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TechStuff is a show about technology. And it’s not just how technology works. Join host Jonathan Strickland as he explores the people behind the tech, the companies that market it and how technology affects our lives and culture.

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TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Counts Some Number Stations

30:48 | Mar 22nd

What is a number station? What is shortwave radio? What could these numbers mean? In this episode, Chris and Jonathan dive into the murky, mysterious world of number stations. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advert...Show More

The Facebook Privacy Problem

44:56 | Mar 20th

On March 6, 2019, Mark Zuckerberg published a long essay about privacy and social media. Does this indicate a change in philosophy for Facebook or is something else going on? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-adverti...Show More

What is WebAuthn

46:31 | Mar 18th

The W3C and FIDO recently adopted the WebAuthn specification as a standard. What is WebAuthn, and will it replace passwords? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Looks at Ballistics

44:42 | Mar 15th

How can you determine if a gun fired a particular bullet? What is rifling? How do forensics experts test weapons? Join Jonathan and Chris as they draw a bead on ballistics. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertise...Show More

TechStuff Flies on the Concorde

47:33 | Mar 13th

From 1976 until 2003, the Concorde provided a fast option for air travel if you happened to have enough cash for a ticket. How does supersonic air travel work and what happened to Concorde? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/...Show More

What is 5G?

48:06 | Mar 11th

The future is 5G. So what the heck is 5G? It's a big, confusing topic but by the end of this episode you'll understand it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

TechStuff Classic: Was Ada Lovelace the first computer programmer?

33:47 | Mar 8th

In this episode, Jonathan and Chris discuss Ada Lovelace, daughter of the infamous Lord Byron and widely considered to be the first computer programmer. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

TechStuff Pumps the Brakes

46:53 | Mar 6th

How do car brakes work? From the earliest wooden block brakes to anti-lock brake systems, we learn about the science of coming to a stop. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Techstuff Throws Rotten Tomatoes

44:31 | Mar 4th

In 1998, a web designer launched a movie review aggregator site. A couple of decades later, it has changed the film industry. This is the story of Rotten Tomatoes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Stares at OLEDs

32:06 | Mar 1st

What is an OLED? How do OLED displays work? How do they compare to other display technologies? Join Chris and Jonathan as they break down the nuts and bolts of OLED displays in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com...Show More

Social Networks that Didn't Make It

46:46 | Feb 27th

For every Facebook and Twitter, there are half a dozen failed social networks that didn't survive to today. We look back on a few of them. Myspace Not Included.Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at www.howstuffworks.com/advert...Show More

Quicktime

45:28 | Feb 25th

Before there was YouTube, there was Quicktime. How did a project inside Apple become a dominant standard for computer-based video playback and more?Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at www.howstuffworks.com/advertisers.htmAnd...Show More

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Spies on the U-2

40:36 | Feb 22nd

Why did the United States develop the U-2? What connection does the U-2 have to Area 51? Why hasn’t the U-2 been retired yet? Join Chris and Jonathan as they put themselves in the minds of master spies in this episode of TechStuff.Learn more about ad...Show More

How Clean Coal Works

47:48 | Feb 20th

Is there such a thing as clean coal? In this episode, we look at the technologies designed to reduce the environmental impact of burning coal and ask if it makes sense to use coal at all.Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at w...Show More

TechStuff Does the Robot

54:59 | Feb 18th

Adam Doud of Android Authority joins the show to talk about the robots he saw at CES 2019. Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at www.howstuffworks.com/advertisers.htmAnd to learn about your ad choices when listening to podcast...Show More

Research Revealed at Think 2019

27:55 | Feb 17th

At the 5 in 5 presentation at Think 2019, five presenters talked about how technology can improve practically everything about the way we grow, process, deliver and consume food. From harvests to recycling, we learn how technology can make us more re...Show More

Being Open at Think 2019

38:15 | Feb 16th

What does open source mean and why would IBM's strategy revolve around it? From the acquisition of Red Hat to supporting humanitarian hacking efforts, we look at why IBM is embracing open source.

Cloudy With a Chance of IBM Think 2019

33:36 | Feb 15th

Cloud computing can be a confusing topic. It gets even trickier when you start talking about hybrid clouds. What's going on with cloud computing and how is IBM positioning itself to lead the way?

AI at IBM Think 2019

34:46 | Feb 15th

IBM has a long history with artificial intelligence competing against human beings. Deep Blue mastered Chess, Watson scored big on Jeopardy and now Project Debater is arguing against human champions. We look at some of IBM's latest AI efforts.

Thats So Project Raven

46:36 | Feb 13th

What is Project Raven? We look into the spy program from the United Arab Emirates and how it employed ex NSA agents.

The Ose CES Controversy

49:47 | Feb 11th

Stuff Your Mom Didn't Tell You host Anney Reese joins the show to talk about a controversy during CES 2019. A sex toy called the Ose received an innovation award but then the Consumer Technology Association rescinded the award and banned the product ...Show More

TechStuff Classic: Sets its VCR

57:38 | Feb 8th

When was the VCR invented? Who opposed the VCR? When did the VCR die? Listen in as Chris and Jonathan explore the origin, opposition to and death of the VCR.

The Epic Story of Fortnite

42:54 | Feb 6th

In 2011, Epic Games teased a new video game called Fortnite. Six years later, the game finally emerged from development and took the world by storm. What's the story behind Fortnite?

RCA and its 100th Year

55:01 | Feb 4th

We say that it's RCA's 100th anniversary, but is the company of today the same as the one that debuted in 1919? We look at how RCA has changed dramatically since the mid 1950s. 

TechStuff Classic: Old Tech Never Dies

49:55 | Feb 1st

What is legacy technology? Why do we still have old technology that should be obsolete? Will the fax machine ever die? Join Chris and Jonathan as they investigate the strange cases of technology that never seems to die.

RCA and Color Television

46:57 | Jan 30th

RCA and CBS were in a race to define the standard for color television. CBS won. Or did it? How did RCA and David Sarnoff push a different approach to color television?

RCA During World War II

40:15 | Jan 28th

Before the United States entered World War II, RCA was developing an electronic television. How did TV work and what did RCA do while the country was at war?

TechStuff Classic: How Image Sensors Work

38:54 | Jan 25th

How important is a digital camera’s image sensor? What are the two main types of image sensors? Which type of image sensor is best? Tune in as your favorite tech gurus (that's Jonathan and Chris) answer these question and more.

The Birth of RCA

40:00 | Jan 23rd

RCA is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019. How did this company get started and how did it dominate radio for years?

Breaking Up AOL is Hard To Do

40:26 | Jan 21st

The AOL Time Warner arrangement was doomed not long after it was formed. What led to AOL splitting off and where is the company today?

TechStuff Classic: How Helicopters Work

43:37 | Jan 18th

How do helicopters work? Why does a helicopter need a tail rotor? What is a quadrocopter? Join Jonathan and Chris as they look at the quirky contraptions called helicopters.

AOL and the Very Bad Business Deal

38:26 | Jan 16th

When AOL acquired Time Warner, people worried that the new mega company would become an unstoppable force. Instead, the relationship became known as the worst merger of all time. What happened?

The Birth of AOL

43:26 | Jan 14th

What did the Atari 2600 have to do with the birth of America Online? We look at the company's origins and how it helped usher in the online age.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Plays with Plasma

28:40 | Jan 11th

What is plasma? How do plasma cutters work? Are plasma weapons possible? In this episode, Jonathan and Chris break down the basics of plasma, along with its potential applications.

CES 2019 Overview

1:05:36 | Jan 9th

Jonathan gives a bird's eye view on CES 2019, with a hint of the old, the new, and the just plain view.

Working with the Large Hadron Collider

1:02:28 | Jan 7th

Jonathan is joined by Daniel Whiteson of Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe. Daniel works in the field of experimental particle physics and conducts research using the LHC. 

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Overclocks a CPU

34:57 | Jan 4th

What is overclocking? What is a clock cycle? Why would you want to overclock a computer? In this episode, Chris and Jonathan explore the pros and cons of overclocking computers.

TechStuff's Wishlist for 2019

40:13 | Jan 2nd

Instead of making predictions for 2019, Jonathan decided to create a show about what he hopes will happen over the next 12 months. From video games to corporate policies, here's his wish list.

2018 Predictions Scorecard

46:02 | Dec 31st, 2018

At the end of 2017, TechStuff made some predictions for the following year. Now it's time to find out if Jonathan is really a time traveler.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Looks at Radio Telescopes

37:09 | Dec 28th, 2018

What is a radio telescope? How can we “see” with radio waves? Why are radio telescopes so large? Join Chris and Jonathan as they explore the nuts and bolts of radio telescopes.

