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Cloud computing has streamlined our hyper-mobile digital lives. We upload files, images, and globs of data to the cloud. Once all of our stuff is stored there, we can access it from anywhere and edit things collaboratively with our friends and coworkers. It’s convenient and appealing—but only if you don’t mind that all your personal data is stored on servers run by giant companies like Google and Amazon. The local-first computing movement is advocating for a different kind of communal framework, one that’s more private, more secure, and powered by peer-to-peer software that runs just on the machines where the files are being shared. No giant server farms in faraway lands, no faceless corporations using your data to generate ad revenue. Just the good old internet, by the people and for the people.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Greg Barber joins us to talk all about the local-first computing movement and how its adherents hope to upend our reliance on cloud services using peer-to-peer communication.

Show Notes

Read Greg’s story about local-first computing.


Greg recommends the Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lauren recommends the Barbie movie if you somehow haven’t seen it already. Mike recommends the latest episode of The War on Cars podcast with Bob Sorokanich.

Greg Barber can be found on Twitter @gregoryjbarber. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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