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Marketplace Tech

495 episodes - English - Latest episode: 4 days ago - ★★★★★ - 1.1K ratings

Monday through Friday, Marketplace’s Molly Wood demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. Reporting from Oakland, California, she looks past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

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Episodes

Hey kid, see you in the metaverse?

September 24, 2021 10:00 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

Next month, Epic Games will shut down Houseparty — the group video-chatting app that became popular in the pandemic — to focus instead on the metaverse. But, what is that, exactly? That is a topic for “Quality Assurance,” where we take a second look at a big tech story. While there are different visions of the metaverse to come, most digital builders and watchers believe the metaverse is essentially the next evolution of the internet, a virtual world that you’d move through with, some say, j...

New emoji are about to drop, but where do they come from anyway?

September 23, 2021 10:00 - 11 minutes - 11.8 MB

Emoji users: Your vocabulary is about to grow. The Unicode Consortium, a group that approves emoji, has added 112 new ones, including a melting smiley face, a coral reef, an X-ray and more skin tone and gender options, like a pregnant man and pregnant person. The new icons will start appearing on your phones later this year. Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra speaks with Jeremy Burge, chief emoji officer at Emojipedia, an encyclopedia for emoji. Burge talked about how emoji get approved and what...

Wearable technology keeps hooking people as COVID lingers

September 22, 2021 10:00 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

During the pandemic, especially with gyms shut down or just less appealing, people bought a lot of wearables. Those are smart devices that you wear on your body — in your ear, on your wrist or as a patch, even — that track your activity in some way. Look at sales of smartwatches. They jumped by almost 18% in 2020, according to Gartner. The research firm also forecasts that spending on wearables will grow to more than $81 billion by the end of this year. Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra talked ...

Amid massive rainfall and deadly flooding, how does tech help identify risk?

September 21, 2021 09:25 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

World leaders are gathering for meetings this week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Among the topics they’ll discuss is the ravages of climate change. This year, climate damage across the U.S. included devastating flooding, and while some people know they face flood risk, many do not. That’s largely because the official federal flood maps are often outdated and may not account for the effects of increasingly powerful storms. We wanted to know how technology is advancing th...

Patent applications reveal how tech companies may further threaten privacy for people in prison

September 20, 2021 09:24 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

For those in prison, privacy is already hard to come by. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is looking at patent applications from some companies that provide communication services to prisons. Some of the applications they’ve seen include ideas to incorporate ads on tablets that would be given to incarcerated people and plans for systems that would identify and disable drones suspected of bringing in contraband. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Beryl Lipton, an investigative researche...

Now we know some of what Facebook knows about how it’s hurting us

September 17, 2021 09:24 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

Facebook knows a lot about how it affects its users, because it’s investigated possible negative impacts. For instance, internal research showed that one of its algorithms actually encourages angrier content. Or that Instagram, which it owns, makes body image issues worse for teen girls. And even though it knows all this, it doesn’t share the information, either with Congress or its own oversight board. That’s the finding of an investigation out this week from The Wall Street Journal, called...

There’s still a lot to learn about buying now and paying later

September 16, 2021 09:27 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

There’s been a surge in the buy now, pay later space, which is exactly what it sounds like: Get something you maybe can’t quite afford and pay it off in installments. You might not even need to have your credit checked. By some counts, more than half of Americans have used it. There are concerns that this new method of payment could be confusing us about what we want versus what we need. And now Affirm, a leader in this space, is partnering with Amazon. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Max ...

Facebook is taking a run at the whole cameras-in-glasses thing

September 15, 2021 09:24 - 5 minutes - 11.8 MB

You’d look so good in these Ray-Bans, and you could capture the envious stares of people who can’t believe how good you’d look. Because these glasses are built through a partnership with Facebook. They allow you to take photos and share video via cameras in the frame. It’s the latest attempt by Silicon Valley to reap bundles of money by using tech to make glasses more than glasses. Google and Snap have also attempted it. We here at “Marketplace Tech” are a camera-shy group, and the prospect ...

