147 episodes

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

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News WIRED

    • Technology
    • 4.1 • 187 Ratings

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

    A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

    A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

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

    What an Augmented World

    Mark Zuckerberg may be busy pushing the idea of augmented and virtual reality worlds, but he is far from the first to start imaging them. Niantic CEO John Hanke heads the company that created Pokemon Go, the mobile game that was one of the first massive AR hits. Hanke has been augmenting reality for years now, and he says that his vision to bring people together in the real world is more egalitarian than Facebook's.
    This week on Gadget Lab, we welcome WIRED editor at large Steven Levy, who spoke to Hanke about how Niantic is countering Facebook's vision of the metaverse. Then Lauren talks with Bobby Murphy, the cofounder and CTO of Snap, and AR and VR developer Brielle Garcia, who makes lenses for Snap Spectacles about their vision for our augmented future.
    Show 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

    • 46 min
    Shipping and Shopping

    Shipping and Shopping

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

    • 35 min
    Let’s Get Meta

    Let’s Get Meta

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

    • 33 min
    Big Macs, New Pixels

    Big Macs, New Pixels

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

    • 39 min
    Facebook's Uncertain Future

    Facebook's Uncertain Future

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

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
187 Ratings

187 Ratings

Silverwing Flyer ,

One of my regulars

Michael and Lauren hit just the right mix of tech product comments with non-tech recommendations at close. It's like grabbing a cup of coffee with friends once a week. Happy 2021 New Year guys.

trucker Bryan ,

Journalists no

Opinions from cry babies

34673826383928102947 ,

Noice

Informative and tasteful in its own way,they display there opinions in an agreaeble way and the hosts are well educated and are experienced writers and have all the angles👍

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