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Marketplace Tech

American Public Media

Monday through Friday, Marketplace’s Molly Wood demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. Reporting from Oakland, California, she looks past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

Monday through Friday, Marketplace’s Molly Wood demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. Reporting from Oakland, California, she looks past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Description:

Monday through Friday, Marketplace’s Molly Wood demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. Reporting from Oakland, California, she looks past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

Language:

English

Contact:

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


Episodes

Wearable technology keeps hooking people as COVID lingers

9/22/2021
During the pandemic, especially with gyms shut down or just less appealing, people bought a lot of wearables. Those are smart devices that you wear on your body — in your ear, on your wrist or as a patch, even — that track your activity in some way. Look at sales of smartwatches. They jumped by almost 18% in 2020, according to Gartner. The research firm also forecasts that spending on wearables will grow to more than $81 billion by the end of this year. Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra talked...

Duration:00:07:54

Amid massive rainfall and deadly flooding, how does tech help identify risk?

9/21/2021
World leaders are gathering for meetings this week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Among the topics they’ll discuss is the ravages of climate change. This year, climate damage across the U.S. included devastating flooding, and while some people know they face flood risk, many do not. That’s largely because the official federal flood maps are often outdated and may not account for the effects of increasingly powerful storms. We wanted to know how technology is advancing...

Duration:00:09:11

Patent applications reveal how tech companies may further threaten privacy for people in prison

9/20/2021
For those in prison, privacy is already hard to come by. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is looking at patent applications from some companies that provide communication services to prisons. Some of the applications they’ve seen include ideas to incorporate ads on tablets that would be given to incarcerated people and plans for systems that would identify and disable drones suspected of bringing in contraband. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Beryl Lipton, an investigative...

Duration:00:08:22

Now we know some of what Facebook knows about how it’s hurting us

9/17/2021
Facebook knows a lot about how it affects its users, because it’s investigated possible negative impacts. For instance, internal research showed that one of its algorithms actually encourages angrier content. Or that Instagram, which it owns, makes body image issues worse for teen girls. And even though it knows all this, it doesn’t share the information, either with Congress or its own oversight board. That’s the finding of an investigation out this week from The Wall Street Journal, called...

Duration:00:09:49

There’s still a lot to learn about buying now and paying later

9/16/2021
There’s been a surge in the buy now, pay later space, which is exactly what it sounds like: Get something you maybe can’t quite afford and pay it off in installments. You might not even need to have your credit checked. By some counts, more than half of Americans have used it. There are concerns that this new method of payment could be confusing us about what we want versus what we need. And now Affirm, a leader in this space, is partnering with Amazon. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Max...

Duration:00:09:45

Facebook is taking a run at the whole cameras-in-glasses thing

9/15/2021
You’d look so good in these Ray-Bans, and you could capture the envious stares of people who can’t believe how good you’d look. Because these glasses are built through a partnership with Facebook. They allow you to take photos and share video via cameras in the frame. It’s the latest attempt by Silicon Valley to reap bundles of money by using tech to make glasses more than glasses. Google and Snap have also attempted it. We here at “Marketplace Tech” are a camera-shy group, and the prospect...

Duration:00:05:58

Big Tech is finally seeing the dollar signs seniors represent

9/14/2021
Apple’s streaming event from California happens today and many expect there’ll be an announcement of a new iPhone model. Speculation always abounds, because Apple is notoriously tight-lipped with these events. One thing that they have announced is a new feature in iOS that pays attention to how we walk, or our gait. The idea is that it’ll be able to tell if something’s changed about a senior citizen’s gait and that could give early warning of a fall. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Dominic...

Duration:00:12:24

Looking for worms in Apple leaves a bad taste in ethical hackers’ mouths

9/13/2021
Bug bounties. They’re an important security tool in the arsenal of many tech companies. Here’s how they work. Give ethical hackers the chance to probe your systems for weaknesses, pay them for exploits they find and fix said exploits before ne’er-do-wells find and use them. Bounty programs vary from company to company. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Reed Albergotti, a tech reporter for The Washington Post who wrote about widespread dissatisfaction with how Apple pays its bounties and the...

Duration:00:12:21

Storms are getting stronger. So how do we adapt?

9/10/2021
Friday marks the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which has already been a very active and destructive one. Marketplace’s Jed Kim continues his discussion with Paul Robinson about how tech can help us cope with flooding. Robinson’s executive director of RISE Resilience Innovations, a nonprofit tech accelerator in Norfolk, Virginia. It supports a wide range of startups that are focused on climate resilience. Some aim to train up a workforce that’s ready to do flood-resistant...

Duration:00:10:14

Flooding is getting worse. Can tech help us deal with it?

9/9/2021
Water infrastructure — it’s boring. Invisible. We only care about it when things go wrong, and things have been going wrong. Punishing storms have caused catastrophic flooding in New York, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere. But water systems are expensive, time consuming and hard to fix. Technology may provide some relief. Marketplace’s Jed Kim talks to Paul Robinson, the executive director of RISE, a nonprofit accelerator in Norfolk, Virginia, that helps develop climate tech. Robinson says one...

