Radio Motherboard

Radio Motherboard
The staff of Vice's Motherboard explores the future of everything.
[Bonus] Introducing CYBER, a Hacking Podcast by Motherboard
Jan 23 • 1 min
Motherboard has launched a new podcast, called CYBER. It’s available on Apple Podcasts and on whatever app you listen to. Hacking. Hackers. Disinformation campaigns. Encryption. The Cyber. This stuff gets complicated really fast, but Motherboard spends…
NASA Turns 60
Sep 30, 2018 • 56 min
NASA turns 60 this week. We’re joined by Former NASA chief technologist Mason Peck joins us to discuss the agency’s history of spaceflight milestones, which include landing humans on the Moon (six times!), putting rovers on Mars, sending probes to…
[BONUS] Introducing Queerly Beloved
Sep 12, 2018 • 20 min
If you’ve been enjoying Radio Motherboard, we think you’ll also love our newest VICE podcast, Queerly Beloved. Queerly Beloved ​is a new podcast series from Broadly. Co-hosted by Broadly editor Sarah Burke and Fran Tirado of the popular queer podcast Food…
Motherboard’s New Crossword Puzzle: Solve the Internet
Jun 12, 2018 • 18 min
Radio Motherboard talks to Caleb Madison and Marley Randazzo about Solve the Internet, Motherboard’s new internet-themed weekly crossword puzzle.
Sex Workers Lobby Congress Against a Terrible Internet Law
Jun 7, 2018 • 38 min
Radio Motherboard talks to Liara Roux, a sex worker who was part of the first ever organized effort by her industry to lobby Congress. We talk about SESTA/FOSTA, a law that puts sex workers in danger and has fundamentally changed the internet.
PewDiePie, Alinity, and the Burden of Being a Female Streamer
Jun 5, 2018 • 45 min
Radio Motherboard breaks down the harassment that has been leveled against Twitch streamer Alinity and other women online, as well as the phenomenon of YouTube’s “Twitch Fails” videos.
Elon Musk, Then and Now
May 31, 2018 • 38 min
Radio Motherboard pulls a 2015 interview with Elon Musk’s biographer Ashlee Vance, and talks about how perceptions about Musk and his companies have changed.
Facebook’s Reckoning with American Nazis
May 29, 2018 • 61 min
After a white supremacist killed a protester in Charlottesville in 2017, Facebook pushed to re-educate its moderators about hate speech groups in the US, and spell out the distinction from nationalism and separatism, documents obtained by Motherboard show.
Amplifying the Alt-Right
May 24, 2018 • 76 min
Whitney Phillips, the author of a new report called “The Oxygen of Amplification,” talks about what she learned by talking to more than 50 journalists who covered the alt-right and white supremacists during the 2016 election cycle.
Who’s Afraid of Kaspersky?
May 22, 2018 • 43 min
We went to Kaspersky Lab’s SAS conference, where the controversial Russian anti-virus firm showcases its best research, wines and dines competitors and journalists, and burns American espionage operations.
The Senate Voted to Save Net Neutrality—Here’s How it Happened
May 17, 2018 • 34 min
Evan Greer has spent the last few months pushing the Senate to preserve net neutrality. She explains how Fight for the Future and millions of internet users convinced the Senate, and what’s next in the uphill battle to save the internet.
Pod Void if Removed
May 15, 2018 • 49 min
The FTC just announced that Warranty Void if Removed stickers on video game consoles are illegal. This is a big win for consumers—and an indication that the walled gardens of electronic manufacturers are being breached.
How to Make a Photo Go Viral
Mar 13, 2018 • 27 min
A woman in cyberpunk body paint stands in the center of a ring of old laptops. It’s a staged photo about e-waste, sure, but photographer Ben Von Wong hasn’t just set up the photo to look cool. He wants it to go viral: “I create viral campaigns around…
Mar 7, 2018 • 58 min
We talk to Claire Evans (who last joined us on the first ever episode of Radio Motherboard!) about her new book BROAD BAND: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. Claire joined Motherboard staff writer Kaleigh Rogers to talk about the…
Net Neutrality
Dec 12, 2017 • 32 min
The FCC will vote later this week to repeal net neutrality protections. Radio Motherboard talks to BoingBoing co-founder and Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Cory Doctorow about what the next steps are to protect the open internet.
Stress Week: Drone Therapy
Dec 8, 2017 • 17 min
Kristel Jax, a performance artist, leads us through a drone therapy session, which uses drone music and cognitive behavioral therapy to try and treat anxiety and stress.
