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What's Tech?

The Verge

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Followers
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What's Tech?

What's Tech?

The Verge

20
Followers
14
Plays
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About Us

Enjoy the archives of this retired, award-winning series from Christopher Thomas Plante and The Verge that explained technology bit by bit. The series finale aired December 6th, 2016, shortly before Chris re-joined Polygon as its executive editor. For more on what’s happening now (and next) in technology and gadgets, listen and subscribe to The Vergecast.

Latest Episodes

The What’s Tech series finale

When I started at The Verge in 2014, I needed an excuse to learn about technology. My background was in covering video games, television, and pop culture, and I lacked the basic cognitive functions to hold a phone above my head without dropping it on my face. So I launched a podcast called What’s Tech. For two years, the show was an opportunity to learn the fundamentals about the technology that supports everyday life. Free to ask silly, obvious, and embarrassing questions, I learned a ton. I hope you did, too. After all, my favorite takeaway from the podcast was that I wasn’t alone. We often take tech for granted, like a magical apparatus that does everything we need, not a massive collection of moving parts designed and programmed by women and men with their own dreams, ambitions, and motives. Technology is immensely confusing, but understanding how it functions and who creates it is a worthwhile and rewarding pursuit. I sincerely hope that through this show, tech became more ac...

22 MIN2016 DEC 7
Comments
The What’s Tech series finale

What are Snapchat Spectacles, and do I have to be a teen to wear them?

Snapchat Spectacles, the mysterious and incredibly hyped hardware from Snap, Inc., have arrived. Vending machines for the video camera sunglasses are springing up around the country, first in California and Oklahoma, and who knows where else next. Verge senior reporter Bryan Bishop joined me this week to talk about his experience hunting down Spectacles and whether we’re all going to feel like olds wearing them. Also, what’s the deal with this circular video format? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

19 MIN2016 NOV 16
Comments
What are Snapchat Spectacles, and do I have to be a teen to wear them?

How smartphone cameras took over the world

In the early 2000s, the digital photography revolution made it possible for miniaturized camera hardware and image sensors to be packed into cell phones without adding a significant amount of weight. Then the iPhone was announced. As the smartphone war began, the camera became an important part of the ongoing spec race. Competitors tried to beat Apple in making an excellent camera (and app) that was easy to use — and it took until this year for that to start happening. Now, two-thirds of adults in the US own a smartphone. The average smartphone user takes at least 150 photos per month. Instagram has half a billion monthly users. Even if it’s just selfies or pictures of lunch — nothing has familiarized people with photography like smartphone cameras. It’s now a part of our everyday lives. I joined Chris on this week’s What’s Tech to talk about my first camera phones, why the newest smartphones have such equally excellent shooters, and where it all goes from here. Learn more abo...

23 MIN2016 OCT 25
Comments
How smartphone cameras took over the world

How HTTPS is slowly but surely making the internet safer

Over the past couple years web security has become a staple of the nightly news. The stories usually hinge on government leaks, foreign hackers, or web encryption. There’s menacing subtext that practically everything put online is vulnerable to “cyber attacks.” Though one might wonder what steps are being taken to protect not just the government and giant corporations, but you, the individual. What keeps you safe when you stumble your way into a Wikipedia hole or click a strange link sent from a friend? To find out, I invited my colleague Russell Brandom to talk about web security, and particularly HTTPS. As Russell explains, while your information isn’t necessarily less vulnerable, websites themselves are becoming safer. This is a dense topic, but fortunately Russell brought a helpful metaphor. It involves pie. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection of What's Tech ...

29 MIN2016 OCT 20
Comments
How HTTPS is slowly but surely making the internet safer

Why is everyone making GIFs of themselves?

Our most sacred and special task as human beings is to document our own existence with a single-minded dedication. That's why we have massive iCloud photo libraries, 15GB of video of that really cool Springsteen concert on our phones, Instagram accounts for ourselves, our pets, and our alter egos, and dusty yearbooks stacked up in our closets. The latest in this personal digital archive: personal GIFs. Apps like Boomerang, Motion Stills, Giphy, DSCO, and more help us make GIFs and other short, looping videos of life's most precious moments. And of course, of life's most 'grammable sammies. The Verge tech reporter and gadget blog queen Ashley Carman joined me (Kaitlyn Tiffany, your friendly Chris Plante stand-in) in the single-stall What's Tech recording booth this week to compare sweat mustaches and GIF-creation techniques. We had a nice conversation about art, technology, ourselves, and the utility of acronyms. If you tune in, you'll also learn a little something about the future o...

