The Would-Be Astronaut

Brian Shiro really wants to go to space. He wants to go to space so badly, in fact, that he’s applied to NASA’s astronaut program. Twice. Both times he fell just short. He’s hoping the third time’s the charm. Until then, he’ll be heading up Astronauts4Hire, an appropriately-named astronaut contracting service. Wth A4H, Brian hopes

Are Uber Drivers Employees?

Uber drivers set their own hours, file taxes independently, and often own their cars. They don’t get health insurance from Uber and they don’t wear uniforms. And yet, Uber controls much of what they do by setting prices, handling their tips, and micromanaging them through its driver rating system. Are these drivers independent contractors, working

The Pokemon World Championships

Who goes to the Pokemon World Championships in 2015? Well, we did, for one—mostly to find out who else was there. Well over a decade after its heyday, Pokemon is still going strong. There’s now nearly 800 Pokemon, but there are still lots of kids, teens, and older nerds trying to catch ’em all. We

Are You a Jerk If You Vacation in Cuba?

If you’re American, it’s easier than ever to go to Cuba, a country that’s remained, mas o menos, off limits for the last 60 years or so. In fact, you can go to cheapair.com, buy a ticket, fill out a couple forms confirming you fit into one of several broad approved categories of person (you

iPhones, Free Money, and Hacking Team

If you’ve been listening to Radio Motherboard the last few months, thank you very much: It’s been a bit of a roller coaster as we try to figure out a format and recording setup that works best for us, and it’s been a blast experimenting. This week, we’re experimenting again, as we try out a

Vint Cerf, Peeple, And Elementary School Sci Fi

Radio Motherboard talks to Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet and Google’s “internet evangelist,” about the company’s plans to fly internet-providing balloons over the developing world, encryption and security, and a horrifying scenario where our kitchen appliances start trying to hack our financial institutions. We also discuss Peeple, the “Yelp for People” app that’s

How Does Facebook Know Who You Know?

When you log into Facebook, you’ll see a list of “suggested friends.” They’re full of people you went to high school with, random colleagues, and a bunch of people that you do sort of know … but why does Facebook know that you know them? Motherboard contributor Kari Paul talks to us about her investigation