WSJ Tech News Briefing

WSJ Tech News Briefing

Tech News Briefing is your guide to what people in tech are talking about. Every weekday, we’ll bring you breaking tech news and scoops from the pros at the Wall Street Journal, insight into new innovations and policy debates, tips from our personal tech team, and exclusive interviews with movers and shakers in the industry.

Episodes

January 21, 2022 14 min
Deb Liu, CEO of genealogy company Ancestry.com, discusses the challenges women face rising in the tech industry, ways to get ahead and the sometimes difficult revelations brought by her company’s DNA testing. She spoke with WSJ live journalism news editor Ellie Austin at The Wall Street Journal’s recent Women In: The Tech Industry event. Zoe Thomas hosts.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting on Thursday to discuss two bills that could rein in the power of big tech, and both the tech giants and their detractors are spending big to lobby for or against them. WSJ reporter Brody Mullins joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss what is in the bills and how the lobbying efforts are playing out.

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Microsoft said it plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher of games such as World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. Since last year, Activision has been rocked by accusations that its workplace culture led to gender discrimination and sexual harassment. WSJ tech reporter Sarah Needleman joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss why Microsoft is interested in Activision and what the deal could mean for consolidation and cultural issues...

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China cracked down on its biggest tech companies last year, but that didn't stop investors from pouring record amounts of funding into the nation’s tech sector. Tech reporter Liza Lin joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss which kinds of startups benefited the most, and what it tells us about Beijing’s long-term goals.

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January 14, 2022 12 min
The highest-earning TikTok star made more last year than the average CEO of an S&P 500 company. WSJ reporter Joseph Pisani joins host Julie Chang to explain how those influencers are raking in the bucks and how big brands are looking to incorporate them into their business strategies.

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The must-have social network for teens is… iMessage? Apple has created an ecosystem on its iPhone that attracts more than 70% of young smartphone users in the U.S. WSJ reporter Tim Higgins joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss Apple’s strategy in reaching this point, and why competitors and lawmakers aren’t too happy about it.

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January 11, 2022 13 min
Big tech companies have set their sights on building the metaverse as the next digital realm for work, play and shopping. But first they have to build it, and that is leading to intense competition for the top tech talent. Tech reporter Aaron Tilley joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss.

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Location technology is getting better and better … and ultra-wideband could soon make it easier to unlock doors, turn on smart devices and even limit the need for passwords. But first the companies developing this technology need to get over privacy hurdles. WSJ Tech Columnist Christopher Mims speaks with Tech News Briefing’s Julie Chang about how UWB could reshape how we interact with our devices. Zoe Thomas hosts.

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January 8th marked one year since Twitter permanently banned former president Donald Trump from its platform. Other social media companies soon followed suit. WSJ tech reporter Georgia Wells joins host Julie Chang for a look back at the past year and explains how the companies and even Trump benefited from the ban.

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The U.S. military’s newest and most-concerning tactical threat is cheap hobby drones rigged with explosives. WSJ’s Middle East correspondent Stephen Kalin joins host Julie Chang to explain why fighting back against the aerial gadgets has become a big battlefield problem, mostly in the Middle East, and a seemingly never ending cat-and-mouse game for troops.

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January 6, 2022 14 min
General Motors, Chrysler and electronics giant Sony unveiled their visions for the future of electric cars at the tech conference CES. WSJ reporter Mike Colias joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss the designs, why more tech companies are eying the auto industry and what it means for the broader EV market.

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The annual consumer tech trade show CES opens to the public in Las Vegas on Wednesday. For decades, the event has been the place to reveal devices that may one day become staples in homes and offices. WSJ Personal Tech News Editor Shara Tibken joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss the most exciting trends and gadgets being revealed at this year's event.

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In a mixed verdict, Elizabeth Holmes, founder of defunct blood testing startup Theranos, has been found guilty of four of the 11 fraud and conspiracy charges against her. The verdict caps a remarkable fall for a darling of Silicon Valley investors. WSJ Reporter Sara Randazzo joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss what the verdict means for Holmes and the tech sector.

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January 3, 2022 17 min
As 2022 kicks off, how will technology shape the coming year? Will robots, cheaper electric vehicles and drone deliveries change our lives? WSJ’s Tech Columnist Christopher Mims, Personal Tech Columnist Nicole Nguyen, and Senior Personal Tech Columnist Joanna Stern join host Zoe Thomas to discuss what new tech they are looking forward to getting their hands on.

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December 30, 2021 10 min
Aly Orady, founder and CEO of fitness company Tonal, says artificial intelligence is better and safer than a human trainer. At the WSJ's Tech Live event, he spoke with host Zoe Thomas about personalized workouts, how the company uses customers' data and more.

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When TikTok users start to feel that the videos being shown to them are harmful to their well-being, how easy is it to disengage? And what responsibility do authorities, from parents to governments to TikTok itself, have in keeping the platform safe? This is the final episode of Tech News Briefing’s special three-part series.

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When it comes to TikTok videos that discuss mental health, eating disorders and self-harm, deciphering what is helpful and what is harmful can be hard for TikTok’s algorithm. And even when users share videos of their recovery, their posts can send others into spirals. So how do TikTokers try to help each other in this gray area? This is part two of Tech News Briefing’s special series.

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December 27, 2021 20 min
TikTok’s powerful algorithm is exceptionally good at engaging users. But what happens when the endless scroll on the app turns into a stream of potentially harmful content, including on starvation diets, self-harm and suicide? And why do users who say they didn't go looking for this type of content still see so much of it? This is the first part of Tech News Briefing’s special three-part series looking at the real-life impact o...

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December 24, 2021 2 min
Starting Monday, Tech News Briefing will be bringing you a special series on the potentially devastating impacts of social media, in particular TikTok. Over three episodes, we will look at how users can get trapped in a cycle of potentially damaging content, why it can be hard for TikTok’s algorithm to decipher what is helpful from what is harmful, and who has responsibility for keeping the platform safe.

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After more than a decade of delays, the most powerful space telescope ever built is set to be launched this weekend. Once in action, the James Webb Space Telescope will replace the Hubble, which has been orbiting Earth for 30 years. WSJ science writer Robert Lee Hotz joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss how the new telescope works and why astronomers say it will be worth the wait.

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