Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Wants To Be Your Electricity Meter

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the google-watt-hours dept.

Google 206

An anonymous reader writes "Google has teamed up with microcontroller maker Microchip to develop an API for a piece of software called Google PowerMeter, according this EE Times story. Why? Because Google wants to host all the details of the electricity and other energy consumption of people's homes. It wants to do this so that it can show people on their iGoogle homepages when and where they are consuming energy so that they can start to reduce their power consumption. The good news is that it is an opt-in service and free so you don't have to make Google your energy-monitor if you don't want to do so."

cancel ×

206 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Blah blah blah (2, Interesting)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608830)

It's funny that this has little to do with your power bill since you only oay for the unbalanced load between phases. You can draw 40 amps from phase 1 and 50 amps from phase 2, but only get charged for 10 amps. I don't need google to tell me how to save money on my power bill!

Re:Blah blah blah (3, Informative)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609336)

What you said does not really make sense to me, and I don't know why you are talking about getting charged for amps. My power company charges me per kilowatt-hour, which is a unit of energy. Amps is just the current flow. The amount of power (and hence energy) being used depends on the voltage as well. I am not sure if what you said is actually wrong, but I am pretty sure it is.

Re:Blah blah blah (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609352)

It's wrong because it violates the third law of thermofinancials: Bills are always created and can never be destroyed.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609488)

Ohms law: V = I times R where V is voltage, I is ampage, and R is resistance.
("Ohm's law: Wikipedia.org [wikipedia.org]

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609686)

Don't really know what you are trying to say. The more pertinent equation is P = V times I. (P is power). But if you are using AC electricity then voltage is not constant. And, the amperage draw on most electronics does not follow the voltage (they do not have a constant resistance). Most "wall wart" type transformers that convert to DC power only draw power at the peaks in voltage, but not when it is below the threshold. While a lightbulb (which has a constant resistance) would have an amperage draw that followed the same pattern as the voltage. So, if the two were drawing the same amount of amperage, the "wall wart" would be using more power since it uses the amperage when the voltage is higher. Hence, since your bill is based upon power usage, you would pay more for the wall wart.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609412)

[citation needed]

You get charged for the energy you use, period.

There may be EXTRA surcharges for unbalanced loading between phases, and for excessively reactive or inductive loads, but you don't get free electricity by drawing a balanced load.

Note: Penalties on uneven/reactive loading of the grid are usually not assessed against home users, just large commercial facilities.

Re:Blah blah blah (2, Interesting)

Indras (515472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609508)

This is absolutely wrong. The obvious flaw in your argument: 220V loads. A clothes dryer, for instance, creates a complete circuit between the two phases to provide the 220V necessary to run the load. Therefore, 220V appliances are ALWAYS balanced loads, requiring no neutral/ground to handle the difference. Are you trying to tell me that the power company does not charge you for electricity you use in 220 circuits?

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609920)

Look inside your power panel. You will see that your dryer circuit is actually connected by a double breaker which is on one phase. It is not 220 volts, it is two 110 volt legs drawn from a single phase. These voltages are never added to make 220 volts. If you don't believe me, unplug the dryer and follow the wiring inside.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609514)

Turn on your oven then check your meter. I'll wait... The meter is spinning isn't it? Your oven is a 240V resistive load pulling equally from both phases. By the way, phase is somewhat of a misnomer in household application because it's really a single phase with a transformer center tap (the neutral leg) that's tied to ground.

Microsoft too (4, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608836)

http://www.microsoft-hohm.com/ [microsoft-hohm.com]

Who's following who?

Re:Microsoft too (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608954)

I'm not sure who was first, but the Google project has been around for a couple of years now. This is not really new 'news'.

Re:Microsoft too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609094)

so has the light switch.

Re:Microsoft too (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609106)

But does the Microsoft one runs Linux?

Soon - Google wants to be your valentine - (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608840)

with, Google Valentine (TM)

at this rate, we will come face to face with google apps even we go to take a dump in the loo someday ..... "Google wants to dump with you - Google Shit (TM)"

Re:Soon - Google wants to be your valentine - (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31608980)

Google Shit (TM)

No need to wait, the future is now! Google Shit (TM) is already available under the code name Youtube(TM).

Re:Soon - Google wants to be your valentine - (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609016)

I thought YouTube was Random People's Shit, and Google Shit was Google Wave

Re:Soon - Google wants to be your valentine - (-1, Offtopic)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609176)

YouTube is an awesome video hosting service, except for the time limit, but then again just chop your video up in pieces of 10 mins and host it as a playlist; problem solved.

