274 episodes

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

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED WIRED

    • Technology
    • 4.1 • 270 Ratings

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

    Thinking Different About Apple AI

    Thinking Different About Apple AI

    This week, Apple executives used the keynote address of the company’s annual developers conference to debut all of the artificial intelligence capabilities that are coming to iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The team showed off how generative tools will help users write emails, clean up iPhone photos, illustrate presentations, and make custom emoji characters. Adding AI to everything is par for the course in 2024, as all of the big tech companies have been loading up their software with similar generative features. But Apple is late to this particular party. The company has been perceived as being “behind” in generative AI, since OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and a whole bunch of startups have already made massive inroads. But is Apple really behind? And what makes Apple’s AI—cheekily named Apple Intelligence—different?This week, we welcome WIRED senior writer Will Knight back onto the show to talk about Apple Intelligence, the new Siri, and how Apple is trying to differentiate itself in the AI race.Show Notes:Read Will’s new story about Apple Intelligence’s launch, and his news analysis piece on how Apple will need to make sure its AI doesn’t disappoint, annoy, or offend iPhone users. Read Boone Ashworth’s roundup of everything Apple announced at WWDC. Lauren tells us why Apple’s AI play is also its best shot at getting you to upgrade your iPhone. Julian Chokkattu has a comprehensive overview of all the AI features coming to iOS. Read all of our WWDC coverage.Recommendations:Will recommends the AutoGen multi-agent conversational framework. Mike recommends Klean Kanteen’s Rise Food Box. Lauren recommends the Lunya washable silk sleep mask. Will Knight can be found on X @willknight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

    • 42 min
    Learning to Live With Google's AI Overviews

    Learning to Live With Google's AI Overviews

    Google has spent the past year lustily rolling out AI features across its platforms. But with each launch, it is becoming more clear that some of these so-called enhancements should have simmered a little longer. The latest update to stoke equal parts excitement and ridicule is AI Overviews, the new auto-generated summary boxes that appear at the top of some Google search results.In theory, AI Overviews are meant to answer questions and neatly summarize key information about people's search queries, offering links to the sources the summaries were pulled from and making search more immediately useful. In reality, these AI Overviews have been kinda messy. The information the summary confidently displays can be simply, and sometimes comically, wrong. Even when the AI Overview is correct, it typically only offers a slim account of the topic without the added context—or attribution—contained in the web pages it’s pulling from. The resulting criticisms have forced Google to reportedly dial back the number of search queries that trigger AI Overviews, and they are now being seen less frequently than they were at launch.This week, we talk with WIRED writers Kate Knibbs and Reece Rogers about the rollout, how Google has been managing it, and what it's like to watch our journalism get gobbled up by these hungry, hungry infobots.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about Google trimming the frequency of its AI Overviews. Read Reece’s story about how Google’s AI Overviews copied his original work. Read Lauren’s story about the end of Google Search as we know it.Recommendations:Kate recommends Token Supremacy by Zachary Small. Reece recommends the game Balatro. Lauren recommends the poetry book Technelegy by Sasha Stiles. Mike recommends the book Neu Klang: The Definitive History of Krautrock by Christoph Dallach.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs (X) or @extremeknibbs (Threads/IG). Reece Rogers is @reece___rogers. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

    • 31 min
    The Weird World of an AI Clickbait King

    The Weird World of an AI Clickbait King

    Domain names have value, even when the websites that were once hosted there are shut down or abandoned. Prospectors will often swoop in and snatch up an unused domain, then erect a new website filled with clickbait articles. If the domain name used to rank highly in search results, the new clickbait articles will also rank highly, guaranteeing the prospector a steady stream of visitors searching the web for common phrases. These zombie sites are all over the web; you’ve probably landed on them many times yourself. But this shady market is poised to grow exponentially thanks to the proliferation of generative AI tools. Text generators like ChatGPT make it easier for prospectors to crank out clickbait articles at greater speed, feeding an already raging river of pablum.This week, Kate Knibbs tells us about her WIRED story on one of these entrepreneurs in the world of AI-generated clickbait hosted on squatted domains.This episode originally aired February 15, 2024. Read the full transcript.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about Nebojša Vujinović Vujo and his clickbait empire. Also read Kate’s original investigation into what happened to The Hairpin, a popular blog for womens’ writing that went defunct and was then reborn as a content mill.Recommendations:Kate recommends the novella Tusks of Extinction by Ray Nayler. Brian recommends the novel The Bee Sting by Paul Murray. Lauren recommends giving up fancy, creamy coffee drinks for Lent. Mike recommends the social media platform BlueSky, which is now open to everyone.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

