Download This Show - ABC RN

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.


  • 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

  • Pulling apart Facebook and Google

    Mar 15 2019

    Google, Facebook and Amazon are the global internet behemoths that shape how we see the internet and how the internet sees us. On DTS - calls to break-up the powerful tech companies. Plus hitting delete on your youth - would you ever want to delete your younger years on social media? And a genetic testing company is rolling out a controversial new type of disease prediction. Guests: Ben Grubb, Freelance tech/culture writer and Ariel Bogle, ABC RN Technology reporter

  • Protective fandom and data bias in a world designed for men

    Mar 08 2019

    A new documentary detailing allegations of sexual abuse has prompted Michael Jackson fans to aggressively defend his reputation on social media.

  • Digital gravestones and what’s up with WhatsApp?

    Mar 01 2019

    When you die, how do you want to be remembered? With a headstone, photo on the mantlepiece - how about with a Bluetooth device that pings people with your life story as they walk past your grave? This week on Download This Show: death digital style. Plus, India goes to war with WhatsApp, and Facebook’s interesting new ploy to pull you back to Facebook pages.

  • Folding phones and inside Tinder's Algorithm

    Feb 22 2019

    Why have a phone when you can have a flexible tablet and a phone in one? DTS checks out a new bit of digital origami. Plus, Apple is set to launch the Netflix of news magazines, and we take you inside Tinder's algorithm. Guests: Claire Reilly, Senior Editor, CNET and Matt Hopkins, Technology Editor, Pedestrian TV

  • Sex Robots (now with added tentacles)

    Feb 15 2019

    Consider yourself warned, this week's ep of Download This Show contains adult themes, sexual references and robots as we explore the different ways the future of sex and artificial intelligence are linked...sometimes literally. Plus, should we be making Instagram influencers more accountable for the products they sell?

  • Troll hunting with Ginger Gorman and Harry Potter cryptocurrency

    Feb 08 2019

    What is it like to be the victim of a concerted, organised troll attack? This week on DTS - the journalist who found herself at the centre of a troll storm and decided to go troll hunting. Plus, where might your DNA go if you use a direct-to-consumer DNA testing company? Well, it might end up in the hands of the FBI. And a new Harry Potter–themed cryptocurrency.

  • Buzzfeed crumbles and Spotify mysteries

    Feb 01 2019

    Do you ever feel just a little bit ashamed of your music taste? Well you can blame hackers.  This week on DTS: the incredible world of mystery core - fictitious bands creeping onto Spotify playlists. Why would someone make a fake band to make fake music and sneak it onto your playlists? Plus, how Buzzfeed went from the golden child of new media to laying off hundreds of employees and does Facebook want to do something stupid with your privacy? Guests: Jonathan Seidler and Claire Reilly, Senior...more

  • In driverless cars who needs windows?

    Jan 25 2019

    In driverless cars who needs windows to watch the world when you can have a built-in 270-degree screen? Apple has announced it wants to compete in the video streaming service and in 2019 every meme you love might be about to die! Guests: Rae Johnston, Editor Junkee, Ben Grubb, Freelance tech/culture writer

  • White Supremacists make a cameo

    Dec 14 2018

    Cameo screws up, Tumblr crumbles on sex and while you drink will Tesla drive? Guests: Seamus Byrne, Managing Editor, Innovation Aus.com and Rae Johnston, Editor of Junkee

  • Are smart rings a better form of wearable tech?

    Dec 07 2018

    Why have a smart watch when you can wear a smart ring? This week on DTS; digital fitness moves to your actual digits. We examine the new Foxtel sports streaming service Kayo, and why has Australia's proposed new encryption legislation got people so fired up ? Guests: Olivia Rosenman — audio producer & journalist & Ariel Bogle — ABC RN online technology reporter

  • Footloose Fornite edition+ revolting Googlers

    Nov 30 2018

    Fortnite’s dance revolution: from the floss to the Charleston - Fortnite kids get physical. Plus strikes at Google and "My phone is spying on me, so I decided to spy on it" - Simon Elvery's #DataLife project. Guests: Ariel Bogle, Ariel Bogle, ABC RN online technology reporter, Seamus Byrne, Managing Editor, Innovation Aus.com

