Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

By WIRED

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Paul Bianchi
 Jul 24, 2019
Lively discussion, the three hosts have a good time discussing tech culture together.


 Jun 17, 2019

Description

Inside the hottest personal tech stories of the week; mobile apps, gear, social networking, and entertainment.

Episode Date
Google and the Government
2313
This week, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Google. It accuses the company of stifling competition and operating a near-monopoly on the search advertising industry. Naturally, Google disagrees with those charges. And so the stage has been set for the biggest antitrust battle in decades. It's a complicated case, one with tens of billions of dollars at stake, behind-the-scenes political machinations in play, and the future of how we navigate the internet in question. On this episode of Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman about the ins and outs of the DOJ's case against Google, and what it might mean for the future of web search, Android, and iOS. Show Notes:  Read Gilad’s story about the suit against Google here. Read Steven Levy’s story about how the DOJ’s case may lack teeth here. Recommendations:  Gilad recommends lemon wedges. Lauren recommends the book How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings by Sarah Cooper. Mike recommends a book about Radiohead called This Isn't Happening by Steven Hyden. Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 23, 2020
The iPhones 12
1993
Less than a month after its last hardware event, Apple held another one this week where it announced a slate of new iPhones. The standout feature of all four (4) phones is 5G capability. Apple, along with other phone manufacturers and network providers, are all touting 5G as the next big thing in wireless connection. But the rollout of 5G networks has also been hampered by a number of controversies, from technical problems to international diplomatic battles between the US and China. Despite the marketing hype, 5G might still be a long way from becoming useful. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu and WIRED senior writer Will Knight join us to talk about these roadblocks and whether anyone will actually be able to use the 5G features on Apple's new phones. Show Notes:  Read Will’s story about 5G in the iPhone 12 here. Check out everything Apple announced this week here. Read about all the new iPhones 12 here. Read Brian Barrett’s story about the return of the no-compromise small phone here. Recommendations:  Will recommends this AI-inspired artwork by artist Tom White. Julian recommends getting an espresso machine. WIRED’s guide best coffee machines is here, with best portable espresso machines here. Mike recommends Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. (You can watch them on HBO or via the Criterion Collection.) Lauren recommends the Gimlet Media podcast How To Save A Planet. Will Knight can be found on Twitter @willknight. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 16, 2020
Battling Burnout
2146
Trying to be a functional human being in 2020 can feel exhausting. Our devices send us constant notifications, social media demands all our attention, and even simple daily tasks start to feel Sisyphean when they pile up. In many ways, the same technology that was supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient has led to a mental health crisis that shows no signs of abating: widespread burnout. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Anne Helen Petersen, author of the book Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, about the ways that tech has driven many people to the breaking point. Also, we've got some tips on how to prevent burnout and cut yourself some slack. Show Notes:  You can find Anne Helen Petersen’s book here and read an excerpt about how work became an inescapable hellhole in WIRED here. Subscribe to Anne’s newsletter here. Recommendations:  Anne recommends the show Pen15 on Hulu. Lauren recommends WIRED’s 2020 election coverage, in particular this story about the battle over voting machines in Texas. Mike recommends practicing Qigong to help your peace of mind, starting with this video teaching Qigong for beginners. Anne Helen Petersen can be found on Twitter @annehelen. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 09, 2020
Invasion of the Home Drone
1921
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen hardware announcements from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. In them, there’s been a lot of emphasis on gadgets and services for the home. (Like Amazon's crazy indoor security drone.) But it all raises the question—why do these tech companies want to be literally hovering in your house? In some ways they’re using the pandemic as part of their marketing: We’re all home, so use this tech! But it’s also another way, of course, to learn more about you as a “user” as you share more of your personal data. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu comes on the show to talk about Google's latest announcements and how they stack up with the other tech companies that want to live in your house. Show Notes:  See everything Google announced at its hardware event here and more about Pixel phones here. Read more about Amazon’s home drone here. Recommendations:  Julian recommends building your own PC. Lauren recommends Apple TV+. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 02, 2020
The TikTok Dance
1630
In August, Trump signed executive orders that labeled both TikTok and another Chinese-owned app, WeChat, as national security threats. Unless they could broker a deal that would transfer majority control of the services over to American tech partners, both apps would be banned from the United States. The scramble that followed involved multiple competing companies and interests and raised the already heightened tensions between two feuding countries. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis joins us to talk about TikTok, WeChat, and how this fight might shape diplomatic relations between the US and China for years to come. Show Notes:  Read Louise’s coverage of the TikTok controversies here and here. Recommendations:  Louise recommends the book The Overstory by Richard Powers. Lauren recommends the show Schitt’s Creek. Mike recommends SF Urban Hiker’s Stairway Project and also just going on a hike yourself. Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 25, 2020
Apple Bundles Up
2078
Apple's September product events are usually noteworthy for their hardware announcements. But this year, like with just about everything else, was different. Apple did unveil new Watches and iPads, but the company’s most significant announcements came in the form of services. There's a new set of subscription bundles that lumps all of Apple's streaming services together, and a new service for connected home workouts (called Fitness+) aimed squarely at competitors like Peloton. These offerings are feature-packed, relatively affordable, and meant to draw you even deeper into the Apple ecosystem. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate Editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Apple's announcements and what they mean for the gadget buyers among us. Show Notes:  Read up on all of Apple’s announcements from this week. Also read our deeper look at the new Apple Watch Series 6, and our list of the standout features in iOS 14. Recommendations:  Julian recommends the Fluance RT80 turntable but also just getting any record player in general. Mike recommends the show 3% on Netflix. Lauren recommends WIRED’s list of best air purifiers. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 18, 2020
Introducing In Vogue: The 1990s
152
The story of a pivotal decade, In VOGUE: The 1990s is a new audio docuseries that revisits the pivotal moments in 90’s culture through the lens of fashion. From slip dresses with army boots to colorful tracksuits and minimal pantsuits, Vogue experts and star guests highlight the stories in fashion history that reflected this new era of connectivity.  Presented by Anna Wintour and hosted by Hamish Bowles, this fashion podcast examines how the 90s sparked a cultural fusion that continues to shape our world today — and why no one is exempt from fashion. Listen to In Vogue: The 1990s Check out the first episode featuring Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Claudia Schiffer, and more here: Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher Or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe so you don’t miss out on new episodes, releasing every Thursday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 17, 2020
Connected Cardio
2083
Even before the pandemic, Peloton was the clear leader in connected, at-home workout equipment. So it was really no surprise that when gyms closed down and people found themselves stuck inside, Peloton's sales surged. Along with the success of Peloton, a growing industry of semi-affordable personal exercise machines is changing the way we work out. After all, why risk going to a gym when you could bring one into your living room? This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about Peloton and the future of gyms. Show Notes:  Read Lauren’s story about Peloton and the future of the home gym here. Recommendations:  Brian recommends the Cromwell Trilogy by Hilary Mantel, starting with the novel Wolf Hall. Lauren recommends I May Destroy You on HBO. Mike recommends Reverb’s YouTube channel. Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 11, 2020
Tech the Vote
2102
Whether you're prepared for it or not, the United States is hurtling toward another presidential election. Like just about everything in 2020, the voting process has been disrupted by the pandemic. More people than ever are planning to avoid polling places and vote by mail. This has led to a very loud, very political debate about public safety, potential voter fraud, and the role technology plays in the voting process. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman about election security and why the US is so far behind other countries when it comes to online voting. Show Notes:  Read Lily’s guide on how to vote by mail here. Read more about the partisan hand-wringing about mail-in voting here. Follow all of WIRED’s 2020 election coverage here. Recommendations:  Lily recommends The US Election Assistance Commission’s state-by-state registration and voting guide. Mike recommends the memoir Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith. Lauren recommends these long sleeve stretch-knit bamboo pajamas from Cozy Earth. LIly Hay Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 04, 2020
Alexa, Play My Alibi
2003
As smart speakers for the home continue to grow in popularity, police departments have started to take notice. Now, whenever attorneys and law enforcement officials are investigating a crime, they can put your virtual assistant in the hot seat. They can cross-reference a variety of information from smart devices, including location data, audio recordings, and biometric data. Together, it can paint a picture of where a suspect was and when, often far more reliably than any human witness. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Sidney Fussell joins us to talk about the strange murder case where a smart speaker became the star witness. We also share tips about how to manage the privacy settings in your own smart tech. Warning: This episode features a brief conversation about domestic violence and assault. Show Notes:  Read Sidney’s story about law enforcement collecting information from smart speakers here. Find more episodes of the Get WIRED podcast here. Recommendations:  Sidney recommends the show I May Destroy You on HBO. Lauren recommends Vanity Fair’s September issue, with a cover story about Breonna Taylor. Mike recommends the episode of the podcast Questlove Supreme with Bootsy Collins. Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @SidneyFussell. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 28, 2020
Let’s Talk About Texts
1958
Maybe you aren't a political dissident engaging in top secret conversations over text messages. But if you care about privacy, you should probably be using Signal—or really, another encrypted service—to send your messages. Encryption can be a hot-button issue, with governments demanding backdoors into private data stores and executives at companies like Facebook having wildly different opinions about how secure your communications should be. Plus, at a time when we're relying more and more on digital services to talk with each other, it's important to know who has access to your conversations. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about the ins and outs of encryption, and why you'd want to use a secure messaging service in the first place. Show Notes:  Read Brian’s tips for using Signal here. Recommendations:  Brian recommends the show Detroiters. Lauren recommends the show Selling Sunset and the video where WIRED’s Nick Thompson, Pia Ceres and Adrienne So talk about the digital divide in education. Mike recommends using Signal’s built-in tool for blurring people’s faces whenever you want to share a sensitive photo. Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 21, 2020
The Foldable Future
1826
This week, Microsoft's dual screen Surface Duo became available for sale. Like many other folding devices, the Duo has been marketed as a product for busy workers on the go. But now, months into a pandemic where many workers are still sheltering in place (if they're lucky enough to have a job at all), the appeal of such gadgets is questionable at best. Nevertheless, Microsoft and other companies soldier on, searching for ways to make their expensive devices feel relevant. Foldables are here, whether people want them or not. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Microsoft's "not-a-phone" phone and the future of foldables. Show Notes:  Read more about Microsoft’s Surface Duo here. Read all of WIRED’s coverage of folding devices. Recommendations:  Julian recommends rearranging your workspace if you work from home. Mike recommends Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 14, 2020
We Love Cheap Phones
2177
Used to be that if you wanted a new phone, you had to choose between something cheap and something good. But a recent slate of smartphones like the new Google Pixel 4A and the Apple iPhone SE offer an appealing compromise: Most of the features and processing power of a $1,000 phone for somewhere around $400. These devices come with some tradeoffs, of course. The cameras aren't quite as fast, and the screen might not be buttery smooth or blisteringly bright. But the growing market for budget phones shows that premium features aren’t everything, especially at a time when people are less and less likely to splurge on fancy gadgets. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about the Pixel 4A possibilities and limitations of cheap phones. Show Notes:  Read Julian’s review of the Pixel 4A here. Read Adrienne So’s story about the duffel bag from The Expanse here. Recommendations:  Julian recommends the Herman Miller Embody chair (but don’t pay full price for it). Mike recommends the sci-fi show The Expanse. Lauren recommends Nice White Parents, a new podcast from NYT and Serial. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 07, 2020
Amazon’s Hidden Prime Secrets
2037
If you have an Amazon Prime membership (maybe it’s where you’ve been buying all your toilet paper during the pandemic) then you’re likely aware of the key benefits: free shipping, access to special deals, and the free streaming movies and TV shows. But there are a host of other, lesser-known benefits available to Prime customers, like free Kindle books, free Twitch Prime, free kids’ content, and a few ways to earn credit on future purchases. This week, we’re joined by WIRED staff writer Louryn Strampe, who tells us about all of the free and discounted stuff you can get from Amazon that you didn’t even know about. Also, we discuss how the pandemic has shaped online retail in general, and how Amazon’s poor track record with worker’s rights and third-party seller relations have led some to shop at other online stores, even if that means a diminished experience. [#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482) Show Notes:  Read Louryn’s full list of hidden Amazon Prime perks. Her roundup of the WIRED staff’s quarantine hobbies is here. Also, Louise Matsakis’s report about the risks faced by Amazon workers during the pandemic is here. Recommendations:  Louryn recommends the YouTube channels ASMRplanet and Dianxi Xiaoge. Lauren recommends the greeting card subscription service Warmly. Mike recommends the episode of the Broken Record podcast with Run The Jewels. Louryn Strampe can be found on Twitter @lourynstrampe. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 31, 2020
Tick Tock, TikTok
1974
All the kids are talking about it. And now, so are government officials and corporate bigwigs. An app typically known for short, clever videos (and lots of dancing), TikTok has recently found itself at the center of international scrutiny. Critics say that TikTok’s massive presence in the US is a national security risk because the app is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech company. Business leaders are also worried, in some cases asking their employees to delete the app from their devices. But what risks does TikTok really pose? And is this debate more than just a proxy for rising tensions between the US and China? This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis joins us to talk about TikTok culture and what would happen if the app actually got banned. Show Notes:  Read Louise’s story about the national security risks TikTok poses here. Read more about Amazon’s “accidental” TikTok ban here. Read Louise’s story about inmates who use TikTok in prison here. Read more about WitchTok users hexing the moon here. Recommendations:  Louise recommends Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux. Mike recommends The War on Cars podcast. Lauren recommends Alan Henry’s WIRED article about how to stay productive while sheltering in place. Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 24, 2020
Get WIRED: Citizen and the Bizarre World of Live-Streamed Crime
1288
