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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

WIRED

50
Followers
79
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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News
Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

WIRED

50
Followers
79
Plays
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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

It's Time to Put Down Your Phone

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 he...

45 MIN3 days ago
Comments
It's Time to Put Down Your Phone

Why Is Microsoft Making a Phone?

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. M...

47 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Why Is Microsoft Making a Phone?

Spot, the Robot Dog, Learns New Tricks

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 m...

39 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
Spot, the Robot Dog, Learns New Tricks

Your DNA Belongs on the Blockchain

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: R...

38 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Your DNA Belongs on the Blockchain

iPhones to the Max

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 Mar...

33 MINSEP 13
Comments
iPhones to the Max

How Uber Went Down in Flames

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 skateb...

50 MINSEP 6
Comments
How Uber Went Down in Flames

Why It’s So Hard to Unlink Yourself From Facebook

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 stori...

40 MINAUG 30
Comments
Why It’s So Hard to Unlink Yourself From Facebook

You’ve Got Microplastics

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 b...

43 MINAUG 23
Comments
You’ve Got Microplastics

How Google’s Secrecy Lead to Company Turmoil

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...

39 MINAUG 16
Comments
How Google’s Secrecy Lead to Company Turmoil

Amazon's Quest for World Domination

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.wir...

39 MINAUG 9
Comments
Amazon's Quest for World Domination

Latest Episodes

It's Time to Put Down Your Phone

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 he...

45 MIN3 days ago
Comments
It's Time to Put Down Your Phone

Why Is Microsoft Making a Phone?

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. M...

47 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Why Is Microsoft Making a Phone?

Spot, the Robot Dog, Learns New Tricks

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 m...

39 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
Spot, the Robot Dog, Learns New Tricks

Your DNA Belongs on the Blockchain

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: R...

38 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Your DNA Belongs on the Blockchain

iPhones to the Max

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 Mar...

33 MINSEP 13
Comments
iPhones to the Max

How Uber Went Down in Flames

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 skateb...

50 MINSEP 6
Comments
How Uber Went Down in Flames

Why It’s So Hard to Unlink Yourself From Facebook

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 stori...

40 MINAUG 30
Comments
Why It’s So Hard to Unlink Yourself From Facebook

You’ve Got Microplastics

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 b...

43 MINAUG 23
Comments
You’ve Got Microplastics

How Google’s Secrecy Lead to Company Turmoil

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...

39 MINAUG 16
Comments
How Google’s Secrecy Lead to Company Turmoil

Amazon's Quest for World Domination

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.wir...

39 MINAUG 9
Comments
Amazon's Quest for World Domination