Stress Week: How to Hack New York Stress
Dec 7, 2017 • 24 min
Ankita gets her stress test results and sits down with Dr. Chiti Parikh at Weill Cornell’s Integrative Health and Wellbeing program to talk about how to deal with the intense stress of 2017.
Bonus: Rebuilding the Swamp
Nov 3, 2017 • 5 min
Motherboard’s Ankita Rao went to an Army Corps of Engineers project in south Florida to see an Everglades restoration project firsthand. Read the story at
Jane Goodall on chimps, feminism and Donald Trump
Oct 27, 2017 • 14 min
Staff writer Kaleigh Rogers sits down with renowned anthropologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall and director Brett Morgen ahead of the release of “Jane,” a new documentary about her life and work.
Oct 6, 2017 • 36 min
Motherboard speaks to Ben Makuch, the host of VICELAND’s Cyberwar, about how he may have come face-to-face with a Russian DNC hacker.
The Tide Is Shifting in Silicon Valley
Sep 25, 2017 • 42 min
The same tech companies once heralded as crusaders of a bright future are increasingly being seen as hoarders of vast, unchecked power. Franklin Foer, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, has been questioning the intentions of corporations like…
Pirates and Robots: A Conversation With Annalee Newitz
Sep 18, 2017 • 31 min
The science fiction author Annalee Newitz discusses her new novel Autonomous, set in a 22nd century world of patent pirates, soul-searching robots, indentured servants, and really great drugs. (BEWARE: BOOK SPOILERS)
Big Tech’s Blackballing of Neo-Nazi Sites Shows Who Controls the Internet
Aug 23, 2017 • 40 min
In the wake of a domestic terrorist incident at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we witnessed a flashpoint in a long-overdue debate: How much control should a few powerful internet companies have over user content? On August 12,…
Facebook Wants to Convince Us That VR Is Cool
Aug 4, 2017 • 23 min
Virtual reality adoption has been slow. Despite promising leaps in the tech over the past several decades, relatively few VR headsets have been sold worldwide, especially compared to smartphones. Can the world’s most popular social network bring VR to the…
Infamous Hacker Kevin Mitnick Tells Us How He Created Fake Identities
Jul 28, 2017 • 56 min
Radio Motherboard sits down with infamous hacker and computer security expert Kevin Mitnick—AKA The Condor—to discuss internet safety, online privacy, and the art of hacking.
Gender-Swapping Sci-Fi With ‘Ancillary Justice’ Author Ann Leckie
Jul 21, 2017 • 26 min
The award-winning sci-fi novelist’s new book ‘Provenance’ is due out September 26. A far-flung space empire on the verge of internal collapse? Check. A multi-body artificial intelligence that calls all people “she”? Si. Tea? Of course. These are just some…
What is Bitcoin really for?
Jul 14, 2017 • 44 min
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t just for making money. Enthusiasts often believe the technology could help give rise to a political revolution. But of what kind? On this week’s episode, we talk to two researchers about the ideology behind…
Looking Into the Future With Kim Stanley Robinson
Jul 7, 2017 • 26 min
Description: We talk to the award-winning sci-fi author about his new book, New York 2140.
Radio Motherboard Live: What Is the iPhone?
Jun 29, 2017 • 49 min
It’s the 10th anniversary of the iPhone! Motherboard’s Jason Koebler talks to Brian Merchant, author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, about how Apple’s most groundbreaking products changed our lives.
An Update to Your Motherboard
Jun 22, 2017 • 31 min
Motherboard has a change in management! Starting today, Jason Koebler is taking over the keys to this website as its new editor-in-chief. To set a course for the future of the site, he sat down with Derek Mead—who had been running Motherboard for the last…
How the Grateful Dead Anticipated the Future
Jun 5, 2017 • 51 min
Radio Motherboard talks time travel, sound tech, and why we’re all living in the Grateful Dead’s future, with Amir Bar-Lev, director of the new Martin Scorsese-produced documentary about the band.
Introducing Science Solved It
Apr 24, 2017 • 6 min
A mystery is only as good as its solution…at least, that’s what host Kaleigh Rogers believes. Science Solved It is a new weekly show from Motherboard that introduces listeners to the world’s greatest mysteries that were solved by science, with insight…
Vote for Motherboard, Come on Our Show!
