Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

By WIRED

WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast breaks down which gadgets, apps, and services you need to know about, and which ones you can move to the virtual trash bin. Learn how today’s tech shapes our lives—plus get your hosts’ personal recommendations at the end of each episode.

Episodes

From WIRED Politics Lab: How Election Deniers Are Weaponizing Tech To Disrupt November

Election deniers are mobilizing their supporters and rolling out new tech to disrupt the November election. These groups are already organizing on hyperlocal levels, and learning to monitor polling places, target election officials, and challenge voter rolls. And though their work was once fringe, its become mainstreamed in the Republican Party. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we focus on what these groups are doing, and what this means for voters and the election workers already facing threats and harassment.Listen to and follow WIRED Politics Lab here.Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
11/04/2431m 28s

Shopping for a New Social Feed

Hey, did you see the ad for that Bluetooth-enabled Shiatsu foot massager? How about the one for the organic mushroom supplement powder? They're probably not even the most interesting things you can buy on TikTok or Instagram. Just as the apps have thrived on a steady stream of feel-good content, they have also inundated their users with cheap, bright, and shiny stuff they can swipe through and buy with just a few taps. It's a trend that's spread out to every social site, and has taken a unique shape on TikTok through the platform’s new experimental TikTok Shop. Now, it's hard to get through a couple videos without being accosted by virility pills, fast fashion, and hangover cures.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Amanda Hoover joins us to talk about the weird world of TikTok Shop, how its fee structure is evolving, and why it feels like every single social media service is pivoting to zany products.Show Notes:Read Amanda’s story about TikTok Shop raising its seller fees. Listen to our recent episode (#636) about the possibility of a TikTok ban.Recommendations:Amanda recommends the HungovrAF cap. Mike recommends the documentary Anselm, directed by Wim Winders. Lauren recommends Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks.Amanda Hoover can be found on social media @byamandahoover. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
04/04/2430m 3s

DOJ Calls Out Apple in the Group Chat

Apple has gotten used to being a favorite target of rivals and government agencies. The company has been repeatedly scrutinized by regulators, and other tech companies have accused the company of anticompetitive practices. Apple’s most recent legal challenge is a doozy: an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and more than a dozen state attorneys general. The suit takes aim at the security and privacy features offered only on the iPhone, and accuses Apple of using that exclusivity to lock consumers into its ecosystem. At the center of the suit is the lack of true cross-platform encryption on Apple’s messaging platform—the green bubble-blue bubble divide—which the government alleges harms consumers by leaving them more vulnerable to attacks.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior security editor Andrew Couts about the encryption and privacy issues behind the DOJ's suit against Apple, and how the dreaded green bubbles on iMessage factor in.Show Notes:Read Andrew and Andy Greenberg’s WIRED story about how the DOJ is targeting Apple's iMessage encryption. Read Lauren’s story about how the antitrust case is all about the green bubbles, really.Recommendations:Andrew recommends profumo del chianti sea salt. Lauren recommends the book Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Mike recommends going to the Big Ears music festival next year.Andrew Couts can be found on social media @AndrewCouts. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
28/03/2429m 14s

A 3-Body Podcast

3 Body Problem is Netflix’s new big, meaty prestige sci-fi series. Based on the book of the same name by author Liu Cixin, the show about an impending alien invasion is also one about how humans react to technological advancements and social movements that spiral out of control. Aliens aside, it tackles many of the same issues modern society is facing right now—political instability, fanaticism, and maybe an over-dependence on virtual reality. The new show is helmed by the former showrunners ofGame of Thrones and surprise surprise, this high-concept drama is in fact very good.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk all about 3 Body Problem—how the tech and cultural events in the show mirror the real world and how it stacks up against the likes of Game of Thrones and other prestige TV.Show NotesRead Amit Katwala’s interview with the main showrunners of3 Body Problem. Here’s Lauren’s story about crying in VR. Speaking of VR, read WIRED’s review of the Apple Vision Pro.RecommendationsKate recommends the showSilo on Apple TV+. Lauren recommends the movieOne Day on Netflix. Mike recommends theTransmissions podcast by Aquarium Drunkard.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
21/03/2429m 10s

The TikTok Ban

You may only know TikTok as the massively popular social video app for phone-obsessed teens, but lately the app has been caught in the political fray. On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill that, should it become law, would require TikTok’s parent company, the Chinese firm ByteDance, to sell the app or else see it banned on devices in the US. Lawmakers in the US have expressed concerns that data from American TikTok users is being shared with a Chinese company, and that therefore TikTok poses a threat to national security. This week on Gadget Lab, we’re joined by WIRED’s senior politics writer Makena Kelly to talk about those security concerns, what this bill means for the rest of the tech industry, and what could happen if TikTok is actually banned.Show Notes:Read Makena on the bill that would ban TikTok, and read Vittoria Elliott’s update on Wednesday’s vote. We also have instructions to get your videos off TikTok. Read all of WIRED’s TikTok coverage.Recommendations:Makena recommends going to the office. (Really.) Mike recommends Ener-C powdered vitamin drink mix. Lauren reiterates Kate Knibbs’ earlier recommendation of American Fiction, the film that just won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Makena Kelly can be found on social media @kellymakena. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
14/03/2425m 5s

Google’s ‘Woke AI’ Problem

The last few months have been rough for Google. Company executives have been in the hot seat because of some embarrassing missteps, the most awkward of which was the bungled launch of Google’s latest image generator. The company launched it as part of its suite of GenAI tools named Gemini, but then quickly pulled it back after the generator produced some seriously weird results.This week, we welcome WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave back to the show to talk about Gemini’s strange outputs. We also talk about some of the staffing pains Google has been going through recently, including layoffs and accusations of discrimination. Show Notes:Read more about the “woke AI” controversy. Read Bloomberg’s story about Google’s layoffs to its trust and safety team. Read Paresh’s story about the Googler with a disability who alleges workplace discrimination at the company. Listen to our broader discussion about tech layoffs on episode 633.Recommendations:Paresh recommends the food blog The Fancy Navajo. Lauren recommends Lauren Mechling’s story in The Guardian about journalism; the Le Carré Cast podcast, particularly the episode about the secret life of the famous spy author; and Mike recommends the film collection “And the Razzie Goes to …” on the Criterion Channel.Paresh can be found on social media @peard33.bsky.social. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
07/03/2437m 10s

The Non-Techie's Guide to Nvidia

Unless you were really into desktop PC gaming a decade ago, you probably didn't give Nvidia much thought until recently. The company makes graphics cards, among other tech, and has earned great success thanks to the strength of the gaming industry. But it's been nothing compared to the explosive growth Nvidia has enjoyed over the past year. That's because Nvidia's tech is well-suited to power the machines that run large language models, the basis for the generative AI systems that have swept across the tech industry. Now Nvidia is an absolute behemoth, with a skyrocketing stock value and a tight grip on the most impactful—and controversial—tech of this era.This week on Gadget Lab, we welcome WIRED’s Will Knight, who writes about AI, as our guest. Together, we boot up our Nvidia® GeForce RTX™ 4080 SUPER graphics cards to render an ultra high-def conversation about the company powering the AI boom.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s interview with Nvidia cofounder and CEO, Jensen Huang. Read Will’s story about the need for more chips in AI computing circles, and his story about the US government’s export restrictions on chip technology. Read all of our Nvidia coverage.Recommendations:Will recommends WhisperKit from Argmax for machine transcription. Mike recommends getting your garden going now; it’s almost spring. Lauren recommends Say Nothing, a book by Patrick Radden Keefe.Will Knight can be found on social media @willknight Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
29/02/2433m 56s

Tech Workers Are Stressed Out

tech companies seemed immune to large-scale layoffs, and as their profits skyrocketed, those cushy jobs became highly sought-after. But economic headwinds, and the looming influence of AI, are leading to some tumultuous changes in the tech industry.In just the first seven weeks of this year, Amazon, Google, Discord, Duolingo, Cisco, Instacart, and dozens of others all made deep staffing cuts. It all adds up to tens of thousands of jobs lost across the industry, and the cuts aren't slowing down. It doesn't help that interviewing for tech jobs is getting harder too, with employers asking for more and more work or rigorous testing before making a hire. This week, WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave joins us to talk about whether the layoffs will cool off, and why right now is a daunting time to be looking for a tech job.Show Notes:Read Paresh’s story about how Google has been cutting down on its acquisitions lately. Read Amanda Hoover on recent tech industry layoffs, and her story about the TikTok layoff videos folks have been posting. Read Lauren’s story about how tech job interviews are getting even more demanding. And of course, follow all of WIRED’s coverage of how AI and how it affects people’s livelihoods.Recommendations:Paresh recommends making an effort to connect and collaborate with your disabled colleagues. Lauren recommends the documentary The Eternal Memory. Mike recommends listening to Ty Segall’s new album Three Bells and watching his live show.Paresh Dave can be found on social media @peard33. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
22/02/2431m 38s

The Weird World of an AI Clickbait King

Domain names have value, even when the websites that were once hosted there are shut down or abandoned. Prospectors will often swoop in and snatch up an unused domain, then erect a new website filled with clickbait articles. If the domain name used to rank highly in search results, the new clickbait articles will also rank highly, guaranteeing the prospector a steady stream of visitors searching the web for common phrases. These zombie sites are all over the web; you’ve probably landed on them many times yourself. But this shady market is poised to grow exponentially thanks to the proliferation of generative AI tools. Text generators like ChatGPT make it easier for prospectors to crank out clickbait articles at greater speed, feeding an already raging river of pablum.This week, Kate Knibbs tells us about her WIRED story on one of these entrepreneurs in the world of AI-generated clickbait hosted on squatted domains.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about Nebojša Vujinović Vujo and his clickbait empire. Also read Kate’s original investigation into what happened to The Hairpin, a popular blog for womens’ writing that went defunct and was then reborn as a content mill.Recommendations:Kate recommends the novella Tusks of Extinction by Ray Nayler. Brian recommends the novel The Bee Sting by Paul Murray. Lauren recommends giving up fancy, creamy coffee drinks for Lent. Mike recommends the social media platform BlueSky, which is now open to everyone.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
15/02/2437m 59s

Several People Are Talking

At its core, Slack is a chat app. Every day, millions of people use it to communicate, share files, and gossip with coworkers or friend groups in one organized place. That style of free-flowing interaction—which Slack didn’t invent, but made mainstream—has changed the way we talk to each other online for better and for worse. It’s brought us closer together and enabled global collaboration, but it’s also allowed conversations to follow us anywhere … like when you get a notification at 10 pm that your boss has sent you a DM.This week, MIT Technology Review editor in chief Mat Honan joins the show to chronicle the history of Slack as the software suit turns 10 years old. We dig into how it helped our work lives bleed into our personal time, and how the company is faring under the auspices of Salesforce and against its competitors.Show Notes:Read Mat’s 2014 story about Slack founder Stewart Butterfield and his boring startup. Here’s Lauren’s story about the Slack soft return and other office hacks you might want to use. Listen to the episode of WIRED’s Have A Nice Future podcast with former Slack CEO Lidiane Jones.Recommendations:Mat recommends Airtags and the ChatGPT sticker bot. Mike recommends the Raw Impressions podcast with Lou and Adelle Barlow. Lauren recommends using the soft return in Slack. Mat Honan can be found on social media @mat. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
08/02/2438m 2s

Apple’s Uncanny Valley Pro

Apple's first ever mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, arrives tomorrow. Apple has a knack for revitalizing and legitimizing a product category—something that the face computer market really needs right now. But there are some hangups that could limit its initial success: the Vision Pro's exorbitant $3,499 price tag, the tethered battery pack, and the mere handful of apps available on the device at launch. These issues point to this headset being more of a development kit than a fully realized product for now. It's a beautiful machine, but its true potential may not be realized for some time.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to chat about the Apple Vision Pro and whether it's going to be the device that finally kicks off the face computer revolution. We also talk about the ways Apple is trying to make the headset disappear as part of the experience, both in the virtual space and in the physical realm.Show Notes:Read Julian’s hands-on experience with the Apple Vision Pro. Read Lauren’s story about the Apple Vision Pro’s battery pack. Read Boone Ashworth on the current situation with apps and developers. Recommendations:Julian recommends Thumbtack, a platform to connect homeowners with service vendors. Lauren recommends butter lettuce. Mike recommends the Scottish police show Shetland.Julian Chokkattu can be found on social media @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
01/02/2442m 24s

I Know What You Did With That Bitcoin

If you’ve committed any internet crimes lately, you probably shouldn’t have paid for them with Bitcoin. While many crypto-evangelists have long thought of digital currency as a means of buying legal and illicit goods on the web with total anonymity, the fact is that nearly all cryptocurrency transactions leave a digital trail behind them that can point to your true identity. No matter how hard you try to hide, a dedicated sleuth with the right resources can find you.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior cybersecurity writer and author of the book Tracers in the Dark digs into all the ways investigators, government agents, and hackers can track down criminals online by “following the money” exchanged in cryptocurrency transactions.This show originally aired on February 9, 2023.Show NotesAndy’s book is Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency. You can read two excerpts from the book on WIRED.com: the six-part AlphaBay saga and the feature about the takedown of a website for sharing child sex abuse materials.RecommendationsAndy recommends the deliberately frustrating game Getting Over It. Lauren recommends Andy’s WIRED story about the animal activists whose spy cams revealed the grim realities of pork slaughterhouses. Mike recommends the book Art Is Life by the art critic Jerry Saltz.Andy can be found on social media @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
25/01/2428m 29s

AI Hits the Campaign Trail

It's an election year in the US, which means you can expect a fresh tsunami of campaign ads in your feeds, in your inbox, and jammed in front of YouTube videos. This is also the first election of the AI era, where anyone can generate just about anything—an image, a Twitter bot, a speech—by typing a few lines of text into a prompt. Whether it's bad actors generating misleading deepfakes or candidates using text generators to write cringey campaign emails, AI is now firmly part of the election process.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior politics writer Makenna Kelly joins us en route from the Iowa caucus to talk about how scammers and political campaigns alike are using AI to influence voters at the polls.Show Notes:Read more from Makena about the Iowa caucus and the end of Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign. Scroll through her TikToks about the caucus. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of the 2024 election and artificial intelligence.Recommendations:Makena recommends Uniqlo under layers. Mike recommends the cringey Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone show The Curse. Lauren recommends the show Catastrophe.Makena Kelly can be found on social media @kellymakena. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
18/01/2431m 39s

C’ES la Vie

It's CES week. Yes, it's time to dive back into that glitzy, chaotic showcase where thousands of startups, companies, and general technology weirdos gather to show off all the new tech and futuristic devices that will give us a glimpse of the year in tech to come. AI is in everything, we're getting ChatGPT in our flying cars, and TVs are getting so big and bright you need sunglasses to watch them.This week on Gadget Lab, we come to you straight from lovely Las Vegas, Nevada, where CES is in full swing. We huddled together in a Vegas hotel room to talk all about the big trends, crazy tech, and just plain weird stuff we saw this week.Show Notes:Follow CES on our liveblog and check out many, many bizarre and wonderful things we saw at CES this year. Read Jeremy’s look at the Supernal flying car. Read Julian’s story about the Rabbit R1 AI personal assistant device. Check out wehead.com, if you dare. Follow all of WIRED’s CES coverage now and forever.Adrienne So can be found on social media @adriennemso. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Jeremy is @jeremywired. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
11/01/2438m 17s

Abortion Pill Orders Are Soaring

In 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that protected abortion rights in the United States. Since then, many states have rolled back abortion services or made them outright illegal. That includes some states restricting access to abortion pills like mifepristone. Now, at the start of an election year in the US and a year that will bring more legal challenges to abortion rights, a new study shows that women are stockpiling abortion pills in record numbers—even if they aren’t currently pregnant.This week, we welcome WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs onto the show to talk about abortion medication, the trend of “advance provision” requests for mifepristone, and the coming legal fight over continued access to telehealth and in-person abortion services.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about how women in the US are stockpiling abortion pills. Read our primer on menstrual regulation medications. Learn more about the upcoming US Supreme Court case that could change some Americans’ access to the pills.Recommendations:Kate recommends the film American Fiction. Mike recommends the movie Godland. Lauren recommends embracing the theory of Dunbar’s number and focusing on your closest relationships.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
04/01/2435m 11s

Live on Stage: Reid Hoffman and Fei-Fei Li

Artificial intelligence was inarguably the biggest newsmaker in the tech industry this year. Whether it was ChaptGPT writing term papers, AI-generated Drake hits, or the board shakeup at OpenAI, the topic permeated the public consciousness and left people feeling varying levels of excitement and absolute terror about how this technology will shape our future. Generative AI seems poised to alter the direction of humanity, but it's up to the people to figure out exactly how it’s going to do that.This week on Gadget Lab, we’re sharing a very special session from the recent LiveWIRED event celebrating WIRED’s 30th anniversary. Onstage, WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy interviews renowned AI scientist Fei-Fei Li and LinkedIn cofounder and former OpenAI board member Reid Hoffman about all the chaos at OpenAI and what generative AI will look like in the future.Show Notes:Read Steven’s story about what OpenAI really wants. Read more from WIRED about OpenAI and artificial intelligence. Check out the many other sessions from the LiveWIRED event.Steven Levy can be found on social media @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
28/12/2328m 15s

Oops, All Recommendations!

It’s been a year, that’s for sure. Every week on Gadget Lab, we end the show by bringing you our recommendations for all of our favorite tech, books, TV shows, and life hacks. Now, at the end of the year, we’re going all-in on that idea with an entire episode dedicated to those recommendations. We talk about all the things that helped us get through 2023 and have us looking forward to 2024.This week on Gadget Lab, we make the mistake of letting our producer Boone Ashworth grab a mic again. He joins Lauren and Michael to talk about the best gadgets, lifestyle changes, shows, and culinary curiosities of 2023.Show Notes:Our talk with Casey Johnston from May of 2023 can be found in episode number 598. Read more about ActivityPub and the coming federated social media landscape. Here’s our review of the new Valve Steam Deck OLED. See our list of our favorite electric kettles.Recommendations:Boone recommends running a half marathon or two, the new OLED Steam Deck, and Ableton Live software for making music (or at least pretending you understand how to). Lauren recommends lifting weights for fitness, an Oxo electric kettle, and the 2021 movie The Worst Person in the World. Mike recommends getting to know ActivityPub, watching the show Scavenger’s Reign on Max, and eating lots of chili crisp.Boone Ashworth can be found on social media @booneashworth. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
21/12/2336m 6s

Taylor Swift’s Pro-Russia Doppelganger

Does your favorite movie star or pop singer really love the Kremlin? Though the ads in your Facebook feed may lead you to believe such a thing, it’s just not true. In recent months, a major disinformation campaign has run rampant on Meta and X (aka Facebook and Twitter). The campaign uses fake ads that show existing photos of extremely famous celebrities—Beyoncé, Oprah, Justin Bieber, Shakira, Cristiano Ronaldo—which have been doctored to include fake quotes that back Russia and criticize Ukraine. The campaign, which is still in progress, was perpetrated by a pre-Kremlin group known as Doppelganger. Information shared exclusively with WIRED has also linked this disinformation campaign to Russia’s GRU military spy agency. On this week’s show, we talk with WIRED contributor David Gilbert, who reports on digital disinformation. David says Doppelganger has been acting in plain sight for over a year, buying targeted ads and using networks of bots and fake Facebook pages to get its pro-Russia propaganda in front of millions of people. Show Notes:Read David’s story about Doppelganger’s campaign. Read all of David’s recent coverage. Also read our coverage of other online propaganda campaigns.Recommendations:David recommends the movie Saltburn. Mike recommends buying Italian blood orange soda instead of sparkling cider for your next holiday part. Lauren recommends supporting a union!David Gilbert can be found wrangling all kinds of disinformation on social media @daithaigilbert. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
14/12/2334m 35s

Blue Bubbles Versus Green Bubbles

When an Android user sends a text message to an iPhone user, their chat bubble shows up in iOS shaded green rather than iMessage's default blue. This color coding signals to the iPhone user that the incoming text is arriving from outside the Apple ecosystem. But the divide goes beyond simple aesthetics. Photos and videos shared between the two mobile platforms don’t come through at full resolution. Neither do rich interactions like read receipts, typing indicators, and tapbacks. Group chats between the platforms are a total mess, filled with dropped messages and hurt feelings. A new app aims to bridge that blue-green bubble gap and make texting more seamless—and more secure with full encryption. It even turns Android texts blue! It’s what we’ve always wanted … right?This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about Beeper Mini, the app trying to make our text conversations easier. WIRED features editor Jason Kehe joins us to campaign against the trend of interoperability on our phones. As Jason sees it, these friction-free communication mechanisms are causing us to slip into bad habits, become more isolated, and feel less inclined to put down our phones and have a real experience.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s story about the new Beeper app and the teenage coder who helped make it work. Read more of Jason’s various other controversial opinions.Recommendations:Jason recommends piracy, and also a few works about pirates like the show Our Flag Means Death and the book Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly. Lauren recommends the new BlackBerry movie. Mike recommends pizzelle Italian cookies. Buy ‘em or make ‘em.Jason Kehe can be found on social media @jkehe. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
07/12/2343m 3s

Journalists in Studio Getting Coffee

Coffee keeps the world turning. Or, at least, it makes it easier to pry your eyelids open and maintain some semblance of normalcy every day. There have been many research studies, technological innovations, and passionate arguments dedicated to brewing a better cup of coffee. A recent wave of impressively designed coffee gadgets aims to dial it in even further. But too often, those flashy and high-tech solutions don’t make a mug of coffee that’s any more satisfying than the familiar methods that have been around for years—or centuries, even.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED contributor, cookbook author, and smart-kitchen expert Joe Ray joins us to chat about coffee: the optimal way to brew it, the best tech to use, and whether it's OK to shame people who use disposable K-cups. (Yes, it is.)Show Notes:Read Joe’s buying guide to find the best AeroPress coffee brewer, and check out his roundup of best cookbooks of 2023 (so far). Read all of Joe’s food and kitchen coverage for WIRED.Recommendations:Joe recommends Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home by Jessica Easto and Company: The Radically Casual Art of Cooking for Others by Amy Thielen. Lauren recommends giving honey as a gift and keeping a box cutter around the house. Mike recommends Mission Vegan: Wildly Delicious Food for Everyone by Danny Bowien and JJ Goode.Joe Ray can be found on social media @joe_diner. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
30/11/2339m 35s

Geoffrey Hinton: ‘It’s Far Too Late’ to Stop Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has made headlines all year long, but the turn of events this week was extraordinary. OpenAI was thrown into chaos with the firing and eventual rehiring of CEO Sam Altman. There was a shakeup in the company’s board of directors and fierce debates about how much influence ethics should have on the company’s direction. That uncertainty of how to philosophically approach artificial intelligence will keep casting a shadow over the tech industry even after the dust settles around the OpenAI drama. Researchers, proponents of ethical AI, and corporate customers of these new generative AI tools will continue to ask how these technologies are going to shape our future, and what influence they will have over our lives.This week, we're bringing you an episode of The New Yorker Radio Hour podcast in which New Yorker writer Joshua Rothman talks to Geoffrey Hinton, the so-called godfather of AI, about how rapidly AI has advanced and how it may alter the future of humanity.Show Notes:This episode originally aired on November 21, 2023. You can find a full transcript here. Listen to the New Yorker Radio Hour wherever you get your podcasts. Read Joshua Rothman’s profile of Geoffrey Hinton in The New Yorker.Tom Simonite can be found on social media @tsimonite. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Gadget Lab is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
23/11/2335m 59s

How Three Teens Broke the Internet

In October 2016, a malware tool named Mirai took down some of the biggest sites and services on the web, including Netflix, Spotify, Twitter, PayPal, and Slack. The blackout affected most of the East Coast of the United States, and the size and scope of the outage alarmed the cybersecurity researchers and law enforcement agencies tasked with thwarting such attacks. The code that caused this meltdown was created by three individuals, all in their teens or early 20s. The trio had built a tool that took control of internet-connected smart home devices and used them—like a massive zombie army—to knock the internet’s most vital servers offline. Now, years later, Mirai’s three creators have told their story.This week, we talk to WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg about Mirai’s creation, how the code did its damage, and how the three hackers were eventually caught. Show Notes:Read Andy’s epic feature story titled “The Mirai Confessions: Three Young Hackers Who Built a Web-Killing Monster Finally Tell Their Story.” The story also graces the cover of the next issue of WIRED magazine.Recommendations:Andy recommends the book Your Face Belongs to Us by Kashmir Hill. Mike recommends getting a wreath for Christmas instead of chopping down a tree. Lauren recommends Okinawan sweet potato haupia pie bars.Andy Greenberg can be found on X as @a_greenberg and @agreenberg elsewhere. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
16/11/2337m 47s

Oh, the Humaneity

Phones are convenient, powerful devices, but they sure do gobble up a lot of our attention. How much of your day do you spend just holding your phone, staring at the screen? Humane, a company started by a pair of ex-Apple employees, wants to squash the tyranny of the touchscreen. The company has developed a tiny device that magnetically pins to your clothing, where it can replicate a phone’s core functions like answering calls, sending messages, and translating speech. It uses voice controls, touch controls, and a camera to sense the wearer’s intentions, and it crafts answers using machine intelligence and displays them on your outstretched hand using a tiny projector. It's a weird and audacious device that Humane hopes will free its customers from having to carry their phones everywhere.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave joins us to talk about his hands-off experience with the Humane Ai pin and the future phone alternatives.Show Notes:Read Paresh’s story about his experience with the Humane Ai pin.Recommendations:Paresh recommends Kim’s Convenience on Netflix. Lauren recommends the biography of Robert Oppenheimer, American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Mike recommends the new reissue of the Buddha Machine music box from FM3.Paresh Dave can be found on social media @peard33. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
09/11/2333m 14s

Happy 1-Year Muskiversary

Twitter may be officially called X now, but that rebranding is just one of the many changes that have hit the platform since Elon Musk took over. It's been one whole year since the mercurial billionaire purchased Twitter, and in that time the social platform has undergone big shifts in its user base, business model, and culture. It's become chaotic and unpredictable—some would say it’s more dangerous than ever—yet even among all this upheaval, Twitter keeps on tweetin’.This week on Gadget Lab, we're commemorating the one-year anniversary of a Muskified Twitter. WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs and Vox senior correspondent and host of the Land of the Giants podcast Peter Kafka join the show to talk about all the weirdness Twitter has gone through over the past year, and whether the platform is still as relevant as it once was.Show Notes:Listen to season seven of the Land of the Giants podcast, “The Twitter Fantasy.” Read Kate’s “Unverify Me, Daddy” story. Follow all WIRED’s coverage of the X (née Twitter) saga.Recommendations:Kate Recommends the book Do You Remember Being Born? by Sean Michaels. Peter recommends the book Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, and also the show What We Do in the Shadows. Mike recommends the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume with Christain Slater and Samantha Mathis. Lauren recommends the second episode of the Land of the Giants: The Twitter Fantasy podcast she cohosts.
02/11/2341m 34s

23andMe and You

Genetic testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry offer a pretty enticing prospect. Just mail off a little bit of your spit in a tube and the company's lab can reveal the details of your ethnic background and trace the many branches of your family tree. The popularity of such tests means these genomics and biotechnology companies hold a whole lot of very personal data about their customers, and hackers tend to see their databases as targets ripe for the picking. Earlier this month, the private data of millions of 23andMe customers was stolen and put up for sale on hacker forums. Most troublingly, the data gathered targeted specific ethnic groups, including Ashkenazi Jews and people of Chinese descent.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman about the 23andMe hack, what it means for the people who were directly affected, and whether it's a good idea to give companies access to your genetic material and history in the first place.Show Notes:Read more from Lily about the 23andMe hack and some updates on how it has gotten even worse. Follow all of WIRED’s cybersecurity coverage.Recommendations:Lily recommends Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, specifically the flavor Malty Biscuit Brew. Lauren recommends Pasta e Ceci. Mike recommends the episode of the New York Times podcast Popcast titled, “Do We Need Album Reviews Anymore?”Lily Hay Newman can be found on social media @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
26/10/2332m 46s

