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Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

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WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast breaks down which gadgets, apps, and services you need to know about, and which ones you can move to the virtual trash bin. Learn how today’s tech shapes our lives—plus get your hosts’ personal recommendations at the end of each episode.
274 Episodes
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This week, Apple executives used the keynote address of the company’s annual developers conference to debut all of the artificial intelligence capabilities that are coming to iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The team showed off how generative tools will help users write emails, clean up iPhone photos, illustrate presentations, and make custom emoji characters. Adding AI to everything is par for the course in 2024, as all of the big tech companies have been loading up their software with similar generative features. But Apple is late to this particular party. The company has been perceived as being “behind” in generative AI, since OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and a whole bunch of startups have already made massive inroads. But is Apple really behind? And what makes Apple’s AI—cheekily named Apple Intelligence—different?This week, we welcome WIRED senior writer Will Knight back onto the show to talk about Apple Intelligence, the new Siri, and how Apple is trying to differentiate itself in the AI race.Show Notes:Read Will’s new story about Apple Intelligence’s launch, and his news analysis piece on how Apple will need to make sure its AI doesn’t disappoint, annoy, or offend iPhone users. Read Boone Ashworth’s roundup of everything Apple announced at WWDC. Lauren tells us why Apple’s AI play is also its best shot at getting you to upgrade your iPhone. Julian Chokkattu has a comprehensive overview of all the AI features coming to iOS. Read all of our WWDC coverage.Recommendations:Will recommends the AutoGen multi-agent conversational framework. Mike recommends Klean Kanteen’s Rise Food Box. Lauren recommends the Lunya washable silk sleep mask. Will Knight can be found on X @willknight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Google has spent the past year lustily rolling out AI features across its platforms. But with each launch, it is becoming more clear that some of these so-called enhancements should have simmered a little longer. The latest update to stoke equal parts excitement and ridicule is AI Overviews, the new auto-generated summary boxes that appear at the top of some Google search results.In theory, AI Overviews are meant to answer questions and neatly summarize key information about people's search queries, offering links to the sources the summaries were pulled from and making search more immediately useful. In reality, these AI Overviews have been kinda messy. The information the summary confidently displays can be simply, and sometimes comically, wrong. Even when the AI Overview is correct, it typically only offers a slim account of the topic without the added context—or attribution—contained in the web pages it’s pulling from. The resulting criticisms have forced Google to reportedly dial back the number of search queries that trigger AI Overviews, and they are now being seen less frequently than they were at launch.This week, we talk with WIRED writers Kate Knibbs and Reece Rogers about the rollout, how Google has been managing it, and what it's like to watch our journalism get gobbled up by these hungry, hungry infobots.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about Google trimming the frequency of its AI Overviews. Read Reece’s story about how Google’s AI Overviews copied his original work. Read Lauren’s story about the end of Google Search as we know it.Recommendations:Kate recommends Token Supremacy by Zachary Small. Reece recommends the game Balatro. Lauren recommends the poetry book Technelegy by Sasha Stiles. Mike recommends the book Neu Klang: The Definitive History of Krautrock by Christoph Dallach.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs (X) or @extremeknibbs (Threads/IG). Reece Rogers is @reece___rogers. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Domain names have value, even when the websites that were once hosted there are shut down or abandoned. Prospectors will often swoop in and snatch up an unused domain, then erect a new website filled with clickbait articles. If the domain name used to rank highly in search results, the new clickbait articles will also rank highly, guaranteeing the prospector a steady stream of visitors searching the web for common phrases. These zombie sites are all over the web; you’ve probably landed on them many times yourself. But this shady market is poised to grow exponentially thanks to the proliferation of generative AI tools. Text generators like ChatGPT make it easier for prospectors to crank out clickbait articles at greater speed, feeding an already raging river of pablum.This week, Kate Knibbs tells us about her WIRED story on one of these entrepreneurs in the world of AI-generated clickbait hosted on squatted domains.This episode originally aired February 15, 2024. Read the full transcript.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about Nebojša Vujinović Vujo and his clickbait empire. Also read Kate’s original investigation into what happened to The Hairpin, a popular blog for womens’ writing that went defunct and was then reborn as a content mill.Recommendations:Kate recommends the novella Tusks of Extinction by Ray Nayler. Brian recommends the novel The Bee Sting by Paul Murray. Lauren recommends giving up fancy, creamy coffee drinks for Lent. Mike recommends the social media platform BlueSky, which is now open to everyone.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
People everywhere are hot for heat pumps. These electric appliances—which perform the same heating and cooling tasks as traditional HVAC systems, just much more efficiently—have been outselling gas furnaces over the past couple of years. Their proliferation seems to be pointing more towards an energy-conscious electric future in people’s homes. And, four months ago, nine states in the US signed a memorandum of understanding that says that heat pumps should make up at least 65 percent of residential heating, air conditioning, and water-heating shipments by 2030.But, what exactly is a heat pump? How does it work? How much does it cost to replace your furnace with one, and how much money does making the switch actually save you in the long run? Let’s also consider the same question we’re asking about AI: how much will this change or displace existing jobs for the people who have been trained to install and service traditional HVAC systems?WIRED staff writer Matt Simon is our in-house heat pump expert. He joins us this week to tell us everything we need to know about these appliances he calls “climate superheroes.”Show Notes:Read all of our heat pump coverage. Don’t miss Matt’s story about the heat pump technician shortage. Matt also took a look at the in-window heat pumps now hitting the market that look and operate like in-window AC units. WIRED’s Rhett Alain digs into the physics of heat pumps.Recommendations:Matt recommends the book Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland. Mike recommends the book Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk by Kathleen Hanna. Lauren recommends taking a staycation.Matt Simon can be found on social media @mrmattsimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Google held its annual I/O developer event this week. The company gathered software developers, business partners, and folks from the technology press at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, just down the road from Google corporate headquarters for a two-hour presentation. There were Android announcements, there were chatbot announcements. Somebody even blasted rainbow-colored robes into the crowd using a T-shirt cannon. But most of the talk at I/O centered around artificial intelligence. Nearly everything Google showed off at the event was enhanced in some way by the company’s Gemini AI model. And some of the most shocking announcements came in the realm of AI-powered search, an area where Google is poised to upend everyone’s expectations about how to find things on the internet—for better or for worse.This week, WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave joins us to unpack everything Google announced at I/O, and to help us understand how search engines will evolve for the AI era. Show Notes:Read our roundup of everything Google announced at I/O 2024. Lauren wrote about the end of search as we know it. Will Knight got a demo of Project Astra, Google’s visual chatbot.Recommendations:Paresh recommends The Pitch podcast. Lauren recommends Kristin Lueke’s newsletter “The Animal Eats.” Mike recommends the Pedro Almodóvar film, Julieta, which is based on short stories by Alice Munro, who died this week.Paresh Dave can be found on social media @peard33. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