The Top Tech Stories of 2018

48:25 | Dec 26th, 2018

We reflect on some of the biggest tech stories to emerge in 2018. From scandals to giant business deals, how did tech impact the world?

The Amazon HQ2 Decision

47:14 | Dec 24th, 2018

After months of speculation (not to mention outlandish competition), Amazon finally announced the location of HQ2, its second headquarters. What's the story behind the decision and how might Amazon change Arlingon and Long Island?

Introducing The Brink

39:52 | Dec 22nd, 2018

A geeky smartwatch company launched three of the five most successful Kickstarter campaigns in crowdfunding history. So how did Pebble lose its way to go out of business? Catch The Brink every Monday wherever podcasts are available.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Plays with R/C

39:25 | Dec 21st, 2018

How do radio-controlled toys work? What frequencies do RC toys use? Why do some toys interfere with each other? Join Jonathan and Chris as they break down the nuts and bolts of radio-controlled toys.

A Critical Examination of The Singularity

45:06 | Dec 19th, 2018

When people talk about the Singularity, what do they mean? How far off might it be? Or is it even a realistic notion at all? We look at the arguments for and against the idea.

Is Autonomous The Way To Go?

50:07 | Dec 17th, 2018

Concluding our episodes on driverless cars is a look into the arguments for and against the technology. Does it make sense? Is it ready? What are the different levels of autonomy and how far along are we?

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Goes to RAMing Speed

47:17 | Dec 14th, 2018

What is RAM? Why do computers need RAM? How is RAM different from ROM? In this episode, Jonathan and Chris take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of RAM.

Driverless Cars from 2007 to Today

44:56 | Dec 13th, 2018

In the wake of the 2007 Urban Challenge, several companies began to pour some serious money and effort into developing driverless car technology that could roll out onto real-world roads. From Google to Uber, we take a look at some of those projects.

The 2007 Urban Challenge

43:25 | Dec 12th, 2018

How did the 2007 Urban Challenge differ from the two earlier DARPA Grand Challenges? And how did that set the stage for where autonomous cars would go next?

The DARPA Grand Challenges

41:06 | Dec 11th, 2018

In the mid 2000s, the Department of Defense R&D agency DARPA sponsored competitions in an effort to kickstart autonomous car technology. This is the story of the 2004 and 2005 challenges.

Driverless Cars: The Early Concepts

44:01 | Dec 10th, 2018

Wouldn't it be awesome if your car took you where you needed to go without you having to touch the wheel? In this episode, we look at the history behind the driverless car concept.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Looks for Abandonware

36:44 | Dec 7th, 2018

What is abandonware? Can you acquire abandonware legally? What does copyright law have to do with abandonware? In this episode, Jonathan and Chris break down the basics of abandonware, how it occurs and what it means for software users.

Time After Time Travel

39:51 | Dec 6th, 2018

If there were a time traveler among us, how would we know? Jonathan takes a look at various strategies to catch that pesky time traveler who may be meddling with your life.

TechStuff Visits Mars

44:50 | Dec 5th, 2018

There's no doubt about it: Mars is trying to kill you. It's just not very good at ranged attacks. But get close enough? BAM! What challenges will we have to overcome if we ever visit Mars?

InSight into Mars

39:17 | Dec 4th, 2018

On November 26, 2018, NASA engineers and scientists celebrated upon receiving confirmation that the Martian lander InSight had touched down successfully. What does InSight do and what will it tell us about the Red Planet?

TechStuff Enters the Wasteland

47:40 | Dec 3rd, 2018

Where did the Fallout series of games come from and how have they evolved? From its origins as a game engine experiment from Interplay to the newly released online game Fallout 76, we take a look at this popular franchise.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff withdraws from an ATM

44:49 | Nov 30th, 2018

Who invented the automated teller machine? How do ATMs keep track of your money? What is an ATM skimmer? Join Chris and Jonathan as they take a deeper look at the past and present tech of ATMs.

TechStuff Gets Scooting

41:08 | Nov 29th, 2018

It seems like electric scooters are everywhere and dockless scooter businesses are becoming the next big thing. Where did these companies come from and why have some cities pushed back?

TCP and its History

35:37 | Nov 28th, 2018

We look at the history of the Transmission Control Protocol and why the next version of HTTP won't be relying upon it. What does TCP do and how does it work?

Is E3 Still Relevant?

38:36 | Nov 27th, 2018

In mid November, 2018, Sony dropped a bombshell - the company would not attend the 2019 E3 conference. Has the video game trade show outlived its usefulness?

Heigh-Ho Hydrogen

39:51 | Nov 26th, 2018

Hydrogen is the most plentiful substance in the universe. Could it also be the fuel of the future? In this episode, we look at the challenges and opportunities related to a hydrogen economy.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Looks at Night Vision

38:18 | Nov 23rd, 2018

What are the two main types of night vision? How can you see heat? Why do some night vision systems only display in monochromatic green? Join Jonathan and Chris as they explore the tech behind night vision.

Facebook's Accountability Problem

48:00 | Nov 22nd, 2018

A piece in the New York Times examined how Facebook navigated a tricky situation through questionable strategies in the wake of multiple scandals. What did the journalists find out and how has Facebook responded?

The History of Cyber Monday

38:47 | Nov 21st, 2018

What is Black Friday, and how did it spawn Cyber Monday? From business trends to marketing schemes, we take a look at the history of holiday shopping online.

How AI Can Make You Look Like a Better Dancer

38:55 | Nov 20th, 2018

Today, it's possible to manipulate photos and videos in ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago. We look at a research project that uses computers and AI to map the movements of professional dancers to the images of people who have two left f...Show More

The Boring Podcast

41:35 | Nov 19th, 2018

How do tunneling machines work? We look at the science and tech behind burrowing under the Earth.      

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Adjusts the Thermostat

37:25 | Nov 16th, 2018

What are the parts of a thermostat? How do bimetallic thermometers work? What is a mercury switch? In this episode, Chris and Jonathan break down the mechanics of thermostats. Tune in to learn what happens when you flip that mysterious switch on the ...Show More

DARPA in the 1970s

44:48 | Nov 15th, 2018

How did DARPA navigate the choppy political waters in the wake of the Vietnam War and the rise of the counterculture movement? From a re-branding to a new focus on stealth technology, we look at DARPA's work in the 1970s.

DARPA and Vietnam

49:15 | Nov 14th, 2018

As the situation in southeast Asia deteriorated, DARPA would conduct numerous research programs in an effort to get a better understanding of war and weapons capabilities, to varying degrees of success.

DARPA's First Projects

36:42 | Nov 13th, 2018

From weather satellites to horrifying herbicides, we explore some of DARPA's projects during its first years of operations. How was this agency meant to counteract missile attacks and insurgent uprisings?

The Origins of DARPA

43:57 | Nov 12th, 2018

How did a Soviet satellite kickstart the R&D branch of the US Department of Defense? We look at how DARPA was founded and the problems it was meant to solve.

TechStuff Classic: The Story of Rim

54:12 | Nov 9th, 2018

What is Research in Motion? What did the company do before inventing the Blackberry? Why do so many people direct criticism at RIM today? Tune in as Jonathan and Chris answer these questions and more in this long-awaited episode.

Robots are People Too?

42:21 | Nov 8th, 2018

An ongoing debate in Europe concerns whether or not we should extend the concept of personhood to robots. Why would we do such a thing and what would it mean? And why are many computer scientists opposed to the idea?

The End of the World with Josh Clark: Preview

02:53 | Nov 7th, 2018

The End of the World with Josh Clark is a 10-part podcast series on existential risks – threats that could bring humanity to a sudden and untimely end in the near future. Check out this preview, featuring a clip about our potential to spread from Ear...Show More

Goodbye, Kepler Telescope

43:40 | Nov 7th, 2018

NASA launched the Kepler telescope in 2009 to stare out into space. In October, 2018, the telescope "retired." What did we learn from it and how did it work?

John von Neumann and the Bomb

44:44 | Nov 6th, 2018

We continue our story about John von Neumann, the mathematical genius. From his work on the Manhattan Project to creating what we now call von Neumann architecture, we learn how his work changed the world.

Who was John von Neumann?

39:08 | Nov 5th, 2018

The Hungarian-born mathematician John von Neumann made numerous contributions to mathematics, computer science and more in his relatively short life. In this episode, we learn about his meteoric rise in academia.