Misinformation Is Soaring Online. Don’t Fall for It

Misinformation lives everywhere. False accounts of events, doctored photos, and purposely misleading news stories are quickly shared and passed around on social media, usually by well-meaning people who don’t know they’re sharing incorrect information. It's a big problem in the best of times, but the stakes become much higher during a heated crisis like the current Israel-Hamas war. As the violence in and around Gaza has continued to escalate, people are turning to places like X (aka Twitter) for the latest news on the conflict. But they've been met with a flood of bad info—old videos, fake photos, and inaccurate reports—that researchers say is unprecedented.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED reporter David Gilbert about how misinformation and disinformation spreads across social media, and how recent changes made by X before the Israel-Hamas war have made the problem even worse. We also talk about how the proliferation of generative artificial intelligence tools is making fake photos and videos look more believable. Show Notes:Read David and Vittoria Elliot’s WIRED story about how disinformation is getting worse on X. Read David on the role misinformation played in coverage of the recent Gaza hospital explosion. Also read David’s story about how posts by X owner Elon Musk are seemingly making the platform’s misinformation problems worse.Recommendations:David recommends the book A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney. Mike recommends Bono’s memoir Surrender. Lauren would like you to send her workout playlists. (She prefers Spotify.)David Gilbert can be found on social media @daithaigilbert. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
19/10/2341m 47s

Business Wars: Living in an Artificial World

Artificial intelligence abounds, and it’s only making its way deeper and deeper into every scrap of technology we use. Generative AI in particular is an invention that seems destined to follow us far into the future, so it’s best to try to make sense of where it’s headed.This week on Gadget Lab, we're sharing an episode of Wondery's Business Wars podcast where we talk about the rise of AI over the past few years, where the future of artificial intelligence is going, and whether the many movies about AI actually predicted what’s to come.Show Notes:Listen to the Business Wars podcast at Wondery, or wherever you get your podcasts. Check out their whole series, the Rise of AI. Follow all of our own AI coverage on WIRED.Recommendations:Lauren recommends the Classy podcast. Mike recommends the new movie Past Lives.Business Wars can be found on social media @businesswars. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
12/10/2348m 4s

Searching for a Better Google

It's finally nearing the end of a month filled with consumer tech announcements, and Wednesday’s Google event felt like the grand finale. While Google only sells a fraction of the number of phones and smartwatches pumped out by Apple and Samsung, the company’s work in mobile software, large language models, productivity services, and computational photography make it just as much of a heavyweight when it comes to consumer tech. But Google’s reach also extends far beyond your pocket and your wrist. Let us not forget about the company’s dominance in search. In fact, it’s currently in the throes of a protracted antitrust trial brought by the US government. The feds have accused Google of stifling competition and using its reign over the search ecosystem to stuff the experience with ads and misleading sponsored results.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave about Google's ongoing antitrust trial and all the new gadgets and AI-powered services the company announced this week.Show Notes:Read Paresh’s other stories about Google’s antitrust trial. Read all about Google’s new Pixel 8 phones and Pixel Watch. Get all the details on the Pixel’s computational photography tricks. Read about the new Bard-powered Assistant in the Google phones. Read Lauren’s story about where memory ends and generative AI begins.Recommendations:Paresh recommends weathering the heat wave with some soft serve, such as Meadowlark Dairy. Mike recommends the Technothrillers collection on the Criterion Channel. Lauren recommends reading poetry, like that of Ada Limon, Louise Gluck, and Seamus Heaney.Paresh Dave can be found on social media @peard33. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
05/10/2338m 9s

Meta’s Sound and Vision

Undeterred by its many detractors, Meta is still trying to make the metaverse happen. This week, the company held its annual Connect developer conference at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to announce a new mixed reality headset, the Meta Quest 3, as well as new smart glasses made by Ray-Ban that let the wearer livestream videos and interact with an AI-powered voice chatbot. Meta also showed off an array of celebrity-infused AI chatbots that can mimic big-name folks like Snoop Dogg and Kendall Jenner. You'd be forgiven for thinking all this feels a little bit like an episode of Black Mirror.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior AI writer Khari Johnson about the mixed reality hardware Meta announced this week, its voice-controlled smart glasses, its weird new AI chatbots, and where the company sits in the great AI arms race.Show Notes:Read Khari’s story about Meta’s many AI chatbots. Read Lauren’s story about the upcoming Meta Quest 3 headset and chatbot-enabled Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.Recommendations:Khari recommends the new movie The Creator. Lauren recommends the ‘90s movie Sliding Doors. Mike also recommends a ‘90s movie, Dazed and Confused.Khari Johnson can be found on social media @kharijohnson. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
28/09/2336m 48s

Alexa Gets an AI Makeover

Alexa was due for an upgrade, and now it has gotten one. This week, Amazon held its annual media event where it debuted a slate of new hardware, software, and services. The company reserved the spot at center stage for Alexa, the voice assistant powering all of Amazon’s smart home ambitions. Researchers at the company have given Alexa a technological upgrade that enables it to be more competitive in the ChatGPT era. Alexa can now speak more naturally, hold a conversation without as many awkward interactions, and even make its responses sound more emotionally nuanced.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Will Knight joins us to talk about how Alexa is becoming more agile as a conversationalist. Will spoke to Amazon executives about their machine intelligence work, their training models, and how the company is riding the wave of excitement around generative artificial intelligence.Show Notes:Read Will’s report on Alexa’s latest upgrade. Read our roundup of everything Amazon announced at Wednesday’s media event.Recommendations:Will recommends Auto-GPT, a tool that turns ChatGPT an autonomous agent that manages all the boring parts of your life. Mike recommends the book No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating by Alicia Kennedy. Lauren recommends the episode of WIRED’s Have a Nice Future Podcast where journalist Paul Tough talks about college in the US and the future of higher education.Will Knight can be found on Twitter @willknight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
21/09/2330m 12s

Your Life, Your iPhone

It's September, which means Apple has announced yet another round of new iPhones. During a typically bombastic media event at the company’s headquarters on Tuesday, Apple showed off regular and Pro versions of the iPhone 15, as well as a couple of new Apple Watch models and a smattering of software enhancements that aim to make moving around with your devices easier. The big news—though something Apple quickly glossed over in its presentation—is that the company has finally eschewed its proprietary Lightning connector in favor of the ubiquitous (and European-Union-mandated) USB-C standard. It's a big change, but one that Apple doesn't exactly seem happy to have been forced into making.This week on Gadget Lab, we dive into all the details about everything Apple announced this week, from the hardware to the software to the services.Show Notes:Dig into everything Apple announced at its September event. Read Adrienne’s story about the new Apple Watch models. Read Julian’s stories about the new iPhones 15 and why it matters that Apple has made the switch to USB-C. Also, check out Lauren’s story about Apple’s new expensive but massive iCloud+ plans. Recommendations:Adrienne recommends Ripton hiker jeans. (Read her story about these technical jorts.) Julian recommends the AnkerWork M650 wireless microphone system. Lauren recommends the latest episode of SmartLess with guest Kara Swisher. Mike recommends shatta, a fermented chile pepper sauce you can find at your local Middle Eastern grocer.Adrienne is on social media as @adriennemso. Julian is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
14/09/2338m 35s

We Robloxed So You Don’t Have To

If you want to see what the future of the internet looks like, peek over your kid’s shoulder while they’re using Roblox. The online platform is filled with free games, experiences, and social hangouts that are designed and built by its users. Curiously, those users are often children; Roblox has 65 million daily active users, and around half of them are under 17.But as Roblox grows, its users are growing up, and the company is making moves to appeal to the changing interests of its aging audience. This week, the company announced it’s bringing animated video chat to its virtual world. The new feature aims to combine the interactions of apps like Zoom and FaceTime with the creative energy of a video game environment. The addition of video chat could also convince older users to buy a premium Roblox subscription or invest in Robux, the platform’s digital currency.This week on Gadget Lab, we dive into the virtual world of Roblox and how the company's offerings are expanding to attract older users, evolve its culture, and create its own version of the metaverse.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s story about Roblox introducing animated video chats to its platform. WIRED’s Will Knight has more about how Roblox is using generative AI. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of Roblox and other video games.Recommendations:Lauren recommends getting rid of all your extra cables and watching the show Jury Duty on Amazon Prime. Mike recommends Andrew Hickey’s podcast A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs, and ordering bitters and soda at a bar when you don’t want an alcoholic drink.Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
08/09/2337m 55s

I Love You, I Hate You, Don’t Call Me

Our smartphones rule our lives. We love them, we hate them. Somewhere deep down inside, we hope they never go away. But, if recent sales data is to be believed, we are also incredibly bored with smartphones—so bored in fact that we’re buying far fewer of them than we used to.This week, we talk about what the future looks like for smartphones. They’ll likely get more foldable, their voice features could grow chattier, and they might even come with a chip to recognize AI-generated nonsense and block it like spam. WIRED senior editor and noted techno-grouser Jason Kehe joins our conversation about the future of the phone and the future of our souls.Note: This episode originally aired March 16, 2023. Read the full transcript.Show NotesRead Lauren’s interviews with five prominent technologists as they predict the phone’s future. The story is part of our WIRED 30 package celebrating our 30th anniversary as a publication.RecommendationsJason recommends Anaximander and the Birth of Science by Carlo Rovelli. Lauren recommends swimming and not podcasting. Mike recommends Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright.Jason Kehe can be found on Twitter @jkehe. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
31/08/2346m 46s

The Case of the Not-Stolen AirPods

Most of us who went to school in the United States have been threatened with detention for minor infractions like uttering a curse word or showing up to class five minutes late. But in Illinois, such behavior was landing students in more serious trouble. Since a recent state law prohibited school administrators in Illinois from fining students for infractions, those same administrators turned to the police to handle disciplinary actions. A recent investigation by ProPublica found that local police in Illinois were issuing ticketed citations to thousands of middle school and high school students each year. Kids caught fighting, vaping, skipping class, or even “causing a disturbance”—a sketchily defined catch-all—were facing tickets with fines of up to $500, putting financial strain on the their families, causing them to miss school to attend hearings, and adding to the normal stresses of school life. One case, involving a student who was accused of stealing a pair of AirPods, recently went to a jury trial as the student tried to clear her name.This week on Gadget Lab, ProPublica reporters Jodi S. Cohen and Jennifer Smith Richards join the show to talk about their in-depth reporting of the case of the missing AirPods and how police overreach has affected students in Illinois.Show Notes:Read Jodi and Jennifer’s ProPublica story about the missing AirPods and follow all of their reporting about how police cite students in Illinois.Recommendations:Jennifer recommends putting up a hammock in your backyard. Jodi recommends the Scrub Daddy sponge. Mike recommends the Longreads Top 5 newsletter. Lauren recommends donating to ProPublica.Jodi S. Cohen can be found on Twitter @jodiscohen. Jennifer Smith Richards is @jsmithrichards Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
24/08/2331m 59s

The Cruelest Summer

Summer isn’t even over here in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s already been a brutal few months. This year’s summer heat waves have been more frequent, more intense, and longer than any we’ve seen before. We’ve suffered through extreme weather events caused by those heat waves. We’ve seen wildfires that have been made more intense by climate change. We’ve had failures in infrastructure, industry, and the food supply. And of course, these problems are only getting worse. We’re looking at a future where extreme heat is just the new normal.This week, we bring WIRED senior science writer Matt Simon onto the show to talk about where all the heat is coming from and what it’s doing to the environment. We also talk about how quickly the problem of excessive heat is accelerating, and what—if anything—humans can do to slow it down, or at least lessen the damage it causes.Show Notes:Read Matt’s stories about heat waves, the wildfires in Lahaina, Maui, and how the heat is affecting the ocean’s food chains. You can find all of Matt’s WIRED stories in one place. Also, listen to Matt’s appearances on two previous episodes referenced in this week’s talk, when we spoke about microplastics and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Recommendations:Matt recommends the 24 Hours book series that looks at different ancient societies. Lauren recommends the short film “How to Catch a TikTok Thief” from The New Yorker. Mike recommends Connections, the new daily game from The New York Times.Matt Simon can be found on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, @mrMattSimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
17/08/2340m 3s

Nobody’s Driving That Car!

Tech companies have been touting self-driving cars as the future of transportation for over a decade now. Companies like Cruise, Waymo, and Zoox all have active programs testing their autonomous vehicles in US cities like San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin. Their cars have run endless loops around town to train their algorithms, zipping along city streets—and occasionally blocking them. While the tech has clearly gotten better and Waymo and Cruise now have permission to operate fully autonomously in California, the computer-powered taxis have also driven up some controversy with local governments, safety officials, city residents, and drivers.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about how a vote this week in California will affect robotaxi adoption in cities across the country, and what happens when our roadways are inundated with robots.Show Notes:Read Aarian’s story about how ride-hailing service drivers are responding to self-driving taxis. Read all of WIRED’s coverage of autonomous vehicles.Recommendations:Aarian recommends calling company customer support and trying to talk to a human sometimes. Mike recommends listening to comedy albums on streaming services. Lauren recommends her other podcast Have a Nice Future, particularly the episode with the artist Grimes.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
10/08/2334m 15s

Farm-to-Table Internet

Cloud computing has streamlined our hyper-mobile digital lives. We upload files, images, and globs of data to the cloud. Once all of our stuff is stored there, we can access it from anywhere and edit things collaboratively with our friends and coworkers. It’s convenient and appealing—but only if you don’t mind that all your personal data is stored on servers run by giant companies like Google and Amazon. The local-first computing movement is advocating for a different kind of communal framework, one that’s more private, more secure, and powered by peer-to-peer software that runs just on the machines where the files are being shared. No giant server farms in faraway lands, no faceless corporations using your data to generate ad revenue. Just the good old internet, by the people and for the people.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Greg Barber joins us to talk all about the local-first computing movement and how its adherents hope to upend our reliance on cloud services using peer-to-peer communication.Show Notes:Read Greg’s story about local-first computing.Recommendations:Greg recommends the Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lauren recommends the Barbie movie if you somehow haven’t seen it already. Mike recommends the latest episode of The War on Cars podcast with Bob Sorokanich.Greg Barber can be found on Twitter @gregoryjbarber. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
03/08/2332m 13s

The Future of Hollywood

Back in May, the Writers Guild of America went on strike—partly over disputes about compensation, and partly over fears that studios could use generative artificial intelligence tools to replace human writers and creators. This month, when the actor’s union SAG-AFTRA announced its own strike, things really started to heat up as some of the biggest and most recognizable movie stars joined the picket lines. Production in Hollywood has now mostly ground to a halt, negotiations with studios have stalled, and this stalemate looks as though it will persist for some time.What do these strikes mean for the movies, shows, podcasts, and video games we consume? Will the celebrity podcasts and chat shows also go dark? Are our streaming options now going to be limited to reruns and reality shows? Senior writer Kate Knibbs joins us from WIRED’s Culture desk to discuss the shifts that technology, economics, and income disparity have wrought in Hollywood.Show Notes:Read our coverage of the WGA strike, the actors’ strike. Learn how AI is being used in Hollywood and in video games. We also have a report from a Hollywood-less Comic-Con. Read WIRED’s entire series on the future of entertainment.Recommendations:Kate recommends two music artists, Nation of Language and Yaya Bey. Lauren recommends the episode of WTF with Marc Maron featuring Cillian Murphy. Mike recommends the film How to Blow Up a Pipeline.Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
27/07/2336m 28s

Elon Musk’s Grand xAI Plans

Elon Musk is back in the news again. (Really, does he ever leave the news?) Last week, Musk announced a new artificial intelligence venture called xAI. The timing of the launch is odd considering Musk still runs Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, Boring Company, and Twitter. Twitter in particular is causing him headaches, with both its sagging business and increased competition from rivals like Meta’s Threads. All of these developments are happening in the shadow of what feels like a lazy subplot on a bad sitcom—a proposed mixed martial arts cage match between Musk and his rival, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.This week, we talk with WIRED editor at large Steven Levy about the launch of xAI and its stated goal of “understanding the true nature of the universe.” We also discuss the places generative artificial intelligence has yet to venture, and the ways in which xAI could make an impact in the field of deep learning. And of course, we talk about that cage match. Yech.Show Notes:Read Steven’s Plaintext newsletter, in which he urges Mark Zuckerberg not to take the bait. Will Knight outlines xAI’s biggest challenges. Amanda Hoover writes about Threads’ threat to Twitter’s domain. Paresh Dave gives an update on AI regulation in Europe and the US. Read all of our generative AI coverage.Recommendations:Steven recommends Oppenheimer. So does Lauren. (We discuss it without spoiling it.) Mike recommends pretzel buns, because it’s not summer without them.Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
20/07/2335m 31s

Stop Trying to Make New Twitter Happen

Hey look, there's a new Twitter alternative. The text-based Instagram offshoot Threads launched a week ago, and in the days since, the platform racked up over a hundred million users. It's a huge showing for parent company Meta that has Mark Zuckerberg and other execs celebrating. Meanwhile, current Twitter owner Elon Musk is fuming as Threads threatens to unravel his platform’s microblogging dominance. But despite its initial success, it's not yet clear whether Threads will emerge as the top social space. These early days of Threads may feel slightly less toxic than Twitter, but it's already being overtaken by cringey influencers and pseudo-sassy brand accounts. It's also just one more thing to sign up for, and could stretch just how much tolerance people have for all these new microblogging platforms.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior Kate Knibbs joins us to unspool the question of whether Meta's new social service is too much, too little, or just right.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about how it’s time to stop making Twitter competitors. Read all about how Threads may be the thing that kills Twitter, and how to run Threads on your desktop. Or, you know, don’t sign up for Threads at all until it becomes clear how much of your data it is harvesting.Recommendations:Kate recommends the book Natural Causes by Dan Hurley. Mike recommends Life Examined from KCRW. Lauren recommends season two of The Bear on Hulu.Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
13/07/2338m 14s

Have a Nice Future: Don't Worry, It Gets Worse

We're off this week, so instead of our usual show, we're sharing an episode of WIRED's other podcast, Have a Nice Future. It's hosted by Gadget Lab cohost Lauren Goode and WIRED editor in chief Gideon Litchfield. The show features interviews with guests who have big, audacious ideas about the future. Lauren and Gideon dig into whether this is a future we want to live in, and what we can do about it now.On this episode, Gideon and Lauren are joined by someone whose full-time job was to predict the future. Noah Raford spent nearly 15 years working as the UAE’s chief futurist, where he advised the government on how to prepare for all sorts of futuristic challenges, from pandemics to global warming. His advice? Get comfortable with discomfort.This episode originally aired April 26, 2023. Listen to every episode of Have a Nice Future wherever you get your podcasts.
06/07/2333m 58s

Our Clothes Are Making Us Sick

Have you ever put on a new shirt and then discovered that it makes you feel itchy? Or have you ever taken off a new pair of pants at the end of the day to find that the fabric has given you a skin rash? This is a problem that’s increasingly common as more and more chemicals are being added to our clothing when they’re dyed different colors or treated with additives that make them stain-, wrinkle-, or odor-resistant. Some of these chemicals are irritants that can cause breathing problems or skin issues. Some others are toxic enough to trigger life-altering autoimmune diseases. Since the fashion industry operates within loose regulations, the problem of toxic apparel isn’t going away anytime soon.This week on Gadget Lab, we're joined by journalist and author Alden Wicker. Her new book is called To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion is Making Us Sick—And How We Can Fight Back. We discuss the wide range of chemicals, dyes, and treatments that get put into our clothes, and we offer tips on how to avoid the worst offenders while shopping for a new wardrobe.Show Notes:Alden’s book is To Dye For. It’s out this week from G.P. Putnam’s Sons; buy it wherever books are sold. Also read Alden’s reporting on the fashion industry for WIRED.Recommendations:Alden recommends Vermont. Lauren recommends tzatziki sauce. Mike recommends The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin.Alden Wicker can be found on Twitter @AldenWicker. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
29/06/2332m 56s

Shop Talk

Nearly every one of us in the US and Canada has bought something from either Walmart or Amazon. Not only are these two retailers ubiquitous, but they have forever altered the way we buy things through their experiments with things like free shipping, competitive pricing, speedy delivery, membership services, and innovative brick-and-mortar experiences.Amazon and Walmart are obviously different in many ways, but the two companies are also surprisingly similar. This becomes particularly evident when you chart the history of their rivalry, as they race to compete for online shopping gains, or when they battle it out to acquire the same companies. Journalist and author Jason Del Ray writes about the dueling giants in his new book, Winner Sells All: Amazon, Walmart, and the Battle for Our Wallets, which traces the moves both companies have made in their decades-long slugfest.This week, we talk to Jason Del Rey about Amazon and Walmart’s technological advances, their strategic acquisitions, and how the pandemic forced them both to change course.Show Notes:Jason’s book, Winner Sells All, is out now from HarperCollins. Read all of our Amazon and Walmart coverage.Recommendations:Jason recommends season two of The Bear on Hulu. Mike recommends “Life After Roe,” WIRED’s series of stories about the current state of abortion rights. Lauren recommends buying gifts for people year-round, storing them in your home, then delivering them at the one time of year when you see them. Jason Del Rey can be found on Twitter @DelRey. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
22/06/2332m 44s

What the Truck, Elon?

Hey, remember the Cybertruck? Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company’s futuristic electric vehicle way back in 2019. At the launch event, Tesla tried to show off the Cybertruck's "unbreakable windows" by hurling a metal ball at them. It promptly shattered the glass. Twice. It was an inelegant debut, but Tesla still seemed eager to develop the EV.Turns out, the Cybertruck had a few other design flaws as well. Leaked Tesla documents from January of 2022 have revealed an array of problems with the handling, braking, suspension, and chassis of the Cybertruck’s prototype. Most of the Cybertruck’s physical problems appear fixable, but auto industry experts are shocked that Tesla was still encountering so many issues at such a late point in the vehicle’s development.This week on Gadget Lab, we're joined by WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall and WIRED's innovations editor Jeremy White for a conversation about where the Cybertruck’s development went wrong and how the EV’s difficult birth affects Tesla’s larger EV vision.Show Notes:Read Jeremy and Aarian’s story about the leaked Tesla documents that revealed the Cybertruck’s design flaws. Check out all WIRED’s coverage of Tesla and electric vehicles.Recommendations:Aarian recommends Shokz Open Run headphones for running. Jeremy recommends that you get some proper tea, either loose leaf or PG Tips in paper bags. (And please only add the milk after you’ve poured in the hot water.) Mike recommends the podcast This Little Light, hosted by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Lauren recommends Jennifer Egan’s book The Candy House and the documentary series Smartless On the Road on Max.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Jeremy White is @jeremywired. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
15/06/2336m 24s

Apple’s Vision Quest

After years of rumor and speculation, Apple finally took the wraps off its virtual reality headset this week. The Apple Vision Pro made its debut at the company’s big developer conference in Cupertino, California. The new headset lets the viewer enjoy a fully immersive experience, or dial in a little bit of their visual surroundings to mix the real world and virtual elements together. It’s an impressive feat of engineering. When it goes on sale next year for $3,500, Apple hopes it will serve as its next big platform for app developers—and the usefulness of the apps that wind up on the Vision Pro are what its success or failure really hinges on.Our own Lauren Goode got to try the headset, and she tells us all about it. We also welcome WIRED product writer and reviewer Brenda Stolyar onto the show to go over all of the other updates Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference, including new Macs, and new software features coming to iPhones, Macs, Apple Watches, and iPads.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s hands-on (face-on?) report of the Apple Vision Pro. Read Brenda’s roundup of the new features coming to macOS. Boone Ashworth asks if people really want to wear VR headsets. We also have a roundup of all the big WWDC announcements. Khari Johnson looks at why Apple didn’t talk about GenAI this week, even though it’s currently the hottest discussion topic in Silicon Valley.Recommendations:Brenda recommends watching all of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Video.Lauren recommends the outdoor consumer tech website, DC Rainmaker. Mike recommends the book The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross.Brenda can be found on Twitter @bstoly. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode and @laurengoode.bsky.social. Michael Calore is @snackfight and @snackfight.bsky.social. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab on Twitter. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth, @boone.bsky.social). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
08/06/2334m 47s

AI Won’t Wipe Out Humanity (Yet)

The idea that machine intelligence will one day take over the world has long been a staple of science fiction. But given the rapid advances in consumer-level artificial intelligence tools, the fear has felt closer to reality these past few months than it ever has before. The generative AI craze has stirred up excitement and apprehension in equal measure, leaving many people uneasy about where the future of this obviously powerful yet still nascent tech is going. This week, for example, the nonprofit group Center for AI Safety released a short statement warning that society should be taking AI as seriously as an existential threat as we do nuclear war and pandemics.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Will Knight about how dangerous AI really is, and what guardrails we can put up to prevent the robot apocalypse.Show Notes:Read Will’s story about the experts worried that AI is posing an existential threat to humanity. Read all WIRED’s coverage about AI.Recommendations:Will recommends the novel Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton. Mike recommends storing your food with Bee’s Wrap. Lauren recommends HBO’s Succession Podcast, hosted by Kara Swisher.Will Knight can be found on Twitter @willknight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
01/06/2329m 51s

How to Get Started Biking

For a lot of people, riding a bike through a crowded city—or even on suburban avenues—might feel daunting. Should you get an electric or acoustic bicycle? What gear do you need while you ride? How do you avoid getting hit by the great big gas guzzlers that take up most of the road? These are valid questions, and we've got answers. May is national bike month here in the US, and Gadget Lab is ready to get you rolling.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So joins us as we cycle through all things bikes: How to start riding more, what to look for in an ebike, and what's the best frame color for your grocery-getter.Show Notes: Read more about Adrienne’s guide to the best ebikes. Here’s our roundup of our favorite bike accessories.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the book A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit. Mike recommends the Lil Guy hip bag from Road Runner Bags. Lauren recommends Adrienne So’s WIRED story “A Letter to My Fellow Asian Mothers From the Multiverse.”Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.This show originally aired May 19, 2022. Here's a full transcript.
25/05/2336m 6s

Let’s Get Swole

The weather is warming up in our part of the world, which means people are starting to think a little more about getting outside and being active, and maybe doing so in a little less clothing than usual. So we’re dedicating this week’s Gadget Lab episode to fitness. Our guest is the author Casey Johnston, who writes about weightlifting, nutrition, and fitness trends in her newsletter, She’s a Beast, and her book, Liftoff: Couch to Barbell.We talk to Casey about her own fitness journey, and how to navigate all the high-tech and low-tech solutions for achieving better health, from fitness trackers and online videos to finding a workout regimen that meets your goals.Show Notes:Subscribe to Casey’s newsletter. Check out her ebook about weightlifting. Recommendations:Casey recommends the game Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Mike recommends saving your pickle brine and using it in other recipes instead of just dumping it out. Lauren recommends the podcast Wiser Than Me, hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.Casey Johnston can be found on Twitter @caseyjohnston. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
18/05/2335m 38s

Google Disrupts Itself

Google would like you to know that it has been at the forefront of machine intelligence for decades, actually. Never mind that it was beaten to the generative AI hype party by the likes of OpenAI and Microsoft Bing, because Google has big plans. At its I/O developer conference this week, in addition to announcing some new hardware (including a folding phone), Google turned on the firehose of AI. During a two-hour presentation, the company showed how it’s busily building generative technologies into nearly everything it does. Chatbots, text generators, and content creation tools will soon be embedded in Google’s devices, search pages, Android apps, and Google's Workspace suite of productivity apps like Gmail, Docs, and Sheets.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about the big news from Google’s I/O event and why the company is so dead set on sticking AI in absolutely everything.Show Notes:Read all of WIRED’s coverage from Google I/O, including everything the company announced, how Google is adding AI to search and Android, and the details of the new Pixel Fold (and why Google might not really care if you buy it.)Recommendations:Julian recommends going on vacation and also the new Legend of Zelda game. Lauren recommends Janet Malcom’s book Still Pictures. Mike recommends the JBL Reflect Aero earbuds.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
12/05/2341m 33s

