Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood

By Marketplace

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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 From American Public Media. Twitter: @MarketplaceTech

Episode Date
Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?
Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes. Paul Kedrosky, with SK Ventures, spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about how the scooter investment craze goes back to Segway. (06/21/2018)
Jun 21, 2018
You have more choices for wireless than you might think
This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive. But there is another collection of wireless providers like FreedomPop, Mint, Boost Mobile, Tello and Metro PCS that offer an alternative, at least on price. These companies are what's called mobile virtual network operators. They've traditionally been known as prepaid providers who rent wireless service from the big telecoms and resell it to consumers. There are more limits on the plans, and you sometimes can't use the latest and greatest phones on all of them, but they're starting to offer more options and ramp up their marketing. Roger Cheng covers wireless carriers for CNET. He spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about how MVNOs work. (06/20/2018)
Jun 20, 2018
Will the Theranos scandal put a damper on medical tech investing?
The blood-testing startup Theranos is now firmly in disgrace. Founder Elizabeth Holmes was indicted Friday on federal wire fraud charges and has resigned as the company’s CEO. But whatever happens with Holmes and Theranos, the episode has changed the conversation around biotech investing. Michael Greeley is general partner of Flare Capital Partners in Boston, which specializes in funding health care technology companies. He spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about what the Theranos downfall means to the industry overall. (06/19/2018)
Jun 19, 2018
Can you make money off of emoji?
More than 150 new emoji have been approved by the emoji standards body called Unicode. A redheaded person, a llama, toilet paper and bagels are just some of the new symbols. It's a big deal if you happen to be a redheaded llama farmer, but also because the release of new emoji is a carefully coordinated situation that requires approval from an emoji standards body called Unicode. And a design process that's specific to every operating system and, at least so far, no money changing hands. Jeremy Burge is Chief Emoji Officer for Emojipedia— which is kind of like Merriam-Webster for emoji. Burge spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about whether anybody makes money off emoji. (06/18/2018)
Jun 18, 2018
Seattle fought Amazon ... and Amazon won
The Seattle City Council voted this week to undo a new tax that would have made big businesses pay per employee to generate money for public housing and help for the homeless. Seattle's housing costs and homeless population have both exploded in recent years as the tech industry, mainly Amazon, has brought higher salaries and lots more jobs. But Seattle businesses, including Amazon, pushed back hard on the new tax. One month after it passed, the city council flipped the reset button. Mike Rosenberg, a reporter covering housing at the Seattle Times, spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about whether it was normal for businesses to fight city policy as hard as they did. (06/15/2018)
Jun 15, 2018
Tesla gets a reality check
Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric car company would lay off about 3,000 people and work much harder to become profitable. On Wednesday, perhaps in a show of confidence to investors, Musk bought about $25 million worth of Tesla stock. The past few months have been tough for the company. There have been crashes involving Tesla's semi-autonomous mode, battles with investors and attacks on the media over negative coverage. But at the end of the day, Tesla has one thing it needs to accomplish: Make the Model 3 a success. And that is still proving harder than it should be. Maryann Keller, a consultant and independent auto analyst, spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about what's so hard about manufacturing this car. (06/14/2018)
Jun 14, 2018
The marriage of AT&T and Time Warner is good to go, apparently.
In a huge win for AT&T, a federal judge ruled that the company can buy Time Warner for an estimated $85 billion. The Department of Justice had sued to block the merger on antitrust grounds. It said that since AT&T also owns DirecTV, it could charge DirecTV competitors more to get, say, HBO or CNN, and that consumers would end up paying more as a result. And this won’t be the last big media merger headline this year. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Recode reporter Peter Kafka about what this means for the media landscape going forward. (06/13/2018)
Jun 13, 2018
It takes "thousands of hours" to comply with GDPR, says one tech CEO
Europe's new privacy rules, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are officially in effect. To comply with them, some small businesses and startups have had to put other work on hold while they make sure they’re not in violation. The GDPR requires companies that have European customers to get clear consent to gather their information and make data available to correct and even delete it, if the customer asks. And the fines for not complying are huge. Lawrence Coburn is CEO of a company called DoubleDutch that makes mobile apps for conferences. The apps collect location information, demographic data and sometimes contact and job information from attendees from all over the world. Coburn spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about how much stress the GDPR has caused him.