14 MIN2016 OCT 13
Comments
Why is everyone making GIFs of themselves?

How immersive haunted houses and participatory plays are making Halloween scarier

Here at The Verge, we love Halloween and everything about it. Horror movies, non-horror seasonal movies, seasonal beverages, seasonal bots, this Pumpkin Guy, horrifying makeup tutorials, poop-shaped candy — bring it on. In particular, we love to be scared. It gives us a sweet little adrenaline burst to get us across the daunting dark tundra of November to April. This Hallo-season, senior entertainment reporter Bryan Bishop has embarked on a journey to find the most immersive, creative, and high-tech scares in all of Los Angeles. In a new series called "The Future of Fear," he's taking us all where we're too East Coast or too chicken to go. These aren't your grandma's haunted houses (although Bryan and I will both stan for the original Haunted Mansion at Disney World, may it live forever). I love Halloween so much I, Kaitlyn Tiffany took over the seat usually warmed by your friendly neighborhood What's Tech host Chris Plante. You can't tell from the audio, but I wore a blazer to the...

24 MIN2016 OCT 6
Comments
How immersive haunted houses and participatory plays are making Halloween scarier

Why smartphone batteries explode, and why they may get worse

Samsung has officially recalled the Galaxy Note 7 worldwide, after more than 90 of the large smartphones in the US overheated due to defective batteries. Overheating is, in this case, an understatement, as some owners have claimed their smartphones outright exploded. Exploding lithium-ion batteries actually aren’t so uncommon. As my colleagues Angela Chen and Lauren Goode noted earlier this month, there are many ways for a lithium-ion battery to become dangerous, and they aren’t limited to any one smartphone or electronic device. “An exploding phone seems like a freak accident,” write Chen and Goode, “but the same chemical properties that make batteries work also make them likely to catch fire.” To learn more about the lithium-ion batteries, I invited The Verge’s science reporter Angela Chen to the show. We talk about how manufacturers are pushing the battery to its limit, and what alternatives we may see in the future. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, o...

16 MIN2016 SEP 20
Comments
Why smartphone batteries explode, and why they may get worse

How Snapchat’s goofy faces made everyone comfortable with selfies

I didn’t take many selfies until I downloaded Snapchat. But like so many people I’ve fallen in love with lenses, the optional tools that make my face look like a dog or an emoji or an advertisement for junk food. Now, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t mug into my front-facing camera. The magic of lenses is how they erase the perception of the selfie as an act of narcissism — an insipid criticism that comes from a certain clump of people who feel the need to bash people for showing a fleck of confidence. Why didn’t I take selfies? I was too embarrassed. Anyway! I digress! I’m clearly fascinated by the popularity and power of lenses, so I invited my friend and colleague Ashley Carman to the show. We talk about the potential of the lens, and the possible future of a would-be gimmick that has birthed a broader pop culture trend. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection ...

13 MIN2016 SEP 13
Comments
How Snapchat’s goofy faces made everyone comfortable with selfies

The good and bad news of the Earth-sized planet Proxima Centauri b

Late last month, news broke of the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. Orbiting the closest star to our Solar System, there’s a lot to love about Proxima b since it shares a few key traits with our own home planet. But before we start making intergalactic vacation plans, let’s pump the space-brakes: half the planet is locked in darkness, it’s pelted by radiation from close proximity to its sun, and the rock is 25 trillion miles away. Our current best option for sending a probe there involves a laser-propelled space-sail, which would reduce travel time from tens of thousands of years to 20. Which is to say, while potentially astonishing, even the best case scenario seems like a long-shot for our lifetime. To explain Proxima Centauri b, I invited my friend and colleague Loren Grush onto the show. This is, I think, the first episode in which we don’t talk about the Nic Cage film Knowing, so just keep that in mind. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RS...

