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Right-to-repair survives in Massachusetts

What's been billed as the most expensive ballot measure campaign in Massachusetts history has reportedly been decided.

Question 1 on the Massachusetts ballot challenged the "right-to-repair" state law signed back in 2013, where essentially independent auto repair shops and vehicle owners had to be given the same repair information that authorized dealers in the state get for fixing a vehicle.

The 2013 law excluded telematics, driving and diagnostic data shared wirelessly with car dealers, and independent car dealers said that they couldn't adequately repair heavily computerized modern vehicles without access to that information. Question 1 would give everyone access to that telematics data that had still been reserved for automakers. Some of the roughly $25 million poured into advertising by car companies attempting to quashing Question 1 went into an ad attempting to prey on fears that anyone — including violent predators — could somehow track you by gaining access to your car's telematics because of this ballot measure. Voters were not convinced, however: With about 64% of precincts reporting, AP is projecting that Question 1 will pass.

This is seen as a victory for the larger "right-to-repair" movement, where advocates argue that consumers should be able to easily fix the expensive pieces of technology they buy, without having to pay manufacturers to do it for them. One of the most visible companies in the right-to-repair debate over the years has been Apple.

Twitter’s future is newsletters and podcasts, not tweets

With Revue and a slew of other new products, Twitter is trying hard to move past texting.

We started with 140 characters. What now?

Image: Liv Iko/Protocol

Twitter was once a home for 140-character missives about your lunch. Now, it's something like the real-time nerve center of the internet. But as for what Twitter wants to be going forward? It's slightly more complicated.

In just the last few months, Twitter has rolled out Fleets, a Stories-like feature; started testing an audio-only experience called Spaces; and acquired the podcast app Breaker and the video chat app Squad. And on Tuesday, Twitter announced it was acquiring Revue, a newsletter platform. The whole 140-characters thing (which is now 280 characters, by the way) is certainly not Twitter's organizing principle anymore. So what is?

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

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