Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood helps listeners understand the business behind the technology that's rewiring our lives. From how tech is changing the nature of work to the unknowns of venture capital to the economics of outer space, this weekday show breaks ideas, telling the stories of modern life through our digital economy. Marketplace Tech is part of the Marketplace portfolio of public radio programs broadcasting nationwide, which additionally includes Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace Weekend. Listen every weekday on-air or online anytime at marketplace.org. From American Public Media. Twitter: @MarketplaceTech
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Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood

From American Public Media

Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood helps listeners understand the business behind the technology that's rewiring our lives. From how tech is changing the nature of work to the unknowns of venture capital to the economics of outer space, this weekday show breaks ideas, telling the stories of modern life through our digital economy. Marketplace Tech is part of the Marketplace portfolio of public radio programs broadcasting nationwide, which additionally includes Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace Weekend. Listen every weekday on-air or online anytime at marketplace.org. From American Public Media. Twitter: @MarketplaceTechMore from Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood »

Most Recent Episodes

Palantir may go public, but can it turn a profit?

The data analytics company Palantir is reportedly considering going public. Palantir is the company co-founded by controversial Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, formerly of PayPal. It's named after an all-seeing artifact in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The company promises police departments, governments, even the IRS, that it can take in huge amounts of data and make artificial intelligence-informed guesses to help track down criminals and cheats, among other things. In a secret pilot program in New Orleans, Palantir tech even tried to predict when crime would happen or who might be a victim. But lately its huge $20 billion valuation is in doubt and privacy activists are concerned about its tactics. Molly Wood talks about it with Mark Harris, a reporter who's covered Palantir for Wired magazine. Today's show is sponsored by Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Meet the company training up more diverse startup founders

Only about 1 percent of venture capital-backed startup founders are black, according to CB Insights data. Even fewer are black women or Latino. There's not a lot of age diversity and geographic diversity, and underrepresented founders don't always have access to the networks or training programs that can help them get startup funding. Mandela Dixon is a former public school teacher and startup founder, and she was a mentor for entrepreneurs at the VC firm Kapor Capital. About a year ago, she created Founder Gym, which is an online-only training program for underrepresented, would-be startup founders. Host Molly Wood talked with her at the AfroTech conference last week in San Francisco. (11/15/18)

A young digital media company sees an opportunity in black millennials

Black millennials are tech savvy, influential and spending about a $162 billion a year, according to a 2016 Nielsen study. And yet, black people are incredibly underrepresented in tech and media. Enter Blavity, a digital lifestyle brand for millennials of color. It started in 2014 and raised $6.5 million in venture funding earlier this year. Blavity's founders say its advantage is its community members. They'll pay to come to events, and companies will pay to interact with them. Jeff Nelson is a co-founder and chief technical officer at Blavity. Marketplace Tech's Molly Wood met him last week at one of those events, the AfroTech conference in San Francisco, which was born out of Blavity's tech news site. (11/14/18)

A young digital media company sees an opportunity in black millennials

An argument against Big Tech being so big

Part of the reason there's a backlash against Big Tech these days is because some of these companies are so big. They're big in terms of users (see: Facebook's 2 billion plus), big in valuation (Amazon and Apple have both topped a trillion dollars) and big in market share (more than 90 percent of all web searches happen on Google). The United States is taking baby steps toward possible regulation. Europe is taking more like Paul Bunyan-sized steps. But critics like Tim Wu argue these companies should have been slowed down long ago. Marketplace Tech's Molly Wood talks with Wu, author of the new book, "The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age." (11/13/18)

Can apps help veterans suffering from PTSD?

Justin Miller served for 11 years in the U.S. Army and deployed twice to Iraq. After being medically retired, he suffered from severe PTSD. He almost became one of the 20 military veterans and active service members who die by suicide every day. But he was saved, in part, by a serendipitous phone call from his friend Chris Mercado, a fellow vet, who helped talk him back. Now Miller and Mercado have collaborated with a team to build the app, Objective Zero, using social networking technology to make those kinds of vital connections between veterans immediate and easily accessible. We talk about it with Miller. And we hear from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Jason Owen about how the agency is developing its own apps to help veterans with their mental health. (11/09/18)

How the midterm elections could shape tech policy

The midterm elections could have a big impact on the tech industry. That's because the backlash against Big Tech is one of the only issues out there that is pretty bipartisan. And on top of that, a couple of newly elected legislators have specifically made tech part of their agenda, be it net neutrality, privacy regulations, or even whether platforms are suppressing political voices. We dig into this in Quality Assurance, the segment where we take a deeper look at a big tech story. Issie Lapowsky, a senior writer for Wired covering politics and national affairs, tells Marketplace Tech's Molly Wood that both sides of the aisle have been considering ways to regulate Big Tech in recent years. (11/09/18)

A 20-year-old digital copyright law is still being fought about (and copied) today

Think of a music video you love to watch over and over on YouTube, or the hilarious meme you shared last. Proposed digital copyright laws in Europe and other countries kind of want to make those a little less common, and they have their roots in a 20-year-old American copyright law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Cory Doctorow is a writer and activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He and the EFF have been talking about and litigating over the unintended consequences of the DMCA for almost 20 years now. We explore what some of those unintended consequences are.

A 20-year-old digital copyright law is still being fought about (and copied) today

Google offers more secure email for journalists, politicians, activists ... and you?

Email can be a vulnerable way to communicate, especially if you're sending around valuable information because you're a politician or a journalist or an activist. High-profile email users are targets for hackers, trying to get them to click the wrong link and give up their passwords. Google offers a version of Gmail with extra security — you need a physical USB key to log in. Anyone can use it, but Google markets it to high-profile users. Mark Risher, head of Google's Account Security team and a creator of its Advanced Protection Program, talked to Molly Wood about it. (11/06/18)

Google offers more secure email for journalists, politicians, activists ... and you?

That time it was illegal to fix your own electronics for almost 20 years

Once upon a time, when something you owned broke, you fixed it. We never even considered whether we were allowed to fix our products until the year 2000, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act went into effect, making it illegal to circumvent any tech that locked up devices without authorization. So John Deere started telling farmers it was a copyright violation to fix their tractors. And Apple said it was a copyright violation to fix our iPhones or even open a repair shop. Just last month, the U.S. copyright office finally decided that you do have the right to fix your smartphone and lots of other electronics. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a company that creates repair guides for electronics and sells tools and replacement parts, told Molly Wood we may have the right to repair, but repairing things isn't as easy as it used to be. (11/06/18)

That time it was illegal to fix your own electronics for almost 20 years

Why it's so hard to stop all those spam calls

The Federal Communications Commission estimates that Americans get 4 billion unwanted automated calls every month. And they work. We get scammed out of $9.5 billion every year. But if we can filter out most of the spam in our email, why haven't we solved robocalling? Because it's a deceptively complicated problem to solve. (11/05/18)

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