By J.D. Biersdorfer and Pedro Rafael Rosado
About this podcast
The independent audio magazine devoted to mashing up pop culture, technology and more. New York based geek-culture journalists J.D. Biersdorfer and Pedro Rafael Rosado are your hosts.
In this podcast




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Latest episodes
Feb. 17, 2018
Google delivers on its commitment to block intrusive ads in the Chrome browser, Microsoft plans to unleash a Beast Mode for Windows 10 power users and Apple. . . well, Apple’s just staining the furniture with the HomePod speaker. El Kaiser and J.D. also discuss other highlights from the week’s tech news and offer tips for rural Internet users who have little choice in broadband providers and have to watch every megabyte they use on metered cellular data plans. Punch up Episode 263 to hear it all! Links to Stories on This Week’s Show * Under the hood: How Chrome’s ad filtering works (Chromium Blog) * Apple HomePod Review: It Only Sounds Great (Wirecutter) * HomePod Teardown (iFixit) * Facebook Funded Most of the Experts Who Vetted Messenger Kids (WIRED) * Windows 10 is adding an Ultimate Performance mode for pros (Engadget) * Expanding Intel’s Bug Bounty Program: New Side Channel Program, Increased Awards (Intel Newsroom) * Tinder plans women-talk-first option similar to Bumble (MarketWatch) * As the Streaming Wars Heat Up, Ryan Murphy Cashes In (The New York Times) (Hopefully) Helpful Hint * Measuring and Managing Your Cellular Data Use (The New York Times) * Tips to Minimize Data Usage (AT&T) * AT&T Data Calculator * Sprint Data Calculator * T-Mobile Calculator * Verizon LTE Data Calculator * Spotify Internet Usage Tips * Choosing a VPN (That One Privacy Site)
Feb. 12, 2018
The Space Race is back on — and Elon Musk’s own cherry-red Tesla Roadster is the pace car of the 21st century, having been shot into orbit around the sun by its owner. This week, El Kaiser and J.D. discuss the SpaceX test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6th, 2018; check out the video below if you missed the Roadster-flinging launch. Elsewhere in the show, El Kaiser shares his opinion about the idea of R-rated a Star Wars movie and J.D. offers tips on how to find online streaming videos with overdubbed audio descriptions for the blind and those with limited vision. For all this — plus a roundup of the week’s tech news — just blast off Episode 262! Links to Stories on This Week’s Show * Falcon Heavy, in a Roar of Thunder, Carries SpaceX’s Ambition Into Orbit (The New York Times) * Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster and Starman Leave Earth Forever in This Final Photo (Space.com) * ‘Consumer Reports’: Samsung, Roku Smart TVs may be vulnerable to hackers (USA Today) * YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Favors Conspiracy Videos (New York magazine) * Thirty-six Defendants Indicted for Alleged Roles in Transnational Criminal Organization Responsible for More than $530 Million in Losses from Cybercrimes (United States Department of Justice) * Instagram tests resharing of others’ posts to your Story (TechCrunch) * Snap shares surge after app redesign sparks user growth (Reuters) * Cortana for iOS comes to iPad with native design (Windows Central) * Apple says iPhone 8 and X have ‘hardware updates’ that address battery issues (The Verge) * Google developing a game streaming service codenamed ‘Yeti’ with console hardware (9to5Google) * Google Online Security Blog: Vulnerability Reward Program: 2017 Year in Review (Google Security blog) * John Perry Barlow, Internet Pioneer, 1947-2018 (Electronic Frontier Foundation) Technology + Accessibility *
Feb. 3, 2018
On this week’s episode. El Kaiser shares his thoughts after a binge of Star Trek: Discovery and J.D. explores a new way to find things that interest you on Instagram. A roundup of the week’s tech news includes a discussion of Twitter’s fake-followers problem, Amazon looking for new ways to provide employee healthcare and Google’s attempts to root out — and boot out — bad apps from its online Android store. All this AND porgs on Episode 261 of PopTech Jam! Links to Stories Mentioned On This Week’s Show * Twitter Followers Vanish Amid Inquiries Into Fake Accounts (The New York Times) * The Follower Factory (The New York Times) * Twitter Doubles The Amount Of People It Says Interacted With Kremlin-Linked Trolls (Buzzfeed) * Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan Chase to partner on health care (CNBC) * Windows Defender to start removing “optimizer” scareware (Ars Technica) * California Senate defies FCC, approves net neutrality law (Ars Technica) * Samsung enters crypto-currency chips business (BBC News) * U.S. Probes Apple Over Updates That Slow Older iPhones (Bloomberg) * Podcast Listeners Really Are the Holy Grail Advertisers Hoped They’d Be (Wired) * Get help with cheaper flights and potential flight delays this winter (Google blog) * How we fought bad apps and malicious developers in 2017 (Android Developers blog) * Google backs ‘universal stylus’ campaign (BBC News) * A reintroduction to Google’s featured snippets (Google Keyword blog) * Facebook Really Wants You to Come Back (Bloomberg) * Facebook Aims to Soothe Wall Street Over News Feed Changes (The New York Times) *
Jan. 29, 2018
The backlash against the Federal Communication Commission’s rollback of net neutrality regulations continues — even a certain monarchy-themed hamburger establishment has weighed in with a video. El Kaiser and J.D. discuss the latest developments concerning the Open Internet, and also ponder Twitter’s photo-cropping skills, the Google gestalt and  listening to Netflix in other languages. Click on into Episode 260 to hear it all, and don’t forget to celebrate Data Privacy Day afterwards — go offline and read a treeware book or something! Links to Articles in This Week’s News Segment * Give Good the Advantage: Chronicle Blog (Medium) * Why I left Google to join Grab by Steve Yegge (Medium) * Samsung officially sets Galaxy S9 unveiling for Feb. 25 (CNET) * Apple HomePod (Apple) * Speedy Neural Networks for Smart Auto-Cropping of Images (Twitter blog) * Twitter aiming to make video sharing more Snapchat-like in upcoming app (9to5Mac) * Cuomo demands ISPs follow net neutrality for government contracts (New York Daily News) * De Blasio administration pushes Congress to restore net neutrality via legislation (New York Daily News) * AT&T Is Full of [Bad Word] With Its Full-Page Net Neutrality Ads (Gizmodo) * Burger King Makes the Case for Net Neutrality (Variety) * San Jose mayor resigns from FCC advisory panel (TheHill) * GAO to investigate bot-driven net neutrality comments (Federal Computer World) * Apple’s Getting Back Into the E-Books Fight Against Amazon (Bloomberg) * Apple finally enables life-saving iPhone emergency settings (The Next Web) *
Jan. 19, 2018
Whether it be tech giants facing Congressional committees or the Google Cultural Institute showing people the power of facial-recognition algorithms, El Kaiser and J.D.  have things to say about it all. Also in the mix: Several states and advocacy groups have fired up the Lawsuit Machine and aimed it at the Federal Communications Commission’s recent repeal of the net neutrality rules. Oh, and here are a pair of newsflashes: Apple has lots of money and Facebook maybe didn’t do so much to stop misinformation on its platform last year.  Spool up Episode 259 for the details! Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Episode * Flurry of Lawsuits Filed to Fight Repeal of Net Neutrality (The New York Times) * Google’s Project Fi now caps data bills at $60 (TechCrunch) * Project Fi (Google) * Apple Gives Employees $2,500 Bonuses After New Tax Law (Bloomberg) * Apple accelerates US investment and job creation (Apple) * Apple expands Siri’s ‘Give me the news’ feature to non-beta users & the U.K. (9to5Mac) * Bitconnect, which has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme, shuts down (TechCrunch) * Facebook is a ‘living, breathing crime scene,’ says one former tech insider (NBC News) * Monitoring fake news was never a priority, says ex-Facebook worker (NBC News) * Facebook, Google tell Congress they’re fighting extremist content with counterpropaganda (CNBC) * Facebook introduces Watch Party to let you watch shows together with friends (The Verge) * ‘It Took Us by Surprise’: Even Google Was Shocked by the Success of Its Megaviral Face-Matching Art App (ArtNet.com) * Google Arts & Culture * Google Arts & Culture for Android * Google Arts & Culture for iOS (Hopefully) Helpful Hint *
Jan. 16, 2018
