By The Verge
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Special events, discussions, interviews, and one-off shows from The Verge.
||Explicit@dril tweets: a reading of his best work||Last month, Dril published Dril Official “Mr. Ten Years” Anniversary Collection, a 420-page collection of his best tweets of the last decade. And it works because during that same stretch of time, Dril has defined so much of what it’s meant to be online. Please enjoy a reading of his best work, presented by The Verge’s creative director and resident englishman James Bareham.||9/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||VR pioneer Jaron Lanier on dystopia, empathy, and the future of the internet||Jaron Lanier is one of virtual reality’s most recognizable figures. He’s credited with popularizing the term itself, and he co-founded VPL, a short-lived but groundbreaking company that built some of the first commercial VR headsets. Since then, Lanier has been better known for his writing on digital ownership and internet ecosystems, with the books You Are Not A Gadget and Who Owns the Future? But his most recent work revisits the world of ‘80s and ‘90s VR, as well as the rest of Lanier’s life — including his early years on the Texas-Mexico border, his childhood living in a self-designed geodesic dome, and the tumultuous process of founding VPL. Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality debuted last month, and we met up with Lanier to talk about how first-wave VR intersects with present-day reality, why empathy is a double-edged sword, and whether we’ll have to burn down the internet.||12/8/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy watch people play video games?||About a month ago my colleague Dan Seifert admitted on Twitter to, basically, not understanding me as a person: "i will never understand the fascination with watching other people play video games" Instead of lashing out in his mentions, I sat on that information until the other day when I finally connected with Dan over Skype to hash it all out. Now you can enjoy our conversation in podcast form, thanks to the Verge Extras feed, which you should definitely subscribe to if you haven't already. For reference, here are a few of the Twitch streamers I mention in our conversation: Kripparian, Seagull, Bacon Donut, Giant Waffle, Bjergsen. Also, if you want to watch USA defeat New Zealand in the Overwatch World cup, that’s over on YouTube, or you can dig through the Twitch archives for the rest of the matches. -Paul Miller||8/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhat to do when 20,000 bees unexpectedly swarm your Manhattan skyscraper||theverge.com/2017/6/13/15794060/vox-media-bees-swarm-manhattan-offices||6/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAstronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on tweeting from space and brewing the first zero-G espresso||Samantha Cristoforetti is an Italian astronaut with the European Space Agency. She currently holds a few spaceflight records — including being the first person ever to brew an espresso in space. In 2014 and 2015, Cristoforetti spent 199 days aboard the International Space Station, where she performed a variety of scientific experiments. She studied generations of fruit flies to chart gene changes in relation to disease; she looked after Caenorhabditis elegans worms used in a Japanese-led experiment; and she tended to plants to study how they grow in microgravity. Cristoforetti was supposed to return to Earth in May 2015, but her stay on the ISS was extended to June after a cargo ship flying on a Russian Soyuz rocket failed to reach the space station. The delay extended Cristoforetti’s stay to 199 days, allowing her to collect the record for the longest single spaceflight by any female astronaut. (NASA astronaut Sunita Williams had previously held the record, at 195 days.) Cristoforetti’s record won’t last for long, though. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who’s currently on the ISS, will soon surpass her. One of her records, however, will stay forever. Shortly before retuning to Earth, Cristoforetti used a coffee machine called ISSpresso to brew the first ever espresso in space. She then put on a Star Trek uniform top and used a special zero-gravity cup to sip it. Cristoforetti is not scheduled for another flight to the ISS for now, but she keeps working at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. Here, she works on new technologies that could one day be used for a future mission to the Moon. She’s “definitely” looking forward to going to space again though. “Hopefully it’ll be my turn again eventually,” she says. In the meantime, The Verge spoke with Cristoforetti about how she became an astronaut, what scientific experiments she performed on the ISS, and what happened to that famous space espresso machine. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.||5/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitHow to build your own personal Westworld||Last year in Los Angeles, a mysterious cult began recruiting people through emails, phone calls, and one-on-one consultations. For nine months individuals were drawn into the group’s web of intrigue, discovering that a young woman from Ohio had been taken in and brainwashed. In September, the cult finally opened its doors, and people had the chance to walk its halls and try to find the young woman inside — or die trying. The only thing was, none of it was real. The Tension Experience represented a key moment in the evolution of immersive entertainment. Combining alternate reality gaming, haunted house techniques, and a two-hour immersive theater show, it created what essentially amounted to a mini-Westworld: a persistent, fictional universe where the participant’s choices determined what happened next, and the line between reality and fantasy became so blurred it barely even existed at all. At this year’s SXSW conference, I moderated a panel with the show’s creators: director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV), writer Clint Sears, producer Gordon Bijelonic, and actress Sabrina Kern. During Horror’s Immersive Future: The Tension Experience, we discussed the evolution of the show, the ramifications for experiential storytelling, and how mediums like immersive theater and virtual reality can impact audiences emotionally in ways that film and television simply can’t. