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Marketplace Tech

American Public Media

Marketplace Tech is a daily radio segment and podcast produced by Marketplace from American Public Media exploring the world of technology and the Internet.

Marketplace Tech is a daily radio segment and podcast produced by Marketplace from American Public Media exploring the world of technology and the Internet.
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Los Angeles, CA


Marketplace Tech is a daily radio segment and podcast produced by Marketplace from American Public Media exploring the world of technology and the Internet.




261 South Figueroa Street #200 Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 621-3500


What else can Big Data do? Pick stocks.

This week, we've been covering how technology has changed investing and will continue to change it. That conversation leads us to artificial intelligence. A Wall Street industry poll earlier this year said a majority of hedge funds are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them make trades. Huge quant funds are even fighting Google and Facebook for engineers to crunch tons of data and build algorithms to predict the next great stock buy. This has all made markets...


Private money rules Silicon Valley, so where does that leave Wall Street?

A few decades ago, a company had to go public in order to attract enough investment to grow significantly. But times have changed. According to The Wall Street Journal, last year $2.4 trillion in private money was raised in the United States compared to $2.1 trillion in public markets. What’s that mean for ordinary investors? Molly Wood puts that question to Nizar Tarhuni, head analyst at research firm PitchBook, and Howard Marks, CEO of StartEngine, a company that allows everyday investors...


The business case for a stock market speed bump

Marketplace Tech is exploring investment technology as part of the Divided Decade project on the financial crisis of 2008. This is the second half of host Molly Wood’s conversation with Brad Katsuyama, whose IEX stock exchange aims to address some of the negative impacts of high-frequency trading by slowing down the system — by a whole 350 millionths of a second. This speed bump caused what Katsuyama calls “one of the biggest controversies” in the stock market’s recent history as IEX sought...


Too much high-frequency trading can rig the market, IEX founder says

Marketplace Tech is spending all week looking at the risks technology can introduce to investing. Today, part one of a look at high-frequency trading. Critics of too much high-frequency trading say it makes markets vulnerable to manipulation, and the algorithms that fuel it can cause abrupt dips and rises in stock prices. Brad Katsuyama is a former big bank trader who's the subject of the 2014 Michael Lewis book "Flash Boys." He started studying high-frequency trading before the 2008...


How a piece of software helped fuel the 2008 financial crash

Here at Marketplace, we're doing a yearlong project on the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis called Divided Decade. At the center of it, of course, were dodgy housing loans that were packaged and resold as seemingly solid investments. They were known as mortgage-backed securities. Here's where the tech comes in: Back in the '90s, a guy named Michael Osinski and his wife, Isabel, wrote software that made it super simple to bundle loans into a security. Osinski retired from Wall...


The EU’s proposed copyright rules could upend the internet economy

New digital copyright laws pushed forward by the European Parliament this week would make platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube share more of their profits with creators, news organizations, musicians and artists. The laws would make them be more aggressive about filtering copyrighted material. But critics, including YouTubers, say the law is so broad that it could lead to widespread censorship and even kill off internet memes. Host Molly Wood talks through the issues with Joanna...


When Hollywood producers need to get the future right, they call a futurist

We are still at least 15 years away from the first human mission to Mars — that’s at the earliest. But that hasn't stopped Hollywood from skipping ahead to the future. Hulu, the online streaming service, is out with a new series Friday called "The First." It's set in the 2030s, and as the name implies, it imagines what that first mission might be like. In addition to getting the astrophysics right, the show producers had to get the future right. And for that they called a futurist. Amy Webb,...


Apple's secret weapon? The semiconductor

Most people are looking at the new iPhones and thinking about the camera performance, the size of the screen, the notch situation. But we nerds here at Marketplace Tech will be thinking about the semiconductor. Many people will probably ignore the part in Apple's new gadgets announcement Wednesday about the A12 processor and what a big difference it's going to make for speed, performance and battery life. But these guts are actually what set Apple apart — and ahead — of other smartphone...


The insurance industry gets a tech makeover. But is it more than skin deep?

Insurance is, as the tech industry likes to say, ripe for disruption. It's old, inefficient, and not consumer-friendly. But can a startup with no experience really be a better option? Lemonade Insurance Company lets you buy renter's or homeowner's insurance through an app. An automated bot named Maya guides you through the process. And when you've got a claim, you take it to Maya, too. It's billed as insurance for millennials and urban dwellers. There are a lot of companies like Lemonade,...


