175 episodes

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

What Next: TBD | Tech, power, and the futur‪e‬ Slate Magazine

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

    The Failing Lifeline for Low-Income Americans

    The Failing Lifeline for Low-Income Americans

    The federal Lifeline program was intended to bridge the gap between Americans who could comfortably pay for phone and internet service, and those who couldn’t. But in the midst of the pandemic, Lifeline is falling woefully short.
    How did a program meant to help connect low-income Americans with phone and internet service ended up making them second-class digital citizens at the worst possible moment? 

    Guest: 
    Tony Romm, senior tech policy reporter at the Washington Post, author of

    “How the Federal Lifeline Program Failed Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic”

    Host
    Lizzie O’Leary
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    • 24 min
    Australia’s Kinda-Sorta Win Over Big Tech

    Australia’s Kinda-Sorta Win Over Big Tech

    Over the last year, the Australian government has been waging a quiet war against Facebook and Google. Through a new law, it plans to force the big tech companies to pay news outlets in exchange for linking to their sites.

    Will this new law have the intended effect? Or will it set a dangerous precedent that cedes even more power over to the tech giants?

    Guest: 

    JR Hennessy, editor at Business Insider Australia

    Host
    Lizzie O’Leary
     
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    • 23 min
    Why Texas Went Dark

    Why Texas Went Dark

    Over the last week, millions of Texans have been forced to live without power or heat. At least 16 have died since Monday. In a state that’s no stranger to extreme weather and high power demand, how did it all go so wrong?

    Guest: 

    Josh Rhodes, research associate at the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin

     
    Host
    Lizzie O’Leary
     
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    • 23 min
    How Clubhouse Cracked China’s Firewall

    How Clubhouse Cracked China’s Firewall

    For most of the last year, Clubhouse—the audio-only social media app—has been dominated by conversations about business, branding, and Elon Musk. But as users picked up the app around the globe, something extraordinary happened.  

    Censors in mainland China overlooked it. And for two weeks in February, it hosted a series of unusual, unfiltered conversations. Han Chinese, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, and Uighurs all flooded to the app to speak freely about authoritarianism, democracy, and propaganda. 

    Here’s what happened when the censors looked the other way. 

    Guest: 

    Melissa Chan, journalist with the Global Reporting Centre

    Host
    Lizzie O’Leary
     
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    • 26 min
    India Turns Off the Internet

    India Turns Off the Internet

    Last week, in response to protests by farmers outside New Delhi, India, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi restricted access to the mobile web in areas where the protests were unfolding. The move is the latest in the Indian government’s long history of throttling internet access and censoring speech online. 

    Why is the Modi government increasingly shutting down the internet and stifling digital dissent? And what does the party’s history of internet shutdowns tell us about India’s future?

    Guest: 

    Pranav Dixit, correspondent for Buzzfeed News

    Host
    Lizzie O’Leary
     
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    • 22 min
    Inside the Subreddit That Blew Up GameStop

    Inside the Subreddit That Blew Up GameStop

    The story of how GameStop went from the verge of a bankruptcy to a $15 billion market value isn’t an easy one to wrap your head around. But it helps to go back to the beginning; almost three years ago, in a subreddit called r/wallstreetbets.

    Guests: 
    Brandon Kochkodin, reporter at Bloomberg

    Host
    Lizzie O’Leary
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    • 24 min

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