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Preview: APM: Future Tense

Marketplace Tech with Ben Brock Johnson

Marketplace Tech®, hosted by Ben Brock Johnson, tackles the business behind the technology that's obsessing us and changing our lives. With the listener in mind, this weekday segment examines everything from video games and robots to consumer protection

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Public Media

6/27/17: Profile picture thieves

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:12:07 -0500

Profile hackers are stealing the photos and other profile information from a high rate of female Facebook users in India. To combat this issue, Facebook has built a tool that makes it harder to download or screenshot a person's profile picture. We talk to Ankita Rao from Motherboard who has been following this story. Plus: A check-in on rideshare drivers. After a lot of drama at Uber in the past couple of weeks and changes to the company's tipping policy, we ask how drivers are feeling right now. 

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S02-7: Technology Crossing Borders

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 18:57:12 -0600

The gadget that saved a refugee in the middle of the Aegean Sea, how an agent uses technology to patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, and how a journalist in exile broadcasts the news with WhatsApp. Listen, decode, and decide: Can technology crossing borders save us?

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S02-6: Encryption

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 00:01:00 -0600

How encryption hides all around us, how it was used in 18th century Paris to separate merchants from their money and the difference between your brain and your fingertip. Listen, decode, and decide: Can encryption save us? Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

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S02-5: World Building

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:01 -0600

A proposal to bioengineer shorter humans with cat eyes, a decades-old idea for a totally new kind of power, a battery made from trash and Bill Nye the Science Guy tries to get us in gear. Listen, decode, and decide: Can world-building save us? Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

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S02-4: Watching

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:30:08 -0600

A small city known for its Amish population and surveillance cameras, an old lady in Northern Ireland who watches video feeds in Brazil and getting footage from the fin of a shark. Listen, decode, and decide: Can watching save us? Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

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S02-3: The Augmented Self

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 01:09:37 -0600

The man who collected too much data, cyborgs who want to make their body-hardware mainstream, robots that rebuild your hairline and a conversation with Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge aka LeVar Burton. Listen, decode, and decide: Can the augmented self save us? Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

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S02-2: Alternate Reality

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0600

A therapist who creates virtual reality experiences for people with dangerous disorders, a grandmother who uses a headset to escape her surroundings and Ernest Cline on virtual reality in fact and fiction. Listen, decode, and decide: Can alternate realities save us? Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

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S02-1: Recognition

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0600

A toddler who saved her mother's life with Siri, a man whose mysterious ailment opened up a world of voice recognition technology and a dating service that wants to scan the faces of all your exes. Listen, decode, and decide: Can recognition software save us?Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

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06/26/2017: How Atari changed personal computing

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:32:02 -0500

Atari was born 45 years ago this week. Michael Z. Newman, the author of "Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America," says the gaming company didn't just change video game history, it changed the way people thought of personal computing. Plus: we learn about how one company, BioCatch, is using biometrics to detect fraud. CEO Eyal Goldwerger says the company can use your online behavior to identify you, adding a layer of security. It tracks your physical attributes, including how fast you scroll on a page or how you hold you phone, to build your profile.

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06/23/2017: Where does Trump stand with the tech world?

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:10:57 -0500

The Trump White House is wrapping up its tech week. Over the past several days, the administration discussed everything from emerging technology (like 5G networks) to ways it could modernize the government's workforce. Recode senior editor Tony Romm joined us to give his thoughts on whether the administration "gets" where tech is and knows how to move forward, and talked about a clash that went on between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Trump. Plus: To cap off the week, we're playing Silicon Valley with Nadia Boujarwah, co-founder of Dia&Co., a clothing delivery site for sizes 14 and up. 

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06/22/2017: The rise of cryptocurrencies

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:11:31 -0500

Uber is looking to the future after investors pushed CEO Travis Kalanick to resign. But with old lawsuits still trailing the company, we'll discuss whether Uber can truly move forward and if an IPO is in its near future. Afterwards, we'll look at Tesla's scramble to keep up in the self-driving car race, and then talk about the surge in cryptocurrency prices over the last few months.

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06/21/2017: Crowdsourcing our brains

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:33:32 -0500

President Trump has called for a "sweeping transformation of the federal government's technology," but is that achievable? Matt Cutts of the U.S. Digital Service — which works on modernizing tech, one crisis at a time — joined us to talk about what his team does and whether progress is possible. Afterwards, we'll look at Amazon's latest attempt at world domination: the launch of a clothes shopping service that will let you order clothes and return them for free if you don't like them. And finally, we'll chat with Louis Rosenberg, CEO of Unanimous AI, about "swarm intelligence," which groups people together so that they can come up with the best solutions possible.

