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Get your fill of all things tech: My top 9 podcast episodes

Anyone who's worked with me knows that I consumer content like it's my job (because it is). At the office, my headphones are glued firmly to my head with a steady stream of juicy, interesting, tech-based podcasts playing. Here's a few of my favorite web focused episodes.

"After Lizzie's Snapchat gets hacked, things start getting really creepy. Alex investigates, diving deep into the dark web."

"From airplane crashes, to industrial disasters and medical error: When things go terribly wrong, why do we blame human beings instead of bad design?"

"The transcribed life is closer than ever. In this repeat episode, one intrepid woman records every single minute of her life, for three straight days. And then lets us listen in. To a lot of mundane minutia, and one extremely uncomfortable interaction. Tape can change things. Knowing we’re being recorded can modify behavior. It can create accountability. But it doesn’t erase power dynamics."

"Ross McNutt has a superpower — he can zoom in on everyday life, then rewind and fast-forward to solve crimes in a shutter-flash. But should he? In 2004, when casualties in Iraq were rising due to roadside bombs, Ross McNutt and his team came up with an idea. With a small plane and a 44 mega-pixel camera, they figured out how to watch an entire city all at once, all day long."

A bonus Radiolab episode with a photography focus. "In December of 2009, photojournalist Lynsey Addario was embedded with a medevac team in Afghanistan. After days of waiting, one night they got the call - a marine was gravely wounded [...] Horrible, difficult, and at times strikingly beautiful, those photos raise some questions: Who should see them, who gets to decide who should see them, and what can pictures like that do, to those of us far away from the horrors of war and those of us who are all too close to it?"

"Throughout Joseph Weizenbaum’s life, he liked to tell this story about a computer program he’d created back in the 1960s as a professor at MIT. It was a simple chatbot named ELIZA that could interact with users in a typed conversation. As he enlisted people to try it out, Weizenbaum saw similar reactions again and again — people were entranced by the program. They would reveal very intimate details about their lives. It was as if they’d just been waiting for someone (or something) to ask."

"Farhan Arshad and Noor Aziz Uddin were captured 2 years after being placed on the FBI’s Cyber’s Most Wanted list for PBX hacking. In this episode, we explain PBX hacking and how hackers are racking up billions of dollars in phone bills. We also learn how the two men were captured."

"In Our Computers, Ourselves, a look at the ways technology affects us, and the main question is : Are computers changing human character? You'll hear from cyborgs, bullies, neuroscientists and police chiefs about whether our closeness with computers is changing us as a species."

"Come out. Repeat. Record. Kathy has to come out to her mom over and over again. This time she wants to know her mom understands. To help? Google Translate."


Want a break from the doom and gloom?

Three non-tech episodes steeped in pure wonderment.

"The rats are not what they seem. Also a new Yes Yes No" where the hosts chase a character of mystery and intrigue driven by creating moments of joy and anticipation in an otherwise dull world with her army of rats.

"The inside of a Horn & Hardart automat looked like a glamorous, ornate cafeteria — but instead of a human handing you hot food over a counter, you would push your tray up to a wall of little glass cubbies. Each cubby housed a fresh, hot portion of food on a small plate. It could be anything from a savory side of peas or a turkey sandwich to a sweet slice of pie. You would simply put in some nickels, and then the door to that cubby would unlock and you could take the plate that was inside."

"Horseshoe crabs are not much to look at. But beneath their unassuming catcher’s-mitt shell, they harbor a half-billion-year-old secret: a superpower that helped them outlive the dinosaurs and survive all the Earth’s mass extinctions. And what is that secret superpower? Their blood. Their baby blue blood. And it’s so miraculous that for decades, it hasn’t just been saving their butts, it’s been saving ours too."



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