Tag Archives: CNBC Videos

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.

Urban Planning: Will The Cities Of The Future Float?

A new industry of floating infrastructure is emerging to help adapt to rising sea levels. There are two distinct approaches that are being put forth as possible solutions: retrofitting homes to be amphibious and building floating cities.

Amphibious homes can preserve the accessibility of the house and maintain the congenial front porch culture in places like Louisiana, said Elizabeth English, founder and director of The Buoyant Foundation Project. English’s design places a steel frame beneath a house, and then below that, in the crawl space, buoyancy elements. Her team then recommends adding elements to prevent lateral movement so the home will not float away while on the surface of floodwaters.

She estimated that a contractor could do such a retrofit for about $20 to $30 per square foot, but cautioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently discourages this type of building practice. Modern floating cities are the brainchild of architect Bjarke Ingels. He told CNBC he hopes his Oceanix City, which is currently slated to be built in the harbor near Busan,

South Korea, will be “a city that is the most resilient city you can imagine, but at the same time, the most enjoyable city that you can imagine.” “We really hope that it will be a successful project and we would like to replicate it in other parts of the world,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, told CNBC of the Oceanix development.

She said the world must look more into adaptation and hopes that the project can help mitigate or even solve the problem of sea-level rise. Would you live in a floating city or retrofit your home so it floats during floods? Watch the video above to learn more about what life could be like in these innovative climate change adaptations.

Droughts: Fixing Water Waste On American Farms

The western U.S. is experience a megadrought so severe, it is the driest two decades in at least 1,200 years. And no sector has felt the impact more than agriculture, which takes up about 70% of the world’s freshwater. With water resources becoming more scarce, several companies are working to improve irrigation efficiency and help sustain food production in a future where extreme climate may be more common.

Chapters: Ch. 1: 2:08 The West’s drought Ch. 2 4:48 Water in agriculture Ch. 3 8:02 Smarter irrigation Ch. 4 11:08 Indoor farming Ch. 5 13:11 Future technologies

Green Tech: New Ocean Wave Energy Companies

The ocean’s waves are immensely powerful. Harnessing that energy for grid-scale electricity production would be a major boon to the clean energy industry, but building durable, powerful, and cost-effective wave energy converters has proven difficult.

Chapters: 1:46 The challenges 4:05 Wave energy in the U.S. 4:49 (Subchapter) CalWave 6:05 (Subchapter) Oscilla Power 7:34 (Subchapter) C-Power 9:00 Wave energy in Europe 11:51 The future

Now though, an influx of federal funding is helping many U.S. companies gear up to test their latest wave energy technologies, giving many in the industry hope that wave power will see massive growth over the next few decades.

Firearms: Why AR-15-Style Rifles & Guns Are Surging

Known as a symbol of freedom to its admirers and an assault weapon to its detractors, the AR-15 is one of the most controversial weapons in America. Lightweight and easily customizable AR-15-style weapons have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years taking center stage at gun ranges and shooting competitions across the country.

Chapters: Intro: 0:002:17 Chapter 1 America’s rifle: 2:185:30 Chapter 2 Gun ownership in America: 5:317:35 Chapter 3 Gun-makers: 7:369:51 Chapter 4 Gun ads: 9:5211:55 Chapter 5 Mass shootings: 11:5616:29

According to the most recent national figures, there are an estimated 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the U.S. And there are about 20 million AR-15-style weapons in the country. Firearm manufacturers have seen revenue surge taking in about $1 billion from the sale of AR-15-style weapons in the past decade.

But the weapons have also been involved in a number of mass shootings. AR-15-style weapons were used at shootings in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago and a grocery store in upstate New York. Critics argue the weapons are also aggressively marketed by gun companies targeting at-risk young males.

So what is behind the popularity of the AR-15 and what responsibility do gun makers have when their products are used in mass shootings? Watch the video to learn more.

Technology: The Rise Of Touchscreens In Cars

Most cars now have touch screens in the middle of the dashboard. Some tech heavy cars – such as those by companies like Tesla and Rivian – rely nearly entirely on them. They’re also cheaper to make and maintain. But some people hate them. They say they are less safe, confusing, unnecessary, and take longer than a simple button or switch.

But touch screens in cars aren’t going away. Some innovations, such as those by suppliers such as Harman and Continental, may blend some of the best of the old with entirely new possibilities, while managing risks.

Electric Transportation: GM Is Going All In (CNBC)

CNBC Marathon revisits General Motors’ shift into the electric vehicle market. GM is one of the largest automakers in the world with a range of models falling under its four brands, Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC.