The idea behind the Citizen app is that its users upload videos of the things that are going on in the neighborhood in real time — anything from as a gas leak to something potentially a lot more violent. It's an app built on the premise that the more information a community has the better off it is, but it also comes with all of the trappings and problems of a lot of community surveillance — the app has some toxic comments, it can lead to racial profiling, and it has sparked a lot of discussion about who’s benefitting most from all of these neighborhood alerts — the users, law enforcement, or Citizen itself. WIRED's Boone Ashworth has spent months on the Citizen app, trying to better understand exactly what its mission is, and what this kind of hyper-vigilance does to our psyches. But he's also been talking to people who are on the app, who rush to the scene to capture what’s going on in their neighborhoods; and he found one who is particularly interesting, and who agreed to take us behind the scenes. Get WIRED is a new podcast about how the future is realized. Each week, we burrow down new rabbit holes to investigate the ways technology is changing our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Through hard-hitting reporting, intimate storytelling, and audio you won’t hear anywhere else, Get WIRED is the must-listen-to tech podcast that sets the agenda for the week. Hosted by WIRED Senior Writer Lauren Goode. Listen to and subscribe to Get WIRED here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 24, 2020
Introducing: Get WIRED
94
Get WIRED is a new podcast about how the future is realized. Each week, we burrow down new rabbit holes to investigate the ways technology is changing our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Through hard-hitting reporting, intimate storytelling, and audio you won’t hear anywhere else, Get WIRED is the must-listen-to tech podcast that sets the agenda for the week. Hosted by WIRED Senior Writer Lauren Goode. Listen and subscribe to Get WIRED here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2020
I Stream, You Stream
2725
It’s hard to remember what television on the internet was like before Netflix started streaming original programming on demand. But maybe that fact just underscores the massive influence the platform has had over the shows we watch and how we watch them. This week on Gadget Lab, Peter Kafka, cohost of season two of the Land of the Giants podcast from Recode, joins us to talk about the rise of Netflix, its influence on our culture, and how the pandemic has affected our use of the service. In the second half of the show, we broaden the discussion to talk about the state of streaming video in general, and Peter offers some advice on how to navigate the confusing trenches of the streaming wars. Show Notes:  Listen to Recode’s Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect podcast here. Read more about HBO Max on WIRED.com. Read Kate Knibbs’ story about Palm Springs here. You can also read all of WIRED’s coverage of Netflix here.  Recommendations:  Peter recommends the show ZeroZeroZero on Amazon Prime and also Vermont. Lauren recommends the movie Palm Springs on Hulu. Mike recommends the free streaming service Kanopy. Peter Kafka can be found on Twitter @pkafka. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 17, 2020
I Can't Stop Doomscrolling
1966
Doomscrolling—everybody's doing it! You’re lying in bed, on your phone, trying to fall asleep, but then you end up staying awake for hours as your social media timeline fills you with anger and anxiety. This isn't just your garden-variety FOMO either. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and it can feel like there's a fresh new calamity or setback every single day. Add displays of collective grief over racial injustice to the mix, and it can be even harder to look away. So how do you stay informed without growing enraged? How do you stay connected without spiraling into despair? This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior editor Angela Watercutter joins us to talk about our shifting relationships with social media and how we’re dialing back the doomscrolling. Show Notes:  Read Angela’s story about how doomscrolling is eroding your mental health here. Read more about digital wellbeing tools on Android phones here and find all of WIRED’s suggestions and coverage of digital wellness here. Find Ram Dass’ Here and Now Podcast here. Our guide to the best Kindles is here. Recommendations:  Angela recommends I May Destroy You on HBO. Lauren recommends The Netflix Effect: Land of the Giants by Recode/Vox. Mike recommends the music of Ennio Morricone and that you read John Zorn’s obituary of Morricone in The New York Times. Angela Watercutter can be found on Twitter @WaterSlicer. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 10, 2020
Home Bodies
2429
Getting through this pandemic hasn't been easy. Each day can feel like a slog, especially when, for many people, the necessary shelter-in-place restrictions have no end in sight. While being cooped up and isolated from others isn't pleasant, there are some ways to make the experience more bearable. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED service editor Alan Henry and WIRED senior writer Adrienne So join the show to talk about the gadgets, media, and lifestyle adjustments that have helped them get through quarantine so far. Show Notes:  Find more WIRED recommendations for the gear and tips to get you through the pandemic here. Read Joe Ray’s review of Eat Your Books here. Read more about how to get free library books on your Kindle here. Read Alan’s guide on how to pump up your playlist here. That Vulfpeck song is “Wait for the Moment.” Recommendations:  Adrienne recommends the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet and the show The Expanse. Alan recommends Aukey T21 True Wireless Earbuds and Freefall Radio. Mike recommends the Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer and NHK World’s Dining With the Chef. Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Alan Henry is @halophoenix. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 03, 2020
Arrested Developer Event
2359
Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is normally an energetic, bustling affair. This year, of course, things are anything but normal. Instead of live talks in front of full crowds and attendees mingling face to face, WWDC was a virtual-only experience. During the keynote address, execs rattled off their announcements in pre-recorded video segments filmed on a very empty Apple campus. The slick, occasionally eerie production was a glimpse into just how lonely the tech world has become.  This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about everything Apple announced and what this very weird WWDC means for the future of the tech conference. Show Notes:  Check out everything Apple announced at WWDC here. Read Julian’s breakdown of all the new features of iOS 14 coming soon to an iPhone near you here. Also read Julian’s guide to everything you need to work from home here. Recommendations:  Julian recommends the Post-it Flex Write Surface. Lauren recommends the episode of 9to5 Mac’s Watchtime podcast with Ish ShaBazz. Mike recommends Omni Calculator. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 26, 2020
Inside the eBananas Scandal
1943
A package showing up on your doorstep normally gives you a little hit of excitement. But for one Massachusetts couple last year, the arrival of each new package triggered feelings of anxiety and dread. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about the cyberstalking campaign that six former eBay employees allegedly launched against the married owners of a news website that’s often critical of the ecommerce industry. It’s a twisted tale featuring shipments of live roaches, a pig’s head mask, unwanted pornography, and a whole lot of bad feelings. WIRED’s own Brian Barrett joins us for the first half of the show to tell us about all the terrible antics the former eBayers have been charged with carrying out. Later in the episode, we’re joined by WIRED’s Lily Hay Newman to discuss a new, previously unknown Russian internet group that’s been spreading disinformation online. Secondary Infektion, as the group is known, has for years been trying to disrupt elections, sow discord among European nations, and spread nationalist Russian propaganda using thousands of temporary social media accounts. A new report from researchers at Graphika outlines the group’s activities. Show Notes:  Brian Barrett’s story about the alleged eBay harassment scandal is here. Also read Lily on Grafika’s report about Secondary Infektion. Recommendations:  Lily recommends not keeping your tattoos and clothing logos hidden during public protests. Brian recommends Alabama Booksmith, which sells signed first editions of books. Mike recommends the Black Lives collection streaming for free on the Criterion Channel. Lauren recommends Duolingo for learning new languages. Brain Barrett can be found on Twitter @BrBarrett. Lily is @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Mike is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 20, 2020
When Can I See You Again?
3146
As states and cities lift shelter-in-place restrictions, there’s still so much we don’t know about the coronavirus and how it spreads. Which has left a lot of people wondering: How safe is it, really, to start socializing again? Is wearing a mask a part of our lives for the foreseeable future—and is it possible to persuade stubborn family members to wear one, too? Are short flights safer than long flights? And, are single people destined to remain dateless in the time of coronavirus? This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED science writers Megan Molteni and Adam Rogers come on the show to try to answer some of these pressing questions. The short answer, of course, is that there are no easy answers; each decision we make is now a complicated labyrinth of potential exposure, personal circumstances, risk tolerance, and macro concerns about public health. We’re here to help guide you through this crisis. Show Notes Read Adrienne So's story about the dilemma of sending your kids back to daycare here. Read all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here. Recommendations Megan recommends the book Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin. Adam recommends the movie Footlight Parade. Lauren recommends HBO’s Run. Megan Molteni is on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Adam Rogers is @jetjocko. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 12, 2020
Tech and the Police State
2120
Across the world, millions of people have gathered to protest police brutality and systemic racism after an officer in Minneapolis killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Amid the outpouring of grief and support, tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Reddit have issued statements backing protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement. But these same companies also provide platforms and services that prop up communities of hate and help law enforcement disproportionately track and convict people of color. This week on Gadget Lab, a conversation with WIRED senior writers Sidney Fussell and Lily Hay Newman about hypocrisy in tech, police surveillance, and how to safely exercise your right to protest. Show Notes:  Read Sidney’s story about tech companies’ relationships with law enforcement here. Read Lily and Andy Greenberg’s tips for how to protect yourself from surveillance while protesting here. Read Lauren Goode and Louryn Strampe’s story about what to bring and what to avoid at a demonstration here. Follow all of WIRED’s protest coverage here. Recommendations:  Sidney recommends the documentary LA 92 about the aftermath of the Rodney King killing. Lily recommends Mission Darkness Faraday bags from MOS Equipment. Lauren recommends this Google doc of anti-racism resources. Mike recommends donating to Campaign Zero and Grassroots Law Project. Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @sidneyfussell. Lily Hay Newman is @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this slink. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 05, 2020
Trump v. Twitter
2330
A political firestorm erupted this week when Twitter flagged two of President Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting, calling them potentially misleading, and amending them with some timid attempts at fact-checking. This action caused the President to lash out at the social media platform by signing an executive order demanding a legal review of the protections it enjoys under the Communications Decency Act. The order doesn’t just affect Twitter, but also Facebook, YouTube, and any platform that allows users to post their own content. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman joins us to talk about Twitter's foray into fact-checking, why it enraged the President, and what potential fallout we could see from the White House’s actions. We also discuss the November vote—the very topic Trump was tweeting about when this whole mess started. Show Notes:  Read about President Trump’s executive order targeting social media platforms here. Read Gilad’s stories about in-person voting and Twitter’s fact-checking efforts.  Recommendations:  Gilad recommends using a sleep mask and putting mayonnaise on your egg and cheese sandwiches. Mike recommends The Midnight Gospel on Netflix. Lauren recommends Bookshop.org. Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 29, 2020
Remote Desktop
2314
Silicon Valley loves its disruption. If any industry was prepared to handle the monumental changes brought on by the coronavirus, it’s big tech. Companies like Twitter and Facebook were some of the first to require their employees to work from home, even before official shelter-in-place orders went into effect. Now, they and others have extended their remote work policies to allow their employees to telecommute from home forever, even after the pandemic ends. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about the workplace goings-on in Silicon Valley. In the second half of the show, we discuss Clubhouse, the hot new social network keeping tech bigwigs connected. Show Notes:  Read Arielle’s stories about Clubhouse and how Silicon Valley is rethinking the home office. Read Sarah Frier’s story in Bloomberg about tech workers wanting to escape Silicon Valley’s high rents here. Read more about automatic espresso machines from WIRED reviews editor Jeffrey Van Camp here. Read more about Eat Your Books from Joe Ray here. Recommendations:  Arielle recommends the Gravity Blanket and Allbirds’ Dasher running shoes. Lauren recommends the Nespresso Creatista Plus. Mike recommends the online cookbook catalog Eat Your Books. Arielle can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 22, 2020
The Dark Secrets of a Hacking Hero
2063
In May of 2017, Marcus Hutchins saved the internet. A vicious ransomware attack known as WannaCry had infected computer systems across dozens of countries. It was the worst cyberattack in history at the time, and it seemed unstoppable. But Hutchins, a 23-year-old-hacker in Ilfracombe, England, discovered a secret kill switch that stopped the malware from propagating. Hutchins became a celebrity overnight, with the hacker community and the media hailing him as a hero. But all of the newfound attention was not good for him. Three months after defeating the malware, Marcus was arrested by the FBI—not for his involvement in WannaCry, but for a string of past illegal activities that he had kept secret. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg joins us to talk about Hutchins' remarkable story. In the second half of the show, Andy gives us an update on the efforts to set up a contact tracing system to monitor the spread of the coronavirus. Show Notes:  Read Andy’s cover story about the hacker who saved the internet here. His story about contact tracing in India is here. Also check out Andy’s book, Sandworm. Read more about the WannaCry ransomware attack here. Follow all of WIRED’s cybersecurity coverage here. Recommendations:  Andy recommends the book The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff. Lauren recommends NPR’s Planet Money podcast. Mike recommends The New York Times Magazine story “What Happened to Val Kilmer? He’s Just Starting to Figure It Out.” Andy Greenberg can be found on Twitter @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 15, 2020
On the Road Again
2010
While every economic sector in America has been upended by the coronavirus, few have been hit as hard as the transit and food service industries. It's not so easy to hop on a bus or train when there's a need for increased sanitation and social distancing. It’s equally as difficult to imagine sitting down in a cafe next to some strangers and ordering a nice salade niçoise as servers buzz around the dining room. As the country grows more desperate to return to something approaching normalcy, experiences like riding a bus, hailing an Uber, and dining out will soon look very different, with restaurant tables spilling into the roads, and the roads themselves closed to cars. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about how the coronavirus is poised to change the design of city life. Show Notes:  Read Aarian’s story about how cities are embracing outdoor spaces here. Catch up with Elon Musk’s Tesla tweetstorm here. Read more from WIRED about the state of transportation here. Follow all of our coronavirus coverage here. Recommendations:  Aaarian recommends buying subscriptions to some print magazines so you’re not just staring at a screen all the time. Lauren recommends Billions on Showtime. Mike recommends Questlove Quarantine Live From the Qibbutz on YouTube. Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 08, 2020
The Argument for Making End-of-Life Decisions Early
1919
Back in March, counter-culture icon and founder of the Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand made a statement on Twitter that surprised some people: He had decided, and had communicated to his wife and the rest of his family, that if he got sick from the coronavirus, he wanted to refuse invasive procedures, including being put on a ventilator. It sparked a conversation about medical freedom and what it takes to have a sense of agency over death. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy has a conversation with Brand and his wife Ryan Phelan about their decisions, and why it's important for people to have conversations about their medical wishes. Show Notes:  Read more from Steven Levy’s conversation with Stewart brand here. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here. Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Stewart Brand is @stewartbrand. Ryan Phelan is @Ryanphelan6. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 01, 2020