For all the influence Twitter has had on our culture, no community there has made quite as much impact as Black Twitter. The virtual community grew from a loose online hangout to an influential cultural force that directed conversations about race and culture not only on social media, but in our society at large. A new documentary miniseries from Hulu called Black Twitter: A People's History charts that monumental trajectory. This week on Gadget Lab, we chat about the rise and solidification of Black Twitter with showrunner Joie Jacoby, director and executive producer Prentice Penny, and WIRED senior writer Jason Parham, who wrote the WIRED cover story the docuseries is based on.Black Twitter: A People's History premieres on May 9th on Hulu. Read Jason’s three-part series of stories about Black Twitter. Recommendations:Joie recommends the Met Opera show Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Prentice recommends the YouTube channel Pitch Meetings. Jason recommends X-Men 97 on Disney+. Lauren recommends watching Black Twitter: A People’s History and reading Jason Parham’s story that inspired the show. Mike recommends trying the new instant coffees that are popping up. (Instant coffee is good now, he swears.) Jason Parham can be found on social media @nonlinearnotes. Joie Jacoby is @joiejacoby. Prentice Penny is @The_A_Prentice Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Back in March, the US Environmental Protection Agency finalized a long in the works rule requiring automakers here to dramatically increase the number of battery-powered vehicles they’re putting on the roads. The government has mandated that by 2032, more than half of new cars sold must be electric. There are some caveats, namely that plug-in hybrid cars will fulfill the federal requirements for what a “battery-powered” vehicle is. This has led to a flood of hybrid cars hitting the market. This week, we talk about what this means for people who are considering buying a new car now, or in the next few years. We explain the differences between plug-in hybrids, full hybrids, and electrics, and we tell you what your options are if you live in an apartment without a convenient place to plug in your car while it’s parked. We are joined this week by WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall, who breaks down the facts, shatters the myths, and turns us all into hybrid car experts.Show Notes:Read Aarian’s story about the new US emissions rules. Also read her story about automakers struggling to hit their US sales targets for electric cars.Recommendations:Aarian recommends going to one of those baseball games where you also bring your dog. (They let you run the bases!) Mike recommends The New York Trilogy by novelist Paul Auster, who died this week at 77. Lauren recommends The Lights, the newest book of poetry and prose by Ben Lerner.Aarian Marshall can be found on social media @aarianmarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Do you know what TCP/IP means? (Hint: you’re using it right now.) What about CDMA? Or GPT? While the concepts and the execution of these technologies are clear to most of us who have been on the internet nearly our whole lives, the acronyms we use to define them are often inscrutable. On this week’s episode, we welcome WIRED’s AI reporter Will Knight onto the show. Along with our hosts Michael Calore and Lauren Goode, the trio takes turns quizzing each other on what exactly these acronyms stand for. Michael is asked to unpack various terms from the early internet era, Lauren is tested on acronyms from the mobile era, and Will tells us what all the AI-related abbreviations mean. Everyone does a pretty good job even if nobody earns a perfect score. Play along at home; maybe you can best our hosts with your arcane knowledge of internet minutiae.Show NotesRead Steven Levy’s story about the Google research paper that kickstarted the transformer-based AI boom.Recommendations:Will recommends the book The Rise and Fall of the EAST by Yasheng Huang. (Watch their conversation at MIT’s Starr Forum.) Lauren recommends the Forest app for the Pomodoro work method. Mike recommends The Jargon File.Will Knight can be found on social media @WillKnight. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
A Chat About Airchat