TechStuff Classic: How Metal Detectors Works

36:00 | Nov 2nd, 2018

What are the three types of metal detectors? How do metal detectors use electromagnetism to detect stuff? What kind of stuff can create interference when using a metal detector? Tune in as Jonathan and Chris explore the technology behind metal detect...Show More

The Complicated Story of an AI Artist

39:32 | Nov 1st, 2018

In October, 2018, a portrait created by an artificial intelligence program sold at auction for more than $400,000. But there's controversy surrounding the story - did the team that created the work of art steal the artist?

TechStuff's Spooky Halloween Spectacular!

45:41 | Oct 31st, 2018

In celebration of Halloween, we take a look at an article from HowStuffWorks titled 10 Scary Modern Technologies. From drones to voices coming out of thin air, we peek under the big scary bed that is technology.

The Trials of MakerBot

41:31 | Oct 30th, 2018

What happens when a company abandons its core philosophy? MakerBot went from embracing open source to incorporating proprietary technology, alienating makers and shedding co-founders as a result. Here's what happened.

How MakerBot Was Born

43:33 | Oct 29th, 2018

MakerBot is known as the company that brought 3D printing into the consumer market. We learn about how the company was spawned from a project intended to turn the manufacturing world upside down.

TechStuff Classic: How Theremins Work

36:28 | Oct 26th, 2018

So what exactly is a theremin? It's got an unmistakably unique sound, and it's one of the world's first electronic musical instruments. Join Chris and Jonathan as they explore all things theremin, from the story of its inventor to playing techniques.

Sleepy Time Tech

45:44 | Oct 25th, 2018

What happens when sleep and technology meet? From sleep trackers to the world's first "sleep robot," we look at the science behind sleeping and the tech that tries to exploit it.

Powerful Lasers and Their Uses

36:13 | Oct 24th, 2018

How do lasers work? What are the most powerful lasers out there today and what do they do?

E-Waste and What To Do With It

43:43 | Oct 23rd, 2018

What is electronic waste? What makes it so problematic? And what's the best way to deal with it?

AI Gone Rude

40:23 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Science fiction authors have thoroughly explored what could happen if we implement artificial intelligence irresponsibly. But they didn't predict that Microsoft would have to rein in a rogue, foul-mouthed chatbot.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Stares at Laser Eye Surgery

43:43 | Oct 19th, 2018

How does laser eye surgery work? How does the human eye work? What types of eye problems can laser eye surgery correct? Join Jonathan and Chris for a closer look at laser eye surgery.

Could we make a sarcastic supercomputer?

41:44 | Oct 18th, 2018

As we develop more advanced natural language systems, will we ever reach a point where a computer can detect not just what we say but what we actually mean?

More Space Planes

47:25 | Oct 17th, 2018

In this episode, we learn about more recent and proposed space planes. What happens when they transition from experimental aircraft to practical vehicles?

Planes in Spaaaace

36:16 | Oct 16th, 2018

What is a space plane and how does it work? From the Space Shuttle to the super secret X-37B, we look at the designs and proposals for reusable spacecraft.

Voting and Technology

50:48 | Oct 15th, 2018

Bob Sullivan of the Breach Podcast joins the show to talk about the intersection between tech and voting. Is there a sweet spot? And do voting machines make the process more or less secure?

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Ponders an Enigma

41:27 | Oct 12th, 2018

What was the Enigma machine? What is a cipher? How did the Enigma machine work? Join Chris and Jonathan to learn more about cryptography.

Death of the Amiga

42:28 | Oct 11th, 2018

The Amiga computers had a reputation for being incredibly powerful, particularly for video applications. But numerous problems at Commodore meant the system was living on borrowed time. What happened?

The Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000

41:55 | Oct 10th, 2018

Following the somewhat disappointing performance of the Amiga 1000, Commodore released two new computers to try and capture both the high-end market and the budget computer customer. We look at these two legendary systems and the politics that interf...Show More

Building the First Amiga Computer

38:29 | Oct 9th, 2018

Jay Miner and his team of engineers were hard at work building the components for the Amiga 1000. Meanwhile, Atari and Commodore were maneuvering against each other and putting Amiga in the middle.

The Birth of Amiga

38:24 | Oct 8th, 2018

TechStuff listener Matt wanted to know more about the Amiga line of computers. We take a look at how an engineer from Atari took a big leap in order to achieve his goal of building the best home computer of the early 1980s.

Introducing: Daniel & Jorge Explain the Universe

31:56 | Oct 6th, 2018

Daniel’s a particle physicist who conducts research using the Large Hadron Collider. Jorge’s the cartoonist behind PhD comics, one of the web’s geekiest (and funniest) comics! And with their powers combined, they’re on a mission to Explain the Univer...Show More

TechStuff Classic: What does NASA's Mission Control Do?

46:19 | Oct 5th, 2018

Reaching space is difficult, and returning safely is even trickier. Luckily for astronauts, Mission Control follows each shuttle launch in minute detail, and they're on standby to tackle any imaginable problem. Tune in to learn more about exploring s...Show More

TechStuff Gets a MoviePass

47:41 | Oct 4th, 2018

Susannah asked that I do an episode about the company MoviePass. Where did it come from? What impact did it have on the entertainment industry? And does it have a future?

The Podcast Patent Problem

36:18 | Oct 3rd, 2018

How did a patent filed in 1996 cause huge headaches in the podcasting industry? And how did a decision in 2018 finally put the matter to rest? We look at the case of Personal Audio LLC versus podcasting.

What is Apple's Neural Engine?

39:50 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Listener Dan wanted to know more about Apple's "neural engine." What exactly is it, and what can it do? We explore how a system on a chip can power machine learning in a smartphone.

The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

44:38 | Oct 1st, 2018

On October 1, 1982, EPCOT Center opened at Walt Disney World. But that Epcot wasn't the same thing as Walt Disney's initial vision. We look into the history of a futuristic community.

TechStuff Classic: The Tech of Firefighting

41:09 | Sep 28th, 2018

Firefighters are an invaluable part of every community, but how does firefighting work? What tech will you find on a fire truck? Join Jonathan and Chris as they look at the technology behind firefighting.

How Game Engines Work

44:06 | Sep 27th, 2018

What exactly is a game engine? What are the notable game engines out there today? And how do they work? A request from listener Tongki.

The Worst Video Games of All Time . . . Since 2011

46:42 | Sep 26th, 2018

Back in 2011, we asked listeners what they thought the worst video games of all time were. In this episode, we look at games that received some of the worst reviews since 2011. What makes a bad game so awful?

Netflix to Today

44:04 | Sep 25th, 2018

Netflix has shifted focus to streaming video, though it still operates a DVD rental service. What were some of the challenges and roadblocks the company encountered over the past few years? And what the heck was Qwikster?

Netflix vs Blockbuster

46:20 | Sep 24th, 2018

Netflix has faced many competitors, but none gave the company as much trouble as Blockbuster. In this episode, we continue Netflix's story and how Blockbuster almost came from behind to topple Netflix's DVD rental service.

TechStuff Classic: Can we stop an asteroid from hitting Earth?

35:47 | Sep 21st, 2018

Could we blow up an asteroid like in the movie Armageddon? Join Jonathan and Chris as they tackle what may become one of Earth's most important questions: What do we need to do to be better prepared for an asteroid impact?

Netflix's Early Years

46:55 | Sep 20th, 2018

In our continuation of the story of Netflix, we look at how the young company changed dramatically over the first few years of its existence.

The Netflix Story

40:10 | Sep 19th, 2018

Listener Kevin wants to know the story behind the company that buried Blockbuster. In this episode, we look at the early years of Netflix and how it weathered some rough times to get a foothold.

The Nvidia Story So Far

47:56 | Sep 18th, 2018

We continue our look at the company that created the term GPU. How did Nvidia rise to dominance after such an uncertain start?

Graphics and Nvidia

35:42 | Sep 17th, 2018

Nvidia is a company perhaps best known for its graphics processing units. Where did it come from and how has it impacted computing? A request from listener Matthew.

Techstuff Classic: Eureka Archimedes

36:37 | Sep 14th, 2018

Who was Archimedes, and what did he actually invent? Join Chris and Jonathan as they take a closer look at the works of Archimedes -- including his historically famous, controversial death ray design.

TechStuff Goes Dark

46:25 | Sep 13th, 2018

What is the dark web? What is its purpose? What sort of stuff is on there? We shine the light on a dark topic, as requested by listener Tyler.

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal

44:29 | Sep 12th, 2018

In early 2018, the data analysis and marketing firm Cambridge Analytica came under fire in both the United States and the United Kingdom for different reasons. What exactly happened and how have things changed as a result?

