Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News-logo

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News

Technology Podcasts

Inside the hottest personal tech stories of the week; mobile apps, gear, social networking, and entertainment.

Inside the hottest personal tech stories of the week; mobile apps, gear, social networking, and entertainment.


San Francisco, CA


Inside the hottest personal tech stories of the week; mobile apps, gear, social networking, and entertainment.




Apple Bundles Up

Apple's September product events are usually noteworthy for their hardware announcements. But this year, like with just about everything else, was different. Apple did unveil new Watches and iPads, but the company’s most significant announcements came in the form of services. There's a new set of subscription bundles that lumps all of Apple's streaming services together, and a new service for connected home workouts (called Fitness+) aimed squarely at competitors like Peloton. These...


Introducing In Vogue: The 1990s

The 90s were an iconic decade for technology and society – it set up the foundation for how tech has become so ingrained into our current lives. We're excited to share with Gadget Lab listeners a new podcast from Vogue that looks the decade, this time through the lens of fashion. The story of a pivotal decade, In VOGUE: The 1990s is a new audio docuseries that revisits the pivotal moments in 90’s culture; from slip dresses with army boots to colorful tracksuits and minimal pantsuits, Vogue...


Connected Cardio

Even before the pandemic, Peloton was the clear leader in connected, at-home workout equipment. So it was really no surprise that when gyms closed down and people found themselves stuck inside, Peloton's sales surged. Along with the success of Peloton, a growing industry of semi-affordable personal exercise machines is changing the way we work out. After all, why risk going to a gym when you could bring one into your living room? This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett...


Tech the Vote

Whether you're prepared for it or not, the United States is hurtling toward another presidential election. Like just about everything in 2020, the voting process has been disrupted by the pandemic. More people than ever are planning to avoid polling places and vote by mail. This has led to a very loud, very political debate about public safety, potential voter fraud, and the role technology plays in the voting process. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman...


Alexa, Play My Alibi

As smart speakers for the home continue to grow in popularity, police departments have started to take notice. Now, whenever attorneys and law enforcement officials are investigating a crime, they can put your virtual assistant in the hot seat. They can cross-reference a variety of information from smart devices, including location data, audio recordings, and biometric data. Together, it can paint a picture of where a suspect was and when, often far more reliably than any human witness. This...


Let’s Talk About Texts

Maybe you aren't a political dissident engaging in top secret conversations over text messages. But if you care about privacy, you should probably be using Signal—or really, another encrypted service—to send your messages. Encryption can be a hot-button issue, with governments demanding backdoors into private data stores and executives at companies like Facebook having wildly different opinions about how secure your communications should be. Plus, at a time when we're relying more and more...


The Foldable Future

This week, Microsoft's dual screen Surface Duo became available for sale. Like many other folding devices, the Duo has been marketed as a product for busy workers on the go. But now, months into a pandemic where many workers are still sheltering in place (if they're lucky enough to have a job at all), the appeal of such gadgets is questionable at best. Nevertheless, Microsoft and other companies soldier on, searching for ways to make their expensive devices feel relevant. Foldables are here,...


We Love Cheap Phones

Used to be that if you wanted a new phone, you had to choose between something cheap and something good. But a recent slate of smartphones like the new Google Pixel 4A and the Apple iPhone SE offer an appealing compromise: Most of the features and processing power of a $1,000 phone for somewhere around $400. These devices come with some tradeoffs, of course. The cameras aren't quite as fast, and the screen might not be buttery smooth or blisteringly bright. But the growing market for budget...


Amazon’s Hidden Prime Secrets

If you have an Amazon Prime membership (maybe it’s where you’ve been buying all your toilet paper during the pandemic) then you’re likely aware of the key benefits: free shipping, access to special deals, and the free streaming movies and TV shows. But there are a host of other, lesser-known benefits available to Prime customers, like free Kindle books, free Twitch Prime, free kids’ content, and a few ways to earn credit on future purchases. This week, we’re joined by WIRED staff writer...