Big Tech is finally seeing the dollar signs seniors represent

September 14, 2021 09:31 - 12 minutes - 11.8 MB

Apple’s streaming event from California happens today and many expect there’ll be an announcement of a new iPhone model. Speculation always abounds, because Apple is notoriously tight-lipped with these events. One thing that they have announced is a new feature in iOS that pays attention to how we walk, or our gait. The idea is that it’ll be able to tell if something’s changed about a senior citizen’s gait and that could give early warning of a fall. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Dominic...

Looking for worms in Apple leaves a bad taste in ethical hackers’ mouths

September 13, 2021 09:31 - 12 minutes - 11.8 MB

Bug bounties. They’re an important security tool in the arsenal of many tech companies. Here’s how they work. Give ethical hackers the chance to probe your systems for weaknesses, pay them for exploits they find and fix said exploits before ne’er-do-wells find and use them. Bounty programs vary from company to company. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Reed Albergotti, a tech reporter for The Washington Post who wrote about widespread dissatisfaction with how Apple pays its bounties and the ...

Storms are getting stronger. So how do we adapt?

September 10, 2021 09:30 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

Friday marks the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which has already been a very active and destructive one. Marketplace’s Jed Kim continues his discussion with Paul Robinson about how tech can help us cope with flooding. Robinson’s executive director of RISE Resilience Innovations, a nonprofit tech accelerator in Norfolk, Virginia. It supports a wide range of startups that are focused on climate resilience. Some aim to train up a workforce that’s ready to do flood-resistant...

Flooding is getting worse. Can tech help us deal with it?

September 09, 2021 09:30 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Water infrastructure — it’s boring. Invisible. We only care about it when things go wrong, and things have been going wrong. Punishing storms have caused catastrophic flooding in New York, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere. But water systems are expensive, time consuming and hard to fix. Technology may provide some relief. Marketplace’s Jed Kim talks to Paul Robinson, the executive director of RISE, a nonprofit accelerator in Norfolk, Virginia, that helps develop climate tech. Robinson says one...

The business of editing genes to battle disease is bringing in record funding

September 08, 2021 09:26 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

When you’re sick, you can get treated with medicine or surgery. There’s a growing field, though, that looks at our own cells as treatment delivery systems. Many see it as the future of medicine, and that’s prompting a lot of investment in the field. This year, the industry is on track to raise more than $20 billion dollars, a record. That’s according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, an advocacy group whose members include universities, foundations and major biopharma companies like...

El Salvador becomes the first to make bitcoin a national currency

September 07, 2021 09:22 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

Starting today, bitcoin is an official national currency in El Salvador, along with U.S. dollars. To use the cryptocurrency, Salvadorans need to download an electronic wallet. If they use the government-sanctioned wallet, they’ll get $30 worth of bitcoin to use. Stores have to accept bitcoin, provided they have internet access and can do so. They’ll still take American dollars. In the past six months, the value of a bitcoin has fluctuated by as much as $30,000, so how it’ll go is anyone’s gu...

Apple and Google’s app stores have been fortresses of commerce. South Korea fired a cannonball.

September 03, 2021 09:29 - 11 minutes - 11.8 MB

When buying apps or making in-app purchases, you’re pretty much limited to either Apple or Google’s systems, and those companies are paid a commission of up to 30% on your purchase. South Korea this week passed a law that will force them to allow alternative payment systems — ending commissions when developers sell things directly. It comes as Apple and Google are under pressure from antitrust regulators around the world. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Nick Statt, a reporter at Protocol, ...

Covid tested our ability to teach during a crisis. As a new school year begins, how are we doing?

September 02, 2021 10:48 - 12 minutes - 11.8 MB

Schools across the country are opening their doors to students again. Many have remote options for those who need it. But a handful of states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, have largely banned remote learning, saying it’s just not effective enough. But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, more kids may need to quarantine at home — and without remote options, they could miss weeks of school. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Michael Horn, the founder of the think tank Clayton Christ...

