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December 13, 2019
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.
December 6, 2019
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.
November 22, 2019
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.
November 15, 2019
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
November 8, 2019
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
November 1, 2019
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.
October 25, 2019
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
October 18, 2019
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.
October 11, 2019
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.
October 4, 2019
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.
September 27, 2019
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.
September 20, 2019
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.
September 13, 2019
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.
September 6, 2019
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.
August 30, 2019
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.
August 23, 2019
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.
August 16, 2019
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-labWe'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.
August 9, 2019
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).
August 2, 2019
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.
July 26, 2019
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.
July 19, 2019
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.
July 13, 2019
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.
June 28, 2019
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.
June 21, 2019
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.
June 14, 2019
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.
June 7, 2019
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.
June 2, 2019
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.
May 24, 2019
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 17, 2019
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 10, 2019
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 3, 2019
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.
April 19, 2019
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.
April 12, 2019
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.
April 12, 2019
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.
April 5, 2019
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.
March 29, 2019
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.
March 22, 2019
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.
March 15, 2019
“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. 
March 8, 2019
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
March 1, 2019
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
February 23, 2019
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
February 15, 2019
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
February 1, 2019
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.
January 25, 2019
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
January 19, 2019
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
January 12, 2019
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.
December 21, 2018
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
December 14, 2018
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
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