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Recode Daily: With the SEC off his back, Elon Musk can return his focus to Tesla

Plus, the FBI forced a man to open his iPhone X with his face; California restores net neutrality, and the Trump administration immediately sues California; beyond the man cave: The showroom garage.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, speaks at a press conference at SpaceX headquarters where he announced the Japanese billionaire chosen by the company to fly around the moon, on Sept. 17, 2018 in Hawthorne, Calif. If the project is successful Yusaka Ma
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, speaks at a press conference at SpaceX headquarters where he announced the Japanese billionaire chosen by the company to fly around the moon, on Sept. 17, 2018 in Hawthorne, Calif. If the project is successful Yusaka Maezawa would become the first private citizen to fly around the moon.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will step down as chairman of the electric carmaker for at least three years as part of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over a security fraud charge stemming from a series of tweets that the SEC believes misled investors. Musk and Tesla will also each pay $20 million fines as part of the settlement, but did not have to admit any wrongdoing related to the Aug. 7 tweets. (That’s when Musk alleged that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at a $420 per-share price.) Meanwhile, tomorrow, Tesla will turn in a critical production report that will show investors whether the company can sustain and surpass its long-promised target of building 5,000 Model 3s per week. And Tesla still needs to find a No. 2 exec like Musk’s right-hand woman at SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

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It happened again: Facebook announced on Friday that, thanks to a security “vulnerability,” hackers were able to access the personal accounts of some 50 million users. In this latest breach — the third security issue Facebook has disclosed since June — “the attackers could use the account as if they are the account holder.” Here’s how the breach worked and what information may have been accessed. For a company that wants to be the digital connective tissue for all of your personal relationships — including your romantic connections — it’s past time to think hard about this question: Why should people continue to trust Facebook with their personal information? [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Net neutrality was restored in California, as Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation into law, setting up a legal showdown pitting his state against internet service providers and the Federal Communications Commission. [Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica]

The use of digital technology in the U.S. has seen a two-year plateau after years of rapid growth. The shares of U.S. adults who say they use the internet, use social media, or own a smartphone or a tablet computer are all nearly identical to the number who said so in 2016.[Paul Hitlins / Pew Research Center]

Chart of the Day: Netflix is driving the original-content boom

The U.S. FBI forced an Apple iPhone X owner to unlock the device with his face. A child abuse investigation unearthed by Forbes includes the first-known case in the world in which law enforcement used Apple Face ID facial recognition technology to open a suspect’s iPhone. The case marks another significant moment in the ongoing battle between law enforcement and tech providers, with the former trying to break the myriad security protections put in place by the latter. [Thomas Brewster / Forbes]

Manhattan’s 1,600 LinkNYC kiosks, which replaced 11,000 aging city pay phones and provide free Wi-Fi and U.S. phone calls, are seeing five million users and 500,000 phone calls a month. Two years after they were deployed, the sidewalk kiosks’ screens display real-time bus arrivals and local maps, plus news headlines from the Associated Press, comics, weather info, real-time alerts from the Office of Emergency Management, and creative content from a mix of roughly 50 other campaigns. Advertising that runs alongside programming on the kiosks is expected to generate between $500 million and a billion dollars over the next 12 years. [Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat]

Is Bytedance the world’s most valuable startup? An unknown software engineer created a news aggregation app powered by artificial intelligence. Today, 35-year-old Zhang Yiming’s company, Bytedance, is on its way to a more than $75 billion valuation — surpassing Uber as the No. 1 startup. SoftBank is said to be planning to invest about $1.5 billion in the Chinese company, joining KKR, General Atlantic and Sequoia as backers. Much of Bytedance’s lofty valuation stems from its creation of an internet experience that’s a cross between Google and Facebook. [Lulu Yilun Chen and Mark Bergen / Bloomberg]

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Top stories from Recode

Amazon has failed as a destination for “discovery” shopping — so it built a physical store to try it the old-fashioned way.

The new Amazon 4-star store is an admission of past missteps but also a worthy experiment. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

Netflix and Hulu go in for comedies while Amazon sticks to drama: A look at the original content boom.

Sci-fi is very popular among video services, too. [Rani Molla]

If she weren’t hosting “Full Frontal,” Samantha Bee could see herself starting a foundation for refugees.

“I don’t need to be in front of the camera forever,” Bee says on the latest Recode Decode. “Maybe it’s because I’m from Canada.” [Kara Swisher]

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Beyond the man cave: The showroom garage.

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