DiscoverMarketplace Tech
Marketplace Tech
Claim Ownership

Marketplace Tech

Author: Marketplace

Subscribed: 10,437Played: 238,007


Hosted by Molly Wood, “Marketplace Tech” demystifies the digital economy. The daily radio show and podcast uncovers how tech influences our lives in unexpected ways and provides context for listeners who care about the impact of tech, business and the digital world. Transforming breaking news to breaking ideas, Marketplace Tech uncovers themes that transcend the hype in an industry that’s constantly changing. Reporting from Oakland, California host Molly Wood asks smart questions that connect the dots and provide insight on the impact of technology to help listeners understand the business behind the technology rewiring our lives.
Molly has spent two decades covering the tech industry on all platforms and is known as a pioneer in podcasting. She is an IDEAS contributor at Wired and  has been recognized for her dynamic reporting by the Webbys, the National Magazine Awards, and is a Gracie Award winner. Prior to joining Marketplace, she was a tech columnist at The New York Times and before that an executive editor at CNET. The Marketplace Tech daily news podcast is available worldwide on platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, RSS Feeds and any place else where you get your podcasts.
341 Episodes
As Black Lives Matter protests continue around the country, police are using facial recognition and all kinds of other technology to arrest protesters and organizers. While, in some cases, the people arrested did commit crimes, after-the-fact arrests can have a chilling effect on free speech and lead to cases of mistaken identity. They also show us just how much surveillance is part of our lives. Molly speaks with Simone Browne, author of “Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness.”
The Gates Foundation is trying to eradicate polio and malaria globally. Bill Gates created a billion-dollar climate investment fund, funded multiple factories to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and is matchmaking companies around the world to get that vaccine distributed. Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is in the position to do all this because he is one of the world’s richest people. And that’s a little weird. Molly Wood asks him how his philanthropy ends up doing so much of the work of government. He said some of it is mission creep.
This week alone in our changed climate: More than two dozen people have died in wildfires in Western states and more are missing. Forecasters predict life-threatening flooding from Hurricane Sally in the Gulf. And the foundations of two major Antarctic glaciers are crumbling, threatening dramatic sea level rise. Bill Gates is founder of the billion-dollar Breakthrough Energy Ventures investment fund. He tells Molly Wood that American innovation is still necessary if we’re going to meet U.N. goals of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
Discovering, manufacturing and distributing a vaccine will likely be the only way out of the pandemic, which has devastated the world’s economy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been part of the effort to underwrite that work, including playing matchmaker between several pharma companies to manufacture billions of doses, even if they aren’t the eventual inventor. Molly Wood speaks with co-chair Bill Gates about his work on vaccine development.
If your kids are going to school online, then one thing you’re probably concerned about is the data that’s being collected about them, and how it’s being stored and used. Well, there are some rules — actually, lots of them. You’ve probably heard of COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and perhaps FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Those are both federal laws governing data collection and kids. And, in the last six years, states have passed dozens more student privacy laws. But the problem is not everyone knows about them. Molly talks about it with Amelia Vance of the nonprofit Future of Privacy Forum.
We’ve been covering President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on the Chinese-owned TikTok. But the president is also proposing to ban the Chinese app WeChat. The administration says the apps expose American user data to China’s government, a possible national security threat. With WeChat, there is real concern about surveillance and censorship. But the app is indispensable for communication between people outside China and those inside the country. And it is equally essential for American businesses who want to reach Chinese customers. Molly Wood speaks with Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak, who says the ban would be like cutting off access to Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Venmo, Zoom and Google. All at once.
At this point, consumers, tech employees, even the CEOs of some big tech companies say there should be more regulation around online privacy, advertising and even disinformation. But what might that regulation look like? The German Marshall Fund think tank is pushing for an initiative called the Digital New Deal. It contains a bunch of policy proposals and would ideally create more transparency into how tech companies operate and question the incentives that push disinformation. Molly Wood discusses it with Karen Kornbluh, director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall Fund.
More and more people are are seeing their doctors at a distance during the pandemic. And this long-awaited shift to telehealth has investors interested. There was already a boom in biotech investing before COVID-19 hit. But WGBH’s Aaron Schachter has more on the latest investor push to put money into all kinds of ways to modernize medicine.
One of the reasons it’s so hard to quit Facebook is that it’s actually become essential for information, support and connection. That’s especially true in small, rural communities where local news is mostly happening on Facebook and people are turning to the platform as a resource for information about COVID-19. But KUNC’s Adam Rayes reports from Colorado that divisiveness is creeping into groups meant to keep people updated.
Facebook is feeling the pressure to deal with election disinformation. This week the FBI uncovered a new Russian propaganda campaign targeting the 2020 election. And Facebook announced it would block new political ads for a week before the election. So, how does it feel to work at Facebook right now? Molly speaks with Ryan Mac, a senior tech reporter at BuzzFeed. He says the company has an internal communications platform called Workplace, and it’s full of debate.
From QAnon to Russian propaganda campaigns to COVID-19 myths, social media is unquestionably the vector for increasingly dangerous misinformation. With just weeks left until the U.S. election, we wondered: If the platforms all agreed overnight that disinformation is a threat to society and democracy, what would change? Molly speaks with Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. First up: She said gaming Twitter should get a little harder.
Last month, we spoke with Haben Girma, a disability rights advocate, who told us self-driving cars could be an especially powerful tool. “Imagine the freedom, the independence,” she said. “I was talking to someone who works at one of these companies, and he said, ‘We’re a few years from releasing the car. Maybe 10 years from now we’ll think about disability access.’” So how are car companies approaching autonomy and accessibility, and couldn’t they include access for all from the ground up? Molly speaks with Mark Takahashi, who works for the auto research site Edmunds.
QAnon is gaining followers fast. Social media algorithms are putting QAnon posts in front of their users, QAnon is infiltrating GOP politics and, experts say, increasingly QAnon seems less like a fringe conspiracy theory and more like a cult. Molly speaks with Rachel Bernstein, an educator and therapist who is on the advisory board of the International Cultic Studies Association. She says most cult movements take hold in times of trouble.
In the rush to get families online in time for distance learning, it’s Wi-Fi hot spots to the rescue. In the Ozarks, they’re parking school buses equipped with Wi-Fi routers for kids to use while sitting in the parking lot. Chicago is spending millions to give hot spots to individual families and also connect homes to broadband. But is this sustainable? And will there be any going back from Wi-Fi for all? Molly speaks with Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He says this expanded access could be here to stay.
This week, a group of venture capital firms announced that they’re planning to make diversity a core part of their deals with startup founders. The 10 firms committed to including new standard language in the contracts, called term sheets, they make with startup founders. It’s a diversity rider that says that the company and lead investor will make “every attempt” to include a member of an underrepresented group as a co-investor. It’s not binding, but the idea is that it’ll create opportunity for underrepresented investors to participate in deals and attract founders who prioritize a commitment to equity. Molly Wood speaks with Alejandro Guerrero, who started the initiative and is a principal with the Los Angeles-based firm Act One Ventures.
Good ventilation and airflow can help reduce the spread of viruses in shared indoor spaces. But during big wildfires, like the ones in California that are sending smoke across the United States right now, or in areas with high levels of everyday air pollution, bringing in air from the outside isn’t a good option. Experts say the unhealthy air from fires in California can actually make people more susceptible to COVID-19 because their lungs and immune systems get overtaxed. So better filtration gets a lot more important. Molly speaks with Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of engineering at the University of Toronto who specializes in indoor air quality. He says whether it’s a standalone device or smart building technology, there are options.
As we learn more about how COVID-19 spreads, it’s clear that air flow is a big deal, and that’s why masks are effective at slowing infection. That’s a problem for offices and commercial buildings and some homes, because over the last couple of decades buildings have less ventilation. Instead, they recirculate air to save energy by not letting that cooled or heated air escape. But these buildings also end up recirculating viruses, especially if heating and cooling systems aren’t paired with really good filters that remove viral particles from the air. Molly speaks with Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of engineering at the University of Toronto who specializes in indoor air quality.
Epic, Apple and Google are in a feud over the game Fortnite. In mobile apps, whenever you buy a digital item, like an e-book, avatar skins or weapons, Google and Apple charge a 30% fee on that purchase. Recently, Epic started letting players buy in-app purchases on their credit cards so Apple and Google wouldn’t get the fee. Apple and Google both yanked Epic’s game Fortnite from the App Store and Google Play. Epic sued, saying these digital fees are antitrust violations. Molly Wood speaks with Nicole Carpenter, the deputy news editor at the gaming news site Polygon. She says this is about more than just Fortnite, especially on iOS.
The Republican National Convention starts Monday night. It’s expected to be part-virtual and part-in person. The Democratic National Convention last week was pretty much entirely virtual. It included a number of pre-produced speeches, some live elements and some long pauses and awkward transitions — but it was generally considered a success. And since these days all kinds of conferences and conventions are going virtual — events that are big moneymakers for organizers and cities — Molly wondered, was the DNC a model for tech conferences in the future? Molly speaks with Maggie Reardon, a senior reporter for CNET. She said the Democrats pulled off a pretty good show.
Comments (12)