Apr 18, 2017 • 2 min
We’ll be back with a new episode tomorrow, but in the meantime, please vote for Motherboard in the Webbys: … Then tweet at us telling us you voted…
Wasting Time on the Internet
Apr 13, 2017 • 51 min
Have you ever tried a digital detox? Or spending less time on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit? Kenneth Goldsmith definitely hasn’t. He’s a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches a class called “Wasting Time on the Internet.” What…
The Only FCC Commissioner Still Fighting For Your Online Privacy
Mar 30, 2017 • 37 min
Congress just voted to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules that prevent your internet provider from selling your personal data to the highest bidder. Last week, Radio Motherboard talked to Mignon Clyburn—the only Democrat on the commission—who is still…
You Have the Right to Repair Your Electronics
Mar 3, 2017 • 44 min
Radio Motherboard talks to Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, and Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of about legislation that is moving through eight states that would require electronics manufacturers to enable you to fix your things. The bills…
Introducing pluspluspodcast, a new show from Motherboard
Mar 2, 2017 • 3 min
Motherboard is launching a brand new show! This is a preview for “pluspluspodcast,” a fully produced, documentary-style show that takes you on the road with Motherboard reporters as we meet with the people who are helping shape our shared, crazy future.…
LIVE PODCAST: The Motherboard Guide to Defending the Future
Feb 15, 2017 • 54 min
Radio Motherboard’s first ever LIVE EPISODE! On February 12, the Radio Motherboard crew recorded a podcast in front of a live audience at the Work x Work On Air festival. We talked about what it means to be vigilant in Trump’s America and discussed how…
The End of Ownership
Feb 12, 2017 • 39 min
The internet of things, End User License Agreements, and Digital Rights Management are increasingly being used to give electronics manufacturers control and ownership over your stuff even after you buy it. Radio Motherboard talks to Aaron Perzanowski and…
Meme Warfare
Jan 31, 2017 • 36 min
Radio Motherboard discusses the extent that memes have taken over political discourse with Ryan Milner, a College of Charleston assistant professor who wrote his PhD. dissertation on memetics. We also discuss the idea of meme warfare, meme insurgency, and…
Super Mario Is Not a Human Being
Jan 19, 2017 • 32 min
A preview for the new Nintendo Switch has brought us to the startling realization that Super Mario is not a homo sapien. On this episode, we discuss the geographic location of the Mushroom Kingdom and how excited we should be for Nintendo’s new console.…
The Race to Save Government Science From Trump
Jan 11, 2017 • 12 min
Dozens of scientists working at schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Toronto, and a handful of others are frantically working on a series of projects to preserve government science from alteration or deletion…
The Disease We’re Getting Wrong
Dec 23, 2016 • 30 min
Diabetes is usually considered a disease of excess—so why are so many starving people in India getting it?
When Will We Have ‘Westworld’ Robots?
Dec 13, 2016 • 34 min
Like much of America, we are big fans of HBO’s ‘Westworld,’ but not because of the science in the show. To be honest, the show doesn’t really bother trying to explain how its hosts work, but in doing so, it allows the show to ask some of the big ethical…
A Public Service Announcement
Dec 13, 2016 • 1 min
Radio Motherboard was recently down for a few days because we migrated our feed to a new address. If you have had trouble getting this through any of your apps, please change the feed to: Also: We are…
Your Next T-Shirt Could Be Made Out of Seaweed
Dec 6, 2016 • 36 min
Motherboard takes a trip to Biofabricate, a synthetic biology conference at the Parsons School of Design. We talk to Aaron Nesser and Kenji Higashi, two entrepreneurs who are hoping that fibers made of spider silk and alginate could help clean up our…
Trump’s Powers
Nov 18, 2016 • 88 min
Motherboard’s writers, editors, and contributors have spent the last week talking to activists, researchers, and policy makers about the powers that Donald Trump will inherit when he takes power in January. There’s little sense in speculating about what…
Donald Trump’s Dystopia and Black Mirror
Nov 14, 2016 • 37 min
We couldn’t ignore the fact that an impending Trump presidency feels like a Black Mirror episode. We discuss his campaign and the election through the lens of Black Mirror, and discuss ‘San Junipero,’ ‘Men Against Fire,’ and ‘Hated in the Nation.’
‘Black Mirror’ Season 3 Episodes 1-3
Nov 4, 2016 • 37 min
We’ve always sort of called Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” the Motherboard show, because while we love tech, we’re probably a bit more wary of its ability to lean dystopian than your average tech publication. So this week and next, we’re going to be…
Werner Herzog On Science, Language, Mars, and His Volcano Fever Dreams
Oct 28, 2016 • 31 min
Werner Herzog doesn’t care what you think about him, about his mythos. He does care about myth, the stories people tell and why. His newest movie, “Into The Inferno,” in which he tours six active volcanoes around the world, is as much about the culture…
‘Berlin Station’ and ‘Americatown’
Oct 21, 2016 • 39 min
‘Berlin Station’ is a new spy drama/thriller from the cable network EPIX, which focuses on a leak of classified information at the titular CIA office, and the agents tracking it down. Motherboard spoke to series writers Brad Winters and Larry Cohen, who…
iPhone Touch Disease
Oct 15, 2016 • 32 min
Tens of thousands of iPhone 6 Plus phones have been spontaneously losing their touchscreen capability because of an engineering flaw, but Apple still won’t admit there’s a problem. Motherboard spoke to Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, about what’s causing the…
Luxury Week
Oct 12, 2016 • 14 min
Motherboard reflects on a week exploring time, money and how we decide what to value.
