Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

WIRED

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

Introducing Food People
Trailer 1 min 49 sec

All Episodes

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 19

40 min 42 sec

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 Notes Read 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. Recommendations Steven 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 12

46 min 2 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 5

36 min 24 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 29

31 min 4 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 22

39 min 32 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 15

37 min 41 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 8

38 min 38 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 1

34 min 30 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 24

29 min 52 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 17

37 min 16 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 10

38 min 42 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 3

29 min 17 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 27

39 min 11 sec

Welcome to Food People, a show from Bon Appétit made by, for, and about people who love food. Each week, BA’s editorial director Amanda Shapiro asks a serious or not-so-serious food question: What’s the best way to grill chicken? Can meal prep be less terrible? Are air fryers worth the hype? In search of answers or at least a spirited debate, she’ll bring in staffers, chefs, writers, and experts from across the culinary universe. Expect strong opinions, tons of recipe inspiration, and more food puns than we'd like to admit. Listen and subscribe at http://listen.bonappetit.com/foodpeople-trailer or wherever you get your podcasts: http://listen.bonappetit.com/foodpeople Apple Podcasts: http://listen.bonappetit.com/ba-apple Spotify: https://link.chtbl.com/ba-spotify Stitcher: http://listen.bonappetit.com/ba-stitcher Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 26

1 min 49 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 20

34 min 27 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 13

30 min

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 6

40 min 29 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 30

28 min 20 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 23

33 min 53 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 16

40 min 15 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 9

36 min 48 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 25

30 min 54 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 18

33 min 5 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 11

33 min 31 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 4

32 min 28 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 28

44 min 35 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 21

37 min 45 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 14

38 min 25 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 7

42 min 27 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 30

38 min 35 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 23

53 min 12 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 16

1 hr 4 min

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 9

35 min 43 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 2

28 min 31 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 26

34 min 18 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 19

32 min 39 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 12

41 min 30 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 5

37 min 36 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 26

47 min 28 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 19

35 min 54 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 12

37 min 17 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 5

37 min 13 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 29

41 min 11 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 22

34 min 23 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 15

31 min 31 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 8

39 min 15 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Dec 2020

40 min 46 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Dec 2020

30 min 33 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Dec 2020

34 min 19 sec

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 2020

36 min 33 sec