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06/20/2017: An industry where automation might be a positive

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 04:02:30 -0500

When we talk about automating jobs, we often think it's bad for workers. But in the garment industry, which can be known for tough hours and dangerous conditions, could it actually be a good thing if robots took over millions of jobs? Motherboard's Ankita Rao joined us to talk about this tension, along with companies that are developing machinery in this space. Afterwards, we'll chat with the chief marketing officer of GrubHub about whether the food-delivery space is becoming a little too crowded. 

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06/19/2017: Planning a chance encounter

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:33:27 -0500

Perhaps you've seen pics of Apple's new campus in Cupertino. It's futuristic, elegant and reportedly costs about $5 billion. Lord Norman Foster, one of the lead architects on the project, shared with us how the design came to be and how architecture can be "a force for good." Afterwards, we'll look at the link between workplace design and productivity. Ben Waber, CEO of Humanyze, explains why so many companies rely on big, open workspaces, and what he thinks a next-generation tech office space should look like. 

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06/16/2017: A gathering between Trump and the tech world

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0500

The White House and Silicon Valley are meeting up to try to make the federal government run better — whether or not each really wants to work together. On Monday, the newly created American Technology Council will gather for the first time to try to change up how the government uses digital services. Tony Romm, a senior editor at Recode, joined us to talk about the major tech CEOs who might show up, along with key tech issues the White House has its eye on. Afterwards, we'll play this week's Silicon Tally with Justin Haywald, the managing editor of Gamespot, and then look at the Grammys' plans to allow online voting. 

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06/15/2017: Facebook dips its toes in charitable crowdfunding

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0500

Whenever there's a disaster, someone usually launches a relief effort online. Well, those in the U.S. will soon be able to do that using Facebook now that the social media giant is launching a fundraising tool tied to its "Safety Check" feature. On today's show, we'll talk about what this means for the charity landscape and whether crowdfunding is getting too crowded. Afterwards, we'll discuss HP's move into 3-D printing and how the process could affect the manufacturing industry. And finally, with questions swirling about malicious interference in recent U.S. elections, we'll look at vulnerabilities in Georgia's voting machines. 

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06/14/2017: Uber gets a manual on how to build a better culture

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0500

Uber has released an external report on its workplace, an environment that some have called abusive. We'll recap the changes that the report proposes, which include the recommendation that HR keep track of complaints and employee data. Afterwards, we'll chat with Buzzfeed's Katie Notopoulos about how transparent celebrities have to be about ads on their Instagram accounts. And finally, we'll talk with Mozilla's chief marketing officer, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, about the role of ethics and corporate responsibility in the business world.  

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06/13/2017: Uber's board vs. Travis Kalanick

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:03:21 -0500

Uber's board has now seen a report on the company's internal culture and is considering changes. Except ... it doesn't have a whole lot of power. In many Silicon Valley companies, the power actually lies with the founder. Noam Wasserman, author of "The Founder's Dilemma," joined us to discuss whether these founder-centric structures are becoming trendier, and why some founders are able to gain so much control. Afterwards, as part of the launch of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, we'll look at the rise of professional virtual reality sports.  

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06/12/2017: Seattle's powerful tech scene

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0500

Myomo, a medical robotics company, is going public on the New York Stock Exchange. That's not exactly unusual, but it's the first company to do so on a national securities exchange using a provision that'll let companies advertise the stock directly to investors. Mark Elenowitz, head of TriPoint Global Equities, stopped by to explain why this is significant and why other companies haven't done this before. Afterwards, we'll take a look at Seattle's growing tech scene, including its funding environment and what makes it different from Silicon Valley.

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06/09/2017: A competitor for the Android and iPhone?

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 05:13:17 -0500

There's a new phone coming out that's been created by a familiar face. Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, is launching what's called Essential Phone. He joined us to talk about his target market and the challenge's he's faced trying to introduce a new product to the market. Afterwards, we'll cap off the week by playing Silicon Tally with Alex Fitzpatrick, lifestyle editor at Time Magazine. 

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06/08/2017: Helping veterans find jobs in tech

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0500

Google and Apple are implementing new tools in their browsers that would block certain ads, like videos that automatically play with the sound on. On today's show, we'll chat about the move with analyst Brian Wieser, who argues this could make advertisers develop ads that are lot more friendly for users. Afterwards, we'll hear from Ardine Williams, a VP of talent acquisition for Amazon Web Services, about the difficulties veterans face when trying to find a job and Amazon's efforts to help them. 