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a show that put hoods over people’s heads, kidnapped them, and asked them to kill other characters on-screen. -Bryan Bishop||3/22/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAstronauts Scott and Mark Kelly on NASA’s twin experiment and the future of space travel||Mark and Scott Kelly are the only twins that have ever traveled to space — and their experience will be invaluable if we want to get to Mars one day. The brothers are taking part in what NASA calls the Twins Study — a genetic experiment to see how our bodies change in zero gravity in the long term. That’s important to understand before we put humans on a spaceship and send them on a round trip to the Red Planet. Between 2015 and 2016, Scott spent 340 days on the International Space Station, while his genetically identical twin Mark stayed on Earth to function as a control subject. Before, during, and after Scott’s trip, the brothers have been giving NASA numerous biological samples — blood, saliva, poop, you name it. By comparing Scott’s samples with Mark’s, NASA is trying to understand what long-term space travel does to our bodies. Some preliminary findings have already come out. One study showed that Scott’s DNA changed while he was in space: his telomeres — the protective caps on the end of DNA strands — were unexpectedly longer than Mark’s. (Telomere length can affect aging and age-associated diseases.) Another study showed that there were major fluctuations in Scott’s gut bacteria while he lived in zero G compared to his twin. But we’re still waiting for the bulk of the results, and we might not see those for another year or two. While we wait, The Verge spoke on the phone with Mark and Scott to talk about the Twins Study, whether they’d fly to Mars or the Moon next, and what it feels like to be guinea pigs for the sake of space.||3/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy: a conversation with my parents who worked the accident||On February 1st, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart over Texas and Louisiana as it returned from a 16-day mission in space. The cause of the accident was a piece of foam that had fallen off the Shuttle’s external fuel tank during launch. The foam struck the left wing of the shuttle, causing serious damage that ultimately led the vehicle to explode when it reentered Earth’s atmosphere. It was the second major failure for the Space Shuttle program, and all seven crew members onboard the vehicle died. It was a tragic moment for NASA, but it was also a tragic time for my family. My parents are retired NASA engineers who spent most of their careers on the Space Shuttle program. They were both working the mission, known as STS-107, the day of Columbia’s scheduled landing, and they were two of the first people to know that something had gone wrong with the shuttle. As soon as there was a sign of failure, both of them got to work on figuring out the cause of the accident. The investigation would keep them at work for many long hours over several months. So for the first half of 2003, I didn’t see my parents that much. I was a freshman in high school and an only child, so I spent a lot of time home alone as my parents exhausted themselves at work. At the time, I didn’t really consider it strange, but my mother told me later that she felt guilty for being away so long. Honestly, my preteen self had begun to crave independence, so I was happy to hold down the fort. The part I didn’t like was seeing my parents in so much pain. Though the Columbia disaster is an important part of my family’s history, I didn’t start to understand or appreciate the engineering involved until I grew up. Nor did I really grasp just how instrumental my parents were in the investigation. Mom helped to create the timeline of events for the accident — a key tool that served as the main point of reference for all the investigators moving forward. Dad worked on the team that came up with the likeliest failure scenario. So they’re the ones that ultimately determined that the foam was to blame. They even figured out the exact spot on the wing that the foam likely hit. Now, 14 years later, I asked my parents to talk to me about their experience. For them, it’s still emotional to recount everything, and my mother still holds some regret. NASA investigated the foam before Columbia returned to Earth, and she feels as if she could have asked more questions. I’ve always told her she shouldn’t feel this way, but she says everyone she worked with still holds some regret. But she also talks about how proud she is of the changes NASA made following the accident, arguing that they became an even stronger team. My parents may be retired now, but they are still extremely fluent in engineer-speak, which means they use a lot of acronyms. I’ve listed a few key terms they use throughout the podcast to use as a guide. RCC: Reinforced carbon-carbon. It’s a super strong composite material that made up the leading edge of the Shuttle’s wings. When NASA saw that a piece of foam had hit the left wing during launch, the engineers were more concerned about any potential damage done to the wing’s tiles. They were less concerned about the RCC, because they thought it was strong enough to handle a blow. NASA later found that the foam had indeed punched a hole in the RCC, which ultimately led to the accident. External tank. This was the large orange tank attached to the bell of the Space Shuttle during launch. It held the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant needed for takeoff. The external tank was insulated with foam to