Open For Business
2321
Depending on where you live, the stores, parks, playgrounds, and offices in your area could be shut down for the rest of this summer. Or, they could all be open again right now. State governments have differing opinions on when the best time is to restart normal life (and the economy) even though public health experts are advising us all to continue to shelter in place until we’re equipped to test and care for every American who falls ill. This week on Gadget Lab, we ask WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers how we would go about safely reopening the country. Then, a conversation about how we’re all coping with the coronavirus. (Mostly booze, but some other things too.) Show Notes:  Read more from Adam about the White Houses’ plans for easing social distancing measures, and about how state alliances here. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here. Read all you’d ever want to know about alcohol in Adam’s book Proof: The Science of Booze. Recommendations:  Adam recommends the book Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers. Lauren recommends the show The Affair. Mike recommends the re-released Wim Wenders film Until the End of the World. Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 24, 2020
Will Contact Tracing Work?
1900
Even amid a global pandemic, the world of tech keeps on turning. Some companies have responded directly to the outbreak, offering up smartphone-based contact tracing and wearable solutions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But none of these options is perfect, and many of them raise ethical concerns about the information they ask for in return. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Sidney Fussell about Apple and Google's plans for contact tracing and whether anyone is going to buy a new iPhone right now. Show Notes:  Read Sidney and Will Knight’s story about contact tracing. Also read Andy Greenberg’s report on the strengths and weaknesses of the Google/Apple plan. Lauren’s story about wearables detecting COVID-19 is here, and her story about whether anyone is going to buy new smartphones is here. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here Recommendations:  Sidney recommends the show Devs on Hulu. Mike recommends the novel Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang. Lauren recommends Sandra Upson’s WIRED story “The Devastating Decline of a Brilliant Young Coder.” Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @sidneyfussell. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 17, 2020
The Race to Make a Vaccine
2117
Researchers around the world are toiling to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. But the creation of a working vaccine that can be safely distributed to a broad population requires a tremendous amount of rigor and caution, so the process is likely to take at least a year. WIRED staff writer Megan Molteni has covered the novel coronavirus outbreak since the virus was first identified in early January. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Megan about where our efforts to make a vaccine currently stand. We also discuss why it’s been so difficult to get Americans tested for the coronavirus. Show Notes:  Read more about the search for a coronavirus vaccine here. Read more about testing here. Also read Maryn McKenna on the potential dangers of rushing out a vaccine. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here. Recommendations:  Megan recommends Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen Talks” video series. Lauren recommends Medea Giordano’s story about nonprofits, charities, and other companies helping people in need during the pandemic. Mike recommends an episode of the Under the Scales podcast with writer Jesse Jarnow. Megan Molteni can be found on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 10, 2020
Supply Demand
2231
The coronavirus outbreak is accelerating in the United States. According to projections, the number of Covid-19 cases in the US is expected to peak around the middle of April. Meanwhile, medical practitioners at hospitals and other health facilities across the country face a shortage of life-saving medical equipment. Without enough ventilators, masks, and tests, the task of dealing with the coming surge in patients becomes significantly more challenging. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers comes on the show to talk about medical supply shortages, why there's so much conflicting information about whether people should wear masks, and how a global crisis changes the way we communicate. Show Notes:  Read Adam and Megan Molteni’s story about the math behind predicting the course of the coronavirus here. Read Lauren’s story about email etiquette during a pandemic here. Read Tom Simonite’s story about the shortage of masks here. Read Gregory Barber’s story about how hospitals are preparing to deal with equipment shortages here. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here. Recommendations:  Adam recommends the show Community. Mike recommends the Houseparty app (provided you hobble its data-collection abilities). Lauren recommends The Wire. Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 03, 2020
Pandemic Panic
1943
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to keep track of what's real and what's not. There is a constant deluge of news from across the world, some of it is based on false assumptions or panicky reactions that fail to put data or science into the proper context. This week on Gadget Lab, a conversation about all the misinformation swirling around the coronavirus pandemic. We talk with WIRED editor-in-chief Nick Thompson about how to parse the information coming out of the White House, whether ibuprofen is harmful to people sick with the virus, and the sometimes surprisingly helpful responses of social media platforms. Show Notes:  Read Maryn McKenna’s story about the controversy over ibuprofen here. Read more from Steven Levy about the possible end of the techlash here. Read Tristan Harris on how Silicon Valley could control the direction of the pandemic here.  Recommendations:  Nick recommends the Techne Futbol soccer training app and also The Naked Gun. Lauren recommends the Headspace meditation app. Mike recommends Bandcamp.com as a way to support your favorite music artists. Nick Thompson can be found on Twitter @nxthompson. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 27, 2020
The Generation Gap
1605
As the number of coronavirus-caused quarantines has spiked across the globe, people are being driven into isolation en masse. In some countries, social distancing measures have been helping, but they also come a little too late. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED science writer Matt Simon about why places like Italy have been hit so hard by the coronavirus and what it could predict as the outbreak ramps up in the U.S. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior writer Adrienne So about how parents can manage having their children locked at home with them after schools shut down. Show Notes:  Read Matt’s story about how hard the coronavirus has hit Italy here. Read Adrienne’s story about how to entertain young children during a quarantine here. Learn about all the new, new dinosaurs at Curiosity Stream here. Recommendations:  Adrienne recommends Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Mike recommends the new podcast Rivals. Lauren recommends the 18-piece Pyrex Simply Store set for saving all your WFH lunches. Matt Simon can be found on Twitter @mrMattSimon. Adrienne So is @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 20, 2020
Socially Distanced
2373
As COVID-19 sweeps across the world, it has prompted thousands of people to isolate themselves to avoid spreading the virus. This week on Gadget Lab, we look at what happens when schools and universities close, conferences get canceled, and employees are told to work from home en masse. Then, we talk with WIRED digital director Brian Barrett, a longtime remote worker himself, about how to handle prolonged isolation without going completely bonkers. Show Notes:  Read Brian Barrett’s tips for working from home without losing your mind here. Read Lauren’s story about how universities are handling the virus here. Read more about the rise of virtual conferencing here. Read Arielle Pardes’ story about the ethics of ordering food during a pandemic here. Recommendations:  Lauren recommends the episode of Reply All called “The Case of the Missing Hit.” Mike also recommends a podcast: the Twenty Thousand Hertz episode, “Satanic panic”. Brian recommends just staying home, for god sakes. Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 13, 2020
Is Facebook Forever?
2562
Facebook started in 2004 as a simple network for connecting students at Harvard University. At the time, nobody could have predicted that it would grow to become the largest social network in the world, with 2.5 billion monthly active users, or that it would wield such tremendous influence over our lives, our politics, and our concept of free speech on the web. The progression of events between the Facebook of then and the Facebook of today is cataloged with great detail in Steven Levy’s new book, Facebook: The Inside Story. It’s the product of four years of reporting, including a series of exclusive interviews with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. Levy, an editor-at-large at WIRED, joins the show this week to talk about Facebook’s past, present, and future. Show Notes:  Read an excerpt from Steven Levy’s book here. Recommendations:  Steven recommends Scrivener. Lauren recommends Peloton. Mike recommends the NYT Cooking app, which is now available on Android. Steven Levy is on Twitter @StevenLevy Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 06, 2020
There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
2158
This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer and former show host Arielle Pardes drops by to talk about how Silicon Valley has ruined work culture. Then WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman comes on for a conversation about cybersecurity, encryption, and the hacker’s mom who infiltrated a prison. Show Notes:  Read Arielle’s story about work culture here. Read Lily’s story about how a hacker’s mom broke into a prison here. All of WIRED’s cybersecurity coverage can be found here. Recommendations:  Lily recommends Dangerzone, an application made by Micah Lee that takes PDFs you receive and basically scrubs them to make sure they’re clean before re-saving a safe version. Lauren recommends the book Whistleblower by Susan Fowler. Mike recommends Acid for the Children, a memoir by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. Lily Hay Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Feb 28, 2020
The Anti-Bias Bot
2233
Many companies say they want to diversify their workforce. Far fewer have actually succeeded in doing so, even if they're earnestly trying. And one of the first hurdles can come before any candidates have even been interviewed: The language used in recruiting emails or job postings is often full of unconscious biases—phrases like "gentlemen's agreement" or even "ninja" can deter women or people of color from even applying in the first place.  But how do we check our unconscious biases when, by definition, we don't know what they are? A Seattle startup called Textio says it’s using machine learning to help eliminate those biases in real time, by literally changing the writing of hiring managers who are composing the job postings.  This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Lauren Goode talks with Textio CEO Kieran Snyder about the way the software works, how tracking language patterns over time can reveal deep insights about how we see the world, and how this kind of “augmented writing” software could eventually be used in applications beyond job postings.  Show Notes:  Read more about Textio here. Check out other conversations from WIRED25 here. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Feb 21, 2020
Smartphone Launch Events Are Silly
1992
On Tuesday of this week Samsung held its annual Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco. It did what most tech companies set out to do when they host a big event: Announce shiny new products (Galaxy S20! Another folding phone! Some earbuds!) and get customers stoked for features like "sub-6 5G compatibility" and "Space Zoom." It was the kind of product launch that has become standard over the years for big tech companies. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu and WIRED contributor Boone Ashworth join co-host Lauren Goode to chat about all things Samsung and more. We dish all about the new products the company announced, but then we dig deeper to talk about how those products fit into the broader smartphone market. Does anyone really need to spend $1000 on a phone, in the era of the Pretty Darn Good Mid-Range Phone? And are these kinds of events even necessary when so much info about the products is leaked in advance? [#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482) Show Notes:  Read all about Samsung's big launch event here. Read Lauren’s hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Z Flip here. Check out Julian’s first look at the Galaxy S20 line here, and read his review of the Motorola Razr here. Read Shira Ovide’s story in Bloomberg about tech events here. And please watch this delightful clip of Michael Bay speaking at a Samsung event. Recommendations:  Lauren recommends this episode of The Daily podcast, about Clearview AI. Julian recommends the Pixelbook Go as a lightweight replacement for the 16-inch MacBook Pro he’s been carrying around. Boone recommends The Circle, a reality series on Netflix.  Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Feb 14, 2020
The Virus and the Vote
1794
This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about the app that derailed the Iowa caucus—and what it means for elections to come. Then, a conversation with WIRED staff writer Megan Molteni about how the spread of the coronavirus is claiming lives, disrupting the economy, and creating chaos in the global supply chain. [#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482) Show Notes:  Read more about what the hell happened with the Iowa caucus here. Follow WIRED’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus here. Read more of Megan Molteni’s coverage here, and find Brian Barrett’s work here. Recommendations:  Megan recommends season 2 of Sex Education on Netflix. Brian recommends The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury. Lauren recommends season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. Mike recommends the podcast Freak Flag Flying. Megan Molteni can be found on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Feb 07, 2020
Everything Old Is New Again
1838
It doesn’t take much to make people nostalgic anymore. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, folks get whimsical for even their clunky cell phones from 2005, or a defunct video service from just four years ago. Nostalgia sells—especially when you imbue a familiar screen with a bleeding-edge, high-tech foldable display. Companies are building devices meant to make you feel like you’re bounding into the future, while still invoking those good ol’ days. But does sentimentality make for a good product? Or is this all just marketing bluster? This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis about Byte, the reboot of the six-second video service Vine. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu about the new Motorola Razr (but with a folding screen!). [#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482) Show Notes:  Read Louise's story about Byte here. Read more about the folding Razr here. Read Brian Barrett’s story about why you should wait for glass in foldable devices here. Recommendations:  Julian recommends the show Giri / Haji on Netflix. Lauren recommends following Megan Molteni’s coverage of the coronavirus. Mike recommends the Foodsaver space saving vacuum sealer. Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Jan 31, 2020
Open Wide for Mouth Tech
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There's money in your mouth. Figuratively speaking (we hope). A growing number of startups and full-fledged companies are looking to bring their smart technology into your mouth. A toothbrush that uses AI to monitor your brushing, dental floss as a subscription service, wearables for teeth—oral hygiene is a booming business for tech companies, who see dollar signs every time you flash your pearly whites. But who does this actually help? Do we really need to spend $200 on a high-powered toothbrush toothbrush? Meanwhile, as if coming along to undo all that cleaning, a computational chemist has finally worked out the formula for the perfect espresso. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers about the latest in mouth tech and how to brew coffee with math. Show Notes:  Read Adam’s story about the science behind espresso here. Read Luaren’s story about mouth tech here. For more coffee tips, check out our favorite portable coffee makers and our best latte and espresso machines. Recommendations:  Adam recommends Star Trek: Picard. Lauren recommends Little Women. Mike recommends buying and selling tickets on Cash or Trade. Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Jan 24, 2020
One Wheel, Zero Buttons
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There’s an old joke about Steve Jobs, that he never wore a suit because he hated buttons. There’s some truth to that old trope about designers always trying to refine their creations to their absolute core. Minimize the clutter, clear the mind, purify the experience. That’s what consumer electronics manufacturers are still doing, and we explore this trend by pointing at two recent developments in our world: new smartphone designs totally devoid of buttons, and the rising numbers of one-wheeled vehicles on the streets and bike lanes designed for two- and four-wheelers. This week on Gadget Lab, we first talk with show producer Boone Ashworth about why people are obsessed with single-wheeled devices. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu about the coming wave of buttonless phones. Show Notes:  Read Boone’s story about single-wheelers. Also read Julian on the buttonless smartphone trend. Go back to the 2018 scooterocalypse with Alex Davies’ story about the streets of San Francisco. Recommendations:  Julian recommends SwitchPod. Boone recommends I’m Sorry on truTV. Mike recommends the Muji 2020 Monthly Weekly Planner. Lauren recommends the latest episode of the Scriptnotes podcast with guest Greta Gerwig. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Julian is @JulianChokkattu. Boone is @BooneAshworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Jan 17, 2020