  • Inauthentic Instagram and Tumblr tumbles

    Nov 23 2018

    If there’s one word to describe Instagram - it probably wouldn’t be authentic. This week on DTS - the platform made famous for fitness, beauty, lunch and fashion influencers is getting a clean up. Meanwhile Facebook sounds like it needs a clean up at the top, and the blogging service TUMBLR - why has Apple pulled it from the app store? The answer is actually quite disturbing. Guests: Olivia Rosenman and Claire Reilly

  • Everybody lies: Internet truth

    Nov 16 2018

    Alone with a screen people tell Google things they don’t reveal to social media; they even reveal things they don’t tell anybody else. On DTS meet Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a data scientist who’s spent years looking at how our online searches may be reflections of our true selves. And if you’ve ever wanted to recall an email, message, or something that’s come out of your mouth - keep listening! Plus, the latest on My Health Record.

  • See through walls with Wi-Fi

    Nov 09 2018

    What if the key to a more diverse tech industry… is moving away from the concept of diversity? This week on DTS: the unusual approaches being taken by Australian software company Atlassian to get a workplace that's balanced and reflects the world. Plus, how you can see through walls with Wi-Fi. Guests: Aubrey Blanche, Head of Diversity & Belonging, Atlassian, Ariel Bogle, ABC RN online technology reporter and Peter Marks, Access Infomatics.

  • Gab: favourite social media of the alt-right

    Nov 02 2018

    Will Twitter kill the humble LIKE button and what exactly is the social media platform Gab? Guests: Ariel Bogle, ABC RN online technology reporter and Rae Johnston, Editor, Junkee.

  • Gone in 15 minutes: phone number hacking

    Oct 26 2018

    It can take less than 15 minutes for someone to steal your mobile phone and with it goes your email account, bank and a host of other services. On Download This Show: the market for mobile numbers. Also does Netflix market to you differently based on the colour of your skin? Guests: Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group and Teagan Jones, Deputy Editor, Gizmodo.

  • Facebook camera tracking you in your kitchen?

    Oct 19 2018

    You know how everyone trusts Facebook implicitly with all of their data and they’ve never done anything at all to make you question the company's commitment to privacy? How do you feel about installing Facebook's new gadget, Portal? It's a multi-purpose screen with an internet connected camera to track your movements around a room while you make a video call. Also on DTS: the death of Google Plus, Uber wants give equity to their drivers… and regrettable retweets. Guests: Rae Johnston, Editor of...more

  • Clicks and mortar: The future of shopping

    Oct 12 2018

    From drone delivery to smart screens to skin tight body suits that will measure your every inch before sending you a perfectly fitting outfit. On Download This Show this week - the future of shopping and the physical, digital and psychological tricks being used. Plus UBER wants flying cars... and frankly so do I, but should we want them? Guests: Claire Reilly, Senior Editor, CNET and Peter Marks, Access Informatics

  • Poop! confused robots (according to humans)

    Oct 05 2018

    Poop! This week on Download This Show, why is this one word is apparently enough to confuse artificial intelligence. Plus why hasn’t virtual reality caught on yet? And can/should you leverage your kid's screen time to get them to wash the dishes? Guests: Matt Hopkins, technology editor, Pedestrian TV and Teagan Jones, deputy editor, Gizmodo

  • Who controls what you see on Facebook?

    Sep 28 2018

    When you see something offensive on the internet and hit report, that content goes to a person - a cleaner and they're usually in the Philippines. Meet the cleaners on DTS this week. Also 10 years of Android - it's now the most used mobile operating system in many parts of the world. Why is it so successful and what's the future for Android?

  • Twitter returns to its roots

    Sep 21 2018

    If you could introduce laws to regulate how Facebook and Twitter treat customers - what would you change? This week on DTS, the United Kingdom explores regulation to reign in social networks. What are the Brits targeting? Plus, Twitter returns to its chronological roots. And satellites, streaming and songs - why new US music laws might be changing.

  • Russian trolls targeting #auspol

    Sep 14 2018

    We know that Russia attempted influence 2016 US presidential election through troll factories spewing out misinformation, and it turns out they’ve also targeted Australia. Find out what issue caused the troll tweets to spike in an attempt to influence voters here. Also on DTS, the EU Parliament has passed a drastic new law that could change how we use the internet and yes, Apple launched a bunch of new phones and watches.

