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

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

47 Episodes
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Going Places

Going Places

2019-12-0600:32:431

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 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.
Life After Facebook

Life After Facebook

2019-11-2200:25:421

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 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.
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 ListenYou can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
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 ListenYou can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
Deep Listening

Deep Listening

2019-11-0100:32:401

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.
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 ListenYou can always listen to this week's podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:If you're on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.https://www.wired.com/feed/podcast/gadget-lab
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
iPhones to the Max

iPhones to the Max

2019-09-1300:31:261

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.
How Uber Went Down in Flames

How Uber Went Down in Flames

2019-09-0600:48:451

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.
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.
You’ve Got Microplastics

You’ve Got Microplastics

2019-08-2300:42:281

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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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Comments (7)

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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Lee Woods

Sorry, but there is no "walled garden" on the Android Platform, that's kind of the point. My music, movies and messaging are all open and accessible on IOS, Windows and of course Chrome/Android.

Feb 2nd
Reply

saileen

As a 'conservative' listener to your podcast, I cringe everytime you politicize your episodes. I think you're all intelligent, thinking, people with good ideas. I base that on you, not your politics. Using nice words to say or infer nasty things is still a deuce move. Please stop!

Jan 21st
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Craig Smith

One of your mics is off, there is only silence when one of you is supposed to be talking.

Dec 22nd
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Jason Hibinger

This is actually the iPhone episode, not the new Google episode!

Oct 12th
Reply

first dimension

Sonic boomerang the first time I cycled cytoplasm in electrical engineering biology class at the first of the millennium the first time since we havemumbers Numbers for the transfer of them nations buttoned up to get it is trued give me a immune to be at work by tsuanami of them and the family have to be at work by tsuanami the same time as the same thing I have to do with system sucks you'dSonic boomerang the first time I cycled cytoplasm in electrical engineering biology class at the first of the millennium the first time since we have

Sep 30th
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