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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

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.

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Recent Episodes of Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED


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 sh...

Episode 16 May 2024 36m and 10s


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 W...

Episode 9 May 2024 35m and 31s


Thinking About Buying a Hybrid Car? Listen Up

Thinking About Buying a Hybrid Car? Listen Up

Back in March, the US Environmental Protection Agency finalized a long in the works rule requiring automakers here to dramatically increase the number of battery-powered vehicles they’re putting on the roads. The government has mandated that by 2032, more than half of new cars sold must be electric. There are some caveats, namely that plug-in hybrid cars will fulfill the federal requirements for what a “battery-powered” vehicle is. 

This has led to a flood of hybrid cars hitting the market. This week, we talk about what this means for people who are considering buying a new car now, or...

Episode 2 May 2024 29m and 55s


We Demystify the Internet's Acronyms

We Demystify the Internet's Acronyms

Do you know what TCP/IP means? (Hint: you’re using it right now.) What about CDMA? Or GPT? While the concepts and the execution of these technologies are clear to most of us who have been on the internet nearly our whole lives, the acronyms we use to define them are often inscrutable. On this week’s episode, we welcome WIRED’s AI reporter Will Knight onto the show. Along with our hosts Michael Calore and Lauren Goode, the trio takes turns quizzing each other on what exactly these acronyms stand for. Michael is asked to unpack various terms...

Episode 25 April 2024 46m and 11s


A Chat About Airchat

A Chat About Airchat

Silicon Valley tech types love their edgy new social media startups. The latest is Airchat, an audio-first social app that lets its users express their every thought by posting short snippets of audio. All of these snippets are served in a never-ending feed, a la Twitter. There are replies, there are DMs, but there’s no typing; it’s all spoken audio. The platform is exclusively invitation-only for now, so the current user base is made up mostly of Valley insiders, optimistic venture capitalists, and crypto evangelists, which definitely informs the types of conversations you’ll find on the app. I...

Episode 18 April 2024 33m and 13s


From WIRED Politics Lab: How Election Deniers Are Weaponizing Tech To Disrupt November

From WIRED Politics Lab: How Election Deniers Are Weaponizing Tech To Disrupt November

Election deniers are mobilizing their supporters and rolling out new tech to disrupt the November election. These groups are already organizing on hyperlocal levels, and learning to monitor polling places, target election officials, and challenge voter rolls. And though their work was once fringe, its become mainstreamed in the Republican Party. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we focus on what these groups are doing, and what this means for voters and the election workers already facing threats and harassment.


Listen to and follow WIRED Politics Lab here.
Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics...

Episode 11 April 2024 31m and 28s


Shopping for a New Social Feed

Shopping for a New Social Feed

Hey, did you see the ad for that Bluetooth-enabled Shiatsu foot massager? How about the one for the organic mushroom supplement powder? They're probably not even the most interesting things you can buy on TikTok or Instagram. Just as the apps have thrived on a steady stream of feel-good content, they have also inundated their users with cheap, bright, and shiny stuff they can swipe through and buy with just a few taps. It's a trend that's spread out to every social site, and has taken a unique shape on TikTok through the platform’s new experimental TikTok Shop. No...

Episode 4 April 2024 30m and 3s


DOJ Calls Out Apple in the Group Chat

DOJ Calls Out Apple in the Group Chat

Apple has gotten used to being a favorite target of rivals and government agencies. The company has been repeatedly scrutinized by regulators, and other tech companies have accused the company of anticompetitive practices. Apple’s most recent legal challenge is a doozy: an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and more than a dozen state attorneys general. The suit takes aim at the security and privacy features offered only on the iPhone, and accuses Apple of using that exclusivity to lock consumers into its ecosystem. At the center of the suit is the lack of true cr...

Episode 28 March 2024 29m and 14s


A 3-Body Podcast

A 3-Body Podcast

3 Body Problem is Netflix’s new big, meaty prestige sci-fi series. Based on the book of the same name by author Liu Cixin, the show about an impending alien invasion is also one about how humans react to technological advancements and social movements that spiral out of control. Aliens aside, it tackles many of the same issues modern society is facing right now—political instability, fanaticism, and maybe an over-dependence on virtual reality. The new show is helmed by the former showrunners ofGame of Thrones and surprise surprise, this high-concept drama is in fact very good.

This week...

Episode 21 March 2024 29m and 10s


The TikTok Ban

The TikTok Ban

You may only know TikTok as the massively popular social video app for phone-obsessed teens, but lately the app has been caught in the political fray. On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill that, should it become law, would require TikTok’s parent company, the Chinese firm ByteDance, to sell the app or else see it banned on devices in the US. Lawmakers in the US have expressed concerns that data from American TikTok users is being shared with a Chinese company, and that therefore TikTok poses a threat to national security. 

This wee...

Episode 14 March 2024 25m and 5s

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