Nothin’ but Bluesky

In the months since Elon Musk took over Twitter and started making all kinds of unpopular changes, people have been looking for other places online where they can hang out instead.Of all the Twitter-like social platforms to emerge as safe havens for the hordes—Mastodon, T2, Post, Notes—the one with the most buzz is Bluesky. It’s popular because ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is one of the people behind it, but also because it’s still in beta and sign-ups are invitation-only. Scarcity breeds demand. The cool people and internet insiders are already on Bluesky, and they are reporting that the new social network looks an awful lot like Twitter. Also, it’s actually … fun.This week, we look at Bluesky’s rise and discuss its growing pains. We also ask if any of these fledgeling social networks can ever hope to captivate us the way Twitter has.Show Notes:Here’s Kate on why Bluesky is fun. The platform also has a nudes problem. Vittoria Elliott catalogs the current surge in hate speech and propaganda on Twitter. Relatedly, read about how Reddit has dealt with moderation of hate speech and misinformation.Recommendations:Kate recommends Middlemarch, the novel by George Eliot. Lauren recommends Baby J, John Mulaney’s latest Netflix special. Mike recommends the album Under the Pink by Tori Amos.Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs and does not have any Bluesky invites. Neither does Lauren Goode, who is @LaurenGoode on Twitter. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
04/05/2338m 57s

This Episode Is Nuts

The most successful industries out there are the ones that play to consumers' insecurities. Many self-care companies prey on people’s anxieties about how they look and smell, offering products that purport to make the wearer more appealing to romantic prospects and the rest of society by making them more attractive and less smelly. For much of the modern era, these products have been aimed at women, reinforcing dominant beauty standards and making bucket loads of money as sales have soared. Recently, that strategy has grown to reach a previously untapped market: men and people with penises. A slew of companies now offer all sorts of sprays, balms, and supplements for men’s nether regions. While convincing men to invest in full body hygiene, they are also changing modern ideas about masculinity.This week on Gadget Lab, we invite WIRED’s head of research Zak Jason to describe his descent into the weird world of testicle sprays, bag balms, and men’s wellness products.Show Notes:Read Zak’s story about his balls-out exploration of the nascent men’s beauty products industry. Read Ashley Lauretta’s investigation into why we stay up late even though we know it’s bad for us. Find our conversation about voicemails and audio messages in episode 590.Recommendations:Zak recommends leaving your friends voicemails in the middle of the day. Mike recommends the podcast Bad Dates with Jameela Jamil. Lauren recommends going to bed earlier.Zak Jason can be found on Twitter @zakjason. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
27/04/2337m 17s

I Know What You Did With That Bitcoin

If you’ve committed any internet crimes lately, you probably shouldn’t have paid for them with Bitcoin. While many crypto-evangelists have long thought of digital currency as a means of buying legal and illicit goods on the web with total anonymity, the fact is that nearly all cryptocurrency transactions leave a digital trail behind them that can point to your true identity. No matter how hard you try to hide, a dedicated sleuth with the right resources can find you.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior cybersecurity writer and author of the book Tracers in the Dark digs into all the ways investigators, government agents, and hackers can track down criminals online by “following the money” exchanged in cryptocurrency transactions.Show Notes:Andy’s book is Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency. You can read two excerpts from the book on WIRED.com: the six-part AlphaBay saga and the feature about the takedown of a website for sharing child sex abuse materials.Recommendations:Andy recommends the deliberately frustrating game Getting Over It. Lauren recommends Andy’s WIRED story about the animal activists whose spy cams revealed the grim realities of pork slaughterhouses. Mike recommends the book Art Is Life by the art critic Jerry Saltz.Andy can be found on Twitter @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.This show originally aired on February 9, 2023. Here's the full transcript.
20/04/2328m 16s

Send in the Clones

Artificial intelligence continues to seep into every aspect of our lives: search results, chatbots, images on social media, viral videos, documentaries about dead celebrities. Of course, it’s also seeping into our ears through our podcast clients.A new class of emerging AI-powered services can take audio clips from voice recordings and build models off them. Anything you type into a computer can be spit out as an impression of that person’s voice. Proponents of AI voice cloning see these tools as a way to make life a little easier for content creators. The robo-voices can be used to fix mistakes, read ads, or perform other mundane duties. Critics warn that the same tools can be weaponized to steal identities, scam people, and make it sound like someone has said horrible things they never did.This week, we ask our producer Boone Ashworth, who is also a staff writer for WIRED, to sit down in front of the microphone and bring his AI voice clone experiments with him.Show Notes:Read Boone’s story about AI voice clones. Read all of our recent coverage of artificial intelligence.Recommendations:Boone recommends the Arte Concert Passengers playlist on YouTube. Mike recommends The New York Times Presents: The Legacy of J Dilla, a documentary on FX and Hulu. Lauren recommends starting Succession—From the beginning! Very important!—if you haven’t. It’s on HBO.Boone Ashworth can be found on Twitter @BooneAshworth. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
13/04/2335m 43s

Like, Follow, Subscribe to Cars

It used to be that when you bought a car, you just picked out the model and color you wanted and selected the optional extras. When the dealer rang up the total, that’s all you had to pay. Now, it’s becoming more common to pay a base price for a car and then subscribe to those extras. Big stuff like driver assistance features or fast-charging capability and even smaller stuff like heated seats and dash cams can be unlocked in a new car by paying the automaker a yearly or monthly fee. This trend has been quickly adopted by the auto industry for new cars, and it’s now making its way into used cars too. This week, we welcome WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall back to the show. We talk about the overall trend of pay-to-unlock features in cars, and how automakers are adapting it for the second-hand vehicle market.Show Notes:Read Aarian’s story about subscription-based services in used cars. Also read her other auto industry stories, including reports about how cars can monitor your behavior behind the wheel, and how online sales have changed the process of buying a car. Read all of WIRED’s automotive coverage.Recommendations:Aarian recommends recipes from Bon Appétit, especially if you’re hosting Passover seder. Lauren recommends the documentary about photographer Nan Goldin, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. Mike recommends the new WIRED podcast, Have a Nice Future, which Lauren cohosts.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
06/04/2328m 26s

Sidewalk Surfin’

Amazon has sold a lot of connected devices, and now it’s putting those devices to work. Millions of Ring cameras and Echo speakers sitting in homes across the US have the potential to share a little bit of their internet bandwidth with other Amazon devices that need it. This network, made up almost entirely of consumer gadgets installed in people’s homes, is called Amazon Sidewalk. The company has been bolstering Sidewalk for years, adding device after device to this sleeper army of bandwidth-sharing speakers and cameras. Sidewalk has gotten big enough to reach 90 percent of the US population, and it’s poised to grow even bigger now that the company has opened up Sidewalk to developers. As more companies build more products that can join the Sidewalk network, the full scale of Amazon's plan will come into focus.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about Amazon Sidewalk and how the company quietly built up a network that reaches nearly everyone in the US.Show Notes:Read Mike’s story about the Amazon Sidewalk developer kit. Also read Amazon’s privacy and security white paper for Sidewalk. Oh and here’s how to turn off Amazon Sidewalk.Recommendations:Mike recommends the social site Mastodon. Lauren recommends making almond milk with a nut bag, and not adding too much salt.Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
30/03/2336m 24s

The Sacred Mountain of Chip-Making

If you're reading this, you can thank a semiconductor. Phones, tablets, computers—really any device more digital than pen and paper—all depend on the tiny chips inside them to function. The semiconductor industry is massive, and at the center of it all is one massive firm that makes the bulk of the chips we all rely on: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The company, known widely as just TSMC, is not only the most important enterprise in the chip industry, but it’s also a powerful and stabilizing force in the geopolitical standoff between Taiwan and China that, if ignited, would affect the whole world. TSMC’s untouchable status has earned it an amusing nickname: The Sacred Mountain of Protection.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED contributor Virginia Heffernan talks about her trip to the TSMC facility in Taiwan. She tells us how chips are made and explains how the semiconductor industry—TSMC in particular—drives innovation while remaining largely invisible.Show Notes:Read Virginia’s story about her trip to the TSMC factory in Taiwan.Recommendations:Virginia recommends the show Seven Seconds on Netflix. Mike recommends the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s podcast How to Fix the Internet, specifically the episode “So You Think You’re a Critical Thinker.” Lauren recommends the Apple TV show Bad Sisters.Virginia Heffernan can be found on Twitter @page88. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
23/03/2338m 59s

I Love You, I Hate You, Don’t Call Me

Our smartphones rule our lives. We love them, we hate them. Somewhere deep down inside, we hope they never go away. But, if recent sales data is to be believed, we are also incredibly bored with smartphones—so bored in fact that we’re buying far fewer of them than we used to.This week, we talk about what the future looks like for smartphones. They’ll likely get more foldable, their voice features could grow chattier, and they might even come with a chip to recognize AI-generated nonsense and block it like spam. WIRED senior editor and noted techno-grouser Jason Kehe joins our conversation about the future of the phone and the future of our souls.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s interviews with five prominent technologists as they predict the phone’s future. The story is part of our WIRED 30 package celebrating our 30th anniversary as a publication.Recommendations:Jason recommends Anaximander and the Birth of Science by Carlo Rovelli. Lauren recommends swimming and not podcasting. Mike recommends Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright.Jason Kehe can be found on Twitter @jkehe. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
16/03/2344m 49s

ChatGPT in Schools

The worst part of going to school is all the homework. Nothing strikes dread in a student’s heart quite like facing down a deadline on a seven-page essay. That’s why some of them may find it tempting to turn those hours of work into a task that can be breezed through in a matter of seconds by an AI-powered app. Generative tools like ChatGPT have wormed their way into the school system, causing panic among teachers and administrators. While some schools have banned the tech outright, others are embracing it as a tool to teach students how to tell the difference between reality and science fiction.This week, we're bringing you a special show about the perils and opportunities of AI in the classroom. This episode is a collaboration between WIRED and the NPR show 1A. It's the second episode in a series called “Know-It-All,” which focuses on all the ways AI is affecting our world.Show NotesListen to every episode of Know It All: 1A and WIRED’s Guide to AI. Read more from WIRED about how chatbots are coming for the classroom.Pia Ceres can be found on Twitter @lapiaenrose. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
09/03/2347m 39s

We Really Recommend This Episode

The modern internet is powered by recommendation algorithms. They're everywhere from Facebook to YouTube, from search engines to shopping websites. These systems track your online consumption and use that data to suggest the next piece of content for you to absorb. Their goal is to keep users on a platform by presenting them with things they'll spend more time engaging with. Trouble is, those link chains can lead to some weird places, occasionally taking users down dark internet rabbit holes or showing harmful content. Lawmakers and researchers have criticized recommendation systems before, but these methods are under renewed scrutiny now that Google and Twitter are going before the US Supreme Court to defend their algorithmic practices.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Jonathan Stray, a senior scientist at the Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI who studies recommendation systems online. We discuss how recommendation algorithms work, how they’re studied, and how they can be both abused and restrained.Show Notes:Read all about Section 230. Read Jonathan Stray and Gillian Hadfield’s story on WIRED about their engagement research. Read more about the two cases before the US Supreme Court.Recommendations:Jonathan recommends the book The Way Out by Peter Coleman. Mike recommends the novel Denial by Jon Raymond. Lauren recommends Matt Reynolds’ WIRED story about how you’ve been thinking about food all wrong, and also getting a bag to make nut milk.Jonathan Stray can be found on Twitter @jonathanstray. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, take our brief listener survey. Doing so will earn you a chance to win a $1,000 prize.
02/03/2334m 21s

Netflix Is No Longer Chill

The promise of streaming TV was that you could watch whatever you wanted, when you wanted. And for a while, that was mostly true. But recently, streaming services have started to dial back the nice-guy stuff and reel in the freebies. Companies across the stream-o-sphere are tweaking subscription tiers, raising prices, and canceling unprofitable shows. Netflix has introduced an ad-supported tier to its formerly ad-free service, and even started cracking down on people sharing account credentials. And corporate shake ups at HBO Max have resulted in gobs of stuff being removed from that platform entirely.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior editor Angela Watercutter joins us to talk about why the streaming ecosystem has grown so complicated and hostile toward its customers.Show NotesRead WIRED’s series about why we hate streaming. Listen to WIRED and 1A’s series about AI, Know It All.RecommendationsAngela recommends the cinematic masterpiece Cocaine Bear. Lauren recommends Marc Maron’s stand-up special From Bleak to Dark on HBO. Mike recommends the film EO, which is about a donkey.Angela Watercutter can be found on Twitter @WaterSlicer. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
23/02/2331m 31s

Real Humans Chat About Chatbots

The unstoppable march of artificial intelligence carries on. In mere weeks, AI has oozed into nearly everything we interact with on the internet, from conversations, to journalism, to how we look stuff up online. It's even got Google scrambling to reclaim its spot on the search throne after Microsoft implemented its own AI tools to miraculously make Bing feel relevant again.This week, we talk with WIRED senior writer Will Knight about how generative AI is changing how we search for information and create content online, and whether we should actually be freaking out about our new robot overlords.Show NotesRead more from Will about the very weird and occasionally horrifying world of generative AI. Follow all of WIRED’s ChatGPT and AI coverage.RecommendationsWill recommends The Amazing Acro-Cats, which is a cat circus that is about to go on tour. Lauren recommends the CBC documentary Big Dating. Mike recommends the World Bollard Association Twitter account.Will Knight can be found on Twitter @willknight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
16/02/2332m 53s

I Know What You Did With That Bitcoin

If you’ve committed any internet crimes lately, you probably shouldn’t have paid for them with Bitcoin. While many crypto-evangelists have long thought of digital currency as a means of buying legal and illicit goods on the web with total anonymity, the fact is that nearly all cryptocurrency transactions leave a digital trail behind them that can point to your true identity. No matter how hard you try to hide, a dedicated sleuth with the right resources can find you.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior cybersecurity writer and author of the book Tracers in the Dark digs into all the ways investigators, government agents, and hackers can track down criminals online by “following the money” exchanged in cryptocurrency transactions.Show NotesAndy’s book is Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency. You can read two excerpts from the book on WIRED.com: the six-part AlphaBay saga and the feature about the takedown of a website for sharing child sex abuse materials.RecommendationsAndy recommends the deliberately frustrating game Getting Over It. Lauren recommends Andy’s WIRED story about the animal activists whose spy cams revealed the grim realities of pork slaughterhouses. Mike recommends the book Art Is Life by the art critic Jerry Saltz.Andy can be found on Twitter @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
09/02/2327m 28s

Have We Reached Peak Smartphone?

Phones have been pretty boring for a long time. Don’t get us wrong—phones are still amazing little devices! It just feels like we haven’t seen any truly innovative phone designs or new standout features in a long while. This year’s phone looks and works a lot like last year’s phone. Your phone looks and works a lot like my phone. Have phones actually plateaued, leveled off, or chilled out? Is their transition from fetish object to commodity complete?The perfectly fine boringness of phones gets thrown into focus every time a new handset is launched into the world. This week, we saw the debut of the newest Samsung Galaxy devices. WIRED staff writer (and our podcast's producer) Boone Ashworth joins us to talk about those new phones, and phones in general, and how breathtaking and bland they all are, all at once.Show NotesRead our roundup of everything Samsung announced at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, including three new Galaxy phones and five new laptops. If you want to preorder a Galaxy device, we have some buying advice for you. Last year’s model is also just great. Read Lauren’s story about safely buying a used phone.RecommendationsBoone recommends Barbarian, which you can watch on HBO Max or rent elsewhere. Mike recommends Sichuan Gold hot sauce from Fly By Jing. Lauren recommends the HBO documentary Navalny.Boone Ashworth can be found on Twitter @BooneAshworth. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
02/02/2335m 5s

Why the Kids Love TikTok Search

TikTok’s influence is expanding well beyond the social sphere. The app is increasingly being used for the types of internet searches one would normally rely on a web search engine for. The video-based social app might not seem like the best place to find answers to your burning questions, but many users have made it their tool of choice for finding bars and restaurants to visit, movies to watch, or clothes to wear. It's a trend that has companies like Google more than a little concerned. The popularity of the app has also raised the hackles of US lawmakers, who have cited security concerns about the app and have even introduced legislation calling for a wholesale national TikTok ban.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED's Lily Hay Newman joins us to discuss why all the kids are using TikTok for search and dig into whether the app's ownership by a Chinese firm really makes it a national security threat.Show NotesRead Lauren’s story about her week of using TikTok for search. Here’s Lily on TikTok’s security threats. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of TikTok.RecommendationsLily recommends the essay collection "You Are Not Expected to Understand This": How 26 Lines of Code Changed the World, edited by Torie Bosch. Lauren recommends the book I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. Mike recommends the classic seasons of the show Doctor Who, which you can find on BritBox.Lily Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
26/01/2336m 33s

We Need to Talk About Your Stove

Gas stoves are so hot right now. A recent report found that emissions from gas cooktops are worsening both the environmental crisis and the health of the humans who use them. This knowledge has stoked a heated cultural debate in the US. Some people have piped up to advocate for phasing out gas stoves, while others have fired back that the government can pry gas stoves out of their cold (presumably because they stopped paying the gas bill) dead hands. While the controversy has blown up, the reality is that gas is a problematic energy source with many worrisome issues. Reducing our dependence on the appliances and the fossil-based fuels they consume will be no easy task.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Amanda Hoover joins us to re-spark the gas stove debate, and talk about what we can actually do to fix the problems these old-school appliances are causing.Show NotesRead Amanda’s story about the gas stove culture wars.RecommendationsAmanda recommends the Normal Gossip podcast. Lauren recommends getting a short term gym membership. Mike recommends the audiobook of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums as read by Ethan Hawke.Amanda Hoover can be found on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
19/01/2322m 36s

Oh, Deere!

The tractor company John Deere has faced a lot of criticism for the tight hold it keeps over its products. If someone needs to repair their tractor, they’ve got to do it through John Deere’s official channels, which farmers say creates unnecessary hassles. If a problem arises during harvest time, a days-long wait for a sanctioned repair could spell financial ruin. Now, in an effort to stave off lawsuits from right-to-repair advocates, John Deere is making some concessions about repairability. But the move has been criticized by some advocates, who say the company still has to do more to make its products truly accessible.This week on Gadget Lab, we dig into the dirt about John Deere and what the repairability of tractors means for the rest of the gadgets out there.Show NotesRead Lauren’s story about John Deere. Follow all WIRED’s coverage of the right-to-repair movement.RecommendationsMike recommends the book Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kaufmann. Lauren recommends taking the train. Choo choo!Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
12/01/2331m 49s

CES 2023: We Live Here Now

In the world of consumer tech, there’s no palette-cleanser for the new year quite like the annual CES, the giant electronics show. What better way to kick off 2023 than to find your way through the maze of metal and screens (and germs) and Alexa-equipped toothbrushes and pet-feeding robots (and germs) and hyper-futuristic electric vehicles that may never actually ship (also, probably germs)? Our WIRED editors on the ground at CES, keeping an eye out for the most important developments to emerge from the gadget extravaganza. So for this week’s WIRED Gadget Lab podcast, we come to you (alive but a little exhausted) from Las Vegas to talk about the big trends from CES and how they might shape our tech experiences for the rest of the year.Show NotesFollow WIRED’s liveblog of all the news from CES. Or just check out the coolest stuff from the event. Read all of WIRED’s coverage of CES.RecommendationsJulian recommends not feeling like you have to see everything at CES. Adrienne recommends the Aeropress Pro and a collapsible travel kettle. Mike recommends not partying until your last night of CES and taking showers at night.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode (who will be returning to the show next week) is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
05/01/2332m 35s

Is It 2023 Yet?

Keeping on theme with the roaring ‘20s, this year has been a doozy. Social media sites are aflame, all that hype over the metaverse has fizzled, the cryptocurrency economy has all but collapsed, and you can't always tell if a piece of art was created by a person or an eerily human bot. The future is now, and there sure is a lot of it.On this final Gadget Lab episode of the year, we discuss 2022’s biggest stories and guess at what wild tech frontiers might be awaiting us all in 2023.Show NotesCheck out all WIRED’s coverage of art, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse. Read more about Twitter and Elon Musk, if you must. Read Lauren’s story about how no one cares about her NFT. Here’s Steven Levy’s story about how big tech layoffs may fuel new industry upstarts.RecommendationsMike recommends finding a local foot race to run. Lauren recommends meditation, particularly guided meditations from Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and 10% Happier podcast.Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
29/12/2239m 38s

Plastic Rap

Plastic waste never really breaks down. It just splits into tinier and tinier pieces until it becomes trillions of microscopic bits scattered across the world. Microplastics are everywhere: In the air we breathe and the water we drink, atop the highest mountains and in the deepest parts of the ocean. Microplastics are even coursing through our bloodstreams and sitting in our digestive systems. It's a problem we have only recently begun to understand, and are still trying to figure out how to solve.This week on Gadget Lab, Matt Simon, WIRED climate writer and author of the new book A Poison Like No Other, joins us to talk about how microplastics became such a scourge and what—if anything—we can do about it.Show NotesMatt’s book A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies is out now. Read an excerpt of the book on WIRED. You can also find other Matt Simon stories about microplastics and the climate by browsing his author page.RecommendationsMatt recommends Derry Girls on Netflix. Lauren recommends a plastic or metal water bottle that you can use over and over again. She likes the 32-ounce narrow mouth Nalgene bottle. Mike recommends bringing back Follow Friday on Twitter.Matt Simon can be found on Twitter @mrMattSimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.This episode originally aired on October 27, 2022. Read the transcript.
22/12/2238m 23s

The iPod of Crypto

Even if you own no Bitcoin, no Ether, and no NFTs, crypto wallets—pocket-friendly hardware lockers that store digital assets—will be a part of your future. They’re essential tools for securing not only coins and digital tokens, but also the next generation of passports, drivers licenses, and concert tickets. A French company called Ledger, one of the leaders in digital wallets, is trying to take the technology mainstream with the help of Tony Fadell, one of Silicon Valley’s most celebrated hardware designers. Fadell designed the iPod and the Nest thermostat, and now he’s designed Ledger’s next product, a crypto wallet called Stax.This week, WIRED editor at large Steven Levy joins the show to tell us about the time he spent with Fadell and the Ledger team in Paris (we know, tough gig) to witness the birth of the Stax. We cover all you need to know about crypto wallets, why they are safer places to store digital assets than exchanges, and how digital wallets will be useful beyond the world of cryptocurrencies.Show NotesRead Steven’s story about the development of the Ledger Stax. You can also read about Fadell’s Paris-based consultancy business. Read all of WIRED’s cryptocurrency coverage.RecommendationsSteven recommends Paxlovid, the antiviral treatment for people suffering from Covid symptoms. Lauren recommends the second season of HBO’s White Lotus and also Zebra Sarasa Grand pens. Mike recommends dusting off your old iPod.Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
15/12/2233m 6s

ChatGPT for You and Me

Artificial intelligence is advancing faster than ever, with a new crop of generative AI programs that are creating art, videos, humor, fake news, and plenty of controversy. The technologies powering this latest slate of tools have been in the works for years, but the public release of these programs—particularly a new chatbot enabled by OpenAI’s GPT system—represents a big step forward for machine intelligence. Same with the image-generating app Lensa, which creates painterly selfies that have captured the public’s imagination. Now, engineers are asking chat programs for coding help, students are using AI to generate book reports instantly, and researchers are testing the tools’ ethical boundaries. It's all gotten very weird, but AI is about to get bigger and even weirder still.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED artificial intelligence reporter Will Knight joins us to talk about ChatGPT, how generative AI has grown up since the early days, and what the latest tools mean for everything from school book reports to online disinformation campaigns.Show NotesRead Will’s WIRED story about ChatGPT. He’s also written a bunch of recent stories about generative AI. Follow all of WIRED’s AI coverage. Read more about Lensa from Olivia Snow. Try the new chatbot for yourself.RecommendationsWill recommends the Tractive GPS Tracker for Cats. Mike recommends Das Keyboard MacTigr keyboard, which he reviewed this week. Lauren recommends that you keep an eye on your keys using a Tile or AirTag tracker.Will Knight can be found on Twitter @willknight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
08/12/2234m 28s

What the Hell is BNPL?

Money is tight these days. Holiday shopping, ballooning inflation, and a looming recession have forced people to more carefully consider their finances. Those factors might help explain the explosion of Buy Now, Pay Later services. BNPL plans offered by companies like Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna let you spread the cost of a purchase over multiple installments, without the fees or interest rates of most credit cards. Of course, free money always comes with a catch.This week on Gadget Lab, we dig into the Buy Now, Pay Later phenomenon and what it means for the future of shopping.Show NotesRead Lauren’s interview with Max Levchin. Check out more of WIRED’s reporting about buy now, pay later programs. Follow our coverage of all things ecommerce.RecommendationsLauren recommends the third season of the show Dead to Me. Mike recommends the Select Five podcast, specifically the episode with him on it (episode 19).Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
01/12/2230m 27s

The State of the Smart Kitchen

Companies love sticking chips in everything. That's how you get a feast of connected kitchen tech: app-controlled Instant Pots, $400 touchscreen toasters, and Wi-Fi enabled fridges that let you check Twitter while you wait for some crushed ice. It's all very high tech and modern, but does any of it actually help you cook—or live—any better?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED contributor and food writer Joe Ray joins us to talk about how to navigate the smart kitchen and whether any of these connected gadgets will really improve your cuisine or bring you happiness.This episode originally ran on September 29, 2022. Read the transcript.Show NotesRead Joe Ray’s many reviews of smart kitchen tech.RecommendationsJoe recommends the cookbook I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To) by Ali Slagle. Lauren recommends pasta e ceci. Mike recommends the Oxo Brew Precision Scale With Timer.Joe Ray can be found on Twitter @joe_diner. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
24/11/2232m 18s

What Happens if Twitter Gets Hacked?