Meet the woman who's making millions from slime videos on YouTube

For lots of popular YouTubers, merchandise is the key to making real money. And 24-year-old Karina Garcia is like the fairy-tale merch story. She was a waitress who dropped out of college and then made her first crafty DIY YouTube video in 2015. Now she's got more than 7 million subscribers, and if your kids are begging you to make slime at home, she's why. Garcia launched the slime phenomenon in 2016 with fun variations like bubble wrap slime and glitter. She told CNBC that her business...


The Equifax data breach was announced a year ago. Is your data safer today?

It's been one year since Equifax announced a giant hack four months after criminals stole the sensitive, personal information of more than 147 million people. And in that year, not a whole lot has changed. No federal data breach notification laws, no big changes to how credit agencies collect information or tell you what they're collecting. Equifax’s stock is almost back up to where it started. One thing that has happened — Equifax has spent $200 million beefing up its security. That was...


Why do you see what you see on your Facebook news feed?

Facebook is still trying to convince lawmakers and the public that it's making its business more transparent. But new research suggests the message isn't getting through. According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans really don’t understand why they see what they see in their news feeds. Molly Wood talks about the poll with Aaron Smith, associate director of research on internet and technologies issues at Pew. (09/06/18)


Companies are spending more time and money on ads that are gone in a day

Ephemeral marketing is a big trend in social media advertising. You may know it as “stories.” Snapchat started the idea with short video or picture updates that disappear after 24 hours. Instagram copied the feature successfully, and this summer announced it had 400 million daily users on Instagram Stories. Over a million brands are creating Instagram Stories, and according to numbers Facebook released back in May, agencies are investing about 8 percent of their digital marketing budgets in...


A new toolkit to help tech companies be more ethical

Facebook, Twitter and Google have been invited to Capitol Hill to testify Wednesday in hearings about possible bias on their platforms. The companies have all been pledging to do better in recent months. But their platforms have been used, in some cases, to undermine democracy, incite violence and spread hate speech, among other ills. Jane McGonigal is a game developer and researcher at the Institute for the Future. That group, partnered with others, just released an online toolkit that they...


What "Demolition Man" got right about the future

Labor Day is the perfect day for the last installment of our summer entertainment series. The movie "Demolition Man" is set in 2032. It portrays a utopian society with no crime or bad thoughts. Sandra Bullock plays a rookie future cop. Wesley Snipes is a supervillain on the loose. And Sylvester Stallone is the old-school violent cop brought out of cryostasis to hunt him down. Its 1993 tech predictions were solid. It had self-driving cars, video conferencing, voice-activated technology and...


Why are tech companies suddenly pushing a federal online privacy law?

Back in June, California passed the strictest online privacy law in the country, set to go into effect in 2020. The law would, among other things, require companies to be more transparent about what data they collect and why, tell people whom they're sharing it with and let consumers delete personal information. The United States has no federal online privacy laws. But some tech companies are so worried about the effects of California's law that they're now asking for nationwide rules. Molly...


What should streaming platforms do when acts of violence are broadcast live?

This week's shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, was broadcast live on Twitch, the streaming platform acquired by Amazon for a billion dollars in 2016. Two people were killed while they were competing in a Madden NFL video game tournament. The shooter later killed himself. Twitch has removed video of the shooting from its site (although it's still available elsewhere online) and announced increased security for its annual TwitchCon gathering in October. Electronic Arts, maker of the Madden...


Facebook finally takes action against hate speech in Myanmar. Is it enough?

Facebook is one of the only sources of news in Myanmar, where the government has engaged in serious human rights abuses against its minority Rohingya population, according to the United Nations. Politicians and activists have been warning Facebook that hate speech and misinformation on its platform have helped spread violence against the Rohingya. In 2014, for example, false messages helped create a riot that killed two people. This week, Facebook did finally ban some people and groups,...


The second-largest smartphone maker in the world doesn't even need the U.S.

It is officially new iPhone season for techies. Apple usually announces its new phones in early September, and rumors about the gadgets are already flying. But earlier this month, the Chinese phone maker Huawei became the second-largest phone manufacturer in the world by market share. Samsung is No. 1. That's a big deal because Apple needs to sell lots of high-end phones in China where Huawei dominates and because Huawei got to No. 2 in the world without even selling phones in America. Most...


One problem with fake news? It really, really works

Fake news is enemy No. 1 right now. Companies and governments are trying to figure out who should be in charge of spotting misinformation and getting rid of it. MIT researcher Sinan Aral has found that the not-true stuff, what he calls “false news,” is not only hard to stop, but also really effective. A study published last spring found that false news travels way more efficiently and much farther than the truth. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Aral said misinformation...