20 MIN2016 SEP 9
Comments
The good and bad news of the Earth-sized planet Proxima Centauri b

A few simple tech tips for living in a dorm or a New York apartment

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

22 MIN2016 AUG 31
Comments
A few simple tech tips for living in a dorm or a New York apartment

Latest Episodes

The What’s Tech series finale

When I started at The Verge in 2014, I needed an excuse to learn about technology. My background was in covering video games, television, and pop culture, and I lacked the basic cognitive functions to hold a phone above my head without dropping it on my face. So I launched a podcast called What’s Tech. For two years, the show was an opportunity to learn the fundamentals about the technology that supports everyday life. Free to ask silly, obvious, and embarrassing questions, I learned a ton. I hope you did, too. After all, my favorite takeaway from the podcast was that I wasn’t alone. We often take tech for granted, like a magical apparatus that does everything we need, not a massive collection of moving parts designed and programmed by women and men with their own dreams, ambitions, and motives. Technology is immensely confusing, but understanding how it functions and who creates it is a worthwhile and rewarding pursuit. I sincerely hope that through this show, tech became more ac...

22 MIN2016 DEC 7
Comments
The What’s Tech series finale

What are Snapchat Spectacles, and do I have to be a teen to wear them?

Snapchat Spectacles, the mysterious and incredibly hyped hardware from Snap, Inc., have arrived. Vending machines for the video camera sunglasses are springing up around the country, first in California and Oklahoma, and who knows where else next. Verge senior reporter Bryan Bishop joined me this week to talk about his experience hunting down Spectacles and whether we’re all going to feel like olds wearing them. Also, what’s the deal with this circular video format? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

19 MIN2016 NOV 16
Comments
What are Snapchat Spectacles, and do I have to be a teen to wear them?

How smartphone cameras took over the world

In the early 2000s, the digital photography revolution made it possible for miniaturized camera hardware and image sensors to be packed into cell phones without adding a significant amount of weight. Then the iPhone was announced. As the smartphone war began, the camera became an important part of the ongoing spec race. Competitors tried to beat Apple in making an excellent camera (and app) that was easy to use — and it took until this year for that to start happening. Now, two-thirds of adults in the US own a smartphone. The average smartphone user takes at least 150 photos per month. Instagram has half a billion monthly users. Even if it’s just selfies or pictures of lunch — nothing has familiarized people with photography like smartphone cameras. It’s now a part of our everyday lives. I joined Chris on this week’s What’s Tech to talk about my first camera phones, why the newest smartphones have such equally excellent shooters, and where it all goes from here. Learn more abo...

23 MIN2016 OCT 25
Comments
How smartphone cameras took over the world

How HTTPS is slowly but surely making the internet safer

Over the past couple years web security has become a staple of the nightly news. The stories usually hinge on government leaks, foreign hackers, or web encryption. There’s menacing subtext that practically everything put online is vulnerable to “cyber attacks.” Though one might wonder what steps are being taken to protect not just the government and giant corporations, but you, the individual. What keeps you safe when you stumble your way into a Wikipedia hole or click a strange link sent from a friend? To find out, I invited my colleague Russell Brandom to talk about web security, and particularly HTTPS. As Russell explains, while your information isn’t necessarily less vulnerable, websites themselves are becoming safer. This is a dense topic, but fortunately Russell brought a helpful metaphor. It involves pie. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection of What's Tech ...

29 MIN2016 OCT 20
Comments
How HTTPS is slowly but surely making the internet safer

Why is everyone making GIFs of themselves?

Our most sacred and special task as human beings is to document our own existence with a single-minded dedication. That's why we have massive iCloud photo libraries, 15GB of video of that really cool Springsteen concert on our phones, Instagram accounts for ourselves, our pets, and our alter egos, and dusty yearbooks stacked up in our closets. The latest in this personal digital archive: personal GIFs. Apps like Boomerang, Motion Stills, Giphy, DSCO, and more help us make GIFs and other short, looping videos of life's most precious moments. And of course, of life's most 'grammable sammies. The Verge tech reporter and gadget blog queen Ashley Carman joined me (Kaitlyn Tiffany, your friendly Chris Plante stand-in) in the single-stall What's Tech recording booth this week to compare sweat mustaches and GIF-creation techniques. We had a nice conversation about art, technology, ourselves, and the utility of acronyms. If you tune in, you'll also learn a little something about the future o...

