This week, we look at how living online makes it harder to forget a love that's been lost and easier to find love once again.
Given all the criticism, mistrust, and investigations that have been levied at Facebook in the past couple years, one might think that they would want to lie low for a while.Instead, Facebook has decided to rebrand to be as prominent as possible across the various apps it owns.In a similar flex of brand might, Google recently bought health tracking company Fitbit in a bid to expand its reach into wearable tech.Read Arielle’s story about the rebranding of Facebook (sorry: F A C E B O O K) here.Read Louise Matsakis’ story about Google’s acquisition of Fitbit here, and check out Lauren’s story about what it all means for the future of wearables here.Lauren recommends an interview with Edward Snowden on the Recode Decode podcast.
You see, there are only a few working days left before WIRED25, our two-day live event that, in many ways, brings to life the November issue of WIRED, titled Have a Nice Future: Stories of 25 People Racing to Save Us.A few months back, as we began planning the November issue, we started to feel that national malaise, the distress that surrounded the environment, health, cybersecurity, politics.So join us in San Francisco on Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, for two days of WIRED events.Friday will be a day of conversations with some of the biggest names in tech; Saturday will be a day of culture and films that includes stars like Chris Evans, Rob McElhenney, and N. K. Jemisin.On Friday at the Commonwealth Club on the San Francisco waterfront you’ll hear from:Anne Neuberger, the director of the NSA’s newly formed Cybersecurity Directorate, who will decrypt the NSA (well, sort of) with WIRED’s own Garrett Graff.
For years, Google has flourished in large part because of its famously open internal structure.Leadership encouraged active and vocal communication between employees who held strong opinions or dissented with the company’s decisions.But over the past three years, that free-thinking atmosphere has become the breeding ground for deep divisions among Google’s workforce.Executive secrecy about controversial Google projects and a lack of unity on how to address charged political issues has steadily torn Google apart from the inside.On this week’s episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Lauren Goode and Arielle Pardes talk with WIRED senior writer Nitasha Tiku to discuss her cover story about Google’s three years of misery.Also in the news: WeWork files to go public and Apple responds to the controversy surrounding its iPhone batteries and the right to repair.
This week was E3, the trade show where the biggest names in gaming debut their latest shiny products and software.On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED’s Peter Rubin joins Mike, Arielle, and Lauren to discuss the latest developments in cloud computing, live-streaming services, and Fortnite as a social platform.And of course, it wouldn’t be 2019 without a Keanu Reeves cameo.Check out the E3 coverage you may have missed, and take advantage of E3 sales before they’re gone.Mike recommends following @powazek from Milk Barn Farm on Instagram for all your baby goat needs.Arielle recommends Clio Chang's 60-second presidential explainers on Jezebel.
The iPhone is still undoubtedly Apple’s most important product.So why were some of the biggest announcements this week at the company’s annual developers conference around the iPad and the Mac?On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, Mike, Arielle, and Lauren talk about Dark Mode for iOS; why Apple is still trying to make Memoji happen; Apple sign-on and what it means for privacy; why “iPadOS” is more than just a name; and, yes, that multi-thousand-dollar Mac Pro and 6K display setup.Show Notes: You can read Paris Martineau’s story about YouTube’s new community guidelines here.And good luck getting an Uber Copter if you don’t have Diamond or Platinum status.Recommendations: Mike recommends the Gettin’ Better!
What’s a giant consumer electronics maker to do when it notices that younger customers are more interested in paying for experiences, rather than things?That’s what WIRED senior associate editor Arielle Pardes had the chance to ask Samsung’s David Eun this week at the Collision conference in Toronto.Eun says he envisions a consumer market in the not-so-distant future where all of the physical goods we now purchase outright are rented, and he talks about how Samsung NEXT, the company’s innovation arm, is investing and acquiring to make sure Samsung doesn’t miss the (rented?)Show Notes: Here’s WIRED’s story on how Huawei might handle the latest U.S. sanctions.And you can read about the new MacBook Pros here and the keyboard fix here.Arielle recommends earplugs, especially Mack's earplugs.
