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With the success of “nerd tradition” there was an unlucky homogenization of media. Even one thing as area of interest as podcasts through which individuals speak about expertise has been slathered within the inoffensive mayonnaise that’s company branding. Now the concept of being “into tech” or “a nerd” has been floor down to easily imply somebody who owns one of many highest-selling telephones available on the market and goes to the highest-grossing films in human historical past. I’ve returned to the tech podcast trenches to tug from the inky deep six podcasts that embrace essential pondering, the tales of minorities in tech, and aren’t afraid to be geeky about precise nerdy matters. 

Let’s go. 

There Are No Women on The Web

There Are No Women on the Web (in any other case recognized by the superb initialism TaNGotI) captures the spirit of NPR-born tech and internet-focused podcasts. Reply All ex-pats will choose up the acquainted trappings of upbeat plunky music stings getting used to transition between strains of thought as a charismatic host leads them down that episode’s story. Besides, as an alternative of spotlighting tech bros as they mansplain dropshipping to one another, TaNGotI is telling the world tales that have to be heard. Because the official web site completely sums up: “digital activist and veteran podcaster Bridget Todd is chronicling what the net expertise appears like for us, and the ignored methods marginalized voices have been on the coronary heart of expertise and the web from the very starting.” 

Episodes round one hour however may also shrink to close half an hour. There’s no formulaic construction demanding every story must run the identical size. Todd provides the individuals concerned the time they should inform their story. Whereas a robust speaker in her personal proper, Todd understands the facility of letting her friends inform their very own story as a lot as doable. 

Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | Website

Rocket 

For those who’ve by no means heard of Rocket, congratulations. I’ve simply given you a beautiful reward. Christina Warren, Brienna Wu, Simone de Rochefort. If in case you have a Twitter account for any substantial time frame you’ve seemingly seen certainly one of them in passing. The final time I advisable Rocket I mentioned its continued existence and backlog of a whole lot of episodes was a “public service to podcasting.” Lofty phrases, and I nonetheless consider it. Three girls very a lot embedded in web and tech tradition spend an hour speaking concerning the week’s developments in tech and popular culture. 

What units Rocket aside from people-talking-about-stuff chat casts is the hosts’ mixture of trade expertise and honesty. A giant drawback in tech podcasting is hosts who journey a centrist line, seemingly out of worry of ruining future partnerships or job alternatives. Warren, Wu, and Rochefort inform it like it’s. They’re up for doing goofy chilly opens discussing which Sonic character most closely fits their personalities, however in addition they have a monitor report of discussing the difficult place they’ve on this planet. It’s not simple being knowledgeable of among the newest dangerous information about Apple but in addition nonetheless have the innate urger to get the latest iPhone for advantage of new-thing-feel-good.

Rocket is humorous, retains to a modest one hour episode size, and tells it like it’s. Tech podcasting could be a greater place if exhibits like this had been the established order. 

Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts 

Minority Report Podcast

Minority Report Podcast (to not be confused with The Minority Report, a present that appears just like the hosts say “grindset” unironically) options hosts Erik Requidan and Kerel Cooper interviewing a individuals of colour, girls, and LGBTQIA+ on this planet of enterprise and tech.

Reporting on minority members of painfully cis white industries. I’m a sucker for a stable pun title. Fortunately that lead me to this sudden delight of an interview present. The superstructure of the podcast is easy: a bunch introduces a visitor, they discuss, they go residence. Enhancing is judicial with the common episode feeling very tight and coming in slightly below half an hour.

In a shocking twist one wouldn’t usually discover on a easy tech-themed interview podcast: Minority Report is absolutely transcribed. Not simply copy-pasted out of Otter.ai. Somebody on the crew is taking the time to manually edit the transcript so as to add in notations for moments like when the visitor laughs.The bar is within the basement so far as transcriptions in nonfiction podcasting however kudos to them for going above and past.

Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | Website | Transcripts

Properly There’s Your Downside

WTYP is a podcast about tech, even when it’s not introduced as one. Every episode hosts Justin Roczniak, Alice Caldwell-Kelly, and Liam Anderson hop round historical past to cowl engineering disasters. As one would possibly anticipate, the reason for the overwhelming majority of engineering catastrophe deaths will be summed up with “capitalism.” Matters mentioned vary out of your bog-standard railroad disasters introduced on by companies skimping on security to large almost-diaster moments like Y2K. The hosts could also be two crass Philly dudes and a trans Scottish girl who performs the Soviet nationwide anthem each time communism is talked about, however rattling in the event that they don’t present thorough and fascinating analysis. Their episode on the Titanic is so lengthy it needed to be cut up in half purely so Roczniak’s web might deal with importing it. 

Episode presentation is comparatively easy for a video podcast. Roczniak information a Google Slides presentation consisting of slides he and/or different hosts have constructed for the subject. The only purpose to observe WTYP as an alternative of listening to their audio-only RSS feed is witnessing Roczniak’s hand-drawn annotations as they seem, affectionately known as “John Madden-ing.” Whereas a deal with to observe him sketch cross-sections of poorly-constructed buildings, sufficient of an effort is made by the hosts to verbally describe the slides to make the audio-only podcast not simply an afterthought. 

Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | Website

Brad and Will Made a Tech Pod

An essential a part of a balanced tech podcasting weight loss plan is protection of the trade from two dudes who keep in mind life earlier than the web. That’s the place self-identified greybeards Brad Shoemaker and Will Smith are available. Each veteran tech journalists, Shoemaker and Smith have produced a podcast so lean the premise can be the title. Three episodes a month the 2 hosts focus on matters pertaining to developments within the tech world, from sensible units to GPU prices. The fourth episode is reserved for Q&A, which permits the 2 to actually go wild. 

Two white dudes of their forties may not appear notably wizend in a world the place Wozniak remains to be doing faculty talking engagements, however contemplate the panorama of tech podcasting. A spot inundated with 20-something white dudes who suppose being loud equates being appropriate. Shoemaker and Smith – refreshingly – perceive they’re two cis white guys who’ve had profitable careers writing concerning the latest graphics playing cards and making podcasts with Adam Savage. In the event that they don’t have one thing of price to say on a subject, they gained’t. 

They’re additionally large geeks. If left unchecked Shoemaker is need to start discussing how a bit of tech works right down to the extent of what’s on the PCB inside. One might make a consuming recreation out of each time he mentions utilizing a shell command in his on a regular basis use of Home windows 10. Brad and Will Made a Tech Pod, in addition to its sister present FOSS Pod through which the identical hosts focus on open supply software program, is the proper addition to any tech podcaster’s media weight loss plan.

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Website

Trash Future 

Whereas not explicitly a podcast that talks about tech each episode, in my coronary heart Trash Future counts in a holistic sense. The tagline on the TF web site sums the present up completely: “a podcast about enterprise success and making your self smarter with the continued psychic trauma of capitalism.” What trade is most beset with capitalist brainworms than tech? 

Trash Future sports activities a rotating solid of hosts consisting of Riley Quinn, Milo Edwards, Hussein Kesvani, Nate Bethea, and Alice Caldwell-Kelly. Any given episode of TF is akin to enjoying round with the strengths and weaknesses of get together members in Dragon Age or Mass Impact. Some deliver relative order, some deliver outright chaos. It’s loud, brash, and unapologetically political. They’ve been at it for thus lengthy there’s an inventory of in-jokes and working bits one has to tease aside and retroactively work out, if not outright ask a fan the place they began.

Each different add is a teaser for a Patreon-exclusive episode. The episode titles are a trainwreck. TF is as lo-fi a presentation as one thing starring hosts with costly mics can get. Very like Properly There’s Your Downside, TF doesn’t give a shit for those who prefer it or not. For those who’re on the identical wavelength because the hosts, you’ll actually just like the present. 