If you think that there aren't any epic quality videos out there, think again:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ComputerHistory [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/edu [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/user/NASAtelevision [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdJSMUSZHMM [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ayez1cBisU [youtube.com]

Just to name a few...

Re:Soon - Google wants to be your valentine - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609292)

Then you can tell how much CO2 and Methane you are putting into the air and tell you what foods you can eat to reduce your gas emissions!

Re:Soon - Google wants to be your valentine - (3, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609934)

Reading this, I figured Google were setting up the most ridiculously elaborate burglary scheme ever. They've cased the outside of your house with Google Earth, maps and street view. They know you've bought a big shiny new plasma TV via your search history and Google pay, and they even know where it's located in your house because of the Youtube video you posted of your sweet media setup. They also see you've been looking at holidays and now suddenly they can tell your electricity usage has dropped indicating you're away from home...

Now works with Tweet-a-Watt! (3, Informative)

sp332 (781207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608844)

Google just announced an API for PowerMeter http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2010/03/google-powermeter-api-introduced-for.html [blogspot.com] , so Adafruit's Tweet-a-Watt can brag to your followers about your home efficiency. http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/03/04/google-code-blog-google-powermeter-api-introduced-for-device-manufacturers/ [adafruit.com]

Handy for DEA... (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608848)

Now the Man can monitor consumption and infer when a weed growing operation is up and running.

Note electricity consumption, cruise by with thermal cameras to verify, profit!

Re:Handy for DEA... (5, Interesting)

Hatman39 (1759474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608910)

Well, they've been doing that for god knows how long, but not in the way you think. You see, most weed groweries bypass the meter so they don't have to pay gargantuan energy bills. So, instead the power company looks at the discrepancy between billing and consumption at the block level. If a large enough discrepancy is noted, i.e. something big, they inform the DEA. Note: I assume they do it like this in the USA, as this is how many countries (including my own) do it.

Re:Handy for DEA... (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609096)

But that was with the old way of using Metal Halide that you needed 10 1000 watt lamps to grow with. Now with flouresent and LED setups you dont need a whole lot more.

No I dont grow pot. I have a reef tank. Seeing my energy bill drop by $100.00 a month by switching to LED and FLouresent new tech fro mthe Metal halides I was using was really nice. It also has a side benefit of my corals are doing WAY better and I dont need to run a chiller anymore.

Re:Handy for DEA... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609310)

I thought you said you didn't grow reefer?

Re:Handy for DEA... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609562)

wow, you caused me to google reef tanks. you have an impressive hobby.

Re:Handy for DEA... (1)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609922)

wow, you caused me to google reef tanks. you have an impressive hobby.

Would a Reefer tank be the best of both worlds?

Re:Handy for DEA... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609668)

You see, most weed groweries bypass the meter so they don't have to pay gargantuan energy bills.

I doubt that; I've known several people who grew pot, and none of them bypassed the meter. Plus, they discovered a far more efficient way of lighting that uses about a fourth as much electricty and little heat, keeping their electric as well as heat signature footprints low.

If a large enough discrepancy is noted, i.e. something big, they inform the DEA. Note: I assume they do it like this in the USA, as this is how many countries (including my own) do it.

I didn't know the DEA was enforcing US law in other countries. What country do you live in?

Re:Handy for DEA... (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609782)

You see, most weed groweries bypass the meter so they don't have to pay gargantuan energy bills.

I doubt that; I've known several people who grew pot, and none of them bypassed the meter.

I think what the OP was talking about was the more commercial end of the market, rather than an individual growing for their own use.

What tends to happen is people take over (rent) a property and remove the internal walls, black out the windows and set up large growing operations, bypassing the meter. There was a disused shop near me (in the UK) where this happened... twice in six months!

Re:Handy for DEA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31608942)

Not if LED lights are used...

DEA will be the last of our worries (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609004)

the new folks at the EPA are seeing all sorts of new ways to leverage laws at their disposal to expand into areas where they don't belong. Believe it, when they find out that they can monitor with this much ease they will. We already have regulations against incandescent bulbs, how long before we have legislation against exceeding government defined thresholds for healing and cooling one's home? After all, just because you can afford below 78 in the summer doesn't mean you should be allowed to, think of the environment, think of the children.

I love some of the new technology out there, the problem is we are being forced into a nanny state, one where people want everything given to them and that old saying ain't far off, if they can provide it all they can take it all; or monitor it all.