The Founding of Cambridge Analytica

42:03 | Sep 11th, 2018

Cambridge Analytica made headlines multiple times during its relatively short history. Where did the company come from and what did it have to do with Facebook?

Silencing the Echo Chamber

45:31 | Sep 10th, 2018

We've changed the way we get information, and that has changed our perceptions of the world. How have echo chambers formed through tech and what can you do to make sure you're not just getting the information that confirms your perspective?

TechStuff Classic: What are QR Codes?

37:07 | Sep 7th, 2018

How do QR codes store information? What’s the difference between a QR code and a barcode? Why did it take so long for QR codes to take off? Join Chris and Jonathan as they break down QR codes in this podcast.

Three Nuclear Disasters

50:27 | Sep 6th, 2018

What happened at the nuclear power plants at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima? What did we learn from those disasters? And how bad were they?

The Hot Take on Cold Fusion

38:01 | Sep 5th, 2018

Cold fusion would transform our world in ways we can't even imagine. Is it really possible? Jonathan explores the science to find the answer.

How a Fusion Reactor Would Work

33:06 | Sep 4th, 2018

Nuclear power can generate a lot of electricity, but fission brings with it some drawbacks. What if we used fusion? We look at the difference between the two processes and learn about attempts to harness the power of the stars.

How Nuclear Power Plants Work

45:58 | Sep 3rd, 2018

How does a fission-based nuclear reactor work? What are some of the proposed modifications of this technology that could potentially make it a more attractive way to generate electricity?

TechStuff Classic: How Sonar Works

37:40 | Aug 31st, 2018

Sonar uses sound to gauge the distance between objects. Although most people associate sonar with submarines, humans use sonar for a lot more than underwater navigation. In this episode, Jonathan and Chris take a look at the mechanics behind sonar.

The Decline and Fall of Pebble

47:46 | Aug 30th, 2018

Just a few short years after it burst on the scene with an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, the Pebble company fell apart. What happened and what did we learn?

The Origin of Pebble

41:19 | Aug 29th, 2018

Where did the Pebble Smartwatch come from? We look at the story behind one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns.

Web Analytics and Your Data

39:54 | Aug 28th, 2018

How much of your personal information gets collected on the Web? Can you protect your information from prying eyes? And should you?

How Web Analytics Work

45:14 | Aug 27th, 2018

How do web analytics companies gather data? How much could these companies know about you? How hard is it to identify a person based off their browsing history? Get paranoid in this episode requested by listener Raff.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Tests the Emergency Broadcast System

36:21 | Aug 24th, 2018

What was the Emergency Broadcast System? What did it have to do with the Cold War? How is the Emergency Alert System different from the old EBS? Listen in as Chris and Jonathan explain the origin of the EBS and the EAS.

How Fender Changed After the Acquisition

49:51 | Aug 23rd, 2018

When CBS bought Fender guitars, the new bosses had some big changes in mind. How did that turn out and how is the Fender of today different from the company that helped spawn new genres of music?

TechStuff Shreds on Fender Guitars

46:01 | Aug 22nd, 2018

What's the story behind Fender Musical Instruments? From the iconic Stratocaster to today's company, we take a look at this iconic name in American musical history. Request by listener Greg.

Making Tech Accessible

45:54 | Aug 21st, 2018

Listener Kenn wanted to know about the process of designing assitive and accessible technologies. Technology has the potential to assist people with disabilities. But designing such tech requires a lot of consideration.

TechStuff Builds a Sound System

45:56 | Aug 20th, 2018

What are the different components in a high-tech sound system and what does each one do? TechStuff gives a rundown on audio equipment. Request by Karl-Ludwig.

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Gets Curious About Mars

56:14 | Aug 17th, 2018

What is the success rate for sending missions to Mars? What made the Curiosity rover mission so special? What would it take to get people to and from Mars safely? Join Jonathan and Chris as they take a closer look at the latest Mars mission.

The Death of Blockbuster

42:56 | Aug 16th, 2018

The once mighty franchise has dwindled down to a single location. What led to the downfall of Blockbuster?

The Birth of Blockbuster

47:39 | Aug 15th, 2018

TechStuff listener Paul wanted to know the story behind the company Blockbuster. How did this franchise emerge to threaten mom and pop video rental stores?

The Cutting Edge of Forensic Technology

51:43 | Aug 14th, 2018

We continue our look at forensic technology. What sort of cutting edge tech do investigators use? And how close is it to Hollywood's version?

TechStuff Investigates Forensic Technology

45:39 | Aug 13th, 2018

We've seen the Hollywood version of forensic scientists, but what sort of tech do real forensics experts rely upon when conducting an investigation? From fingerprints to digital surveillance, we take a look at the tools of the trade. A request by lis...Show More

TechStuff Classic: TechStuff Listens in on Sound Files

49:15 | Aug 10th, 2018

What do sound files do? Why are there so many different kinds of sound files? What's the difference between uncompressed, lossless and lossy formats? Listen in as Jonathan and Chris explain the differences between all those sound files.

TechStuff Boards the Space Shuttle Program

50:17 | Aug 9th, 2018

The Space Shuttle program in the United States was a story filled with triumph and tragedy. We take a closer look at the technology of the space shuttle, as requested by listener Lim.

It Is, In Fact, Rocket Science

42:23 | Aug 8th, 2018

Recently, I covered a lot of early spacecraft. But how did we get those darn things into space in the first place? In this episode, I trace the history of rocketry and look at some of the launch vehicles that slipped the bonds of Earth.

More Apollo and The Soyuz Spacecraft

47:44 | Aug 7th, 2018

We conclude our look at the Apollo space program and climb aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, which are still used to this day.

The Apollo Missions

52:15 | Aug 6th, 2018

The Gemini project was a stepping stone to what seemed like an impossible goal - put astronauts on the Moon and return them to Earth safely. The Apollo spacecraft would be the vehicle to take on the challenge. We look at the triumph and tragedy of th...Show More

TechStuff Classic: The MMORPG Story

1:05:27 | Aug 3rd, 2018

What is an MMORPG? What was the first MMORPG? Who coined the term MMORPG? Get online with Chris and Jonathan as they explore the massive, multifaceted world of MMORPGs.

From Voskhod to Gemini

44:02 | Aug 2nd, 2018

We continue our episodes about early spacecraft. This time, we go beyond the Vostok and Mercury missions and take a look at what came next. 

The First Manned Spacecraft

44:15 | Aug 1st, 2018

From the Vostok to the Mercury, we take a look at some of the spacecraft responsible for keeping astronauts and cosmonauts safe as they entered the final frontier. And we also take a moment to reflect upon Laika, the first Earth organism to go into o...Show More

Cisco Systems Today

43:28 | Jul 31st, 2018

We continue our look into Cisco Systems, a huge company responsible for key technologies that make the stuff you use work.

The Origins of Cisco Systems

38:58 | Jul 30th, 2018

TechStuff listener Gage wanted to hear about the company Cisco Systems, which went from a startup in 1984 to one of the biggest corporations in the US. This is its origin story.

TechStuff Classic: How Nuclear Weapons Work

56:46 | Jul 27th, 2018

During this classic episode, Chris and Jonathan explore one of the world's most dangerous technologies. How do nuclear weapons work? Why are uranium and plutonium important components? What’s the difference between a fission and a fusion bomb? Tune i...Show More

More on NLP and where voice assistants come from

38:31 | Jul 26th, 2018

We conclude our investigation into what makes natural language processing tick and explore the history of assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana.

The challenge of natural language processing

41:16 | Jul 25th, 2018

TechStuff listener Nate wanted to know about natural language processing. How can computer scientists teach machines to understand human language and why is it so hard to do?

I'm sorry, what did you say?

32:23 | Jul 24th, 2018

We explore the history and evolution of speech recognition, one of the foundational technologies behind voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.

Phishing, Spear Phishing and Whaling

41:21 | Jul 23rd, 2018

What exactly is phishing and how does it work? From corporate espionage to political manipulation, we explore how people leverage old, deceptive strategies in the digital age.

TechStuff Classic: Slow Motion Film and High Speed Photography

40:45 | Jul 20th, 2018

How does film work? What are the basic parts of a camera? How can you take a photo of a high-speed subject and get a clear picture? Tune in as Chris and Jonathan break down the tech behind slow motion and high speed photography.

How ASIMO Worked

36:09 | Jul 19th, 2018

Superfan Kat asked for an episode all about Honda's robot ASIMO, which was recently retired. Learn all about the bot meant to interact with human beings.

Scams, Hoaxes and Technological Flim Flam

1:20:56 | Jul 18th, 2018

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know's Ben Bowlin joins the show to talk about some of the biggest shams, hoaxes and flim-flam in tech. Put that skepticism to work!