Twitter doesn't work like it used to. Under new ownership, the site is operating with half its usual staff and an entirely new set of executive pressures. As a result, Twitter has become a more unstable platform. As features break, security measures lapse, and personnel struggle to keep up, Twitter is likely to also become more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED security writer Lily Hay Newman joins the show to talk about what could happen if Twitter gets breached by hackers.Show NotesRead Lily’s story about the problems with Twitter’s SMS two-factor authentication. Read all of WIRED’s recent Twitter coverage.RecommendationsLily recommends Wicked protein bars, specifically the maple flavor. Lauren recommends Andy Greenberg’s book Tracers in the Dark. (WIRED has published a few excerpts.) Mike recommends the show The Sandman on Netflix.Lily Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
17/11/2231m 29s

Demystifying Mastodon

Amid all the Twitter hubbub, the lesser known social site Mastodon has seen a surge of new users. Mastodon is a loosely connected network of individually run servers, which all play by their own rules and answer to their own moderators. It's a very different environment than Twitter. But even though Mastodon aims to be a new form of social media, it could still be prone to the same kinds of troubles that have plagued the platforms that existed before it.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior editor of security Andrew Couts joins us to talk about the ins and outs of Mastodon, and whether something like the decentralized network can ever truly replace Twitter.Show NotesRead more about how Mastodon is handling the influx of users. And here's how to find your friends on Mastodon.RecommendationsAndrew recommends Fi smart dog collars. Mike recommends So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley by Roger Steffens. Lauren recommends the new season of the HBO show White Lotus.Andrew Couts can be found on Twitter @AndrewCouts He's on Mastodon @couts@mastodon.social. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Her Mastodon handle is @laurengoode@mastodon.social. Michael Calore is @snackfight. He is not on Mastodon yet. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
10/11/2232m 51s

Tweelon

If you've been on Twitter in the past week, you may have noticed that the platform has been emanating some slightly different vibes. Mostly because everybody on there is talking about how Elon Musk just bought the place. There's no doubt Twitter—as a company and as a community—is in flux. So far Musk has already fired top executives, flirted with adding additional paid tiers of service, tasked employees with finding ways to make the company more money, and spread his own share of misinformation.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED platforms and power reporter Vittoria Elliot about the changes coming to Twitter and how they may affect the future of the social network.Show NotesVittoria covered the news of the takeover deal closing. Users are flocking to other platforms because of Elon’s ownership of Twitter. Read more about the potential privacy risks that could arise from Elon cleaning house. Read Twitter users’ reactions to the power shift. Read all of our stories tagged with “Elon Musk.”RecommendationsVittoriai recommends encouraging your male-presenting friends interested in fathering children to watch House of the Dragon on HBO. Mike recommends the new album from Natalia Lafourcade, De Todas las Flores. Lauren recommends reevaluating your relationship with Twitter, and social media in general.Vittoria Elliott can be found on Twitter @telliotter. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
03/11/2233m 26s

Plastic Rap

Plastic waste never really breaks down. It just splits into tinier and tinier pieces until it becomes trillions of microscopic bits scattered across the world. Microplastics are everywhere: In the air we breathe and the water we drink, atop the highest mountains and in the deepest parts of the ocean. Microplastics are even coursing through our bloodstreams and sitting in our digestive systems. It's a problem we have only recently begun to understand, and are still trying to figure out how to solve.This week on Gadget Lab, Matt Simon, WIRED climate writer and author of the new book A Poison Like No Other, joins us to talk about how microplastics became such a scourge and what—if anything—we can do about it.Show NotesMatt’s book A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies is out now. Read an excerpt of the book on WIRED. You can also find other Matt Simon stories about microplastics and the climate by browsing his author page.RecommendationsMatt recommends Derry Girls on Netflix. Lauren recommends a plastic or metal water bottle that you can use over and over again. She likes the 32-ounce narrow mouth Nalgene bottle. Mike recommends bringing back Follow Friday on Twitter.Matt Simon can be found on Twitter @mrMattSimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
27/10/2237m 22s

OK, Car Computer

Modern cars are giant computers. They're packed full of chips and bits, all working toward the goal of making your ride smoother, safer, and more comfortable. But when it comes time to take these technical marvels in for repairs, all the code under the hood becomes more of a nuisance than anything. Auto shops have struggled to keep up with the needs of these high-tech vehicles. And companies aren’t about to stop filling their cars with gadgets anytime soon.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about how computerized cars have become a nightmare for auto shops and how cars will evolve in the future.Show NotesRead Aarian’s story about how the accelerated computerization of cars is killing auto shops. Read Aarian and Greg Barber’s stories about EV batteries. Here’s Lauren’s story about how you own nothing.RecommendationsAarian recommends appointment TV (aka watching a show with your friends) and not going to baseball games anymore. Mike recommends all three seasons of Twin Peaks. Lauren recommends weighted blankets.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
20/10/2231m 40s

Zuckerberg's Innovation Dilemma

As its new company name would imply, Meta’s making a big deal about the metaverse. The company formerly known as Facebook just announced a new VR headset, the $1,500 Meta Quest Pro. It’s an expensive hunk of face hardware meant to entice users into the metaverse—an ambitious virtual realm that Mark Zuckerberg so desperately wants to make A Thing. But the supposed VR revolution still feels like it’s a long way off.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED editor at large Steven Levy joins the show to talk about Meta’s latest VR ambitions and whether Zuckerberg’s metaverse gamble will pay off.Show NotesRead Lauren’s story about the Meta Quest Pro. Follow Steven Levy’s Plaintext newsletter.RecommendationsSteven recommends the play Leopoldstadt by Tom Stoppard on Broadway. Lauren recommends Tap to Pay on the New York subway system and just having tap top pay everywhere, really.Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
13/10/2231m 11s

Life in Pixels

Even though it’s already October, we are somehow still seeing new products announced by the tech giants. This week, it was Google's turn to show off its new gadgets. There's the new Pixel 7 phone, of course, but Google also unveiled the Pixel Watch, its first smartwatch release since its acquisition of the wearable company Fitbit.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to go over all the stuff Google announced this week, including new Pixel phones and Google's entry into the very crowded smartwatch space.Show NotesRead more about the Pixel Watch and the Pixel 7 phones. Also read the initial announcement from Google I/O earlier this year.RecommendationsJulian recommends the Netflix show Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Mike recommends the book Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky. Lauren recommends the book Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America by Emily Dreyfuss, Joan Donovan, and Brian Friedberg and also the 24-part CNN documentary from the 90s about the Cold War.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
06/10/2233m 14s

The State of the Smart Kitchen

Companies love sticking chips in everything. That's how you get a feast of connected kitchen tech: app-controlled Instant Pots, $400 touchscreen toasters, and Wi-Fi enabled fridges that let you check Twitter while you wait for some crushed ice. It's all very high tech and modern, but does any of it actually help you cook—or live—any better?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED contributor and food writer Joe Ray joins us to talk about how to navigate the smart kitchen and whether any of these connected gadgets will really improve your cuisine or bring you happiness.Show NotesRead Joe Ray’s many reviews of smart kitchen tech.RecommendationsJoe recommends the cookbook I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To) by Ali Slagle. Lauren recommends pasta e ceci. Mike recommends the Oxo Brew Precision Scale With Timer.Joe Ray can be found on Twitter @joe_diner. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
29/09/2231m 11s

Row Row Row Yourself

Peloton's been weathering a rough year. The home workout company soared high in the early days of the pandemic, when demand for its stationary bikes and treadmills exploded. Then people started to ease back out into the world, and a number of high-profile accidents on Peloton equipment caused demand for the machines to plummet. But Peloton is still at it, hoping that one of its new products will lure people back to its brand of prestige workout tech. The latest is Peloton's new rowing machine.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED's outgoing executive editor of news Brian Barrett joins us one last time to talk about the new Peloton Row, and whether it could prove to be a lifeboat for the sinking company.Show NotesRead Lauren’s story about Peloton’s new rower. Also read Lauren on the camera-bedecked Peloton Guide, and Adrienne So’s review of the Guide.RecommendationsBrian recommends that you subscribe to WIRED. Lauren recommends the fifth season of the podcast Fiasco, which is all about the AIDS crisis. Mike recommends Rachel Levin’s story in Bon Appetit called “I Eat Meat. Why Was Killing My Own Food So Hard?”Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
22/09/2232m 45s

Visualizing VR’s Future

Virtual reality has long been hailed as the next big thing in tech. It's pure escapism; strap on a headset and immerse yourself in a different world. At least, it would be easy to truly immerse yourself if the headsets were comfier to wear, less awkward to use, and a little more cool-looking. As unwieldy as the headsets are, the technology inside them is actually getting pretty good. The latest headset to make news is Sony’s PlayStation VR2. It’s the first update to the PSVR in six years, and Sony gave us a preview of the device as it nears an official release next year. We are also expecting to hear details soon about Meta's newly beefed Oculus headset meant to better hook you into the company’s weird metaverse.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Boone Ashworth joins us to talk about his experience trying the PSVR2, what's next for Meta and Oculus, and whether if you die in VR that means you die in real life.Show NotesRead Boone’s impressions of the day he spent trying out PSVR2. Read Lauren on the recent Oculus price hike. Read all of our virtual reality coverage.RecommendationsBoone recommends Paradise by Lizzy Johnson. Mike recommends the game Johann Sebastian Joust. Lauren recommends breakfast salads for some reason. Boone Ashworth can be found on Twitter @BooneAshworth. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
15/09/2233m 27s

Welcome to Dynamic Island

At a splashy media event this week, Apple announced four configurations of the new iPhone 14, as well as some new Apple Watches and an update to the wireless AirPod Pro. Many of the changes were iterative—some tweaks to phone design here, a new software feature there—but the biggest surprise was the new Apple Watch Ultra, a big, rugged, and expensive version of the wearable that's aimed at adventurous types like climbers, distance runners, and scuba divers.This week on Gadget Lab, we dig into everything Apple announced this week, including new iPhones 14, AirPods, and that new Apple Watch Ultra.Show NotesCheck out our roundup of everything Apple announced during Wednesday’s event. Read Adrienne So on the Apple Watch Ultra competing with Garmin and other premium smartwatch brands. Matt Burgess digs into passkeys replacing passwords in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Follow WIRED’s coverage of all the Apple news.RecommendationsJulian recommends portable monitors like those from Espresso, Innocn, or the ones recommended in our Work From Home buying guide. Mike recommends maybe doing the planet a solid by not buying a new iPhone this year unless you absolutely need to upgrade.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @julianchokkattu. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode and will be back next week. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
08/09/2227m 51s

How YouTube's Tumultuous Past Will Shape Its Future

Collectively, people stream more than a billion hours of video on YouTube every single day. That's a lot of eyeballs, and it means the platform has enormous influence. In its twisty-turny path from dwarfish startup to internet colossus, YouTube has launched the careers of creatives, and hosted a host of misinformation and conspiracy theories. It has been a source of joy and entertainment, and also sparked real-world tragedies.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with journalist and author Mark Bergen about his new book, which is all about the video-streaming platform and its path to cultural domination.Show NotesMark Bergen’s new book, Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination is out September 6.RecommendationsMark recommends the YouTube channel of Bill Wurtz. Lauren recommends the book Normal Family by Chrysta Bilton. Mike recommends the climate newsletter “One5C” by Joe Brown.Mark Bergen can be found on Twitter @mhbergen. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
01/09/2232m 50s

How to Get Your Climate Tax Credits

The United States government just passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that allocates nearly $400 billion dollars to fund clean energy and climate efforts. A big chunk of that amount is earmarked for tax credits for consumers. So if you want to install solar panels, buy better windows, purchase a heat pump, or start driving an electric vehicle, there's a good chance you could get some money to offset the cost.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED writers Aarian Marshall and Matt Simon join us to talk about the ins and outs of the Inflation Reduction Act and how you can score some of those sweet, sweet tax credits. They also tell us what some of the changes mean for the automobile and construction industries.Show NotesRead Matt’s story about how the Inflation Reduction Act could save you money. Read Aarian’s story about how it will lead to more electric delivery vehicles. Here’s their story about where people in cities will charge their EVs. Follow all of WIRED’s climate coverage here.RecommendationsAarian recommends going to a baseball game, preferably on the days when dogs are allowed. Matt recommends Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Mike recommends playing Wordle, which is now (finally) in The New York Times’ mobile app. Lauren recommends NPR’s Life Kit podcast series about personal finance.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @aarianmarshall. Matt Simon is @mrmattsimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
25/08/2234m 36s

Tractor Hacks

Farming has gotten quite tech-savvy. These days, there are all sorts of Wi-Fi-enabled, app-controlled, and autonomously piloted machines out there doing the tilling and harvesting. The biggest player in the high-tech farming field is John Deere, a company which keeps very tight control over who can modify or repair its tractors and other farm equipment. The company’s policies have drawn ire from advocates in the right-to-repair movement, who think that if you buy something, you should be able to fix it, upgrade it, or modify it without having to jump through the company's hoops. Recently, a white-hat hacker discovered a way to jailbreak John Deere tractors, allowing all sorts of non-company sanctioned access to the devices. It’s a big move that has implications for the security of the food supply and for the repairability of devices across the world.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman joins us to discuss the latest John Deere hack and what it means for the broader right-to-repair movement.Show NotesRead Lily’s story about the jailbreak of John Deere tractors. Read Andy Greenberg’s story about getting hacked while driving a Jeep at 70 mph. Here’s Lily on what happened when a ransomware attack hit JBS meat processing facilities. Follow all of WIRED’s security and right-to-repair coverage.RecommendationsLily recommends wearing N95 masks, in particular the very stylish Kimberly Clark duckbill mask. Lauren recommends the New Yorker interview with Ocean Vuong, author of poetry collection Night Sky with Wounds and the novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Mike recommends the music of Patrice Rushen.Lily Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
18/08/2229m 0s

The Weird Phone Future

Samsung's mobile phone design philosophy could best be described as "if it ain't broke, bend it." The company—one of the top smartphone manufacturers in the world—announced some new foldable devices this week, and they don't exactly break the mold. Even the Galaxy Z Fold, once Samsung's flagship showcase of wacky innovation, looks and bends more or less the same as last year’s model. But while the designs may not be the most exciting, they do mean interesting things for Android, the mobile software that powers them.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about everything Samsung announced this week, plus what it all means for the next versions of Android.Show NotesHere’s everything Samsung announced at its Unpacked event this week. Here’s Julian’s review of last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3.RecommendationsJulian recommends the Ampere Shower Power Pro, a speaker for your shower. Lauren recommends oatmeal and not watching The Northman. Mike recommends the book The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
11/08/2236m 10s

NFT Frames

Maybe you’re intrigued by NFTs. (They can often be pretty fun.) Maybe you’ve even felt the urge to buy a piece of digital art, only to give up once all the talk of wallets, blockchain transactions, gas fees, and digital ownership restrictions made the experience feel too daunting. And the NFT world is daunting! Especially for non-technical folks. Some companies are trying to make the acquisition process less onerous by selling NFT videos pre-installed in digital photo frames that you can buy, have shipped to you, and then display on your desk or wall next to your photos and other artworks.This week, Lauren Goode takes us into this world of pre-framed NFTs and the marketplaces that power them. She also tells us about the looping Steph Curry video currently brightening her kitchen counter.Show NotesRead Lauren’s story about framed NFT art. Listen to our episode last year about WTF is an NFT. Here’s that Infinite Objects Elon Musk NFT if your stomach can take it.RecommendationsLauren recommends mineral sunscreen. Mike recommends the casual mobile game Holedown.Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
04/08/2233m 31s

Reel Talk About Instagram

If you've opened Instagram recently, you've certainly seen Reels. The photo-sharing app has started aggressively pushing the TikTok-like video feeds onto its users, a move that has sparked a heated response. Longtime users, and even celebrities like Kylie Jenner, have been urging Instagram to ditch the feature, which in addition to showing you more viral videos also shows you fewer updates from your friends and loved ones. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has defended the move, saying that Instagram is sticking with Reels and showing more videos in general, no matter how you or the Kardashians feel about that.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs joins us to rant about Reels and why all the social media platforms are copying TikTok now.Show NotesWatch Mosseri’s recent video about Reels (on Twitter, of course). Read Kate’s story about how Instagram keeps showing her sick kids.RecommendationsKate recommends the book The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism by Adrienne Buller. Lauren recommends the Jordan Peele movie Nope and also Jason Parham’s WIRED review of the film. Mike recommends the Netflix show How to Change Your Mind and John Semley’s WIRED story about the companies racing to engineer new psychedelic drugs.Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
28/07/2230m 43s

Zucka Kappa Meta

Facebook has nearly three billion users, which means that when it makes a change to its business, it affects nearly half the planet. Facebook's ambitions have often manifested in chaotic, unpredictable ways and had profound societal impacts for years after they've been implemented. So when the company decided to rebrand to Meta and funnel billions of dollars toward building its own virtual alternate reality, it's a move that's bound to come with some big consequences—if nothing else, for Meta itself.This week on Gadget Lab, we're joined by Shirin Ghaffary from Recode and Alex Heath from The Verge. The new season of their podcast, Land of the Giants, is all about Facebook's transformation into Meta and what it means for the billions of people on Facebook, and in the world at large.Show NotesListen to the Land of the Giants podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Read Alex’s interview with Mark Zuckerburg about Facebook rebranding as Meta.RecommendationsShirin recommends the book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Alex recommends the show The Bear on Hulu. Lauren recommends Taylor Blake’s TikTok channel and the viral videos of her emu, Emmanuel. Mike recommends the book Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand, by John Markoff.Shirin Ghaffary can be found on Twitter @shiringhaffary. Alex Heath is @alexeheath. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
21/07/2233m 51s

Too Cool for Juul

Do you even vape, bro? Well if the United States Food and Drug Administration has its way, that answer might soon be a hard "no." Last month, the FDA went after Juul, the reigning champ of the e-cigarette industry, and effectively banned the selling of all Juul products in the US. Of course, Juul fought back, and a judge stayed the order. Now, as Juul fights for its life, the rest of the multibillion dollar market of nicotine-dispensing tech has billowed in to fill the space.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about Juul's battle with the FDA and what it means for vaping and nicotine products as a whole.Show NotesRead Arielle’s story about the battle between Juul and the FDA. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of Juul and vaping. Read the GQ profile on actor Jeremy Allen White.RecommendationsArielle recommends Nixta licor de elote, if you’re of booze drinking age. Lauren recommends the show The Bear on Hulu. Mike recommends The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen.Arielle Pardes can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
14/07/2226m 25s

Seriously, What Is the Metaverse?

Technologists have been crowing about “the metaverse” for a long time now, and here at WIRED we’ve written about it quite a bit, too. But sometimes we’re still unsure exactly how to define this next generation of the internet, which is contingent on 3D experiences (instead of the flat, 2D screens we’re currently glued to) and also a persistent, continuous federated identity. Still confused? It’s OK: On this week’s Gadget Lab, we talk to Matthew Ball, a strategist, venture capitalist, and author, whose new book The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, hits shelves July 19. We ask Ball how he defines the metaverse, how the internet can possibly be reinvented when the current version is so driven by corporate interests, whether the metaverse should be regulated, and what a realistic vision of “interoperability” might be. Show NotesMatthew Ball’s book is The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything. Read Gilad’s June cover story about Web3. Follow all of WIRED’s metaverse coverage here.RecommendationsMatthew recommends the show The Old Man on FX and the legal podcast about the US Supreme Court Strict Scrutiny. Gilad recommends trying out an electric car sometime. Lauren recommends the 5-4 podcast, also about analyzing the Supreme Court.Matthew Ball can be found on Twitter @ballmatthew. Gilad Edelman is @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
30/06/2236m 52s

The Zoomification of Slack

If you work in an office, chances are you spend a lot of time on Slack. The workplace messaging platform has become an even more important tool in the work-from-home era. And it has been rolling out new stuff that's supposed to replicate the office atmosphere, online. Last year Slack introduced Huddles—a spontaneous audio room you can join right in Slack—and it quickly became became the fastest-adopted feature in Slack's history. Now the company is adding video to Huddles, inching toward becoming a full-fledged video conferencing service.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED writers Lauren Goode and Gilad Edelman chat about the Zoomification of Slack, whether we really need another video chat app, and what this all means for how we communicate online.Show NotesRead Lauren’s story about how the future of Slack looks a lot like Zoom. Read Mat Honan’s 2014 WIRED profile of Slack founder Stewart Butterfield. Here’s Clive Thompson’s piece about how it’s time for “maximum viable product.”RecommendationsGilad recommends getting a chef’s pan. Lauren recommends using the Calendar chatbot in Slack.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
23/06/2229m 23s

Streaming TV’s Many Possible Futures

Streaming TV was supposed to be a thing you did to relax. But these days you might grab a drink, kick up your feet, and then sit there paralyzed by an absolute cavalcade of options for what to watch. With so many shows and services of varying quality, the streaming ecosystem has become a bloated mess. And now some of the streaming giants are starting to buckle under their own weight.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior editor Angela Watercutter and senior writer Kate Knibbs join us to discuss how streaming has become such an overwhelming morass and where it goes from here.Show Notes: Read Kate’s story about how reality TV has become a parody of itself. Read Angela’s story about streaming services’ obsession with the franchise series. And check out all of the stories from WIRED’s series, “Why We Hate Streaming.”Recommendations: Angela recommends the show First Kill. Kate recommends Molly Lambert’s podcast HeidiWorld. Mike recommends the website Justwatch.com. Lauren recommends Elon Musk’s Crash Course, a documentary from The New York Times, FX, and Hulu.Angela Watercutter can be found on Twitter @WaterSlicer. Kate Knibbs is @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
16/06/2235m 7s

Apple In Real Life

Spring is in the air, so you know what that means: Developer conference season. Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference this week and used Monday’s keynote address to announce a bunch of new software updates for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. (Oh, and there are also two new MacBooks.) These kinds of events are good indicators or where the tech industry is headed, so we like to take a good look at all the forward-looking software and hardware Apple unveiled at WWDC. This year's event was an in-person affair, though it mostly entailed watching a pre-recorded video while sitting in an outdoor theater.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED product writer Brenda Stolyar joins us to talk about Apple's grand strategy for ruling the universe and what it was like on (and under) the ground at WWDC.Show Notes: Read more about the new features coming to iOS and iPadOS and Apple’s MagSafe chargers. Check out everything Apple announced at WWDC. Here’s more about the EU’s ruling that manufacturers must make mobile devices have uniform charging ports.Recommendations: Brenda recommends season four of the Netflix show Stranger Things. Lauren recommends asking your smart speaker to play ocean sounds while you sleep. Mike recommends the podcast Why We Run.Brenda Stolyar can be found on Twitter @BStoly. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
09/06/2233m 20s

Texting Is Broken

The away message is a relic of desktop chat apps from decades past. But this simple feature helped keep boundaries between your online connections and your IRL self. Now that we all have tiny computers in our pockets wherever we go, those boundaries have evaporated. Instead, there's now the constant anxiety that comes with being connected—and available to chat—at all times.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about how messaging went from casual, asynchronous correspondence to an all-consuming attention hog, and how the tech companies that shape our correspondence could fix it.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about how it’s time to bring back the away message.Recommendations: Lauren recommends Jennifer Khan’s profile on Taika Waititi in WIRED. Mike recommends the book Led Zeppelin: The Biography by Bob Spitz.Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
02/06/2234m 7s

WTF Is Web3?

The cover story of this month’s issue of WIRED magazine is “Paradise at the Crypto Arcade: Inside the Web3 Revolution” by Gilad Edelman. We interviewed Gilad about Web3 a couple months ago, and this week, we revisit that conversation.Web3 is the latest internet buzzword which encompasses an egalitarian vision of the web that's more reliable, based on trust, and, inevitably, built on the blockchain. This plan for the future is being pushed by startups, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley bigwigs, all of whom stand to make some sweet, sweet cryptocurrency from a new breed of web app that takes the power from the platforms and puts it back in the hands of the people.Gilad joins us to talk about whether the reality of whatever Web3 becomes will ever live up to Silicon Valley's rosy vision of it.Gadget Lab will be back next week with a brand new episode.
26/05/2231m 19s

How to Get Started Biking

For a lot of people, riding a bike through a crowded city—or even on suburban avenues—might feel daunting. Should you get an electric or acoustic bicycle? What gear do you need while you ride? How do you avoid getting hit by the great big gas guzzlers that take up most of the road? These are valid questions, and we've got answers. May is national bike month here in the US, and Gadget Lab is ready to get you rolling.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So joins us as we cycle through all things bikes: How to start riding more, what to look for in an ebike, and what's the best frame color for your grocery-getter.Show Notes: Read more about Adrienne’s guide to the best ebikes. Here’s our roundup of our favorite bike accessories.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the book A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit. Mike recommends the Lil Guy hip bag from Road Runner Bags. Lauren recommends Adrienne So’s WIRED story “A Letter to My Fellow Asian Mothers From the Multiverse.”Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
19/05/2234m 55s

Google Gadgets Galore

It’s springtime again, which means developer conference season is in full swing. (Hoo-ray?) This week marks the return of Google I/O, the annual conference for programmers who build apps for Google’s many platforms. But I/O, while technically a software conference, has also long been a launch pad for Google hardware. This year, we saw new phones, new earbuds, a Pixel tablet, and even the oft-rumored Pixel watch.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk all about Google’s announcements, from hardware to software to voice assistants. We also debate the ideal shape for a smartwatch (which, for the record, is round).Show Notes: Read all of our Google I/O 2022 coverage in one place. We wrote about the hardware and software announcements, Assistant, and tablet enhancements for Android. Khari Johnson wrote about Google's new skin tone recognition system for AI. We also have Lily Newman’s roundup of privacy and safety features coming to Android 13. If you missed the keynote address, watch a replay.Recommendations: Julian recommends that you should try paying for professional movers if you move, but also get some mover’s insurance. Lauren recommends the book Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe. Mike recommends slip-on shoes for cycling, work, and life.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
12/05/2236m 14s

Kara Swisher's Take on Twitter

Hey, remember how Elon Musk bought Twitter? It's been a chaotic week since then, both on and off the controversial social media platform. There are still a lot of open questions about what's going to happen to Twitter. But the whole strange deal also raises questions that extend far beyond one platform. Like, how might this affect the spread of misinformation online? How might it affect democracy itself? Right now, there's no better person to help answer those questions than powerhouse tech journalist Kara Swisher.This week on Gadget Lab, Kara joins us to talk all about Twitter, Elon's machinations, Web3, and cryptocurrency.Show NotesListen to Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast. Read even more about Elon Musk and Twitter. Peruse the archives of Kara and Lauren’s old podcast Too Embarrassed to Ask.RecommendationsKara recommends the film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Mike recommends the book Lost in the Valley of Death by Harley Rustad. Lauren recommends you follow The Center for Reproductive Rights (@reprorights) and the Yellowhammer Fund (@Yellowfund).Kara Swisher can be found on Twitter @karaswisher. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
05/05/2231m 0s

Snap’s New Drone Takes Flight

The social photo-sharing and messaging app Snapchat is bigger than you probably think it is. According to its parent company, Snap, the app has more than 330 million active daily users—that’s over 100 million more users than Twitter.Since the Snapchat app is all about sharing photos, Snap likes to come up with innovative and unique hardware designs that give its users more interesting ways to take those photos. You might remember its camera-bedecked Spectacles from a few years ago. Now Snap has unveiled a “selfie drone” called Pixy. The $230, palm-sized gadget lifts off, takes a sharable photo or video of you, then lands. It’s just a bit of whimsical fun, which is very much the point of the whole Snapchat experience.This week, Michael and Lauren talk about Snap’s new drone, as well as the company’s place in the larger social media landscape.Show Notes: Read more about the Pixy drone in Lauren’s latest story for WIRED. Read about Snap’s first Spectacles, the second ones, and the third ones. Also read about the augmented reality glasses the company released last year.Recommendations: Lauren recommends the episode of The Verge’s Decoder podcast with crypto investor Chris Dixon. Mike recommends the YouTube channel Fault Radio for streaming electronic music DJ sets.Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys
28/04/2228m 58s

What Would Elon’s Twitter Look Like?