A Chat About Airchat

2024-04-1834:48

Silicon Valley tech types love their edgy new social media startups. The latest is Airchat, an audio-first social app that lets its users express their every thought by posting short snippets of audio. All of these snippets are served in a never-ending feed, a la Twitter. There are replies, there are DMs, but there’s no typing; it’s all spoken audio. The platform is exclusively invitation-only for now, so the current user base is made up mostly of Valley insiders, optimistic venture capitalists, and crypto evangelists, which definitely informs the types of conversations you’ll find on the app. If you're thinking this sounds a lot like Clubhouse, the audio-based social space that flared up during the Covid-19 pandemic, well, you're not too far off.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk to WIRED’s Director of Special Projects Alan Henry about making mouth sounds on Airchat and whether the buzzy new social startup will appeal to anyone outside the Silicon Valley technosphere.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s story about Airchat.Recommendations:Alan recommends the Kurzgesagt YouTube channel. Lauren recommends Julian Chokkattu’s review of the Humane Ai Pin and Scoop, a movie about journalism that’s streaming on Netflix. Mike recommends our new sibling podcast, WIRED Politics Lab.Alan can be found on social media @halophoenix. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Election deniers are mobilizing their supporters and rolling out new tech to disrupt the November election. These groups are already organizing on hyperlocal levels, and learning to monitor polling places, target election officials, and challenge voter rolls. And though their work was once fringe, its become mainstreamed in the Republican Party. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we focus on what these groups are doing, and what this means for voters and the election workers already facing threats and harassment.Listen to and follow WIRED Politics Lab here.Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
Hey, did you see the ad for that Bluetooth-enabled Shiatsu foot massager? How about the one for the organic mushroom supplement powder? They're probably not even the most interesting things you can buy on TikTok or Instagram. Just as the apps have thrived on a steady stream of feel-good content, they have also inundated their users with cheap, bright, and shiny stuff they can swipe through and buy with just a few taps. It's a trend that's spread out to every social site, and has taken a unique shape on TikTok through the platform’s new experimental TikTok Shop. Now, it's hard to get through a couple videos without being accosted by virility pills, fast fashion, and hangover cures.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Amanda Hoover joins us to talk about the weird world of TikTok Shop, how its fee structure is evolving, and why it feels like every single social media service is pivoting to zany products.Show Notes:Read Amanda’s story about TikTok Shop raising its seller fees. Listen to our recent episode (#636) about the possibility of a TikTok ban.Recommendations:Amanda recommends the HungovrAF cap. Mike recommends the documentary Anselm, directed by Wim Winders. Lauren recommends Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks.Amanda Hoover can be found on social media @byamandahoover. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Apple has gotten used to being a favorite target of rivals and government agencies. The company has been repeatedly scrutinized by regulators, and other tech companies have accused the company of anticompetitive practices. Apple’s most recent legal challenge is a doozy: an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and more than a dozen state attorneys general. The suit takes aim at the security and privacy features offered only on the iPhone, and accuses Apple of using that exclusivity to lock consumers into its ecosystem. At the center of the suit is the lack of true cross-platform encryption on Apple’s messaging platform—the green bubble-blue bubble divide—which the government alleges harms consumers by leaving them more vulnerable to attacks.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior security editor Andrew Couts about the encryption and privacy issues behind the DOJ's suit against Apple, and how the dreaded green bubbles on iMessage factor in.Show Notes:Read Andrew and Andy Greenberg’s WIRED story about how the DOJ is targeting Apple's iMessage encryption. Read Lauren’s story about how the antitrust case is all about the green bubbles, really.Recommendations:Andrew recommends profumo del chianti sea salt. Lauren recommends the book Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Mike recommends going to the Big Ears music festival next year.Andrew Couts can be found on social media @AndrewCouts. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
A 3-Body Podcast

A 3-Body Podcast

2024-03-2130:441

3 Body Problem is Netflix’s new big, meaty prestige sci-fi series. Based on the book of the same name by author Liu Cixin, the show about an impending alien invasion is also one about how humans react to technological advancements and social movements that spiral out of control. Aliens aside, it tackles many of the same issues modern society is facing right now—political instability, fanaticism, and maybe an over-dependence on virtual reality. The new show is helmed by the former showrunners ofGame of Thrones and surprise surprise, this high-concept drama is in fact very good.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk all about 3 Body Problem—how the tech and cultural events in the show mirror the real world and how it stacks up against the likes of Game of Thrones and other prestige TV.Show NotesRead Amit Katwala’s interview with the main showrunners of3 Body Problem. Here’s Lauren’s story about crying in VR. Speaking of VR, read WIRED’s review of the Apple Vision Pro.RecommendationsKate recommends the showSilo on Apple TV+. Lauren recommends the movieOne Day on Netflix. Mike recommends theTransmissions podcast by Aquarium Drunkard.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
The TikTok Ban