prevent it from overheating. It’s this foam that broke off and hit the left wing of the Shuttle. SRB: Solid rocket booster. When the Space Shuttle launched, it had the help of two white solid rocket boosters. The SRBs w||2/1/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanKeystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines controversy explained||Now that President Trump has resurrected the hotly contested Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, here's what you need to know about their pasts — and their futures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCPWjg-bXTY Host: Rachel Becker Director: Miriam Nielsen & Kimberly Mas Audio: Andrew Marino Special thanks to: Mark A. Barteau Director, Energy Institute DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research; Professor , Chemical Engineering Monte Mills Assistant Professor & Co-Director, Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic||1/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe delicate science of counting crowds||Here’s how we know how many people were in the crowd for Donald Trump’s inauguration — and why you won’t hear the number on TV. www.youtube.com/watch?v=boOWZXZXINU Host: Russel Brandom Director: Kimberly Mas Camera: Tom Connors Graphics: William Joel Audio: Andrew Marino||1/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJudges, not Trump, will decide Obama’s environmental legacy||President Donald Trump has vowed to dismantle many of the environmental policies passed under president Barack Obama. But environmental groups and some states are ready to fight back and bring the administration to court. Host: Alessandra Potenza Directors: Miriam Nielsen and Kimberly Mas Audio: Andrew Marino Special thanks to: Maria Belenky Director, Policy and Research at Climate Advisers Vicki Arroyo Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center David Doniger Director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at NRDC||1/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanListening to machines to understand why they break||There is nothing more frustrating than taking your car into the mechanic with only the vaguest sense that something is wrong. You know that odd little creak or strange whine is new, but you don’t have a clue what it’s trying to tell you. You would like to know before it becomes a serious problem, and an expert is going to charge you a bunch of money to find out. What if we could diagnose machines, and keep them healthy, just by listening to the noises they make. That’s the premise of Augury, a startup based in New York City. And since Augury is all about sound, we decided to do this piece as an audio report. Take a listen below and let us know what you think.||1/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitA highly specific Tinder problem||What’s the biggest problem you run into while using the popular dating app Tinder? Is it that almost all the children of the Earth seem appalling when reduced to four photos and the opportunity to describe themselves in two sentences? Is it that you are a busy modern creature with precious little time to message the people in your life you already care about, much less strangers about whom you know nothing? Is it your terrible reflexes, never more inconvenient than when you have only a split-second to get someone else’s unbidden genitalia out of your face? Or, like Circuit Breaker writer Ashley Carman, is that you never know how or when to save a person in your phone? Ashley wrote about this on The Verge a few weeks ago, regaling us with the charming anecdote of the time a boy saved her in his phone as a fishcake emoji. After her post went viral in Vox Media’s Slack rooms and out loud in Verge HQ, we (myself and Verge culture reporter / news editor Lizzie Plaugic) knew we had to congregate in a very dark closet and talk about it at some length. So we did it! Using anecdotal evidence and one impromptu phone call to a former romantic interest, we figured out the best way to go about saving numbers in the age of Tinder. Spoiler: it’s definitely not to refer to people by their first names, as 108 percent of the male population of the United States is named “Matt.”||12/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEmotional (Tech) Support||as seen on Circuit Breaker facebook.com/circuitbreaker/videos||10/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean1,000 Words: bringing pictures of the internet to your ears||It's a familiar problem for podcast listener: a host vaguely references a picture or a video or something in their recording booth, but you can't see what it is this person is talking about. This happened recently on Vergecast 214. Yeah, a video would solve this problem, but you're standing on the train sandwiched between strangers or driving a car or jogging. Isn't that what you listen to podcasts for? You can't spend that time on Google, Reddit, or Tumblr, you can only rely on your ears. That's where this experimental podcast comes into play. Meet 1,000 words. The Verge Extras podcast, hosted by editor of Circuit Breaker Paul Miller and social media manager Dami Lee, is dedicated exclusively to describing pictures from the internet. To make the experience as realistic as possible, we recorded the show with a binaural microphone. We placed the mic at the head of the table, with Paul to the left and Dami to the right, to make it seem as if you are sitting down with them while they see these pictures for the first time. (The best way to listen to this would be with a pair of headphones.)||8/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPaul Miller's gadget corner 06/03/16||Paul Miller's gadget corner 06/03/16 by The Verge||6/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtended interview with Prof. Randal Picker||Nilay talks with Randal Picker; professor at University of Chicago Law School, to discuss the recent news about Google's antitrust charges.