  • China would like you to log off

    Sep 07 2018

    China is looking to cut back the amount of screen time young people spend online to reduce myopia. Facebook is pulling a swathe of Myanmar cultural leaders off the platform and Google Chrome turns ten. Guests: Ariel Bogle, online technology reporter ABC RN science, and Seamus Byrne, freelance writer on technology, games, futurism, design.

  • Can you code like a girl?

    Aug 31 2018

    Inside the initiative to give women and girls the tools, confidence and support to code. Plus Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s first ministry brings with it changes for the technology sector in Australia - the 'Innovation' portfolio has disappeared. Is anyone paying attention to our tech future? And Facebook unveils a new way to watch video online… but is it worth using?

  • Drones vs Dogs (and everything else)

    Aug 24 2018

    This week on Download This Show: we explore the different ways drones are starting to proliferate our lives. And are you just a little too addicted to your phone? We have tips to cut back and control your consumption - apparently taking the colour off your phone might help.

  • Happy Birthday from Harry Potter!

    Aug 17 2018

    How much would you pay to have a Harry Potter cast member wish you happy birthday? This week on DTS: Cameo's an app where you can pay for a shout out from your favourite personality. Check out the reactions. Plus we examine proposed federal reforms to provide law enforcement agencies access to your encrypted conversations and we explore the new service designed to help single parents be not so single.

  • Is it all over for Snapchat?

    Aug 10 2018

    On DTS this week: A big drop in the number of Snapchat users. How do you feel about retailers, banks, stadiums using knowing your face? Facial recognition is the next frontier for logging onto more things than your iPhone. What sectors are adopting facial recognition and what are the security concerns? Plus, how should Twitter tackle Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones?

  • Democracy on-line: fast, cheap, and secure digital elections

    Aug 03 2018

    Award-winning Melbourne start-up Horizon State is about to trial blockchain on-line voting in Indonesia. How does it work, can it be trusted and when scaled-up to a national level, how could it affect participation? Plus, might your musical taste provide clues to retailers about what clothes you'd like to buy? Guests: Jamie Skella, Horizon State, Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group, Ariel Bogle, ABC RN online technology reporter

  • A Current Affair: Nine/Fairfax merger

    Jul 27 2018

    Nine swallows Fairfax in one of the biggest takeover deals in Australian media history. What does it mean for journalism, advertising and the media you consume? Also on DTS, 3D printed guns are now legal, sorta, in the United States. And why you definitely shouldn’t pretend to be Elon Musk on Twitter (I mean you probably shouldn’t any way) but there’s a very specific reason on Twitter.

  • My Health Record explained (hopefully)

    Jul 20 2018

    Officially you have until October 15 to opt out of having a My Health Record, although some people trying to opt out have discovered they’ve already got one. So who can access your My Health Record? What’s in it? And just how easy is opting out?  Plus can Spinner really micro-target the feed of your partner to influence the way they think? And can Facebook both fight fake news and defend free speech?

  • What happens when you smash your phone?

    Jul 13 2018

    You know the sinking feeling...you left your phone on the car, drove off and its been run over and you didn't back it up recently because you are an idiot! This week on Download This Show: data recovery. Piecing together the bits of your machine just long enough to get your data off. Plus Elon Musk and the mini-submarine. Do you really want tech billionaires out there trying to solve problems? And ten years of the Apple app store.

  • The Chinese Government has drones disguised as birds ...because of course they do!

    Jul 06 2018

    It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no it’s the Chinese Government spying on you with a tiny robot plane that looks like a bird. This week on Download This Show, the People’s Republic surveillance state takes to the skies. Is Gmail really handing the keys to your Gmail account to third parties to read your emails? Plus, the United Kingdom seems to have found a new and thoroughly passive aggressive way of dobbing in bad drivers.

  • HealthEngine data scandal and which country banned the internet this week?

    Jun 29 2018

    ACCEPT. It’s most clicked and least considered button in the digital world. The terms and conditions come up, and we press accept. Except, (with an e this time) sometimes we don’t think about information we’re handing over. This week, the ABC revealed that the doctor appointment booking app HealthEngine was passing users' data on to law firms looking for clients for personal injury claims. Plus on DTS, what country has such a bad problem with cheating students that they're shutting down the inte...more

  • FaceMe: Get your new bank loan approved by artificial intelligence?