It probably won't surprise you that Twitter's a bit of a mess right now. Last week, billionaire Elon Musk made a play to buy the whole company, stating that his goal was to turn it into a bastion for free speech absolutists. Regardless, Twitter is also in the process of undergoing some changes that are posed to shake up the platform, with or without Musk's involvement.This week on Gadget Lab, we’re joined by Casey Newton, the journalist and writer of the Substack newsletter, Platformer. Casey comes on the show to talk all about Twitter, Elon, and the always controversial edit button.Show Notes: Read and subscribe to Casey’s newsletter Platformer. Here’s how Twitter’s edit button might actually work. Read more about what exactly Elon’s vision of truth means.Recommendations: Casey recommends the show Yellowjackets on Showtime. Lauren recommends Goodreads. Mike recommends simplifying your burgers (i.e., stop putting marshmallow Peeps on them).Casey Newton can be found on Twitter @CaseyNewton. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
21/04/2234m 14s

Browse Better

Even if you spend a lot of time on the internet, you may not give much thought to your browser. Once you find one you like (probably Google Chrome, if you're anything like the other 3 billion people who use it), chances are it just fades into the background while you do your scrolling. But behind the scenes, browsers handle a lot of information, especially when it comes to collecting all of your sweet, sweet data.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Matt Burgess joins us to talk about the dark side of browsers, and how to go about blocking ads and controlling your data online.Show Notes: Read Matt’s story about DuckDuckGo’s desktop browser. Listen to the WIRED podcast here. Here’s the EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere browser extension. Here’s the Minimal Twitter Chrome extension. For ad-blocking, check out Ghostery. Read Lauren’s story about how websites tracked her after she called off her wedding.Recommendations: Matt recommends the memoir A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter, and also pomegranate seeds. Mike recommends giving cash at weddings instead of buying something off the registry. Lauren recommends Apple TV+, particularly for shows like Severance, WeCrashed, and The Morning Show.Matt Burgess can be found on Twitter @mattburgess1. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
15/04/2231m 21s

Peloton Bets Big on Body-Tracking

Peloton has had a turbulent couple of years. After the ups and downs of the pandemic economy came a rash of bad press spurned by a series of tragic product accidents. The resulting stock dips and executive shake-ups put the fitness tech company's future in flux. But now, Peloton is trying something new. Or at least new-ish. The Peloton Guide is a device with a camera that sits on your TV and monitors your workout. (Just don't call it a Kinect.) It's far more modest than Peloton's large, fancy stationary bikes and treadmills, and something Peloton hopes will lure in more subscribers. Still, it's another bet on our continued interest in at-home workouts—a market that may not be as robust as Peloton hoped it was.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED executive editor Brian Barrett joins us for a conversation about Peloton's newest product and the company's future.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about the new Peloton Guide. Here’s Adrienne So’s review of the Guide.Recommendations: Brian recommends the novel Middlemarch by George Eliot. Lauren recommends the Apple TV+ show WeCrashed. Mike recommends the memoir The History of Bones by John Lurie.Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
08/04/2236m 1s

Who's Behind the Okta Hack?

Even if you aren't familiar with Okta, you've probably used it. The digital login system is used by thousands of companies across the world to manage employee logins to various cloud services. Which makes it a real problem when that system, and all that login info, gets hacked.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman joins the show to tell us about the group behind the recent Okta hack, how the hackers took control of such a vast system, and what happened in the aftermath.Show Notes: Read all Lily’s stories about the Lapsus$ Okta hack. This episode was recorded and scheduled shortly before news broke that two teenagers in the UK have been charged in connection with the hacks.Recommendations: Lily recommends setting up two-factor authentication on all your services. (Here’s how!) Mike recommends the podcast Poog with Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak.Lily Hay Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
01/04/2227m 20s

How You DAOing?

If you wanted to create an exclusive online community with a shared goal, how'd you go about it? If your answer is, "with crypto, obviously!" then you're in luck. DAOs (those are decentralized autonomous organizations, if that helps) are growing more popular with proponents of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. But what's up for some debate is what these communities are actually good for, and what kind of impact this purposeful gatekeeping can have on the real world.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Gilad Edelman joins us to talk about the topsy turvy world of DAOs and his own experience with creating one.Show Notes: Read Gilad’s story about his experimental DAO for punchlines. Recommendations: Gilad recommends calling the IRS (yes, seriously). Mike recommends the New Yorker Android app. Lauren recommends WIRED’s beginner’s guide to Discord.Gilad can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
25/03/2235m 8s

When Facial Recognition Tech Is Wrong

Like a lot of tech solutions to complex problems, facial recognition algorithms aren't perfect. But when the technology is used to identify suspects in criminal cases, those flaws in the system can have catastrophic, life-changing consequences. People can get wrongly identified, arrested, and convicted, often without ever being told they were ID’d by a computer. It’s especially troubling when you consider false identifications disproportionately affect women, young people, and people with dark skin—basically everyone other than white men.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Khari Johnson joins us to talk about the limits of facial recognition tech, and what happens to the people who get misidentified.Show Notes: Read Khari’s stories about how facial recognition tech has led to wrongful arrests that derailed people’s lives. Here’s Lauren’s story about Garmin’s Fenix smartwatch. (And here’s WIRED’s review of the latest model.) Arielle’s story about the wave of shows about Silicon Valley tech founders is here.Recommendations: Khari recommends hoagies. Lauren recommends Garmin smartwatches. Mike recommends the show The Dropout on Hulu.Khari Johnson can be found on Twitter @kharijohnson. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
18/03/2234m 16s

And Apple Marches On

Apple held its first product announcement event of the year on Tuesday. It showed off a bunch of new devices, including a new iPhone SE, a revamped iPad Air, and a big, beefy, expensive system called Mac Studio. But some of the most noticeable aspects of the show was what Apple didn't say. The company made no mention of the war in Ukraine, despite the fact that the company recently made the decision to stop selling its products in Russia. In a time of such worldwide turmoil, Apple's carefully crafted, deliberately self-focused showcase just felt … weird.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED product writer Brenda Stolyar joins us to talk all about Apple's announcements this week. Then WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs pops in for a very important update about her Apple Music experiment.Show Notes: Read Brenda’s story about the chonky new Mac Studio. Read Lauren’s story about the new iPad Air, aka the proto-MacPad. Her story about Apple halting device sales in Russia is here. Check out everything Apple announced this week.Recommendations: Brenda recommends the Netflix show Love is Blind. Mike recommends Lauren Smiley’s WIRED story “‘I’m the Operator’: The Aftermath of a Self-Driving Tragedy”. Lauren recommends the episode of the Ezra Klein Show podcast featuring guest Fareed Zakaria.Brenda Stolyar can be found on Twitter @BStoly. Kate Knibbs is @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
11/03/2234m 57s

Swift Sanctions

Russia's armed invasion of Ukraine has already exacted a terrible human cost. Thousands of people are dead and over a million have been displaced. In condemning Russia's actions, other nations across the world have sought to hit the country with a broad array of economic sanctions. One of those sanctions targets several large Russian banks, and could have repercussions across the globe.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Rachel Rizzo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, about the economic repercussions of kicking major Russian banks out of Swift. Then, WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about how the war has affected gig workers in Ukraine.Show Notes: Read Aarian’s story about gig workers in Ukraine.Recommendations: Aarian recommends going on a walk to clear your head. Lauren recommends the Maintenance Phase podcast, which tackles the worst aspects of the wellness movement. Mike recommends the podcast Our Struggle, which is all about the series of autobiographical novels by Karl Ove Knausgård.Rachel Rizzo can be found on Twitter @RachelRizzo. Aarian Marshall is @AarianMarshall Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
04/03/2227m 40s

Tracking Apple

Apple has been sprucing up its mobile operating system, bolstering privacy and safety features and sprinkling in some new emoji to boot. But while the company shores up iOS, it has also faced renewed criticism about privacy lapses in its AirTags trackers. Reports of the devices being used by stalkers to track others without their permission have raised questions about Apple's tracking tech. Why did it take so long for the company to introduce features that could alert or protect potential victims? And why didn't Apple anticipate these types of abuse would happen in the first place?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED product writer Brenda Stolyar joins us to run through the new features on iOS and discuss where Apple went wrong with AirTags.Show Notes: Read more about the new features in iOS 15.4. Here’s the New York Times story about tracking people with AirTags. Read the Washington Post article, also about AirtTag stalking.Recommendations: Brenda recommends the podcast “Storytime With Seth Rogan.” Mike recommends Provecho, a vegan Mexican cuisine cookbook by Edgar Castrejón. Lauren recommends telling us your own recommendations for cool stuff by tweeting @GadgetLab. Brenda Stolyar can be found on Twitter @BStoly. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
18/02/2231m 14s

Samsung Gonna Samsung

This week, Samsung held its Galaxy Unpacked event, its annual product spectacle the company uses to announce new mobile devices. In addition to its new Galaxy S22 line of phones, Samsung also introduced three new (and very expensive) tablets. The gadgets are part of a push to solidify Android tablets as "the future of computing," which is what Google recently called them. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to dish about Samsung's new devices, and whether Android tablets are actually going to take off in a big way.Show Notes: Read more about everything Samsung announced at its Galaxy Unpacked event this week. Watch Julian’s explainer of all the models of Galaxy S22. He also has advice about how to preorder the Galaxy devices.Recommendations: Julian recommends the Manfrotto Move Quick release system for your camera setup. Lauren recommends the show Euphoria. Mike recommends Jonathan Blitzer’s New Yorker profile of the Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
11/02/2232m 49s

Hitting Pause on Spotify

You probably know Spotify as a streaming music juggernaut, but its business model has grown far beyond just music. Last year, the company paid a reported $100 million dollars for exclusive distribution rights to the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. But now Rogan's penchant for interviewing controversial guests, some of whom propagate disinformation about Covid vaccines and climate science, has riled up Spotify users and artists alike. Prominent musicians like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and India Arie said they would pull their music from the streaming service unless Spotify dumped Rogan. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs joins us to talk about the big Spotify dust-up. We also offer some advice about how to manage your streaming music library across platforms … just in case you might want to take your playlists to another service.Show Notes: Read Kate’s story about the Spotify and Joe Rogan saga. Read Adam Speight’s story about how to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music. Reece Rogers has advice about getting started on YouTube Music.Recommendations: Kate Knibbs recommends the novel The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. (Read her review of it here.) Mike recommends the sci-fi show The Expanse. Lauren recommends an REI Nalgene water bottle with a small mouth. Kate can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
04/02/2236m 0s

Help! My Family is Stuck in the Metaverse

When the real world's a mess, the metaverse that Facebook (er, Meta) is pitching might seem like a welcome refuge. Just strap on a headset and play some VR games in a sprawling digital realm. Fun for the whole family! At least, that’s what WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So has been turning to lately to keep her small kids occupied.But it's not all virtual puzzles and endless sunshine. Meta has a track record of privacy and ethical lapses in its business practices that may give people pause before they strap on a VR headset. And inevitably, this meta-space might be monetized through ads, the way the current internet is…though some technologists have better ideas than others around what that might look like, WIRED senior writer Gilad Edelman says. This week on Gadget Lab, Adrienne and Gilad join the podcast to talk about the weird ins and outs of bringing your family into the metaverse, and whether anyone will actually want to stay there.Show Notes: Read Adrienne’s story about how her family is trapped in the metaverse. Read Gilad’s Q&A with the creator of Second Life. Listen to our episode where Gilad and Kate Knibbs talk about NFTs.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends booking a tattoo appointment ASAP if you’re thinking of getting one, because lots of places are backed up right now. Gilad recommends mashed cauliflower. Lauren recommends the game Beat Saber.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Gilad Edelman is @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
28/01/2236m 16s

Road to the Future

For years, companies and techno-bros have been saying that self-driving cars are ready to roll. Now companies like the ride-hailing service Lyft are actually letting customers take rides in autonomous vehicles. And at CES this year, John Deere unveiled a self-driving tractor that lets farmers put the latest automation tech to work in the fields. But if the time for self-driving vehicles is finally nigh, what does that mean for the workers who make a living behind the wheel?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about the increasingly near future of autonomous vehicles. Then, a conversation with Jody Kelman, the head of Lyft’s autonomous driving division, and Aubrey Donnellan, a cofounder and the chief operating officer at the John Deere subsidiary Bear Flag Robotics.Show Notes: Read Aarain’s story about autonomous cars. Read Will Knight’s story about John Deere’s self-driving tractor. Watch all of the talks from WIRED HQ at CES.Recommendations: Aarian recommends the HoMedics TotalComfort Portable Ultrasonic Humidifier. Mike recommends the Substack newsletter The Signal from David Katznelson. Lauren recommends Brandon Taylor’s Substack Sweater Weather.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @aarianmarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
21/01/2241m 49s

Dry If You Might

Many people are taking a break from alcohol this month, a cultural moment that’s come to be known as Dry January. Beyond trends fueled by new year’s resolutions, however, the de-alcoholized drink has been enjoying a boom. Beverage brands and fancy bartenders are crafting complex virgin cocktails and beers in an effort to tantalize the tastebuds of sober folks, temporary teetotalers, and the generally alcohol-averse. But how do they actually devise these drinks? And how well do they hold up to our cultural expectations of what “drinking” should be?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers joins us to talk about the science of booze and not-booze.Show Notes: Read Adam’s book Proof: The Science of Booze.Recommendations: Adam recommends bitters, indulging your hobbies, and subscribing to WIRED. Lauren recommends Letiz’s Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Riesling non-alcoholic white wine. Mike recommends the free (and non-profit) streaming service Radio is a Foreign Country.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
14/01/2241m 16s

Live From CES 2022

New year, new chaotic mega tech exhibition. CES was this week, complete with all of its usual glitzy gizmos and gaudy gadgets. It was a strange year for the tech conference. It was held in person and virtually, and multiple presenters pulled out at the last minute, citing Covid concerns. Still, many companies were undeterred, and the slew of tech announcements continued unabated.WIRED covered CES from afar, including a live taping of the Gadget Lab podcast. This week, WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So and WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu join us to talk about all the best things we saw at CES, and which consumer technology trends will shape the coming year.Show Notes: You can watch this session and our other live CES coverage on the @WIRED Twitter account. Check out our chronicle of all the outlandish gadgets at CES. Read our list of the best of CES.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Adrienne So is @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). This special live episode was produced by Jane Garcia Buhks and Chris Cona. Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
07/01/2258m 11s

Goodbye to All That

Good thing 2021 was the year we fixed all of the brokenness of 2020, huh? OK, not even close. But for some people, 2021 was a year of reassessing, recommitting (or resigning), and reconnecting. And technology was a big part of that, whether through cloud services that kept us all occupied and sane, or game-changing vaccines that let us actually hug some of our friends and family members again. On this week’s Gadget Lab, Michael Calore and Lauren Goode are joined by Adrienne So and Julian Chokkattu to discuss which tech products or services had the most impact on their lives in 2021—for better or worse. And while the Gadget Lab team knows better than to make any bold predictions or resolutions for 2022 (who knows what will happen next year!), they offer some tips for establishing a healthier relationship with tech in the new year. Show Notes: Read more about cloud gaming, e-scooters, Peloton, and unplugging from the internet. Recommendations: This week’s tech recommendations … all have nothing to do with tech. Adrienne recommends Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series The Witcher book for its dry, nihilistic humor. Julian recommends Fine & Raw Chocolate, both for eating and drinking. Lauren recommends subscribing to physical magazines, such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and, you know, WIRED. Mike recommends Pilsner beer, which is delicious and refreshingly low in alcohol content.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
10/12/2145m 27s

WTF Is Web3?

Web3! It's the latest internet buzzword which encompasses an egalitarian vision of the web that's more reliable, based on trust, and, inevitably, built on the blockchain. This plan for the future is being pushed by startups, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley bigwigs, all of whom stand to make some sweet, sweet cryptocurrency from a new breed of web app that takes the power from the platforms and puts it back in the hands of the people.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Gilad Edelman joins us to talk about whether the reality of whatever Web3 becomes will ever live up to Silicon Valley's rosy vision of it.Show NotesRead Gilad’s story about Web3.Recommendations Gilad recommends the book Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper, and also Boone Ashworth’s story about Fire Twitter on WIRED.com. Mike also recommends the Fire Twitter story. Lauren recommends the show Broad City.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
03/12/2130m 16s

A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

Over his nearly four-decade career as a novelist, Neal Stephenson has built complex visions of future worlds that, looking back at them now, feel eerily prescient. He writes about the possible ways unchecked globalization, pollution, and technological capitalism could transform our planet. Along the way, he’s introduced readers to concepts like cryptocurrency, virtual reality, and the metaverse. In his new novel, Termination Shock, Stevenson brings readers into a near future when an eccentric billionaire puts forward a radical plan for slowing climate change by blasting sulphur into the Earth’s atmosphere. Sounds plausible, doesn’t it? Maybe.WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers spoke with Neal Stephenson at the annual RE:WIRED conference earlier this month. This week, we’ll listen to the audio from that interview, and we’ll hear from Adam about what it was like to profile Stephenson for the November issue of WIRED magazine. Show Notes: Neal Stephenson’s new book Termination Shock is available now. Read Adam’s WIRED story about Neal Stephenson taking on Global Warming. Check out more from our RE:WIRED sessions here.Recommendations: Adam recommends getting your Covid-19 vaccine booster shot if you’re eligible, and also the show Star Trek Prodigy. Lauren recommends Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy on HBO Max. Mike recommends “The Veggie” newsletter from The New York Times.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Neal Stephenson is @nealstephenson. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
19/11/2137m 35s

What an Augmented World

Mark Zuckerberg may be busy pushing the idea of augmented and virtual reality worlds, but he is far from the first to start imaging them. Niantic CEO John Hanke heads the company that created Pokemon Go, the mobile game that was one of the first massive AR hits. Hanke has been augmenting reality for years now, and he says that his vision to bring people together in the real world is more egalitarian than Facebook's.This week on Gadget Lab, we welcome WIRED editor at large Steven Levy, who spoke to Hanke about how Niantic is countering Facebook's vision of the metaverse. Then Lauren talks with Bobby Murphy, the cofounder and CTO of Snap, and AR and VR developer Brielle Garcia, who makes lenses for Snap Spectacles about their vision for our augmented future.Show NotesRead Steven’s interview with Niantic CEO John Hanke here. Visit the Augmented World Expo at awe.live, and watch videos of the 2021 expo on YouTube.RecommendationsSteven recommends the Andover SpinBase, a $299 speaker made for use with record players. Mike recommends the YouTube cooking channel, “De Mi Rancho a Tu Cocina.” Lauren recommends the “Maybe You Should Go Outside” episode of The Cut podcast.Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
12/11/2142m 24s

Shipping and Shopping

Hey, how's that holiday shopping coming along? It's still a little early to start panicking in earnest, but right now is the best time to start buying stuff if you want it to arrive in time for the holidays. You might have noticed how you'll go to order something online, but it's either completely unavailable or it won’t ship for weeks or months. That's because the global supply chain has been a little screwy lately, set off kilter by a combination of logistical problems, resource shortages, and manufacturing woes. It's a weird time for buying things, and even weirder time for shipping them.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior reviews editor Adrienne So joins us to talk about supply chain woes and why now is the time to start your holiday shopping.Show Notes: Read Adreinne’s story about timing your holiday shopping properly. Read Amanda Mull’s story in The Atlantic about the nasty logistics of returning all that stuff you buy. Here’s Lauren’s Verge story about how everything is connected and there’s no going back.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the books in the Wheel of Time series, which comes to Amazon Prime Video as a streaming TV program later this month. Lauren recommends the six-part CNN documentary, Lincoln: Divided We Stand. Mike recommends watching Re:Wired, our annual big ideas conference, which streams for free November 9 and 10.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
05/11/2132m 6s

Let’s Get Meta

Facebook has a new name. This week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is changing its name to Meta. The title comes from something Facebook has been calling the metaverse—an VR/AR experience that allows users to interact remotely with a mix of virtual and in-person elements. It's a very deliberate change of course for the company, and one that comes at a time when Facebook is embroiled in a weeks-long controversy about how its product may harm its users. But while the company may have a new name, that doesn't mean its problems are over.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about Facebook's rebranding, its push into the metaverse, and the challenges that come with that shift.Show Notes: Read Arielle Pardes’ story about Facebook’s name change. Here’s Lauren’s story about Facebook’s metaverse ambitions. Read WIRED’s series about the Facebook papers. Also check out Peter Rubin’s stories about Facebook’s camera glasses and Horizon workrooms. Here’s how to change the algorithmic ranking of Facebook’s newsfeed. And here’s how to delete your account, permanently. Recommendations: Arielle recommends the new Dune movie. Mike recommends the most recent episode of The War on Cars podcast with food writer Alicia Kennedy. Lauren recommends WIRED’s story package about the Facebook papers.Arielle Pardes can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
29/10/2129m 30s

Big Macs, New Pixels

Yep, it’s still product announcement season. This week, Google officially unveiled its new Pixel phones and Apple showed off new MacBook Pro models. Both device families sport substantial upgrades over their previous designs—though in the MacBook's case, many of its "new" features are just ones that Apple has omitted from its most recent laptops. All of these devices have received their biggest updates in years, so naturally we have some nitpicks.This week on Gadget Lab, we bring on WIRED products writer Brenda Stolyar and WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu to rant and/or rave about the features on Apple and Google's new devices.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about Apple’s return to its old MacBook style. Read Parker Hall’s story about all the MacBook’s new (old) ports here. Dive deeper into Apple’s new M1 chips. Deets about Google’s new Pixel phones. Everything Apple announced this week. Also read Julian’s review of the Evolve Hadean electric skateboard.Recommendations: Brenda recommends The Bold Type on Hulu. Julian recommends trying out an electric skateboard. Lauren recommends Kneipp bath salts. (No, you don’t smoke them.) Mike recommends the Curious Creatures podcast.Brenda Stolyar can be found on Twitter @BStoly. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
22/10/2135m 52s

Facebook's Uncertain Future

Facebook has once again found itself in the hot seat. Things heated up for the company after a whistleblower shared thousands of pages of Facebook internal documents with The Wall Street Journal and Congress last month. The documents reveal that the company had researched how its apps affect the people who use them—and that Facebook often chooses to put its business interests ahead of the wellbeing of its users.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman about the overall impact of the whistleblower’s revelations, whether anything will change internally at Facebook, and how plausible it is that even big, sweeping changes to the platform here in the US could fix Facebook’s issues overseas. Show Notes: Read The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series. Read Gilad’s story about the Facebook whistleblower. He also wrote about why Facebook is not too big to moderate. Here’s Gilad’s story about Section 230 (and also our episode of this show about it). And here’s how you can permanently delete your Facebook account.Recommendations: Gilad recommends listening to CDs. Mike recommends the segment from Last Week Tonight about misinformation. Lauren recommends swiping right on dates (the fruit, that is) and also Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast, particularly the episodes with Monica Lewinsky and Matthew McConaughey.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
15/10/2135m 25s

Andrew Yang on Micromobility

Description:Andrew Yang, former presidential and New York mayoral candidate, really likes to ride his electric scooter. He's been a big proponent of micromobility in general, among other grand ambitions like establishing a nationwide universal basic income. He's also trying to launch a new American political party—a near-impossible task in such an ideologically divided country.This week on Gadget Lab, Lauren talks with Andrew Yang at the Micromobility America conference in Richmond, California about his plans for democracy and how cities might become more micromobile-friendly. Show Notes: Andrew Yang’s new book is called Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.Recommendations: Lauren recommends Maid, on Netflix. Mike recommends visiting Surfrider.org to learn about the oil spill affecting Orange County, California, and how to help.Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
08/10/2137m 59s

Amazon Bots

About this time every year, Amazon announces a slew of new products. Some of them are fairly normal: new Echo devices, smart screens, video doorbells. But sometimes the company will roll out something truly bonkers, like a flying home security drone or a Roomba-like robot with an extending periscope camera that wheels around your house. Outlandish or otherwise, the company's output offers a look at where it's headed. And this year, Amazon seems increasingly intent on becoming a home security company.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So joins us to talk about Amazon's deluge of new products, including that absurd Astro robot.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about Amazon’s Astro robot. Check out everything Amazon announced at its September event. If for some reason you want to buy Amazon’s Ring home drone, you’ll have to get on the invite list. Here’s Adrienne’s story about the Amazon Halo fitness tracker that listens to your tone of speech. And here’s Lauren’s review of the Amazon Dash shelf. Also read Engadget’s story about how Amazon is turning into a security company.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the Back Bay Tempo 30 earbuds. Mike recommends the “Folk Fabrique” playlist on Spotify. Lauren recommends Anne Helen Petersen’s column “The Counterintuitive Mechanics of Peloton Addiction” from her Substack newsletter, Culture Study.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
01/10/2133m 10s

Scratching the Surface

It's product announcement season, and this week was Microsoft's turn. The company slid out a few new Surfaces, a weird flippy laptop thing, and an eco-friendlyish mouse that looks like a bar of soap. Microsoft also doubled down on its dual screen mobile design with the Surface Duo 2, a device that we're still not quite sure what to do with.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED product and reviews writer Brenda Stoylar joins us to talk all about Microsoft's hardware announcements and the future of the company's multiple screens and detachable keyboards.Show Notes: Check out everything Microsoft announced this week. Read Lauren’s story about the weird Surface Duo 2. Read our review of the last Surface Pro X. This is a password journal.Recommendations: Brenda recommends the Peacock original Dr. Death. Lauren recommends the non-alcoholic craft beer made by Athletic Brewing. Mike recommends trying some Indian pizza.Brenda Stolyar can be found on Twitter @BStoly. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
24/09/2129m 26s

iPhoning It In

It's September, which can only mean one thing: Apple's got some new products. This week, the company held a virtual event to detail its slate of upcoming iPhones, iPads, and smartwatches. Along with the new chips, Apple showed off some flashy photo and video features meant to appeal to pro users. But are those features all they're cracked up to be? And do you really need to buy the new hardware in order to use them?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about everything Apple announced this week and what you need to know before upgrading.Show Notes: Read all about the new iPhone 13. Also check out the changes to the iPad Mini. Here’s everything Apple announced at its event this week. Here’s Lauren and Julian’s story about Google’s new tensor chip in its Pixel 6 phone. Read Julian’s guide to iPhone 12 accessories. And you bet your ass we talked about cargo pants again.Recommendations: Julian recommends Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem for your phone accessories. Mike recommends just using the iPad Mini instead of a phone. Lauren recommends the docu-series LuLaRich on Amazon Prime.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
17/09/2132m 11s

Boosters and Mandates

On Thursday, President Biden announced a number of new policies to fight Covid-19. Chief among them: More vaccine mandates are coming. Now, businesses that employ over 100 workers will have to require those employees to be vaccinated, or to produce a negative Covid test every week. Biden also doubled down on his decision to offer booster shots to fully vaccinated Americans, a move that’s faced some pushback from world health leaders, and from other countries that have been unable to fully vaccinate their own citizens.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Maryn McKenna about the ethics of vaccine boosters. Then, Adam Rogers joins us to break down the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate announcements.Show Notes: Read Maryn’s story about the US authorizing vaccine booster shots. Read Adam’s story about how to do vaccine mandates the right way. And his story about the data on ivermectin. He also wrote about the ethics of treating vaccinated patients first. Read Angela Watercutter’s story about the trailer for the new Matrix movie.Recommendations: Adam recommends the show Motherland: Fort Salem. Lauren recommends the trailer for the new Matrix movie. Mike recommends the Netflix show On the Verge.Maryn McKenna can be found on Twitter @marynmck. Adam Rogers is @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
10/09/2137m 47s

Power Problems

This week, Hurricane Ida swept through the southern US, hitting Louisiana and parts of Mississippi especially hard. The storm disabled the power grid across Louisiana, including heavily populated areas like New Orleans, and officials say it could be weeks before power is fully restored. It's not the first disaster to reveal how woefully unprepared our infrastructure is for weathering disasters—and it won't be the last.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman about what caused the power problems in New Orleans, and how humanity can prepare for unexpected disasters (like solar flares) that might come in the near future.Show Notes: Read Lily’s story about the power outages in New Orleans. Also read her story about how solar storms could cause an internet apocalypse.Recommendations: Lily recommends upgrading from your iPhone 6S (or earlier), since Apple is about to stop supporting security updates on older phones. Lauren recommends the August 31 episode of The New York Times’ podcast The Daily, about America’s final hours in Afghanistan. Mike recommends the show Justified, which you can watch on Hulu.Lily Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
03/09/2128m 22s

