Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson joined Marketplace in the summer of 2012 to re-launch and produce the then-named Tech Report, now called Marketplace Tech. He was officially hired as host in early 2014.

Johnson started his career in journalism in 2003, working as a features and general assignment reporter for The Day newspaper in New London, Connecticut. While there he won a regional award for feature writing, and was recruited to write a weekly entertainment column for the Tribune Media Service wire service. In 2006, Johnson relocated to New York City to be an entertainment and music reporter at the Staten Island Advance newspaper, where he soon moved into hard news, working the cops beat and as a weekend city desk editor. In 2010, he began to work as a freelance web producer at The Takeaway, a national radio show produced out of New York's WNYC Radio in partnership with WGBH, The New York Times and the BBC. Johnson went on to be a freelance radio producer at WNYC, serving as the digital editor for The Takeaway while also doing live and features reporting for the station on everything from Occupy Wall Street to New York's last functioning ship graveyard. While working at WNYC, Ben started blogging for Slate Magazine's breaking news blog, The Slatest.

In 2012, Ben left WNYC to manage a partnership between Slate and YouTube, producing daily breaking news videos and other content for SlateV, the magazine's video department. He also wrote regularly for Slate's Future Tense blog and drew the extreme ire of his fellow Radiohead fans by asking the band to stop touring.

He doesn't like to brag about it but over the years, Johnson has interviewed Jay-Z, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Luciano Pavarotti, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Josh Homme, Biz Stone, Guy Kawasaki, Col. Chris Hadfield, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Neil Young. He enjoys and engages in 80s movie references, pie baking, and high-fives. His Twitter feed has never been polluted by a subtweet. His interest in swimming knows no bounds, especially if there is a high-dive and a high-five involved. 

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Features by Ben Johnson

The USB Condom: unfortunate name, important innovation

With all the recent talk about surveillance and online security...this is an interesting idea: A USB Condom. It's a piece of tech that makes sure you are protected from viruses when you have to plug your smartphone USB cord into an unfamiliar computer or charging station for a little juice after your battery has died. The problem being solved even has its own term: juice jacking. This issue is that USB cables connect for both power and data. The USB Condom puts up a wall so the data bits from the phone and its partner never touch. 

Want to catch a criminal? There's an app for that.

A new app built by the Homeland Security Investigations unit is designed to catch criminals through crowd sourcing.
Posted In: criminals, Crime, sexual predators, apps, cell phones, Homeland Security

Catching up w/ tech news. This week's Silicon Tally

69.63 kilobytes, 84.1 million, 12,000 resumes, and 3: Can you guess what these numbers mean?
Posted In: silicon tally, Tech

Twitter files for IPO

The social media company publicly filed its IPO documents today, hoping to raise $1 billion in the largest Silicon Valley IPO since Facebook in 2012.
Posted In: Twitter, IPO, JOBS Act

Dell shareholders approve $25 billion buyout

But big questions still remain for the struggling computer technology company.
Posted In: Tech, Dell, Carl Icahn, Michael Dell

Israel gets raw and unfiltered data from the NSA

According to the latest document leak from Edward Snowden.
Posted In: nsa, Edward Snowden, Israel, surveillance

LinkedIn opens doors to younger teens

The company is lowering the entry age from 18 to 14.
Posted In: linkedin, teenagers, social network

The underground child exchange

A new investigation reveals a network of parents who are offering unwanted children to others via online message boards.
Posted In: children, adoptive parents, re-homing

A Lego smartphone?

A customizable smartphone made of Legos
Posted In: smartphone, Tech, lego

Reinventing the image of women in tech

A conversation with the founders of She++, an organization built to encourage more women to enter the tech field.
Posted In: women in tech, She++, Tech, college, computer science

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