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    How New Tech Could Help Jolt the Aging U.S. Grid

    en-usJune 06, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • WhatsApp chatbots for businessesMeta introduces free AI chatbots for businesses on WhatsApp to manage customer inquiries efficiently, but faces reputational risks from potential inaccurate or embarrassing responses and the possibility of missing the market opportunity

      Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is introducing free AI chatbots for businesses on its messaging platform WhatsApp. This move aims to help businesses manage customer inquiries more efficiently, but comes with reputational risks. There's a chance the chatbots may provide inaccurate or embarrassing responses, potentially going viral on social media. Additionally, there's a risk that Meta may miss the opportunity to establish a strong presence in this market if they don't act quickly enough. Meanwhile, in other news, the construction of new power transmission lines in America faces numerous challenges, including permitting issues and high costs, leading to the push for new technologies. Elsewhere, the influence of meme stock traders, like Roaring Kitty, on stock prices raises questions about market manipulation. These stories highlight the importance of innovation and effective communication in business and technology.

    • Meme stock manipulationLegality of influencer's actions in manipulating GameStop stock price is debated among legal experts, as he bought call options and promoted stock on social media without selling, unlike traditional pump and dump schemes

      While meme stock influencer Keith Gill, also known as Roaring Kitty, may have significantly influenced the price of GameStop stock through his social media activity, it is unclear whether he has engaged in any illegal market manipulation. The Wall Street Journal reports that there is ongoing debate among legal experts about the legality of Gill's actions, which include buying call options and then promoting GameStop on social media. While some see similarities to pump and dump schemes, the key difference is that Gill has not yet sold his position, unlike in traditional pump and dump schemes where the perpetrator sells after artificially inflating the price. Gill has been largely silent on the matter, and it remains to be seen whether he will face any regulatory action.

    • Power grid upgrades, Gil's social mediaGil's social media doesn't confirm GameStop info, US markets hesitant, Biden admin working on power grid upgrades, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers cost-effective solutions for businesses

      Gil's social media activity regarding GameStop doesn't necessarily indicate an endorsement or financial update about the company. Meanwhile, the US markets experienced a slight dip today, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite both seeing minimal losses. Traders may have been hesitant to make significant moves before tomorrow's monthly jobs report. Elsewhere, the Biden administration is working to modernize the US power grid in preparation for increasing demand due to the growth of electric vehicles, manufacturing, and AI technology. The aging infrastructure is under strain and needs upgrades to meet the demands of the future. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) offers a solution for businesses looking to upgrade their technology while saving costs. AI, a crucial new computer technology, requires significant processing power, which can be expensive. OCI is a single platform for infrastructure, database, application development, and AI needs, enabling businesses to do more with less. Finally, the US power grid, built over the past century, is in need of upgrades to meet the demands of the 21st century. The Biden administration is working with 21 states to increase the capacity of existing power lines through quick and cost-effective fixes.

    • Grid improvement and smart transmissionThe Biden administration is promoting grid improvement and expanding transmission capacity to connect clean energy sources. Advanced technologies like those from Norwegian company Heimdahl can increase capacity by up to 40% and make the grid 'smart', but have not been widely adopted in the US utility industry, leaving a pressing need for their implementation as power demand continues to rise.

      The Biden administration is pushing for grid improvement and expanding transmission capacity to connect clean energy sources to the power grid. This is necessary due to the increasing demand for power and the growing number of clean energy projects across the country. However, many advanced technologies that can increase transmission capacity quickly and cheaply, such as those developed by Norwegian company Heimdahl, have not been widely adopted by the US utility industry. These technologies, which include sensor devices installed on existing wires using drones, can make the grid "smart" by dynamically routing power and increasing capacity by up to 40%. The urgency for these solutions is high, as power demand is increasing now and will continue to rise in the coming years, catching utilities off guard. The question remains whether these solutions can be implemented in time to meet the growing energy needs.

    • Regulations, FDAThe FDA has reversed its ban on jewel e-cigarettes, potentially allowing them to remain on the U.S. market due to new case law established in lawsuits over other e-cigarette brands.

      Despite being around for some time, certain industries like energy and technology haven't felt the urgent need to adapt to new regulations, even when the cost is relatively low. This was highlighted in a discussion between Wall Street Journal climate and energy reporter Scott Patterson and Jennifer Maloney. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reversed its ban on jewel e-cigarettes, allowing them to potentially remain on the U.S. market. The FDA's decision was influenced by new case law established in lawsuits over other e-cigarette brands. Jules, the vaping company, expressed confidence that a full review of its application would demonstrate the benefits of its e-cigarettes to public health. In space news, SpaceX achieved a significant milestone with its Starship rocket, successfully guiding its spacecraft to a controlled splashdown in the Indian Ocean. This marks a major step towards SpaceX's goal of making Starship fully reusable, which is crucial for NASA's plans to take astronauts back to the Moon. And for those planning a vacation, consider sending in your questions on how to make your wallet happier during your travels to WMPOD at wsj.com or leave a voicemail at 212-416-4328. That's what's news for this Thursday afternoon. Today's show was produced by Anthony Banksy and Zoey Culkin, with supervising producer Michael Cosedi's. I'm KIBNMA for The Wall Street Journal. We'll be back with a new show tomorrow morning. Thanks for listening.

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