Download This Show

Download This Show is your weekly access to the latest in social media, consumer electronics, digital politics, hacktivism and more. Presented by Marc Fennell for ABC Radio National. Published every Friday.


  • Has COVID-19 killed the cinema?

    Apr 02 2020

    Remember when going to the movies was a thing? Well this week on Download This Show we ask whether the combination of streaming and COVID-19 will be the final nail in its coffin. Plus, Singapore has signed hundreds of its citizens up with a contact tracing app to help limit the spread of the virus. But is this government surveillance gone too far? And, how faith groups are leading the way in building communities in the age of isolation. Guests: Ariel Bogle, online technology reporter, ABC Scienc...more

  • Updated: Locked down and ready to Zoom

    Mar 26 2020

    There are too many video conferencing apps. So this week on Download This Show, which is the least worst? Plus, how well is Australian internet holding up to our socially isolated future? And, how are streaming services responding to us all being stuck in the house? Guests: Tegan Jones, Editor, Gizmodo @Tegan_Writes and Seamus Byrne, writer, broadcaster of tech, future, gaming and digital culture @seamus This is an updated version of our episode

  • How can tech fight coronavirus?

    Mar 19 2020

    It’s a weird time in the world, but what role does technology play in the age of COVID-19? Also, forget roll call, schools could soon have facial recognition. And will it ever be possible to get conspiracy theories off YouTube? Guests: Nick Kwek, Technology Journalist & Filmmaker @NICKKWEK and Angharad Yeo, ABC television presenter, video game critic, technology journalist and entertainer @angharadyeo

  • Can Fleets fix Twitter?

    Mar 12 2020

    What's the one thing we all need more of? The answer, of course, is screen time. And you're about to get it in the last place you need it. So where will these new screens be? Find out on this week's DTS. Plus, Twitter has been experimenting with a fleeting new service, but will it detoxify the platform or make it worse? And a surprising billionaire media baron is investing in fighting online misinformation - but will it actually work? Guests: Ariel Bogle, online technology reporter, ABC Science ...more

  • Wanna buy a chunk of Twitter?

    Mar 05 2020

    For the low, low price of $1 billion you can acquire enough shares to reshape one of the most powerful social media platforms in the world. But is it really going to be that easy? This week on DTS, the campaign to take Twitter and what it means for co-founder Jack Dorsey. Plus, in the wake of millions of dollars being raised for bushfires, should there be more flexibility around where crowd-sourced funds can go? And would you put a smart watch on your kids or grandkids? Guests: Nick Kwek, Techno...more

  • Why so much heat on Huawei?

    Feb 27 2020

    It's the controversial Chinese technology giant banned from building infrastructure in countries around the world. What is it about Huawei that's generating so much heat? Plus, Twitter considers labelling 'harmfully misleading' tweets by politicians, but will it work? Also on DTS this week, is it lying if a politician's computer generates his own face speaking in another language? And Sweden road-tests a new cashless future. Guests: Rae Johnston, Science and Technology Editor, NITV @raejohnston ...more

  • Why don’t we vote in elections with an app?

    Feb 20 2020

    This week, the messy world of electronic voting. Why are some people pushing it? And could it ever work? Plus, funny internet memes and photoshop jokes are big business for politics. US presidential candidates are buying in, but how much impact do they really have on elections? And it was the live mobile-first quiz show that was beloved by millions. So who destroyed HQ? Guests: Ariel Bogle, online technology reporter, ABC Science @arielbogle + Brad Esposito, director of content at Eucalyptus @br...more

  • Creating a virtual traffic jam with a wagon of phones?

    Feb 13 2020

    How a German artist and his generous friends pulled off a Google Maps hack and fake traffic jam. Plus the things that go wrong when you use tech to prove a person’s gender and how long until we have an academy awards for streaming services? Do we want that? Guests: Olivia Rosenman, audio producer, @olivesophierose + Luke Hopewell, Editor, Telstra Exchange @lukehopewell

  • Tackling coronavirus hoaxes and fake news online

    Feb 06 2020

    According to a friend of a friend of a person on Facebook, coronavirus is a biological weapon leaked from a lab in Wuhan, it could also be stolen from a lab in Canada and a vaccine exists, but it's being withheld. How are social platforms tackling online misinformation? Plus, a social network for the rich and Spotify's plan to change the way you listen to radio. Guests: Sarah Moran, Co-Founder and CEO, Girl Geek Academy @SarahMoran + Daniel Van Boom, News editor @CNET @dvanboom

  • The curious case of Jeff Bezos

    Jan 30 2020

    He's one of the richest people in the world, commands a shopping empire and funds rockets to Mars - how did Jeff Bezos' phone get hacked? Social media may not be rotting your brain and mental health as much as once thought. Plus, are your baby photos accessible on the internet? Guests: Jeremy Kirk, Information Security Media Group @jeremy_kirk + Rae Johnston, Science and Technology Editor, NITV @raejohnston

  • Quibi, Clearview AI and cleaner wars?

