Marketplace Tech

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

Could a Silicon Valley startup make geothermal heating cool?

Geothermal energy systems let people heat and cool their homes using energy from the Earth. The technology has been around for decades and is incredibly efficient, but fewer than 1% of homes in the U.S. use it. Now, Dandelion Energy wants to do for geothermal heating what Tesla did for the electric car — make it cool. Your support makes our podcast...

One key to adapting to climate change: Having your own energy grid

Increasingly, in the U.S., people are having to adapt to a world without reliable power. Storms, fires and even power shut-offs designed to prevent fires have lots of people trying to figure out local solutions for electricity. One solution is microgrids — decentralized power generation often with solar energy as its source. Molly speaks with Jose Alfaro,...

Banks are getting interested in big data to figure out their climate risk

A big element of the business story around climate change is risk. The risk to cities, states and countries, to businesses and the banks that invest in all of them. Some regulatory bodies, like the European Central Bank, require climate risk assessment. It’s possible the Federal Reserve may eventually as well. Molly speaks with Emilie Mazzacurati, who...

Making old buildings resilient to climate change requires new financial tools

All this week on Marketplace Tech, we’re looking at technology that can help us become more resilient to climate change. The startup BlocPower uses software to identify buildings that are prime candidates to receive more efficient energy systems. At the individual building level, this has immediate effects on both comfort and cost. And the company’s...

Gig workers weigh in on Prop 22 passing

This month in California, voters approved Proposition 22, a ballot measure that says drivers for apps like Uber, Lyft and Instacart will remain independent contractors, not employees. We hear from four gig drivers both in and out of California who have mixed views on the law.

The future of work … as determined by Uber?

As the pandemic recession drags on, people are turning to gig work to fill the gaps, and the nature of that work is evolving. Proposition 22 in California, which passed last week, lets companies classify delivery and ride-hail drivers as independent contractors. There are some new requirements, such as a wage floor and some health benefit options. Some...

Retail therapy is great, but returns can take the fun out of it

In this pandemic, we are shopping online way, way more than we ever have. And sometimes we want to return the things we buy, which can be a hassle — with shipping and restocking fees and printing out return labels with printers we may or may not have at home. This holiday season, some retailers are trying to make returns easier. For example, employees...

Retailers are turning to virtual storefronts this holiday season

Shopping is a big part of the holiday season: We go downtown or to a packed mall, browse the store windows, smell the chestnuts roasting in the street. The pandemic has obviously changed all this, but some retailers like Gap, Ted Baker, and Ralph Lauren are trying to deliver that experience through our computers. Marielle Segarra recently clicked through...

How soon some parts of the country get 5G depends on what the Biden administration does

We’ve been waiting for 5G, the fifth generation of wireless technology, for years. And the promise of it is great: that it’ll eventually be 100 times faster than 4G and make technologies, like driverless cars and augmented reality, more sophisticated. But there’s still a lot the incoming Biden administration and telecommunication companies will have...

Parler lets anything happen on its platform — what if nobody else cares?

The social media site Parler doesn’t fact-check, doesn’t moderate and doesn’t label or remove misinformation. Conservatives and far-right conservatives love it, and disinformation researchers are worried. But there is one other interesting element to Parler: There’s no algorithm that amplifies stories, like the kind that tends to make disinformation...

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