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What's Tech?

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We live in the future, where drones skim the sky, corporations enter the space race, and smartwatches track our every movement. But how? And why? What's Tech invites experts to explain the technology bit by bit, in clear, brief, enjoyable audio nuggets. These days, technology is everywhere. Let's make sense of what's around us.

We live in the future, where drones skim the sky, corporations enter the space race, and smartwatches track our every movement. But how? And why? What's Tech invites experts to explain the technology bit by bit, in clear, brief, enjoyable audio nuggets. These days, technology is everywhere. Let's make sense of what's around us.
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New York, NY

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We live in the future, where drones skim the sky, corporations enter the space race, and smartwatches track our every movement. But how? And why? What's Tech invites experts to explain the technology bit by bit, in clear, brief, enjoyable audio nuggets. These days, technology is everywhere. Let's make sense of what's around us.

Language:

English


Episodes

The What’s Tech series finale

12/6/2016
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When I started at The Verge in 2014, I needed an excuse to learn about technology. My background was in covering video games, television, and pop culture, and I lacked the basic cognitive functions to hold a phone above my head without dropping it on my face. So I launched a podcast called What’s Tech. For two years, the show was an opportunity to learn the fundamentals about the technology that supports everyday life. Free to ask silly, obvious, and embarrassing questions, I learned a...

Duration: 00:22:55


What are Snapchat Spectacles, and do I have to be a teen to wear them?

11/16/2016
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Snapchat Spectacles, the mysterious and incredibly hyped hardware from Snap, Inc., have arrived. Vending machines for the video camera sunglasses are springing up around the country, first in California and Oklahoma, and who knows where else next. Verge senior reporter Bryan Bishop joined me this week to talk about his experience hunting down Spectacles and whether we’re all going to feel like olds wearing them. Also, what’s the deal with this circular video format?

Duration: 00:19:32


How smartphone cameras took over the world

10/25/2016
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In the early 2000s, the digital photography revolution made it possible for miniaturized camera hardware and image sensors to be packed into cell phones without adding a significant amount of weight. Then the iPhone was announced. As the smartphone war began, the camera became an important part of the ongoing spec race. Competitors tried to beat Apple in making an excellent camera (and app) that was easy to use — and it took until this year for that to start happening. Now, two-thirds of...

Duration: 00:23:57


How HTTPS is slowly but surely making the internet safer

10/19/2016
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Over the past couple years web security has become a staple of the nightly news. The stories usually hinge on government leaks, foreign hackers, or web encryption. There’s menacing subtext that practically everything put online is vulnerable to “cyber attacks.” Though one might wonder what steps are being taken to protect not just the government and giant corporations, but you, the individual. What keeps you safe when you stumble your way into a Wikipedia hole or click a strange link sent...

Duration: 00:29:42


Why is everyone making GIFs of themselves?

10/13/2016
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Our most sacred and special task as human beings is to document our own existence with a single-minded dedication. That's why we have massive iCloud photo libraries, 15GB of video of that really cool Springsteen concert on our phones, Instagram accounts for ourselves, our pets, and our alter egos, and dusty yearbooks stacked up in our closets. The latest in this personal digital archive: personal GIFs. Apps like Boomerang, Motion Stills, Giphy, DSCO, and more help us make GIFs and other...

Duration: 00:14:41


How immersive haunted houses and participatory plays are making Halloween scarier

10/6/2016
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Here at The Verge, we love Halloween and everything about it. Horror movies, non-horror seasonal movies, seasonal beverages, seasonal bots, this Pumpkin Guy, horrifying makeup tutorials, poop-shaped candy — bring it on. In particular, we love to be scared. It gives us a sweet little adrenaline burst to get us across the daunting dark tundra of November to April. This Hallo-season, senior entertainment reporter Bryan Bishop has embarked on a journey to find the most immersive, creative, and...

Duration: 00:24:03


Why smartphone batteries explode, and why they may get worse

9/20/2016
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Samsung has officially recalled the Galaxy Note 7 worldwide, after more than 90 of the large smartphones in the US overheated due to defective batteries. Overheating is, in this case, an understatement, as some owners have claimed their smartphones outright exploded. Exploding lithium-ion batteries actually aren’t so uncommon. As my colleagues Angela Chen and Lauren Goode noted earlier this month, there are many ways for a lithium-ion battery to become dangerous, and they aren’t limited to...

Duration: 00:16:34


How Snapchat’s goofy faces made everyone comfortable with selfies

9/13/2016
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I didn’t take many selfies until I downloaded Snapchat. But like so many people I’ve fallen in love with lenses, the optional tools that make my face look like a dog or an emoji or an advertisement for junk food. Now, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t mug into my front-facing camera. The magic of lenses is how they erase the perception of the selfie as an act of narcissism — an insipid criticism that comes from a certain clump of people who feel the need to bash people for showing a fleck...

Duration: 00:13:04


The good and bad news of the Earth-sized planet Proxima Centauri b

9/8/2016
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Late last month, news broke of the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. Orbiting the closest star to our Solar System, there’s a lot to love about Proxima b since it shares a few key traits with our own home planet. But before we start making intergalactic vacation plans, let’s pump the space-brakes: half the planet is locked in darkness, it’s pelted by radiation from close proximity to its sun, and the rock is 25 trillion miles away. Our current best option for sending a probe there involves a...