The Future of Periods
Oct 7, 2016 • 28 min
Periods are having a moment in mainstream consciousness. We talk to Kiran Gandhi, a drummer and activist about how the technology and ideas are menstruation are changing, and what it was like to run a marathon “free bleeding.”
Why Facts Don’t Matter in the 2016 Presidential Election
Sep 30, 2016 • 28 min
Between the hours of 3 AM and 5 AM Friday morning, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump went on a tweetstorm in which he was, you know, just saying that Hillary Clinton helped former Miss Universe (and a target of Trump’s misogyny) Alicia Machado…
Can ‘Snowden’ the Movie Save Snowden the Man?
Sep 23, 2016 • 25 min
At times, Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ feels like a remake of ‘Citizenfour,’ Laura Poitras’s Oscar-winning documentary. Citizenfour is the superior film, but Stone’s spy thriller is still a fun look into this generation’s most important whistleblower. The…
Rocko’s Modern Life Predicted Our Lame Future
Sep 16, 2016 • 40 min
On this episode of Radio Motherboard, we speak with Joe Murray, creator of Rocko’s Modern Life, about the show’s upcoming hour-long special and how a show about a 90s vision of modern living has stayed relevant today. We also chat with Sean Yeaton,…
Inside the Tesla Gigafactory
Sep 9, 2016 • 24 min
Elon Musk’s new temple of energy is open for business in the middle of the desert outside Reno, Nevada. A few weeks ago, I went to the opening of the Tesla Gigagfactory, where Musk proposes to ramp up production of car batteries to the point where Tesla…
The Real Impact Your Phone Has on the World
Sep 7, 2016 • 22 min
Your phone uses the equivalent of two refrigerators’ worth of electricity every year. If you add in all of the electricity required to store and move data across high-speed cable and wireless networks and climate-controlled server farms to deliver an hour…
Leslie Jones and the Ethics of Amplifying Online Harassment
Aug 26, 2016 • 39 min
Soon after news broke that Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones’s website had been hacked and replaced with stolen nude photos and racist memes, I got an urgent email from Whitney Phillips, one of the world’s foremost experts on online trolling and harassment…
The Future of Hacking
Aug 2, 2016 • 52 min
As our lives become ever more digitized, the security of our data will become ever more important to protect. So far, judging by the daily routine of data breaches and large scale hacks, it seems like we’re failing to secure our most precious digital…
#fsociety Episode 1: How a Motherboarder Became a Writer for Mr. Robot
Jul 25, 2016 • 66 min
Hello, friend. If you’ve been a Radio Motherboard listener, you know that we’re big fans of Mr. Robot, USA’s moody, disorienting hacker drama. In fact, Motherboard and Mr. Robot’s respective moods align so closely that Amy Teitel, a former Motherboard…
Hello World
Jul 13, 2016 • 1 min
Radio Motherboard’s Jason Koebler and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai are going to talk about the real-life hacks that we see in Mr. Robot season two. This is #fsociety, coming your way all summer.
