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Business & Economics Podcasts

Get in-depth coverage of business news and trends at WIRED including technology, startups, and Silicon Valley. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com

Get in-depth coverage of business news and trends at WIRED including technology, startups, and Silicon Valley. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com


United States


Get in-depth coverage of business news and trends at WIRED including technology, startups, and Silicon Valley. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com




Judge Rules That T-Mobile Can Acquire Sprint

You’ll likely have one less choice for mobile service soon. Last year, nine states and the District of Columbia filed suit to block T-Mobile's $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint. Tuesday, a federal judge ruled against the states, allowing the merger to move forward. The deal still needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, but it's not clear if the commission can actually block the deal.


Europe Limits Government by Algorithm. The US, Not So Much

One evening last June, residents from the Hillesluis and Bloemhof neighborhoods on the south side of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, crowded into a community room at their local playground. Many wore headscarves and some arrived after a protest march from a local mosque. The residents had assembled to learn more about a government system called SyRI that had quietly flagged thousands of people in their low-income communities to investigators as more likely to commit benefits fraud.


The UK Exited the EU—and Is Leaving a 'Meme Ban' Behind

Article 13—a controversial piece of copyright legislation that is now called Article 17 but is more colloquially known as "the meme ban"—is no more, in the UK at least. Last week, the country's minister for universities and science, Chris Skidmore, confirmed that the UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive after leaving the EU. Wired UK This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. The directive limits how copyrighted content is shared on online platforms.


How AI Is Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak

With the coronavirus growing more deadly in China, artificial intelligence researchers are applying machine-learning techniques to social media, web, and other data for subtle signs that the disease may be spreading elsewhere. The new virus emerged in Wuhan, China, in December, triggering a global health emergency. It remains uncertain how deadly or contagious the virus is, and how widely it might have already spread. Infections and deaths continue to rise.


Who Should Control the Internet's .Org Addresses?

For decades, .org domain names have been the home for nonprofit organizations on the internet. Groups including the Red Cross, the Sierra Club, and the Heritage Foundation use them, as do many smaller, less well-known organizations. Now, the nonprofit organization in charge of .org domains could be sold to a for-profit company in a $1.1 billion deal that’s attracted protesters and the attention of California’s attorney general. The organization managing .


Jeff Weiner Updates His LinkedIn Profile

The last three and a half years haven’t been so great for social media platforms. They’ve been accused of fomenting genocide, breaking Western democracies, and abetting mass shooters. The CEOs have sweated in front of Congress, meditated deep in the forests, and deleted the very apps that made them billionaires. Amid this drama, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, has been like a man whistling as he bikes safely beside the century’s craziest car crash.


In the Land of Big Tech Outposts, a Push for More Housing

John Elberling likes to play the long game. In 1986, when he was 40, he pushed for a ballot measure to cap office development in San Francisco, to protect the city’s character from rogue developers. The voters approved it, but it didn’t matter much, because it turned out the city didn’t need so many big offices. That is, until now. Three decades later, San Francisco is finally feeling the cap’s intended pinch—thanks to a recent influx of tech.


When ‘Ghost Kitchens’ Become Mystery Grubhub Listings

Happy Khao Thai has an address on San Francisco’s Mission Street, but don’t go there looking for a storefront. A sign on the sidewalk reading “Food pick up here” points, improbably, through the maw of a demolished theater, of which all that’s left is the marquee. Behind it, in what would have been the lobby, is a parking lot, and way in the rear—backstage, perhaps—are a pair of portable toilets and a trailer.


Alphabet Has a Second, Secretive Quantum Computing Team

In October, Google celebrated a breakthrough that CEO Sundar Pichai likened to the Wright brothers’ first flight. Company researchers in Santa Barbara, California, 300 miles from the Googleplex, had achieved quantum supremacy—the moment that a quantum computer performs a calculation impossible for any conventional computer.


