Ben 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, Ben 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.

Ben 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

In summer 2012 Ben joined Marketplace to relaunch and produce the Tech Report, now called Marketplace Tech. When David Brancaccio became the host of Marketplace Morning Report in 2013, Ben started hosting Marketplace Tech and was hired officially as host in early 2014.

He doesn't like to brag about it but over the years, Ben 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. Ben 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

U.S., China agree to meet regularly about hacking

In an unprecedented move, leaders of China and the United States have agreed to hold talks regularly about disputes over hacking.

Scientists snap first ever pictures of molecules before and after reaction

Using a new state-of-the-art atomic force microscope, scientists at UC Berkeley were able to capture the first images of a molecule just before and after it reacts. The images show the molecule's structure in detail, even the bonds connecting atoms. Until now, scientists have only been able to infer this type of information.

The series of images on the left side (labeled A) show the molecule before, while the images on the right (labeled B) display the after.

 


   

Non-contact atomic force microscope (nc-AFM) images (center) of a molecule before and after a reaction improve immensely over images (top) from a scanning tunneling microscope and look just like the classic molecular structure diagrams (bottom). Source: UC Berkeley News Center

 

 

 

 

 

Tech spin: A tour of New York City's new bike share program

Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson takes New York City's new bike share program for a spin.
Posted In: New York City, bike sharing, bike, public transportation

Motorola announces new 'aware' smartphone

Motorola CEO has announced that the company will revamp its line of gadgets and manufacture devices in the U.S.
Posted In: motorola, Google, smartphone, mobile

Internet cafes in Ohio face ban

Internet cafes equipped with computer games resembling casino games have popped up across Ohio. Now there's a bill to cap winnings and ban the practice.
Posted In: Internet, Ohio, online gambling, casinos

A status update on Facebook's rules about violent speech

A growing chorus of women's rights groups called on advertisers to boycott the site for allowing content that promoted sexism and violence towards women.
Posted In: Facebook

Lack of banking options leads to mobile phone payments in Africa

In some cases, a dearth of infrastructure can actually lead to innovation. No where is this more true than in the developing world.
Posted In: developing countries, mobile payments, mobile, Africa

Put a GIF in your bike wheel

If you love GIF animations and love to cycle safely, here's a new crowd-funded product you'll love: The Monkey Light Pro. The bike accessory uses LED light bars that fit in the spokes of your wheel to create a rideable display system. Kind of ridiculous, but kind of great, too? 

 

Firefox focuses on new smartphone users in Latin America, Eastern Europe

Mozilla plans to offer its own operating system for smartphones, but not in Western Europe, the U.S, or China. Instead, the company will focus on countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Posted In: mobile os, mobile, smartphone, firefox, mozilla

Cable companies lose TV subscribers, but rake in more cash

While cable companies seem to get more competition from the likes of Netflix all the time, they're still better than ever at bringing in cash -- and the most recent earnings from big cable providers prove it.
Posted In: cable TV, cable, television, netflix

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