OnlyFans put many of its users through an emotional wringer. Sex workers are getting fed up.

September 01, 2021 09:38 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

Sex workers are planning to demonstrate outside of several major banks in New York City on Wednesday. They say Bank of New York Mellon and others are discriminating against them by refusing to process payments for companies like OnlyFans. That is the social media subscription site made popular by sex workers that recently said it was going to ban adult content, then backed off amid criticism. Jed Kim speaks with his Marketplace colleague Kimberly Adams, who has been reporting on the topic. ...

The mission to get girls coding doesn’t take a COVID break

August 31, 2021 09:30 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

The gender gap in tech starts pretty early. Look at computer science students: Roughly 4 out of 5 bachelor’s degrees in that field go to men. That’s why the nonprofit Girls Who Code aims to get girls interested at a young age — as early as third grade. Since the organization was founded in 2012, hundreds of thousands of girls have gone through its clubs and summer immersion programs. When COVID-19 canceled in-person classes, they moved totally online. That actually allowed Girls Who Code to ...

A kid’s dream come true — video games as medicine!

August 30, 2021 09:28 - 11 minutes - 11.8 MB

It’s the age-old mantra of parents who won’t let their kids have gaming consoles — too many video games hurt your brain! But last summer, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever prescription video game. It’s called EndeavorRX, and it’s meant to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in kids age 8 to 12. It’s not a standalone treatment — it’ll be prescribed along with other, more traditional medication. Without insurance, it costs about $100 a month. A year later...

The legacy of the Theranos debacle weighs especially heavy on women in biotech

August 27, 2021 09:33 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO and founder of the blood test company Theranos, is set to begin next week. Holmes is charged with wire fraud, having allegedly defrauded investors about the accuracy of Theranos’ technology. She’s pleaded not guilty. Many other women founders — especially in biotech and health care — have been getting compared to Holmes. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Erin Griffith, a reporter who covers startups and venture capital for The New York Times. Griffit...

Admit it, you rank your friends by how much they annoy you. Now, Google’s doing it for websites.

August 26, 2021 09:26 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

What drives you nuts about surfing online? Maybe it’s news sites that autoplay videos or cooking pages that bury their actual recipes below expanding ads. Or maybe it’s your dad, who keeps sending you links to Hampster Dance. Well, for some of the things that make you pull your hair out while browsing, there may be hope. By the end of the month, Google will change how it ranks websites, so that ones that are harder to load are ranked lower. Will that make websites less annoying? Marketplace’...

Big batteries are key to the planet’s future. But what’s up with these Bolt fires?

August 25, 2021 09:33 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

The electric vehicle market got a little shake-up this month after Chevy recalled all of its Bolts due to the risk of battery fires. The recall comes as the EV market is getting hot … uh, no. It’s set to explo — nope! There are going to be a lot more sales in the future. Like many people, Marketplace’s Jed Kim would like to know how a lithium-ion battery goes pear-shaped. He asked Kristin Persson, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Everyone finally understands the importance of cybersecurity. What does that mean for cybersecurers?

August 24, 2021 09:27 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

There’ve been lots of big security breaches recently. Like in the recent case of T-Mobile, where about 50 million people’s personal information got exposed. And attacks on critical infrastructure, like the Colonial Pipeline hack. Remember those gas shortages along the East Coast? As hacks go up, so does the demand for help preventing and responding to them. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Lesley Carhart, an incident responder for the industrial cybersecurity company Dragos. Carhart said n...

Smart cities promised urban tech utopias. So where are they?

August 23, 2021 09:25 - 5 minutes - 11.8 MB

Early in the pandemic, Sidewalk Labs — an offshoot of Google — announced it was shutting down a big project in Toronto called Quayside. It was meant to be a testing ground for smart-city concepts, a hyperconnected neighborhood from the ground up, with things like an underground network of package-delivery robots. But even before the pandemic, it ran into the same problems that have dogged smart-city projects around the world. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Shannon Mattern, w...