Oh Sure, Big Tech Wants Regulation—on Its Own Terms

Last week, a global gaggle of billionaires, academics, thought leaders, and other power brokers gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s signature annual event. Climate change! The global economy! Health! The agenda was packed with discussion of the most pressing issues of our time. True to form, much of the musing ventured away from root causes.


AI License Plate Readers Are Cheaper—So Drive Carefully

The town of Rotterdam, New York, has only 45 police officers, but technology extends their reach. Each day a department computer logs the license plates of around 10,000 vehicles moving through and around town, using software plugged into a network of cameras at major intersections and commercial areas. “Let’s say for instance you had a bank robbed,” says Jeffrey Collins, a lieutenant who supervises the department’s uniform division.


AI Can Do Great Things—If It Doesn't Burn the Planet

Last month, researchers at OpenAI in San Francisco revealed an algorithm capable of learning, through trial and error, how to manipulate the pieces of a Rubik's Cube using a robotic hand. It was a remarkable research feat, but it required more than 1,000 desktop computers plus a dozen machines running specialized graphics chips crunching intensive calculations for several months. The effort may have consumed about 2.


How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids in the Digital Age

This story is part of a series on parenting—from surveilling our teens to helping our kids navigate fake news and misinformation. What does it mean for a kid to be media literate? It sounds generally positive and important, like a good dental checkup or a flawless report card. The field is broad and definitions vary, but the main thrust of literacy education is to prepare our children to be adept at accessing, creating, and thinking critically about all types of media.


The UN Warns Against the Global Threat to Election Integrity

A new United Nations-sponsored report offers one of the most comprehensive overviews of the challenges to global electoral integrity posed by the onslaught of misinformation, online extremism, and social media manipulation campaigns, and calls for a series of reforms from platforms, politicians, and international governing bodies.


PopSockets Asks Congress to Rein in Big Tech

David Barnett, a former philosophy professor and the founder and CEO of PopSockets, says his interactions with Amazon have often amounted to “bullying with a smile.” Like many companies, PopSockets, which makes a popular plastic grip that can be attached to smartphones, discovered several years ago counterfeit versions of its products available for sale on Amazon.


Microsoft Looms Over the Privacy Debate in Its Home State

Two Microsoft employees sat opposite one another in a Washington State Senate hearing room last Wednesday. Ryan Harkins, the company’s senior director of public policy, spoke in support of a proposed law that would regulate government use of facial recognition. “We would applaud the committee and all of the bill sponsors for all of their work to tackle this important issue,” he said.


Now Stores Must Tell You How They're Tracking Your Every Move

To anyone with eyes in their kneecaps, the notice outside gadget retailer B8ta’s glossy store next to San Francisco’s new NBA arena is obvious. “We care about your privacy,” the small plaque proclaims, offering a web address and QR code.


Worried About Privacy at Home? There's an AI for That

Alexa, are you eavesdropping on me? I passive-aggressively ask my Amazon Echo this question every so often. Because as useful as AI has become, it's also very creepy. It's usually cloud-based, so it's often sending snippets of audio—or pictures from devices like “smart” doorbells—out to the internet. And this, of course, produces privacy nightmares, as when Amazon or Google subcontractors sit around listening to our audio snippets or hackers remotely spy on our kids.


Can a Digital Avatar Fire You?

You walk into the office and greet a digital avatar that replaced the company receptionist a few years ago. After sliding your badge into a reader, you smile and nod, even though you know “Amy” is not a real person. You sit down at your cubicle and start browsing the web. Then the trouble starts. You receive an email requesting a meeting. “Bob” wants to chat about your job performance. You fire up a Zoom chat and another digital avatar appears on the screen.


Senators Propose $1B to Outpace Huawei in 5G. That's Small Change

A bipartisan group of senators Tuesday introduced a bill designed to give Chinese telecom giant Huawei more competition in the market for 5G equipment by pumping more than $1 billion into 5G-related research and development. While the funds could be a boon for smaller companies, it’s paltry compared with what the telecommunications and wireless industries already spend on R&D.