March 1, 2024

While high-profile AI platforms like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Image Creator may grab lots of headlines, millions of people already interact with AI on a regular basis in ways they may not expect. This video looks at how machine-learning techniques are built into everything from email to Spotify and why it’s important for consumers to stay aware of the growing ubiquity of AI in their everyday lives.

Questions:

1. Why do you think many consumers are unaware of the prominence of Continue reading

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February 28, 2024

Public companies use earnings calls to share information about their recent performance with shareholders and the media. News from these announcements rarely leaves the confines of the business press, but that was not the case yesterday when social media users heard an earnings call comment about the fast food chain Wendy’s. CEO Kirk Tanner mentioned that the company was planning to test “more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and day-part offerings along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

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February 21, 2024

Fast food companies pour billions of dollars into marketing every year, and a big portion of those costs come from expensive video shoots for commercials. This video takes a detailed look at the extraordinary skill that goes into seemingly simple fast food ads, from hand-painting burger patties to moving items precisely with the help of robot technology.

Questions:

1. Why do fast food companies spend so much money to make their menu items appear realistic on camera?
2. How does Continue reading

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February 7, 2024

American consumers first encountered rising prices shortly after the pandemic, when supply chain problems and labor shortages sent costs soaring for all sorts of goods. Fortunately, prices have finally started to fall again for products like appliances, used cars, and gasoline as well as services like health insurance. Still, inflation has not decreased evenly across the board, and the prices for some goods remain stubbornly high. Perhaps the clearest example of increasing costs occurs at the grocery store, where food Continue reading

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February 2, 2024

Large hot air balloons can cost as much as $160,000, requiring huge amounts of high quality materials and lots of time. This video focuses on the Spanish company Ultramagic Balloons, which employs large sewing teams as well as engineers to produce flawless balloon-based aircraft. 

Questions:

  1. Why does Ultramagic Balloons prioritize quality control throughout its production process? 
  2. What are some factors that contribute to the high costs of hot air balloons?
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January 31, 2024

Founded in 1913, the Stanley company has sold steel-insulated mugs for more than a century, operating for much of that time as a niche brand with a small but loyal customer base. Over the last few years, however, Stanley tumblers have become ubiquitous products thanks to the company’s canny use of social media. Their brightest moment in the spotlight happened last November when a TikTok user posted a video showing how her Stanley mug survived a car fire with the Continue reading

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January 24, 2024

Two weeks ago, we looked at the terrifying incident that passengers experienced on an Alaska Airlines flight when a door suddenly blew open during takeoff. The incident placed Boeing under renewed scrutiny for its Max line of aircraft, which could have big repercussions for the company going forward. This video looks at the potential consequences Boeing could face, from losing airlines’ confidence to ceding market share to competitors like Airbus.

Questions:

  1. How could airlines’ loss of confidence in Boeing Continue reading
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January 19, 2024

The German company Aldi is the fastest growing grocery chain in the U.S., expanding at a rate of about 100 stores a year. The following video explains how Aldi keeps prices low by stocking a limited number of products and designing stores for maximum efficiency. 

Questions:

  1. How do Aldi’s store layouts help the company keep expenses low?
  2. Why does Aldi stock significantly fewer products than most supermarkets?
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January 12, 2024

Last week, passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight endured a disaster that every traveler fears as a door blew wide open while the plane was 16,000 feet in the air. Fortunately, pilots performed an emergency landing that ultimately kept the number of injuries low. Once the plane reached the ground, however, airline regulators demanded an explanation of how this incident could occur. Then they found out the make and model of the faulty plane: the Boeing 737 Max 9, a Continue reading

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January 10, 2024

After enduring years of rising prices, consumers finally began to see some relief at the register as inflation cooled down toward the end of 2023. The recent global increase in prices was due in no small part to supply chain problems that stemmed from the pandemic, causing shipping costs to spike as transport times slowed to a crawl. It also didn’t help when an enormous container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal in 2021, which blocked trade on the Continue reading

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