Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou had a MacBook, iPhone and iPad when she was arrested

This is not a piece of serious news. I don’t think it’s a huge indictment that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou — who’s currently under house arrest in Canada while she fights extradition to the US — happened to be carrying a 12-inch MacBook, an iPhone 7 Plus, and an iPad Pro when she was taken into custody.

Because even though that’s a matter of record now…

And even though it’s a little bit embarrassing because she’s both the CFO and the founder’s daughter…

And even though Huawei has publicly demoted employees for damaging the brand by tweeting from an iPhone…

…we do live in the year 2019, when most tech companies don’t require their employees to use company-issued electronics for personal use. Microsoft and Google employees sometimes walk around using iPhones and MacBooks and iPads. I’ve seen it. It’s not a huge deal.

Here’s what gets me, though: We at The Verge called Huawei’s Matebook Pro X the single best laptop you can buy right now. Does she just not like Windows, perhaps?

She does have good taste in Huawei phones, though. Court documents show she was also carrying a Huawei Mate 20 RS Porsche Edition, also known as the luxury version of a phone we called “the best America can’t get.” As to the iPhone 7 Plus, it’s hard to speculate — but one could generously imagine it might have served as an excellent mobile hotspot during her time in North America.

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Supernatural will end with its 15th season

The CW’s supernatural series Supernatural will come to an end with its 15th season. The series follows brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester as they follow their father’s footsteps in the “family business” — hunting down supernatural monsters. Since it premiered in 2005, the series has has garnered a massive fan following.

The CW renewed the series for its 15th season in January. In a video message on Twitter, Padalecki, Ackles, and co-star Misha Collins (who plays the angel Castiel) announced that the series would come to an end with its forthcoming season, and thanked the fans who have watched over the years. “We wanted you to hear from us that although we’re excited about next year,” Padalecki said, “it will be the finale.”

Creator Eric Kripke originally envisioned the series would run for five seasons, only to see it last three times as long, building on the world and the characters for years. Supernatural isn’t the only long-running CW series to come to an end this year — earlier this month, the network revealed that Arrow will end after its eighth season this year. That show, based off of the DC superhero comic Green Arrow, launched a robust franchise for the network, spinning off shows such as The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, along with a forthcoming Batwoman series.

Unlike Arrow, however, the CW has never been able to turn Supernatural into a longer, ongoing franchise. Over the years, the network has introduced several new characters in an attempt to create backdoor pilots for potential spinoff shows, such as Ghostfacers (about two characters who hunt for ghosts), Supernatural: Bloodlines (a series set in Chicago), Wayward Sisters (a female-driven supernatural series), and a western series about Samuel Colt, a fantastical version of the real-world gunmaker. None of those attempts were picked up for a series.

The show began in 2005 as a monster-of-the-week franchise, following the brothers as they work to avenge the death of their mother decades earlier — by hunting monsters. Over the following seasons, the two travel around the United States in a 1967 Chevy Impala, hunting down supernatural creatures, and finding themselves in the midst of a greater war between good and evil. Over the show’s long run, it’s attracted a devoted online fanbase, which the series has occasionally directly referenced and nodded to in various episodes.

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Elon Musk says the SEC’s attempt to hold him in contempt is ‘virtually wrong at every level’

Elon Musk says the Securities and Exchange Commission is “virtually wrong at every level” for trying to hold him in contempt of court after he allegedly violated the settlement agreement the two sides reached last year. That claim was part of new arguments made Friday by Musk and his lawyers as part of a recent back-and-forth between the Tesla CEO and the federal agency.

The SEC asked a federal judge on February 25th to hold Musk in contempt because, the agency claimed, one of the Tesla CEO’s tweets on February 19th may have violated language in the settlement. In the tweet in question, Musk said Tesla would make “around 500k” cars in 2018, which the SEC believed flew in the face of the official guidance from the company offered on January 30th. Musk even published a correction hours after, which the SEC later determined happened because the Tesla lawyer in charge of monitoring Musk’s tweets felt it needed to be amended.

The settlement was reached in September last year after the SEC sued Musk for securities fraud over tweets he sent in August about taking Tesla private. Musk said at the time that he had “funding secured” to pull off the move, but the SEC’s own investigation turned up evidence that this was false. As a result, Musk was forced out as Tesla chairman and had to pay a $20 million fine.