Reflecting on ‘Independence Day,’ the Greatest Hacking Movie Ever
Jul 8, 2016 • 24 min
This podcast contains spoilers for Independence Day and Independence Day 2: Resurgence. We had 20 years to prepare. That’s the tagline for Independence Day 2. It refers to Earth, and how long we had to get ready for a second alien invasion. But it also…
Inside the Dark World of Online ‘Competitive Tickling’
Jul 1, 2016 • 34 min
David Farrier is used to uncovering bizarre information. But his latest project investigating the online world of competitive tickling was a lesson in the strange side of life, even for him. We talked to the journalist and filmmaker about his new movie,…
I Skipped Showering for Two Weeks and Bathed in Bacteria Instead
Jun 16, 2016 • 29 min
For two weeks, Motherboard writer Kate Lunau skipped her soap and deodorant—spritzing herself with a “live bacteria spray” instead. Her goal was to colonize her skin with ammonia-eating bacteria, which are supposed to neutralize the smell of sweat. There…
The Case for Giving Everyone Free Money
Jun 9, 2016 • 59 min
Sometime in the last few weeks, or months, or years, you may have heard about this idea called “universal basic income.” It’s the idea that maybe governments should give a monthly stipend—no questions asked—to everyone who lives there. It’s an idea we’ve…
When Uber Left Austin
May 26, 2016 • 41 min
Remember when Uber came to your city? It was probably exciting—you could hail a car without talking to anyone or standing on a cold, rainy corner. It’s so easy, maybe you thought. Maybe the taxi commission or some local politicians expressed worry about…
The Moon Walking, Alien-Hunting, Psychic Astronaut Who Got Sued By NASA
May 13, 2016 • 38 min
Edgar Mitchell, who passed away in February at the age of 85, was exceptional, even among astronauts. Like an archetypal moon man, he was a Boy Scout and a military test pilot with a protestant upbringing and an impressive command of engineering and…
The Battle for Klingon
May 6, 2016 • 57 min
Even if you’re not a Trekkie, you’ve got to feel for the Klingons of Earth. Their language is under threat of being taken back by the very company that commissioned its creation, raising the very important question: Can a language even be copyrighted?…
The DeLonge Con
Apr 29, 2016 • 111 min
Former Blink 182 guitarist Tom DeLonge has a new project: telling the world the truth about UFOs. DeLonge has always been interested in the supernatural, and he’s been researching and reporting the topic as part of a multimedia project called Sekret…
The Silicon Divide
Apr 21, 2016 • 26 min
We often talk about the gender gap in Silicon Valley—there are far too few female computer engineers and startup founders—but there’s one field where women do dominate Silicon Valley: public relations. Most research suggests that about 70 percent of all…
Fronterizas (en español)
Apr 14, 2016 • 18 min
En esta edición muy especial de Radio Motherboard, viajamos a la zona fronteriza entre los Estados Unidos y México para evaluar la viabilidad de “control remoto,” una nueva táctica de contrabando en que los migrantes guía de contrabando a través de la…
Border Lines
Apr 14, 2016 • 18 min
In this very special edition of Radio Motherboard we travel to the US-Mexico borderlands to gauge the viability of “remote control,” a new smuggling tactic in which smugglers guide migrants across the border by phone.
Song Exploder, Exploded
Apr 1, 2016 • 21 min
Ever notice that the piano part from “Dancing Queen” is tucked into the end of MGMT’s song “No Time To Pretend”? Or that The Album Leaf kept the squeaking of an old piano pedal in the final recording of their song “The Outer Banks?” These are just a taste…
To Block or Not to Block, Featuring Talib Kweli
Mar 24, 2016 • 56 min
Twitter is a place where anyone can say anything, to anyone, at any time. But what happens when you don’t want to hear what someone else has to say? What if someone is attacking you personally, or getting all their friends to attack you? On this week’s…
How ‘The X-Files’ Got Its Creepy Theme Music
Mar 18, 2016 • 30 min
Hollywood, 1992. Mark Snow was already a pro at TV scores—dramas, procedurals, comedies—when a producer recommended him to Chris Carter, a veteran of Disney TV movies who needed music for a new TV pilot, The X Files, an unlikely supernatural procedural…
Double Episode! Cortana Abuse/Why Humans Should Be More Like AI
Mar 11, 2016 • 22 min
Sometimes, it can be hard to know how to act around artificial intelligence. In the first half of Radio Motherboard this week, staff writer Jason Koebler explores how people treat Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana when no one’s listening. (A small…
How to Think About the Biggest Earthquake Ever
Mar 4, 2016 • 35 min
So scientists are saying an earthquake—a quake that is so big and so powerful you probably can’t even properly comprehend it—is probably going to hit your city, hard. It could be five years out, ten years, fifty years, or it could be tomorrow. But it’s…
Why You Should Own Your Cable Box
Feb 25, 2016 • 30 min
The tyranny of the set-top box may soon be over. The way it works now, you’re forced to rent a cable box from the likes of Time Warner Cable and Comcast to the tune of about $230 per year. The very idea that in 2016 you need a dedicated piece of hardware,…
Apple vs the FBI
Feb 18, 2016 • 24 min
Earlier this week, a federal judge in California ordered Apple to help the FBI brute force hack into the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, setting up a legal showdown that could have far-reaching ramifications for the…
Video Games Are Missing Black Voices (Literally)
Feb 12, 2016 • 57 min
There aren’t many black characters in video games with speaking roles, which is why it’s controversial when some of them are voiced by white actors. The most recent example is Nadine Ross, the strong, black, female antagonist in the upcoming Uncharted 4:…
The Hyperloop
Feb 5, 2016 • 32 min
The hyperloop, Elon Musk’s futuristic, tube-based “fifth mode of transportation” has stoked imaginations unlike any recent transportation technology except for maybe self driving cars. Lots has been said about it—Musk called it a “cross between a Concord,…
Kickstarter - Failure to Launch
Jan 29, 2016 • 38 min
The Zano drone raised £2.3 million in one of the most successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns of all time. A year later all the money is gone, Zano’s creator is having a nervous breakdown, and its 13,000 backers are livid.