    Jun 22 2018

    FaceMe: Get your new bank loan approved by artificial intelligence? Forget facebook chatbots and call centres - how AI is changing being a customer. Plus, why Apple is paying out $9 million, Instagram launches IG TV and has computer gaming really been proven to be addictive?

  • IKKI: The robot giving young cancer patients support

    Jun 15 2018

    It’s not quite toy, a robot or a medical tool - it's somehow all three. This week on Download This Show we feature the beautiful IKKI and explore how to design a special companion for kids with cancer and long term illness. Also, can you now sue Google for defamation purely because of what comes up after your name in autocorrect? And the upcoming buying spree for big tech companies and media corporations. Plus, why is Uber investing in technology that can tell if you are drunk?

  • 'We didn't have visibility' Hillary Clinton's Chief Technology Officer on Cambridge Analytica

    Jun 08 2018

    Hacked by Russians and out-targeted by Cambridge Analyticia - what was it like to be inside Hillary Clinton’s digital operation on election night? This week on DTS, Stephanie Hannon was the CTO of the Clinton campaign and the loss is still pretty raw. She's recently joined fitness-tracking app Strava (after a career at both Google and Facebook). Plus, how Amazon has played a game of chicken with the Australian tax office and we’re all the losers. And Apple announces a slew of changes coming s...more

  • Why is PNG trying to ban Facebook?

    Jun 01 2018

    Why is the PNG government is trying to take Facebook out of the picture and what does it mean for free speech? What sort of rules should Australia have for driverless cars? And have you wondered why every website is currently making you agree to new terms of service? Thank Europe for that. Plus, Youtube has killed the music video service VEVO, well sort of.

  • Can YouTube Music tackle Spotify and Apple Music?

    May 25 2018

    Can YouTube Music tackle Spotify and Apple Music? You've got Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, so what the hell is YouTube going to offer that's any different? This week on DTS: which streaming service can offer the best music plan? Plus Google's internal corporate videos are next level creepy and is it the beginning of the end for the social network Snapchat? Guests: Rae Johnston (Gizmodo Australia), Seamus Byrne (ScienceAlert)

  • Should Spotify remove abusers from playlists?

    May 18 2018

    Should Spotify pull abusers out of playlists? Spotify took a big stand this week pulling artists accused and convicted of assault out of some of their most popular playlists. Some say it's censorship, others argue that it's long overdue for streaming platforms to take a stand. Twitter rolls out changes to make trolls harder to find on time line and can the new platform Invisibly give you better quality ads (also... does anyone actually want that?) GUESTS: Rae Johnston (Gizmodo) Peter Marks (Acce...more

  • Happy Birthday iMac, Pocket Casts bought and self-driving car death

    May 11 2018

    We celebrate the 20th birthday of the iconic iMac. Plus, why did NPR, This American Life, WNYC and WBEZ choose to buy the Adelaide start-up behind Pocket Casts?

  • Where's your note?

    May 04 2018

    This week on Download This Show - does the humble school permission note need a high-tech makeover? Facebook launches a dating service - no, not a joke, and when you sign up to one of those unlimited mobile data plans - guess what? There are some limitations.

  • Why Google wants to get into the podcasting business

    Apr 27 2018

    Google has unveiled their new attempt to snag a bigger piece of the podcasting pile and we also explore the good, the bad and the unusual of app updates.

  • Is that really you Barack Obama?

    Apr 20 2018

    With the emergence of convincing, computer-generated fake human faces and voices - how can you trust anything or anyone? On Download This Show: how to defend against fake news in video and audio form, plus why Russia is trying to ban the messaging app Telegram.

  • Zuckocalypse Now!

    Apr 13 2018

    This week on DTS: Mr Zuckerberg goes to Washington. In the wake of the Cambridge Analyticia scandal, what should change at Facebook? And how rampant is the use of the stimulant Adderall in e-sports? Does the professional gaming industry need its own anti-doping agency?

  • Can citizen safety apps protect us?

    Apr 06 2018

    Would you use a security app that could deliver alerts if there was an emergency near you? Or upload images if you witnessed something suspicious? This week: the rise of citizen safety apps; Grindr giving away information about the HIV status of individuals and the biggest thing in Swedish music since ABBA - the streaming service Spotify goes public.