The annual Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in Las Vegas last week, leaving El Kaiser and J.D. plenty of new gadgets to mull, from “intelligent” toilets to high-concept “social-empathy robots.” But other stuff happened outside of Vegas, too — Facebook changed up its News Feed, Spectre and Meltdown patches rolled out, and half of California seems to be suing Apple over that iPhone slowdown move. Spin up Episode 258 to hear it all! Links to Stories on This Week’s Episode * Facebook Couldn’t Handle News. Maybe It Never Wanted To. (BuzzFeed) * Facebook is testing a new section of the app specifically for local news and events (Recode) * Understanding the performance impact of Spectre and Meltdown mitigations on Windows Systems (Microsoft Secure) * Now 30 class action suits against Apple over iPhone throttling; latest alleges five wrongdoings (9to5Mac) * Senator questions Apple over intentional iPhone slowdowns (Ars Technica) * Tech Backlash Grows as Investors Press Apple to Act on Children’s Use (The New York Times) * Alexa is eating Siri’s lunch at CES 2018, and HomePod isn’t going to make a difference (Macworld) * Cortana coming to more devices in 2018 through Devices SDK and new reference designs (Building Apps for Windows blog) * ​Samsung to unveil Galaxy S9 at MWC, not CES (ZDNet) * YouTube Removes Logan Paul From Preferred Program, Puts ‘Thinning’ Sequel on Hold (Hollywood Reporter) * How the Democrats are using Republicans’ favorite move to try to preserve net neutrality (BGR.com) * Snuggle robots and talking toilets: CES 2018’s wildest gadgets (The Washington Post) * 10 of the Coolest Gadgets We Saw at CES 2018 (Time) *
Jan. 5, 2018
The new year is here and so far, 2018 is already throwing its five moves of doom around the ring: Massive security flaws in the world’s computer processors, a giant lawsuit against Spotify, the government’s white-hat hacker shortage, YouTube drama and all kinds of bad behavior on Twitter. El Kaiser and J.D. discuss it all here in Episode 257 of Pop Tech Jam, so just push Play for the main event! Links to Stories Discussed in This Week’s Episode * Researchers Discover Two Major Flaws in the World’s Computers (The New York Times) * What You Need to Do Because of Flaws in Computer Chips (The New York Times) * Today’s CPU vulnerability: what you need to know (Google Security blog) * Meltdown and Spectre (Graz University of Technology) * Fight for the Future: Vote for Net Neutrality * Apple will replace old iPhone batteries, regardless of diagnostic test results (The Verge) * Spotify Hit With $1.6 Billion Copyright Lawsuit Over Tom Petty, Weezer, Neil Young Songs (Hollywood Reporter) * Alphabet’s Google explores sale of restaurant reviewer Zagat (Reuters) * The Logan Paul Suicide Video Shows YouTube Is Facing A Crucial Turning Point (BuzzFeed) * NSA’s top talent is leaving because of low pay, slumping morale and unpopular reorganization (The Washington Post) * Woman receives bionic hand with sense of touch (BBC News) Avoid the Twitter Litter * Twitter Rules and policies (Twitter) * Would Twitter Ever Suspend Trump’s Account? (The New York Times) * Messages Are Projected On Twitter HQ After Trump’s North Korea Tweets (Huffington Post) * Adjusting Twitter’s Sensitivities (The New York Times) *
Dec. 24, 2017
As the tired old year of 2017 limps toward the exit, it seems fitting that age discrimination is in the news this week — both for smartphones and human job-seekers. El Kaiser and J.D. sort through two weeks’ worth of headlines, share their musings on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and offer up a warning about using browser extensions. It’s been a crazy year in many ways, but Pop Tech Jam returns in early 2018, just in time to make fun of the weirdest products at the Consumer Electronics Show. Spin up Episode 256 here and look for us in a few weeks. Happy Holidaze, Jammers! Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Episode * Apple Plans Combined iPhone, iPad & Mac Apps to Create One User (Bloomberg) * Apple responds to reports of worn batteries forcing iPhone CPU slowdowns (Apple Insider) * Facebook Job Ads Raise Concerns About Age Discrimination (The New York Times) * Facebook Is Also Helping Employers Keep Job Ads Away From Older People (Gizmodo) * How to use login verification (Twitter) * Web browsing comes to Amazon’s Fire TV ahead of YouTube ban (CNET) * The War Over Net Neutrality (Bloomberg) * New York AG to Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality Repeal (The Hill) * Netflix rips net neutrality repeal: ‘This is the beginning of a longer legal battle’ (The Hill) * Three U.S. men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks (Reuters) * How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet (Wired) * Twitter says Russians spent ~$1k on six Brexit-related ads (TechCrunch) * New to Office 365 in December—extending human ingenuity with everyday AI (Office Blogs) * Microsoft looks to make Bing results smarter with new AI-powered features and Redd...
