131 episodes

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

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News WIRED

    • Technology

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

    Inside Black Twitter

    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.
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    • 31 min
    Bezos in Space

    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.
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    • 35 min
    Why WeWork Didn't Work

    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.
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    • 39 min
    I Bike, You Bike, Ebike

    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.
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    • 36 min
    Introducing "Smarter Better Faster Stronger"

    Introducing "Smarter Better Faster Stronger"

    Olympic athletes push relentlessly to be physically and mentally stronger than their competition—Smarter Better Faster Stronger, hosted by GQ writer Clay Skipper, figures out how they do both. Even if you're not gunning for gold, you'll come away with advice on how to build better habits, manage doubt and fear, handle sudden success, and push past your comfort zones. You know: advice we could all use.
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    • 1 min
    Paging Dr. Algorithm

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

    • 29 min

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