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06/07/2017: Uber's effort to change its company culture

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 04:34:58 -0500

Uber has recently fired 20 employees amid complaints about the company's culture. There is at least one new hire though: Francis Frei, who's set to be senior vice president of leadership and strategy. Frei joined us to talk about why she came on board and the changes she wants to make. Afterwards, we'll discuss the possibility of increased internet regulation in the U.K. following recent terrorist attacks. The BBC's Rory Cellan explains what these restrictions might look like. 

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06/06/2017: What role does technology play in enabling terrorism?

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 05:25:24 -0500

Following the recent terrorist attacks in London, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has argued that the internet provides terrorism with "the safe space it needs to breed." Elad Yoran, executive chairman of the communications company KoolSpan, joined us to share why he disagrees with May, and whether law enforcement and the tech community can find middle ground on the issue. Afterwards, we'll look at key highlights from Apple's World Wide Developers Conference.   

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06/05/2017: Why the iPhone is like a 'black hole' for Apple

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:09:23 -0500

Apple's World Wide Developers Conference kicks off today, where the company will show off what it's been working on. But it's been a while since Apple's had a huge hit on its hands. Potentially one major reason? The iPhone. Marketplace's Molly Wood is here to talk about why the popular device could be hindering innovation at the company, and whether the tech giant has anything promising coming out. Afterwards, we'll look at the possibility of a laptop ban on flights from Europe to the U.S. — which poses a security risk itself for those who have to part with their devices. And finally, we'll discuss Major League Baseball's partnership with Intel to live-stream games in virtual reality.

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06/02/2017: The cusp of an energy revolution

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0500

Touting his commitment to the American worker, President Trump officially announced he's going to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement — a global pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But a lot of companies out there have created jobs by investing in renewable energy. One of 'em is the startup Totem, which wants to create a hub for solar energy, Wi-Fi, and electric vehicle charging all in one. CEO Brian Lakamp stopped by to give his thoughts on Trump's decision; how cities are trying to take the issue in their own hands; and why he has confidence in renewables. Plus: We'll cap off the week by playing Silicon Tally with Dan Ackerman, a senior editor at CNET and author of "The Tetris Effect."

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06/01/2017: One engineer is letting strangers bet on the stock market with his $50,000

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 05:28:05 -0500

Yet another malware attack has struck — this time involving Android devices and games downloaded from the Google Play store. The infected apps feature a character called Judy, who could be on more than 36 million phones. We'll talk about the different types of malware that exist out there, how exactly the creators of malware profit, and how you can protect your own devices. Afterwards, we'll check out Waze's plan to launch a California carpooling service that'll connect commuters with drivers headed in the same direction. And finally, we'll look at one engineer's $50,000 experiment on the gaming platform Twitch, which involves letting viewers decide to buy or sell stock using his savings. 

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05/31/2017: The fine line between copying and innovating

Wed, 31 May 2017 05:18:03 -0500

When Instagram launched "Stories" last year — a feature very similar to Snapchat's main function — the term "copycat" got thrown around quite a lot. But is the criticism fair? What's the difference between copying and just building on something? On today's show, we'll explore the distinction between the two. We'll also look at Facebook's plan to add scripted shows to its platform, and then talk about Amazon's decision to refund $70 million for unauthorized in-app purchases made by kids. 

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05/30/2017: Are tools like autocorrect making us worse at spelling?

Tue, 30 May 2017 05:00:00 -0500

The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee kicks off this week, where kids as young as 6 will spell words some us didn't even know were in the English language — and all without autocorrect. In our daily lives, the rest of us rely on tools like these when we communicate with others. But what effect does this have on our writing capabilities? Michelle Drouin, a professor at Purdue University, stopped by to share research on the issue. Plus: a conversation with Matthew Gough, the founder and CEO of the educational startup Echovate, about what makes Charleston, South Carolina a good location for startups. 

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05/29/2017: Do you want your robots to be perfect or a bit more human?

Mon, 29 May 2017 05:45:11 -0500

Campaign money used to be spent on things like outdoor posters and television advertisements. Now much of that is going to Facebook. On today's show, we'll discuss how big of a role the social media giant is playing in U.K. elections, specifically, and lessons that the country is learning from the Trump campaign. Afterwards, we'll take a look at the mechanics behind the cloud content management company Box, and then talk about the latest addition to the hotel  industry: robots.

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05/26/2017: Don't panic about a robot takeover just yet

Fri, 26 May 2017 06:02:36 -0500

You've heard it before: the robots are coming and they're going to steal our jobs. But, wait a second — the Economic Policy Institute has crunched the data and is now arguing that the effects of automation are a little overstated. One of the authors of the report, Lawrence Mishel, joined us to break down why and what he thinks workers should actually be worrying about. Then to cap off the week, we'll play Silicon Tally with Rachel Metz, an editor at the MIT Technology Review. 

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