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Hosted by Molly Wood, “Marketplace Tech” demystifies the digital economy. The daily show uncovers how tech influences our lives in unexpected ways and provides context for listeners who care about the impact of tech, business and the digital world.

Latest articles

A critic of Big Tech is now one of its biggest regulators

This week, the White House appointed Lina Khan to chair of the Federal Trade Commission. The announcement came just hours after she was confirmed by the Senate to be a commissioner. At just 32, she’s the youngest-ever FTC chair. Khan rose to fame for a paper she wrote while at Yale Law School, making the case for reining in Amazon’s monopoly power....

Buy now, pay later. What’s the catch?

If you do any shopping online, you’ve no doubt seen offers to pay for that sweater or mattress in installments using services from Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna and other fintech companies. These “buy now, pay later” startups got a boost from the growth in online shopping during the pandemic. And the model is moving beyond retail to include things like rent,...

What the authoritarian crackdown on social media means for global activism

It’s been more than a decade since the revolution that came to be known as the Arab Spring, when protesters across the Middle East challenged — and in some cases overthrew — authoritarian governments. Social media played a central role in helping activists organize and build support. Now, autocratic leaders around the world have been stifling dissent...

Can we print our way out of the affordable housing crisis?

The cost of building a new house has gone up sharply over the past year. Not just because of lumber, but because steel, insulation, windows and appliances are all harder to get and more expensive because of high demand and delays. A number of startups have promised to revolutionize construction with new materials and technologies. It’s not easy — the...

What the failure of a construction startup tells us about SoftBank

SoftBank launched its first, $100 billion Vision Fund in 2017. Just last month, the Japanese conglomerate led by Masayoshi Son said the fund had delivered record profits for the quarter. But there have been some big failures too. The modular-construction startup Katerra filed for bankruptcy last week. SoftBank had invested more than $2 billion in the...

How tech might clean up concrete

Las Vegas hosted its first in-person convention this week since the pandemic. It’s called World of Concrete, which normally attracts some 60,000 engineers, architects, masons and contractors. Not quite a full turnout this year, but Marketplace senior reporter Matt Levin was there. Marketplace’s Amy Scott asked Levin what kind of tech he’s seen there.

A boost for TikTok and those who make money from it

President Joe Biden on Wednesday rescinded a series of executive orders from the Trump administration that had tried to ban the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat here in the United States. The orders had been blocked by federal judges. Instead, the Biden administration plans a security review of those and other apps. Many turned to the short-form...

Massive online courses got a boost during the pandemic. Will it last?

When a couple of Stanford professors founded Coursera in 2012, they promised to democratize access to higher education by making courses from prestigious colleges available online. Nearly a decade later, many of us were thrust into the world of online education by the pandemic. Tens of millions of new users joined Coursera’s platform, some just looking...

Amazon’s Ring changes how police get doorbell footage

More than 2,000 police and fire departments have partnerships with Amazon to use surveillance video from its Ring security cameras. This week, the company changed the way law enforcement can access that video. Now, departments will have to post public requests on Amazon’s Neighbors app and include some details about the relevant investigation. Police...

Big Tech is mining our medical records for patterns

Hospitals and other health care systems are eager to find patterns in their patient data that can help treat and prevent illness and cut costs. In England, the National Health Service is collecting the medical histories of up to 55 million patients to share with third parties. Here in the U.S., Google will help the hospital chain HCA Healthcare store...

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