Apple Podcasts | Website 

Bonus tech podcasts

That is Solely a Check

A remnant from the years when Examined.com was a tech evaluation outlet moreso than a supply platform for Adam Savage movies, That is Solely a Check is a weekly podcast through which web site co-founder Norman Chan and visitor(s) focus on the week’s developments in relation to tech and loosely-tech-adjacent popular culture. A weekly commuter-friendly podcast made by individuals brazenly essential of the environmental influence of crypto is tougher to search out than one would possibly suppose, however it exists.

Whereas technically a video-first podcast, I can rely on one hand the quantity of instances through the years when one thing occurred on the video feed that genuinely left me feeling ignored. If a visible really is essential, Chan will swoop in with an outline to fill within the audio listeners. Examined has created the podcasting equal of Outdated Dependable. I used to be a weekly listener within the mid 2010s and may verify that – save for co-founder Will Smith’s downgrade from host to occasional visitor – it’s functionally similar to at the present time. You’ll be able to belief Examined to be there each week with a information roundup, chat about some popular culture, and speak about tech you’ll need however most likely don’t want. 

Pay attention: Apple | Google | Stitcher | Pocket Casts | Website | RSS

Tech Received’t Save Us

In a stroke of excellent private branding, this leftist tech trade dialogue podcast is hosted by Paris Marx. Take a wild guess as to Marx’s political leanings. The driest of the entries on this listing, Tech Received’t Save Us discusses, properly, how tech isn’t going to save lots of humanity of its personal accord. The darker sides of how expertise is harnessed for inhumane motives is roofed every episode as Marx interviews an knowledgeable on a given phase of the trade. From the inherently right-wing assemble of cryptocurrency to the methods Australia’s robodebt scandal, you’re going to listen to about some gnarly stuff. The place podcasts like Properly There’s Your Downside deliver granular historic data or broad-strokes systemic points, Tech Received’t Save Us shines by advantage of regularly speaking to individuals who’ve finished little besides analysis a given area of interest subject for functions of writing longform protection of it. It’s additionally a uncommon deal with to stumble throughout a present concerning the trade that can plainly title individuals within the trade they’re speaking about. There’s no subtweeting to be discovered right here, simply miserable realities we’ll seemingly by no means escape. 

Pay attention: Apple | Google | Stitcher | Pocket Casts | Website | RSS

Queens of the Drone Age

Angharad Yeo, Rae Johnston, Amanda Yeo, and Tegan Jones are 4 Australian tech-focused content material creators who get collectively each week to talk. Take into account this the come-down stress-free entry in an inventory peppered with miserable, sometimes anger-inducing discussions of the horrors of the industries propping up fashionable expertise. Whereas Queens of the Drone Age don’t essentially sugarcoat issues, the expertise is way extra chill. Important airtime of 1 episode is devoted to Johnston and Amanda Yeo geeking out over new vacuums. 

Being veterans of the tech sides of Mashable, Gizmodo, and the ABC (swap the A to Australia in that one, Individuals), the 4 deliver a causal experience and entry to new tech that’s thrilling with out veering into dry recitation of spec sheets. Not as prone to drop into uncomfortable trade realities as Rocket, however nonetheless much less seemingly to provide company nonsense a free move than the common dudes-talk-about-tech chat present.

Pay attention: Apple | Google | Stitcher | Pocket Casts | Website | RSS

Darknet Diaries

An oddity in tech podcast charts primarily dominated by corporate-minded interviews and personality-driven chat exhibits, Darknet Diaries stands above the remaining as a hybrid interview and storytelling podcast concerning the “darkish aspect of the web.” Usually every episode includes hacking ultimately, form, or type, although host Jack Rhysider has discovered nice success within the seemingly infinite variations of what will be interpreted as one thing from the web’s “darkish aspect.” From state-funded hacking groups attacking the Olympics to tales of geeks being paid to interrupt into information facilities, he covers each story with equal quantities of pleasure and empathy. Rhysider at instances reacts to developments of years-old tales with an power akin to a youngsters’s entertainer reacting to developments in a storybook. 

