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What Next: TBD | Tech, power, and the future podcast

What Next: TBD | Tech, power, and the future

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

 

#210

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 Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

15 Oct 2021

25 MINS

25:23

15 Oct 2021


#209

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 megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

08 Oct 2021

26 MINS

26:41

08 Oct 2021


#208

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 megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

01 Oct 2021

25 MINS

25:24

01 Oct 2021


#207

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 megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

24 Sep 2021

30 MINS

30:32

24 Sep 2021


#206

Sponsored: Tech Solutions that Serve L.A. Citizens with Ted Ross

The final episode of Season 1 features Ted Ross, Chief Information Officer for the City of Los Angeles. His role became more vital than ever during the pandemic, with L.A.’s 4 million residents and 50,000 employees relying on the city’s complex technological operation for support. Ted helped his city navigate the challenge with tech solutions built on principles designed to serve citizens and inspire employees: focus on people, improve lives, and lean into promising innovations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

22 Sep 2021

30 MINS

30:10

22 Sep 2021


#205

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 megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

17 Sep 2021

18 MINS

18:33

17 Sep 2021


#204

Can This River Be Saved?

The Colorado River Basin is experiencing its 22nd year of drought. Its reservoirs are at their lowest-ever levels. The water stored in the system is at just 40 percent of its capacity. How did the situation on the Colorado become so dire? And what does the shortage mean for the 40 million people who rely on its waters? Guest: Abrahm Lustgarten, senior investigative reporter at ProPublica Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

10 Sep 2021

22 MINS

22:26

10 Sep 2021


#203

The Rush for Ivermectin

A medicine meant to treat parasites is the latest unproven COVID treatment craze. With warnings from the FDA, and prescribers clamping down, some are going to extreme lengths to get their hands on the drug. What’s behind Ivermectin’s sudden rise? Guest: Brandy Zadrozny, senior reporter for NBC News  Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

03 Sep 2021

25 MINS

25:22

03 Sep 2021


#202

Elizabeth Holmes on Trial

Elizabeth Holmes convinced countless people that her company would change the world. Can she convince 12 jurors that she didn’t intend to deceive her company’s patients and investors? Guest: Rebecca Jarvis, host of “The Dropout” podcast and ABC News Chief Business, Technology & Economics Correspondent  Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

27 Aug 2021

26 MINS

26:18

27 Aug 2021


#201

Will Booster Shots Make a Difference?

The Biden administration says a third dose of vaccines for all American adults will end the pandemic faster. And experts say there is evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness against mild-to-moderate disease. But globally, what’s the best use of the next available dose?  Guest: Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.  Host: Lizzie O’Leary This episode was produced by Alyssa Edes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

20 Aug 2021

22 MINS

22:41

20 Aug 2021


#200

What's Taking the FDA So Long?

Experts say that a “fully approved” designation for the vaccines could have sweeping effects. Broader vaccination mandates, inclusion for new age groups, and reassurance for those hesitant to take a vaccine without the designation. As calls for approval grow louder and more urgent, the Food and Drug Administration is yet to give its blessing. What’s happening inside the FDA as they work toward this milestone? Guest: Sarah Owermohle, health care reporter at Politico  Host: Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

13 Aug 2021

27 MINS

27:57

13 Aug 2021


#199

Can America Fix Its Trains?

America used to be at the vanguard of railroad technology. What went wrong? And can the new infrastructure bill fix our broken system? Guests: Alon Levy and Eric Goldwyn of the Marron Institute at NYU  Host Henry Grabar   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

06 Aug 2021

20 MINS

20:12

06 Aug 2021


#198

I Bought It. Why Can't I Fix It?