Duration: 00:20:47


A simple explanation of No Man’s Sky and its internet-fueled controversy

8/25/2016
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The first trailer for No Man’s Sky, published in December 2013, promised a universe with enough planets, creatures, and vegetation that it could not be fully explored by one player in a lifetime. The hype was immediate, and it only continued to build with each month between the game’s announcement and its release this summer. This, some fans speculate, could be a game that lasts forever. My buddy Austin Walker concisely dismantled that logic at Vice before the game’s release, but No Man’s...

Duration: 00:16:14


Hate going to the grocery store? Maybe it's time to try food-delivery services

8/17/2016
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Imagine if grocery shopping was just another online subscription service, like Netflix or Spotify. You complete a survey, sharing your likes and dislikes, and the platform sends, week after week, precisely measured portions of proteins, veggies, fruits, oils, and spices required to make dinner and the necessary recipes to alchemize these ingredients into Food Network-level dinners. My friend and colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany lived this modern spin on the home cook life this past spring, after...

Duration: 00:17:08


Why Sony and Microsoft are already announcing and releasing new consoles

8/10/2016
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A new round of video game consoles has began last week with the release of Microsoft’s One S. The slim, white hardware is a minor upgrade to the original Xbox One, and the predecessor to next year’s flashier upgrade, codenamed Project Scorpio. Next month, Sony is expected to announce its own update for the PlayStation 4, codenamed Neo. If it feels a little early in a generation of consoles to be talking about dropping cash on the next great thing, you’re right. But these consoles don’t...

Duration: 00:16:11


Is your neighborhood the next great social media app?

8/2/2016
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I had never heard of Nextdoor when I lived in New York City. Social media services catering to individual neighborhoods weren’t useful in an apartment building where most tenants lasted a year, and longtime residents kept to themselves. In my first year in Texas, however, I’ve regularly relied on Nextdoor, along with my neighborhood’s private Facebook group and the handful of sites that provide hyper-local support. I’m not the first to say local online forums are the bulletin boards and...

Duration: 00:19:52


A podcast explains the power of podcasts

7/26/2016
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For 72 episodes, What’s Tech has invited guests to explain technology and its cultural periphery — from drones and fan fiction to ASMR and biohacking. We were bound to make a podcast about podcasts eventually. This was inevitable. For this momentous occasion, our guest is Alex Goldman, co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, Reply All. After you listen, visit Reply All’s publisher Gimlet Media, which is responsible for a number of the best examples of the podcasting form. Subscribe to...

Duration: 00:16:39


Why Pokémon Go is a hit, how it helped Nintendo, and when its moment could fizz out

7/19/2016
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Pokémon Go had a week unlike any video game I’ve covered in my career. Here’s a collection of the posts we penned last week, ranging from players finding dead bodies to Craigslist entrepreneurs selling pre-played accounts. My friend and former boss Chris Grant wrote about the staggering demand for coverage at our sister-site Polygon. In "Some thoughts on Nintendo’s big week," Grant contextualized the game within Nintendo’s unusual year. And he noted how Pokémon Go inspired the most popular...

What you need to know about doxxing, the average internet user’s nightmare

6/21/2016
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My entire body clenches when I hear the word doxxing. Each time I write something that, for whatever reason, upsets a corner of the internet, I wonder if my personal information — phone numbers, address, social security number, credit card information — will be made public, or doxxed. And if it is made public, then how will it be used? Even though our identities on the internet are more public than ever, we are still individually afforded a certain amount of privacy. Our passwords, our...

How a computer the size of a credit card is changing education — and GameBoy emulators

6/7/2016
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For longer than I would like to admit, I thought Raspberry Pi was a dessert. I'm not proud of that. Fortunately, I eventually learned what Raspberry Pi actually is, and though it's not nearly as tasty, it's just as exciting: an affordable, customizable computer the size of a credit card. Raspberry Pi has changed how thousands of people tinker with and learn about computers. People have used the hardware to create Game Boy emulators and synthesizers, tiny cameras and jukeboxes. To learn...

How people play Nintendo games on a computer, and why that's probably illegal

5/31/2016
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Whether or not you've used a video game emulator yourself — and if you have, it's okay, I'm not gonna snitch — it's impossible to deny their prevalence. Since the age of modern computing, people have figured out how to use code to mimic game consoles like NES and Genesis in order to play them on everything from laptops to smartwatches. Sometimes it's a near-perfect recreation of a childhood memory. Sometimes it's a virtual reality "remix" of a popular cartoon fighter (blatant...

What are graphics cards, and why do you want one?

5/24/2016
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Graphics cards! So hot right now. Whether it's the slow realization that jumping on board with the 2016 VR revolution requires a tricked-out gaming rig you'd never previously have dreamed of stashing under your desk, or the blitz of hype surrounding Nvidia's latest 1000-series GPUs, there's more reason to get excited about PC gaming hardware than there has been in years. But what is a graphics card? Do you really need one, and which one do you need?
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