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Download This Show
Download This Show is your weekly guide to the world of media, culture, and technology. From social media to gadgets, streaming services to privacy issues. Each week Marc Fennell and a team of people far smarter than him (his words, not ours) take a fun deep dive into how technology is reshaping our lives.
July 22, 2021
Finger power & Spyware scandals
This week we dive into the biggest spyware scandal of the year, Pegasus, that was sold to authoritarian regimes and is being used to target activists, politicians and journalists. Plus, the power is in our hands – or rather, fingertips – with a new device that can generate small amounts of electricity from finger sweat or pressure. And US President Joe Biden says that social media is killing people, while beyond-the-grave deep fakes get us pondering the moral and ethical limitations of the technology. Guests: Rae Johnston, co-host of the Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Josh Taylor, technology reporter at The Guardian
July 15, 2021
Are Covid breathalysers coming soon?
Breath-based Covid-19 tests are under development around the world, so has the time for disease-detecting breathalysers finally arrived? Meanwhile, Reddit is opening an Australian office, so we want to know why and what’s behind its success. Plus, big news for one of Uber’s biggest competitors and should we shame politicians for being on their phones too much? Guests: Natasha Gillezeau, Technology journalist, Australian Financial Review & Cam Wilson, Associate Editor, Crikey
July 8, 2021
Indigenous start-ups talk country, culture and health
In this episode, our NAIDOC week panel tell us all about how their start-ups are harnessing the power of technology to help users connect with their country, culture and improve health outcomes. Guests: Kayla Cartledge, CEO & Founder, Our Songlines Dr Kyle Turner, CEO & Co-Founder, Pearlii Dr Christopher Lawrence, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering & IT at University of Technology Sydney. Lead investigator in the development of the SWAMSmob app.
July 1, 2021
Two exorbitant tickets to space, please.
The report from the Pentagon’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force has finally landed, so what exactly does it reveal? Plus, Virgin Galactic gets the green light to take passengers into space, or more precisely, to the edge of space. And we look at the legacy of one of the most influential but dangerous people in tech history and how much BuzzFeed is really worth. Guests: Rad Yeo, Technology journalist and co-host of Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Meg Coffey, Social Media strategist
June 24, 2021
It’s a hit. Except when it isn’t.
We think of shows on Netflix, Stan and Amazon as being hit shows because everyone is talking about them but the truth is that no one outside of those companies actually knows how many people are watching. So that hit might not actually be a hit at all. So how can we bring a little transparency to the process? Plus, the women taking on an adult media company, the surgeons conducting surgery in augmented reality and when international travel is happening again do we want to do it at the speed of sound? Guests: Rae Johnston, co-host of Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Jonno Seidler, Creative Lead at Unyoked
June 17, 2021
Is ANOM an anomaly?
How do you arrest more than 800 suspected criminals around the world? Get them to use an app that happens to be controlled by worldwide law enforcement. We dive into the weird world of the ANOM app and the role it played in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest crime stories of the year. Also - dozens of the world’s most popular websites like the New York Times, Twitch and Spotify disappeared offline last week… and it’s all thanks to one company that underpins a huge part of the internet we experience. Plus are you more likely to swipe right on a dating app for someone who’s vaccinated? And why are we wasting our time on Zoom when we should be making holograms of each other? Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute & Sam Koslowski, Co-founder of The Daily Aus.
June 10, 2021
How long is long enough?
Facebook says it will suspend former US president Donald Trump's accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington DC. But what are the wider ramifications of that decision? Also - what do you get when you sign up for Twitter’s new paid service Twitter Blue? Turns out not a lot. Plus - Apple updates, and would you play videogames on Netflix? Guests: Dr Emily van der Nagel, Social Media Lecturer at Monash University & Peter Marks, freelance software developer and technology commentator
June 3, 2021
The dangers of liking something too much
Instagram backflips on a move it made to hide likes on posts, to protect users’ mental health. So, what does this change mean? Also - how to not get scammed when buying the internet’s newest and most confounding fad – NFTs. Plus, WhatsApp sues India and Facebook does a good thing. Guests: Meg Coffey, social media strategist & Cam Wilson, Associate Editor, Crikey
May 27, 2021
Can cryptocurrencies survive without China?
Cryptocurrencies have come up against the might of China, which has warned financial institutions to "resolutely refrain" from providing services using digital currencies because of their volatility. So what does that mean for their future? Plus, trusting artificial intelligence to diagnose your skin condition on Google’s new skin check app, and the court case that could reshape Apple’s App Store. And it was the gateway to the internet for millions but as Microsoft Internet Explorer takes its final bow, is there anything that you’ll miss about it? Guests: Sarah Moran, CEO Geek Girl academy & Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, National Technology Editor, News Corp
May 20, 2021
Buy my fake voice?
