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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News
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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

Author: WIRED

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Inside the hottest personal tech stories of the week; mobile apps, gear, social networking, and entertainment.
28 Episodes
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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.
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.
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.
A Genius Move

A Genius Move

2019-06-2100:52:431

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.
The Biggest News From E3

The Biggest News From E3

2019-06-1400:52:162

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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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Comments (2)

Jeannie

the voices are too annoying to listen too. could not listen to these kids sounding like . . . kids. yuk!

Apr 29th
Reply

Jeannie

climate change? what a bunch of bs. this podcast is already boring me to death.

Apr 29th
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