Prop 22 passed in California. (Technically the votes are still being counted, but both sides seem to agree on this one.) It's a crucial win for Uber, Lyft and the rest of the gig companies, as it classifies drivers as independent contractors. Its influence could extend beyond California: Other states were certainly looking to see whether similar legislation might play elsewhere.
Prop 24 looks likely to pass as well. That one strengthens the CCPA data-privacy legislation, closing some of the loopholes businesses have identified.
Prop 15 is close but losing. If it lands on Yes, many companies will now have to pay property taxes on the current value of their property, not what they bought it for. That would mean a lot of businesses would pay bigger property tax bills.
Prop 25, which proposed allowing risk-assessment algorithms to play a role in determining bail eligibility for criminal suspects, looks like it's going to lose by a much wider margin.
Massachusetts passed a right to repair law, which will require car manufacturers to let mechanics and owners access a vehicle's repair data. It's just one part of a much broader fight, but it's a win for the R2R community nonetheless. The iFixit team is thrilled.
Oregon legalized psychedelic mushrooms. That's not strictly tech, but I know at least a few readers of this newsletter are suddenly thinking about moving to Portland.
As for who will be the next U.S. president? We don't know, and we might not know anytime soon. The only certain thing right now: Large touchscreens with interactive maps are clearly the future of television.
How the platforms fared
One of the big questions coming into the election was how social platforms, and the internet as a whole, would fare. Anything seemed possible, from a totally smooth process to … I don't know, the whole internet breaking all at once under the weight of Russian disinformation.
The truth turned out to be somewhere in the middle.
As far as we know, there were no hacks, no massive equipment outages, no catastrophic social media problems. Am I jinxing it by typing that sentence? Maybe. But so far so good.
The worst seemed to happen in Pennsylvania, where one official told BuzzFeed they'd "never seen anything like" the level of misinformation being spread about the election.
Twitter and Facebook were both labeling problematic content, particularly posts claiming a race had been called before it was. Trump's tweets were labeled, reporters' tweets were labeled, everybody got a label last night.
One of the scarier new problems was a robocall campaign that told people to "stay home and stay safe" all over the country. Some also told voters they could vote Wednesday if lines were too long Tuesday. The FBI and FCC are both looking into what happened.
There were also plenty of small goofs, like Siri answering "When is Election Day" with the date of the election … in 2022. Or Instagram's "Tomorrow is Election Day" message lingering a few hours too long.
It's clear there's a lot of work left to do to combat misinformation and disinformation. And there's still time left even in this election for the platforms to experience more problems. Trump made clear last night that he intends to keep saying he won, and will test the platforms' mettle to keep saying he hasn't yet. Beyond that, it seems like we're left mostly with normal election stress rather than something entirely new.
"A lot of the most talented individuals that I've met through the visual effects industry find their way into the tech industry."
Introducing QuickBooks Commerce, a new way for small businesses to grow
Small businesses need to attract and sell to new customers, but many worry about adding operational complexity – especially right now. QuickBooks Commerce is a new platform to manage multiple online and in-store sales channels and better maintain inventory while getting profitability insights – all from one central hub.
Snapchat allowed follower counts to be publicly displayed, though it's still up to users to decide whether to display their count. By the looks of it, Kylie Jenner is by far the most-followed person on the platform.
One More Thing
More like Pokémon Stay, am I right?
We all pretty much spent 2020 indoors, not going anywhere, not doing anything. And yet Pokémon Go, a game based on going places and doing things, turned it into its best year ever, with more than $1 billion in revenue. Just goes to show, there's always a pivot if you can find it. Also, sitting in my living room counts as physical activity.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.