It’s the last gasp for Internet Explorer, once the browser to rule them all

August 20, 2021 10:15 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

This week, some Microsoft apps, like Outlook, started their slow march to no longer working in Internet Explorer. Next year, the browser itself won’t be supported anymore, as Microsoft moves users to its Edge browser instead. It’s the end of an era for Internet Explorer, which was created back in the ’90s during the browser wars and was the focus of the big antitrust case against Microsoft. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Margaret O’Mara, a professor of history at the Univers...

Digital tools have become a liability and a lifeline of last resort in Afghanistan

August 19, 2021 09:25 - 12 minutes - 11.8 MB

When the Afghan government quickly fell to the Taliban over the weekend, alerts went out with instructions to delete digital activity. Contacts, photos, music — anything that might link someone to something opposed by the Taliban. But in the absence of a coordinated evacuation effort, vulnerable Afghans are now being asked to share personal information online, sometimes to accounts they can’t confirm are legitimate. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Eileen Guo, a senior reporte...

Using the power of minor internet celebrity to promote vaccines

August 18, 2021 09:37 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

The Biden administration is reportedly considering recommending a booster shot of the COVID vaccine. But almost a third of Americans over 12 haven’t gotten their first dose yet. Some local health departments are pioneering a new way to reach the hold-outs through micro-influencers. These aren’t the big stars of social media with millions of fans and their own product lines or whatever. Rather, these folks have smaller, local followings in specific communities. The city of San Jose, Californi...

A window into the chaos and suffering in Afghanistan, through uploads

August 17, 2021 10:00 - 5 minutes - 11.8 MB

A lot of disturbing images have come out of Afghanistan. Some taken by professional media, such as people flooding a runway at the airport in Kabul, and many others taken by citizens on their phones and posted to social media. The technological ability of everyday people to document what’s happening on the ground has changed radically from when the conflict began 20 years ago. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Zeynep Tufekci, who studies the social impacts of technology at the ...

If we’re gonna spend billions improving broadband, we kinda need to know what’s there

August 16, 2021 10:30 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

High-speed internet, safe to say, has become pretty essential to our lives, especially during the pandemic, and yet many Americans struggle to get it. The government has mapped internet access for years, but those maps have overestimated that access. So Congress tasked the Federal Communications Commission with making better ones. The first results came out this month: a map showing mobile coverage from four of the biggest wireless carriers. But better maps for wired broadband are still in ...

Getting a clearer picture of wildfires from thousands of miles into space

August 13, 2021 10:08 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

The Dixie fire in Northern California has spread more than 700 square miles, making it the largest single fire in California history. There are more than 5,000 firefighters working on the ground to contain it. Increasingly, technology is aiding firefighting efforts like this one — from above. Andre Coleman, a data scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, helped create a new system that uses data from satellites to map the boundaries of a fire, multiple times a day, and predict wha...

A tech optimist reacts to a not-so-optimistic climate report

August 12, 2021 10:00 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, issued a report this week that laid out over nearly 4,000 pages the reality that many are already living: Climate change is here, and much of that change is irreversible — rising temperatures, more and bigger wildfires, extreme droughts and flooding. And to avoid things getting worse, the report says, we’re going to need new technologies that help us capture and remove carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As part of our series “How We Surv...

Good news, parents and guardians! Social media might be getting a little safer for kids.

August 11, 2021 10:22 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

Google just announced a slew of new policies to make its products safer for young users. Facebook did the same just last month. Both said they will restrict targeted advertising aimed at kids and teens, though in slightly different ways. They’re also turning more protective features on by default — like setting kids’ Instagram or YouTube accounts to private, turning off autoplay and disabling location history. Google said it will get rid of “overly commercial content” from YouTube Kids. It ...