    Jan 23 2020

    Would you pay money for Quibi, a mobile video streaming service with 10 minute episodes made only for phones? Plus, the Australian facial recognition tech that's allowing US police forces to match photos of unknown people to their online images. And can you use a video game to make war less abusive? Guests: Ariel Bogle Online Technology Reporter, ABC Science @arielbogle Tegan Jones, Editor Gizmodo @Tegan_Writes

  • Bad tweets, defamation and other Christmas miracles

    Dec 13 2019

    The mystery 5 letter acronym that saved billionaire Elon Musk from being sued and what this test case means for social media and terrible jokes. The founder of Twitter decides to make Africa fight over him, and the biggest technology stories of 2019. Guests: Rae Johnston, Science & Technology Editor NITV @raejohnston and Seamus Byrne writer & broadcaster @seamus

  • Google founders say goodbye (kinda)

    Dec 06 2019

    Facebook builds a chatbot to help employees answer awkward questions about the company during the holidays! Is it the end of an era as Google’s co-founders move on (kinda)? China's latest moves on face recognition regulations. And we say goodbye to one of our favourite guests. Guests: Claire Reilly, CNET @reillystyley Cameron Wilson, Buzzfeed

  • Cybertruckin' all the way to Mars

    Nov 29 2019

    Why have an ordinary truck when you can have a Cybertruck? Tesla unveils its futuristic new take on a truck and it goes wrong. Plus, so many podcasts in the world but what if there was a better way of finding them? Spotify reckons its got the answer. Guests: Ariel Bogle, ABC RN online technology reporter @arielbogle and Matt Hopkins, Pedestrian Daily @mopkins88

  • Does Disney+ now own your childhood?

    Nov 22 2019

    The house of mouse, Skywalker and Simpsons has arrived. So is Disney plus any good? Also on DTS, Google makes a play for a slice of the gaming pie and does anyone really need a phone that can bend into an old school flip phone?

  • The WeWork debacle explained

    Nov 15 2019

    Why does a company that rents office space need a side business making artificial waves? Plus, Netflix famously don’t give out viewing numbers but suddenly with the rise of new streaming services like Apple and Disney, they're about to change their tune. Guests: Claire Reilly, CNET @reillystyley and Ben Grubb Homepage Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald @bengrubb

  • Is Apple TV+ worth the money?

    Nov 08 2019

    What does a soviet controlled moon, a toxic daytime tv show and world of blind people have in common? Apple is hoping the concepts behind its new shows will entice you to sign up for the latest instalment in the streaming wars. Plus, why Google wants to buy Fitbit, and one of the cesspools of the internet may be back from the dead. Guests: Rae Johnston, editor Junkee @raejohnston and Tegan Jones, Editor, GizmodoAU @Tegan_Writes

  • Facial recognition login for porn?

    Nov 01 2019

    Home Affairs has suggested using face scans to check people's age before they watch online pornography and access some gambling sites. The launch of digital drivers licences in NSW, Google in court and Twitter just decided to do something that Facebook have refused to do. Guests: Ariel Bogle, online technology reporter ABC RN science @arielbogle and Matt Hopkins, Pedestrian Daily @mopkins88

  • Lying, stalking and other social media pastimes

    Oct 25 2019

    Lying as a politician on Facebook is totally fine...wait, what? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defends the social network's decision to let politicians lie in ads. Also, inside the creepy world of stalker apps and what if you could move your Instagram account to a whole new app? Guests: Rae Johnston, Editor of Junkee @raejohnston and CNET Senior Editor & Presenter @reillystyley

  • New things in the world of news

    Oct 18 2019

    The news business. From subscription to streaming, podcasts to programmatic advertising - what's the future for news media? Guests: Gautam Mishra, inkl CEO, @jeamish and Caitlin Welsh, Editor, Mashable Australia, @Caitlin_Welsh

  • The future of space

    Oct 11 2019

    After this year's image of a black hole, 'we have seen what we thought was unseeable', what could come next? Exploration of the Moon and Mars, a Space Force? This week we delve into the future of the final frontier. Guests: Prof Alan R Duffy, Swinburne astronomer and Lead Scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia @astroduff and Claire Reilly, Senior Editor, CNET @reillystyley

  • The difference between fame and influence

    Oct 04 2019

    Understanding the multi-billion dollar digital influencing industry with Sara McCorquodale - when it works and when it doesn’t. Whether Facebook and Instagram removing likes is really about giving you better mental health. Plus, virtual clothes shopping and Apple's new premium news service.