Best of CES
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CES, the all-consuming tech trade show, took over Las Vegas this week. Convention halls and hotels were jam packed with shiny gizmos, bleeding-edge technology, and dazzling devices. Of course, our intrepid Gadget Lab reporters were there in the midst of it all. This week on the show, Mike and Lauren talk with WIRED digital director Brian Barrett at CES. They'll guide you through the glitzy extravaganza, from folding laptops to high-tech sex toys, and highlight the most important trends that may be soon find their way inside a gadget near you. Show Notes:  Check out our roundup of the best of CES here. Read more about the introduction of sex toys at CES here. Read more about Lenovo’s folding laptop here. Be sure to follow all of our CES coverage to check out all the cool stuff we didn’t get to talk about. Recommendations:  After spending a week in a hotel room at the convention in Las Vegas, the crew shares their favorite tips for business travel. Lauren recommends carrying a Swell bottle and saving cocktail hour until the end of the trip. Brian recommends dissolving Nuun tabs in your water. Mike recommends investing in an Aeropress Go and a collapsible travel kettle. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Jan 10, 2020
Sex Toys and Toothbrushes
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Next week, we’ll bound for the largest consumer electronics showcase of the season. CES starts on January 7 in Las Vegas, and we’ll be heading into the fray to touch, swipe, drive, cuddle, ride, and otherwise experience all of the latest gadgets the consumer tech industry wants to put in front of our eager eyeballs. On this week’s show, Michael Calore, Lauren Goode, and special guest Tom Simonite run through all the trends we expect to see at CES, from the practical (5G, smartphone tech, autonomous driving features) to the ludicrous (flying cars, AI refrigerators, internet-connected vibrators). Show Notes Read more about folding screens. Qualcomm’s 5G announcements came early this year. Read up on Honda’s augmented driving initiative. Mashable on the overabundance of men as CES 2019 keynote speakers, and the Verge report about 2018. Follow all of our CES coverage. Recommendations Tom recommends shopping offline whenever you can, especially for things like shoes. Lauren recommends The Morning Show on Apple TV+. Mike recommends the Oxo Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Tom Simonite is @TSimonite. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Jan 03, 2020
Our Favorite Stuff from 2019, Plus Our 2020 Predictions
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2019 was a tumultuous time for technology. While product engineers created hybrid franken-gadgets and software companies turned nearly everything into a subscription service, we also grappled with the increasingly chaotic ripple effects of social media and the realization that there are people listening to our private home recordings. (Not to mention Elon Musk's new murdertruck.) On this episode of Gadget Lab, we're going to try to make sense of it all. We talk about the most important product developments of 2019 and look ahead to predict the trends that will matter in 2020. Show Notes:  Read Lauren’s review of the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Speakers here. Read the story about the making of the California Consumer Privacy Act in the New York Times. Read more about this year’s wild phone design choices here. Recommendations:  Lauren recommends the iPad Pro. Mike recommends the Google Pixel 3a. Arielle recommends getting an Amazon Kindle. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Dec 20, 2019
The Case for Cassava
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The cassava plant is one of the most important food sources in the world. In Africa, it sustains 500 million people and provides a stable income for farmers. The crop is also susceptible to viruses transmitted by the common pest known as the whitefly, which can devastate farms. Biologist Laura Boykin has found a way to stop the spread of these diseases. Boykin founded the Cassava Virus Action Project, where she and other scientists use a pocket-sized device called a MinION to sequence the DNA of cassava strains and help farmers select plants that are resistant to the local pathogens. On this episode of Gadget Lab, a conversation with Boykin about her work, the power of direct action, and the possibilities afforded by the technology we have today. The show was recorded with a live audience at the recent WIRED25 conference in San Francisco. Show Notes:  Read more about the efforts of Boykin and her fellow scientists at the Cassava Virus Action Project website. Also learn more about Boykin and all of 2019’s WIRED 25 honorees. Recommendations:  Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Dec 13, 2019
Going Places
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In May, Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer run by billionaire Elon Musk, filed a patent to put lasers on its cars. While this might sound like a step toward some kind of James Bond-mobile, the intent is actually to use the lasers to clean dirt and grime from windshields and the lenses of cameras used for self-driving features. It’s a high-tech ambition that hints at Tesla’s larger goals. The news also came the same week that Elon Musk takes the stand in a trial where he’s accused of defaming a British diver last year. It’s a tumultuous time for Tesla and Musk both. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED transportation writer Alex Davies comes on the show to chat about Tesla's latest automotive machinations and what they mean for the company. (Of course we also talk about the Cybertruck.) Then the gang shares their best travel tips, just in time for the holidays. Show Notes:  Read more about Tesla’s laser-Windex here. You can also keep up with Musk’s notorious "Pedo guy" trial and all the latest Tesla news here. Find more of our travel news and advice here and check out our Gadget Lab team's favorite gear to accompany you on your trip. Recommendations: Alex recommends How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. (Also you should preorder Alex’s book Driven: The Race to Create the Autonomous Car.) Mike recommends The War on Cars podcast, in particular the episode with legal scholar Sarah Seo about how private car ownership has created an “automotive police state.” Arielle recommends the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Alex Davies can be found on Twitter @adavies47. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Dec 06, 2019
Life After Facebook
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Former Facebook bigwig Chris Cox has been busy. In March, Cox left his position as chief product officer of the social media giant, where he had overseen Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Since then, he’s taken on advising roles with an environmental data company and a political firm gearing up for a 2020 marketing campaign. He’s also gotten a lot more partisan in the process. On this episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, a conversation with Cox about his post-Facebook activities, the merits of encryption, and how big tech companies affect climate change. Show Notes:  Read more about Lauren’s talk with Cox here, and follow all the news about Facebook here. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
Nov 22, 2019
Finally, We Can ‘Like’ Apple’s Keyboards Again
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Tech companies say they want to serve their customers, but sometimes they’re curiously resistant to fixing problems with their products. Their solutions can be alternately welcome, or divisive. Last week, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that the company would soon start testing a feature to hide likes on its platform. The limitation is meant to both decrease social pressures and to curb bullying, and maybe at the very least it will make us all a little less narcissistic on the internet. So far, Instagram users have regarded the move as controversial. Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Apple has been putting the same type of keyboard on its MacBooks for the past four years. There’s a problem, though: it’s awful. The so-called “butterfly switch” keys often got stuck or just stopped working entirely. But, at last, there is a solution! All you have to do is buy a brand new $2,400 MacBook Pro. This week on the Gadget Lab, we talk about these recent changes in consumer tech and what they mean for the people who use the products. Show Notes:  Read Adrienne So’s story about how Instagram is testing hiding likes here, and watch Arielle’s full conversation with Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri here. Read Julian Chokkattu’s story about the new Macbook here. Read Sara Harrison’s story about how you probably need more sleep here. Recommendations:  Lauren recommends the book How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell. Mike recommends the One Eleven SWII solar watch made of planet-friendly materials. Arielle recommends the cover story of the December issue of The Atlantic called “How America Ends.” Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed. https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
Nov 15, 2019
When Big Tech Buys Your Darlings
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Given all the criticism, mistrust, and investigations that have been levied at Facebook in the past couple years, one might think that they would do their best to lie low for a while. Instead, Facebook has decided to rebrand to be as prominent as possible across the various apps it owns. In a similar flex of brand might, Google recently bought health tracking company Fitbit, in a bid to expand its reach into wearable tech. But what happens to the customers of these smaller companies when their overlords tighten the reins? Is it just marketing, or does the fundamental experience change? On this week's episode of the Gadget Lab, a conversation about how Big Tech is taking over disparate products and what that means for the people who use them. Show Notes:  Read Arielle’s story about the rebranding of Facebook (sorry: F A C E B O O K) here. Read Louise Matsakis’s story about Google’s acquisition of Fitbit here, and check out Lauren’s story about what it all means for the future of wearables here. Listen to the full Marketplace episode with Fitbit CEO James Park here. Recommendations:  Lauren recommends an interview with Edward Snowden on the Recode Decode podcast. Mike recommends The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. Arielle recommends Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme music is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed. https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
Nov 08, 2019
Deep Listening
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The way we listen to audio has evolved with technology. Headphones, once bulky skull-huggers that kept us plugged into a device, are going increasingly wireless. The simplicity makes it easy to wear your AirPods for hours at a time, and with the noise-canceling feature of the newly released Pro model, you can block out even more of the outside world. Inside our homes, smart assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant sit ready and waiting to listen and record snippets of our lives, even when we don't want them to. On this week's episode of The Gadget Lab, Mike, Lauren, and Arielle take a look at the ways we use tech to listen, and how our tech listens to us. Show Notes:  You can read Lauren’s story about the new AirPods Pro here. Read Lily Hay Newman’s story about how to keep your smart assistant voice recordings private here. Recommendations:  Mike recommends the Los Angeles Times podcast This is California: The Battle of 187. Lauren recommends NPR's Up First podcast. Arielle recommends the wild tale of an Airbnb scam ring from VICE’s Allie Conti. Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Ask Parker Hall all about the AirPods Pro @pwhall. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Nov 01, 2019
YouTube Creators Want More From YouTube
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Without video creators, YouTube wouldn’t be one of the world’s biggest social platforms. Without the platform, YouTubers wouldn’t be, well, YouTubers. But video creators are regularly facing new policy changes from YouTube that could impact their ability to make money from their work — and it’s not always clear what these changes are, or why YouTube is making them.  Now, as part of a push for fair treatment, YouTubes are looking to collective action. And the effort is being led, in part, by an unlikely characters: A creator in Germany who makes high-powered slingshots for his audience of 2.3 million people. This week on the Gadget Lab podcast, we talk with WIRED staff writer Emma Grey Ellis about what YouTubers hope to get out of their unionization efforts, and what the movement means for the video giant. Also in the news: Mark Zuckerberg gets grilled by the House Financial Services Committee about Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency...only, the hearing was about much more than just Libra.  Show Notes:  Read Emma’s story about the YouTubers union here. And here’s Steven Levy’s story about the Libra hearing in Washington D.C. Read Lauren's review of the Samsung Galaxy Fold here. Recommendations:  Emma recommends the science and comedy podcast Ologies with Alie Ward. Mike recommends the book I Like to Watch by Emily Nussbaum. Lauren recommends the book Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. Arielle recommends Google’s experimental Digital Wellbeing features, like the one that batches your notifications for you.   Emma Grey Ellis is on Twitter @EmmaGreyEllis. Lauren Goode can be found @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how: If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed. https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
Oct 25, 2019
Facial Recognition Tech Is Coming to a School Near You
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Despite a lack of evidence that more technology makes kids safer, facial recognition technology may soon be coming to a school near you. It’s part of a growing trend of increased surveillance and security in schools, and a WIRED story this week examined the delicate ethics of this technology. On the one hand, proponents say that the technology could help school staffers open gates for parents or staff, watch for persons of interest, ensure a child is leaving school with a guardian, and even deter school shootings. Parents protesting it, though, say they see it as a sign of creeping authoritarianism.  On this week’s podcast, WIRED Editor in Chief Nick Thompson joins the show from New York to discuss this story with Gadget Lab co-host Lauren Goode. They also chat about Google’s new Pixel 4 smartphone (why is Google making its own smartphone, anyway?) and the surprising speech about freedom of speech that Mark Zuckerberg made on Thursday.  Show Notes:  You can read about Zuckerberg’s freedom-of-speech speech here. Learn all of the details of the new Google Pixel 4 phone here (and stay tuned for our full review next week). Read Tom Simonite and Greg Barber’s story on facial recognition technology in schools here.  Recommendations:  Nick Thompson recommends this Spotify playlist compiled by WIRED Senior Writer Jason Parham. It’s everything you need to power through the fall season. Lauren Goode recommends the This Week In Nope podcast, hosted by Rachel Dodes and Brian Hecht, who dissect the news of the week and assign “Nopes” and “Yups” to the bad and good.  Nick Thompson can be found at @nxthompson. Lauren Goode can be found at @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Boone Ashworth, who edited the show, can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Oct 18, 2019
It's Time to Put Down Your Phone
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How long have you gone without checking your phone in the past week? 10, 15, maybe 20 minutes while you’re awake? Our screens have commandeered our eyeballs and taken hold of our lives. Our phones buzz constantly with notifications, even when we intentionally move them off the dinner table, away from our bedsides, and out of sight.
Ten years ago, before smartphones had even become mainstream, filmmaker Tiffany Shlain felt like something was askew in her life—and believed that technology had something to do with it. So she and her family instituted a “Tech Shabbat,” one day a week where they refused to use any form of modern technology. It involved installing landlines, printing out maps, and actually looking one another in the eye during conversations, but a decade later Shlain has determined that the benefits of consciously disconnecting outweigh the short-term sense of accomplishment we get from being on our phones.
Shlain joins this week’s Gadget Lab podcast to talk about her evolving relationship with technology, and the process of stepping away from film to write a full-length book.
Show Notes: You can find out more about Tiffany Shlain’s book here. You can read Peter’s exclusive story about the PlayStation 5 console here. Lily Newman’s story about Twitter’s usage of your phone number for ad targeting is here.  And for fun, you should read Boone Ashworth’s story about the big lure of tiny keyboards.
Recommendations: Peter recommends Marvel Puzzle Quest, a mobile game that’s also available on PCs. Arielle recommends Fleishman Is In Trouble, a novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Lauren recommends the Ask Molly newsletter, written by Heather Havrilesky, who is also the author of Ask Polly.
Lauren Goode can be found at @LaurenGoode. Tiffany Shlain is @tiffanyshlain. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Boone Ashworth, who edited the show, can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.