It’s harder to schmooze a VC over Zoom, but the money’s still flowing

August 10, 2021 10:30 - 5 minutes - 11.8 MB

Venture capital investors poured more money into startups over the past year than ever before, according to financial data company PitchBook. Venture is, of course, how a lot of tech startups raise money. This finding may come as something of a surprise — investors have historically favored face-to-face meetings before handing a promising founder millions of dollars. The industry is known for being majority white and majority male and, historically, VC firms have placed a lot of value on th...

So you have to be vaccinated to get into that hot new bar? There’s an app for that.

August 09, 2021 10:30 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

More and more places are starting to require vaccines for work, school or to get into concerts, bars and restaurants. That means we’re going to need a way to prove vaccination. There’s the paper card from the CDC everyone gets with their shots, but also digital vaccine passport apps. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Laurin Weissinger, who co-wrote a paper for the  Brookings Institution about vaccine verification systems. Weissinger says we’re starting to see these apps pop up ...

Why is China targeting its own internet companies?

August 06, 2021 10:00 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

For months, the Chinese government has been putting pressure on big tech companies. It penalized the recently public ride-hailing company Didi for how it collected user data. It blocked two major video game streaming platforms from combining, hit e-commerce giant Alibaba with a nearly $3 billion antitrust fine and this week, a state-run newspaper called online games “spiritual opium.” But the crackdown hasn’t been targeting all tech companies equally. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spea...

Is Uber turning Postmates into a zombie app?

August 05, 2021 10:19 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

We learned this week that Uber saw strong demand for its food delivery service in recent months, despite restaurants reopening. Late last year, the company bought its competitor Postmates for $2.6 billion dollars. Behind the scenes, Uber has been working to merge the two businesses, transitioning drivers away from the Postmates corporate app for months, with plans to completely shut it down as soon as next week. The consumer app will stick around. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks ...

Twitter wants bounty hunters to help fix its image-cropping algorithm

August 04, 2021 10:14 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Back in May, Twitter partially disabled an algorithm that cropped photos posted by users in ways that revealed certain biases. A company audit, and plenty of people on the internet, found the algorithm preferred white faces over Black faces, and women over men. Now, as part of the hacker conference DEF CON, which starts tomorrow, the company is offering a cash bounty to help fix the problem. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Rumman Chowdhury, director of Machine Learning Ethics...

Do privacy “nutrition” labels stop us from eating the burger?

August 03, 2021 10:30 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

About seven months ago, Apple rolled out some new features that let users see exactly how apps collect data about us and share it with advertisers. The privacy “nutrition” labels run pretty much on the honor system: It’s up to the app makers to provide the information. Now, Google is revealing how its own labels might work for Android. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Ashkan Soltani, a fellow at Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology. He says we can get a sense of h...

An app to track home health care aides has unintended effects

August 02, 2021 10:00 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

They’re called electronic visit verification apps, or EVVs. They log the hours and the movements of home health care workers paid for by Medicaid. States are just starting to roll them out as part of an Obama-era program that promised to make managing the work of home aides more efficient and reduce fraud in the system. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Virginia Eubanks, the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.” She’s been...

The Activision Blizzard walkout could bring a reckoning for the video game industry

July 30, 2021 10:00 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

On Wednesday, hundreds of employees of video game company Activision Blizzard walked out. The protest followed a lawsuit from California regulators accusing the maker of World of Warcraft and Call of Duty of unfair pay and lack of advancement for women and a “frat boy drinking culture” at the company. Management eventually apologized for its initial, dismissive response to the lawsuit and promised to investigate. Sarah Needleman covers video games and technology for The Wall Street Journal. ...

When it comes to electric car charging, it’s all about location, location, location

July 29, 2021 10:00 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

Yesterday, the show focused on how the growing market for electric vehicles is affecting the supply chain for batteries. Today, how about where to charge all those batteries? Many people have electric cars, and a lot more will by 2025. Global sales will triple by 2025, according to IHS Markit. But it’s not just about the number of cars, it’s also about the number of available chargers. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Jessika Trancik, a professor at MIT who recently co-wrote ...