  • Move things with your mind

    Sep 27 2019

    Nothing less than actual telekinesis! A wristband capable of transmitting electrical signals from the brain to computer input and Facebook. The location start-up that divides the globe into 3 magical words, and a goose that's shaking up the gaming world. Guests: Jessie Hughes, VR expert and creative technologist and Claire Reilly, Senior Editor CNET @reillystyley

  • All rise for Facebook supreme court

    Sep 20 2019

    Facebook reveals its blueprint for an independent oversight board or 'supreme court'. E-sports - marketers are targeting gamers with a trifecta of gambling, junk food and alcohol ads. Plus, how much plastic surgery will it take for facial recognition to not work? There’s at least one woman in China who can answer that. Guests: Ariel Bogle and Daniel Van Boom

  • Jennifer Aniston - free with that iPhone

    Sep 13 2019

    Why Apple TV is launching its streaming service with shows from Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and more. Plus, why does a new phone need 4 cameras, and forget The Bachelor - Facebook have rolled out their dating service.

  • iPhones hacked, sites blocked and trust

    Sep 06 2019

    Do you trust the that your Phone hasn’t been hacked? That the government will pull hateful material off the internet? While we’re at it, do you trust that pulling hateful content off the internet will stop atrocities like the Christchurch shooting? Close your eyes, cross your arms fall backwards into the week of media, technology and culture. Guests: Peter Marks GovHack @petermarxy and Ariel Bogle technology reporter ABC Science @arielbogle

  • The future of music

    Aug 30 2019

    There's more music than ever before available to stream and to be served up to you by an algorithm. It's a world where talent will get you far, but going viral may just get you further. We can stream huge festivals like Coachella, and soon there’ll be arena extravaganzas with holograms of long dead musicians…What more lies ahead?

  • Anti-surveillance fashion and Disney+ to launch in Australia

    Aug 23 2019

    A new clothing line lets you camouflage yourself as a car to mess with surveillance cameras. Teenagers get news from Facebook – who knew! And more streaming options with Disney+. Guests: Tegan Jones, Editor, Gizmodo @Tegan_Writes and Matt Hopkins, Pedestrian.tv

  • Podpass to my Houseparty

    Aug 16 2019

    Is messaging just not festive enough? DTS looks at the new video chat app Houseparty - you can create 'rooms' with friends. How does it compare with other message apps? Plus Facebook may or may not be listening to your voice-to-text messages but podcast producers do really want to hear from you and your data.

  • Video games probably don't cause US gun massacres

    Aug 09 2019

    Donald Trump linked the recent US shootings to violent video games....we explore that old bogeyman again. Why do websites end with .com? And meet some of the little known women who brought you the internet. Guests: Alex McCauley, CEO StartupAUS @alexmccauley Rae Johnston, Editor Junkee @raejohnston and Claire L. Evans, author of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

  • Fortnite millionaires and Adelaide's games industry

    Aug 02 2019

    Payday for young gamers at the Fortnite World Cup - how did a battle royale game become such big business? Legislating against social media addictions and why Adelaide is a thriving centre for games development.

  • Choose your own emoji

    Jul 26 2019

    What is the emoji? The Unicode Consortium, which decides on new emojis, wants to know if you have an idea for a new one. Plus, Snapchat is alive and well - put some bunny ears on that profit statement! And how will Netflix handle its new big competitors?

  • Instagram doesn't like you anymore

    Jul 19 2019

    The legacy of the computer password, the app that will plausibly age your face to the point that it's kinda creepy and influencers of Instagram in mild revolt as the social platform kills of the visible 'like' counter. Guests: Rae Johnston, Editor, Junkee @raejohnston and Ariel Bogle, Technology Reporter, ABC Science @arielbogle

  • Cars and the future of transport

    Jul 12 2019

    The future of driving: AI in the driver's seat, electric and hydrogen car update, and will we own cars anyway? What's hype and what's not?

  • How much do you value your privacy?

    Jul 05 2019

    How much do you value your privacy? Does it bother you what social media companies, governments know about you - your money, your body?

  • The great firewall of China

    Jun 28 2019

    James Griffiths joins Marc Fennell to discuss the world's most sophisticated censorship system. China's internet blocks certain information, but it also prevents any organising of social movements. It turns out, other nations are adopting China's version of the internet.

  • Who needs cash when you got Zuck bucks?