Oct 11, 2019
Panos Panay Says Microsoft’s New Phone Isn’t a Phone
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Microsoft surprised just about everyone this week by showing off a pair of new mobile devices with two screens apiece. The pocketable Surface Duo and the tablet-like Surface Neo won't actually go on sale for at least one year, but Microsoft trotted the devices out anyway to signal how it's positioning its future in the mobile landscape.
The company’s hardware chief, Panos Panay, joins us on the show this week to talk about the Duo and Neo, and what they say about productivity in the mobile age. Also, Panay urges us not to call the Android-powered Duo a phone … even though it makes phone calls.
Also, news from Facebook, a new app from Instagram, and some not-self-driving car news from Tesla.
Show Notes: Read Lauren Goode on the dual-screen Surface devices, and everything else new in the Surface lineup. Facebook’s leaked audio is here. Aarian Marshall tells us about Tesla’s Smart Summon. Arielle Pardes tells us about Instagram Threads.

Recommendations: Arielle recommends Stoic Week. Mike recommends the Open Ears Project. Lauren recommends catching up on HBO’s Succession, as well as this Outside podcast episode, titled “Getting Past Our Fear of Great White Sharks”.
Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Boone Ashworth, who helps produce the show, is @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.


Oct 04, 2019
Spot, the Robot Dog, Learns New Tricks
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For 25 years, Boston Dynamics has been building robots and releasing videos of the terrifying things running around, opening doors, and fending off stick-wielding humans. The company’s most famous creation is a four-legged, canine-esque robot called Spot. Now, for the first time, the company is unleashing Spot out into the world. Aimed at workplaces like construction sites, select customers will be able to lease one of the signature robots and get it to do their bidding.
On this week’s episode of Gadget Lab, Mike and Arielle talk with WIRED science writer Matt Simon about his trip to Boston Dynamics, what it was like controlling Spot, and what robots like it mean for the future (and/or doom) of humanity.
Also in the news: Amazon announces Echo wearables, and the FDA officially says that e-cigarettes are not safe.
Show Notes:
Read Matt Simon’s story about Spot the robot here. Read more about Amazon’s new Alexa glasses here and catch up on all of WIRED’s Amazon coverage here. Read more about the FDA’s stance on e-cigarettes here.
Recommendations:
Matt recommends Townsends, an 18th century-themed cooking channel on YouTube. Mike recommends the show Undone on Amazon Prime Video. Arielle recommends YouTuber Big Marvel and his rubber chicken cover of Toto’s “Africa.” (Yes, really.)
Follow Matt Simon on Twitter @mrmattsimon. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

Sep 27, 2019
Your DNA Belongs on the Blockchain
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You may not realize it, but when you send a spit-filled tube off to a lab that’s going to analyze your DNA, you’re linking the most unique identifier possible (your gene sequence) to other sensitive personal information, like your name, home address, and credit card number. How can you know that the DNA lab will properly decouple your genetic data from your personal information? Well, you just have to trust them.
Obviously, that arrangement isn’t ideal, which is why a new startup called Nebula is using robust digital privacy protocols—encrypted email, VPNs, and blockchain technology—to guard its customers’ information. WIRED reporter Megan Molteni joins us this week to talk about genetic sequencing, how personal data is handled, and what this startup is doing to change the best practices within the industry.
Also, there’s a new Facebook Portal in the world, Amazon is cracking down on shady shopping apps, and we’ll tell you why you should wait to upgrade to iOS 13.
Show Notes: Read Megan’s story about Nebula’s use of blockchain technology here. Tom Simonite tells us about the new Facebook Portal. Lauren Goode on iOS 13’s many bugs. Louise Matsakis on Amazon’s app crackdown.
Recommendations: Lauren recommends the new Netflix series Unbelievable. Megan recommends the true-crime podcast In the Dark. Mike recommends the meta-interview show Everything Is Alive. Arielle recommends the book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.
Follow Megan Molteni on Twitter @meganmolteni. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.




Sep 20, 2019
iPhones to the Max
2022
New iPhones! A shinier Apple Watch! So many camera lenses! On this week’s episode of Gadget Lab, it’s Apple week yet again. Lauren, Mike, and Arielle discuss all the new devices and services that made a splash in Cupertino. Also, they delve into the state of Apple events as a whole, and whether all the onstage excitement is a little removed from what’s happening in the rest of the world.
In other news, California prepares to pass a law that would force ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees (and offer them a minimum wage, health benefits, and other worker protections). Also, social media companies experiment with removing the “likes” feature from their platforms, and nearly 300 email scammers are arrested in the biggest takedown of digital criminals ever.
Show NotesRead about the new iPhones, Apple Watch, or follow all of WIRED’s Apple coverage here. Read Aarian Marshall’s story about Uber’s battle over its drivers here. Read Paris Martineau’s story about social media demetrication here. Read Lily Hay Newman’s story about email scammers here.
Recommendations Arielle recommends the book Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. Lauren recommends that if you're in San Francisco, go see the art exhibit Pearl Jam: Live in Two Dimensions at the Haight Street Art Center. Michael recommends the podcast Lost Notes.
Follow Michael Calore on Twitter at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.



Sep 13, 2019
How Uber Went Down in Flames
3052
Once upon a time, there was a true unicorn, a startup named Uber. Led by CEO Travis Kalanick, the company broke all the rules of business and truly disrupted the way people move through the world. But with a meteoric rise comes a steep fall. As it turns out, an inherently unstable business model and an even more unstable leader do not bode well for long term success.
On this episode of the Gadget Lab, we are Super Pumped to talk New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac about his explosive new book (it’s called Super Pumped) that chronicles the tumultuous rise and fall of Uber and the man who ran it.
Also in tech news, Sonos unveils its first Bluetooth speaker, and Facebook introduces a new dating service. (What could go wrong?)
Show Notes:
Learn more about Mike Isaac’s Super Pumped here, and read WIRED’s review here. Read Lauren’s first look at the Sonos Move here. Read more from Louise Matsakis about Facebook dating here.
Recommendations: Michael recommends Thomas Campbell’s skateboarding film Ye Olde Destruction. Lauren recommends Bay Curious podcast and Lana Del Rey’s new album Norman Fucking Rockwell!
You can follow Mike Isaac on Twitter at @MikeIsaac. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.



Sep 06, 2019
Why It’s So Hard to Unlink Yourself From Facebook
2421
If you have both an Instagram and Facebook account, chances are they are connected, whether you like it or not. But what if you didn’t connect them in the first place, or if you have a Finstagram account that you really don’t want linked back to your main? Too bad, because once Facebook has enough data on you to sync your accounts together, it’s never letting go. (Yeah, that “unlink account” button? It doesn’t actually work.) This week, WIRED staff writer Paris Martineau joins the show to talk about how Facebook has tightened its grip on Instagram and the other apps it has dominion over.
Also in the news: Apple revises its stance on having humans listen to your Siri queries, a former Google and Uber engineer goes to court after he was accused of stealing trade secrets, and Amazon defends its practice of heavily promoting its own products over those sold by other retailers on the site.
Show Notes:
Read Paris’ story about unlinking Facebook and Instagram accounts here. Read stories about Anthony Levandowski’s legal troubles from Aarian Marshall and Alex Davies here and here. Read Jay Greene’s story about Amazon’s self-marketing tactics at the Washington Post here.
Paris Martineau is on Twitter at @parismartineau. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Recommendations:
Paris recommends the Bear Notes app for iOS and MacOS. Lauren recommends the movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco, available on demand. Arielle recommends the Chrome browser extension Safe Book. Michael recommends the show The Green Frontier on Netflix.


Aug 30, 2019
You’ve Got Microplastics
2639
Plastic is everywhere. No, really, it is everywhere. Tiny bits of plastic waste, called microplastic, have come to permeate nearly every part of the planet. We drink it in our water. We breathe it in the air. It is inescapable. On this episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED science writer Matt Simon joins Mike, Lauren, and Arielle to talk about where microplastic comes from, how it gets into our bodies, and what, if anything, we can do about it.
Also in the news: Reddit gets into the livestreaming game, the latest version of Android’s operating system gets a healthy name change, and reviews are in on Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10+. The consensus is that it’s pretty darn cool.
Show Notes:
Matt Simon’s story on microplastics is here. Read Arielle’s story about Reddit’s livestreaming experiment here. Read Lauren’s review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ here. Read more about Android’s new naming conventions here.
Recommendations:
Matt recommends a series of books about wildfires by Stephen Pyne. Lauren recommends an episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast featuring journalist Kara Swisher. Arielle recommends the podcast Carrier. Mike recommends the book How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan.