Jun 12, 2018
Why the end of net neutrality might look good ... at first
Pending some surprise moves by the House of Representatives, net neutrality will officially be repealed today. Those regulations prevented internet providers from blocking or interfering with or discriminating against the content they distribute. Now critics say cable and wireless broadband providers can block access to any site they want, charge more for services that compete with what they might offer — like Netflix or Hulu — and create paid fast lanes or even high-priced bundles that include some sites and exclude others. So what's likely to happen and when? Rob Frieden is a professor of telecommunications and law at Pennsylvania State University. He spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about what internet providers wanted to do that they couldn't under the old rules. (06/11/2018)
Jun 11, 2018
An Indian tech company is hiring 10,000 workers in the U.S. Here's why.
The $150 billion Indian tech industry was created in part by U.S. companies outsourcing information technology work and software development. Now a combination of automation, oversupply and U.S. immigration policies have led to layoffs and concerns about the future for India’s IT giants. One of those is Bangalore-based Infosys, which is credited with essentially creating the city’s middle class. Rollo Romig wrote about Infosys and the Indian IT economy for the The California Sunday Magazine. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with him about the headwinds facing IT in India now.    
Jun 08, 2018
Melinda Gates: "Nobody actually collects good data about women's lives."
Melinda Gates is most well known as the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But the longtime philanthropist is also the founder of a for-profit organization called Pivotal Ventures. Through her for-profit enterprise, Gates is trying to increase the number of women and minorities in tech by funding venture capitalists who invest in more diverse entrepreneurs. Such funders are known as limited partners (LPs), but the name is misleading because LPs hold the purse strings and can set a VC’s agenda if they want to. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Melinda Gates about how being at the top of the VC food chain can have an impact on the whole system. (06/07/2018)
Jun 07, 2018
How LeBron's breakup with Miami started an Instagram craze
Steph Curry’s buzzer-beating three-pointer from Game 2 of the NBA Finals has been relived millions of times on Instagram. But not on the Golden State Warriors official account. Or ESPN’s. Or TNT’s for that matter. Instead, the clip blew up on the account called House of Highlights, which has some 9.3 million followers. House of Highlights is doing something that social media managers at major sports networks may be kicking themselves for not doing first. It’s posting highlights from sports, both professional and amateur, all day, every day. Omar Raja started House of Highlights as a way to keep up with his favorite basketball star, LeBron James. He talked about it with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood. (06/06/2018)
Jun 06, 2018
Apple's WWDC: Lots of new features, little talk of privacy
Apple CEO Tim Cook hasn’t been shy in recent weeks about taking shots at Facebook over user privacy. So it was reasonable to think that privacy and social responsibility might be selling points at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in San Jose this week. But the issue was barely mentioned by Cook or anyone else for that matter. Ina Fried, the chief technology correspondent at Axios, spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about whether Apple missed an opportunity. (06/05/2018)
Jun 05, 2018
New novel imagines tech industry "solving" childbirth
Sometimes it seems like there's nothing that tech companies won't try to disrupt. The new novel "Mother of Invention" by Caeli Wolfson Widger takes that idea all the way to the womb. The book tells the story of a biotech startup that shortens pregnancy to just nine weeks ... and questions whether that's actually a good idea. Wolfson Widger talks with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about how observations from her tech recruiting firm inspired the book. (06/04/2018)
Jun 04, 2018
Are we trading security for ... emoji?
Venmo has been a major player in the peer-to-peer payment scene the past few years. If you’re not familiar with the PayPal-owned app, one popular feature is its public news feed. That’s where people post their payments, often with emoji to describe them. But as it gets more popular, some are wondering if it’s secure or private enough. In fact, PayPal recently settled a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Venmo about privacy and security. Alison Griswold has covered Venmo at Slate and now at Quartz. She spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about the app. (06/01/2018)
Jun 01, 2018
Are traders messing with the price of bitcoin? And why should you care?