A Practical Guide to Sleep Hacking Your Room
Jan 22, 2016 • 56 min
What does it take to get a good night’s sleep? In this episode of Radio Motherboard, managing editor Adrianne Jeffries talks to the greatest sleep hacker she knows: her little brother William. We cover blackout curtains, smart light bulbs, sleep…
Free Basics
Jan 15, 2016 • 20 min
If you live in India, or happen to have visited in the past month, you probably noticed the seemingly-ubiquitous advertising for something called Free Basics. It’s what you might call a full-court press: full-page ads in newspapers, billboards, and movie…
The Community-Owned ISPs Building an Alternative to Big Telecom in New York City
Jan 8, 2016 • 35 min
If you want high speed internet in most any spot in New York City, you’re stuck with Time Warner Cable. Or at least, that’s how it usually works. But increasingly around the city, citizens and small community groups are setting up their own locally owned…
2015 - The Year in Science Fiction
Dec 30, 2015 • 45 min
2015 was a banner year for science fiction; Motherboard’s resident sci-fi editors, Claire Evans and Brian Merchant, review the year of Mad Max, Ex Machina, and, yes, Star Wars. These are the top stories about the future of 2015.
Transhumanists in Their Own Words
Dec 24, 2015 • 17 min
Transhumanism, the idea that humans should use science and technology to extend our natural abilities, is the religion of the 21st century. It’s a concept that has been around since the 70s, but seems to be resonating with a growing number of people.…
Everything You Wanted to Know About the New York City Subway
Dec 17, 2015 • 52 min
The New York City subway is sprawling system, with more than 5 million people per day (and sometimes many more, on special occasions) passing through more than 460 stations. There is probably someone who knows more about the intricacies of the system than…
Cryptoparty in Harlem
Dec 10, 2015 • 18 min
Ever heard of a cryptoparty? It’s a gathering of people interested in privacy and encryption. You’ll often hear of cryptoparties in association with other techy, geeky spaces or organizations, and they’re usually dominated by computer-savvy nerds who are…
NASA’s Long-Lost Lunar Rover
Dec 4, 2015 • 37 min
Earlier this fall, we brought you the curious story of a long lost lunar rover prototypetested by NASA in the 1960s. At the time, we decided to keep some of the details off the record, but for this week’s podcast, we delve deep into the rover’s history…
eSports, Adderall, and Nootropics
Nov 28, 2015 • 50 min
It’s Lit Up week at Motherboard, which means we’re talking about drugs. And what’s more fun than that? Weekend/gaming editor Emanuel Maiberg and managing editor Adrianne Jeffries pop some Alpha BRAIN and OptiMind to try and perk up the podcast. We drag in…
When Big Guns Go Down
Nov 20, 2015 • 19 min
Earlier this week, Motherboard published a year-long investigation that revealed the Pentagon has been sending defective gun parts to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. In more than 60 cases, the barrels of guns have literally exploded and, in at least one…
Why ‘Fallout 4’ Is a Niche Video Game
Nov 13, 2015 • 52 min
Did you hear? Fallout 4, the video game for people who are serious about video games, is finally out. Do you care? If you’re reading this rather than obsessively exploring a post nuclear disaster Boston, maybe not. Or maybe you’re just taking a break. The…
Why Putting Your Water Damaged Phone in Rice Is Dumb and Doesn’t Work
Nov 8, 2015 • 40 min
One time, I misjudged the depth of a creek, stepped in, and was literally in over my head. Not that much of a problem, except I had various electronics in my backpack. As thousands (millions?) of people have done, I stuck my phone and camera in a bowl of…
Mr. Robot
Oct 30, 2015 • 53 min
It’s been an astoundingly good couple years for television shows and movies that fit into the Motherboard orb of interest. Whenever people ask me what Motherboard is, I tell them we write about stories that are like Black Mirror, but real. Now, I’ve got…
The Culture Where the Dead Walk Among the Living
Oct 23, 2015 • 48 min
It’s almost Halloween, so Motherboard is exploring the very nature of fear. Why do we still get scared by things that no longer represent any threat to us? How has technology changed how we feel fear? And what happens in a culture that reveres death? This…
Why Does Facebook Suggest You Friend Your Tinder Matches?
