Category Archives: Consumers

Technology: How Amazon Dominates Smart Homes

Amazon ships more U.S. smart home devices than any other company and says Alexa is now compatible with 140,000 devices, far beyond the Echo and Fire TV. But privacy advocates are concerned by all the data these devices collect, and are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to block Amazon’s latest smart home expansion.

Chapters: 1:41 First to market 4:27 Acquiring iRobot 7:41 How it uses the data 9:45 Privacy concerns 11:33 Ambient home of the future

After acquiring video doorbell maker Ring in 2018 and mesh WiFi system Eero a year later, Amazon’s now looking to buy Roomba smart vacuum maker iRobot. In a rare move, the FTC is asking for more information before approving the $1.7 billion deal. Ahead of Amazon’s annual smart home event, we talked to Amazon’s VP of privacy to find out what really happens to all the data collected by its devices – and sat down with the head of smart home to hear the strategy behind Amazon’s race to dominate the internet of things.

Plant-Based Meat: Why It Hasn’t Gone Mainstream

As people’s eating habits change and environmental concerns grow, plant-based protein used as a meat substitute has gained popularity. However, some barriers are preventing it from becoming truly mainstream. Watch what needs to be done to truly realize a future with less meat.

Retail: Rise Of Unwanted Goods Liquidation (CNBC)

A record number of online returns has created a booming $644 billion liquidation market. As supply chain backlogs cause shortages of new goods and Gen Z shoppers demand more sustainable retail options, pain points for one sector of retail are big business for another. The nation’s only major public liquidator, Liquidity Services, resells unclaimed mail, items left at TSA checkpoints, and outdated military vehicles. It also refurbishes highly sought after electronics, from noise-canceling headphones to the machines that make microchips.

CNBC takes you on an exclusive tour inside a Liquidity Services returns warehouse outside Dallas, Texas, where unwanted goods from Amazon and Target are stacked to the ceiling before being resold on Liquidation.com or a variety of other marketplaces. Inside Liquidity Services’ 130,000-square-foot warehouse in Garland, Texas, the aisles aren’t lined with typical merchandise. Instead, they’re stacked with returns from Amazon, Target, Sony, Home Depot, Wayfair and more, all in the process of being liquidated.

Consumers: What Is The True Price Of Food? (FT)

Food prices might be rising but many associated production costs are not currently included in the price we pay. How can we get closer to a system that reflects the true cost and what implication will this have on consumers and wider society?

Analysis: The Cargo Ship Congestion In Los Angeles

California’s Port of Los Angeles is struggling to keep up with the crush of cargo containers arriving at its terminals, creating one of the biggest choke points in the global supply-chain crisis. This exclusive aerial video illustrates the scope of the problem and the complexities of this process. Photo: Thomas C. Miller

Analysis: The Truth About Buying Organic Foods

The organic food industry is a booming business. U.S. organic sales surged in 2020, jumping by 12.4% to $61.9 billion. With consumers being more health conscious than ever, they’re willing to pay more for what they perceive as better. But, what exactly does “organic” mean?

Reviews: Pros & Cons Of Indoor Smart Gardens

Can smart gardens really grow delicious vegetables inside your apartment? WSJ asked Timothy Hammond, an urban gardener and educator in Houston, to test out Rise Gardens hydroponic smart garden to see how the vegetables compare with his own outdoor garden. Photo: Ben Hallock for The Wall Street Journal

Analysis: How Electricity Bills Have Risen Over Time

Retail energy companies compete with local utilities to give U.S. consumers more choice. But in nearly every state where they operate, retailers have charged more than regulated incumbents, meaning you may be paying more for your electricity than your neighbors. Here’s why. Photo Illustration: Jacob Reynolds