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Technology coverage from across the Slate Podcast network

Technology coverage from across the Slate Podcast network


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Technology coverage from across the Slate Podcast network




What Next TBD: Did @jack Ruin Twitter?

On Monday, Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter. It’s not the first time he’s left the job. Is this really the end for the man who guided Twitter through the Trump era? And how will the platform change without him at the helm? Guest: Nick Bilton, special correspondent at Vanity Fair Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: Best of 2021 | Inside the Subreddit That Blew Up GameStop

This episode originally aired in January 2021 The story of how GameStop went from the verge of a bankruptcy to a $15 billion market value isn’t an easy one to wrap your head around. But it helps to go back to the beginning; almost three years ago, in a subreddit called r/wallstreetbets. Guests: Brandon Kochkodin, reporter at Bloomberg Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: Space Junk! (And Space Wars?)

Over the weekend, Russia tested a new weapon​​—a type of missile that can fly into space and destroy a satellite in orbit. The test created thousands of pieces of debris, which will hurtle around the Earth’s orbit for years to come. What’s the real risk of the rapid increase in space junk? And is there anything to be done about it? Guest: Laura Grego, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MIT Host: Seth Stevenson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: The Kid-Vaccine Holdouts

A recent poll showed that about a third of parents of younger children would get their kids vaccinated, a third would not, and the final third said they wanted to wait and see how the vaccines worked. Public health officials are asking: what will it take to convince that third group that now is the time to vaccinate? Guests: Julie Hamill Dr. Aaron Carroll, pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices....


What Next TBD: How Schools Surveil Your Kids

In schools across the country, tighter digital controls were put in place to keep kids on task during the pandemic. Are they here to stay? Guests: Priya Anand, reporter at Bloomberg Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: Why Are Bots Buying Sneakers?

The bots aren’t just buying cool sneakers. They’re buying concert tickets. Tickets to basketball games and Broadway shows. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were buying hand sanitizer and face masks. And later, they were booking vaccine reservation spots. Why are bots taking over certain markets? And is there anything we can do to slow them down? Guests: Derreck Johnson, designer at Slate Eric Budish, economics professor at the University of Chicago Host: Seth Stevenson Learn more about...


What Next TBD: Honey, I Sold the House to Zillow

Between April and June of this year, Zillow bought nearly 4,000 homes. And they had no intention of holding onto them. The plan was to flip houses, often and at scale, joining the ranks of companies like Opendoor and Offerpad, also known as iBuyers. So, why did Zillow put their plans on pause last weekend? Can online middlemen really change the way we buy and sell houses? Guests: Tony Santos, homeowner Patrick Clark, reporter at Bloomberg Host: Henry Grabar Learn more about your ad choices....


What Next TBD: The Return of Hacktivism

Over the last month, the domain company Epik and the streaming service Twitch have fallen prey to massive-scale hacks. The hackers revealed not just email addresses, but detailed personal information too. For Twitch, it was the entire source code for their site. But the attackers aren’t holding this data for ransom. In fact, they don’t seem to want much of anything. What’s motivating this new wave of activist hacks? And who suffers? Guest: Drew Harwell, tech reporter at the Washington Post...


What Next TBD: Will the Facebook Whistleblower Make a Difference?

The last month has seen a steady drip of leaked documents from inside Facebook, each seemingly more damning than the next. This week, the whistleblower behind the leaks revealed her identity. What motivates Frances Haugen? And can she do real damage to the social media giant? Guest: Jeff Horwitz, tech reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: What Instagram Does to Teens

Since 2018, internal research teams at Facebook have been studying the effect on Instagram on mental health. Their results couldn’t be more clear: Instagram is causing problems, especially for teen girls. Why has it taken so long for their research to surface? And what can be done to improve the relationship between kids and the platform? Guest: Georgia Wells, tech reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: Are We Getting COVID Testing All Wrong?

In the U.S., the PCR test is the gold standard for COVID testing. Common knowledge would have it that the test is more accurate—and therefore more effective at containing the spread of the dease—than the rapid antigen test. What if that isn’t quite true? Guest: Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next TBD: China vs. Video Games

Recently, China restricted video game playing to just three hours a week for its young people: 8pm to 9pm, Friday through Sunday. And that’s not the only change. Over the last few months, private tutors, diehard celebrity fans, and tech giants have all faced fresh restrictions from Beijing. What’s behind this new wave of crackdowns? Guest: Brenda Goh, technology correspondent for Reuters Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Next: TBD: Will Booster Shots Make a Difference?

Hey Secret History fans! We thought you might like this episode of What Next: TBD. What Next is Slate’s daily news show. And every Friday, What Next: TBD turns the news of the present into a glimpse of what tomorrow holds. From fake news to fake meat, augmented reality to MRNA, in each episode host Lizzie O'Leary talks to an expert about the technology that’s reshaping our world. In this episode: The Biden administration says a third dose of vaccines for all American adults will end the...


Introducing: Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism

Hey Secret History listeners! We'd like to introduce a new show from Slate, Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism. Each episode dives into the history of a brand that shapes the way we live and work. This first episode is about The Carnival Corporation, the biggest cruise company in the world. Carnival made headlines at the start of the covid-19 crisis when its ships harbored some of the world’s first coronavirus outbreaks. But it turns out the cruise industry is no stranger to disaster--on...


Introducing Cautionary Tales

Hello, Secret History fans! Here's an episode of another show we think you might like: Cautionary Tales from Pushkin Industries. Learning from our mistakes can be hard. Learning from other people’s mistakes...well, that’s a lot more fun. In Cautionary Tales, from Pushkin Industries, economist and journalist Tim Harford retells true stories of unexpected outcomes, from the development of tanks in modern warfare to the accidental crowning of La La Land at the 2017 Oscars. Some of these tales...


Introducing What Next: TBD

Hey Secret History of the Future fans! We're excited to introduce you to another show we think you'll like. It's called What Next: TBD, and it's a weekly show about tech, power, and the future. Secret History's very own Seth Stevenson guest hosted this episode. Check it out, and then subscribe here: or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


S2E10: New Media, Old Story

Radio was originally a social medium, as early radio sets (each of which could transmit as well as receive) turned cities into giant chatrooms, populated by Morse Code-tapping enthusiasts. But the excitement of this democratic, digital platform did not last, and radio was tamed by corporate interests in the 1920s. The utopian dream of platforms that are open and meritocratic has been reborn in the internet era in the form of blogging, and more recently podcasting. But can it ever come true?...


S2E9: A Brief History Of Timekeeping

The first mechanical clocks were made to summon monks to prayer. Ever since, timekeeping technology has often been about control and obligation. But underneath a mountain in Texas, a new kind of clock is being built that’s meant to alter the way we think about time. Can it force us to connect our distant past with our distant future, tick by tick? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


S2E8: Salvation In The Air

At the dawn of the 20th century, chemists dreamed of extracting nitrogen from the air and turning it into a limitless supply of fertiliser. Sceptics thought they were crazy -- it was possible in theory, but it was unclear if it could be done in practice. What happened next changed the course of 20th-century history, and provides inspiration to innovators pursuing a different dream today: sucking carbon dioxide out of the air to avert climate change. Might they not be quite so crazy after...


S2E7: A Bug In The System

The first ever computer program was written in 1843 by Ada Lovelace, a mathematician who hoped her far-sighted treatise on mechanical computers would lead to a glittering scientific career. Today, as we worry that modern systems suffer from “algorithmic bias” against some groups of people, what can her program tell us about how software, and the people who make it, can go wrong? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit