Molly Kristin Wood is the tech correspondent, business journalist, and host & senior editor for the US public radio program Marketplace.
As a record number of voters cast their ballots by mail this year, more than half of the states are relying on signatures to verify voters’ identities. Nearly 30 counties in at least eight states use automatic signature verification software to help — yes, software. And while humans aren’t always that great, software makes mistakes too, and some experts worry it could even contribute to voter disenfranchisement. Host Sabri Ben-Achour speaks with Kyle Wiggers, who reports on artificial intelligence for VentureBeat.
The CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter testified Wednesday at a Senate hearing that was supposed to be about a fundamentally important internet law called Section 230 — which is about liability protection for tech companies. Instead, the hearing ended up being about how much power big tech companies hold, and how they wield it. Republicans accused social media platforms of anti-conservative bias, but Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood says the evidence does not support that.
The world of private equity — the hedge funds, the venture capital, the people pouring a ton of money into startups — comes with a huge risk. The reward can be huge too. But if you want a piece of this world, you have to be what’s known as an accredited investor, which means you need to be rich. The idea, historically, was to protect people from getting swindled into throwing their life savings into some sketchy investment. But as time has gone on, people have criticized the rule as a wall that’s shut a lot of people out from opportunities to gain wealth. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is changing the rules. Molly speaks with Arlan Hamilton, founder of the venture capital firm Backstage Capital, who has been pushing for changes that could reduce the racial wealth gap. She says anyone old enough can make a bet and lose it all in Vegas, so why not in the casino of private equity?
The U.S. needs a 5G network. But it turns out there are a couple big questions not fully resolved in Washington. Like who’s responsible for divvying up the airwaves it would run on? We point this out because the FCC is looking at auctioning off some of the government-owned spectrum so companies can use it for 5G. And at the same time, the Department of Defense is looking at leasing out some of that same spectrum. So, Sabri Ben-Achour asked telecom analyst Craig Moffett, who’s in charge here?
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Creator Details

Birthdate
May 23rd, 1975
Location
Oakland, California, United States of America
Episode Count
960
Podcast Count
3
Total Airtime
4 days, 15 hours
PCID
Podchaser Creator ID logo 827956