Marketplace Tech-logo

Marketplace Tech

APM: Marketplace

Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.


United States


Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.




As pandemic moratoriums end, an eviction crisis is looming. Can tech tools help?

The last of the pandemic eviction moratoriums are winding down. New York’s ended on Jan. 15, and New Mexico’s is the only state-wide moratorium still in place. Various forms of rental assistance and other tenant protections are still available. Nevertheless, housing advocates say landlords have filed for hundreds of thousands of evictions since March of 2020. And many of those tenants can’t afford a lawyer to advise or defend them. As Stephanie Siek reports, some new tech solutions are...


A “vehicle for antitrust change” picks up steam

The latest effort to reign in Big Tech cleared a procedural step in the Senate last week, moving one step closer to a floor vote. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would prevent big tech firms from giving preference to their own products and services. According to some lawmakers, that unfairly stifles competition. Though the bill has bipartisan support, bipartisan concern over the details means it’s getting hit with requests for changes on questions like privacy and who exactly...


How the pandemic has sped up the automation of some jobs

Even before the pandemic, the economy was seeing a shift to automation as companies looked for cheaper, more efficient ways to build their products or serve more customers. Now, the pandemic has led to staffing shortages in multiple industries and has accelerated the trend, which means in the future you may be more likely to order your food with a QR code, interact with a chatbot instead of a person for customer service or use a self-operating kiosk at a business that may never go back to...


R.I.P., 3G

In order to make room for the expansion into 5G, carriers are shutting down their 3G networks. AT&T plans to discontinue its 3G network by February 22, T-Mobile by July 1st, and Verizon by the end of the year. Commercial 3G networks first started popping up in the early 2000s and were about 30 times faster than their 2G predecessors. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Joanna Stern, senior personal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, who wrote about the coming shutdown.


Microsoft moves further into the gaming market with Activision Blizzard purchase

Microsoft announced plans this week to buy game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard, known for games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, for an all-cash deal worth almost $69 billion. Both companies are big players in the gaming market — Microsoft makes the Xbox — meaning the massive deal is likely to attract scrutiny from antitrust regulators, even as Activision Blizzard continues to face allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with...


The next steps in the 5G rollout

AT&T and Verizon are set to turn on their newest 5G technology Wednesday. Both companies purchased rights to more of the spectrum last year and have been ready to deploy it for months. But those plans have been on hold over concerns the expansion into that bandwidth could interfere with the tech on planes, specifically an aircraft’s altimeter, one of the tools that help planes land safely. To mitigate those concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration released a list of 50 airports that...


The FCC is poised to expand tribal broadband. It’s acutely needed. (rerun)



The government achieves a breakthrough in its case against Meta

A U.S. District Court handed Lina Khan, the head of the Federal Trade Commission, a win this week. The judge gave the go-ahead for the FTC to continue its antitrust suit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, alleging that the company pursued an illegal “buy-or-bury scheme” to root out competitors. The court shot down the agency’s initial complaint in June, after the judge said the FTC failed to sufficiently define the social media market and the company’s share of it. Marketplace’s...


The gaming industry sees major revenue in going mobile

Take-Two Interactive, publisher of big franchise video games like Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K, announced its plans this week to buy Zynga, a mobile game developer known for Words With Friends, and to take you back a bit, “FarmVille.” The deal is reportedly worth $12.7 billion and demonstrates the future of gaming is more than powerful PCs. This is a topic for our “Quality Assurance” series, where we take a second look at a big tech story. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Jay Peters,...


How artificial intelligence could influence hospital triage

The latest surge of COVID infections has hospitals crowded, short-staffed and, in some cases, rationing care. That means sometimes hospital clinicians have to go through a triage process to prioritize who gets care first, or at all. For example, a doctor may decide that a patient suffering respiratory failure should be admitted to the intensive-care unit over someone who seems to have minor injuries from a car accident. But that distinction, especially in a crisis, might not be so clear-cut....


There’s a lot of money in health tech, but what about “femtech?”