14 MIN2016 OCT 13
Comments
Why is everyone making GIFs of themselves?

How immersive haunted houses and participatory plays are making Halloween scarier

Here at The Verge, we love Halloween and everything about it. Horror movies, non-horror seasonal movies, seasonal beverages, seasonal bots, this Pumpkin Guy, horrifying makeup tutorials, poop-shaped candy — bring it on. In particular, we love to be scared. It gives us a sweet little adrenaline burst to get us across the daunting dark tundra of November to April. This Hallo-season, senior entertainment reporter Bryan Bishop has embarked on a journey to find the most immersive, creative, and high-tech scares in all of Los Angeles. In a new series called "The Future of Fear," he's taking us all where we're too East Coast or too chicken to go. These aren't your grandma's haunted houses (although Bryan and I will both stan for the original Haunted Mansion at Disney World, may it live forever). I love Halloween so much I, Kaitlyn Tiffany took over the seat usually warmed by your friendly neighborhood What's Tech host Chris Plante. You can't tell from the audio, but I wore a blazer to the...

24 MIN2016 OCT 6
Comments
How immersive haunted houses and participatory plays are making Halloween scarier

Why smartphone batteries explode, and why they may get worse

Samsung has officially recalled the Galaxy Note 7 worldwide, after more than 90 of the large smartphones in the US overheated due to defective batteries. Overheating is, in this case, an understatement, as some owners have claimed their smartphones outright exploded. Exploding lithium-ion batteries actually aren’t so uncommon. As my colleagues Angela Chen and Lauren Goode noted earlier this month, there are many ways for a lithium-ion battery to become dangerous, and they aren’t limited to any one smartphone or electronic device. “An exploding phone seems like a freak accident,” write Chen and Goode, “but the same chemical properties that make batteries work also make them likely to catch fire.” To learn more about the lithium-ion batteries, I invited The Verge’s science reporter Angela Chen to the show. We talk about how manufacturers are pushing the battery to its limit, and what alternatives we may see in the future. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, o...

16 MIN2016 SEP 20
Comments
Why smartphone batteries explode, and why they may get worse

How Snapchat’s goofy faces made everyone comfortable with selfies

I didn’t take many selfies until I downloaded Snapchat. But like so many people I’ve fallen in love with lenses, the optional tools that make my face look like a dog or an emoji or an advertisement for junk food. Now, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t mug into my front-facing camera. The magic of lenses is how they erase the perception of the selfie as an act of narcissism — an insipid criticism that comes from a certain clump of people who feel the need to bash people for showing a fleck of confidence. Why didn’t I take selfies? I was too embarrassed. Anyway! I digress! I’m clearly fascinated by the popularity and power of lenses, so I invited my friend and colleague Ashley Carman to the show. We talk about the potential of the lens, and the possible future of a would-be gimmick that has birthed a broader pop culture trend. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection ...

13 MIN2016 SEP 13
Comments
How Snapchat’s goofy faces made everyone comfortable with selfies

The good and bad news of the Earth-sized planet Proxima Centauri b

Late last month, news broke of the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. Orbiting the closest star to our Solar System, there’s a lot to love about Proxima b since it shares a few key traits with our own home planet. But before we start making intergalactic vacation plans, let’s pump the space-brakes: half the planet is locked in darkness, it’s pelted by radiation from close proximity to its sun, and the rock is 25 trillion miles away. Our current best option for sending a probe there involves a laser-propelled space-sail, which would reduce travel time from tens of thousands of years to 20. Which is to say, while potentially astonishing, even the best case scenario seems like a long-shot for our lifetime. To explain Proxima Centauri b, I invited my friend and colleague Loren Grush onto the show. This is, I think, the first episode in which we don’t talk about the Nic Cage film Knowing, so just keep that in mind. Subscribe to What's Tech on iTunes, listen on Spotify, or subscribe via RS...

20 MIN2016 SEP 9
Comments
The good and bad news of the Earth-sized planet Proxima Centauri b

A few simple tech tips for living in a dorm or a New York apartment

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

22 MIN2016 AUG 31
Comments
A few simple tech tips for living in a dorm or a New York apartment
hmly
himalayaプレミアムへようこそ聴き放題のオーディオブックをお楽しみください。