Whether it’s a phone screen or a coffee machine, why is it so hard to fix our own stuff? And what can we do to make it a bit easier? Guest: Jason Koebler, editor-in-chief of Motherboard and contributor to the CYBER podcast Host Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

30 Jul 2021

20 MINS

20:51

30 Jul 2021


#197

How Spyware Mercenaries Hack Your Phone

This week, Amnesty International and a French journalism nonprofit named Forbidden Stories revealed that technology from a spyware firm called NSO Group is being deployed on a massive scale. The spyware, called Pegasus, gives the user access to every part of a victim’s smartphone -- notes, messages, photos, and recordings.  What’s it like for security researchers to see their worst fears about digital spying play out? And what are they worried about next? Guests: John Scott Railton, Senior Researcher at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor of the Wire Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

23 Jul 2021

32 MINS

32:45

23 Jul 2021


#196

It's Hot. It's Flooding. Is This the New Normal?

Over the last month, North Americans have seen record-breaking heat, droughts, wildfires, and floods. The science is clear: we are living through the effects of climate change. Now scientists are trying to answer: is this the new normal? Guest: Daniel Swain, climate scientist at UCLA  Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

16 Jul 2021

24 MINS

24:23

16 Jul 2021


#195

So, What Happens to WFH Now?

For many white-collar workers, the full-time work from home era is coming to an end. Some are going back into offices five days a week. Many others will be expected to split the week between home and the office.  As the new rules are laid down, office workers are asking themselves: do we want work to go back to the way it was? Or is it time, finally, to try something different?  Guest: Brigid Schulte, director of the Better Life Lab at New America Host Henry Grabar   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

09 Jul 2021

29 MINS

29:05

09 Jul 2021


#194

Sponsored: The Race to Vaccinate a Nation with Deryck Mitchelson

From Slate Studios & ServiceNow, this episode of Let’s Workflow It features Deryck Mitchelson – one of the leaders taking on the greatest workflow challenge of our time – the effort to vaccinate millions of citizens from COVID-19. As Director of Information Security for NHS National Services Scotland, Deryck manages his nation’s contact tracing and vaccination systems, and shares his unique perspective on the systems and technology necessary to turn vaccines into vaccinations. Listen and subscribe to Let’s Workflow It wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

06 Jul 2021

30 MINS

30:37

06 Jul 2021


#193

It’s Time to Talk About UFOs

Last week, the U.S. government released a new report that attempts to categorize 144 verified sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP. They could only definitively explain one of them.  The new report signals a shift in the way we think about UAP. As technology has advanced and evidence of these encounters has increased, the question has become more urgent: What exactly is happening in our skies? Guest: Shane Harris, intelligence and national security reporter for the Washington Post Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

02 Jul 2021

25 MINS

25:12

02 Jul 2021


#192

Welcome to Bitcoin Beach

For nearly two years, an unprecedented experiment has been taking place in the town of El Zonte in El Salvador. Funded by a mysterious donor, the town’s residents built a Bitcoin economy, using the cryptocurrency to purchase just about anything.  Now, El Slavador has passed a new law making it the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Can they replicate El Zonte’s success at a national scale? Guest: Ezra Fieser, reporter at Bloomberg Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

25 Jun 2021

25 MINS

25:25

25 Jun 2021


#191

What Cops Are Doing With Your DNA

Ever since police used a DNA platform called GEDmatch to crack the Golden State Killer case in 2018, police departments around the country have rushed to use genetic genealogy to crack their own cold cases. The result? Hundreds of violent cases solved.  So--why are some states passing new laws to limit this new technology? Guest: Nila Bala, senior staff attorney at the Policing Project at NYU Law.  Host Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

18 Jun 2021

25 MINS

25:53

18 Jun 2021


#190

What Space Billionaires Cost Us

Over the last decade, billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson have come to embody the future of space travel and exploration. What does it mean when the ideas and ambitions of a few powerful men come to dominate the conversation so thoroughly? Guest: Lucianne Walkowicz, astronomer at the Adler Planetarium and founder of the Just Space Alliance Host Lizzie O’Leary This episode is sponsored by Teamistry. You can listen here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

