November 2008: The NPR: Technology Podcast

NPR: Technology Podcast is a “clip show”-- a “best of” compilation of technology stories from Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other NPR productions. There is no podcast host, no over-arching framework, no unifying theme beyond the familiar voices of NPR's anchors and reporters. What the Technology Podcast does deliver, though, is entertaining and often illuminating stories about digital culture and the business of technology.

The technology stories covered by NPR may not be cutting edge, but the discussion of how new technologies touch on the larger world can be refreshing for those of us who sometimes look at technology as an end to itself. NPR puts the Kindle in context, by taking it to the pool; or brings California's cellphone ban to life by speaking to those effected.

Listeners may wonder why a story about an ultimate Frisbee game between Google and Apple technically counts as technology, but this insight into tech-corporate culture plays nicely against what we may or may not already know about these companies' gadgets, applications and software.

The familiar voices of NPR commentators also go a long way toward giving these news snippets their listenability. Even the most Facebook-savvy Weekend Edition fans will enjoy hearing Scott Simon agonize over netiquette 2.0-- Pirate or Ninja? To Scrabulous or not to Scrabulous? Those are the questions from NPR's Technology Podcast.

Each twenty to thirty minute podcast is made up of a hodge-podge of stories from the past week's news. Listeners looking for more information on the topics covered can visit the podcast's website. Here, they can find the title and summary of each story covered, the date it originally aired and links to related NPR stories.

While regular listeners of Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and All Things Considered won't find anything new here, public radio fans who want to cut to the technology chase will feel at home with the NPR's Technology Podcast.

For First Monday, this is Jennifer Kelley.

Jennifer Kelley