Bitcoin’s wildly fluctuating price may not be the result of free market forces. The Department of Justice has reportedly opened an investigation into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Peter Tchir, a market strategist at the investment bank Academy Securities about digital currency price manipulation his article on the topic for Forbes. (05/31/2018)  
May 31, 2018
Diverse startups could get traction from a chip giant
Intel Capital is the venture capital arm of the chip giant Intel. It's invested over $12 billion since it was started in 1991. Lately, it's focused on big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and diversity. In 2015, it announced the $125 million Intel Capital Diversity Fund, which is to be invested in female and minority startup founders. Two and a half years later, after they'd invested all that money, the Diversity Fund became the Diversity Initiative with a broader definition of diversity. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Christine Herron, one of the leaders of the fund, about its evolution. (05/30/2018)         
May 30, 2018
The Craig behind the internet's most famous list
There’s a lot of focus right now on the tech industry and its big personalities, as well as what they’re doing to help (or possibly hurt) society. However, one tech founder is trying to be a smaller personality while still leaving a big footprint on issues like education, support for military families, equality in tech and journalism. Craig Newmark founded Craigslist, Inc. in 1995 and the site basically looks the same now as it did then. Though it still bears his name, Newmark isn’t involved in the day-to-day at Craigslist. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Newmark about why he’s chosen philanthropy over being an entrepreneur in an effort to effect change. (05/29/2018)
May 29, 2018
John Doerr on the virtues (and perils) of goal setting
John Doerr is a legend in Silicon Valley and the venture capital world. He’s the chairman of the VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, at which he has funded companies like Google, Amazon and Netscape. Doerr has also mentored many of their founders and sits on the boards of Google, Zynga and — Bono’s nonprofit campaign to fight global poverty. But in his new book “Measure What Matters,” Doerr doesn’t dish on the history of the Valley or gossip about U2’s front man. Instead he talks about why setting objectives and measuring results is key to building a successful business. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Doerr about why the idea of setting goals and sticking to them is so controversial for some companies. (05/28/2018)
May 28, 2018
What's the risk when a company is identified with its CEO?
Tech founders and CEOs often become household names. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs are just a few examples. So is Elon Musk, who cut off an analyst for asking boring supply chain questions in a recent earnings call. This week, Musk attacked the media overall after news reports about problems with Tesla production, factory injuries and crashes related to its Autopilot technology. Some analysts said investors should be worried about Musk’s behavior and its impact on the company. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Paul Kedrosky of SK Ventures about how the founder’s role has changed since the first dot-com boom. (5/25/2018)    
May 25, 2018
The problem of governments using facial recognition software
This week, Amazon is facing backlash for selling facial recognition tools to police. The American Civil Liberties Union says the company was powering a government surveillance infrastructure. Amazon says its services can be used for anything from finding lost children to spotting celebrities at the royal wedding to tracking down criminals. Facial recognition is an increasingly powerful tool that’s raising a lot of privacy concerns. And not every company thinks these tools should be sold to every buyer. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke to Brian Brackeen, CEO of the facial recognition software company Kairos, about why his company’s code of ethics prohibits selling services to governments. (05/24/2018)
May 24, 2018
Should a machine have to tell you if it's a machine?
This week Microsoft bought a company called Semantic Machines which works on something called "conversational AI" - that means computers that sound and respond like humans. Mostly it's for digital assistants like Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa or Bixby on Samsung. Last month Google showed off its own smart assistant called Duplex, which can call a hair salon to make an appointment on your behalf, or a restaurant to make a reservation. But it's clear from what Google showed off that the people on the other end of these calls don't know they're talking to a computer — leading some to ask what the rights of the human on the other end of line are. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Jacob Metcalf of the Data & Society Research Institute about the business case for making computers sound so real. (05/23/2018)
May 23, 2018
Why privacy settings can't keep your location secret
Phone carriers collect a minute-by-minute record of everywhere you go. If you use GPS on your phone, that may be obvious. But carriers are also selling that information to companies that don’t do much to keep it secure. One of those companies, Securus Technologies, was hacked this month. Securus gets its information from a company called LocationSmart. On Friday, security researcher Brian Krebs reported a bug on LocationSmart’s website that would make it possible to track any phone on the four major carriers using only a phone number. Krebs spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about the dangers this kind of data can pose in the wrong hands. (05/22/2018)
May 22, 2018
Uber makes moves to disrupt bikes, too
Uber is looking beyond cars in its bid to control the future of mobility. The company recently acquired electric bike share startup Jump. That means in select cities, Uber users can opt for a bike instead of a driver to help them get around. But the uptick in two-wheeled transportation sharing has some worried about pedestrian safety on sidewalks, not to mention the implications surrounding data privacy. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood met up with Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki on a busy street in San Francisco to get a handle on the ride share ecosystem. (05/21/2018)
May 21, 2018
The Senate voted to reinstate net neutrality ... now what?