Sure, CES had the snazziest new wearables and fitness gear, but the show this year also debuted new advancements in what’s known as “femtech.” This is technology targeted at health issues affecting cisgender women, as well as some intersex and transgender people. It’s an area with historic underinvestment, but that may be changing. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Monique Mrazek, a senior global health tech industry specialist for the International Finance Corp., which is part of the...


Missed CES this year? We’ve got you covered

The Consumer Electronics Show just wrapped in Las Vegas. This year, it was a hybrid conference due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Some attended in-person exhibits and talks, while others tuned in remotely. One of the remote attendees this year was Brian Cooley, an editor at large for CNET. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams checked in with him about what new tech is getting all the buzz, and what it’s like attending the biggest tech show on Earth from home.


Where do right-wing extremists go when mainstream social media bans them?

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, public pressure forced social media companies to increase moderation of misinformation and hate speech. In the process, many users and groups were banned from mainstream sites. So those users, and some of their audience, are moving to alternative social media sites and apps. Jared Holt is a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington D.C. He says these alternative spaces have seen noticeable growth.


The tech legacy of tracking the Jan. 6 insurrectionists

In the weeks after the Jan. 6 insurrection, law enforcement agencies and internet sleuths identified hundreds of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Many were later arrested or faced consequences at their jobs or in their communities. Authorities used a variety of technologies to speed up that process, which was needed because there were millions of images, messages, social media posts and bits of location data to parse. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Anjana Susarla, professor of...


With Elizabeth Holmes convicted of fraud, what does it mean for future biotech startups like Theranos?

This week, a jury found Elizabeth Holmes, who created the defunct diagnostics company Theranos, guilty of defrauding investors. While running the company, she claimed Theranos had proprietary technology that could test someone for a variety of ailments using just a drop of blood. That wasn’t true. So what does the jury’s decision mean for the future of investing in biotech startups? Elizabeth Lopatto is deputy editor at The Verge and covered the trial closely for several months. She said...


What kinds of privacy problems await the metaverse?

One of the tech buzzwords in this new year is metaverse. And even though lots of tech companies are promising we’ll soon have an immersive experience where you can stream your favorite show or host a virtual work meeting, there is still a way to go before we get there. And one of the issues to be sorted out first — hopefully — is how user privacy works in a world build on augmented and virtual reality. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Jessica Lee, a partner at the law firm Loeb &...


2022 could see innovations in everything from biotech to synthetic meat

New technology has shaped so much of the last year, including advancements in biotech and better software helped many of us work and learn from home more efficiently. So what’s ahead for tech in 2022? Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Amy Webb, a futurist and founder of the Future Today Institute. Webb says 2021 gave us a lot of signals about what’s coming next.


Smart cities promised urban tech utopias. So where are they? (rerun)

Early in the pandemic, Sidewalk Labs — an offshoot of Google — announced it was shutting down a big project in Toronto called Quayside. It was meant to be a testing ground for smart-city concepts, a hyperconnected neighborhood from the ground up, with things like an underground network of package-delivery robots. But even before the pandemic, it ran into the same problems that have dogged smart-city projects around the world. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino speaks with Shannon Mattern,...


Let’s talk about gardening technology. Not some fancy gadget for monitoring water or sunlight, but technology that feeds the dirt itself (rerun)

Let’s talk about gardening technology. Not some fancy gadget for monitoring water or sunlight, but technology that feeds the dirt itself. Washington, D.C.’s wastewater-treatment plant is one of the largest high-tech plants in the world. It uses a process akin to pressure cooking to turn what’s flushed down the toilet into fertilizer fit for planters at home. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams takes a tour to learn more about thermal hydrolysis tech. This episode originally aired on July 26,...


Companies joining the metaverse are opening doors to new worlds — and their wallets

Ah, the metaverse — that alternate reality that we’ll soon be able to escape to whenever we want. Tech companies are in a race to make the metaverse in their own images so that they can take our future dollars. Facebook recently announced it was even changing its name to Meta, to reflect its focus on the space. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks with Dean Takahashi, who writes about gaming for VentureBeat. Takahashi said it’s now getting clear just how seriously tech giants have been working to...