Re:DEA will be the last of our worries (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609178)

Bah, they'll use your children and your neighbors to pressure you in to behaving in their pre-approved way, and damn your freedom.

Totally not evil (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31608850)

Prying on every aspect of your life is not evil, because Google says 'do no evil', right?

Re:Totally not evil (3, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609052)

Has it become fashionable to not even read TFS now? It specifically says "opt in service", ie. if you find the intrusion of privacy unacceptable, you don't have to sign up. There is NOTHING morally wrong about any of this.

Re:Totally not evil (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609080)

Has it become fashionable to not even read TFS now?

You must be new here.

Re:Totally not evil (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609196)

Yes, but then everyone around you knows that you didn't. Why didn't you opt in? Didn't want to show how much you don't care about the environment?

Fuck the greens.

Re:Totally not evil (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609330)

Prying on every aspect of your life

Offering someone a service, which they are free to refuse I haven't heard lately...

already exists (5, Informative)

flok (24996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608858)

Such a thing (on-line electricity meter) already exists: Flukso [flukso.net]

Linux-based with wifi uplink to the net and ethernet to configure it. Handles internet-connection downtime gracefully. Completely open so that you can tweak it if you wish to.

Re:already exists (2, Insightful)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609018)

I've been wanting something like a Flukso but it says that they log the results on their server. Is there any way to redirect this and log your own stats on your own server?

Re:already exists (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609042)

Transparent proxy.

Re:already exists (4, Informative)

flok (24996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609062)

Yes, you can.

See my website: Making your Flukso log to a database/RRD tool [vanheusden.com]

Re:already exists (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609338)

Thank you sir. I wish I could mod your reply up to the informative level now. I'll look into this.

Re:already exists (3, Interesting)

jlp2097 (223651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609114)

These devices are starting to get common in Europe (and maybe elsewehere) - they are called smart meters [wikipedia.org] . They will be required for a smart grid [wikipedia.org] which in turn is presumed to be required for mass deployment of electric cars [wikipedia.org] . These devices are neither new nor did google invent something that hasn't existed before.

Re:already exists (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609538)

Uses a heck of alot of electricity.

Re:already exists (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609546)

While nice, I'd really like it to monitor my circuit breaker box so I can see where the energy is being used per circuit and adjust accordingly. Perhaps my Fridge is using a lot more than normal or more than the avg, send me an alert that it may need a service call or time to replace. Water heater, AC, etc. Are the lights being left on in the kid's rooms overly long or are my outside lights staying on too long, how much is that tv usage costing me, etc.

More of a smart home, than just a smart meter for overall usage where it could be difficult to pin down changing usage.

Re:already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609902)

Flukso doesn't tell you that this thing is WORTHLESS for tracking normal amounts of current. I looked into doing this exact thing, albeit with the TINI. The thing that goes around your power cable - the "current transformer" - is only accurate if you are consuming > 30% of its rated value. So for example, my main breaker is 200A. If I install a 200A current transformer, it is only accurate if I am drawing more than 60 amps. So it's only accurate if I'm drying clothes, running two microwaves and an air compressor, and cooking something. If you downrate the current transformer - install a 100A transformer in a 200A breaker box - then you WILL have a fire in your breaker box at Thanksgiving when you're baking, cooking on the stove, running microwaves, etc. and drawing more than 100A.

Already possible (4, Informative)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608866)

There already exist devices which allow you to monitor your energy consumption by monitoring the dials in your meter box. For instance the dutch http://www.enymate.nl/artikelen/enymate_lite [enymate.nl] .

Because this measures consumption by looking at the dial it is also possible to monitor gas and water consumption, and the measurements relate directly to the upcoming bill(s).

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the linked company.

Just don't require a video (1)

jjackalb (574662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608872)

As long as the "details of electricity" don't include a video, we're good.

It's opt-in... for now... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31608882)

As the "green" push becomes more and more politically manipulatable, watch for the government to start requiring this monitoring service for everyone.

ads (2, Informative)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608884)

they'll find a way to dynamically alter the ads we're shown using this thing now too

Re:ads (1)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609512)

Google is not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. There will be money to be made by them with this. Think of all the usage information they can gather up on people, they will know when you are home and when you are the most active. Information they can resell to advertisers and others.

Opt-in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31608904)

Good thing it's opt-in, and Google doesn't install power monitoring devices on all of our appliances by default.

