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Marketplace Tech

American Public Media

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.

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.


Los Angeles, CA


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.




261 South Figueroa Street #200 Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 621-3500


Public health officials stuck using faxes to track the coronavirus

Tech has helped in the fight against the coronavirus, but there’s a bottleneck when it comes to contact tracing: public health departments. These government agencies are chronically underfunded, and some don’t have the right tech to get medical data quickly. Host Molly Wood speaks with Dan Gorenstein, co-host of the health-care podcast “Tradeoffs,” about trying to track the spread of the virus with fax machines.


Europe’s data-privacy law turns 2. Has it actually made our information safer?

This week marks two years since Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect. Companies spent millions of dollars on GDPR compliance, and people expected fines so big they’d put Big Tech out of business. That didn’t exactly happen, but what has the GDPR meant for consumer privacy? Host Molly Wood speaks with Jessica Lee, a partner with the law firm Loeb & Loeb who specializes in privacy.


Some people are making bread in quarantine. Others are making TikToks

TikTok has been in the news for its new CEO, who was poached from Disney, and for the record labels who think the service should pay more to publishers and artists for song rights. And there have been calls to ban it in the U.S. over its Chinese ownership and security fears. But its popularity keeps growing.


Restaurants and apps are fighting over fees. Is delivery too cheap to support both?

Most restaurants right now are open for delivery or pickup only, and that means a lot of them are relying on third-party delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash or Uber Eats. Those services can charge significant fees to restaurants, and some restaurants complain those fees are unsustainable. Some cities have capped those fees and now the delivery companies say the caps are unsustainable. Host Molly Wood speaks with Venessa Wong, a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News.


When ventilators break, iFixit can help

Ventilators, dialysis machines and mechanical beds are more important than ever. That equipment, of course, breaks down. And some manufacturers restrict access to repair information, so hospital technicians can’t just fix things themselves. Molly Wood speaks with iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, who just launched a public database of medical-equipment repair manuals.


Antitrust regulators have an eye on Big Tech’s spending spree

Uber looking to buy Grubhub. Facebook buying Giphy. Apple nabbing NextVR. Host Molly Wood speaks with Mark Lemley, who teaches antitrust and internet law at Stanford University, about whether regulators will take action against any of these deals. He says Facebook buying Giphy, for example, may not be any worse than its purchase of Instagram. But the combined weight of so many acquisitions could prompt regulators to wade in.


A new strategy for 5G without Huawei

The Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei sells a lot of the complex hardware needed for 5G. But what if there were a way to build the networks that didn’t depend on Huawei? A group of 31 companies are pushing for devices that let software do most of the heavy lifting. Host Molly Wood speaks with Doug Brake, director of broadband and spectrum policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.


Real estate disruptors got disrupted by COVID-19

The biggest instant homebuyers — Opendoor, Zillow, Offerpad and Redfin — stopped making purchases in March, in some cases backing out of deals and forfeiting their deposits. Now, some iBuyers are coming back, but they’ll need to prove the model can survive a downturn. Marketplace’s Amy Scott speaks with Mike DelPrete, who watches iBuying closely. He’s a scholar-in-residence at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Ransomware attacks against hospitals are on the rise

Host Molly Wood speaks with Marketplace correspondent Scott Tong about the increase in ransomware attacks against hospitals and other health-care facilities. Tong says places that are working on coronavirus testing and vaccines appear to be especially popular targets. And because these institutions are anxious to restore access to potentially lost patient information, they may ignore authorities’ advice and pay the ransoms.


COVID-19 is pushing notaries into the digital age

Notarization has been around for centuries. It’s when an official of the state verifies a person’s identity so she can buy a house, adopt a child or draft a will. Lots of states allow online notarization, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced others states to follow. On “Marketplace Tech” today, a look at how online notarization works, why it costs more and how secure the practice is.


Finding ways to mourn online, as the coronavirus keeps us apart

Host Molly Wood speaks with Sarah Chavez, executive director of the nonprofit group The Order of the Good Death. Social distancing makes it hard to mourn together deaths from the pandemic or other causes. So people are turning to digital spaces to remember their loved ones. Chavez says some people are even creating digital altars in the video game Animal Crossing.


Coronavirus conspiracy theories don’t go viral by accident

Host Molly Wood speaks with Renée DiResta, the technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory, about coronavirus disinformation campaigns. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have been trying to chase the conspiracies off the internet, but DiResta says it’s not an accident these theories reach so many people. It’s an old playbook that’s even more effective in a time of fear and uncertainty.


Zoom could be the new language of film

Host Molly Wood speaks with Ann Hornaday, a film critic at The Washington Post, about the future of films in the pandemic era. Since lots of people are working from home and using Zoom, she says it will eventually be a stylistic option for directors trying to convey what it was like living through 2020. It’s just a matter of time, she says, before the first Zoom movie.


Etsy is doing very well during the pandemic

Host Molly Wood speaks with Etsy CEO Josh Silverman about how the platform has been a go-to for people looking for fabric masks. Silverman says that Etsy sellers had to pivot to making and selling masks after the CDC announced that everyone should be wearing them outside. The company helped sell more than 12 million masks last month.


Political advertising during COVID-19 is the calm before the storm

Host Molly Wood speaks with Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams, who covers politics and the economy, about how political ads are changing during the pandemic. Adams says online ads may be cheaper, helping cash-strapped campaigns, but consumers are even less in the mood for content that doesn’t either cheer them up or inform them about COVID-19. It could also mean that online ads are way more accessible to bad actors looking to spread misinformation.


The tech industry says immigration makes the U.S. more competitive

Host Molly Wood speaks with Michael Petricone of the Consumer Technology Association about the Trump administration’s executive order on green cards and how it’ll affect the tech industry. Petricone says that immigrants make the U.S. economy and tech industry stronger. He adds that limitations on green cards and visas could make it harder for the economy to recover once the COVID-19 pandemic recedes.


Safety or surveillance: drones and the COVID-19 pandemic

Host Molly Wood speaks with Ryan Calo, a professor of law at the University of Washington, about the legalities involved in police using drones to monitor social distancing requirements during this pandemic. Calo says that though it can be legal, he is worried about surveillance being combined with AI tools that purport to detect whether people are sick. He raises concerns about companies selling “technical snake oil” and increasing anxieties in an already anxious environment.


Scientists are working furiously to create COVID-19 tests

Host Molly Wood speaks with Dr. Loren Wold, from the nursing school of Ohio State University, about how he and OSU colleagues have adapted to create COVID-19 tests. He says they’ve needed to create their own fluids to stabilize samples, 3D-print their own nasal swabs and figure out supply chain logistics for test tubes.


Small business emergency lending program expands fintechs’ portfolios

Host Molly Wood speaks with Felix Salmon, chief financial correspondent at Axios, about fintech companies getting involved in the PPP loan program for small businesses. He says PayPal, Square and other fintechs aren’t likely to beef up that side of their businesses beyond the federal program, mainly because they’re not well-equipped to gauge risks on loans that aren’t guaranteed by the government.


COVID-19 tracing apps might not be optional at work

Host Molly Wood speaks with David Sapin, who works for consulting firm PwC, about the company’s new contact-tracing app. After an employee self-reports being positive for coronavirus, Sapin says, the human resources department could see if the exposed employee came into contact with co-workers and notify them. He says the app only traces contacts at the workplace, not outside.