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Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Were Struggling Before Arizona Crash

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Were Struggling Before Arizona Crash SAN FRANCISCO — Uber’s robotic vehicle project was not living up to expectations months before a self-driving car operated by the company struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Ariz.
The cars were having trouble driving through construction zones and next to tall vehicles, like big rigs. And Uber’s human drivers had to intervene far more frequently than the drivers of competing autonomous car projects.
Waymo, formerly the self-driving car project of Google, said that in tests on roads in California last year, its cars went an average of nearly 5,600 miles before the driver had to take control from the computer to steer out of trouble. As of March, Uber was struggling to meet its target of 13 miles per “intervention” in Arizona, according to 100 pages of company documents obtained by The New York Times and two people familiar with the company’s operations in the Phoenix area but not permitted to speak publicly about it.
Yet Uber..

Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Supported by Commercial Real Estate Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions Photo Credit Marcelo Krasilcic RECENT SALE$1.75 MILLION
221 Roebling Street (between South Second and South Third Streets)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
An investor who owns other Brooklyn properties has bought this vacant 2,400-square-foot, three-story building, built around 1901, with plans to create three luxury rentals — a duplex on the lower floors, and two units above — and possibly extending the property back 15 feet. The building, on a 20-by-75-foot lot and originally listed at $2.1 million, has a large backyard and an attic, and offers 1,845 square feet in air rights.
Buyer: 221 Roebling Street
Seller: Rafael Medina Family Trust
Seller’s Brokers: Daniel Barcelowsky, Evergreen Realty & Investments
Photo Palisades Media Group has taken a corner space on the 15th floor at 171 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Credit Alyson Leiter RECENT LEASE$52/SQ. FT.
$205,400 approximate annual rent
171 Madison Avenue (at..

Books News: Canceled Deals and Pulped Books, as the Publishing Industry Confronts Sexual Harassment

Supported by Business Day | Books News Canceled Deals and Pulped Books, as the Publishing Industry Confronts Sexual Harassment Elizabeth Rusch’s picture book about Mario Molina, the Mexico-born chemist who won the Nobel Prize for his work studying the destruction of the Earth’s ozone layer, was a decade in the making. It took her nearly 30 drafts to get it right, and she was thrilled when the children’s publisher Charlesbridge acquired it in 2013. The book was finally due out next month.
Then, news broke that the book’s illustrator, David Diaz, had been accused of sexual harassment. Worried the book would be clouded by the controversy, Charlesbridge decided to postpone publication of “Mario and the Hole in the Sky,” pulp the finished copies and hire a new illustrator.
“It’s really sad that people won’t be able to read this version,” said Ms. Rusch, who posted a comment on Facebook strongly supporting the women who came forward. “But it’s the right thing to do for the book, and the..

Kim Jong-un, Michael Flynn, Stephon Clark: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Kim Jong-un, Michael Flynn, Stephon Clark: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing (Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good evening. Here’s the latest.
Photo Credit KCNA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 1. Confident, reasonable, and willing to bargain.
Our correspondent says that’s the image North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, left, sought to project during a visit with President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
It was Mr. Kim’s first known trip abroad since taking power — and it could strengthen his hand going into talks with the U.S. Here’s how the Chinese and North Korean news media covered the meeting.
President Trump was quick to chime in. He posted on Twitter that Mr. Xi told him that the meeting went “very well” and that Mr. Kim “looks forward to his meeting with me.”
Continue reading the main story ____
Photo Credit Jonathan Ernst/Reuters 2. A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael Fly..

Zuckerberg Takes Steps to Calm Facebook Employees

Zuckerberg Takes Steps to Calm Facebook Employees Photo Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has been on an apology tour of sorts this week for his company’s mishandling of data privacy. On Friday, he spoke to employees. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO — For the past week, Mark Zuckerberg has grappled with a backlash from lawmakers, regulators and users over Facebook’s mishandling of data privacy. He has also had to face another restive group: his own employees.
The Facebook chief executive has taken multiple steps over the past few days to communicate with the social network’s 25,000 employees over revelations last week that a British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, had improperly obtained data of 50 million Facebook users.
The Silicon Valley company held a staff meeting on Tuesday to answer questions about Cambridge Analytica, featuring one of Facebook’s lawyers, Paul Grewal. On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Zuckerberg addressed employees directl..

Siri, Alexa and That Google Gal Will Get You Only So Far

Siri, Alexa and That Google Gal Will Get You Only So Far Photo Credit Anna Godeassi In 2015, when the Silicon Valley C.E.O. Mike Chen was working on a health care start-up, he and his colleagues had one of those light bulb moments regarding digital assistance.
“There should be something where you can just text it, and it just, like, does it for you,” he said. Three years later, his remote personal-assistant company, Magic, has employees in the United States and the Philippines. Its promise is bold: to do “anything” for customers who send requests over text or email, Mr. Chen said, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
Fin, another new virtual personal-assistant company, is the brainchild of Sam Lessin and Andrew Kortina, a founder of the popular mobile payment service Venmo. Fin is similar to Magic but costs $1 per minute instead of 59 cents, and only uses assistants in the United States (though they work out of Arizona, rather than the company’s San Francisco headquarters). Its sleek, z..