I Never Metaverse I Didn’t Like

The metaverse. A simulated world, controlled with inputs from our reality to merge cyberspace and meatspace into one plane of existence. If this sounds like a sci-fi concept from the early ‘90s, that’s because it is. But now Facebook is trying to make the metaverse a reality.The company has been exploring AR and VR tech with the goal of manufacturing a virtual experience that allows users from all over the world to interact in a shared dimension. So far, the most promising metaverse concept the company has shown off is a VR conference room for business meetings. Not super exciting, folks! However, Facebook has demonstrated that its tech has the potential to re-frame how we interact in the future—provided we all use Facebook headsets and apps from the Oculus store to meet up within the confines of Facebook’s platform.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Peter Rubin, WIRED contributor and author of the book Future Presence, about Facebook’s grand vision and whether an open, platform-agnostic version of the metaverse will ever fully materialize.Show Notes: Read Peter’s story about Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms. Also, his story about the metaverse in Ready Player One. Peter’s book, Future Presence, is now out in paperback. Read Lauren’s story about Facebook’s wrist wearables. And Gilad Edelman has a take on cargo pants, obviously. Recommendations: Peter recommends the show Reservation Dogs. Lauren recommends taking a staycation, because you deserve it. Mike recommends Peter’s newsletter, The Peter Principle.PeterRubin can be found on Twitter @provenself. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
27/08/2136m 59s

Pixel Party

By now, Google has gotten the hang of making solid affordable phones. Its new Pixel 5A has just about all the features most people need in a phone, and the company is selling the handsets for the decent price of $450. But Google isn't stopping at functional. It's also betting big on fancy. Later this year, the company will release the Pixel 6, a much more expensive phone with a cutting-edge design and an advanced set of software features. Inside of this new flagship phone is a custom processor called Tensor that could spell some changes for the Android operating system.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about the new Pixel phones and Google's plans for the future.Show Notes: Read Julian’s review of the Pixel 5A. His video walkthrough of the phone is here. Read our story about Google’s new custom Tensor chips. And check out our picks for the best cheap phones. And f**k everything, we’re doing five blades.Recommendations: Julian recommends the film The Green Knight. Mike recommends Gilad Edelman’s WIRED story “It's Time to Bring Back Cargo Pants.” Lauren recommends donating to the International Women’s Media Foundation to support women journalists reporting in Afghanistan. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
20/08/2131m 24s

Apple’s Photo-Scanning Tech Explained

Recently, Apple revealed some new technical measures in Messages, iCloud, Siri, and search that are meant to protect children from sexual abuse online. Apple says that its new blend of on-device and cloud-based processing will strike a balance between user safety and user privacy. But some cryptography experts aren't convinced, and worry that the measures could open the door to other privacy breaches and government surveillance.  This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior cybersecurity writer Andy Greenberg joins us to talk about how Apple's tech works, and the company's delicate balancing act between safety and privacy.Show Notes: Read Andy’s story about Apple’s new tech.Recommendations: Andy recommends the book Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe, and also the new Mortal Kombat movie. Lauren recommends Vauhini Vara’s story “Ghosts” in Believer Magazine. Mike recommends Brian Raftery’s “Gene and Roger” series of The Ringer’s The Big Picture podcast.Andy Greenberg can be found on Twitter @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
13/08/2128m 8s

I Can Haz Memes

Internet memes seem harmless enough. A few pictures of cats with some grammatically incorrect text—what could go wrong? Well, memes have come a long way since the early days of the internet. For more than a decade, memes have been deployed as a weapon in culture wars. And they’re even more persuasive than most people realize. A well-placed meme on somebody’s social media timeline can lead them down a rabbit hole of radicalization, misinformation, and extremism.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Emily Dreyfuss, a senior editor at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy about how memes have shaped politics and culture.Show Notes: Read more about all kinds of disinformation at Harvard Shorenstein Center’s Media Manipulation Casebook. Here’s Emily’s story about her life as a robot. Read Angela Watercutter’s story about the Bernie Sanders mittens memes.Recommendations: Emily recommends that you look up what happens to an artichoke if you let it flower, and also American Nations by Colin Woodard. Mike recommends r/random, which takes you to a different subreddit every time you click. Lauren recommends the HBO show White Lotus.Emily Dreyfuss can be found on Twitter @EmilyDreyfuss. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
06/08/2137m 41s

Inside Black Twitter

If you've been on Twitter, then you've been on Black Twitter. No other subsection of social media has produced ideas and movements as influential or as dynamic as those that have come from Black voices on Twitter. In the early days, it existed as a space where Black people could connect, bat around some jokes, and share their experiences. Over time, Twitter’s Black community grew to become a driving force of real-world social change. It catalyzed culture and led to important movements like #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo and, of course, Black Lives Matter.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Jason Parham joins us to talk about his three-part oral history called “A People’s History of Black Twitter,” what it means to be Black online, and how Black Twitter has changed society.Show Notes: Read Jason’s oral history of Black Twitter (Part I, Part II, Part III). Also read his September 2020 cover story about TikTok and the evolution of digital blackface.Recommendations: Jason recommends the show Jett on Cinemax. Lauren recommends the July 28 episode of the Daily podcast, The Saga of Congress’s Jan. 6 Investigation. Mike recommends The Summer of Soul on Hulu.Jason Parham can be found on Twitter @nonlinearnotes. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
30/07/2127m 23s

Bezos in Space

This week, Jeff Bezos flew to space. Or, at least high enough into the sky for it to technically count. While his 10-minute joyride in a Blue Origin rocket was mainly intended to draw attention to his space tourism company, the former Amazon CEO also has bigger ambitions. He wants to launch a new era of space colonization, with the ultimate goal of creating a new home for humans in the cosmos.Sure, being the world's richest person and former head of one of the planet’s biggest retail companies means he has directly contributed to some of society's biggest problems. But Bezos seems to believe that in order to save the Earth, we have to leave it.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy joins us to talk about Jeff Bezos’ big day and what it means for the future of humanity.Show Notes: Read Steven’s dispatches on Bezos’ rocket launch. Also check out his cover story about how Bezos wants to leave Earth for good. Also, Richard Branson went up into space too, you know.Recommendations: Steven recommends the book Wally Funk's Race for Space. Lauren recommends the show Hacks on HBO Max. Mike recommends the Mighty Vibe.Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
23/07/2132m 10s

Why WeWork Didn't Work

In the 11 years since its founding, WeWork has had a wild ride. At its core, it's a real estate company that subleases trendy office spaces to other businesses. But the workers at the company, lead by their charismatic CEO Adam Neumann and intoxicated by a $47 billion valuation, partied like it was a rebellious tech startup. Behind all the kombucha taps in WeWork’s offices was a culture of extravagant splurging, furious hedonism, and questionable business decisions. The bad behavior persisted for a decade before it all came crashing down.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, the Wall Street Journal reporters who helped reveal the absurd shenanigans that led to the downfall of WeWork. Their new book, The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion, is a chronicle of the company’s rollicking journey.Show Notes: The Cult of We comes out July 20. You can preorder it here. And be sure to follow all of Eliot and Maureen’s reporting at The Wall Street Journal.Recommendations: Maureen recommends the show Schitt’s Creek. Eliot recommends the podcast Fiasco, specifically season two, which is about the Iran Contra Scandal. Lauren recommends the Listings Project, a community newsletter for people looking for temporary housing. Mike recommends Mixcloud for discovering new music through DJ sets.Maureen Farrell can be found on Twitter @maureenmfarrell. Eliot Brown is @eliotwb. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
16/07/2135m 52s

I Bike, You Bike, Ebike

Electric bikes are exploding. Not literally—most of the time, anyway—but ebikes are certainly in demand. Companies that operate bikeshare networks are upgrading their ebike fleets as they try to entice more riders to join up. And attracted by a combination of sleek looks and dead-simple operation, more riders than ever are investing in personal ebikes—for commutes, for recreation, or as a practical replacement for the family car.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED editors Adrienne So and Julian Chokkattu join us to talk about Lyft’s new ebike, urban mobility, and the ups and downs of owning your own electric bicycle.Show Notes: Read Julian’s story about Lyft’s new ebike here. Read some of Adrienne’s many, many, many ebike reviews. (And here’s a list of the best ebikes for every type of rider.) Also check out Parker Hall’s Ultimate Ears Fits review.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends Ultimate Ears Fits custom-fit earbuds for your one-of-a-kind ear holes. Julian recommends playing through your old video game backlog instead of just buying new games all the time. Lauren recommends podcasts by The Cut. Mike recommends The Ultimate Bicycle Owner’s Manual by Eben Weiss, aka Bike Snob.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Julian is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
09/07/2133m 7s

Paging Dr. Algorithm

Artificial intelligence is everywhere. And increasingly, it's becoming a critical part of healthcare. Doctors use it to try to suss out symptoms of deadly infections like sepsis; companies like Google are developing apps to help you identify ailments just by uploading some pics. But AI is only as good as the data sets fed into these systems. And when the data sets are flawed, or the results are not properly interpreted, the software can misidentify symptoms (or fail to identify them entirely). In some cases, this may even result in false positives, or exacerbate already stark racial disparities in the healthcare system.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Tom Simonite joins us to talk about the blind spots in medical AI and what happens when tech companies put these algorithms into their users' hands.Show Notes: Read Tom’s story about the flaws in the AI that predicts sepsis here. Read his story about Google’s new dermatology app. Read more about the racial bias in AI systems (and how those algorithms might be fixed). Also check out Lauren’s story about how the internet doesn’t let you forget.Recommendations: Tom recommends the novel No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. Lauren recommends the book Girlhood by Melissa Febos. Mike recommends the album Acustico by Céu.Tom Simonite can be found on Twitter @tsimonite. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
25/06/2125m 53s

Into the Great Wide Open

People are heading outdoors this summer. Transportation services—from airlines to rental car companies to public transit agencies—are offering deals and prizes to woo travelers onto their platforms after many long months of sagging business. But they also have to figure out how to handle the surge in demand, especially after being forced to make major cutbacks during the pandemic, when ridership numbers plummeted.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall about mass transit and how to travel—both close to home and far from it—during your hot vax summer.Show Notes: Read reporting about Uber Pool and Lyft Line from Business Insider and Buzzfeed. Follow all of WIRED’s transportation coverage here.Recommendations: Aarian recommends a collapsible tea kettle. Mike recommends the book Bicycle Diaries by musician David Byrne. Lauren recommends Lindberg Snider porterhouse & roast seasoning.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
18/06/2128m 25s

Cutting to the Core of Apple

Apple held its annual WWDC event this week, where it announced a whole bunch of new software features for its mobile and desktop platforms. It was also yet another opportunity for Apple to insist that all you need to do to simplify your life is buy more Apple products.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So and WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu join us to talk about WWDC and the pros and cons of assimilating into Apple's ecosystem.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about Apple’s walled garden of products. Read Julian’s story about the biggest features coming to your iPhone this fall. Check out everything Apple announced at WWDC here.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends Anve Swimwear for this post-pandemic hot mess summer. Julian recommends the Secretlab Magnus Desk. Lauren recommends Tom Simonite’s WIRED profile of ousted Google researcher Timnit Gebru. Mike recommends the browser extension Minimal Twitter built by Thomas Wang.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
11/06/2131m 57s

Vaccine Incentives, From Donuts to Dollars

So, you want to vaccinate your populace. Sometimes it's not enough to appeal to people's basic sense of self-preservation. You have to find other ways to entice them. Governments in states like Ohio, California, and West Virginia have announced plans to offer vaccine lotteries. The premise is simple: Get vaccinated, and you could win upwards of $1 million. Now, private companies are following suit, offering their own bonuses and sweepstakes to encourage customers to vaccinate—and to open up their wallets.This week, we talk with WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers about the behavioral science of vaccine lotteries, and whether even slim odds at a big payout will encourage the holdouts.Show Notes: Read Adam’s story about how vaccine lotteries might actually work.Recommendations: Adam recommends the novel The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker. Mike recommends El Pato sauce. (Also read an LA Eater story about it here.) Lauren recommends sour cream on eggs, and also the Patagonia Fleetwith Romper.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
04/06/2131m 12s

Oh, the Huemanity

For as long as humans have existed, we've been obsessed with color. Everything from the color of your clothes to the brightly illuminated pixels on your screen is an attempt to recreate—and enhance—the vibrant hues found in the natural world. In fact, the pursuit of pretty colors (and how we understand them) can be seen as a driving force behind some of the biggest technological advancements and societal shifts in human history.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers about his new book Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern and the wild ways color affects our brains.Show Notes: You can find Adam’s book, Full Spectrum, here. Read an excerpt from Adam’s book about how Pixar uses color to hack your brain on WIRED. Read Adam’s story about the science of The Dress here. Also check out Proof, Adam’s book about the science of booze. Read Lauren’s story about the internet and memories.Recommendations: Adam recommends the show Beforeigners on HBO Max. Lauren recommends fly fishing. Mike recommends the memoir Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls by Nina Renata Aron.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
28/05/2140m 50s

Android Dreams

Google made a slew of announcements at its IO developer conference this week. A whole new look for Android! New privacy features! Better smartwatch software! A friggin’ hologram booth! Some of the updates were weird, unfinished prototypes, while others are set to begin seeping into the software millions of people use in the coming weeks.On this episode of Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Android 12, the other important Google announcements, and why they matter.Show Notes: Read about everything Google announced here. Read Lauren’s story about Project Starline here. Read Julian’s story about Google’s Wear OS upgrades here. Read Lily’s story about Android’s new privacy features here. Read Lauren’s story about Snap Spectacles here.Recommendations: Julian recommends taking some time to evaluate your desk setup so you can improve your posture. Mike recommends the music history podcast And Introducing and its miniseries on the book Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad. Lauren recommends ice cream.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
21/05/2133m 30s

Muchos Bezos

Few tech companies have charted a more fascinating course than Amazon. It's expanded from its humble beginnings as a bookseller to an absolute juggernaut that spans scores of product categories and service offerings. It's set out to change the way the internet is structured, the way we interact with computers, and the way we shop—online and off.On this episode of Gadget Lab, journalist and author Brad Stone joins us to dish about stories from his new book Amazon Unbound, including Amazon's more aggressive business maneuvers and Jeff Bezos' personal shenanigans.Show Notes: Find Brad’s book Amazon Unbound here. Read an excerpt from the book about the secret origins of Amazon’s Alexa here. Read about how Bezos battled the tabloids here.Recommendations: Brad recommends the book Press Reset by Jason Schreier. Lauren recommends Anne Helen Peterson’s CultureStudy newsletter on Substack. Mike also recommends a Substack: Tom Moon’s music newsletter, EchoLocator.Brad Stone can be found on Twitter @BradStone. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
14/05/2135m 27s

The Truth About Section 230

There's no way the lawmakers who drafted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act way back in 1996 could have known that it would go on to determine the role user-generated content would play in the explosive growth of the internet. Those Congressmen probably also wouldn’t have guessed that Section 230 would end up, 25 years later, becoming a central sticking point in the debate over free speech online. The complex history of CDA 230 is as full of as many twists and turns as there are differing interpretations of what the law actually says.On this episode of Gadget Lab, WIRED senior politics reporter Gilad Edelman joins us yet again to talk about the particulars of Section 230. He’s the author of this month’s WIRED cover story on this very topic. We also talk about the Facebook Oversight Committee's ruling about the company’s decision to temporarily ban president Trump from the platform.Show Notes: Read Gilad’s cover story about Section 230 here. Read his story about the Facebook Oversight Committee’s decision here. Trump’s DIY Twitter feed is a thing that exists. Watch the video of Aeropress inventor Alan Adler here.Recommendations: Gilad recommends Aeropress. Mike recommends the Shop app. Lauren recommends the podcast How to Save a Planet.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
07/05/2140m 42s

Leave No Trace

Facebook, Apple, and Google may have very different approaches to user privacy, but they do have something in common: All three companies are currently being investigated for antitrust violations.Facebook is being accused of allowing its market dominance to erode its data privacy protections. Apple and Google are being investigated, in part, for enforcing their own privacy safeguards at the expense of competitors—Apple because of the changes in iOS 14.5, and Google because of coming updates to its Chrome browser. It's a messy, complicated tangle of events. The situation also reveals the sphere of incredible power these companies operate in, where even tiny software changes can affect the data of billions of users.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED cybersecurity writer Lily Hay Newman and WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman join us to talk about how giant tech companies handle your privacy.Show Notes: Read Lily’s story about ad tracking in iOS 14.5 here. Read Gilad’s story about how privacy and antitrust are on a collision course here. Read the New York Times story about the beef between Mark Zuckerburg and Tim Cook here.Recommendations: Lily recommends hugs. Gilad recommends unbuttoning one more button on your shirt than you normally do. Lauren recommends the show Call My Agent. Mike recommends crushed calabrian chilis.Lily Hay Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Gilad Edelman is @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
30/04/2136m 42s

Facebook’s Andrew Bosworth

Facebook doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to keeping user data private. So when it revealed a few weeks ago that it was working on a prototype wearable computer that would interpret neuroelectrical signals, people had questions. The wearable—still very much just a concept—is designed to be worn on the wrist, where it could read a wearer’s nerve signals through their skin and translate them into device commands. It’s an idea straight out of sci-fi, and one that could actually be useful in VR and AR applications. But why is Facebook, with its massive software portfolio, working on hardware like this in earnest? How much more “connected” should we all be to Facebook apps? And should we trust the company to handle our data responsibly?This week on Gadget Lab, we interview Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of augmented and virtual reality and the bigwig behind this prototype wearable. We press him on Facebook’s intent in making hardware, how that hardware can shape social interaction, and whether ever-present connected tech—especially the kind infused with algorithms—can truly be value-neutral these days.Show Notes: Read more about Facebook’s wrist wearable here. Read Lauren’s story about how the internet won’t let her forget here. Read Mike’s review of the VacOne Coffee Air Brewer here. Read Boz’s blog here.Recommendations: Boz recommends Hexclad pans. Lauren recommends Nomadland, which you can watch now on Hulu with a sub. Mike recommends season two of the podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones.Andrew Bosworth can be found on Twitter @boztank. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
23/04/2152m 50s

500th Episode Extravaganza

This week marks the 500th episode of Gadget Lab. That is an astonishingly huge number; to pay proper tribute to it, we’ve invited some of Gadget Lab’s past co-hosts to come onto this week’s show and share their memories.Our guests Mat Honan, David Pierce, and Arielle Pardes speak in their own words about what it was like to work at WIRED and make a weekly show about personal technology. It’s a fun stroll down memory lane, for sure. But this special episode also serves as a rare look behind the scenes of Gadget Lab, so you can get a sense of how this show is made, and how it has evolved over the years.Show Notes: Read Mat Honan’s fever dream of a guilt-ridden gadget reporter here. Read his story about Slack here. Read Arielle’s cover story about Chris Evans here. Find her story about breast pumps here and her story about tech workplaces in the pandemic here. Read Lauren’s cover story about Simone Giertz here. Subscribe to David Pierce’s Source Code newsletter here and listen to the Source Code podcast here. Read Mike’s coffee machine review here.Mat Honan can be found on Twitter @mat. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. David Pierce is @pierce. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
16/04/211h

Breaking Up, Hooking Up

Tech companies are very good at serving up personalized content based on what they know about you. But they're not very good at picking up on big, sudden changes in your life. For example, Google Photos can show you pictures of a loved one taken three years ago, and Pinterest can suggest wedding-themed photos when your special day is right around the corner. But what if that loved one is no longer in the picture? And what if that wedding's been canceled? Those algorithms that resurface memories aren’t very good at telling which of those previously happy memories might now be upsetting.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about how the internet has changed the ways we love and remember. We also talk about the state of dating apps, and how technology has given us new ways to connect with potential loves, especially during the pandemic.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about how the internet doesn’t let you forget past relationships here. Read Arielle’s story about the boss of all dating apps here. Read Will Knight’s conversation with Kazuo Ishiguro here.Recommendations: Arielle recommends looking up your horoscope on AstrologyZone.com. Lauren recommends the book Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Mike recommends E. Jean Carroll’s Substack.Arielle Pardes can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
09/04/2134m 27s

Free Shipping

Last week, the cargo ship Ever Given got itself stuck in the Suez Canal for six days. The blockage completely disrupted maritime trade routes, captured worldwide attention, and became the subject of many online lulz. But even though the ship has been freed, the repercussions will be felt for months to come. This week, WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about why the Ever Given got stuck and how the shipping industry might prevent this kind of absurd catastrophe in the future.Show Notes: Read Aarian’s story about the big boat that got stuck in the Suez Canal here. Read her story about the various problems with the shipping industry lately here. Read about how cargo ships could help detect tsunamis here. Watch Lauren’s video about Peloton here. Read one of Nick Thompson’s many running stories here.Recommendations: Aarian recommends the Moft laptop stand. Lauren recommends Peloton’s Marathon training program. Mike recommends the relaxing Environments app.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
02/04/2128m 8s

Reentry Anxiety

Vaccines are here, unemployment is down, and the pandemic is nearing its end. These are obviously good things. Still, the idea of returning to "normal" might seem daunting. That's because our brains aren't used to being in crisis mode for so long. All that anxiety and uncertainty that's built up over the past year is going to take a while to go away.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED science writer Matt Simon joins us to talk about the psychology of reentry anxiety, and WIRED service editor Alan Henry offers some tips on how to manage it.Show Notes: Read Matt Simon’s story about the psychology of returning to “normal” here. Read Adrienne So’s story about vaccine FOMO here.Recommendations: Alan recommends the game Monster Hunter Rise. Matt recommends the show People Just Do Nothing. Mike recommends Hari Kunzru’s podcast Into the Zone. Lauren recommends the film Minari.Alan Henry can be found on Twitter @halophoenix. Matt Simon is @mrMattSimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
26/03/2132m 31s

Future Computing the Facebook Way

How will we interact with computers in the future? When we finally evolve beyond keyboards, mice, touchscreens, and voice controls, what’s next? This month, Facebook hinted at how it’s thinking about the future of human-computer interactions. The company unveiled a concept for a wrist-worn wearable that can interpret the nerve impulses in the wearer’s arm to virtually mimic hand movements and finger taps. Also, we witnessed a debate about how facial recognition should be used in the AR glasses Facebook reportedly plans to release later this year.For this episode, we are joined by WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy, who has written extensively about Facebook for WIRED, and in his book about the company, Facebook: The Inside Story, which is now out in paperback. We discuss Facebook’s vision of future interfaces, possible applications for these wearable devices, and whether Facebook has earned the public trust necessary to tap into people’s brain signals.Show Notes: Steven’s book is now available in paperback. Read Lauren’s story about the wrist wearable concept. Read our original news story on the Facebook Portal’s launch, as well as Adrienne So’s story about how she grew to love the device during the pandemic. BuzzFeed News reported on Facebook’s internal meeting about AR glasses and facial recognition in late February.Recommendations: Steven recommends Tom Stoppard: A Life by Hermione Lee. Lauren recommends enabling the handwashing timer on your Apple Watch. Mike recommends the Showtime series City on a Hill. Season two starts on March 28. Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Also, If you buy one of the books we link to in these show notes, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more.
19/03/2132m 16s

WTF Is an NFT?

When you think of digital media, you probably think of something like a YouTube video or a meme. Something you can access for free, any time you want. But some relatively new technologies are being used to make pieces of digital media sellable, thereby creating a high-stakes market for them. These NFTs—or non-fungible tokens—are the latest internet buzzword, and they’ve raised a lot of questions about how we determine the value of online goods.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs and WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman talk to Lauren Goode about the nascent NFT ecosystem and what it's like to sell one of your tweets.Show Notes: Read Kate’s story about selling her tweet here. Read Gregory Barber’s story about the climate impacts of NFTs here. Steven Levy's newsletter entry about NFTs is here. Read more about NFTs in the art world here.Recommendations: Kate recommends the novel Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Gilad recommends the yard game Kubb and also a way to make a quick cucumber infusion. Lauren recommends New Haven pizza.Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Gilad Edelman is @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.The advertising in this episode was developed by WIRED Brand Lab, a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. The WIRED newsroom is not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.
12/03/2139m 7s

Facing Our AR Future

While augmented reality has long been billed as the "next big thing" it hasn't quite arrived. Some pretty basic logistical problems get in the way. The headsets are too clunky, there aren't many decent apps, and the setup process can be a mess. But companies like Microsoft, Google, and (potentially) Apple are working on these problems, with the ultimate goal of creating consumer-level mixed-reality devices. AR is coming, whether people are willing to wait for it or not.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED digital director Brian Barrett about the future of mixed reality and when we'll all be wearing AR glasses.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about mixed-reality headsets and Microsoft Mesh here. Read more about the HoloLens 2 here. Read about the AR “Mirrorworld” here. Follow all of WIRED’s AR coverage here. Read Lily Hay Newman’s story for Slate about how baths are better than showers here.Recommendations: Brian recommends the novel A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet. Lauren recommends taking a bath. Mike recommends the mobile game Really Bad Chess for iOS or Android.Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.Advertising note: The ads in this episode were developed by WIRED Brand Lab, a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. The WIRED newsroom is not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.
05/03/2135m 12s

Gadgets on Mars

Hey, did you know that the new Mars rover is really cool? Its eyes see crazy different colors! It shoots out a helicopter drone! It can vaporize rocks with a laser! Plus, Perseverance traveled more than 292 million miles through space, so that makes it just about the best gadget ever.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers joins us to talk about all the wild tech built into Perseverance and what the big deal about Mars is anyway. Then a very special guest crashes the show to talk about cheese.Show Notes: Read Adam’s story about the cameras on the Perseverance rover. Watch the video of the landing and read about it here. Read more about the LA musician who helped design the microphones on the rover here. Read Gilad Edelman on the health benefits of cheese. Preorder Adam’s book, Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern, here.Recommendations: Adam recommends granite tile drill bits for drilling through metal. Lauren recommends Vigorous Innovations massage gun. Mike recommends the tech news website Rest of World. Gilad Edelman recommends cheese, of course.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Gilad Edelman is @GiladEdelman. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.WIRED Brand Lab is a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. The WIRED newsroom is not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.
26/02/2145m 5s

How to Get a PlayStation 5

Do you have a PlayStation 5? If so, good for you. If not, well, join the club. Sony’s newest game console has been very difficult to purchase since it was released in November—so much so that folks have resorted to using sniper bots, inside sources, and other shady practices to sidestep the scrum and snag that PS5.This week, we’re joined by Alan Henry and Saira Mueller from the WIRED video games team, and Jeffrey Van Camp from WIRED’s reviews team to talk about the issues keeping PS5 supplies low. They’ll also tell us about their own experiences trying to buy a console. At the end of the show, we share some shopping tips you can use on your own quest to get this year’s most scarce gadget.Show Notes: Read some advice about how to (maybe) buy a PS5 here. Read more about the scalper bots buying up all the PS5s here. Recommendations: Saira’s recommendation is to try cryotherapy. Brrr! Alan recommends Discord, which is great for gaming parties. Jeff recommends that you get a snow shovel, because you never know when you might need it. Lauren recommends this CBS guide to how you can help people in Texas during this deadly cold weather. Mike recommends the Vice show Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, now in its third season.Saira Mueller can be found on Twitter @SairaMueller. Alan Henry is @halophoenix. Jeff Van Camp is @JeffreyVC. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.Advertising note: WIRED Brand Lab is a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. The WIRED newsroom is not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.
19/02/2133m 32s

Who Let the Doge Out

When Bitcoin first appeared out of digital thin air, it was hailed as having the potential to upend the way people spent money. But more than a decade later, cryptocurrency is still only trickling into the mainstream.This week, Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and said it plans to start accepting it as a form of payment for its electric vehicles. The price of Bitcoin immediately spiked as the move seemed to signal a shift toward broader acceptance of cryptocurrency in general. But is this just another fleeting Elon Musk stunt, or will it actually be a sustainable way of doing business?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Greg Barber joins us to talk about Tesla's crypto plans, the reemergence of Dogecoin, and why the blockchain hasn't exactly revolutionized currency yet.Show Notes: Read Greg’s story about Tesla and Bitcoin here. Read more about how WIRED lost over $500,000 in Bitcoin here. Don’t miss Greg's CRISPR cow cover story. And here’s a good David Bowie playlist.Recommendations: Greg recommends the cooking website The Woks of Life. Mike recommends the Off the Record: David Bowie podcast from iHeartRadio. Lauren recommends the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears on Hulu.Greg Barber can be found on Twitter @GregoryJBarber. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.Advertising note: WIRED Brand Lab is a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. Gadget Lab and the WIRED newsroom are not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.
12/02/2134m 53s