Want to check your consumption? (3, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608926)

Check your electricity meter.

Check it again the next day.

Subtract the 2 values.

Really , is this so difficult for some people that they need a gadget to do it for them?

Re:Want to check your consumption? (0, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608948)

I'm sorry, I'm a typical computer programmer. I was told there would be no math.

Re:Want to check your consumption? (1)

kaigoh (1773122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608966)

Its not hard to do the maths, I'm just incredibly lazy...

Re:Want to check your consumption? (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609356)

That's what technology is for... so you don't have to do it yourself the hard way.

Re:Want to check your consumption? (2, Interesting)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609002)

No, that's not hard. However, I suppose you want a finer grained time resolution, like 5 minutes or so. Otherwise it would be practically impossible to determine which apparatus is causing more-than-normal energy consumption.

Re:Want to check your consumption? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609594)

Yeah, I'd rather have circuit by circuit monitoring. That way you have the big items with their own usage chart.

Re:Want to check your consumption? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609924)

"which apparatus is causing more-than-normal energy consumption."

Hint - it'll be one of the big ones. Switch them off in turn and you'll find out. Unless you have 10 TVs and a dozen washing machines
it won't take long.

Re:Want to check your consumption? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609120)

Actually yes. because your power meter is too inaccurate at small reading to give me a difference in 15 minutes. and when you are chasing down parasitic loads it's important.

I use the TED5000 (The Energy Detective) works great, is dirt cheap, and gives me an energy data aggregate that is killer in every way. Plus having a Dollar amount in our faces on the counter every minute of the day really makes you pay attention to leaving the basement lights on all day.

Re:Want to check your consumption? (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609710)

Check your electricity meter.

Check it again the next day.

Subtract the 2 values.

Really , is this so difficult for some people that they need a gadget to do it for them?

I live in an apartment, so ya, it's hard for me to get to the electricty meter every day. I'd probably have to find the manager, ask him to take me to it, give him good enough reason why I want to access it everyday. Get denied.

If we sign up, can we see Google's energy data? (0, Troll)

codeAlDente (1643257) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608938)

Seriously, how much energy do they use? Why won't they tell us? Sounds evil.

As long as... (1)

Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608968)

...they don't run the site like this http://www.youtube.com/ [youtube.com]

(ps. If youtube's main page no longer looks like Http/1.1 Service Unavailable then this gag is past its usefulness)

Doesn't Google want togo into power trading? (3, Insightful)

anonymous cupboard (446159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608978)

I seem to remember that elsewhere it was said that Google wanted to enter the power market. They are a pretty big consumer themselves and are apparently looking to be a supplier but as yet, are not a producer.

Energy trading is a complex game. Perhaps they hope to get a better advantage by themselves getting better knowledge of how much power people are busing and when.

Re:Doesn't Google want togo into power trading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609744)

Glad someone else pointed out the obvious - the title should actually be:

"Google Wants To Be Your Electricity Provider"

Electricity is increasingly a commodity supplied by wholesalers, with whoever owns the metering, collecting the end-users cash. Nothing against effective metering either, however, this remains only as useful as the input data, until such time as devices report their own individual usage, this is all broad across the mains measuring stuff. It remains a surprise to most people that they already have a readable meter, my best guess would be that less than 5% know how to read one. That both Google (and MS..) are in this for philanthropical purposes as suggested, puleese, wanna buy a bridge while youre at it?

Google makes it sound cute (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608990)

To see what it looks like in plain english try the Australian version of this :
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/etsa-plans-to-take-control/story-e6freo8c-1225697720719 [adelaidenow.com.au]
.."added that people who did not take this option might find they would lose all power when power demand was running at peak levels."
Why invest in fancy new power generation when you can ration a rust belt power network and tame the end user with gift of lower cost if they get chipped.
Do you want Google and Enron ver 2.0 telling you when you can run your tv or cool your home?

Re:Google makes it sound cute (4, Insightful)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609448)

Actually, yes I do. Throughout the day the cost of power varies widely. At night it is dirt cheap (because it is produced at a coal or nuclear or hydro power plant) but during the day more plants have to be brought online and shut down as the load varies. That makes it very expensive at some times during the day. For residential consumers, this just gets averaged and they get pretty much a flat rate (some places have a time based tier system). But, if I got charged the current price for power, and could have my house decrease or increase power consumption based upon that price, then my cost would go down, and the total cost of the power grid would go down (because the load is more stable). I don't think they should have the ability to force me to turn off any appliance, but it would be good for the whole system if you let the free market determine the price of power through consumers setting their own limits of which appliances can be running at different price points.