Oct 16, 2015 • 30 min
When you log into Facebook, you’ll see a list of “suggested friends.” They’re full of people you went to high school with, random colleagues, and a bunch of people that you do sort of know … but why does Facebook know that you know them? Motherboard…
Motherboard Discusses ‘The Martian’ and Why We Killed Comments
Oct 6, 2015 • 61 min
Two major, solar system-shaking things happened this week. ‘The Martian’ came out, and we’re all thankful that it ended up being a very good film. And Motherboard killed comments. These two things aren’t even remotely related, but you’re in luck if your…
Vint Cerf, Peeple, and Elementary School Sci Fi
Oct 2, 2015 • 34 min
Radio Motherboard talks to Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet and Google’s “internet evangelist,” about the company’s plans to fly internet-providing balloons over the developing world, encryption and security, and a horrifying scenario where…
Yeast That Make THC, Climate Divestment, and Cliff Diving
Sep 25, 2015 • 28 min
Scientists have just proven for the first time that it’s possible to engineer yeast to make THC, arguably the most important chemical in marijuana. But do we want to get high using lab-made drugs when the real thing works so well? On this week’s Radio…
Forever War, Superbugs, and an Ultrasound That Controls Your Brain
Sep 17, 2015 • 37 min
This week is ALL FRONTS, Motherboard’s deep dive into what a future of forever war looks like. On this episode of Radio Motherboard, we talk about what it means to always be at war and how technology and automation have made it possible to stay in a…
iPhones, Free Money, and Hacking Team
Sep 10, 2015 • 32 min
If you’ve been listening to Radio Motherboard the last few months, thank you very much: It’s been a bit of a roller coaster as we try to figure out a format and recording setup that works best for us, and it’s been a blast experimenting. This week, we’re…
Are You a Jerk If You Vacation in Cuba?
Sep 4, 2015 • 73 min
If you’re American, it’s easier than ever to go to Cuba, a country that’s remained, mas o menos, off limits for the last 60 years or so. In fact, you can go to, buy a ticket, fill out a couple forms confirming you fit into one of several…
The Pokemon World Championships
Aug 28, 2015 • 59 min
Who goes to the Pokemon World Championships in 2015? Well, we did, for one—mostly to find out who else was there. Well over a decade after its heyday, Pokemon is still going strong. There’s now nearly 800 Pokemon, but there are still lots of kids, teens,…
Are Uber Drivers Employees?
Aug 25, 2015 • 40 min
Uber drivers set their own hours, file taxes independently, and often own their cars. They don’t get health insurance from Uber and they don’t wear uniforms. And yet, Uber controls much of what they do by setting prices, handling their tips, and…
The Would-Be Astronaut
Aug 18, 2015 • 58 min
Brian Shiro really wants to go to space. He wants to go to space so badly, in fact, that he’s applied to NASA’s astronaut program. Twice. Both times he fell just short. He’s hoping the third time’s the charm. Until then, he’ll be heading up…
Twilight of the Bomb
Aug 7, 2015 • 68 min
We travel to the crater of the first atomic bomb with one of the youngest and last surviving Manhattan Project scientists. This is his story.
Sleepaway Camp for a 38-Year-Old Computer
Jul 30, 2015 • 54 min
When did you get rid of your last computer or cell phone? It was probably pretty recently—we replace our technology all the time. But it’s not this way for everyone: A contingent of diehard retro computing enthusiasts are still programming, hacking,…
Meet Motherboard
Jul 24, 2015 • 59 min
For the last six months or so, you’ve been listening to us talk at you about simulated universes and head transplants and transhumanism and all sorts of topics (and we thank you very much for that). But we haven’t really told you all that much about…
What Have We Learned from the Ebola Outbreak?
Jul 17, 2015 • 48 min
It’s now been just over a year and a half of the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. We’ve dabbled in vaccines, but the best prevention method is still abstaining from contact with symptomatic patients, and the best treatment is still basically hydration.…
Gawker vs Hulk Hogan
Jul 10, 2015 • 55 min
In October 2012, the gossip site Gawker published an edited video of Hulk Hogan having sex. In response, the former pro-wrestler sued the company. It’s now going to court in a case that could have wide-ranging consequences for the First Amendment.
Jul 3, 2015 • 39 min
On this most American of holidays, it’s a good time to take a look at how we select the people who run this ol’ country many of you call home. Like everything else, social media and technology are playing a huge role in campaign strategy. Much was made of…
What Will World War III Look Like?