How can you tell whether someone’s voice is real or not? Well thanks to a new platform allowing celebrities and influencers to ‘clone’ their voice with artificial intelligence, deepfake voices are going to make it harder for us to distinguish the real from the robot. Meanwhile, what Elon Musk’s U-turn means for Bitcoin, and what we all need to know about the changes to WhatsApp. Plus, Instagram for kids? What could possibly go wrong? Guests: Natasha Gillezeau, journalist for The Australian Financial Review & Josh Taylor, journalist for The Guardian
May 13, 2021
Court is in session… Facebook Court that is.
Being called its own version of the US Supreme Court, Facebook has created an Oversight Board. It's set up to be an independent body that would make binding decisions on moderation and content problems, but how is that going in practice? And should other social media companies follow suit? Plus, Twitter tries to bend user behaviours with targeted prompts and the option to 'tip' Tweeters. And Apple's new AirTags are designed to be attached to keys and wallets and to beep when you lose them. So why are they concerned about it being used by abusive partners and why did one major retailer pull them off the shelves? Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst with ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre & Cameron Wilson, Associate Editor, Crikey
May 6, 2021
Forget auctions. Print yourself a home.
What looks a bit like ice cream, takes hours to build and you can live in it? Answer: A 3D printed house. So what do these houses mean for the future of housing?
April 29, 2021
Would you pay to listen to this as a podcast?
Apple unveil new plans for podcasters to get paid on their platform, but will it work? And what does it say about the monetisation of podcasts? Meanwhile, India cracks down on social media posts that are critical of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis Plus - digital horse racing. Can you trust it? Guests: Meg Coffey, social media strategist & Peter Marks, software developer
April 22, 2021
The ACCC won against Google. Now what?
Google was taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over misleading Australian mobile and tablet users about how it collects location data. The ACCC won and now Google could face fines of millions of dollars. The ACCC says this case is the first in the world on location data collection so how significant is this win and what does it mean for our location data? And there’s more frenzy in the world of digital tokens this week as the value of Dogecoin skyrocketed, now up 18,000 per cent from a year ago. But what exactly is it? Plus, Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe and co-inventor of the PDF, has died at age 81… we look back at our most beloved memories of the PDF. Guests: Natasha Gillezeau, Technology, marketing and media journalist at the Australian Financial Review & Daniel Van Boom, News Editor at CNET
April 15, 2021
Monkeys with mind control and super-fast internet
If you could control things with your mind, what would you do? You’d play a never-ending game of Pong with a monkey, wouldn't you? Well good, because Elon Musk has got you sorted for that alarmingly specific scenario. And another week, another leak, with half a billion LinkedIn account details leaked. So what happened and what can you do about it? Plus, why the Victorian Government is taxing Electric Vehicles and what ultra-fast internet in space looks like. Guests: Sarah Moran, Co-founder and CEO Girl Geek Academy & Kunal Kalro, Founder and CEO Eugene Australia
April 8, 2021
Oops, Facebook did it again.
For Facebook it was old news, but for over 500 million of its users it was new and shocking, that their phone numbers and personal data were leaked online. So how did it happen, and what can we do about it? Plus, Kurt Cobain made a new song from beyond the grave thanks to artificial intelligence, but is it any good? And Microsoft has announced it's providing Augmented Reality headsets to the US Army to help troops identify targets and danger, blurring the lines between video games, reality and war. Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst with ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre & Cam Wilson, Internet reporter, Business Insider Australia and Gizmodo Australia
April 1, 2021
WTF is an NFT?
Non-Fungible Tokens have been making headlines and causing many people to scratch their heads. With an artist raking in $US70 million for a digital artwork, and tweets being bought, we thought it's time to try to understand what's going on and why. And entertainment giants Netflix and Amazon Prime are clashing with creatives in countries like India over cultural and religious sensitivities. But should they be? Plus, if you could wash your clothes without taking them off, would you? A new gadget may be your new favourite toy. Guests: Rae Johnston, co-host of Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Josh Taylor, technology reporter at The Guardian
March 25, 2021
Smart watch? Smarter everything.
Imagine if your brooch knew when you were lonely, if silicone skin could sense pain, and if VR was as real as reality itself.
March 18, 2021
The future of solar power
From solar 'paints' to solar-integrated electric vehicles, there are cutting-edge technologies shaping a renewable future. Australia has the highest uptake of solar globally, with more than 21% of homes with rooftop solar PV. And yet among consumers there are still so many questions about solar to power our everyday lives. Guests: Amy Bainbridge, ABC Consumer Affairs Reporter & Professor Renate Egan, lead of the UNSW activity in the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics
March 11, 2021
Would you pay for Twitter?
Would you pay to follow someone on Twitter? It's one of the latest ideas that Twitter has floated so we're diving into the world of the Super Follow. Plus, there’s been a renewed focus on whether the likes of UberEats are doing enough to ensure the safety of their drivers. They’ve unveiled some new plans but are they getting to the root of the issue? And sex workers are up in arms at the government's new online safety legislation - but why? And what are the ramifications for everyone else that uses the web? Guests: Josh Taylor, Guardian Australia reporter & Meg Coffey, social media strategist