Aug 23, 2019
How Google’s Secrecy Lead to Company Turmoil
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For years, Google has flourished in large part because of its famously open internal structure. Leadership encouraged active and vocal communication between employees who held strong opinions or dissented with the company’s decisions. But over the past three years, that free-thinking atmosphere has become the breeding ground for deep divisions among Google’s workforce. Executive secrecy about controversial Google projects and a lack of unity on how to address charged political issues has steadily torn Google apart from the inside.
On this week’s episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Lauren and Arielle talk with WIRED senior writer Nitasha Tiku to discuss her cover story about Google’s three years of misery. Also in the news: WeWork files to go public and Apple responds to the controversy surrounding its batteries and right to repair.
Show Notes:
You can find Nitasha’s cover story here. Lauren’s story about iPhone battery swaps is here. And this is a good read on WeWork’s ambitions to “elevate the world’s consciousness.”
Recommendations:
Nitasha recommends “A Little Bit Alexis,” a song performed on season 5 of the TV show Schitt’s Creek. Arielle recommends a podcast called “The Anthropocene Reviewed” with John Green. Lauren recommends diving into season 3 of GLOW, which just became available on Netflix. 
How to ListenYou can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:
If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
We're also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it's released. If you still can't figure it out, or there's another platform you use that we're not on, let us know.
Aug 16, 2019
Amazon's Quest for World Domination
2408
Amazon didn’t become the behemoth it is by accident. Its services, like Amazon Prime, and products, like the Echo smart speaker, were designed to learn everything about you and become essential fixtures in your daily routine. But the convenience that Amazon offers often comes at the expense of privacy. On this week’s episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Lauren sits down with Jason Del Ray, host of Recode’s new podcast *Land of the Giants* to talk about how Amazon came to rule the retail landscape and become an integral part of our lives.

Also in the news, Apple is now taking applications for its new credit card, and Samsung unveils its new Galaxy phones.

**Show Notes:**

You can find Jason Del Rey’s podcast *Land of the Giants* [here](https://podcasts.voxmedia.com/show/land-of-the-giants). Read Arielle’s story about the new Apple card [here](https://www.wired.com/story/apple-card-now-available/). Read more from Lauren about Samsung’s latest phone announcements [here](https://www.wired.com/story/samsung-galaxy-note10-and-note10-plus/).

**Recommendations:**

Mike recommends reading “[The Weird, Dark History of 8chan](https://www.wired.com/story/the-weird-dark-history-8chan/)” by Timothy McLaughlin. Arielle recommends [*Dead to Me*](https://www.netflix.com/title/80219707) on Netflix.

**How to Listen**  
You can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:

If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just [tap this link](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gadget-lab-podcast/id266391367?mt=2). You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by [tapping here](https://play.google.com/music/m/Iec5bnjozxz7wpye5n4m32mgsuu?t=The_Gadget_Lab_Podcast). We’re on [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/11hUjoJv4FxFnw9r0mHIsC?si=a252nTYbQvi47_kimwWwsA) too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, [here's the RSS feed](https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab).  
[https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab](https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab)

We're also [on Soundcloud](https://soundcloud.com/wired), and every episode gets [posted to wired.com](https://www.wired.com/tag/gadget-lab-podcasts) as soon as it's released. If you still can't figure it out, or there's another platform you use that we're not on, [let us know](mailto:radio@wired.com).
Aug 09, 2019
Bumps in the Road to Our Robo-Car Future
2528
From fledgling startups to automotive giants like General Motors, there’s a whole lot of companies looking to develop fully self-driving cars. But that goal is still a long way from reality. The world is a messy, unpredictable place, and it turns out that robots aren’t that great at handling the array of variables that come up when trying to move around in it.
This week on the Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED transportation writer Alex Davies joins Mike, Arielle, and Lauren to talk about why it’s so difficult to program a fully autonomous vehicle, and how the companies making them have adjusted to the challenge.
Show Notes:
Read more from Alex Davies on GM’s robo-taxis, the startup developing self-driving vans for Walmart, and bike lane-bound autonomous delivery vehicles. Arielle has more on the Google Pixel 4’s gesture controls here. Lauren details Intel’s new processor line here. Read more from Lily Hay Newman about the Capital One security breach and the hacker who didn’t cover her tracks here.
Recommendations:
For all the baseball fans out there, Alex recommends MLB TV. Mike recommends letting a robotic-exoskeleton make you dance as part of the art project Inferno. Lauren recommends Workin’ Moms on Netflix. Arielle recommends Huji, the app that turns your phone into a disposable camera.


Aug 02, 2019
Why New York’s Revenge Porn Law Is Flawed
2643
This week, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill criminalizing the spread of nonconsensual pornography, or revenge porn. WIRED’s Emma Grey Ellis joins Mike and Lauren to talk about what the law does, and what it still fails to address.
Also in the news, Samsung says that it has finally—finally!—fixed the problems with its Galaxy Fold smartphone, and the FTC wants to change the way Facebook manages privacy.

Show Notes:
Read Emma’s story about New York’s revenge porn law here. Read Lauren’s story about the Samsung Galaxy Fold here. Read more about the FTC’s beef with Facebook here.

Recommendations:
Mike recommends City on the Hill on Showtime. Lauren recommends Ikea Symfonish bookshelf speaker for $99. Emma recommends watching Jenna Marbles on YouTube.
Jul 26, 2019
Twitter’s Redesign Is Impressive. Is It Enough?
3099
On Monday, Twitter began rolling out its first desktop redesign in seven years. It was a mostly aesthetic makeover, with changes like a new layout, dark mode, and a more prominent search bar. As with anything Twitter, the reaction has been polarizing, with many users criticizing the platform for not doing enough to address its major problems. Today on the Gadget Lab podcast, Arielle, Mike, and Lauren discuss the changes Twitter has made, and how the company continues to grapple with its ongoing existential crisis.
Also in the news: The latest eruption of FaceApp paranoia and the nuances of Amazon’s Prime Day. Oh, and Elon Musk wants to drill a computer into your brain.
Show Notes:
Read Arielle’s story about the Twitter redesign here. Read Brian Barrett’s story about FaceApp here. Read Adam Rogers’s story about Elon’s latest sc-fi machinations here. Read about Amazon’s labor woes here, or follow WIRED’s coverage of Amazon here.
Recommendations:
Arielle recommends staying on top of the latest online hullabaloo by going to Reddit’s r/outoftheloop subreddit. Mike recommends the show Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman on Netflix. Lauren recommends the book My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh.
Jul 19, 2019
Facebook's Libra and the Future of Money
2238
Last month, Facebook announced its plans to get into the cryptocurrency race with Libra. A blend of blockchain and partnership with 28 companies, Libra has been pitched as a money transfer service and a unique currency rolled into one. But just by virtue of being a Facebook venture, Libra immediately garnered controversy. Some people think it could help bring the entire cryptocurrency industry into the mainstream, while others think giving Facebook access to their financial information sounds like a dystopian nightmare. On this episode of Gadget Lab, WIRED writer Gregory Barber explains the intricacies of Facebook’s ambitious plan and how Libra is poised to rattle the future of crypto.

Show Notes: This episode was recorded just two hour before President Trump tweeted about the perceived dangers of Libra. Our guest Gregory Barber wrote a news story about that development. You can also read Greg’s previous stories about Libra here and here. Also read the WIRED guide to the blockchain.

Recommendations: Greg recommends getting back into Duolingo (and maybe learning Arabic). Arielle recommends the book The Most Human Human by Brian Christian.
Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Gregory Barber is @GregoryJBarber. Boone Ashworth, who edited the show, can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Jul 13, 2019
Rebalancing Our Relationship With Tech
3855
This week, a conversation with Aza Raskin, cofounder of the Center for Humane Technology at Stanford University, about the “asymmetric power relationships” between the people who use tech and the companies who control it. In the news, Jony Ive, the famed designer of the iPod, iMac, and iPhone, is leaving Apple. Also, Twitter announced plans to start cracking down on politicians who violate their rules on the platform, and Amazon launches a program that will let you pick up packages from Rite Aid.

Show Notes: Here’s Louise Matsakis’s story about Jony Ive’s departure from Apple. And Paris Martineau wrote about how Twitter will now quarantine politicians’ tweets if they violate the rules. You can read Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson’s story about the latest campaign from the Center for Human Technology here.

Recommendations: Arielle recommends the book Naïve. Super by Erlend Loe. Michael recommends that you sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime so that you can take advantage of Prime Day sales next month (then unsubscribe from the service afterwards, if you want). Lauren recommends this episode of the Ezra Klein podcast, on why liberals and conservatives create such different media.

Our guest Aza Raskin is on Twitter at @aza. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Boone Ashworth, who edited the show, can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Jun 28, 2019
A Genius Move
3277
If you thought an internet giant stole your hard work and claimed it as their own, how would you ever prove it? Well, what if you could booby trap the information first? On this spine-tingling episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Mike, Arielle, and Lauren talk with WIRED’s Emily Dreyfuss about how the tension between Google and song lyric service Genius could become much more than just a copyright dispute. Also in the news, Apple takes a hit with a recall of the MacBook Pro and GE catches some delayed internet ridicule over a video about light bulbs. Also, the gang consider becoming an ASMR podcast.
Show Notes:
Read more from Emily about the Google-Genius dispute here. Soothe your senses with Arielle’s story about ASMR. Read Lauren’s analysis of the latest woes of the MacBook Pro. And you can follow along with the video for how to reset C by GE light bulbs and paint yourself into a tingly slumber with Behr Paint’s ASMR ad. (Psst … we also got more Keanu.)
Recommendations:
Arielle recommends the podcast Top 40 Philosophy. Mike recommends Katamari Damacy Reroll on the Nintendo Switch. Lauren recommends diving into the Genius page for Skee-Lo’s “I Wish” and season three of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu. Emily recommends that you delete your Twitter app (no link here, pal).
Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Emily Dreyfuss is @EmilyDreyfuss. Boone Ashworth, who edited the show, can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Jun 21, 2019
The Biggest News From E3
3244
This week was E3, the trade show where the biggest names in gaming debut their latest shiny products and software. On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED’s Peter Rubin joins Mike, Arielle, and Lauren to discuss the latest developments in cloud computing, live-streaming services, and Fortnite as a social platform. And of course, it wouldn’t be 2019 without a Keanu Reeves cameo.
Show Notes: Check out the E3 coverage you may have missed, and take advantage of E3 sales before they’re gone. You can read more about Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud computing service from Peter Rubin here.
Recommendations: Peter recommends the show Bless this Mess on ABC. Mike recommends following @powazek from Milk Barn Farm on Instagram for all your baby goat needs. Arielle recommends Clio Chang's 60-second presidential explainers on Jezebel. Lauren recommends two movies: Always Be My Maybe, written by and starring Ali Wong; and Booksmart, directed by Olivia Wilde and written by four women scriptwriters. Also, Keanu.
Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Peter Rubin is @provenself. Boone Ashworth, who edited the show, can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

Jun 14, 2019
Everything From Apple’s WWDC
3336
The iPhone is still undoubtedly Apple’s most important product. So why were some of the biggest announcements this week at the company’s annual developers conference around the iPad and the Mac? On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, Mike, Arielle, and Lauren talk about Dark Mode for iOS; why Apple is still trying to make Memoji happen; Apple sign-on and what it means for privacy; why “iPadOS” is more than just a name; and yes, that multi-thousand dollar Mac Pro and 6K display setup.

Show Notes: You can read Paris Martineau’s story about YouTube’s new community guidelines here. Peter Rubin’s story on Google Stadia is here. And good luck getting an Uber Copter if you don’t have Diamond or Platinum status.

Recommendations: Mike recommends the Gettin’ Better! podcast With Ron Funches. Arielle recommends the Mubert generative music app. Lauren recommends John Wick 3––really, all of the John Wick triology.
Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Boone Ashworth can be found at @booneashworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.



Jun 07, 2019
Making Surfing More Sustainable
3537
The great irony in the sport of surfing is that the process of making a surfboard puts a great deal of strain on the environment. The various chemicals and materials used to assemble boards, leashes, and wetsuits end up polluting the waterways, and defiling the very beaches that surfers rely on. A number of organizations and companies are dedicated to reversing this trend through something called the Ecoboard project. The certification program establishes manufacturing and sourcing guidelines that let people create boards that are gentler on the oceans and perform as well as traditional surfboards.

One such company is Firewire Surfboards. We’re joined on today’s show by Firewire CEO Mark Price to talk about ecoboards, sustainability, and surfing in general. Also on the show, the hosts cover the latest news about products from Amazon and Google, and also give a preview of what to expect from Apple’s WWDC developer conference that takes place next week.

