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Biden supporters caucus in a Des Moines, Iowa, gym. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
The disastrous roll-out of the Iowa Democratic Party's new vote-reporting app Monday night looks to go down as a software train wreck for the ages, Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes.
The big picture: Coding disasters have been with us as long as there's been software. In this case, the failure of a new app, followed by long delays with a phone-reporting backup system, seems to have crippled the calendar-leading Iowa Democratic caucuses — adding a fresh element of instability to our troubled election system.
Details: A statement by the Iowa Democratic Party released late Monday night said, "The app did not go down, and this is not a hack or an intrusion."
Between the lines: We don't yet know exactly what happened in Iowa. But it has all the earmarks of what engineers call a "cascading failure."
Background: The Iowa Democrats' app plan had raised questions about security, in an election climate attuned to fears of hacking and meddling.
Our thought bubble: Vulnerabilities may have been less of an issue than usability.
An election — or caucus — night offers neither of those conditions.
The bottom line: Iowa may have presented what software developers call an "edge case" — one that pushed Iowa's candidate selection process way over the edge.
Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Disclosing YouTube revenue separately for the first time, Alphabet said Monday that the Google-owned video site accounted for more than 10% of the company's $46.1 billion in revenue last quarter, and more than $15 billion for the year.
Why it matters: Everyone knew YouTube was a big business, but until now, we didn't know exactly how big, Axios' Kyle Daly reports.
Details from Alphabet's fourth-quarter 2019 earnings, released Monday:
Yes, but: One thing Alphabet didn't share is just how much profit YouTube is making.
The big picture: Alphabet shares still slumped some 4% in after-hours trading Monday. Overall revenues for the quarter came in at $46.1 billion, vs. Wall Street's expectation of $46.9 billion, per Refinitiv. The total represented a 17.3% year-on-year increase — Alphabet's slowest fourth-quarter growth since 2015, Reuters noted.
Chinese phone maker TCL said Monday that it will stop making BlackBerry-branded phones as of Aug. 31.
Why it matters: The move comes as TCL is increasingly focused on devices under its own brand and again raises the question of whether there will be future devices that use the BlackBerry name.
TCL, which has made keyboard-equipped Android phones under the BlackBerry brand since 2016, announced its decision in a Twitter post Monday.
A BlackBerry representative said the decision was a mutual one and declined to comment on whether the company would seek a new partner to make BlackBerry-branded devices.
Go deeper: BlackBerry is still here
Back row: GenderCool co-founder Gearah Goldstein, along with youth champions Ashton, Daniel and Lia; Front row: Eevee, Jonathan and GenderCool co-founder Jennifer Grosshandler. Photo: Spencer Aldworth Brown for Intuit
Intuit held a daylong trans summit last week that looked at the experiences of its own trans workers as well as bringing in trans youth from the GenderCool Project to get their perspective.
Why it matters: Historically, the discussion around transgender people in tech has focused a lot on workers that have transitioned at some point in their working careers. But many in the next generation of workers are entering the workforce as their authentic selves.
Plus, trans youth are increasingly in the crosshairs of legislators, with bills pending in a number of states that would criminalize doctors who provide them with gender-affirming healthcare.
What they're saying:
The key message from the GenderCool youths was that while they were all transgender, they were so much more than that.
"Our stories are way cooler than just being trans," Jonathan said.
What's next: Intuit says it plans to make an annual affair of the event, which also brought in a smattering of folks from other Bay Area companies, including VMWare, Impossible Foods, Airbnb, Adobe and Bank of the West.
Go deeper: The Next Transgender Generation Isn’t Waiting To Get To Work (Forbes)
Even with Google Maps it's still sometimes hard to avoid traffic. But it turns out creating a traffic jam in the app is easier than you might think.