On Codebreaker we decipher our complicated feelings about technology by asking straightforward questions with a sense of humor, a sense of awe — and sometimes a sense of dread. In our second season we’ve got one question in mind: Can it save us? Codebreaker isn’t just the name of our podcast, it’s also a way to listen. Each episode contains a code to help you immediately unlock the next installment and ultimately the entire season. Think you’ve cracked a code? Go to and enter it. If decoding isn’t your thing, that’s OK. We’ll put out episodes every Wednesday during the season. Produced by Marketplace in partnership with Tech Insider, and distributed by Marketplace from American Public Media. Follow along on Twitter: @MarketplaceTech
S02-7: Technology Crossing Borders
Dec 27, 2016 • 34 min
The gadget that saved a refugee in the middle of the Aegean Sea, how an agent uses technology to patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, and how a journalist in exile broadcasts the news with WhatsApp. Listen, decode, and decide: Can technology crossing…
S02-6: Encryption
Dec 21, 2016 • 28 min
How encryption hides all around us, how it was used in 18th century Paris to separate merchants from their money and the difference between your brain and your fingertip. Listen, decode, and decide: Can encryption save us? Stay updated on all things…
S02-5: World Building
Dec 14, 2016 • 39 min
A proposal to bioengineer shorter humans with cat eyes, a decades-old idea for a totally new kind of power, a battery made from trash and Bill Nye the Science Guy tries to get us in gear. Listen, decode, and decide: Can world-building save us? Stay…
S02-4: Watching
Dec 7, 2016 • 36 min
A small city known for its Amish population and surveillance cameras, an old lady in Northern Ireland who watches video feeds in Brazil and getting footage from the fin of a shark. Listen, decode, and decide: Can watching save us? Stay updated on all…
S02-3: The Augmented Self
Nov 30, 2016 • 32 min
The man who collected too much data, cyborgs who want to make their body-hardware mainstream, robots that rebuild your hairline and a conversation with Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge aka LeVar Burton. Listen, decode, and decide: Can the augmented…
S02-2: Alternate Reality
Nov 23, 2016 • 35 min
A therapist who creates virtual reality experiences for people with dangerous disorders, a grandmother who uses a headset to escape her surroundings and Ernest Cline on virtual reality in fact and fiction. Listen, decode, and decide: Can alternate…
S02-1: Recognition
Nov 16, 2016 • 33 min
A toddler who saved her mother’s life with Siri, a man whose mysterious ailment opened up a world of voice recognition technology and a dating service that wants to scan the faces of all your exes. Listen, decode, and decide: Can recognition software save…
Introducing Codebreaker Season 2
Nov 2, 2016 • 2 min
Codebreaker is back with a brand new season of stories about how technology is woven deeper and deeper into our lives. Last season we asked if this technology was evil. This season we’re a little more hopeful, but the stakes are higher. This season, we’re…
You have a message from Codebreaker
Oct 19, 2016 • 1 min
The key starts with zero. Once you’ve cracked it head to Stay updated on all things Codebreaker. /* RESET */ .elq-form * { margin: 0; padding: 0; } .elq-form input, textarea { -webkit-box-sizing:content-box; -moz-box-sizing:content-box;…
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 7: Data Tracking
Dec 23, 2015 • 31 min
How targeted ads for a pair of men’s sandals broke up one relationship, the researchers trying to keep data tracking honest, and the casualties of ad blockers. Listen, decode, and decide: Is data tracking evil?
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 6: Going Viral
Dec 16, 2015 • 31 min
How people-rating app Peeple drew rage and put its co-founders in danger, how a 16-year-old embraced identity through virality, and the funny video that threatened to put its makers into crushing debt. Listen, decode, and decide: Is going viral evil?
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 5: The Decisive Machine
Dec 9, 2015 • 30 min
A guy who thinks machines can prevent crime, another who thinks machines could destroy humanity and a machine-learning algorithm outsmarted by squirrels. Listen, decode and decide: Is the decisive machine evil?
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 4: The Software Update
Dec 2, 2015 • 36 min
A software update that almost brought down the International Space Station with astronauts inside, updating software inside your body, and the days when even geeks dreaded installing new programs. Listen, decode, and decide: Is the software update evil?
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 3: The Dark Web
Nov 25, 2015 • 32 min
A couple is forced onto the dark web to buy life-saving medicine; Ben buys a drug scale; and a researcher who says the dark web might make the illegal drug trade safer. Listen, decode, and decide: Is the dark web evil?
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 2: Internet Porn
Nov 18, 2015 • 44 min
A man whose job is scrubbing porn from the web; adult film star Stoya’s battle against free, pirated porn; and the dirty history of tagging. Listen, decode and decide: Is internet porn evil?
Codebreaker - Is It Evil? Ep 1: Email
Nov 11, 2015 • 34 min
A woman answers a mysterious email and finds herself on a plane, spam buries our inbox, and a band falls apart over the send button. Listen, decode, and decide: Is email evil? So, you’ve heard all the evidence. Is email evil?
Announcing Codebreaker Season One
Nov 4, 2015 • 1 min
Produced by Marketplace in partnership with Tech Insider, Codebreaker is a podcast that dares to ask — and answer — the fundamental questions about technology that consume us every day. In season one, we’re starting with three deceptively simple words: Is…