The Senate voted earlier this week to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to roll back net neutrality rules. But in order for the FCC’s decision to be reversed, a similar vote would have to pass the house and be signed by the president. But the vote did accomplish one big thing: It reminded politicians that consumers care about net neutrality and support some kind of regulation on big telecom companies. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Brian Fung of the Washington Post about what he learned from senators after the vote.  
May 18, 2018
What will Europe's new data protection law cost businesses?
Europe’s new data regulations apply to companies large and small, but do tech’s little fish have a big disadvantage? The General Data Protection Regulation has already taken effect and will start being enforced later this month. Some big companies have added staff and software to comply, but smaller businesses may not have the cash to keep up. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Jessica Lee, partner with the law firm Loeb & Loeb, about just how much businesses are spending on compliance. (05/17/2018)
May 17, 2018
Tech has helped oil drillers make more money ... with fewer workers
The current wave of automation is sometimes described as the fourth industrial revolution. And almost every industry is affected, including oil and gas. Almost 40 percent of oil and gas workers are in Texas. With the price of crude oil at $70 a barrel, there’s a boom — but not in hiring. Job numbers haven’t gone up as much as some observers expected. Automation is partly to blame, but the industry is bringing in other technologies to stay ahead of the game as well. Marketplace’s Andy Uhler took a trip out to the Permian Basin in West Texas, where oil production has tripled in the last three years. (05/16/2018)  
May 16, 2018
Will Reddit's new makeover make it more accessible?
Reddit is rolling out its biggest redesign in a decade. The site has a reputation for being very text heavy and sometimes hosting conversations that can get kind of rough. The redesign comes at the heels of a long effort to clean up those conversations and attract a broader audience. The site’s traffic has more than doubled in the past couple of years, but some loyal users aren’t fans of the redesign. For our podcast for Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Chris Slowe, Reddit’s chief technical officer and founding engineer, about the redesign. 
May 15, 2018
05/14/2018: Amazon and the Rooney Rule for diversity: If not that, then what?
Later this month, Amazon shareholders will vote on whether the company should implement the Rooney Rule when appointing new members to its board of directors. The Rooney Rule stems from an NFL policy that requires at least one minority candidate be interviewed for certain management positions. However, Amazon’s current board of directors is recommending that shareholders vote against the proposal, saying it wouldn’t be an effective use of resources. Marketplace’s Molly Wood talks about how to build a diverse company with Nicole Kyner, head of search for theBoardlist, a curated marketplace that aims to put more women on boards.
May 14, 2018
05/11/2018: Is the cryptocurrency boom a threat to Silicon Valley's elite?
Cryptocurrency may have its disruptive eye cast toward venture capital. The initial coin offering is a type of crypto-crowdfunding that startups can use to raise cash quickly without kissing the Silicon Valley ring. But do ICOs really have the potential to replace venture capital for startups? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Yuliya Chernova, who covers venture capital for the Wall Street Journal, about the pros and cons of ICOs. 
May 11, 2018
05/10/2018: Vimeo pivots from a place for watching, to tools for making video
The online video company Vimeo is switching gears, moving from being a place to watch videos … to being a place that helps people create videos. The company’s new CEO, Anjali Sud, was the person behind the pivot. She speaks with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about Vimeo's change in focus.
May 10, 2018
05/09/2018: When a government agency meets politics, what happens to tech?