Maciej Czech

OK so now same thing about ANTIFA please

Aug 29th

Maciej Czech

Episode 8 mins long, more than 1 of commercials :/ Plus intro, outro and it would be 2 mins in total

Aug 3rd

Maciej Czech

This is all absurd, listen what she said, it's now just anti-white rhetoric

Jul 14th

Sean Fontana another insight into the vaporfly trainer. some facts and opinions 🏃‍♂️💨👍

Feb 9th

Maciej Czech

Oh please stop with that constant complaining about mens.

Jan 26th
Reply (1)

Maciej Czech

Apple more repairable? xD Pure lies!

Oct 5th

Maciej Czech

So what, you want to force everybody to put womens anywhere? Norway tried to regulate this and it became absurd because there are womens which just sit in the meetings. That stupid law just objectified them even more xD

Aug 5th
Reply (2)

Maciej Czech

Really just can't stand so many commercials and stuff about donations :/ It's up to 40% of episode, every day the same clips.

Jul 1st

Gerry M.

I'm currently in a 4-month hiatus from FB. I deactivated my account. I usually take a couple of breaks annually for 1 to 2 months, but this is my longest hiatus ever. I deactivated my Twitter account a week ago. Instagram is not really a distraction because I rarely engage there. The common theme - heavy-handed algorithms creating a drone-like experience. I'll re-engage at some point, but I'm definitely past peak usage of social media.

Aug 17th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store