal, Blender, and WebXR. It also comes with a software development kit and a 3D model importer for making your own holographic content.

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