Marketplace Tech Report
Marketplace Tech is a daily 4-minute show exploring how technology is shaping our lives.
Right now, states and cities decide if and how they want autonomous vehicles on their streets. The U.S. Senate is considering a measure that would standardize the rules of the road and let automakers sell more cars with self-driving capabilities over the next three years. It's passed out of committee and will go to a full Senate vote in the coming weeks. The House of Representatives has already passed a different version of the bill. Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, one of the sponsors of the bill, talks with Molly Wood about the legislation.
The tech industry’s economy hinges on venture capital. But what does venture capital’s economy hinge on? Private corporations, city entities and universities. These groups, called limited partners, fund firms with endowment money and pension funds, or part of your paycheck. On this episode of Marketplace Tech, we look into the world of limited partners.
Ever since we started imagining robots, we’ve pictured them looking like humans. There are researchers who think androids are going to a part of our future. They’re developing robots that could become our caretakers, best friends and maybe even our lovers. Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood talks with author Alex Mar, who profiled a designer who studies human intimacy and interaction with robots.
In the past few years, venture capitalists have invested more than $1.6 billion into companies working with low-earth orbit technology. Some of those companies are making small satellites that orbit closer to Earth than traditional ones. The goal: to blanket Earth with broadband internet and gather data on the planet. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks to the innovators behind this mission.
Microsoft recently announced that it’s doing away with its Windows Phone operating system. That basically leaves consumers with two options: iPhone or Android. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Julie Ask, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, about how the smartphone industry got here and what it would take for a third player to enter the market.
To find out how your trusted weather app gets its intel, look no further than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Virginia outpost of NOAA has huge disks on its roof that pull in information from the satellites floating in space, and a massive server room where all of the data they collect gets stored and sent out. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams took a tour of the building with Bill Carter, who’s in charge of ground systems and maintenance.