11 Jun 2021

24 MINS

24:48

11 Jun 2021


#189

The App That Sparked a Manhunt

Two weeks ago, as wildfires burned north of Los Angeles, the crime app Citizen offered $30,000 for information that would lead to the arrest of a suspected arsonist. They had the wrong guy.  Why is Citizen offering bounties in the first place? And what does this bounty debacle say about the app’s aspirations for the future? Guest: Joseph Cox, reporter at Motherboard  Host Henry Grabar Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

04 Jun 2021

28 MINS

28:39

04 Jun 2021


#188

Apple and Epic’s Battle Royale

After years of careful planning and public spats, Apple and Epic—the maker of Fortnite—have spent the last three weeks in court, fighting over the future of mobile gaming. What happens if, for once, Apple loses? Guest: Elizabeth Lopatto, deputy editor at the Verge  Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

28 May 2021

22 MINS

22:25

28 May 2021


#187

The Hackers Who Took Down the Colonial Pipeline

Last week, a hacker group called DarkSide shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. Gas prices skyrocketed, people started hoarding gas, and DarkSide walked away with over $4 million in Bitcoin. How did they do it? And what makes this hack different from those we’ve seen before? Guest: David Uberti, cybersecurity reporter at the Wall Street Journal Host Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

21 May 2021

26 MINS

26:07

21 May 2021


#186

How the World’s Great Vaccination Hope Crashed

The Serum Institute of India was supposed to supply vaccines not just to India, but to the entire Global South. Now, with cases surging, there aren’t nearly enough vaccines for India’s population, not to mention the many countries that are relying on it. How did such a successful institution come up so short? And what are the costs of that failure? Guest: Samanth Subramanian, senior reporter at Quartz Host Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

14 May 2021

24 MINS

24:22

14 May 2021


#185

Oversight Board to Facebook: Nice Try

The question of Donald Trump’s banned account--to keep it blocked, or reinstate it--is one of the toughest that Facebook has ever faced. But the social network had a plan: punt the decision to its newly minted Oversight Board, a semi-independent “Supreme Court” tasked with making hard decisions about what content stays up, and what comes down.  Did that plan just backfire? Guest: Kate Klonick, professor at St. John’s University School of Law  Host Lizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

07 May 2021

23 MINS

23:11

07 May 2021


#184

Tim Apple vs. Mark Facebook

There was a time—back when Steve Jobs ran Apple and Mark Zuckerberg was in his early days as Facebook’s CEO— that Apple and Facebook were friends.. Or, at worst, frenemies. But as the companies grew, so did two competing views of how the internet should work.  What led to the rift between Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook? And will Apple’s new privacy rules undercut Facebook’s vision for the internet? Guest:    Mike Isaac, tech reporter at the New York Times  Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

30 Apr 2021

23 MINS

23:35

30 Apr 2021


#183

What's Causing the Tesla Crashes?

Last week, a Tesla Model S crashed into a tree in a neighborhood north of Houston. Both men inside the car were killed. But according to police, neither of them was in the driver’s seat.  This is not the first crash in which Tesla’s “autopilot” feature has likely played a role. Should we really be trusting this technology? Guest:  Missy Cummings, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

23 Apr 2021

23 MINS

23:29

23 Apr 2021


#182

Seduced by Substack

Like countless venture-funded start-ups before it, Substack is “disrupting” the media industry. The newsletter service is siphoning off high-profile talent with a promise of independence and bigger paychecks. But the platform’s influence might reach far beyond the media. Will Substack change the way we think about online creators and their audiences? Can it create a new kind of relationship between them? Guest:    Charlie Warzel, writer of Galaxy Brain  Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

16 Apr 2021

25 MINS

25:02

16 Apr 2021


#181

The Rise of the Therapy Apps

Since the start of the pandemic, usage of apps like BetterHelp and Talkspace has skyrocketed. These apps might make mental health care more accessible, but are the products they sell really the same as therapy? Guest:    Molly Fischer, features writer for the Cut at New York Magazine Host Lizzie O’Leary   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices ... Read more

09 Apr 2021

26 MINS

26:28

09 Apr 2021