Dec. 10, 2017
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is all over the news this month, and El Kaiser and J.D. discuss some of the more recent developments, along with the Consumer Reports verdict on the iPhone X and the legal tussle between oracle and Google. El Kaiser shares his thoughts on Crisis on Earth X and J.D. offers a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint on converting those meeting notes scrawled on the office whiteboard into text you can edit on your phone. Oh, and there’s a little movie called Star Wars: The Last Jedi headed to theaters this month, so if you need something to listen to while you’re waiting around in line for it, push Play on Episode 255 here! * Bitcoin Shakes Off Bubble Warnings in Race Past $15,000 Mark (Bloomberg) * Steam Community Announcements (Steam blog) * Digital currency exchange NiceHash says Bitcoin worth nearly $64 million hacked (Reuters) * Instagram is testing a separate messaging app and may remove DMs from the core app (The Verge) * iPhone X is inferior to Samsung’s new phones, Consumer Reports says (CBNC) * CR’s Final iPhone X Test Results: Top-Scoring Camera and Display But Also Some Flaws (Consumer Reports) * Inside Oracle’s cloak-and-dagger political war with Google (Recode) * Chrome Apps are dead, as Google shuts down the Chrome Web Store section (Ars Technica) * Lyft’s self-driving pilot with nuTonomy begins rolling out in Boston (TechCrunch) * Your Search questions, answered selfie-style on Google (The Keyword blog) * Star Wars: The Last Jedi (StarWars.com) (Hopefully) Helpful Hint * Scanning, Converting and Editing Text on the Go  (The New York Times)
Nov. 20, 2017
Net neutrality is on the ropes, Twitter is yanking back some of those Blue Badges of Verification, Project Loon is bringing Internet connectivity back to parts of Puerto Rico and Amazon’s cashier-replacement software is getting better. El Kaiser and J.D. ponder these stories and the rest of the week’s tech news. And don’t you just hate it when your laptop battery won’t old a charge anymore — or has conked out completely? This week’s (Hopefully) Helpful Hint discusses how to monitor your battery health and how to replace that power cell when the time comes. Episode 254 is just a click away! * FCC plans to vote to overturn U.S. net neutrality rules in December (Reuters) * Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows (The Guardian) * Twitter says it will remove verification badges from accounts that violate its rules (The Verge) * Turning on Project Loon in Puerto Rico (X blog) * People watch Netflix at work and in public bathrooms (Quartz) * New tools to make your job search simpler (Google blog) * Firefox Quantum arrives with faster browser engine, major visual overhaul, and Google as default search engine (VentureBeat) * Amazon scraps bundled video service (Reuters) * Amazon’s automated store is now smart enough to identify Pikachus (The Verge)  (Hopefully) Helpful Hint * What is the Battery Status menu? (Apple Support) * Check the condition of your computer’s battery (Apple Support) * iFixit * ASUS Battery Information * Checking Battery Health on Dell Computers