The road to an electric vehicle future is paved with lithium

July 28, 2021 10:00 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

The electric vehicle market, while still small, has grown rapidly this year. Of course, a global shortage of microchips could slow things down. In the long term, there’s also the issue of availability of lithium, a soft, silvery metal that’s the key component in electric car batteries. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks to Chris Berry, a strategic metals consultant and president of House Mountain Partners. He says demand for lithium is expected to triple in the next five years which ...

Why it’s so hard for biographies about women to stay on Wikipedia

July 27, 2021 10:00 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

When you search for someone notable on the internet, one of the first things that often pops up is a link to their Wikipedia page. But if you’re looking for a notable woman, that might not be the case. There are about 1.5 million biographies on Wikipedia. Only about 19% of them are about women. And those that do get published are much more likely to be targeted for deletion, compared to biographies of men. That’s according to research by Francesca Tripodi, a professor of sociology at the Uni...

How technology is changing what happens after you flush

July 26, 2021 10:00 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

Let’s talk about gardening technology. Not some fancy gadget for monitoring water or sunlight, but technology that feeds the dirt itself. Washington, D.C.’s wastewater-treatment plant is one of the largest high-tech plants in the world. It uses a process akin to pressure cooking to turn what’s flushed down the toilet into fertilizer fit for planters at home. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams takes a tour to learn more about thermal hydrolysis tech.

How important is broadband to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan?

July 23, 2021 10:00 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Optimists in Washington, including President Biden, are hoping debate on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package could start as early as Monday, just before the August recess. Senate Republicans blocked a procedural vote to start that debate this week, pushing for more time to hammer out details. You’ve got the usual talk of roads and bridges, yes, but broadband is another key part of the bill, with a draft showing $65 billion devoted to expanding high-speed internet access across the countr...

Augmented reality may change how we see the world. Until then, we have Pokémon.

July 22, 2021 10:00 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

It’s been five years since Pokémon Go launched, sending kids and adults alike out into the streets, capturing Pokémon through their smartphones. It was one of the first massively successful augmented reality games, generating maps populated with the fantastical creatures based on actual maps. It tracks where players are in the real world to determine which Pokémon they can see. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, about the f...

Robots are making progress on space exploration, along with billionaires

July 21, 2021 11:06 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

High profile trips by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have more people thinking about the future of space tourism. There’s a long way to go before that’s common, but one destination for would-be space explorers is Mars. NASA scientists are working on robots to help explore more of the planet first. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams talks with Ali Agha, a principal investigator and research technologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who’s testing a fleet of robots, including one...

New evidence that your smartphone isn’t nearly as private as you hope

July 20, 2021 10:17 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

Seventeen international news organizations dropped the results of a sprawling and detailed investigation over the weekend. It’s called the Pegasus Project, and it found that Israeli surveillance tech firm NSO sold its software to clients who used it to spy on human rights activists, journalists and politicians. One surveillance tool, called Pegasus, could infect people’s smartphones, sometimes just by sending a text. It could collect emails, calls, social media posts, passwords, even activat...

The right to repair broken tech is key to farmers

July 19, 2021 10:11 - 4 minutes - 11.8 MB

The Federal Trade Commission is turning its attention to the right-to-repair movement — a pushback against manufacturers limiting who can repair the equipment they make. The agency put out a report on this in May that found “the burden of repair restrictions may fall more heavily on communities of color and lower-income communities.” The FTC is set to vote on Wednesday on next steps. One group watching this debate is farmers, as some companies that make farm equipment only allow repairs at ...

In the face of mass protests, the Cuban government turned off the internet

July 16, 2021 09:12 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

This week in Cuba, journalists, influencers and regular citizens posted scenes online from the country’s largest anti-government protests in decades. That is, until the government restricted access to a number of social media platforms. According to the internet monitoring firm NetBlocks, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp were all disrupted. There are reports that access returned by midweek. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams spoke with Isabella Alcañiz, director of the Latin American an...