How Critical Thinking Works

51:40 | Jul 17th, 2018

In the 1000th episode of TechStuff, Jonathan explores the concepts of skepticism and critical thinking and why they are important not just in the world of tech but everywhere.

The State of AI

54:13 | Jul 16th, 2018

In June 2018, Ian Hogarth and Nathan Benaich released a report on how far AI has advanced over 12 months. We take a look at artificial intelligence, where we are and where we're heading next.

TechStuff Classic: Anonymity

36:30 | Jul 13th, 2018

Is it possible that privacy is becoming less of a social norm? In this episode, Chris and Jonathan explore how the internet and online social networks have influenced changing attitudes about personal privacy. Tune in to learn more.

Over Hill and Over Dell (Dell Story Part Two)

37:17 | Jul 12th, 2018

After Dell Computers' meteoric rise, the company hit some rough waters. In this episode, we learn what happened, how Michael Dell was able to buy back the company he created and what he plans next.

Dude, You Got a Dell

37:51 | Jul 11th, 2018

Michael Dell founded his company when he was a teenager. In this episode, we learn how he took a good business idea and turned it into a billion-dollar company.

What exactly is GDPR

41:28 | Jul 10th, 2018

Legisliation from the European Union has forced many companies to scramble to comply to new rules and regulations. What exactly is General Data Protection Regulation?

TechStuff Update Grab Bag

40:58 | Jul 9th, 2018

Sometimes, after I cover a topic, stuff keeps happening. It's pretty rude. But this episode is all about following up on recent tech stories.

TechStuff Classic: Say My Name

51:22 | Jul 6th, 2018

Who was Heisenberg? What was his contribution to quantum mechanics? What is the uncertainty principle?

The Best and Worst of Crowdfunding

42:18 | Jul 5th, 2018

Crowdfunding and platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGogo have changed the way people get funding for projects, including big tech projects. In this episode, we look at examples of some of the best and worst tech-related crowdfunding campaigns.

TechStuff Moments with Mr. Lincoln

38:58 | Jul 4th, 2018

The Disneyland attraction Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln originally started out as a World's Fair attraction before taking up residence in the Happiest Place on Earth. We look at the history, technology and evolution of this popular Disney attraction...Show More

Vaporware: The Software Edition

34:51 | Jul 3rd, 2018

From computer games that never made it out of development to entire operating systems, we look at some of the greatest software that never made it to users.

Go Go Gadget Vaporware!

43:22 | Jul 2nd, 2018

In this episode, we round up some examples of promised gadgets that never delivered. From a self-adjusting belt to a pair of camera glasses promoted by Lady Gaga, this episode is all about vaporware.

Techstuff Classic: What about (Microsoft) Bob

45:48 | Jun 29th, 2018

What was Microsoft Bob? What was the major security flaw in Bob? Why did Bob flop? Join Jonathan and Lauren as they explore the rise and fall of Microsoft Bob.

What is Microsoft up to Today?

39:08 | Jun 28th, 2018

From mixed reality to political controversy, we explore the recent activity of the world's largest software company: Microsoft.

An Update on Microsoft

33:37 | Jun 27th, 2018

TechStuff listener Rob asked "What has Microsoft been up to since you recorded The Microsoft Story Part 2 in 2013?" We find out.

Defense against the Dark DDoS Arts

40:18 | Jun 26th, 2018

We take a closer look at different DDoS strategies as well as how cyber security experts try to handle attacks. Is there anything you can do to help limit DDoS attacks?

DDoS Attacks 101

42:23 | Jun 25th, 2018

What exactly is a denial of service attack? And what makes one a distributed denial of service? In this episode, we learn more about the basics of DDoS attacks.

Techstuff Classic: Techstuff Talks to Rooster Teeth

44:25 | Jun 22nd, 2018

What is Rooster Teeth Productions? What is machinima? How did Red vs. Blue get started? Listen in as Jonathan and Chris interview Burnie Burns, the pioneering founder of Rooster Teeth Productions.

Frequency Hopping

43:20 | Jun 21st, 2018

We finish our story about Hedy Lamarr and look at how frequency hopping works and is un underlying technology for many modern communications systems. And then we have some fun talking about celebrity inventions.

Hopping with Hedy Lamarr

40:55 | Jun 20th, 2018

Classic film star Hedy Lamarr was celebrated for her appearance but what many people didn't know was that she also co-invented a method of communication that underlies many technologies today. We learn more about Hedy Lamarr and frequency hopping.

How to Make a Podcast

41:23 | Jun 19th, 2018

Podcasting has become increasingly popular over the years. What do you need to know to start your own? We give tips on how to go about creating your very own podcast.

Caught up with eBay

43:10 | Jun 18th, 2018

What has eBay been up to over the last few years? We catch up with the company and bring our story up to the present day. As long as that present day is in 2018.

Open vs Closed: A TechStuff Debate

45:28 | Jun 15th, 2018

What are the benefits of each type of system? What are the drawbacks? Who won the debate? Tune in as Jonathan and Chris explores the respective pros and cons on each side of the great debate between open and closed systems.

eBay Goes Corporate

41:33 | Jun 14th, 2018

Meg Whitman's tenure at eBay changed the company's culture dramatically. Why did eBay buy Skype, and why do some people say that was a huge mistake? 

Stuff Younger than TechStuff

33:46 | Jun 13th, 2018

We look at some more companies and services that launched after TechStuff became a show back in 2008, including some stuff that didn't get the chance to stick around.

TechStuff is Older Than...

33:55 | Jun 12th, 2018

TechStuff has been a podcast for 10 years. In that time, several companies and services have launched. In this episode, we look at some familiar names that were unknown back when TechStuff first aired.

TechStuff's 10th Anniversary Spectacular!

55:31 | Jun 11th, 2018

TechStuff launched in June, 2008. What has changed in tech over that decade? Jonathan looks back at 10 years of the biggest hits, flops and stories in tech.

Techstuff Classic: The Sad Tale of Hitchbot

55:38 | Jun 8th, 2018

What was HitchBot all about and what happened to it? From hitchiking across Canada to a violent end in Philadelphia, we tell the robot's story. Scott Benjamin guest hosts.

eBay Makes Billionaires

32:06 | Jun 7th, 2018

It only took a couple of years for eBay to go from a hobby to a multi-million-dollar corporation. In this episode, we trace eBay's journey to its initial public offering, which turned its founder into a billionaire overnight.

The Early Days of eBay

33:40 | Jun 6th, 2018

TechStuff listener Niel asked that we take a look at eBay. How did a Mac programmer get the idea for the auction web site? What was the first thing sold? And how did it take off?

TechStuff Gets on the Radar

34:57 | Jun 5th, 2018

Several TechStuff listeners have asked me to do an episode about radar. In this episode, we take a quick look at several of the people responsible for the design and deployment of radar and how it works.

Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions

31:15 | Jun 4th, 2018

After producing two critically acclaimed but low-selling games, what did Tim Schafer and his Double Fine Production company do next?

Techstuff Classic: The Mythology of Area 51

58:27 | Jun 1st, 2018

Area 51 factors into stories about everything from weather-control devices to aliens. Ben Bowlin joins the show to look at the mythology of Area 51.

Tim Schafer: From Monkey Island to Brutal Legend

30:21 | May 31st, 2018

TechStuff listener Juan asked that we talk about Tim Schafer, a computer game designer famous for making clever, quirky adventure games. In this first episode, we look at his years working for LucasArts games and the early days of his own Double Fine...Show More

Demystifying WiFi

33:47 | May 30th, 2018

Where did the WiFi standard come from? What are the differences of the various flavors of WiFi? And why should you care?

Instagram Gets Big

33:43 | May 29th, 2018

Shortly after Instagram launched, Facebook moved to acquire the company for a billion dollars. What made the photo sharing service so valuable and what's happened to it since?

The Birth of Instagram

33:22 | May 28th, 2018

Listener Nelly asked me to look into the story of Instagram. In this episode, we learn about the co-founders and the abandoned app that ended up spawning the popular photo-sharing service.

Techstuff Classic: The Max Headroom Incident

57:14 | May 25th, 2018

How did hackers take over a television signal in the late 1980s? Stuff You Should Know's Chuck Bryant joins the show to talk about the Max Headroom Incident.

TechStuff Profile: Robert N. Hall

32:13 | May 24th, 2018

Dr. Robert N. Hall died in 2016 at the age of 96. The New York Times published an obituary two years later. What were Dr. Hall's contributions to technology?

Engage the Cloaking Device

36:49 | May 23rd, 2018

A popular gadget in science fiction is the cloaking device, a technology capable of rendering entire vehicles invisible. Recently, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania created what some call a cloaking device. What's going on?

What is Project Maven?

31:57 | May 22nd, 2018

A project dedicated to bringing artificial intelligence into military operations in a real combat theater has prompted more than a dozen Google employees to resign and 4,000 more to sign a petition urging the company to get out of the project. What's...Show More

How LORAN Worked

35:48 | May 21st, 2018

Alfred Loomis created the long range navigation system called LORAN. How did it work?

Techstuff Classic: TechStuff Gets Flushed

56:23 | May 18th, 2018

How do toilets work? What's the secret behind using a Japanese toilet? And can you enter a toilet race? Josh Clark joins the show.

TechStuff Profile: Alfred Loomis

35:24 | May 17th, 2018

Listener Kris asked that I do a profile on Alfred Lee Loomis, an inventor and philanthropist who had a huge impact on world history and the funding of scientific research.

TechStuff at the Bat

42:38 | May 16th, 2018

Listener Carter asked us to take a look at the technology behind the humble baseball bat. Is it just a stick or is there more to it? From manufacturing to the regulations that define a bat's performance, we find out.

The Rise and Fall of Nokia

37:56 | May 15th, 2018

A century after its founding, the Finnish company Nokia entered the world of electronics. How did Nokia come to dominate the cellular phone industry and why did it lose enough ground to sell off its mobile division to Microsoft?

The Origins of Nokia

33:55 | May 14th, 2018

Marcus asked me to look into Nokia, and so this episode is about how the company started and grew over several decades. Did you know Nokia is more than 100 years old?

Techstuff Classic: The Sewing Machine

58:33 | May 12th, 2018

Holly Frey from Stuff You Missed in History Class joins the show to talk about the sewing machine and how it shaped patent law.

Why did Gibson Declare Bankruptcy?

47:10 | May 11th, 2018

By the 1960s, Gibson was well established as a premier electric guitar manufacturing company. But the following decades brought strife to Gibson, and in 2018 the company declared bankruptcy. What went wrong?

The Birth of Gibson Guitars

39:09 | May 10th, 2018

From a humble luthier in Kalamzoo michigan to the introduction of the Les Paul signatue guitar, we take a look at the early days of Gibson.

How Speakers and Amplifiers Work

33:05 | May 9th, 2018

How does a speaker generate sound? What does an amplifier do and how does it work? We learn more about the science and tech behind our audio equipment.

The History of Loudspeakers

30:32 | May 8th, 2018

Where did the loudspeaker come from? How did we go from acoustic horns to electronic speakers? We learn about the inventors who made speakers possible.

Death Star Weaponry

34:13 | May 7th, 2018

How did the Death Star's superlaser work? Is such a weapon even possible? And what the heck was up with that ventilation shaft?

Techstuff Classic: Mars Simulation Takes to the HI-SEAS

1:06:26 | May 5th, 2018

Recently, a year-long isolation experiment simulating a mission to Mars concluded. What were the results? And why did it happen in Hawaii?

Death Star Support Systems

40:28 | May 4th, 2018

From its propulsion systems to artificial gravity, we explore the greatest weapon in the galaxy. May the 4th be with you!

The Story of Oracle: Part Three

51:59 | May 2nd, 2018

In part three of our series, we explore what kept the database software company called Oracle busy between 2000 and 2018. Learn about the acquisitions, the executive shuffling and the controversies!

The Story of Oracle: Part Two

40:51 | May 1st, 2018

In the early 1990s, Oracle found itself teetering on the edge of disaster. What nearly sunk the company and how did it recover?

The Story of Oracle: Part One

40:11 | Apr 30th, 2018

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has earned himself a flamboyant reputation among the tech elite. How did a self-taught programmer help start the second-biggest software company in the world?

Techstuff Classic: How MP3 Compression Works

41:58 | Apr 28th, 2018

How does a computer program decide which bits of an audio file to keep and which to ditch during compression? We learn about the mp3 algorithm and Jonathan talks about math a lot.

The NetSuite Story

43:38 | Apr 27th, 2018

Where did NetSuite come from and what does it do? We look at the story behind the world's first cloud computing company.

Two Turntables and a TechStuff Episode

1:01:08 | Apr 27th, 2018

TechStuff Listener Gellert asked that I cover DJ tech in an episode. That includes a lot of stuff, so today's episode is specifically about turntables. Where did they come from and how have they changed?

Cloud Computing Overview: Part Two

33:37 | Apr 26th, 2018

What are some of the modern uses for cloud computing? How safe is it? And who owns all that data anyway?

Cloud Computing Overview: Part One

31:48 | Apr 25th, 2018

What exactly is cloud computing? We trace the development of cloud computing from the days of mainframes to the modern Internet.

The Birth of the Turntable

1:04:44 | Apr 25th, 2018

From phonautographs to the early record players, we take a look at the birth of the turntable as an entertainment device. 

End to End Encryption Services

54:45 | Apr 24th, 2018

An anonymous listener wanted to know more about end to end encryption. How is it possible to encrypt information across the Internet so that only the right person can read it? We explore the world of cryptology.

The Dirt on Digital Audio

46:03 | Apr 21st, 2018

How is audio recorded digitally? In this first episode on a series about mp3 and digital audio, Jonathan breaks down how we convert sound into 0s and 1s.

Getting MIDI With It

47:28 | Apr 20th, 2018

What is MIDI and how does it work? We answer a request from listener Jesse and take a look at the history and evolution of MIDI and what it is (and is not). 

Listener Grab Bag

56:50 | Apr 18th, 2018

Sometimes, I get requests for topics that aren't quite robust enough for a full episode. Here I'll cover several requests and give shortish answers to them.

The Nintendo Story: Part Four

46:57 | Apr 13th, 2018

It's been two years since we last detailed the course of Nintendo. What has the company been up to since April 2016?

Send in the Clones: The IBM PC Story

55:50 | Apr 11th, 2018

IBM was known for its business-to-business operations. So when the corporate giant decided to get into the home computer market, people took notice. How did IBM establish the PC as the de facto standard in home computing?

How Apple Survived the PC Wars: Part Two

44:29 | Apr 6th, 2018

After introducing the Macintosh computer, Apple struggled a bit to ensure its future. As it continued to rely upon the sturdy Apple II platform, the company tried to forge a new path. How did it go?

How Apple Survived the PC Wars: Part One

50:55 | Apr 4th, 2018

In 1976, two Steves got together and created a startup company called Apple. Their computers ushered in an era of home computers. But the journey didn't always go smoothly.

The Computers That Time Forgot

55:59 | Mar 30th, 2018

We know about Macs and PCs, but there used to be a lot of other personal computers on the market. This is an episode about those machines and what happened to them.

What was Stuxnet? Part Two

45:57 | Mar 28th, 2018

How did investigators unravel the truth behind Stuxnet? And exactly how clever was this piece of malware? We take a closer look at the first documented evidence of a cyber warfare weapon.

Three Cool Talks at Think2018

1:06:05 | Mar 28th, 2018

Learn about the presentations Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku and Tanmay Bakshi gave at IBM's Think2018 conference. From space to artificial intelligence to using chatbots as therapists, these talks dive into cutting edge ideas and technologies.

Quantum Computing 101

59:55 | Mar 27th, 2018

What exactly is quantum computing? How does it relate to quantum mechanics? And what sort of problems could quantum computing solve in the future?

The Journey To AI

56:25 | Mar 24th, 2018

We have simple forms of AI right now like image recognition and natural language processing. In the future, we may have artificial intelligence that can think the way humans do. But what is going to happen in between? Presenters at IBM's Think2018 co...Show More

What was Stuxnet? Part One

54:43 | Mar 23rd, 2018

In 2010, a computer virus targeting specialized equipment at an Iranian nuclear facility made world news. What was Stuxnet and what did it have to do with uranium enrichment centrifuges?

The Think 2018 Science Slam Part Two

39:27 | Mar 22nd, 2018

At IBM's science slam at Think2018, three more scientists explain their work and how it impacts the world. We learn about a 3D microscope that can observe plankton in the open sea, how we can make sure that the AI we create in the future is unbiased ...Show More

The Think 2018 Science Slam Part One

43:30 | Mar 21st, 2018

At IBM's Think2018 conference, several scientists got up to give short presentations on groundbreaking work they are pursuing that could shape our world in the years to come. In this episode, we learn about crypto anchors and lattice-based cryptograp...Show More

TechStuff Takes Off The Training Wheels

46:27 | Mar 21st, 2018

From the earliest two-wheeled, human-powered vehicles to today's racing bicycles, we look at how the humble bike was invented and how it evolved over the decades.