Mignon Clyburn has been a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission for nine years — which is forever if you think of how technology has changed in that period.  During her tenure, she’s been a staunch advocate for consumers, backing net neutrality rules and an expansion of the Lifeline Program. But some of the policies she backed have since been reversed. Commissioner Clyburn spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about her tenure at the FCC — and the partisan nature of the agency. 
May 09, 2018
05/08/2018: Should we be getting paid for providing data?

Facebook may be considering an ad-free subscription model that would let you pay to opt out of sharing your habits and personal information. But that raises the question: Why should we pay Facebook not to take our information instead of the other way around? A new book, called “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society,” suggests that all of us are working as unpaid data laborers. Glen Weyl, one of the authors and a principal researcher at Microsoft, spoke about the topic with Marketplace’s Molly Wood.

May 08, 2018
05/07/2018: Dealing with bumps in the road ... literally

Lots of companies are working on self-driving car technology, and whoever gets there first will be positioned to make billions. But as the recent fatal accident in Arizona involving an Uber autonomous vehicle made clear, the technology is still faulty. One of the things that needs to get a lot better is how cars take in and respond to the world around them. Part of that is learning how to navigate back roads, where every bump and pothole hasn't been intricately mapped. MIT's Daniela Rus has research out today to help solve the problem — she talks about it with Marketplace's Amy Scott. 

May 07, 2018
05/04/2018: Here's why you're getting those "terms of service" updates
You may have noticed a trend in your inbox lately. A lot of “we’re changing our terms of service” emails. It’s no coincidence. Lots of companies are rewriting these agreements ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation rollout in Europe. That’s the new set of stricter privacy rules that goes into effect in Europe at the end of the month. Marketplace’s Amy Scott spoke with Jessica Lee, partner at the law firm Loeb & Loeb, about what the GDPR means and how it will affect the U.S.   
May 04, 2018
05/03/2018: Are universities targets for spying?
Should universities worry about spying? That’s what some people in the White House may think. The Trump administration is reportedly thinking about measures to prevent Chinese citizens from conducting sensitive research at American universities. The worry is that these researchers might take home secrets. Marketplace’s Amy Scott spoke with Daniel Golden, author of “Spy Schools,” about the front lines of academic espionage. 
May 03, 2018
05/02/2018: Self-driving cars still need our help and that might be a problem
Self-driving cars will probably save a lot of lives in the future. But right now, the tech is new, and most of it requires human intervention. Experts refer to several levels, 1 through 5, of automation in cars. A 5th level car would have no steering wheel or gas pedal. Several cars on the market now fit into the middle category; requiring human intervention with some autonomous features. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Missy Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University, about the risks of having humans only partly in control.    
May 02, 2018
05/01/2018: Sprint and T-Mobile plan to woo regulators with the promise of 5G
T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to merge. Now they’ll have to convince the government to let the deal move forward, which may not be easy. The companies have tried to work out a deal twice in the past and failed, partly over disagreements in terms, but also due to fears that the Obama administration would reject the merger. Their pitch to regulators this time? It’s all about 5G and the promise of fast mobile connectivity. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Mike Sievert, T-Mobile’s president and chief operating officer, about the details behind the deal.  
May 01, 2018
04/30/2018: Some Puerto Ricans still have limited access to communications
Seven months ago, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Since then, people on the island have had deal with lots of uncertainty, including spotty electricity and an island-wide blackout earlier this month. Cell phone and internet access are often unreliable as well. The FCC has proposed $750 million in funding to rebuild communication systems, but in the meantime patchwork solutions have sprung up. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary, who just returned from Puerto Rico. She says connectivity on the island is still a mixed bag. For more coverage of Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria, check out the Marketplace Weekend podcast.
Apr 30, 2018
04/27/2018: The Cybersecurity Tech Accord explained
Last week 34 tech companies signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, saying they won't help any government, including the U.S., carry out cyber-attacks. That came amid warnings from the U.S. and the U.K. about the Russian government's global attempts to hack routers and other network equipment. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Bruce Schneier, a cybersecurity expert at Harvard, about how tech companies will play a role in combating international cyber threats.
