Archive for February, 2012

Are Electric “Smart Meters” A Threat?

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

In the area where I live, the electric utility company is planning on replacing regular electric meters with some “smart” meters.

This morning, I was browsing the net to find out more about “grid-tie” solar power systems. This is because I currently own a small solar electricity system that I am looking to upscale.

As I was browsing the net, and watching some videos from US and Canada on grid-tie systems. I found out that most of the people having a grid-tie system had a “smart” electric meter installed by the utility company.

I was shocked by the amount of the people I read about or watched on videos that had those meters installed and were clearly saying that they are some privacy issues.

Yes, by monitoring your energy consumption patterns, the electic company can tell wether or not you are at home!

Also your actual power consumption is displayed on the meter out of your house…

Isn’t this another threat to privacy?

I know what’s in the long run for the power utility companies. They will be able to sell you the electricity at various prices depending on when you use it.

So If you cook your meals or take a shower or watch TV during peak hours it’ll cost you MORE…

Then they (the utility co) say that you will end up saving money. The truth is that in most area they were installed an extra “Administration” fee adds up to the bill which is in fact a communication fee and the associated taxes. Yes the smart meters have to communicate over radio radio frequencies too!

In my region, they say (the utility co) that you can opt out of the program, but they will charge you an extra charge.

Health Hazard?

In this post I only talked about the privacy and monetary aspect. But there’s also a big controversy over the health hazard. I find that the “pro” smart meters sides are very short sighted and tend tp generalized the facts. They base their facts on if you only have one meter. What if you live in a building with more than one rental unit and happen to be the unit at the same level as the meter? What if like me, the meter is located on the outside wall of your home office where I sepend several hours a week?

Have a look at this video and tell me why do you think that the light is flickering?

Last Words

I tough that the controversy surrounding the installation and exploitation of the “smart meters” was a local problem to my region but in fact after digging a bit more I found that its spread across Texas, Florida, California, Illinois in the US and British Columbia and Quebec in Canada.

EDIT: Here’s a good video about the smart meters and privacy:

You can find many more in your favorite search engine. (mine is bing)


Smoked By A Windows Phone

February 7, 2012 1 comment

Another great tribute to the makers of the Metro UI of the Windows Phone. At CES 2012 Microsoft was giving 100$ if you could be faster than a windows phone doing a specific task on your current device. It is amazing to see the people’s face when they realize how fast and well tought the windows phone is.

See for yourself:

This is a good start after only a year and a half on the market with the big leagues. I can’t for the multi-core devices to be released witth windows phone 8! And this is also a good prelude to the slate/tablet and desktop version of Windows 8 which are receiving a major facelift “à la Metro” style!

Here’s the url if you want to see more people getting “Smoked By A Windows Phone“.

Categories: Windows Phone 7 Tags: , , , ,