Faraday Future comes crawling back to its main investor


AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Faraday Future is ending its very tumultuous year on a positive note… in a manner of speaking. The electric car startup has reached a restructuring deal with its main investor, Evergrande Health’s Season Smart, that will put legal battles in the past and potentially keep the money flowing. The two sides have dropped their earlier contract, and Faraday has pulled litigation that tried to force Evergrande to cough up cash. The pact both lifts a hold on the EV maker’s assets and removes limitations on its equity financing, theoretically freeing it to take on financing that just wasn’t an option before.

It’s not yet clear how this will affect furloughed employees, although their status likely depends on Faraday’s ability to attract financing.

That’s the real challenge. The company predicted a “breakthrough” in financing and said that investors “all over the world” have already been interested in equity deals. However, it’s not clear that backers will necessarily flock to the company’s side. It’s still destined to burn cash for a long time even if the FF 91 proves a hit, and that still doesn’t tackle issues like founder Jia Yueting’s various offshore roles or the departure of key executives. While Faraday is no longer knocking on death’s door, it’s not guaranteed to enjoy a resurgence.

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FCC to suspend operations January 3rd unless funding resumes


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It looks like the FCC will be joining the list of government offices that will shut down in light of the ongoing funding lapse. The commission released a statement today saying that if the partial funding lapse continues into January 3rd, it will initiate an “orderly shutdown of operations.” The majority of the FCC’s operations will be put on hold by mid-day Thursday if funding isn’t resumed and employees will have four hours to complete the shutdown.

The commission said any work that’s required for “the protection of life and property” will press on and since spectrum auctions are funded by auction proceeds, they’ll continue as well. On Wednesday, the FCC plans to release a Public Notice that will describe what effects the shutdown will have on commission services like electronic filing and database systems, filing deadlines, regulatory and application fee payments, and transaction shot clocks, among others.

As the funding lapse became imminent, it wasn’t clear when or if the FCC would suspend its operations as that’s determined by the extent to which prior year funds are available. When those funds are unavailable or are used up during the course of a funding lapse, the FCC’s policy is to furlough employees and begin a shutdown. The commission said on December 22nd that it would remain open at least through January 2nd. You can read the commission’s full orderly shutdown plans here and Wednesday’s notice will be available on the FCC’s website.

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Gillmor Gang: Next

The Gillmor Gang — Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, Frank Radice, Michael Markman and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Saturday December 22, 2018. 2019 — the year to come in review. Tech, Trump, Connected TV: products, services and streams that could make a difference.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@kteare, @ekolsky, @fradice, @mickeleh, @stevegillmor

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

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Bluetooth audio codecs explained: Comparing ‘lossless’ vs. ‘lossy’ compression

Apple did its part in moving the world to wireless headphones. With the removal of the headphone jack with iPhone 7, the company made it clear that the future of audio is wireless. However, the company had already noted its vision well before the iPhone 7 with the original Apple Watch. Years later, the company continues removing the jack in more devices such as iPad Pro.

Today, we’re looking at wireless audio. Specifically, the different Bluetooth audio codecs and why they play an important role in the future of audio. Earlier this year we broke down Bluetooth 5.0 and its role in pushing the wireless revolution forward. Learn more about that here.

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Comment: It’s 2019, Instagram should make an iPad app

Despite Facebook’s shenanigans, Instagram has seemingly sparked in popularity this year.

Even as users #DeleteFacebook and boycott Twitter, Instagram has built a reputation for being a peaceful social network void of fights over democracy and privacy embarrassment. People are even willing to ignore the fact that Facebook owns and runs Instagram! Snapchat’s unpopular redesign may also be a factor.

There’s something about the constraints of the photo and video sharing service that just feels healthier for users. Instagram is also an eight-year-old iPhone app — it launched the same year as the iPad. As 2019 rolls in, the iPhone-only constraint is one that Instagram should remove and finally make an iPad app.

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