Jonathan Attends IBM Think 2018

47:14 | Mar 20th, 2018

Jonathan attends the Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas, where IBM showcases the latest in technologies ranging from AI to quantum computing. Hear about what he plans to explore while there.

An Update On IPv6

45:26 | Mar 16th, 2018

Back in 2011, TechStuff did an episode about why we needed to switch to the IPv6 protocol. Where are we at now, and why exactly is it necessary?

First Contact (Lens)

49:01 | Mar 14th, 2018

How were contact lenses invented? Who came up with the idea? How were they first made?

The Naughty Dog Story Part Two

52:03 | Mar 9th, 2018

How did Naughty Dog follow up the smash hit of Crash Bandicoot? And how did the departure of the two co-founders affect the company?

Good Games From a Naughty Dog

54:30 | Mar 7th, 2018

Naughty Dog is the company behind games like Crash Bandicoot and the Uncharted series. What's the story behind the games?

Gone Baby Gone - The Deleted Story

1:11:04 | Mar 2nd, 2018

How deleted is deleted? What does it take to truly eradicate digital data? And are deleted messages completely beyond retrieval?

The Phantom Zone

55:47 | Feb 28th, 2018

In the early 2000s, a company called Infinium Labs promised to revolutionize gaming with a console called The Phantom. It never materialized. What happened?

The Boston Dynamics Story

58:32 | Feb 23rd, 2018

You've seen the video of a man kicking a four legged robot. But what's the story behind the robotics company that built it?

Evolution of Watching TV

1:11:52 | Feb 21st, 2018

The way we consume traditional media continues to evolve. The age of the DVR ushered in time-shifting viewing habits. But now with services like Sling TV we also have place-shifting opportunities. We talk with Sling TV to learn more.

An Interview with the Creators of Homestar Runner

1:02:12 | Feb 16th, 2018

The creators of Homestar Runner hop on TechStuff to talk about their pioneering work in web series production and how StrongBad is going to catch up on that huge email backlog.

Swipe Right: Dating in the Digital Age

55:01 | Feb 14th, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day! Today, we look at the apps and services meant to connect people to one another. What's the story behind the romance?

The Uber Story Part Two

1:01:40 | Feb 9th, 2018

Recently, Uber has been under the magnifying glass as corporate policies and executive behavior have drawn criticisms from around the world. What's going on with the ride sharing company?

The Uber Story Part One

49:04 | Feb 7th, 2018

Uber set out to disrupt the cab hailing industry. How did it get its start? And are the stories of underhanded tactics true?

Put on Your Jetpacks and Let's Fly!

57:25 | Feb 2nd, 2018

The jetpack is a staple in science fiction transportation. Is the technology practical? Will we all one day dart around using personal jetpacks?

TechStuff Takes a Ride in a Personal Submarine

1:24:32 | Jan 31st, 2018

Scott Benjamin from CarStuff joins the show to talk about the unusual world of personal submarines. What's the tech behind this luxurious, dangerous extravagance?

Time to Talk About Clocks

48:33 | Jan 26th, 2018

Where did the first mechanized clocks come from and how did they work? It's time to talk about time.

CES 2018 Roundup

1:13:30 | Jan 24th, 2018

Every year, manufacturers, retailers and the press gather in Las Vegas to look at the latest in tech. What were the big takeaways this year, apart from an awkward power outage?

The YouTube Story Part Three

55:23 | Jan 19th, 2018

Our three part series concludes with an examination of what's been going on with YouTube recently. From advertising crises to weird algorithms that create surreal and disturbing videos for kids, we look at it all.

The YouTube Story Part Two

50:32 | Jan 17th, 2018

Picking up in 2007, we explore how YouTube grew rapidly, launching a few folks into celebrity status in the process. How did YouTube change in that time?

The YouTube Story Part One

49:57 | Jan 12th, 2018

How did YouTube get its start? We trace the history from its days as an independent company to the historic Google acquisition.

How Pagers Work

40:10 | Jan 10th, 2018

Remember pagers? Who invented them and how do they work? How are they related to gangsters and the CIA? And who still uses them?

The Sierra OnLine Story

1:22:51 | Jan 5th, 2018

Jonathan talks with Ken Williams, co-founder of Sierra Games. We look at how a husband and wife team created one of the most powerful computer game companies in the 1980s.

How Blockchain Works

52:59 | Jan 3rd, 2018

Technology analysts say blockchain is the technology of the future. So what exactly is it and how does it work?

TechStuff Predicts 2018

50:54 | Dec 29th, 2017

What's in store for us in the world of technology in 2018? From net neutrality to the next iPhone, Jonathan stares into his faulty crystal ball to make some predictions.

The TechStuff 2017 Predictions Report Card

48:37 | Dec 27th, 2017

A year ago, Jonathan and friends made a bunch of predictions about what might happen in 2017. Did things go the way we expected?

TechStuff Looks Back on 2017

56:00 | Dec 22nd, 2017

From massive data breaches to Uber's scandalous year, we take a look at some of the biggest tech stories to break in 2017.

TechStuff Goes to the Ice Rink

59:07 | Dec 20th, 2017

How do you make an ice rink in an area that has a temperature above water's freezing point? We look at the big tech needed to make a lot of ice.

The Physics of Star Wars

1:16:07 | Dec 15th, 2017

On the release date for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we present an episode on how the physics of Star Wars works.

How the EFF Works

53:39 | Dec 13th, 2017

What does the Electronic Frontier Foundation do? We look at the organization, its goals and some important landmark cases that the EFF has participated in.

Operation Sundevil and the Birth of the EFF - Part Two

40:27 | Dec 8th, 2017

Our story about Operation Sundevil continues as we see how the Secret Service and various law enforcement agencies made the formation of the EFF a necessity.

Operation Sundevil and the Birth of the EFF - Part One

48:58 | Dec 6th, 2017

We dive into the complex history of the hacker culture that prompted the US Secret Service to conduct massive raids and how the Electronic Frontier Foundation was born from it.

The HowStuffWorks Story Part Two

1:03:46 | Dec 1st, 2017

How did HowStuffWorks transform from a website into a podcast network? Some special guests join the show to talk about the transition from writer to Internet superstar.

The HowStuffWorks Story Part One

1:08:51 | Nov 29th, 2017

How did HowStuffWorks get started? We look at the humble beginnings of the site and how it evolved over the early years.

Dip Into the 7 Layers of the OSI Model

50:08 | Nov 24th, 2017

Time for a delicious 7-layer dip! Only this dip is into the layers in the Open Systems Interconnection or OSI model. What is this model and how does it relate to telecommunications?

Tron: He Fights For the Users

1:04:55 | Nov 22nd, 2017

Steven Lisberger, writer and director of the 1982 film Tron, joins the show to talk about the tech of making the film and the mythology of Tron itself.

How Camera Stabilization Works

1:01:20 | Nov 17th, 2017

From physical rigs to special software, we explore the technology that helps keep your camera rock steady when it comes time to snapping the perfect shot. How does that work, anyway?

How Disney's Happily Ever After Works

1:13:47 | Nov 15th, 2017

At Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, visitors can witness a nighttime show filled with pyrotechnics and projection mapping. But what makes all that magic actually work?

Xerox: New Market. New Xerox.

49:05 | Nov 10th, 2017

In the conclusion on our series on Xerox, we learn about the monumental political struggles within the company that nearly brought it down from within. And where is Xerox now?

Xerox: Quick to Innovate. Slow to Integrate.

52:25 | Nov 8th, 2017

After Xerox unveiled its first copier it skyrocketed to success. We learn about how the company made a huge impact on the technology of personal computers without ever making a successful one of its own.

The Birth of Xerox

1:05:24 | Nov 3rd, 2017

Once upon a time, a company called the Haloid Corporation set out to make a small place in the world of photographic paper. As the decades passed, this little company would evolve into Xerox. In part one, we learn about Xerox's journey to their first...Show More

Making a Board Game - Mondo's The Thing

1:05:17 | Nov 1st, 2017

The surge in board game popularity prompted this question: how do you make a board game? In this episode, we interview folks from Mondo about the new board game based on The Thing.

Tech of Ghostbusters

1:08:39 | Oct 27th, 2017

When it's time to figure out the science behind the Ghostbusters films, who ya gonna call? It turns out the answer is Troy Benjamin, who had the task of explaining how Ghostbusters' tech works.

