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

What's the point of a drone debate if the FBI already uses them?

FBI Director Robert Mueller says the FBI uses drones domestically, though rarely. He is calling for more discussion on drone use, while the FBI proceeds.
Posted In: drones, FBI, surveillance

1900s rural farmers: The original hackers?

As far back as the early 1900s, rural farmers and ranchers -- or you could call them hackers -- set up their own phone lines themselves.
Posted In: hackers, hacking, telecom

NeverWet: The end of the mustard stain?

Prone to spilling on yourself? A new spray-on substance called NeverWet may just be for you. The industrial liquid repellant is a few years old, but a consumer version hits shelves this week. Click on the video below to see it in action. 

And tell us, would you use NeverWet and what for? Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson suggests turning tuxedo pants into a really stylish swimsuit.

 

Solar phone chargers to come to NYC

It's happened to all of us. Your phone loses its charge in that one place you can't plug it in. Now, New York City is about to get solar chargers in many of those places.
Posted In: Cellphones, New York, New York City, solar

Weather forecasts get a design makeover

We are getting better at predicting the weather. Still, if prediction is half the battle, presentation is the other half.
Posted In: weather, app, design

When it comes to high-speed Internet, are cable companies all talk?

Delivering ultra high-speed Internet to users around the country is a challenge, but it's one that cable providers say they are ready and able to tackle.
Posted In: Internet, broadband, Comcast

Netflix gets into the blockbuster babysitter business

Netflix is teaming up with DreamWorks Animation to create original content. But their partnership isn't for grown-ups, it's for kids.
Posted In: netflix, dreamworks, kids, television, movies

Ford's new robot driver

Ford Motors just released a video of what it claims is an automotive industry first: succesfully test-driving trucks with robots. Check out the video below to see their robot putting it into gear.

 

h/t Gizmodo.

Apple goes public with government data requests

Apple says it has had between 4,000 and 5,000 government requests for user data from December of 2012 through last month.
Posted In: apple, nsa, PRISM, Edward Snowden

Robo nurse, coming to a hospital near you?

Medical machinery has come a long way -- and now robots are getting in on the action. Click on the video below to watch a robotic nurse bathe a bed-ridden patient autonomously.

 

It may move slow, but it seems to do the job. Healthcare Robotics, the company who makes the robot, reports its efficacy as such:

In our experiments, the robot removed most of the debris (>96%) on four parts of the limbs. In addition, the robot performed the wiping task using relatively low force.

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