Jun 26, 2015 • 78 min
We assume that the next world war will be a technological one, but the United States and its potential adversaries are increasingly developing tech designed to blast enemies into the past. In Ghost Fleet, real cybersecurity and war experts Peter W. Singer…
Smartphones Make Dating Terrible (Feat. Aziz Ansari)
Jun 19, 2015 • 59 min
We’re all living two lives. We’ve got whatever’s going on in the physical world, and then we’ve got our online personas—our Facebook and Twitter profiles, our Gchat lives, our Reddit accounts, our OKCupid and Tinder profiles. How do you make sense of it…
This Is Your Brain on Technology
Jun 12, 2015 • 60 min
What happens to our brains and our psyche when a huge portion of humanity spends their lives persistently jacked in to their computers, their tablets, their smartphones, their screens? We don’t really know—in a sense, we’re performing one massive…
Mad Max, Ex Machina, and Tomorrowland—Motherboard’s Summer Sci-Fi Bonanza Extravaganza
Jun 4, 2015 • 77 min
It’s only June, and it’s already been a very good summer for sci-fi. From the soaring optimism of Tomorrowland to the postapocalyptic dreariness of Mad Max to the outright unsettling nature of Ex Machina, there’s already been plenty of speculative fiction…
Elon Musk’s Plan for Humanity
May 28, 2015 • 56 min
We talk about Elon Musk and his companies, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity all the time, but what is Musk’s longterm plan? How do the companies fit together and, should Musk manage to create a reusable rocket or launch an array of internet-providing…
The History of Bitcoin
May 22, 2015 • 41 min
In this episode of Radio Motherboard, we talked to New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper about the process of researching his new book about Bitcoin. We also spoke to Courtney Marie Warner, who loves Bitcoin, even though it put her boyfriend in prison.…
See, Click, Kill
May 15, 2015 • 54 min
*This podcast contains spoilers for the movie Good Kill* The military’s drone pilots are physically removed from the battlefield, but, seven days a week, they spend 12-hour days staring at a screen, waiting for orders to kill from above. And then they go…
Are We Living in a Simulation?
May 8, 2015 • 64 min
The world seems real, but is it really? As humans get better at simulating artificial intelligence, it seems at least plausible that we could create life that is both conscious and has free will. And if we can create conscious life, who’s to say that the…
Embedding With the Internet’s Worst Trolls
Apr 30, 2015 • 57 min
Why would someone willingly spend years hanging out with people who make fun of recently dead teens? To write a book about the experience, of course. Motherboard meets Whitney Phillips, a Humboldt State University researcher and author of ‘This is Why We…
The Human Head Transplant
Apr 23, 2015 • 61 min
In 2017, Valery Spiridonov hopes to become the first human to have his head transplanted onto a new body. We talk to Val, his would-be surgeon Sergio Canavero, and Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist about the process. Then, Motherboard’s staff talks about…
Goodbye, Meatbags!
Apr 16, 2015 • 74 min
Do we have to die? The world’s first transhumanist candidate for president doesn’t think so.
Everything You Need to Know About the Silk Road Trial
Mar 7, 2015 • 30 min
The ​Silk Road trial has only been going on for two weeks, and already it’s had its fair share of drama: There have ​been setups by the prosecution, ​accusations and alternative theories tossed out by the defense, and, ​yes, selfies. Motherboard’s Kari…
Copyright Law Is a Beautiful Trainwreck
Mar 7, 2015 • 28 min
​If you see the words “copyright” and “law” juxtaposed next to each other, and your eyes glaze over, we don’t necessarily blame you. But copyright law is insane, and a wonderful, constant source of nutty human interest cases that explore every part of…
What Would a ‘Serial’-Like Murder Investigation Look Like Today?
Dec 24, 2014 • 28 min
The ​first season of the ultra-popular podcast Serial is over, but lots of questions remain, in no small part due to the lack of evidence tying then-high school student Adnan Syed to the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Huge swaths of Sarah…
A Conversation With Laura Poitras, Director of ‘Citizenfour’
Dec 12, 2014 • 13 min
In her filmmaking, the director Laura Poitras—my guest on this edition of Radio Motherboard—likes to document reality as it happens, those moments of uncertainty that often don’t appear on film. “There’s something about how we look at the past which has a…
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About ‘Interstellar’
Dec 7, 2014 • 42 min
Interstellar may not be a great film—then again, it might be—but it does cut to the heart of quite a few of the themes we regularly hit on here at Motherboard: Space colonization, ecological collapse, near and far future dystopias, theoretical physics,…