Clubhouse’s Elon Moment

Elon Musk made headlines again this week. As usual, it was something involving Mars, memes, Tesla, and ... monkey brain implants? These topics, among others, were the subject of a conversation Musk had on Clubhouse, the voice chat app that's big with Silicon Valley VC types. But Musk's appearance may have been a turning point for the app that moves it into the mainstream. After Musk's talk, Clubhouse's user base nearly doubled, going from 3 to 5 million almost overnight. It's a powerful, popular format, and one that other social media companies are eager to get muscle their way into.This week on Gadget Lab, former cohost of the show and WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to dish about Elon, Clubhouse, and where this kind of social platform goes from here.Show Notes: Read more about Elon Musk’s visit to Clubhouse. Coverage of GameStop and Robinhood is here. You can also listen to audio of Musk’s Clubhouse appearance.Recommendations: Arielle recommends the wine delivery service from Eater Wine Club. Lauren recommends the show Your Honor on Showtime. Mike recommends the autobiography Being Ram Dass by, well, Ram Dass.Arielle Pardes can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
05/02/2134m 57s

Your Covid Vaccine Questions, Answered

Vaccines are here, but they’ve had a bit of a bumpy landing. In fact, the US is way behind on the distribution goals set by the federal government, and the longer the rollout drags on, the more complicated things seem to get. There are supply chain issues, confusion over how to get an appointment, and different eligibility requirements for different states. Meanwhile, new variants of the virus have raised concerns about the efficacy of the vaccines that have been approved so far.This week on Gadget Lab, we try to shed some light on these issues. WIRED science writers Maryn McKenna and Megan Molteni join us to talk about the ins and outs of vaccinations, and answer your questions about what exactly is going on.Show Notes: Read Megan’s stories about new virus variants here and here. Read Maryn’s story about vaccine mass clinics here and her story about dual-dose vaccinations here. Read Uri Friedman’s story about Israel’s vaccine strategy in The Atlantic here. Follow all of WIRED’s Covid-19 coverage here.Recommendations: Megan recommends embracing winter. Maryn recommends sharpening knives, specifically with Misen’s sharpening stones. Mike recommends the show Freaks and Geeks, now streaming on Hulu. Lauren recommends that you get vaccinated, if you have the opportunity. Just do it.Maryn McKenna can be found on Twitter @marynmck. Megan Molteni is @MeganMolteni. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
29/01/2139m 20s

Reboot Your Brain

Look, last year wasn't great. And just because it's 2021 now, that doesn't mean things are magically better. If you feel burned out, stressed, or just plain exhausted, you're not alone. But there's good news on the horizon. Vaccine rollouts may be slow, but they're happening. Not long from now, life should return to some kind of normal and we'll be able to safely engage with the world again. The only trouble is lasting that long without completely losing it.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED service editor Alan Henry joins us to talk about the ways we can manage our time and mental energy. Whether it's for focusing at work or just finding ways to relax, we have some suggestions that can help keep you on track.Show Notes:Get more great advice for improving your life at home with WIRED’s tips and how-tos. Read our roundup of the best note-taking apps. See our list of ways to relax and unwind during lockdown. Also see our home office gear guide and start working from home like a pro.Recommendations: Alan recommends the YouTube series Taskmaster. Lauren recommends the documentary series The Last Dance on Netflix. Mike recommends the show Dark/Web, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.Alan Henry can be found on Twitter @halophoenix. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
22/01/2130m 14s

CES Wrap-Up

You'd be forgiven if you didn't pay much attention to CES this week. There's been quite a lot going on outside the world of consumer tech, plus the virtual event wasn't nearly as splashy as the Las Vegas extravaganzas of years past. Still, there were a bunch of gadgets on display this year, and we pored over all of it to find the most important devices and trends, from rollable screens to cleaning tech to X-Men arcade games.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk all about the good, the bad, and the just plain weird of CES 2021.Show Notes: Find our picks for the best of CES here or watch the video here. Read more about rollable phone screens here. Read more about all the clean tech at CES here. Follow all of our CES coverage here.Recommendations: Brian recommends Athletic Brewing non-alcoholic beer. Mike recommends the Instagram account Siblings or Dating? Lauren recommends journalist Sachi Cunningham’s Instagram account, seasachi, for photos of surfers on giant waves.Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
15/01/2131m 31s

Facebook and Twitter Finally Respond to Trump

New year, new ... coup? On Wednesday, angry supporters of President Trump stormed the US Capitol building and violently disrupted a congressional session to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. They were spurned on in no small part by the president himself, who urged them to march on the Capitol and then later took to Twitter to double (quintuple?) down on his false claims of election fraud. As result, a slew of social media companies opted to suspend Trump's account for varying lengths of time, citing his rhetoric as inflammatory and dangerous.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman joins us to talk about why companies like Facebook and Twitter decided to finally take action to shut down Trump's accounts. Then he gets a crash course on the wild world of CES—the first-ever all-virtual staging of the consumer tech industry’s tentpole event kicks off Monday.Show Notes: Read Gilad’s story about Facebook and Twitter suspending the president’s accounts here. Follow all of our CES coverage here.Recommendations: Gilad recommends that if you buy an item of clothing that you like, consider buying more than one. And also the Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker. Lauren recommends the Headspace meditation app. Mike recommends a Black Manhattan cocktail.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
08/01/2137m 19s

Our 2021 Predictions

You'd be forgiven if the New Year's resolutions you made at the beginning of 2020 haven't exactly panned out. It's been a ridiculous, infuriating year that people can barely make sense of now, let alone have predicted back then. Still, 'tis the season for reflection, and in that spirit we're going to try to make sense of our tumultuous era.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us for a less-than-sober conversation about the tech that took the spotlight this year and what might come next.Recommendations: All drinks this week. Julian recommends whiskey sour with egg whites. Lauren recommends wine from Quady North in southern Oregon, and Two Shepherds in Sonoma County, California. Mike recommends a paloma cocktail with Jarritos grapefruit soda or Ficks mix.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
18/12/2040m 24s

Gift Rap

It's been a rough year, and the typically stressful holiday season is bound to be even more so. You might be having a hard time figuring out what gifts to give people, or even how to give them. Lucky for you, that's sort of our thing here at Gadget Lab.This week on the show, we talk with WIRED senior product writer Adrienne So about what gifts are going to be big this year, then we offer up our own suggestions for what to give.Show Notes: Find all of WIRED’s gift guides here. Check out more of our favorite small businesses here.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the movie Bridge of Spies. Lauren recommends The Gilmore Girls and also that you remember to tip the people who help you. Mike recommends Beethoven Around the World: The Complete String Quartets performed by Quatour Ébène.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
11/12/2030m 11s

Ride Share’s Road Ahead

Uber and Lyft had it pretty good in the beginning. The companies could roll out their services to new cities, entice a bunch of drivers and riders to their platform, and "disrupt" transit before regulators were able to stop them. It was a playbook that worked for a while, until the people who made the rules started to catch up. Now, city officials and regulators have been less than enthusiastic when new transportation startups start to move in. In many ways, rideshare companies have made life difficult for the scooter companies trying to follow in their path.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about the future of Uber and Lyft, and whether all those micromobility startups will be able to keep scooting along.Show Notes: Read Aarian’s story about how ride-hail companies have made life difficult for scooter startups here. Read more about California’s Assembly Bill 5 here. Read more about Prop 22 here. Also, follow all of WIRED’s coverage of scooters and the gig economy.Recommendations: Aarian recommends starting a regular yoga practice, and investing in some yoga blocks. Mike recomments A Year With Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno, which has just been re-released in a 25th anniversary edition. Lauren recommends the Sway podcast from The New York Times, hosted by Kara Swisher. Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
04/12/2029m 34s

Pedal Revolution

Ebikes are having a moment. Today's electric bikes are powerful, elegant, maneuverable, and, as battery technology improves, they're able to ride for miles and miles. For some people, they're even replacing cars. And as cycling has exploded in popularity during the pandemic, cities have reconfigured streets to better accommodate bikers. That, along with the rise of the ebike, could change how our roads are built and how we navigate through them.This week on Gadget Lab, fellow bike enthusiasts and WIRED product reviewers Adrienne So and Parker Hall come on the show to talk about ebikes and how we ride them.Show Notes: Read our guide to the best electric bikes here.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the Happylight Luxe sun lamp from Verilux. Parker recommends the three volumes in the Lost Songs series by Gillian Welch. Mike recommends the game Prune, which you can play on Android or iOS.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Parker Hall is @pwhall. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
20/11/2032m 38s

Apple Chips Ahoy

Another month, another Apple event. This time around, we saw three new Macs, all with a shiny new chip inside them. Apple's M1 processor is a great big leap forward for the company. It marks a shift from Intel-made chips to designs that Apple produces entirely in-house, a change that gives the company much greater control over the products it creates.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Tom Simonite and WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu come on to talk about Apple's new chips, operating system, and MacBooks, and what it all means for the future of the company.Show Notes: Read Tom’s story about Apple’s new chips here. Check out everything Apple announced this week here. Stay tuned for our reviews of the new M1-powered Macs, which should publish in the coming weeks.Recommendations: Tom recommends getting a mesh Wi-Fi router (he likes the TP Link Deco). Julian recommends The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Mike recommends the new Werner Herzog documentary Fireball on Apple TV+. (Read WIRED’s look at the film here.)Tom Simonite can be found on Twitter @tsimonite. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
13/11/2024m 33s

Console Wars

Consoles: They're new, they're shiny, they'll be here next week. Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X launch a couple days apart, and together, they're expected to usher in a new era of gaming. But which features actually matter? Is support for 8K resolution even something you'll be able to use? Which console makes the most sense to buy? And is cloud gaming ever going to make consoles obsolete?This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED service editor Alan Henry about the ins and outs of the new systems, and what the future of gaming will look like.Show Notes: Read more about the Playstation 5 here, and the Xbox Series X here. Read more about cloud gaming here. Read more about the politics of Call of Duty here. Follow all of WIRED’s video game coverage here. Follow Wiredmag on Twitch.Recommendations: Alan recommends the game Genshin Impact. Lauren recommends the show The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Mike recommends Soulboxer cocktails in a bottle, specifically the brandy old-fashioned.Alan Henry is @halophoenix on Twitter. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
06/11/2030m 10s

Car Talk

On November 3, Massachusetts voters will get to weigh in on Question 1, a proposal on the ballot that would make the data on a car’s computer available to third-party repair shops. This would change the status quo—where only dealerships are allowed to access that data—and present a big gain for proponents of the Right to Repair movement. The RTR folks argue that consumers should have the ability to fix, alter, and otherwise access the inner workings of the technology they purchase, whether that’s a car, a vacuum cleaner, or an iPhone. This week, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Question 1, the current state of right-to-repair legislation in the US, and what this ruling could mean for those of us who don’t live in Massachusetts. In the second half of the show, we’ll share our own stories and experiences with repairing our own gadgets and gear.Show Notes: Read the text of Question 1 and the arguments for and against at Ballotpedia. Also see op-eds from The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. The University of Vermont’s policy on residence hall Ethernet ports.Recommendations: Julian recommends a recipe for making hot chocolate from the website From Scratch Fast. Lauren recommends the show Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ and also that you should go vote. Mike recommends pan de muerto, which you can buy from a Mexican bakery or just bake yourself.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
30/10/2031m 41s

Google and the Government

This week, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Google. It accuses the company of stifling competition and operating a near-monopoly on the search advertising industry. Naturally, Google disagrees with those charges. And so the stage has been set for the biggest antitrust battle in decades. It's a complicated case, one with tens of billions of dollars at stake, behind-the-scenes political machinations in play, and the future of how we navigate the internet in question.On this episode of Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman about the ins and outs of the DOJ's case against Google, and what it might mean for the future of web search, Android, and iOS.Show Notes: Read Gilad’s story about the suit against Google here. Read Steven Levy’s story about how the DOJ’s case may lack teeth here.Recommendations: Gilad recommends lemon wedges. Lauren recommends the book How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings by Sarah Cooper. Mike recommends a book about Radiohead called This Isn't Happening by Steven Hyden.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
23/10/2034m 48s

The iPhones 12

Less than a month after its last hardware event, Apple held another one this week where it announced a slate of new iPhones. The standout feature of all four (4) phones is 5G capability. Apple, along with other phone manufacturers and network providers, are all touting 5G as the next big thing in wireless connection. But the rollout of 5G networks has also been hampered by a number of controversies, from technical problems to international diplomatic battles between the US and China. Despite the marketing hype, 5G might still be a long way from becoming useful.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu and WIRED senior writer Will Knight join us to talk about these roadblocks and whether anyone will actually be able to use the 5G features on Apple's new phones.Show Notes: Read Will’s story about 5G in the iPhone 12 here. Check out everything Apple announced this week here. Read about all the new iPhones 12 here. Read Brian Barrett’s story about the return of the no-compromise small phone here.Recommendations: Will recommends this AI-inspired artwork by artist Tom White. Julian recommends getting an espresso machine. WIRED’s guide best coffee machines is here, with best portable espresso machines here. Mike recommends Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. (You can watch them on HBO or via the Criterion Collection.) Lauren recommends the Gimlet Media podcast How To Save A Planet.Will Knight can be found on Twitter @willknight. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
16/10/2029m 28s

Battling Burnout

Trying to be a functional human being in 2020 can feel exhausting. Our devices send us constant notifications, social media demands all our attention, and even simple daily tasks start to feel Sisyphean when they pile up. In many ways, the same technology that was supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient has led to a mental health crisis that shows no signs of abating: widespread burnout.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Anne Helen Petersen, author of the book Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, about the ways that tech has driven many people to the breaking point. Also, we've got some tips on how to prevent burnout and cut yourself some slack.Show Notes: You can find Anne Helen Petersen’s book here and read an excerpt about how work became an inescapable hellhole in WIRED here. Subscribe to Anne’s newsletter here.Recommendations: Anne recommends the show Pen15 on Hulu. Lauren recommends WIRED’s 2020 election coverage, in particular this story about the battle over voting machines in Texas. Mike recommends practicing Qigong to help your peace of mind, starting with this video teaching Qigong for beginners.Anne Helen Petersen can be found on Twitter @annehelen. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
09/10/2032m 1s

Invasion of the Home Drone

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen hardware announcements from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. In them, there’s been a lot of emphasis on gadgets and services for the home. (Like Amazon's crazy indoor security drone.) But it all raises the question—why do these tech companies want to be literally hovering in your house? In some ways they’re using the pandemic as part of their marketing: We’re all home, so use this tech! But it’s also another way, of course, to learn more about you as a “user” as you share more of your personal data.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu comes on the show to talk about Google's latest announcements and how they stack up with the other tech companies that want to live in your house.Show Notes: See everything Google announced at its hardware event here and more about Pixel phones here. Read more about Amazon’s home drone here.Recommendations: Julian recommends building your own PC. Lauren recommends Apple TV+.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
02/10/2028m 16s

The TikTok Dance

In August, Trump signed executive orders that labeled both TikTok and another Chinese-owned app, WeChat, as national security threats. Unless they could broker a deal that would transfer majority control of the services over to American tech partners, both apps would be banned from the United States. The scramble that followed involved multiple competing companies and interests and raised the already heightened tensions between two feuding countries.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis joins us to talk about TikTok, WeChat, and how this fight might shape diplomatic relations between the US and China for years to come.Show Notes: Read Louise’s coverage of the TikTok controversies here and here.Recommendations: Louise recommends the book The Overstory by Richard Powers. Lauren recommends the show Schitt’s Creek. Mike recommends SF Urban Hiker’s Stairway Project and also just going on a hike yourself.Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
25/09/2023m 25s

Apple Bundles Up

Apple's September product events are usually noteworthy for their hardware announcements. But this year, like with just about everything else, was different. Apple did unveil new Watches and iPads, but the company’s most significant announcements came in the form of services. There's a new set of subscription bundles that lumps all of Apple's streaming services together, and a new service for connected home workouts (called Fitness+) aimed squarely at competitors like Peloton. These offerings are feature-packed, relatively affordable, and meant to draw you even deeper into the Apple ecosystem.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate Editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Apple's announcements and what they mean for the gadget buyers among us.Show Notes: Read up on all of Apple’s announcements from this week. Also read our deeper look at the new Apple Watch Series 6, and our list of the standout features in iOS 14.Recommendations: Julian recommends the Fluance RT80 turntable but also just getting any record player in general. Mike recommends the show 3% on Netflix. Lauren recommends WIRED’s list of best air purifiers.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
18/09/2030m 53s

Connected Cardio

Even before the pandemic, Peloton was the clear leader in connected, at-home workout equipment. So it was really no surprise that when gyms closed down and people found themselves stuck inside, Peloton's sales surged. Along with the success of Peloton, a growing industry of semi-affordable personal exercise machines is changing the way we work out. After all, why risk going to a gym when you could bring one into your living room?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about Peloton and the future of gyms.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s story about Peloton and the future of the home gym here.Recommendations: Brian recommends the Cromwell Trilogy by Hilary Mantel, starting with the novel Wolf Hall. Lauren recommends I May Destroy You on HBO. Mike recommends Reverb’s YouTube channel.Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
11/09/2030m 58s

Tech the Vote

Whether you're prepared for it or not, the United States is hurtling toward another presidential election. Like just about everything in 2020, the voting process has been disrupted by the pandemic. More people than ever are planning to avoid polling places and vote by mail. This has led to a very loud, very political debate about public safety, potential voter fraud, and the role technology plays in the voting process.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman about election security and why the US is so far behind other countries when it comes to online voting.Show Notes: Read Lily’s guide on how to vote by mail here. Read more about the partisan hand-wringing about mail-in voting here. Follow all of WIRED’s 2020 election coverage here.Recommendations: Lily recommends The US Election Assistance Commission’s state-by-state registration and voting guide. Mike recommends the memoir Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith. Lauren recommends these long sleeve stretch-knit bamboo pajamas from Cozy Earth.LIly Hay Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
04/09/2031m 17s

Alexa, Play My Alibi

As smart speakers for the home continue to grow in popularity, police departments have started to take notice. Now, whenever attorneys and law enforcement officials are investigating a crime, they can put your virtual assistant in the hot seat. They can cross-reference a variety of information from smart devices, including location data, audio recordings, and biometric data. Together, it can paint a picture of where a suspect was and when, often far more reliably than any human witness.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Sidney Fussell joins us to talk about the strange murder case where a smart speaker became the star witness. We also share tips about how to manage the privacy settings in your own smart tech.Warning: This episode features a brief conversation about domestic violence and assault.Show Notes: Read Sidney’s story about law enforcement collecting information from smart speakers here. Find more episodes of the Get WIRED podcast here.Recommendations: Sidney recommends the show I May Destroy You on HBO. Lauren recommends Vanity Fair’s September issue, with a cover story about Breonna Taylor. Mike recommends the episode of the podcast Questlove Supreme with Bootsy Collins.Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @SidneyFussell. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
28/08/2029m 38s

Let’s Talk About Texts

Maybe you aren't a political dissident engaging in top secret conversations over text messages. But if you care about privacy, you should probably be using Signal—or really, another encrypted service—to send your messages. Encryption can be a hot-button issue, with governments demanding backdoors into private data stores and executives at companies like Facebook having wildly different opinions about how secure your communications should be. Plus, at a time when we're relying more and more on digital services to talk with each other, it's important to know who has access to your conversations.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about the ins and outs of encryption, and why you'd want to use a secure messaging service in the first place.Show Notes: Read Brian’s tips for using Signal here.Recommendations: Brian recommends the show Detroiters. Lauren recommends the show Selling Sunset and the video where WIRED’s Nick Thompson, Pia Ceres and Adrienne So talk about the digital divide in education. Mike recommends using Signal’s built-in tool for blurring people’s faces whenever you want to share a sensitive photo.Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
21/08/2028m 53s

The Foldable Future

This week, Microsoft's dual screen Surface Duo became available for sale. Like many other folding devices, the Duo has been marketed as a product for busy workers on the go. But now, months into a pandemic where many workers are still sheltering in place (if they're lucky enough to have a job at all), the appeal of such gadgets is questionable at best. Nevertheless, Microsoft and other companies soldier on, searching for ways to make their expensive devices feel relevant. Foldables are here, whether people want them or not.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Microsoft's "not-a-phone" phone and the future of foldables.Show Notes: Read more about Microsoft’s Surface Duo here. Read all of WIRED’s coverage of folding devices.Recommendations: Julian recommends rearranging your workspace if you work from home. Mike recommends Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
14/08/2026m 42s

We Love Cheap Phones

Used to be that if you wanted a new phone, you had to choose between something cheap and something good. But a recent slate of smartphones like the new Google Pixel 4A and the Apple iPhone SE offer an appealing compromise: Most of the features and processing power of a $1,000 phone for somewhere around $400. These devices come with some tradeoffs, of course. The cameras aren't quite as fast, and the screen might not be buttery smooth or blisteringly bright. But the growing market for budget phones shows that premium features aren’t everything, especially at a time when people are less and less likely to splurge on fancy gadgets.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about the Pixel 4A possibilities and limitations of cheap phones.Show Notes: Read Julian’s review of the Pixel 4A here. Read Adrienne So’s story about the duffel bag from The Expanse here.Recommendations: Julian recommends the Herman Miller Embody chair (but don’t pay full price for it). Mike recommends the sci-fi show The Expanse. Lauren recommends Nice White Parents, a new podcast from NYT and Serial.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
07/08/2032m 32s

Amazon’s Hidden Prime Secrets

If you have an Amazon Prime membership (maybe it’s where you’ve been buying all your toilet paper during the pandemic) then you’re likely aware of the key benefits: free shipping, access to special deals, and the free streaming movies and TV shows. But there are a host of other, lesser-known benefits available to Prime customers, like free Kindle books, free Twitch Prime, free kids’ content, and a few ways to earn credit on future purchases. This week, we’re joined by WIRED staff writer Louryn Strampe, who tells us about all of the free and discounted stuff you can get from Amazon that you didn’t even know about.Also, we discuss how the pandemic has shaped online retail in general, and how Amazon’s poor track record with worker’s rights and third-party seller relations have led some to shop at other online stores, even if that means a diminished experience.[#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482)Show Notes: Read Louryn’s full list of hidden Amazon Prime perks. Her roundup of the WIRED staff’s quarantine hobbies is here. Also, Louise Matsakis’s report about the risks faced by Amazon workers during the pandemic is here.Recommendations: Louryn recommends the YouTube channels ASMRplanet and Dianxi Xiaoge. Lauren recommends the greeting card subscription service Warmly. Mike recommends the episode of the Broken Record podcast with Run The Jewels.Louryn Strampe can be found on Twitter @lourynstrampe. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
31/07/2030m 12s

Tick Tock, TikTok

All the kids are talking about it. And now, so are government officials and corporate bigwigs. An app typically known for short, clever videos (and lots of dancing), TikTok has recently found itself at the center of international scrutiny. Critics say that TikTok’s massive presence in the US is a national security risk because the app is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech company. Business leaders are also worried, in some cases asking their employees to delete the app from their devices. But what risks does TikTok really pose? And is this debate more than just a proxy for rising tensions between the US and China?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis joins us to talk about TikTok culture and what would happen if the app actually got banned.Show Notes: Read Louise’s story about the national security risks TikTok poses here. Read more about Amazon’s “accidental” TikTok ban here. Read Louise’s story about inmates who use TikTok in prison here. Read more about WitchTok users hexing the moon here.Recommendations: Louise recommends Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux. Mike recommends The War on Cars podcast. Lauren recommends Alan Henry’s WIRED article about how to stay productive while sheltering in place.Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
24/07/2029m 9s

Get WIRED: Citizen and the Bizarre World of Live-Streamed Crime

The idea behind the Citizen app is that its users upload videos of the things that are going on in the neighborhood in real time — anything from as a gas leak to something potentially a lot more violent. It's an app built on the premise that the more information a community has the better off it is, but it also comes with all of the trappings and problems of a lot of community surveillance — the app has some toxic comments, it can lead to racial profiling, and it has sparked a lot of discussion about who’s benefitting most from all of these neighborhood alerts — the users, law enforcement, or Citizen itself. WIRED's Boone Ashworth has spent months on the Citizen app, trying to better understand exactly what its mission is, and what this kind of hyper-vigilance does to our psyches. But he's also been talking to people who are on the app, who rush to the scene to capture what’s going on in their neighborhoods; and he found one who is particularly interesting, and who agreed to take us behind the scenes.Get WIRED is a new podcast about how the future is realized. Each week, we burrow down new rabbit holes to investigate the ways technology is changing our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Through hard-hitting reporting, intimate storytelling, and audio you won’t hear anywhere else, Get WIRED is the must-listen-to tech podcast that sets the agenda for the week. Hosted by WIRED Senior Writer Lauren Goode. Listen to and subscribe to Get WIRED here.
24/07/2021m 28s

Introducing: Get WIRED

Get WIRED is a new podcast about how the future is realized. Each week, we burrow down new rabbit holes to investigate the ways technology is changing our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Through hard-hitting reporting, intimate storytelling, and audio you won’t hear anywhere else, Get WIRED is the must-listen-to tech podcast that sets the agenda for the week. Hosted by WIRED Senior Writer Lauren Goode. Listen and subscribe to Get WIRED here.
20/07/201m 34s

I Stream, You Stream

It’s hard to remember what television on the internet was like before Netflix started streaming original programming on demand. But maybe that fact just underscores the massive influence the platform has had over the shows we watch and how we watch them. This week on Gadget Lab, Peter Kafka, cohost of season two of the Land of the Giants podcast from Recode, joins us to talk about the rise of Netflix, its influence on our culture, and how the pandemic has affected our use of the service. In the second half of the show, we broaden the discussion to talk about the state of streaming video in general, and Peter offers some advice on how to navigate the confusing trenches of the streaming wars.Show Notes: Listen to Recode’s Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect podcast here. Read more about HBO Max on WIRED.com. Read Kate Knibbs’ story about Palm Springs here. You can also read all of WIRED’s coverage of Netflix here. Recommendations: Peter recommends the show ZeroZeroZero on Amazon Prime and also Vermont. Lauren recommends the movie Palm Springs on Hulu. Mike recommends the free streaming service Kanopy.Peter Kafka can be found on Twitter @pkafka. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
17/07/2041m 40s

I Can't Stop Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling—everybody's doing it! You’re lying in bed, on your phone, trying to fall asleep, but then you end up staying awake for hours as your social media timeline fills you with anger and anxiety. This isn't just your garden-variety FOMO either. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and it can feel like there's a fresh new calamity or setback every single day. Add displays of collective grief over racial injustice to the mix, and it can be even harder to look away. So how do you stay informed without growing enraged? How do you stay connected without spiraling into despair?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior editor Angela Watercutter joins us to talk about our shifting relationships with social media and how we’re dialing back the doomscrolling.Show Notes: Read Angela’s story about how doomscrolling is eroding your mental health here. Read more about digital wellbeing tools on Android phones here and find all of WIRED’s suggestions and coverage of digital wellness here. Find Ram Dass’ Here and Now Podcast here. Our guide to the best Kindles is here.Recommendations: Angela recommends I May Destroy You on HBO. Lauren recommends The Netflix Effect: Land of the Giants by Recode/Vox. Mike recommends the music of Ennio Morricone and that you read John Zorn’s obituary of Morricone in The New York Times.Angela Watercutter can be found on Twitter @WaterSlicer. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
10/07/2029m 1s

Home Bodies

Getting through this pandemic hasn't been easy. Each day can feel like a slog, especially when, for many people, the necessary shelter-in-place restrictions have no end in sight. While being cooped up and isolated from others isn't pleasant, there are some ways to make the experience more bearable.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED service editor Alan Henry and WIRED senior writer Adrienne So join the show to talk about the gadgets, media, and lifestyle adjustments that have helped them get through quarantine so far.Show Notes: Find more WIRED recommendations for the gear and tips to get you through the pandemic here. Read Joe Ray’s review of Eat Your Books here. Read more about how to get free library books on your Kindle here. Read Alan’s guide on how to pump up your playlist here. That Vulfpeck song is “Wait for the Moment.”Recommendations: Adrienne recommends the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet and the show The Expanse. Alan recommends Aukey T21 True Wireless Earbuds and Freefall Radio. Mike recommends the Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer and NHK World’s Dining With the Chef.Adrienne So can be found on Twitter @adriennemso. Alan Henry is @halophoenix. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
03/07/2036m 44s

Arrested Developer Event

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is normally an energetic, bustling affair. This year, of course, things are anything but normal. Instead of live talks in front of full crowds and attendees mingling face to face, WWDC was a virtual-only experience. During the keynote address, execs rattled off their announcements in pre-recorded video segments filmed on a very empty Apple campus. The slick, occasionally eerie production was a glimpse into just how lonely the tech world has become. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about everything Apple announced and what this very weird WWDC means for the future of the tech conference.Show Notes: Check out everything Apple announced at WWDC here. Read Julian’s breakdown of all the new features of iOS 14 coming soon to an iPhone near you here. Also read Julian’s guide to everything you need to work from home here.Recommendations: Julian recommends the Post-it Flex Write Surface. Lauren recommends the episode of 9to5 Mac’s Watchtime podcast with Ish ShaBazz. Mike recommends Omni Calculator.Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
26/06/2035m 34s

Inside the eBananas Scandal

A package showing up on your doorstep normally gives you a little hit of excitement. But for one Massachusetts couple last year, the arrival of each new package triggered feelings of anxiety and dread. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about the cyberstalking campaign that six former eBay employees allegedly launched against the married owners of a news website that’s often critical of the ecommerce industry. It’s a twisted tale featuring shipments of live roaches, a pig’s head mask, unwanted pornography, and a whole lot of bad feelings. WIRED’s own Brian Barrett joins us for the first half of the show to tell us about all the terrible antics the former eBayers have been charged with carrying out.Later in the episode, we’re joined by WIRED’s Lily Hay Newman to discuss a new, previously unknown Russian internet group that’s been spreading disinformation online. Secondary Infektion, as the group is known, has for years been trying to disrupt elections, sow discord among European nations, and spread nationalist Russian propaganda using thousands of temporary social media accounts. A new report from researchers at Graphika outlines the group’s activities.Show Notes: Brian Barrett’s story about the alleged eBay harassment scandal is here. Also read Lily on Grafika’s report about Secondary Infektion.Recommendations: Lily recommends keeping your tattoos and clothing logos hidden during public protests. Brian recommends Alabama Booksmith, which sells signed first editions of books. Mike recommends the Black Lives collection streaming for free on the Criterion Channel. Lauren recommends Duolingo for learning new languages.Brain Barrett can be found on Twitter @BrBarrett. Lily is @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Mike is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
20/06/2028m 38s

When Can I See You Again?