Chapters: 00:00 Why GM’s all-electric future is a big gamble (Published September 2021) 15:17 The rise of electric boats (Published April 2022) 27:13 Why GM says its Ultium platform will drive EV dominance (Published May 2022)

The automaker made its name selling gas burning cars but in January 2021, it made a stunning announcement. The company said it “aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.” This means that GM intends to stop selling gas-burning cars. General Motors says it wants to lead electric vehicle sales in North America by 2025, and vows that its new Ultium battery platform will drive that dominance.

Not only are cars going electric but so are boats. General Motors recently invested $150 million in one start-up, Pure Watercraft, to build an electric pontoon boat. And several others are working to bring their own battery-powered offerings to market. CNBC Marathon brings together the best of CNBC on YouTube.

Analysis: How Nuclear Power Is Changing (CNBC)

For some, nuclear power may conjure images of mushroom clouds or bring back memories of disturbing nuclear disasters like Chernobyle and Fukushima. But despite public fear around nuclear power, the technology has proved to be an emission-free, reliable way to produce large amounts of electricity on a small footprint.

As a result, sentiments about the technology are beginning to change. Both the U.S. government and private companies including X Energy, NuScale and, Bill Gates-backed, TerraPower are pouring money into developing, what they say will be smaller, safer nuclear reactors. CNBC visited Idaho National Laboratory to see the Marvel microreactor firsthand and learn what such developments could mean for the future of nuclear power.

After humankind discovered nuclear fission, the first applied use was the atomic bomb. The study of fission for electricity production came later. In December 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his fateful Atoms for Peace speech, an impassioned plea to reconstitute the power of the atomic bombs dropped in World War II for a more noble cause.

“Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace,” Eisenhower told the United Nations. Almost 70 years later, the tension between those end uses still underlies the space today. From the 1950s through the 1970s, the United States dramatically increased its nuclear energy generation.

But the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and Chornobyl meltdown in 1986 changed the landscape, spurring fear that nuclear energy could not be controlled safely. Since the 1980s, nuclear energy capacity and generation in the U.S. has largely stayed flat. Today, the country’s fleet of nuclear power reactors produces only 19% of the country’s electricity, according to the government’s Energy Information Administration.

In more recent times, the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan in 2011 — and earlier this year the capture of nuclear power plants in Ukraine by invading Russian forces — have added to public concerns. But despite its fraught origin story and the psychological effect of high-profile accidents, nuclear energy is getting a second look. That’s largely because nuclear energy is clean energy, releasing no greenhouse gasses.

Meanwhile, the world is seeing more of the effects of climate change, including rising global temperatures, increased pollution, wildfires, and more intense and deadly storms. “We need to change course — now — and end our senseless and suicidal war against nature,” Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said in Stockholm on Thursday. “There is one thing that threatens all our progress. The climate crisis. Unless we act now, we will not have a livable planet,” Guterres said. “Scientists recently reported that there is a 50-50 chance that we could temporarily breach the Paris Agreement limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next five years.”

Housing: Why U.S. Homes Are So Expensive (CNBC)

Prices for the American dream home have skyrocketed. The U.S. housing market has been an unlikely beneficiary from Covid-19. The pandemic encouraged city dwellers to move to the suburbs as families looked for home offices and bigger yards.

Segments: 00:00 – Why the U.S. is facing a housing shortage (May 2021) 12:37 – How suburban sprawl shapes the U.S. economy (February 2022) 25:49 – How did rent become so unaffordable in the U.S. (December 2021) 34:46 – Is the U.S. in a housing bubble? (September 2021)

“Everybody expected housing to really sort of dry up with the rest of the economy,” said National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard. “And in fact, the opposite has happened. People who have been sort of scared out of the cities by the pandemic.”

With homeowners unwilling to sell, a record low supply of homes for sale has forced buyers into intense bidding wars. According to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. has under built its housing needs by at least 5.5 million units over the past 20 years. That’s a stark comparison to the previous housing bubble in 2008 when overbuilding was the issue. Higher costs for land, labor and building materials including lumber have also impacted homebuilders.

However, according to most experts, the market is shaping up to look more like a boom rather than a bubble. “We say bubble because we can’t believe how much prices have gone up,” CNBC real estate correspondent Diana Olick said. “A bubble tends to be something that’s inflated that could burst at any minute and change and that’s not really the case here.” And America’s suburbs are sprawling again.

Over the 20th century, real estate developers built large tracts of single-family homes outside of major cities. The builders were following mortgage underwriting standards first introduced by the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s. Over the century, those guidelines created housing market conditions that explicitly shut out many minorities. Experts say it is possible to update these old building codes to create equity while fixing some, but not all of the problems of American suburbia.

In 2021, single family housing starts rose to 1.123 million, the highest since 2006, according to the National Association of Home Builders, however, options for prospective homebuyers remain lean. Experts say the problems of America’s housing market relate to past policy decisions. In particular, they say restrictive zoning codes are limiting housing supply.

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.