The Tech of Stranger Things

53:50 | Oct 25th, 2017

Jess Royal and John Hilton drop what they're doing on Stranger Things to come by the studio and talk about what their jobs require. From Christmas lights to the upside down, we learn about what it takes to make a show work.

Edison Electric Bikes

48:04 | Oct 20th, 2017

Ryan Hersh, the founder of Edison Bikes, drops by the studio to talk about how a challenge he faced led to a new business in ebikes. We learn the ins and outs of getting a business up and running. The training wheels are off!

The Tech of Star Trek

1:02:10 | Oct 18th, 2017

From transporters to replicators, we take a look at the technology of Star Trek. How much of it is based on real technology and how much of it is just plain old magic?

The Making of Friday the 13th: The Game

58:21 | Oct 13th, 2017

From the initial pitch to a successful crowdfunding campaign to a launch title, we learn how the Friday the 13th game was made. IllFonic CEO Chuck Brungardt joins the show to talk about bringing Jason to virtual life.

The Mixed Bag of Mixed Reality

1:16:02 | Oct 11th, 2017

What exactly is mixed reality? How far along is the technology? Can VR and AR become successful consumer products?

The World of eSports

1:21:04 | Oct 6th, 2017

From professional streamers to full-blown championship tournaments, where did eSports come from and is it really that big a deal? We talk with representatives from Alienware and ELEAGUE about professional gaming.

How Eye Tracking Tech Works

1:18:15 | Oct 4th, 2017

What is eye-tracking technology? What can it be used for? Find out about the history and future of eye-tracking tech on this episode of TechStuff.

The Story of Valve Part Three

51:19 | Sep 29th, 2017

What has Valve been up to since Steam launched? From anticipated sequels to the shift to digital delivery, we look into how this company continues to influence the gaming industry.

The Story of Valve Part Two

1:12:53 | Sep 27th, 2017

Half-Life launched and co-founder Mike Harrington left Valve. What happened next to the company? We follow the story up to 2004.

The Story of Valve Part One

1:02:32 | Sep 22nd, 2017

How did Valve get started? We explore how two Microsoft Millionaires formed one of the most influential companies in PC gaming.

Dot Com Part 2

48:38 | Sep 20th, 2017

In part two, we look at a few more companies that fizzled in the wake of the dotcom bubble bursting. From a quick-delivery service to a company that would pay your parking tickets, what happened?

The Dot Com Bubble Companies

57:32 | Sep 16th, 2017

The Dot Com Bubble saw the rise and fall of many Web startups. We look a few, from Pets.com to Broadcast.com. What happened to those founders?

The Origin of the iPhone: Part Two

54:55 | Sep 13th, 2017

We continue the discussion about the birth of the iPhone. As it turns out, it was a very difficult delivery. What's the story behind it?

The Origin of the iPhone: Part One

47:39 | Sep 8th, 2017

It's been 10 years since the iPhone first went on sale. How did it come about and what has its impact been on technology?

The Def Con Story

1:17:49 | Sep 6th, 2017

How did Def Con get started? What goes on there? And should you be worried about it?

The History of Podcasting

59:09 | Sep 1st, 2017

From Internet Radio to the emergence of TechStuff, we look at the long and colorful history of podcasts.

ATLAS and the LHC

36:47 | Aug 30th, 2017

What does the ATLAS detector do at the LHC? We explore the detector, the LHC, and hear from Kate Shaw and Steven Goldfarb who both work with ATLAS.

The Soundcloud Story

57:08 | Aug 25th, 2017

The sound-hosting service SoundCloud narrowly avoided financial collapse in 2017. Where did it come from and can it become profitable?

Hyperloop and the Boring Podcast

57:18 | Aug 23rd, 2017

It's time to revisit the Hyperloop. What is the proposal, and how will it work? And what's up with Elon Musk's Boring Company?

The Alienware Story

1:15:27 | Aug 18th, 2017

In 1996, a company set out to make its mark on the PC gaming industry. It became known as Alienware. How did it get started and where is it going?

Musical Analysis at Moogfest

48:01 | Aug 16th, 2017

Producer extraordinaire Noel Brown visited Moogfest in 2017 and got a chance to talk with Alexander Lerch about musical analysis. And how can can analysis lead to generative music?

Halt! Bot or Not?

50:33 | Aug 11th, 2017

Bots generate more Internet traffic than humans. How can you tell if someone chatting with you is a bot or not?

AI: Friend or Foe?

1:00:28 | Aug 9th, 2017

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have had a public disagreement about the nature of AI. Who is right? Are the bots on their way to destroy us?

Becoming a Microchipped Cyborg

49:53 | Aug 4th, 2017

Employees at a vending company can elect to get an RFID microchip implant. What's the story behind this and is it a good idea?

The History of Programming Languages Part Two

45:49 | Aug 2nd, 2017

How have programming languages evolved over time? What was wrong with the old ones? How are more recent languages different from the ones first developed?

The History of Programming Languages Part One

55:07 | Jul 28th, 2017

What was the first programming language? Why are they even necessary? Why are there so many different types of programming languages?

How Weather Models Work

49:42 | Jul 26th, 2017

What sorcery is this? How do meteorologists actually make weather forecasts after collecting all that data?

How Meteorologists Work

1:19:26 | Jul 21st, 2017

How do meteorologists predict the weather? We look at the tools meteorologists use to determine stuff like high and low temperatures, the chance of precipitation and more!

How Weather Works

52:30 | Jul 20th, 2017

In an effort to understand meteorology, we first must understand how weather works. What are the complex variables that determine weather patterns?

Are 4k TVs Worth It?

1:13:28 | Jul 14th, 2017

What exactly is 4k resolution? How does the number of pixels on a screen correspond to image quality? And are 4k sets really worth it?

Smiley Face Emoji Story

1:08:32 | Jul 12th, 2017

What's the difference between an emoticon and an emoji? Where did emoji come from? And is it a language?

The Intel Story Part Two

1:15:51 | Jul 7th, 2017

From the humble 4004 to today's Kaby Lake, we take a look at the processors and technology Intel has developed over the years.

The Intel Story Part One

1:00:21 | Jul 5th, 2017

How did the co-founders of Intel go from being traitors to two of the early pioneers of silicon valley? We learn about Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore.

History of Electricity Part Two

1:13:07 | Jun 30th, 2017

As the 20th century loomed ever closer, the battle waged to determine how we would transmit electricity. Learn about the current wars and why AC ultimately won.

History of Electricity Part One

58:27 | Jun 28th, 2017

Did you know that engineers were harnessing electricity long before they even knew what it was? We take a look at the history and tech behind electricity.

The Wonderful World of Audio Animatronics

1:17:53 | Jun 23rd, 2017

It might be a small world after all, but how did Disney imagineers create the first audio animatronics and how do they work? Find out in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.

Jonathan's E3 2017 Adventure

55:54 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Join Jonathan as he describes his experience exploring E3 2017, the expo all about computer and video games.

Ransomware and WannaCry

58:56 | Jun 16th, 2017

What is ransomware? Why does it so often target healthcare organizations? Tune in to learn all about the history of holding data hostage — from Dr. Popp to the recent WannaCry virus.

Pew Pew Lasers

1:15:21 | Jun 14th, 2017

Lasers can be used to threaten our enemies, cut steel and even amuse our cats. Find out the history of lasers and how they work in this episode of Techstuff.

The Macintosh Story Part 3

1:05:48 | Jun 9th, 2017

From the return of Steve Jobs to the most recent Macs, we look at how the computer has changed over the years.

The Macintosh Story Part 2

1:26:16 | Jun 8th, 2017

After its launch, Apple tweaked the Macintosh a bit. Then Apple executives gave Steve Jobs the boot. He would return many years later. We look at the Macintosh during this era.

The Macintosh Story Part 1

1:07:33 | Jun 2nd, 2017

What's the origin story for the Macintosh computer? We look at the early days of Apple leading up to the launch of one of the most famous Apple products of all time.

Revisiting Net Neutrality

1:01:19 | Jun 1st, 2017

What is Net Neutrality? Why is it a big deal? And what is the current status of net neutrality?

The Samsung Story Part 2

1:02:56 | May 26th, 2017

Picking up where we left off, we look at some of the more recent stories about Samsung, including the tricky relationships between the heirs to the Samsung throne.

The Samsung Story Part 1

57:54 | May 24th, 2017

How did the company Samsung get its start? From its humble beginnings as a grocery and shipping company, we look at the complicated history of one of South Korea's most influential companies.

The National Facial Recognition Database

1:18:20 | May 19th, 2017

Are you an adult citizen in the US? If so, there's a 50% chance your face is in a law enforcement database. We look at this problematic law enforcement tool.