    Jun 21 2019

    Facebook announces plans for a new global-cryptocurrency - the Libra, and joins a growing market of digital money. Can Hong Kong protestors fight facial recognition and did Instagram give up kids' phone numbers to the public?

  • How free is the internet?

    Jun 14 2019

    The moderation policies, fake news, fake faces - how much of this should be allowed on the internet under the principal of free speech? And Perth Council is pressing ahead with a trial of facial recognition technology to be installed in cameras across East Perth, despite concerns from privacy experts and local residents.

  • Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and Vic Police go electric

    Jun 07 2019

    It's the software that revolutionised music, powered the iPod, and gave birth to streaming - what does the end of iTunes say about the state of music? Also on DTS: key announcements from the Apple developers conference and...the very expensive, very fast very electric new purchase from Victorian Police.

  • CrossFit kills Facebook and Toffee kills love?

    May 31 2019

    CrossFit deactivates Facebook pages over privacy concerns but deadlifts and squats go on. Also on DTS, arguably the most obnoxious dating app on earth (slight language warning). And the WHO declares 'gaming disorder' is a medical condition at least two decades after your mum already did.

  • Makeup, tears and subscriber counts

    May 24 2019

    What does a spat between two beauty influencers on YouTube tell you about how toxic the internet has become? Plus, the Chinese tech giant Huawei that’s becoming a pariah to western governments. And the troubled MacBook keyboard design… is Apple going to do something about it?

  • What the major parties say on tech

    May 17 2019

    How much do political parties know about you? The voter tracker software used by political parties to find out a lot about you. What the major parties are offering the tech and start-up world. Plus it was an iconic 90s piece of technology, in your pocket, beloved by millions, and it’s making a comeback…what is it?

  • Facebook tackles election trolls

    May 10 2019

    Remove, reduce and inform - that’s Facebook's strategy to battle misinformation and fake news in the federal election, but even with the best of intentions can Facebook deal with troll farms and memes when they move at lighting speed? Plus, Uber drivers strike and do you need a friendly neighbourhood social network?

  • Luminary's bumpy landing and TikTok explained

    May 03 2019

    Would you pay for a podcast? This week on Download This Show the launch of more paid subscription podcast services. The endless memes and happiness on the video sharing app TikTok - no snark or Nazis. Plus, Apple - protecting your security or edging out competitors?

  • Behind Sri Lanka's social media bans and why we still love Microsoft Paint

    Apr 26 2019

    Sri Lanka's ban on Facebook and other social media sites in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks was a move to stop the spread of misinformation and further potential violence - what were the implications? Also on DTS, are journalists being unfairly targeted on Twitter? Plus, a beloved piece of software is saved from the jaws of destruction. Guest: Ariel Bogle, Technology reporter, ABC Science @arielbogle

  • Disney+ and the future of streaming

    Apr 19 2019

    Will Disney's proposed streaming service 'Disney +' knock off other players like Netflix? Disney's back catalogue of content from Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Pixar certainly makes it an intimidating competitor. So will Disney+ knock off some of the less content rich players? Also this week, inside 15 months of fresh hell at Facebook.

  • Catfishing

    Apr 12 2019

    How a catfish posing as an Australian actor built a web of lies to stalk and torment her victims. Also on DTS, it's only week one of the election who knew that electric vehicles would feature so much in the campaign debate? So where are we at with electric cars? How long do they take to charge how much are they and when can we get one?

  • Social media laws and VR for good

    Apr 05 2019

    New laws criminalising internet companies which do not quickly remove "abhorrent" video and images were rushed into law this week, despite strong criticism from the legal community and technology industry. Plus - VR for good. Jessie Hughes is on a Churchill fellowship exploring how VR story-telling can be a powerful tool for not-for-profits.

  • Apple TV+ takes on Netflix

    Mar 29 2019

    When you’ve built yourself up as one of the most - if not the most - iconic computing company in the world what do you do next?  You do Oprah,  Steven Spielberg and everyone else in Hollywood, apparently. Apple made its trillions with hardware like MacBooks, iPods and iPhones. Now they’re pivoting into services by announcing a new Netflix challenger video streaming service, and a credit card, and a digital magazine subscription. So will the gamble pay off?  Is any of it worth getting? And what ...more

  • Social media and personal responsibility in the spread of the Christchurch video

    Mar 22 2019

    Who's responsible when a massacre is streamed on Facebook Live? When the media clip it up for broadcast? When people share it? When hate groups have been quietly bubbling up in corners of the internet? This week on DTS: the terrorist attack in Christchurch has raised many questions: about us, the internet and about responsibility. What role does technology and media have in making sure this never happens again? Also IGTV - Instagram's attempt to take on longer-form video platforms like YouTube...more