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

Moto X enters the smartphone market, but can it hang with the big kids?

Motorola says what makes the phone different is so-called contextual computing, a tech buzz phrase which means the phone can tell when its in your hand versus in your car.
Posted In: Google, mobile, motorola, smartphone, android

The two most important surveillance stories this week

Newly revealed documents suggest deeper and more widespread NSA surveillance of emails and chat messages. And Oakland, California approves a plan for a new local surveillance center.
Posted In: NSA leaks, nsa, surveillance, Congress

Astroturf book reviews and the high-speed Internet debate

Susan Crawford, who argues high costs are to blame to lack of high-speed Internet, is getting some very fishy-looking reviews on her latest book.
Posted In: Internet, Amazon.com, broadband

Why stifling hackers may not be a good thing

A court ruling is blocking researchers from presenting a tech problem that could lead to car thefts.
Posted In: hacking, cars, Honda, Volkswagen

The Chicago Tribune's kitty exclusive

Don't worry guys, the Internet has no memory, unless there's a kitten involved or something.
Posted In: newspaper, media, news

Smart houses vulnerable to virtual intruders

As the web of Internet-connected devices expands, so do the security risks.
Posted In: Internet, smart grid, cybersecurity

French man one-ups couch fort with 737 cockpit simulator

France's best dad? Laurent Aigon, a waiter in France, has built a giant 737 simulator, complete with the airplane's full cockpit, in his son's bedroom.
Posted In: France, airplanes, 737

A tale of two hacking conferences: Black Hat vs. Defcon

The biggest difference between the two? This year Defcon organizers disinvited the Feds in the wake of NSA surveillance revelations. While Black Hat's keynote speaker will be none other than NSA Director General Keith Alexander.
Posted In: hacking, NSA leaks, surveillance, malware

Channeling Nikola Tesla's electric currents today

The inventor has been cast as Thomas Edison's more magical nemesis and contemporary -- and he's currently being celebrated at the New York Hall of Science.
Posted In: inventions, electricity, New York City

Facebook cheers mobile success

Facebook's latest business results have the company and investors in high spirits today. Sales rose significantly and the mobile advertising efforts seem to be working.
Posted In: Facebook, mobile, stock, social media

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