That’s not all. Musk agreed to oversight around his public communications about Tesla — including his tweets. Specifically, Musk is supposed to submit to “pre-approval of any such written communications that contain, or reasonably could contain, information material to the Company or its shareholders,” according to the settlement. In other words, if Musk is about to tweet something that could affect Tesla’s stock price (and its shareholders), he’s supposed to run it by a designated in-house lawyer first.

This specific part of the settlement is what’s behind the current dispute. Musk argued again today that the language of the settlement allows him the freedom to determine whether his tweets about Tesla will be material or not. The way Musk’s team reads the terms of the settlement, there is an “obligation on the executive to make an initial, good-faith determination as to whether a particular tweet requires pre-approval.”

The SEC has a much more strict interpretation of the settlement, and believes Musk is taking too free an approach. After initially arguing that the February 19th tweet was a violation, the commission said this past Monday that “Musk’s unchecked and misleading tweets about Tesla are what precipitated the SEC’s charges, and the pre-approval requirement was designed to protect against reckless conduct by Musk going forward.”

But today’s filing reveals that the disagreement about what Musk could tweet apparently goes back to before the SEC charged Musk with securities fraud. Musk’s lawyers included emails and drafts of the original settlement in Friday’s filing that Musk had reportedly turned down. The documents show that the SEC originally wanted all of Musk’s public statements about Tesla — tweets included — to be approved before they were published, whether or not they were material to the company’s stock price and shareholders.

This became a “sticking point during the negotiations,” Musk’s lawyers said Friday. They write how they explained to the SEC at the time that “Musk’s ability to engage with customers about Tesla products is critical to Tesla’s success, and that Musk would not agree to broad pre-approval of Tesla-related statements.”

Musk ultimately rejected the initial settlement, which also asked for a two-year chairman ban and a $10 million fine. The SEC quickly filed suit against him in court, seeking a ban from all officer or director positions. Musk settled two days later on harsher terms, though with new language about the approval of his tweets.

Musk has also argued that the February 19th tweet was not material to Tesla’s stock price, for a few reasons. He said the 500,000-car production figure matched up with a claim he made on a call with investors on January 30th, which is true, though he has also since offered different estimates for 2019. Tesla has not responded to repeated requests as to which figure is correct. He’s also said the February 19th tweet was “aspirational and optimistic,” and that it caused no movement in the company’s stock price because it was published after trading was closed that day. The SEC has claimed this is a “post hoc” rationalization.

Last week, the judge in the case said both sides would have until March 26th to ask the court for a hearing on the contempt issue. The SEC declined this past Monday, believing that its case has been made. Musk’s lawyers have apparently not yet asked one way or another; we’ve asked them for clarification and will update this post if we hear back.

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The Windows 10 calculator will soon be able to graph math equations

Microsoft is adding a graphing mode to the Windows 10 calculator. The company made the calculator open-sourced on GitHub earlier this month and has received over thirty suggestions from contributors so far, as spotted by ZDNet.

The graphing mode is the first open-sourced suggestion to be chosen. It was Microsoft engineer Dave Grochocki’s idea, who suggested that students could use the graphing feature to study algebra. He pointed out that algebra is the stepping stone to more advanced mathematics and other science and engineering courses, but it’s also a class that students in the US commonly fail.


A lot of basic calculator apps don’t have a graphing feature, so the Windows 10 calculator might also be getting a leg up on rival apps. As of now, the feature’s still under development but GitHub notes indicate users would be able to graph linear, quadratic, and exponential equations.

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Netflix tests a mobile-only plan in select countries that costs $3

Netflix is testing a new mobile-only subscription plan in “select countries” including India that would only cost $3.63 a month. That’s half the cost of Netflix’s Indian basic streaming plan, which covers all devices and costs $7.27 (INR500), as spotted by Variety.

Netflix told The Verge in a statement, “We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible. We will be testing different options in select countries, where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time.” That last part is intriguing, as it could mean that Netflix starts weekly or biweekly subscriptions instead of monthly plans.

Since it’s a test, not all users will see the new plan and it’s possible that Netflix won’t make it a permanent option. Netflix declined to share what other countries would get the test besides India.

The test in India makes sense, given that Netflix has already expressed interest in the country. Last week, Netflix product VP Todd Yellin gave a keynote in Mumbai describing the streaming giant’s plans to expand interactive TV shows and Netflix original Indian content. He pointed to the success of the Netflix original Indian series Sacred Games, about a cop chasing down a crime overlord, which audiences abroad tuned in to as well.

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