Developer conferences aren’t just a chance for tech companies to incentivize app makers and show off the latest tricks and tools in software.The events also present an opportunity for companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google to assure the public that they are on it when it comes to issues like privacy, openness, and also, privacy.And companies often use the giant keynote stage to show futuristic demos involving augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and assistive technologies.The Gadget Lab team discusses on this week’s podcast.Recommendations: Arielle recommends checking out BTS, if you haven’t already.Lauren recommends Emily Dreyfuss’ compelling interview with Melinda Gates.
You might know Adam Savage as the cohost of the television show MythBusters, as the editor of, or as the host of countless web videos that show him building machines, sewing costumes for Comic-Con, and occasionally blowing something up in his San Francisco workshop.We bring Adam on the show to talk about his new book, his new show, why he hates homework, how the gig economy exposes the motives of late-stage capitalist entities, and so much more.Find Adam Savage on book tour and say hello when he comes to your city.Mike recommends Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing.Lauren recommends Arielle’s story on the Helvetica Now typeface.Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab.
What happens when your drop your phone and shatter the screen?These common technological woes are things that you should be able to remedy yourself—just buy some parts, get some tools, and fix your device.But it’s not that simple.Gadget manufacturers have been increasingly restricting access to the parts, tools, and knowledge required for regular consumers to fix their broken tech.Instead, consumers have to turn to authorized repair technicians, and often pay a lot more, to get something fixed.Also this week, Peter Rubin tells us about what to expect from the new PlayStation console Sony plans to release next year, and we discuss the problems with early review units of the Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone.
Uber filed to go public this week.No big surprise there; everyone in the industry has been waiting months for the ride-hailing giant to hit the accelerator on its IPO.This week, we invite WIRED transportation reporter Aarian Marshall back onto the show to break down all of the revelations in Uber’s S-1 filing.Also on this week’s pod, Mike, Lauren, and Arielle discuss the first photo of a black hole, the latest privacy concerns around Alexa devices, and some upcoming changes to Facebook’s News Feed.Read Lily Hay Newman on Alexa, Sophia Chen on the black hole pic, and Emily Dreyfuss and Issie Lapowsky on Facebook.Recommendations this week are Jumbo Privacy Assistant, 1bike1world, and the Criterion Channel.
This week, we're joined by a special guest: freelance war correspondent Kenneth Rosen.We talk to Ken about how he does his job, the tools he uses to report the stories of the men and women rebuilding the war-torn cities, and the methods he uses to stay safe in the field.Read Kenneth Rosen's story, "The Body Pullers of Syria."Also see Ken's packing grid photo.Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds.Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab.
Hormonal male contraception is not a new idea—in fact, researchers have been working on solutions for men the pill was invented for women.But early tests around male contraceptives were inconclusive, and as birth control pills exploded, there wasn't as much interest in a male version.A new male contraceptive gel, one that reduces sperm count, could change that.It’s been in the works for more than a decade, WIRED’s Arielle Pardes reports this week, and it looks promising.Even if the gel eventually make its way to pharmacies, though, there may still be societal hurdles to overcome.And survey results are mixed, Arielle tells us on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast: Some men indicate they would be reluctant to use birth control, while others are for it.
Google’s Project Stream, first unveiled last October, gave gamers a taste of what it would be like to stream heavy games directly from the cloud—from a Chrome browser, even.WIRED’s Peter Rubin was at GDC this week for Google’s big reveal, and he joins the latest Gadget Lab episode to talk about how Stadia is supposed to work when it launches later this year.The Gadget Lab team also discuss how Google is taking aim at Microsoft’s and Amazon’s cloud gaming services, and tries to answer the most important question of all: Is streaming and capturing 4K games totally going to destroy our Google Drive subscriptions?[ iframe:" width="100%" height="482"]Show notes: You can read Peter Rubin’s story on Stadia here.Lauren recommends reading WIRED’s stories this week about Apple’s hardware updates, specifically the iPad Mini review if you’re in the market for a tiny iPad.