Apr 27, 2018
04/26/2018: The Supreme Court is going to decide the fate of online sales tax
Will online business be forced to collect state sales taxes? That question will go before the Supreme Court sometime in June. Traditionally, businesses only need to collect sales taxes in states where they have a physical presence. But South Dakota recently passed a law to change that. Two companies, Wayfair and Overstock, sued the state. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Josh Silverman, the CEO of Etsy, about how the court battle could affect smaller online retailers.   
Apr 26, 2018
04/25/2018: What do local political campaigns know about you?
Political campaigns want your data. At least that’s what the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us. But data isn’t just a factor in presidential politics. Local campaigns collect lots of data as well, and that data needs to be secured. Marketpalce Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams about what kinds of information smaller campaigns have. 
Apr 25, 2018
04/24/2018: Can states regulate the internet?
The days are numbered for federal net neutrality regulations. In response, some states are working on their own versions to prevent internet service providers (ISP) from blocking, slowing or charging more for some web traffic. Oregon, Washington and several other states have made new rules, but a bill working its way through the California legislature would go the furthest. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Ryan Singel, a media and strategy fellow at Stanford Law School, about how a state can regulate a business that crosses state lines.  
Apr 24, 2018
04/23/2018: Automation could change the economy. Is the U.S. prepared?
Robots are coming for all our jobs, right? It can be hard not to feel that way given the pace of automation. But if it really is inevitable, are we doing anything to prepare for it? Enter the Automation Readiness Index, a research project put together by The Economist and funded by Swiss robotics giant ABB. It’s a global list ranking the nations most prepared to smoothly integrate “intelligent automation into their economies.” Marketplace Tech Host Molly Wood spoke with Guido Jouret, ABB’s chief digital officer, about which countries came out on top and how the United States is faring. 
Apr 23, 2018
04/20/2018: Feeling "privacy fatigue" yet?
This week, Facebook revealed more about the way it collects data on just about everyone. The company disclosed how much data it collects when users aren’t logged in to Facebook and are just surfing the web. The company even tracks people who don’t have a Facebook account. To put the deluge of privacy news into perspective, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Tom Merritt, host of the "Daily Tech News Show" podcast, about whether this is all just a Facebook problem.   
Apr 20, 2018
04/19/2018: How cable became the backbone of the internet
Many Americans rely on a cable provider to connect them to broadband internet, and streaming and other tech trends are changing the way we watch television. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Amanda Lotz about her new book, "We Now Disrupt This Broadcast," on the role of cable and the internet in transforming the way we are entertained.      
Apr 19, 2018
04/18/2018: What rights do we have over photos of our faces?
We’re all being photographed, a lot — by each other, and by cameras in public and private spaces.  As our images become more widespread, there’s also more facial recognition technology that’s used to identify us. This week, a federal judge said Facebook must face a lawsuit over its use of facial recognition. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology about the value in this kind of technology, along with what kind of harm it can cause.
Apr 18, 2018
04/17/2018: The gig economy for accountants
It's Tax Day, and if you are one of the 50 million people who prepared their taxes online, you might have seen an option to talk to a real accountant through video chat. That’s because accountants are now part of the gig economy — and many certified public accountants are working gigs with TurboTax. On Marketplace Tech, we look at the need for accountants on demand and discuss how the gig economy is changing for highly educated workers. 
Apr 17, 2018
04/16/2018: Will online merchants have to start collecting sales tax?
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will determine who collects sales tax for online purchases. Right now, many online merchants — such as Overstock and Newegg —don't collect sales tax — which means lots of customers just don’t pay it. Next on Marketplace Tech, a look at the history of why online retailers haven’t collected sales tax — unless they have a physical presence in a state … and how likely that is to change. 
Apr 16, 2018
04/13/2018: When campaigns figured out the internet
This week Marketplace Tech has been focused on the data economy, and how the practice of trading our personal information for services evolved. The revelation that Facebook data was harvested by a political data analytics firm kicked off this conversation, but it’s important to note that politics has been involved with social media for a long time. And politicians have been experts at gathering data about us for even longer. Marketplace host Molly Wood spoke with Sunshine Hillygus, professor of political science and public policy at Duke University, about the entangled history of the web and politics. 
Apr 13, 2018