As states and cities lift shelter-in-place restrictions, there’s still so much we don’t know about the coronavirus and how it spreads. Which has left a lot of people wondering: How safe is it, really, to start socializing again? Is wearing a mask a part of our lives for the foreseeable future—and is it possible to persuade stubborn family members to wear one, too? Are short flights safer than long flights? And, are single people destined to remain dateless in the time of coronavirus?This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED science writers Megan Molteni and Adam Rogers come on the show to try to answer some of these pressing questions. The short answer, of course, is that there are no easy answers; each decision we make is now a complicated labyrinth of potential exposure, personal circumstances, risk tolerance, and macro concerns about public health. We’re here to help guide you through this crisis.Show NotesRead Adrienne So's story about the dilemma of sending your kids back to daycare here. Read all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here.RecommendationsMegan recommends the book Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin. Adam recommends the movie Footlight Parade. Lauren recommends HBO’s Run.Megan Molteni is on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Adam Rogers is @jetjocko. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. 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.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
12/06/2048m 41s

Tech and the Police State

Across the world, millions of people have gathered to protest police brutality and systemic racism after an officer in Minneapolis killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Amid the outpouring of grief and support, tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Reddit have issued statements backing protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement. But these same companies also provide platforms and services that prop up communities of hate and help law enforcement disproportionately track and convict people of color.This week on Gadget Lab, a conversation with WIRED senior writers Sidney Fussell and Lily Hay Newman about hypocrisy in tech, police surveillance, and how to safely exercise your right to protest.Show Notes: Read Sidney’s story about tech companies’ relationships with law enforcement here. Read Lily and Andy Greenberg’s tips for how to protect yourself from surveillance while protesting here. Read Lauren Goode and Louryn Strampe’s story about what to bring and what to avoid at a demonstration here. Follow all of WIRED’s protest coverage here.Recommendations: Sidney recommends the documentary LA 92 about the aftermath of the Rodney King killing. Lily recommends Mission Darkness Faraday bags from MOS Equipment. Lauren recommends this Google doc of anti-racism resources. Mike recommends donating to Campaign Zero and Grassroots Law Project.Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @sidneyfussell. Lily Hay Newman is @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.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. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
05/06/2031m 35s

Trump v. Twitter

A political firestorm erupted this week when Twitter flagged two of President Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting, calling them potentially misleading, and amending them with some timid attempts at fact-checking. This action caused the President to lash out at the social media platform by signing an executive order demanding a legal review of the protections it enjoys under the Communications Decency Act. The order doesn’t just affect Twitter, but also Facebook, YouTube, and any platform that allows users to post their own content.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman joins us to talk about Twitter's foray into fact-checking, why it enraged the President, and what potential fallout we could see from the White House’s actions. We also discuss the November vote—the very topic Trump was tweeting about when this whole mess started.Show Notes: Read about President Trump’s executive order targeting social media platforms here. Read Gilad’s stories about in-person voting and Twitter’s fact-checking efforts. Recommendations: Gilad recommends using a sleep mask and putting mayonnaise on your egg and cheese sandwiches. Mike recommends The Midnight Gospel on Netflix. Lauren recommends Bookshop.org.Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
29/05/2035m 5s

Remote Desktop

Silicon Valley loves its disruption. If any industry was prepared to handle the monumental changes brought on by the coronavirus, it’s big tech. Companies like Twitter and Facebook were some of the first to require their employees to work from home, even before official shelter-in-place orders went into effect. Now, they and others have extended their remote work policies to allow their employees to telecommute from home forever, even after the pandemic ends.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about the workplace goings-on in Silicon Valley. In the second half of the show, we discuss Clubhouse, the hot new social network keeping tech bigwigs connected.Show Notes: Read Arielle’s stories about Clubhouse and how Silicon Valley is rethinking the home office. Read Sarah Frier’s story in Bloomberg about tech workers wanting to escape Silicon Valley’s high rents here. Read more about automatic espresso machines from WIRED reviews editor Jeffrey Van Camp here. Read more about Eat Your Books from Joe Ray here.Recommendations: Arielle recommends the Gravity Blanket and Allbirds’ Dasher running shoes. Lauren recommends the Nespresso Creatista Plus. Mike recommends the online cookbook catalog Eat Your Books.Arielle can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
22/05/2034m 49s

The Dark Secrets of a Hacking Hero

In May of 2017, Marcus Hutchins saved the internet. A vicious ransomware attack known as WannaCry had infected computer systems across dozens of countries. It was the worst cyberattack in history at the time, and it seemed unstoppable. But Hutchins, a 23-year-old-hacker in Ilfracombe, England, discovered a secret kill switch that stopped the malware from propagating. Hutchins became a celebrity overnight, with the hacker community and the media hailing him as a hero. But all of the newfound attention was not good for him. Three months after defeating the malware, Marcus was arrested by the FBI—not for his involvement in WannaCry, but for a string of past illegal activities that he had kept secret.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg joins us to talk about Hutchins' remarkable story. In the second half of the show, Andy gives us an update on the efforts to set up a contact tracing system to monitor the spread of the coronavirus.Show Notes: Read Andy’s cover story about the hacker who saved the internet here. His story about contact tracing in India is here. Also check out Andy’s book, Sandworm. Read more about the WannaCry ransomware attack here. Follow all of WIRED’s cybersecurity coverage here.Recommendations: Andy recommends the book The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff. Lauren recommends NPR’s Planet Money podcast. Mike recommends The New York Times Magazine story “What Happened to Val Kilmer? He’s Just Starting to Figure It Out.”Andy Greenberg can be found on Twitter @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
15/05/2030m 39s

On the Road Again

While every economic sector in America has been upended by the coronavirus, few have been hit as hard as the transit and food service industries. It's not so easy to hop on a bus or train when there's a need for increased sanitation and social distancing. It’s equally as difficult to imagine sitting down in a cafe next to some strangers and ordering a nice salade niçoise as servers buzz around the dining room. As the country grows more desperate to return to something approaching normalcy, experiences like riding a bus, hailing an Uber, and dining out will soon look very different, with restaurant tables spilling into the roads, and the roads themselves closed to cars.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about how the coronavirus is poised to change the design of city life.Show Notes: Read Aarian’s story about how cities are embracing outdoor spaces here. Catch up with Elon Musk’s Tesla tweetstorm here. Read more from WIRED about the state of transportation here. Follow all of our coronavirus coverage here.Recommendations: Aaarian recommends buying subscriptions to some print magazines so you’re not just staring at a screen all the time. Lauren recommends Billions on Showtime. Mike recommends Questlove Quarantine Live From the Qibbutz on YouTube.Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
08/05/2029m 46s

The Argument for Making End-of-Life Decisions Early

Back in March, counter-culture icon and founder of the Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand made a statement on Twitter that surprised some people: He had decided, and had communicated to his wife and the rest of his family, that if he got sick from the coronavirus, he wanted to refuse invasive procedures, including being put on a ventilator. It sparked a conversation about medical freedom and what it takes to have a sense of agency over death.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy has a conversation with Brand and his wife Ryan Phelan about their decisions, and why it's important for people to have conversations about their medical wishes.Show Notes: Read more from Steven Levy’s conversation with Stewart brand here. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here.Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Stewart Brand is @stewartbrand. Ryan Phelan is @Ryanphelan6. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
01/05/2028m 14s

Open For Business

Depending on where you live, the stores, parks, playgrounds, and offices in your area could be shut down for the rest of this summer. Or, they could all be open again right now. State governments have differing opinions on when the best time is to restart normal life (and the economy) even though public health experts are advising us all to continue to shelter in place until we’re equipped to test and care for every American who falls ill.This week on Gadget Lab, we ask WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers how we would go about safely reopening the country. Then, a conversation about how we’re all coping with the coronavirus. (Mostly booze, but some other things too.)Show Notes: Read more from Adam about the White Houses’ plans for easing social distancing measures, and about how state alliances here. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here. Read all you’d ever want to know about alcohol in Adam’s book Proof: The Science of Booze.Recommendations: Adam recommends the book Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers. Lauren recommends the show The Affair. Mike recommends the re-released Wim Wenders film Until the End of the World.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
24/04/2034m 56s

Will Contact Tracing Work?

Even amid a global pandemic, the world of tech keeps on turning. Some companies have responded directly to the outbreak, offering up smartphone-based contact tracing and wearable solutions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But none of these options is perfect, and many of them raise ethical concerns about the information they ask for in return.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Sidney Fussell about Apple and Google's plans for contact tracing and whether anyone is going to buy a new iPhone right now.Show Notes: Read Sidney and Will Knight’s story about contact tracing. Also read Andy Greenberg’s report on the strengths and weaknesses of the Google/Apple plan. Lauren’s story about wearables detecting COVID-19 is here, and her story about whether anyone is going to buy new smartphones is here. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage hereRecommendations: Sidney recommends the show Devs on Hulu. Mike recommends the novel Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang. Lauren recommends Sandra Upson’s WIRED story “The Devastating Decline of a Brilliant Young Coder.”Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @sidneyfussell. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
17/04/2027m 55s

The Race to Make a Vaccine

Researchers around the world are toiling to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. But the creation of a working vaccine that can be safely distributed to a broad population requires a tremendous amount of rigor and caution, so the process is likely to take at least a year. WIRED staff writer Megan Molteni has covered the novel coronavirus outbreak since the virus was first identified in early January. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Megan about where our efforts to make a vaccine currently stand. We also discuss why it’s been so difficult to get Americans tested for the coronavirus.Show Notes: Read more about the search for a coronavirus vaccine here. Read more about testing here. Also read Maryn McKenna on the potential dangers of rushing out a vaccine. Follow all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here.Recommendations: Megan recommends Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen Talks” video series. Lauren recommends Medea Giordano’s story about nonprofits, charities, and other companies helping people in need during the pandemic. Mike recommends an episode of the Under the Scales podcast with writer Jesse Jarnow.Megan Molteni can be found on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.
10/04/2031m 32s

Supply Demand

The coronavirus outbreak is accelerating in the United States. According to projections, the number of Covid-19 cases in the US is expected to peak around the middle of April. Meanwhile, medical practitioners at hospitals and other health facilities across the country face a shortage of life-saving medical equipment. Without enough ventilators, masks, and tests, the task of dealing with the coming surge in patients becomes significantly more challenging.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers comes on the show to talk about medical supply shortages, why there's so much conflicting information about whether people should wear masks, and how a global crisis changes the way we communicate.Show Notes: Read Adam and Megan Molteni’s story about the math behind predicting the course of the coronavirus here. Read Lauren’s story about email etiquette during a pandemic here. Read Tom Simonite’s story about the shortage of masks here. Read Gregory Barber’s story about how hospitals are preparing to deal with equipment shortages here. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.Recommendations: Adam recommends the show Community. Mike recommends the Houseparty app (provided you hobble its data-collection abilities). Lauren recommends The Wire.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
03/04/2033m 26s

Pandemic Panic

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to keep track of what's real and what's not. There is a constant deluge of news from across the world, some of it is based on false assumptions or panicky reactions that fail to put data or science into the proper context.This week on Gadget Lab, a conversation about all the misinformation swirling around the coronavirus pandemic. We talk with WIRED editor-in-chief Nick Thompson about how to parse the information coming out of the White House, whether ibuprofen is harmful to people sick with the virus, and the sometimes surprisingly helpful responses of social media platforms.Show Notes: Read Maryn McKenna’s story about the controversy over ibuprofen here. Read more from Steven Levy about the possible end of the techlash here. Read Tristan Harris on how Silicon Valley could control the direction of the pandemic here. Recommendations: Nick recommends the Techne Futbol soccer training app and also The Naked Gun. Lauren recommends the Headspace meditation app. Mike recommends Bandcamp.com as a way to support your favorite music artists.Nick Thompson can be found on Twitter @nxthompson. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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.
27/03/2028m 38s

The Generation Gap

As the number of coronavirus-caused quarantines has spiked across the globe, people are being driven into isolation en masse. In some countries, social distancing measures have been helping, but they also come a little too late.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED science writer Matt Simon about why places like Italy have been hit so hard by the coronavirus and what it could predict as the outbreak ramps up in the U.S. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior writer Adrienne So about how parents can manage having their children locked at home with them after schools shut down.Show Notes: Read Matt’s story about how hard the coronavirus has hit Italy here. Read Adrienne’s story about how to entertain young children during a quarantine here. Learn about all the new, new dinosaurs at Curiosity Stream here.Recommendations: Adrienne recommends Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Mike recommends the new podcast Rivals. Lauren recommends the 18-piece Pyrex Simply Store set for saving all your WFH lunches.Matt Simon can be found on Twitter @mrMattSimon. Adrienne So is @adriennemso. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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.
20/03/2023m 0s

Socially Distanced

As COVID-19 sweeps across the world, it has prompted thousands of people to isolate themselves to avoid spreading the virus. This week on Gadget Lab, we look at what happens when schools and universities close, conferences get canceled, and employees are told to work from home en masse. Then, we talk with WIRED digital director Brian Barrett, a longtime remote worker himself, about how to handle prolonged isolation without going completely bonkers.Show Notes: Read Brian Barrett’s tips for working from home without losing your mind here. Read Lauren’s story about how universities are handling the virus here. Read more about the rise of virtual conferencing here. Read Arielle Pardes’ story about the ethics of ordering food during a pandemic here.Recommendations: Lauren recommends the episode of Reply All called “The Case of the Missing Hit.” Mike also recommends a podcast: the Twenty Thousand Hertz episode, “Satanic panic”. Brian recommends just staying home, for god sakes.Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
13/03/2035m 48s

Is Facebook Forever?

Facebook started in 2004 as a simple network for connecting students at Harvard University. At the time, nobody could have predicted that it would grow to become the largest social network in the world, with 2.5 billion monthly active users, or that it would wield such tremendous influence over our lives, our politics, and our concept of free speech on the web.The progression of events between the Facebook of then and the Facebook of today is cataloged with great detail in Steven Levy’s new book, Facebook: The Inside Story. It’s the product of four years of reporting, including a series of exclusive interviews with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. Levy, an editor-at-large at WIRED, joins the show this week to talk about Facebook’s past, present, and future.Show Notes: Read an excerpt from Steven Levy’s book here.Recommendations: Steven recommends Scrivener. Lauren recommends Peloton. Mike recommends the NYT Cooking app, which is now available on Android.Steven Levy is on Twitter @StevenLevy Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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.
06/03/2038m 57s

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer and former show host Arielle Pardes drops by to talk about how Silicon Valley has ruined work culture. Then WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman comes on for a conversation about cybersecurity, encryption, and the hacker’s mom who infiltrated a prison.Show Notes: Read Arielle’s story about work culture here. Read Lily’s story about how a hacker’s mom broke into a prison here. All of WIRED’s cybersecurity coverage can be found here.Recommendations: Lily recommends Dangerzone, an application made by Micah Lee that takes PDFs you receive and basically scrubs them to make sure they’re clean before re-saving a safe version. Lauren recommends the book Whistleblower by Susan Fowler. Mike recommends Acid for the Children, a memoir by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.Lily Hay Newman can be found on Twitter @lilyhnewman. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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.
28/02/2032m 13s

The Anti-Bias Bot

Many companies say they want to diversify their workforce. Far fewer have actually succeeded in doing so, even if they're earnestly trying. And one of the first hurdles can come before any candidates have even been interviewed: The language used in recruiting emails or job postings is often full of unconscious biases—phrases like "gentlemen's agreement" or even "ninja" can deter women or people of color from even applying in the first place. But how do we check our unconscious biases when, by definition, we don't know what they are? A Seattle startup called Textio says it’s using machine learning to help eliminate those biases in real time, by literally changing the writing of hiring managers who are composing the job postings. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Lauren Goode talks with Textio CEO Kieran Snyder about the way the software works, how tracking language patterns over time can reveal deep insights about how we see the world, and how this kind of “augmented writing” software could eventually be used in applications beyond job postings. Show Notes: Read more about Textio here. Check out other conversations from WIRED25 here.Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. 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 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. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
21/02/2033m 28s

Smartphone Launch Events Are Silly

On Tuesday of this week Samsung held its annual Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco. It did what most tech companies set out to do when they host a big event: Announce shiny new products (Galaxy S20! Another folding phone! Some earbuds!) and get customers stoked for features like "sub-6 5G compatibility" and "Space Zoom." It was the kind of product launch that has become standard over the years for big tech companies.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu and WIRED contributor Boone Ashworth join co-host Lauren Goode to chat about all things Samsung and more. We dish all about the new products the company announced, but then we dig deeper to talk about how those products fit into the broader smartphone market. Does anyone really need to spend $1000 on a phone, in the era of the Pretty Darn Good Mid-Range Phone? And are these kinds of events even necessary when so much info about the products is leaked in advance?Show Notes: Read all about Samsung's big launch event here. Read Lauren’s hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Z Flip here. Check out Julian’s first look at the Galaxy S20 line here, and read his review of the Motorola Razr here. Read Shira Ovide’s story in Bloomberg about tech events here. And please watch this delightful clip of Michael Bay speaking at a Samsung event.Recommendations: Lauren recommends this episode of The Daily podcast, about Clearview AI. Julian recommends the Pixelbook Go as a lightweight replacement for the 16-inch MacBook Pro he’s been carrying around. Boone recommends The Circle, a reality series on Netflix. Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. 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 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. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
14/02/2029m 27s

The Virus and the Vote

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about the app that derailed the Iowa caucus—and what it means for elections to come. Then, a conversation with WIRED staff writer Megan Molteni about how the spread of the coronavirus is claiming lives, disrupting the economy, and creating chaos in the global supply chain.[#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482)Show Notes: Read more about what the hell happened with the Iowa caucus here. Follow WIRED’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus here. Read more of Megan Molteni’s coverage here, and find Brian Barrett’s work here.Recommendations: Megan recommends season 2 of Sex Education on Netflix. Brian recommends The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury. Lauren recommends season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. Mike recommends the podcast Freak Flag Flying.Megan Molteni can be found on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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 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. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
07/02/2026m 9s

Everything Old Is New Again

It doesn’t take much to make people nostalgic anymore. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, folks get whimsical for even their clunky cell phones from 2005, or a defunct video service from just four years ago. Nostalgia sells—especially when you imbue a familiar screen with a bleeding-edge, high-tech foldable display. Companies are building devices meant to make you feel like you’re bounding into the future, while still invoking those good ol’ days. But does sentimentality make for a good product? Or is this all just marketing bluster?This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis about Byte, the reboot of the six-second video service Vine. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu about the new Motorola Razr (but with a folding screen!).[#iframe: https://playlist.megaphone.fm?p=DGT6274552575](100%x482)Show Notes: Read Louise's story about Byte here. Read more about the folding Razr here. Read Brian Barrett’s story about why you should wait for glass in foldable devices here.Recommendations: Julian recommends the show Giri / Haji on Netflix. Lauren recommends following Megan Molteni’s coverage of the coronavirus. Mike recommends the Foodsaver space saving vacuum sealer.Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Julian Chokkattu is @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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 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. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
31/01/2026m 53s

Open Wide for Mouth Tech

There's money in your mouth. Figuratively speaking (we hope). A growing number of startups and full-fledged companies are looking to bring their smart technology into your mouth. A toothbrush that uses AI to monitor your brushing, dental floss as a subscription service, wearables for teeth—oral hygiene is a booming business for tech companies, who see dollar signs every time you flash your pearly whites. But who does this actually help? Do we really need to spend $200 on a high-powered toothbrush toothbrush? Meanwhile, as if coming along to undo all that cleaning, a computational chemist has finally worked out the formula for the perfect espresso.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers about the latest in mouth tech and how to brew coffee with math.Show Notes: Read Adam’s story about the science behind espresso here. Read Luaren’s story about mouth tech here. For more coffee tips, check out our favorite portable coffee makers and our best latte and espresso machines.Recommendations: Adam recommends Star Trek: Picard. Lauren recommends Little Women. Mike recommends buying and selling tickets on Cash or Trade.Adam Rogers can be found on Twitter @jetjocko. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. 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 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. And in case you really need it, here's the RSS feed.
24/01/2033m 0s

One Wheel, Zero Buttons

There’s an old joke about Steve Jobs, that he never wore a suit because he hated buttons. There’s some truth to that old trope about designers always trying to refine their creations to their absolute core. Minimize the clutter, clear the mind, purify the experience. That’s what consumer electronics manufacturers are still doing, and we explore this trend by pointing at two recent developments in our world: new smartphone designs totally devoid of buttons, and the rising numbers of one-wheeled vehicles on the streets and bike lanes designed for two- and four-wheelers.This week on Gadget Lab, we first talk with show producer Boone Ashworth about why people are obsessed with single-wheeled devices. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu about the coming wave of buttonless phones.Show Notes: Read Boone’s story about single-wheelers. Also read Julian on the buttonless smartphone trend. Go back to the 2018 scooterocalypse with Alex Davies’ story about the streets of San Francisco.Recommendations: Julian recommends SwitchPod. Boone recommends I’m Sorry on truTV. Mike recommends the Muji 2020 Monthly Weekly Planner. Lauren recommends the latest episode of the Scriptnotes podcast with guest Greta Gerwig.Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Julian is @JulianChokkattu. Boone is @BooneAshworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). 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.
17/01/2033m 53s

Best of CES

CES, the all-consuming tech trade show, took over Las Vegas this week. Convention halls and hotels were jam packed with shiny gizmos, bleeding-edge technology, and dazzling devices. Of course, our intrepid Gadget Lab reporters were there in the midst of it all.This week on the show, Mike and Lauren talk with WIRED digital director Brian Barrett at CES. They'll guide you through the glitzy extravaganza, from folding laptops to high-tech sex toys, and highlight the most important trends that may be soon find their way inside a gadget near you.Show Notes: Check out our roundup of the best of CES here. Read more about the introduction of sex toys at CES here. Read more about Lenovo’s folding laptop here. Be sure to follow all of our CES coverage to check out all the cool stuff we didn’t get to talk about.Recommendations: After spending a week in a hotel room at the convention in Las Vegas, the crew shares their favorite tips for business travel. Lauren recommends carrying a Swell bottle and saving cocktail hour until the end of the trip. Brian recommends dissolving Nuun tabs in your water. Mike recommends investing in an Aeropress Go and a collapsible travel kettle.Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. 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 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.
10/01/2034m 13s

Sex Toys and Toothbrushes

Next week, we’ll be bound for the largest consumer electronics showcase of the season. CES starts on January 7 in Las Vegas, and we’ll be heading into the fray to touch, swipe, drive, cuddle, ride, and otherwise experience all of the latest gadgets the consumer tech industry wants to put in front of our eager eyeballs. On this week’s show, Michael Calore, Lauren Goode, and special guest Tom Simonite run through all the trends we expect to see at CES, from the practical (5G, smartphone tech, autonomous driving features) to the ludicrous (flying cars, AI refrigerators, internet-connected vibrators).Show NotesRead more about folding screens. Qualcomm’s 5G announcements came early this year. Read up on Honda’s augmented driving initiative. Mashable on the overabundance of men as CES 2019 keynote speakers, and the Verge report about 2018. Follow all of our CES coverage.RecommendationsTom recommends shopping offline whenever you can, especially for things like shoes. Lauren recommends The Morning Show on Apple TV+. Mike recommends the Oxo Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker.Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Tom Simonite is @TSimonite. 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 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.
03/01/2032m 5s

Our Favorite Stuff from 2019, Plus Our 2020 Predictions

2019 was a tumultuous time for technology. While product engineers created hybrid franken-gadgets and software companies turned nearly everything into a subscription service, we also grappled with the increasingly chaotic ripple effects of social media and the realization that there are people listening to our private home recordings. (Not to mention Elon Musk's new murdertruck.)On this episode of Gadget Lab, we're going to try to make sense of it all. We talk about the most important product developments of 2019 and look ahead to predict the trends that will matter in 2020.Show Notes: Read Lauren’s review of the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Speakers here. Read the story about the making of the California Consumer Privacy Act in the New York Times. Read more about this year’s wild phone design choices here.Recommendations: Lauren recommends the iPad Pro. Mike recommends the Google Pixel 3a. Arielle recommends getting an Amazon Kindle.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 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.
20/12/1925m 5s

The Case for Cassava

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 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.
13/12/1932m 28s

Going Places

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.
06/12/1931m 24s

Life After Facebook

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.
22/11/1924m 36s

Finally, We Can ‘Like’ Apple’s Keyboards Again

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
15/11/1925m 48s

When Big Tech Buys Your Darlings

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
08/11/1925m 35s

Deep Listening

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.
01/11/1929m 47s

YouTube Creators Want More From YouTube

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
25/10/1933m 54s

Facial Recognition Tech Is Coming to a School Near You

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.
18/10/1929m 5s

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 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.
11/10/1941m 28s