Show Notes: Find Firewire’s website here. Also check out the Sustainable Surf project. Read Lauren on Amazon’s new privacy initiative and what to expect from WWDC. Also read Lily Hay Newman on Google’s Project Strobe.

Recommendations: Mike tells us about Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men on Showtime. Arielle recommends Turo, and Lauren wants you to watch season two of Fleabag on Amazon Prime Video.
Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.





Jun 02, 2019
Samsung’s Innovation Dilemma
3536
What’s a giant consumer electronics maker to do when it notices that younger customers are more interested in paying for experiences, rather than things? That’s what WIRED senior associate editor Arielle Pardes had the chance to ask Samsung’s David Eun this week at the Collision conference in Toronto. Eun says he envisions a consumer market in the not-so-distant future where all of the physical goods we now purchase outright are rented, and he talked about how Samsung Next, the company’s innovation arm, is investing and acquiring to make sure Samsung doesn’t miss the (rented?) boat.

Show Notes: Here’s WIRED’s story on how Huawei might handle the latest U.S. sanctions. And you can read about the new MacBook Pros here and the keyboard fix here.

Recommendations:Mike recommends the Popcast! Podcast; this week it’s all about AirPods. Arielle recommends earplugs. Just wear earplugs. Lauren recommends this Ezra Klein podcast episode about work as identity and burnout as a lifestyle.

Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

How to ListenYou can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:

If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.

We're also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it's released. If you still can't figure it out, or there's another platform you use that we're not on, let us know.


May 24, 2019
YouTube’s Latest Beauty Scandal
2386
Beauty product reviews on YouTube aren’t just about beauty products and internet capitalism. They’re a conduit for drama, loyalty politics, and “cancel” culture, as WIRED’s Emma Grey Ellis has learned throughout her reporting on some of YouTube’s biggest names. This week’s drama is centered around James Charles, a hugely popular 19-year-old beauty influencer and Tati Westbrook, an OG YouTube beauty guru and a mentor of James Charles. Coachella and hair vitamins were involved. Charles was cancelled (again).

But as Ellis writes, “The real victims of cancel culture might be the rest of us, perpetually required to join the angry mob lest ye be taken for a collaborator.” We talk about this and more on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast.

Show Notes: Read Emma’s story here. Read all about the WhatsApp vulnerability here. Read Casey Newton’s newsletter here on the White House’s call for supposedly politically biased social media content.

Recommendations:Emma recommends the Canadian television series Schitt’s Creek, which is available on Netflix. Arielle recommends a Tamagotchi. Yes, that Tamagotchi. Lauren recommends Knock Down the House, also streaming on Netflix. Mike recommends this New York Times profile of Evan Dando, and has the audacity to recommend you listen to The Lemonheads. 





May 17, 2019
If You Build It, They Will I/O
3200
Developer conferences aren’t just a chance for tech companies to incentivize app makers and show off the latest tricks and tools in software. The events also present an opportunity for companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google to assure the public that they are on it when it comes to issues like privacy, openness, and also, privacy. And companies often use the giant keynote stage to show off futuristic demos involving augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and assistive technologies. How much of this is reality–not the virtual kind–and how much is simply lip service? The Gadget Lab team discusses on this week’s podcast.

Recommendations: Arielle recommends checking out BTS, if you haven’t already. Lauren recommends Emily Dreyfuss’s compelling interview with Melinda Gates. Peter recommends this percussive therapy instrument, no really.
Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Peter Rubin is @provenself. Michael Calore is on vacation this week, but can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.



May 10, 2019
The Making of Adam Savage
3299
You might know Adam Savage as the co-host of the television show MythBusters, as the editor of Tested.com, or as the host of countless web videos that show him building machines, sewing costumes for Comic-Con, and occasionally blowing something up in his San Francisco workshop. Now Savage is the host of a new television show, Savage Builds, coming to the Science and Discovery channels on June 12. Savage has also written a memoir about his life as a maker called Every Tool’s a Hammer. We bring Adam on the show to talk about his new book, his new show, why he hates homework, how the gig economy exposes the motives of late-stage capitalist entities, and so much more.
Show notes: Find Adam Savage on book tour. See his new show starting June 12. Find Tested on YouTube and at Tested.com.
Recommendations: Arielle recommends Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan. Mike recommends Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing. Lauren recommends Arielle’s story on the Helvetica Now typeface. Adam recommends The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe.
Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Our guest Adam Savage is @donttrythis. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.


May 03, 2019
Preserving Your Right to Repair Your Gadgets
4308
What happens when your drop your phone and shatter the screen? Or when its battery starts to grow noticeably weaker? These common technological woes are things that you should be able to remedy yourself—just buy some parts, get some tools, and fix your device. But it’s not that simple. Gadget manufacturers have been increasingly restricting access to the parts, tools, and knowledge required for regular consumers to fix their broken tech. Instead, consumers have to turn to authorized repair technicians, and often pay a lot more, to get something fixed.
Our guest this week, Nathan Proctor, is the national director of the Right to Repair Campaign for US PIRG. Proctor and his team advocate for state and federal legislation that secures consumer access to hardware repairs and software updates so they can handle these repairs themselves.
Also this week, Peter Rubin tells us about what to expect from the new PlayStation console Sony plans to release next year, and we discuss the problems with early review units of the Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone.
Show notes: Read Peter Rubin on the next PlayStation. Aarian Marshall outlines the problems with Lyft’s e-bikes. Nathan Proctor recently wrote about the Right to Repair movement in WIRED.
Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Our guests: Nathan Proctor is @nProctor and Peter Rubin is @provenself. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.



Apr 19, 2019
What Happens to Uber After Its IPO?
2956
Uber filed to go public this week. No big surprise there; everyone in the industry has been waiting months for the ride-hailing giant to hit the accelerator on its IPO. What did raise an eyebrow were the details the company divulged in its filing—from how it views the future of its business to what it considers its primary challenges in the marketplace.
This week, we invite WIRED transportation reporter Aarian Marshall back onto the show to break down all of the revelations in Uber’s S1 filing. You can read her news story about the upcoming Uber IPO right here on WIRED.
Also on this week’s pod, Mike, Lauren, and Arielle discuss the first photo of a black hole, the latest privacy concerns around Alexa devices, and some upcoming changes to Facebook’s News Feed.
Show notes:
Read Aarian on Uber. Read Lily Hay Newman on Alexa, Sophia Chen on the black hole pic, and Emily Dreyfuss and Issie Lapowsky on Facebook. Recommendations this week are Jumbo Privacy Assistant, 1bike1world, and the Criterion Channel. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Our guest Aarian Marshall is @aarianmarshall. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
Apr 12, 2019
Introducing Citadel Dropouts: A Game of Thrones Podcast
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We’re confused about what exactly this hoped-for Targaryen Restoration is about, politically. And is Game of Thrones, like, good anymore? Laura Hudson and Spencer Ackerman preview the political and social themes fueling the forthcoming final season of Game of Thrones.
Apr 12, 2019
Reporting From Syria
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This week, we’re joined by a special guest: freelance war correspondent Kenneth R. Rosen. Ken is working on a series of stories for WIRED about the reconstruction efforts in Syria. The first of Ken’s stories, “The Body Pullers of Syria,” published earlier this week. We talk to Ken about how he does his job, the tools he uses to report the stories of the men and women rebuilding the war-torn cities, and the methods he uses to stay safe in the field.
Apr 05, 2019
The Case for Male Birth Control
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Hormonal male contraception is not a new idea––in fact, researchers have been working on solutions for men the pill was invented for women. But early tests around male contraceptives were inconclusive, and as birth control pills exploded, interest in a male version of this waned. 
A new male contraceptive gel, one that reduces sperm count, could change that. It’s been in the works for more than a decade, WIRED’s Arielle Pardes reports this week, and it looks promising. Even if the gel eventually make its way to pharmacies, though, there may still be societal hurdles to overcome. And survey results are mixed, Arielle tells us on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast: Some men indicate they would be reluctant to use birth control, while others are for it. 
Also on this week’s pod, Mike, Lauren, and Arielle discuss all of the news announced at Apple’s services-focused event on Monday. You could say it was an unusual presentation, as far as Apple events go. But on the upside: Oprah was there. 
Show notes: You can read Arielle’s story about the clinical trials of the latest male contraceptive gel, called NES/T, here. Here’s everything that was announced during Monday’s Apple event. Lauren Goode and Peter Rubin also wrote a story about the real choice you make when you’re using Apple’s services
Recommendations: Arielle recommends the Day One journaling app. Lauren recommends Square’s Cash app for peer-to-peer payments. Mike recommends season 2 of the Broken Record podcast, particularly the episode with Questlove. 
Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight
Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

Mar 29, 2019
Game On at Google
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Google’s Project Stream, first unveiled last October, gave gamers a taste of what it would be like to stream heavy games directly from the cloud – from a Chrome browser, even. That effort has now evolved into something much, much more ambitious. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Google formally announced Stadia. Stadia is Google’s bet on next-generation gaming: It exists entirely in the cloud, with a physical, WiFi-enabled controller that connects to whatever computer you’re playing on.
WIRED’s Peter Rubin was at GDC this week for Google’s big reveal, and he joins the latest Gadget Lab episode to talk about how Stadia is supposed to work when it launches later this year. The Gadget Lab team also discuss how Google is taking aim at Microsoft’s and Amazon’s cloud gaming services, and tries to answer the most important question of all: Is streaming and capturing 4K games totally going to destroy our Google Drive subscriptions?
Show notes: You can read Peter Rubin’s story on Stadia here. Lily Hay Newman’s story on Facebook’s latest security mess is here.
Recommendations: Peter recommends Whole Foods 365 granola bars. Arielle recommends the latest Voyages issue of The New York Times Magazine. Lauren recommends reading WIRED’s stories this week about Apple’s hardware updates, specifically the iPad Mini review if you’re in the market for a tiny iPad. Mike recommends this recent New Yorker article about Shen Yun
Mar 22, 2019
Flickr Cofounder Questions Big Tech
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“Should this exist?” is not typically a question that technologists ask themselves, Caterina Fake says. The Flickr cofounder-turned-investor says that most entrepreneurs and engineers will ask themselves, “Can this exist, could this exist, how can we gain the funding to make this exist? Those are the conversations we’ve been having for the past 15 to 20 years about technology.”
But that narrative in tech is evolving, Fake tells WIRED on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, from one of ideation, optimism, and changing the world, to a stark reality in which technology can do as much harm as good. The cracks are showing, and suddenly, Fake says, “People are asking, ‘Whoa, what have we done? Is this what we really wanted to build?’” That line of questioning was the genesis for her own podcast, Should This Exist?, a WaitWhat original series made in partnership with Quartz

Show notes: On this week’s show we also talked about the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash, Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up Big Tech, and Apple’s upcoming media-related event
Additional note: WIRED’s Gadget Lab team taped this podcast before news broke about a mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, that was live-streamed on the internet. At the time of publication, at least 49 people were reported to have been killed. WIRED will continue to follow this story. 