Wrong wrong wrong (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31608994)

"It wants to do this so that it can show people on their iGoogle homepages when and where they are consuming energy so that they can start to reduce their power consumption."
Wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. Google is an advertising company. How the heck is an advertising company doing this?

"The good news is that it is an opt-in service and free so you don't have to make Google your energy-monitor if you dont't want to do so."
Well, isn't that nice of Google! I don't have to let them monitor my energy usage if I don't want to! Thanks for that, faceless corporation.

Re:Wrong wrong wrong (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609414)

Um... what qualifies Mitsubishi the ability to make TVs and cars! They can't do that because they have to pick a market!

Re:Wrong wrong wrong (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609498)

Google is an advertising company that maintains its audience by providing a service (a search engine). In case you haven't noticed, Google also provides many other services that allow them to maintain their audience (gmail, wave, voice, ect). This is just another service they are providing that will allow them to get a bigger audience. It will also let them target an audience (environmental people) which means the worth of their advertising space goes up.

Google's Real Motives (2, Insightful)

SovBob (471280) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609006)

This makes sense when you consider Google and their relentless pursuit of reducing [datacenterknowledge.com] their energy bill [slashdot.org] .

A lot of people have no idea how much electricity they are consuming, except at the end of the month. Increasing awareness will encourage people to turn off unused lights in their house (and get the instant gratification of seeing the electricity consumption graph go down on their homepage). This serves a dual purpose. Cutting down on consumption will mean a surplus of electricity, which lowers the price. Google gets cheaper electricity, and it also helps the environment.

I don't think Google is particularly interested in selling your electric power consumption data, although they might want to look at large-scale statistical data for their own research.

Re:Google's Real Motives (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609520)

Yeah, but why does Google need so much electricity in the first place? Enough to want every American citizen to lower their electric usage?

I'll tell you why: Google are building a freakin' giant laser, that's why! They plan on attacking Planet Q42 with it!

Re:Google's Real Motives (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609664)

It would also give you almost instant feedback of what is consuming the most power in your home. You could get a Kill-A-Watt meter, but how are you going to plug your furnace blower into it? Just cut the power to the blower, and see how much your power drops over the next 5 min. Same with other things that are difficult to measure or reach, like lighting, and ceiling fans. As you turn on/off items, you will see how it affects your power bill.

Good news? (1)

shish (588640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609008)

The good news is that it is an opt-in service and free so you don't have to make Google your energy-monitor if you dont't want to do so.

Since when is this news at all? To say that it is would mean that it's different to normal, which implies that google regularly install monitoring hardware into people's homes as an opt-out service...

skeptical (3, Insightful)

jonpublic (676412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609152)

Am I the only one who is skeptical of these smart meter devices? I don't want hackers to be shut off my power or anything else.

Re:skeptical (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609300)

What kind of idiot would design a power *meter* that can actually shut the power off? Still, not a totally unfair point, considering the world is running a huge surplus of idiots.

Re:skeptical (1)

18r18r13m (984382) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609366)

I don't the government to be able to shut off my power because they say I am using too much. Yep Conspiracy theory, however it has already been proposed in California with smart thermostats.

Re:skeptical (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609692)

the government would NEVER shut off your power if you were using too much. What kind of world do you think this is? they would simply charge/tax you more for your consumption.

The only reason there are "rolling blackouts" in some places in California is they don't yet have the 2 way meters in place to properly measure peak load, and tax, errr, encourage you.

Don't attribute to Absolute Power what is really just a new revenue opportunity for the states!

Re:skeptical (2, Insightful)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609534)

But, I would like the ability to shut down my power (or different devices based upon the current price of electricity). As with any online system, security is important. If you want to pay the higher power bill from using electricity you don't need, just so you can be positive your electricity won't get turned off by a hacker, then go ahead. You can also unplug your computer from the wall and be positive that your computer won't be hacked (and you can drive to or call the bank every time you need to transfer money instead of doing it online). But some people are willing to deal with the security concerns for the convenience that is provided.

Re:skeptical (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609722)

Am I the only one who is skeptical of these smart meter devices? I don't want hackers to be shut off my power or anything else.

Why would a hacker waste his time turning your power off?

no, what you are afraid of is some script kiddy, or someone who hates you taht knows how to use google.

thats how you'll lose your power.

the hackers are too busy hacking to give a fuck about you and the others who don't know what a hacker is.