Tick Tock, TikTok

All the kids are talking about it. And now, so are government officials and corporate bigwigs. An app typically known for short, clever videos (and lots of dancing), TikTok has recently found itself at the center of international scrutiny. Critics say that TikTok’s massive presence in the US is a national security risk because the app is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech company. Business leaders are also worried, in some cases asking their employees to delete the app from their devices....


Get WIRED: Citizen and the Bizarre World of Live-Streamed Crime

The idea behind the Citizen app is that its users upload videos of the things that are going on in the neighborhood in real time — anything from as a gas leak to something potentially a lot more violent. It's an app built on the premise that the more information a community has the better off it is, but it also comes with all of the trappings and problems of a lot of community surveillance — the app has some toxic comments, it can lead to racial profiling, and it has sparked a lot of...


Introducing: Get WIRED

Get WIRED is a new podcast about how the future is realized. Each week, we burrow down new rabbit holes to investigate the ways technology is changing our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Through hard-hitting reporting, intimate storytelling, and audio you won’t hear anywhere else, Get WIRED is the must-listen-to tech podcast that sets the agenda for the week. Hosted by WIRED Senior Writer Lauren Goode. Listen and subscribe to Get WIRED here. Learn more about your ad...


I Stream, You Stream

It’s hard to remember what television on the internet was like before Netflix started streaming original programming on demand. But maybe that fact just underscores the massive influence the platform has had over the shows we watch and how we watch them. This week on Gadget Lab, Peter Kafka, cohost of season two of the Land of the Giants podcast from Recode, joins us to talk about the rise of Netflix, its influence on our culture, and how the pandemic has affected our use of the service. In...


I Can't Stop Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling—everybody's doing it! You’re lying in bed, on your phone, trying to fall asleep, but then you end up staying awake for hours as your social media timeline fills you with anger and anxiety. This isn't just your garden-variety FOMO either. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and it can feel like there's a fresh new calamity or setback every single day. Add displays of collective grief over racial injustice to the mix, and it can be even harder to look away. So how do you stay...


Home Bodies

Getting through this pandemic hasn't been easy. Each day can feel like a slog, especially when, for many people, the necessary shelter-in-place restrictions have no end in sight. While being cooped up and isolated from others isn't pleasant, there are some ways to make the experience more bearable. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED service editor Alan Henry and WIRED senior writer Adrienne So join the show to talk about the gadgets, media, and lifestyle adjustments that have helped them get...


Arrested Developer Event

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is normally an energetic, bustling affair. This year, of course, things are anything but normal. Instead of live talks in front of full crowds and attendees mingling face to face, WWDC was a virtual-only experience. During the keynote address, execs rattled off their announcements in pre-recorded video segments filmed on a very empty Apple campus. The slick, occasionally eerie production was a glimpse into just how lonely the tech world has...


Inside the eBananas Scandal

A package showing up on your doorstep normally gives you a little hit of excitement. But for one Massachusetts couple last year, the arrival of each new package triggered feelings of anxiety and dread. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about the cyberstalking campaign that six former eBay employees allegedly launched against the married owners of a news website that’s often critical of the ecommerce industry. It’s a twisted tale featuring shipments of live roaches, a pig’s head mask, unwanted...


When Can I See You Again?

As states and cities lift shelter-in-place restrictions, there’s still so much we don’t know about the coronavirus and how it spreads. Which has left a lot of people wondering: How safe is it, really, to start socializing again? Is wearing a mask a part of our lives for the foreseeable future—and is it possible to persuade stubborn family members to wear one, too? Are short flights safer than long flights? And, are single people destined to remain dateless in the time of coronavirus? This...


Tech and the Police State

Across the world, millions of people have gathered to protest police brutality and systemic racism after an officer in Minneapolis killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Amid the outpouring of grief and support, tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Reddit have issued statements backing protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement. But these same companies also provide platforms and services that prop up communities of hate and help law enforcement disproportionately track and...


Trump v. Twitter

A political firestorm erupted this week when Twitter flagged two of President Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting, calling them potentially misleading, and amending them with some timid attempts at fact-checking. This action caused the President to lash out at the social media platform by signing an executive order demanding a legal review of the protections it enjoys under the Communications Decency Act. The order doesn’t just affect Twitter, but also Facebook, YouTube, and any platform...