The key sauce of Darknet Diaries lies in that empathy. Rhysider has interviewed founders of The Pirate Bay, ex-NSA staff, even the man who guessed Donald Trump’s Twitter password. Whether or not he’s speaking about an inarguably good white-hat hacker or somebody who has dedicated heinous atrocities, he finds a means to withstand any urge to be numb. 

Pay attention: Apple | Google | Stitcher | Pocket Casts | Website | RSS

Observe to Self

Observe to Self is concerning the ever-changing world of tech and the way it shapes humanity as a complete. Whether or not it’s discussions on transhumanism or conversations with the one who helped create Fb’s advert algorithm, Observe to Self brings a deep degree of reporting and their basic WNYC sheen of professionalism. Host Manoush Zomorodi–the brand new host of the TED Radio Hour–is good and affable, making every episode accessible to individuals at any degree of tech data.

As a be aware, new episodes are at present solely being launched through Luminary, which, properly . . . however the archive remains to be accessible on different podcatchers, and is properly price trying out.

Land of the Giants

By way of Recode by Vox, Land of the Giants appears into the largest tech firms that rule the world to determine how they received so, properly, massive. Its first season analyzes how Amazon received to the place it’s–keep in mind when Amazon simply offered kinda low cost books that took some time to ship?–and the way it’s change into greater than a storefront. Now, it’s some of the essential tech firms on this planet, and Land of the Giants explains why that isn’t quickly to alter.

Reset

One other tech podcast through Recode by Vox, Reset is a twice-weekly breakdown of the week’s tech information. Consider it as a tech-focused model of The Day by day, a quick-ish sum-up of the whole lot you’ll want to know to remain knowledgeable within the ever-changing world of tech. Whereas often the dialogue appears on the intersection between tech and politics, there are additionally episodes that concentrate on the traits in tech, apps, and AI alone.

Why’d You Push That Button

Why’d You Push That Button is a expertise podcast about why we make the alternatives we do in tech, and the way that tech shapes these selections within the first place. Why do iPhone customers work together much less with Android customers, and does it need to do with that lime inexperienced colour of their texts? Why do individuals need to be verified on social media websites? Why do individuals use unique courting apps? Why’d You Push That Button speaks to individuals who have made selections in apps and have compelling tales behind why, however typically additionally the consultants behind the design options that information these selections.

Looking Warhead

From the CBC, Looking Warhead is one half tech podcast, one half journalism podcast. It’s a contained story about journalists making an attempt to research the darkest corners of the web to assist save baby abuse victims. Whereas the subject material is grisly, the CBC is thought for its moral journalism in relation to true crime, and Looking Warhead isn’t any totally different. This podcast isn’t concerning the abuse the victims suffered; it’s concerning the investigation and the darkish internet themselves.


I would love each reader to replicate on the actual fact I needed to struggle tooth and nail to search out sufficient podcasts with POC hosts to get the ratio to 50% according to inclusion efforts right here at Uncover Pods. Tech podcasting is insufferably, inescapably dominated by white creators. I might compile an inventory so long as this one totally stuffed with POC-hosted podcasts that would match on this listing in the event that they hadn’t unceremoniously stopped importing months (and even years) in the past. Current lists of “[insert race]-hosted podcasts” invariably are written by no-name enterprise blogs and solely function the identical handful of similar exhibits through which an entrepreneur uncritically interviews anybody with an LLC who’ll comply with be a visitor. The power to be essential of monopolistic companies is an enormous ask in a style that usually favors those that don’t rock the boat, however it shouldn’t be this massive of an ask. 

Take into account this an open name for future iterations of this listing: for those who’re a POC who hosts a tech-focused podcast that would slot in right here, DM me on Twitter: @GavGaddis.