The TikTok Ban

2024-03-1426:39

You may only know TikTok as the massively popular social video app for phone-obsessed teens, but lately the app has been caught in the political fray. On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill that, should it become law, would require TikTok’s parent company, the Chinese firm ByteDance, to sell the app or else see it banned on devices in the US. Lawmakers in the US have expressed concerns that data from American TikTok users is being shared with a Chinese company, and that therefore TikTok poses a threat to national security. This week on Gadget Lab, we’re joined by WIRED’s senior politics writer Makena Kelly to talk about those security concerns, what this bill means for the rest of the tech industry, and what could happen if TikTok is actually banned.Show Notes:Read Makena on the bill that would ban TikTok, and read Vittoria Elliott’s update on Wednesday’s vote. We also have instructions to get your videos off TikTok. Read all of WIRED’s TikTok coverage.Recommendations:Makena recommends going to the office. (Really.) Mike recommends Ener-C powdered vitamin drink mix. Lauren reiterates Kate Knibbs’ earlier recommendation of American Fiction, the film that just won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Makena Kelly can be found on social media @kellymakena. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
The last few months have been rough for Google. Company executives have been in the hot seat because of some embarrassing missteps, the most awkward of which was the bungled launch of Google’s latest image generator. The company launched it as part of its suite of GenAI tools named Gemini, but then quickly pulled it back after the generator produced some seriously weird results.This week, we welcome WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave back to the show to talk about Gemini’s strange outputs. We also talk about some of the staffing pains Google has been going through recently, including layoffs and accusations of discrimination. Show Notes:Read more about the “woke AI” controversy. Read Bloomberg’s story about Google’s layoffs to its trust and safety team. Read Paresh’s story about the Googler with a disability who alleges workplace discrimination at the company. Listen to our broader discussion about tech layoffs on episode 633.Recommendations:Paresh recommends the food blog The Fancy Navajo. Lauren recommends Lauren Mechling’s story in The Guardian about journalism; the Le Carré Cast podcast, particularly the episode about the secret life of the famous spy author; and Mike recommends the film collection “And the Razzie Goes to …” on the Criterion Channel.Paresh can be found on social media @peard33.bsky.social. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Unless you were really into desktop PC gaming a decade ago, you probably didn't give Nvidia much thought until recently. The company makes graphics cards, among other tech, and has earned great success thanks to the strength of the gaming industry. But it's been nothing compared to the explosive growth Nvidia has enjoyed over the past year. That's because Nvidia's tech is well-suited to power the machines that run large language models, the basis for the generative AI systems that have swept across the tech industry. Now Nvidia is an absolute behemoth, with a skyrocketing stock value and a tight grip on the most impactful—and controversial—tech of this era.This week on Gadget Lab, we welcome WIRED’s Will Knight, who writes about AI, as our guest. Together, we boot up our Nvidia® GeForce RTX™ 4080 SUPER graphics cards to render an ultra high-def conversation about the company powering the AI boom.Show Notes:Read Lauren’s interview with Nvidia cofounder and CEO, Jensen Huang. Read Will’s story about the need for more chips in AI computing circles, and his story about the US government’s export restrictions on chip technology. Read all of our Nvidia coverage.Recommendations:Will recommends WhisperKit from Argmax for machine transcription. Mike recommends getting your garden going now; it’s almost spring. Lauren recommends Say Nothing, a book by Patrick Radden Keefe.Will Knight can be found on social media @willknight Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
tech companies seemed immune to large-scale layoffs, and as their profits skyrocketed, those cushy jobs became highly sought-after. But economic headwinds, and the looming influence of AI, are leading to some tumultuous changes in the tech industry.In just the first seven weeks of this year, Amazon, Google, Discord, Duolingo, Cisco, Instacart, and dozens of others all made deep staffing cuts. It all adds up to tens of thousands of jobs lost across the industry, and the cuts aren't slowing down. It doesn't help that interviewing for tech jobs is getting harder too, with employers asking for more and more work or rigorous testing before making a hire. This week, WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave joins us to talk about whether the layoffs will cool off, and why right now is a daunting time to be looking for a tech job.Show Notes:Read Paresh’s story about how Google has been cutting down on its acquisitions lately. Read Amanda Hoover on recent tech industry layoffs, and her story about the TikTok layoff videos folks have been posting. Read Lauren’s story about how tech job interviews are getting even more demanding. And of course, follow all of WIRED’s coverage of how AI and how it affects people’s livelihoods.Recommendations:Paresh recommends making an effort to connect and collaborate with your disabled colleagues. Lauren recommends the documentary The Eternal Memory. Mike recommends listening to Ty Segall’s new album Three Bells and watching his live show.Paresh Dave can be found on social media @peard33. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Domain names have value, even when the websites that were once hosted there are shut down or abandoned. Prospectors will often swoop in and snatch up an unused domain, then erect a new website filled with clickbait articles. If the domain name used to rank highly in search results, the new clickbait articles will also rank highly, guaranteeing the prospector a steady stream of visitors searching the web for common phrases. These zombie sites are all over the web; you’ve probably landed on them many times yourself. But this shady market is poised to grow exponentially thanks to the proliferation of generative AI tools. Text generators like ChatGPT make it easier for prospectors to crank out clickbait articles at greater speed, feeding an already raging river of pablum.This week, Kate Knibbs tells us about her WIRED story on one of these entrepreneurs in the world of AI-generated clickbait hosted on squatted domains.Show Notes:Read Kate’s story about Nebojša Vujinović Vujo and his clickbait empire. Also read Kate’s original investigation into what happened to The Hairpin, a popular blog for womens’ writing that went defunct and was then reborn as a content mill.Recommendations:Kate recommends the novella Tusks of Extinction by Ray Nayler. Brian recommends the novel The Bee Sting by Paul Murray. Lauren recommends giving up fancy, creamy coffee drinks for Lent. Mike recommends the social media platform BlueSky, which is now open to everyone.Kate Knibbs can be found on social media @Knibbs. Brian Barrett is @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
At its core, Slack is a chat app. Every day, millions of people use it to communicate, share files, and gossip with coworkers or friend groups in one organized place. That style of free-flowing interaction—which Slack didn’t invent, but made mainstream—has changed the way we talk to each other online for better and for worse. It’s brought us closer together and enabled global collaboration, but it’s also allowed conversations to follow us anywhere … like when you get a notification at 10 pm that your boss has sent you a DM.This week, MIT Technology Review editor in chief Mat Honan joins the show to chronicle the history of Slack as the software suit turns 10 years old. We dig into how it helped our work lives bleed into our personal time, and how the company is faring under the auspices of Salesforce and against its competitors.Show Notes:Read Mat’s 2014 story about Slack founder Stewart Butterfield and his boring startup. Here’s Lauren’s story about the Slack soft return and other office hacks you might want to use. Listen to the episode of WIRED’s Have A Nice Future podcast with former Slack CEO Lidiane Jones.Recommendations:Mat recommends Airtags and the ChatGPT sticker bot. Mike recommends the Raw Impressions podcast with Lou and Adelle Barlow. Lauren recommends using the soft return in Slack. Mat Honan can be found on social media @mat. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Apple's first ever mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, arrives tomorrow. Apple has a knack for revitalizing and legitimizing a product category—something that the face computer market really needs right now. But there are some hangups that could limit its initial success: the Vision Pro's exorbitant $3,499 price tag, the tethered battery pack, and the mere handful of apps available on the device at launch. These issues point to this headset being more of a development kit than a fully realized product for now. It's a beautiful machine, but its true potential may not be realized for some time.This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to chat about the Apple Vision Pro and whether it's going to be the device that finally kicks off the face computer revolution. We also talk about the ways Apple is trying to make the headset disappear as part of the experience, both in the virtual space and in the physical realm.Show Notes:Read Julian’s hands-on experience with the Apple Vision Pro. Read Lauren’s story about the Apple Vision Pro’s battery pack. Read Boone Ashworth on the current situation with apps and developers. Recommendations:Julian recommends Thumbtack, a platform to connect homeowners with service vendors. Lauren recommends butter lettuce. Mike recommends the Scottish police show Shetland.Julian Chokkattu can be found on social media @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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Comments (17)

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Sep 14th
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Adam Schildmeyer

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Nov 7th
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Sep 17th
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Adam Schildmeyer

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Aug 9th
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Coffee Jeannie

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Apr 29th
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Coffee Jeannie

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Apr 29th
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Lee Woods

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Feb 2nd
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saileen

As a 'conservative' listener to your podcast, I cringe everytime you politicize your episodes. I think you're all intelligent, thinking, people with good ideas. I base that on you, not your politics. Using nice words to say or infer nasty things is still a deuce move. Please stop!

Jan 21st
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Craig Smith

One of your mics is off, there is only silence when one of you is supposed to be talking.

Dec 22nd
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Jason Hibinger

This is actually the iPhone episode, not the new Google episode!

Oct 12th
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first dimension

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Sep 30th
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