Re:skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609796)

I recently made submission on this very topic as it is topical in European countries http://slashdot.org/submission/1199372/Government-Enforced-Smart-Metering but it did not get actually published. The current trend is that meter salesmen are lobbying politicians into forcing people to buy this. Privacy and security issues are glossed over, and there is no real evidence that you could achieve similar savings by simply following the procedures that other people have told are reducing energy consumption.

Don't call me, I'll call you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609180)

Just let me know when it's opt-out. I don't want anything to do with Google's data gathering.

We don't do meters in this country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609228)

This is the USA, we don't do any of them metric units. So it wouldn't be meters of electricity, it would be a good old american measure, like BTU

Re:We don't do meters in this country (1)

richard.cs (1062366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609376)

This is the USA, we don't do any of them metric units. So it wouldn't be meters of electricity, it would be a good old american measure, like BTU [emphasis added]

BTU as in British Thermal Unit? It's a unit of energy so you can measure your electricity consumption in it if you want. It'd be a bit inconvenient to calculate expected use unless all your appliances state consumption in BTU per fortnight or something.

Re:We don't do meters in this country (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609930)

Mod Parent -1 Swoosh

Mod Grandparent +1 Funny

More detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609288)

They better show which jack and/or which app. consume how much money worth of electricity.

Call me paranoid and a tool (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609334)

But sometimes I think google is just another way to say NSA.

Almost. Google is the NSA's IT Department (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609800)

And like all IT Departments, they are passive-aggressive-sneaky. The actual manly heavy-lifting work of enforcement and arrest they leave to the guys in crewcuts and narrow ties.

Google Toilet Paper (1)

alex-tokar (1727590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609346)

New Google sewage flush meter [huffingtonpost.com] coming to a home near you next year.

more to do with Telecom (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609398)

I think that all of google's noisemaking in the utilities area has very little to do with power and power consumption, and everything to do with Telecommunications. There was an announcment recently that Google was entering the Electric Utility business. Everyone was saying that google would be an electricity provider before long, but this probably has more to do with accessing the utlitiy easments for fiber than anything else. Google has made it clear that they intend to be a serious player in Telecoms very soon. All the noise about utilities is probably really all about Telecoms.

Is there anything (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609410)

that Google doesn't want to do?

Next:

Google Lawyer ("I AM a lawyer!")
Google Web-medicine (get some of that Health Care bill gravy)
Google electric car
Google Skynet

Re:Is there anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609914)

that Google doesn't want to do?

Next:

Google Lawyer ("I AM a lawyer!")
Google Web-medicine (get some of that Health Care bill gravy)
Google electric car
Google S

#$#!~~.~CONNECTION LOST~~@@~_~

PopSci Magazine ?Apr 2009 (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609436)

We've known this for a while, those who actually care to read.

Googleborg! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609474)

Resistance is futile. You will be assimigoogled.

A new service soon! Electrad - send your ads to your customers directly through the electricity grid! Only through Google!

gOOgle is watching you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609604)

Why not.. they know everything else about me.
Even when I post Anonymously Google knows...

It is those two frigin' big eyes... gOOgle....they are watching you right now!

Chip to make integration easier (2, Interesting)

us7892 (655683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609616)

Google already partnered with some utilities, and a few device makers (about 7 months ago). Most utilities are slow to provide opt-in to their customers. But anyone can install and watch their whole house power and consumption.

For example, the TED [theenergydetective.com] installs at your house main. It happens to send data to Google PowerMeter in the cloud (an App Engine application it seems.)

Right now, it is only one-way. Simply provides monitoring. Nothing can be controlled. You see your 10-minute average power in an iGoogle Gadget. As well as weekly and monthly total consumption, with a couple basic comparisons. In fact, the TED had an API, so anyone can read the second-by-second power readings and build your own charting application, or load a spreadsheet, or use the built-in browser to see gauges of power, etc. So, to make it easier for device manufactures to provide usage data (probably not just electric, but gas and water as well), why not a chip that can be embedded into your device designs.

For those who have not seen Google PowerMeter, tinypic sample here [tinypic.com] .

OLD NEWS (1)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609712)

Wow, this is old news. Seriously, this was discussed over a year ago [nytimes.com] . In fact, I submitted this story to Slashdot way back then, but it was rejected. No Slashdot love for the Zebra. :-(

Power level (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609846)

So, now Google will be able to tell that my power level is over 9000!?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?