That’s according to Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft who is credited with inventing Kinect and HoloLens.Kipman joins the Gadget Lab podcast this week to talk about HoloLens 2, the next-generation mixed reality headset.HoloLens 2 has some significant upgrades: It’s lighter, more comfortable, and “smarter” than the previous version.Due to a new, patented optics module, its field-of-view is larger.Microsoft is focused entirely on commercial clients; think frontline employees, field workers, and maintenance professionals.There’s much more need to travel around the world.
At its flagship phone event this week in San Francisco, Samsung announced not one but four different versions of the new Galaxy S10: A phone with a 6.1-inch display, a plus-sized model, a “less expensive” version of the phone, and a handset that will support 5G networks when it ships.But the most interesting part of the launch was undeniably Samsung’s reveal of its new foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold.It wasn’t the very first time this phone was shown off, but this time around Samsung showed a demo, shared a ship date, and announced that it would cost a whopping $1980.How will a foldable phone fit into our lives?How does any super-expensive smartphone fit into our lives (and our budgets) these days?These are a couple of the questions we had for Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried, who has tracked the mobile industry for more than a decade and who joined us on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast.
Product designer and internet native Chris Messina was lucky enough to snag the username @chris on Instagram back when Instagram was known as Burbn, and, like all of his early usernames, it became a part of his digital identity.It has also lead him down the path of more existential questions about life online––like, is the internet still fun?On this week’s Gadget Lab podcast we talk to Chris about the biggest offer he’s ever been made for his name, ephemerality in apps, and what the future of social media looks like once the concept of “following” goes away.Also covered in this episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, which was taped on Valentine’s Day: Amazon’s big break up with New York City.After a months-long search for “HQ2” that ended in an eventual commitment to build out corporate offices in Long Island City, Queens, Amazon has now backed out of the deal.While not everyone is happy about Amazon’s retreat, there were also plenty of good reasons for the resistance to the deal.
Move fast and break app store rules: That very well may have been Facebook’s motto for awhile now, only, we’re just learning about it this week.After TechCrunch reported that Facebook was sidestepping Apple’s rules for enterprise apps and distributing a market research app to iOS users as young as 13 years old, Apple temporarily removed Facebook’s internal apps from its enterprise app program.The big question is what happens next, and whether this will only escalate growing tensions between Apple and Facebook, two massive tech companies that monetize their user bases in fundamentally different ways.Also on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast: WIRED’s transportation editor Alex Davies joins us to talk about Tesla earnings and its preparation for the production of the Model Y.Show notes: You can read WIRED’s coverage of the app smackdown here and here.Recommendations: Arielle recommends these funky new Casper smart lights for your bedside.
Kids are particularly terrible for robots.At least, that’s what researchers in Japan discovered when they let a robot roam around a shopping center in Osaka in 2015.A group of kids antagonized the robot, forcing the researchers to program an algorithm that would give the bot the agency to evade abuse.That’s just one example of challenging social interactions between humans and robots, and one that technologists have almost certainly considered when building and designing delivery bots.Including the folks at Amazon: This week, the e-commerce behemoth dropped a web page for Scout, its new delivery robot.For now, Scout’s impact is small.
We touched a lot of gadgets.This week was the annual CES, one of the world’s largest consumer electronics show, and WIRED’s team was on the ground covering all of the top tech trends to emerge from the show.In this week’s episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, Mike, Arielle, and Lauren talk about CES’s big security fail, what all of these connected gadgets mean for the future of healthcare, and robots.Later in the episode, Arielle talks to Jen Wong, the chief operating officer of Reddit, about the company’s “growing up” moment and how it plans to monetize its users.Our CES reporting goes beyond gadgets, as well: We have stories on how insidious logging your child’s data has become, why you should ignore the 5G hype (for now), and how women’s sexuality is apparently still taboo at CES.Recommendations this week: Arielle recommends getting a Yubikey for all your 2FA needs; Mike recommends the Mui wooden smart home panel (when it ships); Lauren recommends checking out Google Assistant on Sonos, and, if you happen to be a hotel concierge, looking into Google’s new Interpreter Mode.