    • 38 min
    Everyone's Pumped About Heat Pumps

    Everyone's Pumped About Heat Pumps

    People everywhere are hot for heat pumps. These electric appliances—which perform the same heating and cooling tasks as traditional HVAC systems, just much more efficiently—have been outselling gas furnaces over the past couple of years. Their proliferation seems to be pointing more towards an energy-conscious electric future in people’s homes. And, four months ago, nine states in the US signed a memorandum of understanding that says that heat pumps should make up at least 65 percent of residential heating, air conditioning, and water-heating shipments by 2030.But, what exactly is a heat pump? How does it work? How much does it cost to replace your furnace with one, and how much money does making the switch actually save you in the long run? Let’s also consider the same question we’re asking about AI: how much will this change or displace existing jobs for the people who have been trained to install and service traditional HVAC systems?WIRED staff writer Matt Simon is our in-house heat pump expert. He joins us this week to tell us everything we need to know about these appliances he calls “climate superheroes.”Show Notes:Read all of our heat pump coverage. Don’t miss Matt’s story about the heat pump technician shortage. Matt also took a look at the in-window heat pumps now hitting the market that look and operate like in-window AC units. WIRED’s Rhett Alain digs into the physics of heat pumps.Recommendations:Matt recommends the book Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland. Mike recommends the book Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk by Kathleen Hanna. Lauren recommends taking a staycation.Matt Simon can be found on social media @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.

    • 37 min
    The End of Google Search As We Know It

    The End of Google Search As We Know It

    Google held its annual I/O developer event this week. The company gathered software developers, business partners, and folks from the technology press at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, just down the road from Google corporate headquarters for a two-hour presentation. There were Android announcements, there were chatbot announcements. Somebody even blasted rainbow-colored robes into the crowd using a T-shirt cannon. But most of the talk at I/O centered around artificial intelligence. Nearly everything Google showed off at the event was enhanced in some way by the company’s Gemini AI model. And some of the most shocking announcements came in the realm of AI-powered search, an area where Google is poised to upend everyone’s expectations about how to find things on the internet—for better or for worse.This week, WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave joins us to unpack everything Google announced at I/O, and to help us understand how search engines will evolve for the AI era. Show Notes:Read our roundup of everything Google announced at I/O 2024. Lauren wrote about the end of search as we know it. Will Knight got a demo of Project Astra, Google’s visual chatbot.Recommendations:Paresh recommends The Pitch podcast. Lauren recommends Kristin Lueke’s newsletter “The Animal Eats.” Mike recommends the Pedro Almodóvar film, Julieta, which is based on short stories by Alice Munro, who died this week.Paresh Dave can be found on social media @peard33. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

    • 36 min
    How Black Twitter Defined Culture

    How Black Twitter Defined Culture

    For all the influence Twitter has had on our culture, no community there has made quite as much impact as Black Twitter. The virtual community grew from a loose online hangout to an influential cultural force that directed conversations about race and culture not only on social media, but in our society at large. A new documentary miniseries from Hulu called Black Twitter: A People's History charts that monumental trajectory. This week on Gadget Lab, we chat about the rise and solidification of Black Twitter with showrunner Joie Jacoby, director and executive producer Prentice Penny, and WIRED senior writer Jason Parham, who wrote the WIRED cover story the docuseries is based on.Black Twitter: A People's History premieres on May 9th on Hulu. Read Jason’s three-part series of stories about Black Twitter. Recommendations:Joie recommends the Met Opera show Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Prentice recommends the YouTube channel Pitch Meetings. Jason recommends X-Men 97 on Disney+. Lauren recommends watching Black Twitter: A People’s History and reading Jason Parham’s story that inspired the show. Mike recommends trying the new instant coffees that are popping up. (Instant coffee is good now, he swears.) Jason Parham can be found on social media @nonlinearnotes. Joie Jacoby is @joiejacoby. Prentice Penny is @The_A_Prentice 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.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
270 Ratings

270 Ratings

Reecethemd ,

Very Informative

Always an enjoyable listen!

Shay of Red Robin ,

I love WIRED Magazine

I had no idea Wired had a Podcast. I love listening to the commentators. Wired has very articulate and intelligent editors, journalists, and guest experts in their particular fields of comment.

Oberon6 ,

Oh, the vocal fry

Between the annoying fry and the lazy made-up answers (“I get the sense that…”) to fact-seeking questions…I just can’t.

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