||4/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtended interview with T-Pain||Recently, The Verge visited T-Pain at his home to talk about the music industry and the new Garageband software available. This is the full extended interview we had with T-Pain that day. http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/20/10799000/t-pain-interview-auto-tune-music-technology http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/20/10798478/t-pain-garageband-ipad-update-demo-video||1/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanChris Ziegler at Code/Mobile||Though the connected car is one of the hottest topics in the transportation sector this year, the concept of the connected car is anything but new: Systems like GM’s OnStar, BMW Assist and Lexus Link launched well over a decade ago, wirelessly linking millions of cars via GPS and the cellular networks that were just beginning to reach global penetration. By some accounts, those systems have been very successful — for instance, GM just recorded its billionth customer interaction via OnStar several months ago. But the idea of what a connected car is — what capabilities it should offer, what it should look like — is rapidly changing. That’s a topic Chris Ziegler and Julia Boorstein of re/code explored at the Code/Mobile conference at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California on October 7, 2015.||10/9/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJohn Gaeta can see the future of VR||Bryan Bishop (@ Bcbishop) and The Verge video team recently took a visit to Industrial Light & Magic’s xLab. It’s a kind of next-generation entertainment sandbox, exploring virtual reality, augmented reality, and other immersive experiences — all under the umbrella of the Star Wars universe. One of the people we spoke with is xLab creative director John Gaeta. John’s a real visual effects visionary. He created bullet time for the Matrix, pioneered new methods of virtual cinematography, he worked on Speed Racer. Hearing his ideas about the future of storytelling and an interconnected virtual world, all originating from stories like Star Wars, is a little like reading Ready Player One - only he and the xLab team are actually making it for real. We liked what he had to say so much, that we decided to break out our interview with him into its own podcast. Read and watch the full piece here: http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/13/9131805/ilm-ilmxlab-interview-virtual-reality-star-wars-movies youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeaLgPMGzkQ Thanks to Ryan Manning for editing this interview along with our xLab featurette, and to John Lagomarsino and Tom Connors for shooting the footage at ILM.||8/13/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanReBoot is coming back||After a 14-year hiatus, ReBoot is back. That’s right, the first half-hour, completely computer-animated TV series was given the greenlight last week. But what will the new ReBoot look like? To find out, Arielle Duhaime-Ross gave Michael Hefferon, the president of ReBoot's Rainmaker entertainment, a call.||6/16/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanChris Gethard has a talk show||After fours years on public access, underground NY comic Chris Gethard is bringing his experimental talk show to Fusion. Ross Miller sat down with Chris for a chat about comedy, New York City, and Diddy.||5/26/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPitch Perfect's Deke Sharon on the rise of a cappella||The words “a cappella empire” probably mean nothing to you. But Deke Sharon has built one. He’s the musical force behind NBC’s The Sing-Off and both Pitch Perfect films, and soon he’ll be starring in an a cappella reality show on Lifetime. Casey Newton sat down with Deke to talk about Pitch Perfect 2, college a cappella, and how he built an industry around harmony.||5/14/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFast Dungeons & Furious Dragons||The Rock, Vin Diesel, and Ludacris go for a birthday joy ride when suddenly they are ambushed by agents of a shadowy organization in souped-up Toyota Camrys. Roll a die and punch bad guys. This is Fast and Furious 6.5, a special role-playing episode we made in honor of The Verge's new transportation hub, because it's April Fools' Day, and because a new Fast and Furious film is hitting theaters this week (starring known D&D enthusiast Vin Diesel). If you want to play it yourself, download story notes and the character sheets at http://bit.ly/vergeffdd||4/1/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Verge at SXSW 2015||Emily Yoshida, Dieter Bohn, Kwame Opam, and Casey Newton are on the ground in Austin, TX for SXSW 2015. They're here to talk about movies, Meerkat, brand activations, and waiting in lines.||3/17/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA conversation with Brian K. Vaughan||Saga is widely regarded as one of the best comics of 2014, and its author, Brian K. Vaughan, as one of the best sci-fi writers around. Listen as The Verge’s biggest comic book nerds talk to Vaughan about everything from Saga and gaming, to racial diversity in comics and breastfeeding.||3/16/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe problems with Interstellar||Interstellar is absolutely gorgeous. Interstellar has strong performances and real tearjerking moments. Interstellar also has some pretty large issues that unravel over the course of its nearly-three-hour runtime. Let's talk about it.||3/16/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Verge at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival||The Verge's Casey Newton, Emily Yoshida and Bryan Bishop chat about the films of the Sundance Film Festival, the huge steps Oculus is making in the narrative film world, and the unstoppable force of nature that is James Franco.||1/31/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
Not that fun.
Very slow, not very entertaining, and I find it hard to sympathize with the hosts.
I did enjoy it but, there should be no shame. I hope to listen or more.