Recommendations: Caterina recommends Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp. Arielle recommends the Death Clock extension for Chrome, which constantly reminds you of your mortality. Mike recommends Esther Perel’s podcast Where Should We Begin? Lauren recommends the new HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
Mar 15, 2019
How to Quit Your Tech Job
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Jessica Powell was the top communications executive at Google when she found herself Googling, in no uncertain search terms, how to quit her job at Google. She tried approximately 837 different tactics before she ended up taking the leap, and now she’s a startup founder, a contributor to Medium and The New York Times, and the author of The Big Disruption, a novel about a giant Silicon Valley tech company. The eventual burnout and dissatisfaction Powell experienced is not unique in Silicon Valley, she tells us on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast. But it can be difficult to acknowledge when you’re working in an industry filled with mission-driven companies and leaders who want to “change the world” (and in some cases–––they do). Powell also talks about the commercialization of International Women’s Day, and speaks candidly about Facebook’s latest manifesto around privacy. “Facebook is in such a bad place that I feel like if they cough, people say, ‘That cough is just a way to get more data!’” Powell tells the Gadget Lab hosts. “There are so many conspiracy theories, and sometimes you just have to realize a cough is just a cough. But, I also don’t think that’s the case with this announcement.” Show notes: You can read WIRED editor-in-chief Nick Thompson’s interview with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg here, as well as a follow up story from Thompson and Issie Lapowsky. Read Klint Finley’s story about a possible return to Obama-era net neutrality rules here. For some of Powell’s recent writing, check out her Medium page. Recommendations: Jessica Powell recommends putting vegetable puree into buttermilk-free biscuits to trick your kids into eating their greens. She also recommends the book The Radiance of the King, by Camara Laye. Arielle recommends this WIRED guide to TikTok, and also, TikTok. Mike recommends the Beastie Boys Book audiobook, which is narrated by an all-star cast of characters. Lauren recommends Workin’ Moms, the CBC show that’s now on Netflix. If you have feedback for us, please, leave us a review! Or you can send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just
Mar 08, 2019
Alex Kipman’s Holographic Tendencies
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Microsoft just unveiled a brand new product, but it really doesn’t want to hype it. That’s according to Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft who is credited with inventing Kinect and HoloLens. Kipman joins the Gadget Lab podcast this week to talk about HoloLens 2, the next-generation mixed reality headset. HoloLens 2 has some significant upgrades: It’s lighter, more comfortable, and “smarter” than the previous version. Due to a new, patented optics module, its field-of-view is larger. But if you’re an officer dweller or average tech consumer, you likely won’t be buying one, both because of its price ($3500) and because of who it’s built for. Microsoft is focused entirely on commercial clients; think frontline employees, field workers, and maintenance professionals. “The majority of the world does not sit in front of desks all day, and a lot of these jobs are being digitally transformed,” Kipman told WIRED in an earlier interview. “Things are getting more complex. There’s much more need to travel around the world. Mixed reality, in those cases, can transform things.” Also on this week’s show: What does the viral Momo hoax say about our internet tendencies? Is Facebook getting into crypto? And, Amazon’s Project Zero will shift responsibility for flagging counterfeits into the hands of the brands being copied. Show notes: You can read all about the new HoloLens here. Also, here’s how to avoid falling for internet hoaxes. Recommendations: Arielle recommends Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris. Mike recommends Barbarian Days, a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir about surfing, by William Finnegan. Lauren recommends Russian Doll on Netflix, and does a terrible Natasha Lyonne impression while she’s at it. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s release
Mar 01, 2019
You’ve Got to Know When to Fold ‘Em
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At its flagship phone event this week in San Francisco, Samsung announced not one but four different versions of the new Galaxy S10: A phone with a 6.1-inch display, a plus-sized model, a “less expensive” version of the phone, and a handset that will support 5G networks when it ships. But the most interesting part of the launch was undeniably Samsung’s reveal of its new foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold. It wasn’t the very first time this phone was shown off, but this time around Samsung showed a demo, shared a ship date, and announced that it would cost a whopping $1980. How will a foldable phone fit into our lives? How does any super-expensive smartphone fit into our lives (and our budgets) these days? These are a couple of the questions we had for Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried, who has tracked the mobile industry for more than a decade and who joined us on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast. Ina brought nearly half a dozen phone models with her to compare to the new Samsung wares, and, even though it was visual demonstration on an audio podcast, you’re not going to want to miss this. Show notes: You can read all about Samsung’s new phones here, along with all of the other hardware Samsung announced this week. Here’s Brian Barrett’s story on the folding phone. If you’ve already made up your mind to order one of the new Galaxy S10 phones, here’s how to do it. Recommendations: Ina recommends seeing The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, as well as the third and final installment in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. Arielle recommends the astrology app Co-Star, especially if you’ve deleted Facebook and are having trouble keeping track of birthdays. Lauren recommends Purple Carrot, a vegan-friendly meal-kit service. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also
Feb 23, 2019
The Treacherous Allure of OG Usernames
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Product designer and internet native Chris Messina was lucky enough to snag the username @chris on Instagram back when Instagram was known as Burbn, and, like all of his early usernames, it became a part of his digital identity. But having an OG username has exposed him to hacks, scams, and generally shady online exchanges. It has also lead him down the path of more existential questions about life online––like, is the internet still fun? On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast we talk to Chris about the biggest offer he’s ever been made for his name, ephemerality in apps, and what the future of social media looks like once the concept of “following” goes away. Also covered in this episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, which was taped on Valentine’s Day: Amazon’s big break up with New York City. After a months-long search for “HQ2” that ended in an eventual commitment to build out corporate offices in Long Island City, Queens, Amazon has now backed out of the deal. While not everyone is happy about Amazon’s retreat, there were also plenty of good reasons for the resistance to the deal. Show notes: You can read WIRED’s story about Amazon backing out of New York City here. Say goodbye to NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover here. And if you want to see what Chris has been up to, follow the hashtag #Noyoucanthavemyusername on Twitter. Recommendations: Chris Messina recommends Otter.ai. Arielle Pardes recommends the Tokimeki unfollow tool. Lauren Goode recommends Becoming, by Michelle Obama. Mike Calore recommends Nanban, by Tim Anderson. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s released. If you still can’t figur
Feb 15, 2019
The App Smackdown
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Move fast and break app store rules: That very well may have been Facebook’s motto for awhile now, only, we’re just learning about it this week. After TechCrunch reported that Facebook was sidestepping Apple’s rules for enterprise apps and distributing a market research app to iOS users as young as 13 years old, Apple temporarily removed Facebook’s internal apps from its enterprise app program. Facebook wasn’t the only guilty party: Google also had its wrist slapped by Apple this week, for a sneaky app of its own. The big question is what happens next, and whether this will only escalate growing tensions between Apple and Facebook, two massive tech companies that monetize their user bases in fundamentally different ways. Also on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast: WIRED’s transportation editor Alex Davies joins us to talk about Tesla earnings and its preparation for the production of the Model Y. Show notes: You can read WIRED’s coverage of the app smackdown here and here. And here’s Alex Davies’ story on the Tesla Model Y. Recommendations: Arielle recommends these funky new Casper smart lights for your bedside. Lauren pre-recommends Maid, a book by Stephanie Land (pre-recommends because she hasn’t finished the book yet.) Mike recommends the TV series Lodge 49, a comedic drama that will shatter any illusions you still had about a decent, post-recession, middle-class existence. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s released. If you still can’t figure it out, or there’s another platform you use that we’re not on, let us know.
Feb 01, 2019
Amazon Delivery Bots Are Here
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Kids are particularly terrible for robots. At least, that’s what researchers in Japan discovered when they let a robot roam around a shopping center in Osaka in 2015. A group of kids antagonized the robot, forcing the researchers to program an algorithm that would give the bot the agency to evade abuse. That’s just one example of challenging social interactions between humans and robots, and one that technologists have almost certainly considered when building and designing delivery bots. Including the folks at Amazon: This week, the e-commerce behemoth dropped a web page for Scout, its new delivery robot. For now, Scout’s impact is small. The six-wheeled delivery bot is only piloting in Snohomish County, Washington, and only with Prime customers who request short-term delivery. But anything Amazon does has the potential to fundamentally disrupt shipping (not to mention a whole slew of eager startups that have been building their own automated delivery solutions). On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED’s Arielle Pardes and Matt Simon deconstruct Scout and talk about the inevitable challenges that arise when you let a robot roam the sidewalks alongside humans and animals. Show notes: You can read Arielle and Matt’s excellent story here. Also: Smartphones are getting weird in 2019. Real weird. Recommendations: Three out of four dentists (or Gadget Lab podcasters) recommend reading books this week. Matt Simon recommends Darkness: A Cultural History. Arielle recommends Valley of Genius. Mike recommends Recomendo, which is quite fitting. Lauren is slacking off from reading this week and recommends using the Google Home Hub as part of your nighttime routine. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have a camera. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wir
Jan 25, 2019
Nike’s Truly Smart Sneakers
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Self-lacing sneakers have been the dream since Marty McFly first rocked Nike MAGs in 1989, but most attempts at turning shoe leather into smart sneakers have been expensive, produced in small batches, and frankly, a little gimmicky. Until now: Earlier this week, Nike revealed Adapt BB, the company’s latest self-lacing basketball shoe. And these actually seem … smart. WIRED’s Peter Rubin joins the Gadget Lab podcast this week to talk about what it’s like to wear the new kicks, and describes all of the tech that goes into them. At $350, the Adapt BB’s are a little more accessible than previous iterations, though as Peter points out, they’re likely to be worn by professional athletes and Nike-backed college teams to start. Also on this week’s podcast: WIRED’s Nitasha Tiku talks about a group of Googlers who have launched a public awareness campaign about mandatory arbitration agreements, arguing that employers use them to suppress workers facing harassment and discrimination. Show notes: Peter’s story on Nike’s Adapt BB is here. Read all about mandatory arbitration at tech companies here. Worried about the latest data breach? Check and see if you’ve been hacked. Wish Google would make a legitimately sporty smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch? You might be in luck. Recommendations: Peter recommends watching Detroiters, on Comedy Central. Lauren recommends Fyre Fraud, on Hulu. Mike recommends watching the 1995 film Before Sunrise. Clearly, “watching gluttonous amounts of streaming media” is on our collective list of 2019 resolutions. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.c
Jan 19, 2019
The Best of CES
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We came. We saw. We touched a lot of gadgets. This week was the annual CES, one of the world’s largest consumer electronics show, and WIRED’s team was on the ground covering all of the top tech trends to emerge from the show. In this week’s episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Mike, Arielle, and Lauren talk about CES’s big security #fail, what all of these connected gadgets mean for the future of healthcare, and robots. Lots of robots. Later in the episode, Arielle talks to Jen Wong, the chief operating officer of Reddit, about the company’s “growing up” moment and how it plans to monetize its users. Show notes: Check out our best of CES list when you’ve finished listening to the pod. Our CES reporting goes beyond gadgets, as well: We have stories on how insidious logging your child’s data has become, why you should ignore the 5G hype (for now), and how women’s sexuality is apparently still taboo at CES. Recommendations this week: Arielle recommends getting a Yubikey for all your 2FA needs; Mike recommends the Mui wooden smart home panel (when it ships); Lauren recommends checking out Google Assistant on Sonos, and, if you happen to be a hotel concierge, looking into Google’s new Interpreter Mode. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s released. If you still can’t figure it out, or there’s another platform you use that we’re not on, let us know.
Jan 12, 2019
The Year in Tech, in One Word
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If you had to sum up the year in tech in one word, what word would you choose? That’s what we at the Gadget Lab asked ourselves as we looked to somehow recap a year’s worth of tech-related drama in approximately 45 minutes. 2018 was the year that we learned about Cambridge Analytica; that social media’s role in the 2016 U.S. election came into sharper focus; that top tech executives were put in the Congressional hot seat; and that tech workers spoke out about everything from brutal work environments to how their firms’ technologies were being used by government agencies. At the same time, 2018 was also a year of remarkable advancements in artificial intelligence, space exploration, and even the future of transport. And at the very least, our increasing awareness of some of the tech industry’s practices could lead us to a place in the new year where we’re making better decisions about what’s good and what’s not-so-good for us tech-consuming mortals. That’s what we’re telling ourselves, anyway. Also on this week’s podcast, Lauren talks to Brynn Putnam, the founder and CEO of Mirror, a new digital health-and-fitness company that live streams workout classes through a mirror in your living room. The future of fitness has arrived, and we are never leaving our homes. Show notes: For a rundown of just some of the Facebook scandals that have happened this year, check out Issie Lapowsky’s story. And here’s Lauren’s story about new interactive fitness systems, including Mirror. Recommendations this week: Arielle recommends reading Charles Duhigg’s story about anger in the latest issue of The Atlantic. Mike recommends a podcast from Malcolm Gladwell called “Broken Record.” Lauren recommends taking advantage of the “screen time” dashboards on your smartphone, getting a sense of how much time you’re spending on non-essential tasks, and then really, truly, seriously guys, putting down your phone more in the new year. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed. We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets
Dec 21, 2018
Apocalypse Now
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Most people, at this point, believe that climate change is a real thing that will harm future generations of humans. And yet, a cognitive dissonance exists around that knowledge and our sense of responsibility: A much smaller percentage of people believe that climate change is impacting them personally, according to Yale’s climate survey program. It is indeed impacting humans right now, with clear and compelling evidence that the global average temperature is much higher than anything modern society has experienced. And that has lead us to a whole host of issues, some of which WIRED writer Adam Rogers discusses with the Gadget Lab team on this week’s podcast. So what can we humans do to fix things – and how much of it can actually be fixed by personal actions, versus widespread policy? How much does our own consumption of tech add to the problem? We ask Adam these questions and more. Show notes: You can find some of Adam’s recent work here and here. Issie Lapowsky covered Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s trip to Washington this week. Brian Barrett has the scoop on Intel’s new chip packaging technology. And what would we do without Elon Musk? Recommendations this week: Adam recommends “Typeset in the Future” by Dave Addey, about the typefaces and UIUX in classic science fiction movies. It’s all about the Eurostile Bold Extended. Mike recommends a game called Goat Simulator. Really, you should try it. Arielle recommends Moleskin’s extremely satisfying to-do app on iOS, called Actions, as well as Adam’s book “Proof: The Science of Booze.” Lauren recommends “Swell,” a book by Liz Clark about her post-college voyage sailing through and around Southern California, Central America, and the Pacific Islands, on a forty-foot sailboat named Swell. Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys. How to Listen You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search
Dec 14, 2018