Best tech podcasts of 2018: 10 best technology podcasts to download
Podcasts may have only become mainstream in 2016 thanks to This American Life’s long-form offshoot Serial, but in 2018 you are genuinely spoilt for choice.
There are so many different types of podcast, that explore such varied and interesting topics, that you can have a hard time picking what to listen to even if you’ve decided on one topic like ‘technology’.
To help you choose, here’s a list of 10 of the best technology podcasts out there today. They include everything from internet culture to science and technological breakthroughs. Alternatively if you’re looking for something a little more business-related, we’ve compiled a list of the best business podcasts for you too.
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The best podcasts of 2018:
1: Reply All
Reply All is show about internet culture and how it’s changing. Although it sounds quite niche, the concept really encompasses all facets of life. To give you a taste of how diverse it can be, memorable episodes have included one of the presenters letting another hack his phone, how a Facebook group mocking office life got taken over by the wrong people, and how there’s a Reddit community that tries to cultivate voices in the head.
Some of the stories are quirky and fun, but others shine an intruiging (and strange) light on the bizarre communities, social frontiers, and issues and ideas that define online culture.
2: The Butterfly Effect
In The Butterfly Effect author and journalist Jon Ronson (So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed; The Men Who Stare at Goats; The Psychopath Test) charts the impact of free online porn on the performers, the internet and culture as a whole.
It’s a fascinating dive into the laws of unintended consequences and the impact of a whole industry torn apart and rebuilt. It will make you think about the internet very differently – especially the mixed bag of consequences of expecting everything for free. The podcast may be about porn, but it’s takeaway messages could apply to any number of industries being disrupted by the internet.
Ironically, the podcast – which took over a year to be made – is available free of charge. The fact that Amazon, with its business model that crushes competitors ruthlessly, funded one of the best pieces of journalism I’ve heard this year, and then gave it away free is something that should give you pause for thought long after the final credits roll.
3: PC Pro Podcast
Once upon a time, Alphr.com was Pcpro.co.uk. PC Pro still exists on news stands, and the weekly podcast is still going strong too.
It provides an analysis of the week’s computing and tech news from the award-winning PC Pro editorial team. Occasionally you get Alphr writers popping in to say hello, too.
You could pigeonhole Radiolab as a science podcast, but it’s a lot more than that. The hosts are interesting and entertaining, and the topics covered are usually enthralling. Plus it manages to get its messages across in a way that really shows the full potential of podcasts with brilliant use of sound. It’s a real trend-setter in the space.
5. TEDTalks Technology
TED Talks are famous for being insightful and influential lectures that encompass many different parts of life, and so the TEDTalks Technology podcast boils these down to the ones that are explicitly about technology. There are hundreds of different talks available on a vast range of technological topics, from satellites and AI to video games and tech giants.
Hosted by the fantastic Neil deGrasse Tyson, StarTalk is a fascinating podcast about science and technology in a range of forms. Contrary to what the title suggests it isn’t exclusively about space – episodes explore other topics like sports technology, medical advancements and performance capture for films.
StarTalk is so popular it received a spin-off TV series for National Geographic in 2015, but the podcast is still where the most interesting and novel topics are discussed.
7. The WIRED Podcast
WIRED is a popular technology and science magazine and website, and its podcast is just as interesting. Each episode explores in a little more detail stories that would typically be left as simple news pieces, and elaborates on them in detail. Sometimes the podcast ignores pressing stories of the day to focus on more interesting, and lesser-reported, stories, which shine a light on the entirety of the tech world instead of the same old companies and stories.
8. Business Wars
While Business Wars would seem to be about businesses (hence the name) most of the businesses it focuses on are tech companies, and the podcast gives in-depth behind-the-scenes looks at how tech giants managed to create the products they did.
Different series explore companies and products like PlayStation, Napster, Netflix and Xbox to show how their technologies were developed and created in an environment and industry where creating the best cutting-edge product was to win the business wars.
9. Note to Self
Note to Self explores questions that arise from us all living in a digital age. In particular, as well as exploring done-to-death topics surrounding technology and the internet, it shines light on some lesser-known ideas and applications of data. Some episodes look at drug use, bots, or meditating, and the way these things are wrapped into our lives in a technology-related way.
IRL serves as an interesting companion piece to Note to Self, because of the similar topic is explores (and the fact Note to Self’s host is occasionally present on IRL). It explores the way different facets of the internet and its culture can affect its user – topics like privacy breaches, cyberbullying and false news are explored in each episode in a way that grounds the stories in the impact it could have on the listener’s life.
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