Duration:00:08:55

The business of editing genes to battle disease is bringing in record funding

9/8/2021
When you’re sick, you can get treated with medicine or surgery. There’s a growing field, though, that looks at our own cells as treatment delivery systems. Many see it as the future of medicine, and that’s prompting a lot of investment in the field. This year, the industry is on track to raise more than $20 billion dollars, a record. That’s according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, an advocacy group whose members include universities, foundations and major biopharma companies like...

Duration:00:08:16

El Salvador becomes the first to make bitcoin a national currency

9/7/2021
Starting today, bitcoin is an official national currency in El Salvador, along with U.S. dollars. To use the cryptocurrency, Salvadorans need to download an electronic wallet. If they use the government-sanctioned wallet, they’ll get $30 worth of bitcoin to use. Stores have to accept bitcoin, provided they have internet access and can do so. They’ll still take American dollars. In the past six months, the value of a bitcoin has fluctuated by as much as $30,000, so how it’ll go is anyone’s...

Duration:00:10:06

The right to repair broken tech is key to farmers

9/6/2021
This episode originally aired July 19, 2021. The Federal Trade Commission is turning its attention to the right-to-repair movement — a pushback against manufacturers limiting who can repair the equipment they make. The agency put out a report on this in May that found “the burden of repair restrictions may fall more heavily on communities of color and lower-income communities.” One group watching this debate is farmers, as some companies that make farm equipment only allow repairs at their...

Duration:00:04:23

Apple and Google’s app stores have been fortresses of commerce. South Korea fired a cannonball.

9/3/2021
When buying apps or making in-app purchases, you’re pretty much limited to either Apple or Google’s systems, and those companies are paid a commission of up to 30% on your purchase. South Korea this week passed a law that will force them to allow alternative payment systems — ending commissions when developers sell things directly. It comes as Apple and Google are under pressure from antitrust regulators around the world. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Nick Statt, a reporter at Protocol,...

Duration:00:11:09

Covid tested our ability to teach during a crisis. As a new school year begins, how are we doing?

9/2/2021
Schools across the country are opening their doors to students again. Many have remote options for those who need it. But a handful of states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, have largely banned remote learning, saying it’s just not effective enough. But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, more kids may need to quarantine at home — and without remote options, they could miss weeks of school. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Michael Horn, the founder of the think tank Clayton...

Duration:00:12:40

OnlyFans put many of its users through an emotional wringer. Sex workers are getting fed up.

9/1/2021
Sex workers are planning to demonstrate outside of several major banks in New York City on Wednesday. They say Bank of New York Mellon and others are discriminating against them by refusing to process payments for companies like OnlyFans. That is the social media subscription site made popular by sex workers that recently said it was going to ban adult content, then backed off amid criticism. Jed Kim speaks with his Marketplace colleague Kimberly Adams, who has been reporting on the topic....

Duration:00:06:04

The mission to get girls coding doesn’t take a COVID break

8/31/2021
The gender gap in tech starts pretty early. Look at computer science students: Roughly 4 out of 5 bachelor’s degrees in that field go to men. That’s why the nonprofit Girls Who Code aims to get girls interested at a young age — as early as third grade. Since the organization was founded in 2012, hundreds of thousands of girls have gone through its clubs and summer immersion programs. When COVID-19 canceled in-person classes, they moved totally online. That actually allowed Girls Who Code to...

Duration:00:06:13

A kid’s dream come true — video games as medicine!

8/30/2021
It’s the age-old mantra of parents who won’t let their kids have gaming consoles — too many video games hurt your brain! But last summer, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever prescription video game. It’s called EndeavorRX, and it’s meant to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in kids age 8 to 12. It’s not a standalone treatment — it’ll be prescribed along with other, more traditional medication. Without insurance, it costs about $100 a month. A year...

Duration:00:12:27

The legacy of the Theranos debacle weighs especially heavy on women in biotech

8/27/2021
The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO and founder of the blood test company Theranos, is set to begin next week. Holmes is charged with wire fraud, having allegedly defrauded investors about the accuracy of Theranos’ technology. She’s pleaded not guilty. Many other women founders — especially in biotech and health care — have been getting compared to Holmes. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Erin Griffith, a reporter who covers startups and venture capital for The New York Times....

Duration:00:09:12

Admit it, you rank your friends by how much they annoy you. Now, Google’s doing it for websites.

8/26/2021
What drives you nuts about surfing online? Maybe it’s news sites that autoplay videos or cooking pages that bury their actual recipes below expanding ads. Or maybe it’s your dad, who keeps sending you links to Hampster Dance. Well, for some of the things that make you pull your hair out while browsing, there may be hope. By the end of the month, Google will change how it ranks websites, so that ones that are harder to load are ranked lower. Will that make websites less annoying?...

Duration:00:09:02