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172 comments

Color me surprised. (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41424319)

Color me surprised. I also expect campaign promises to be kept.

Re:Color me surprised. (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41424643)

said the lone remaining tenant of Sealand...

Re:Color me surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424815)

New Sealand, you probably mean. Sealand is a province in the Netherlands.

Re:Color me surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424877)

It's still called "Zeeland" (or "Zealand") in English.

Re:Color me surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425329)

And Zealand is also the English name for the Danish island of Sjaelland - you know, where Copenagen is.

Re:Color me surprised. (1)

tqk (413719) | about 2 years ago | (#41425221)

New Sealand, you probably mean.

Nope. See this. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Color me surprised. (3, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41425237)

the Principality of Sealand, I think he means. This is a manmade structure 7nm off the coast of Suffolk which has been privately occupied pretty much since it was abandoned by the British military (it was originally an early warning station and anti-aircraft platform).

Re:Color me surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425165)

I know - it's terrible. Imagine your power usage information being shared with a Mailing House! What possible use could they have for it? Surely the power company hand writes your bills and licks every envelope individually like everyone else!

Re:Color me surprised. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41425207)

Imagine your power usage information being shared with a Mailing House!

Kinda cute how you ignored the other parties being furnished this information and went with the most innocuous example.

Shocked (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41424329)

I am absolutely shocked that, despite the assurances from 'smart meter' fanboys, this data has been handed out to all and sundry just as we expected. How

Re:Shocked (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#41424535)

So.... You actually believed them? That is slightly naive isn't it?
Info=$$$ It is always been that way, and will always be that way. Anyone knows that, so it is a pretty stupid idea to have yourself monitored that way.
No matter what the fanboys say. Smartmeters are for dumb people (assuming one has a choice).
What is next, smart-tv's, smart browsers, smart shoes that tell where you are walking?

Re:Shocked (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 years ago | (#41424613)

The story left aside ...
Do you actually know what a smart meter is and what the point is to have one?
Just curious.

Re:Shocked (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#41424693)

Respectively "yes" and "I don't care".

Re:Shocked (2, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41425271)

apart from the fact that they use the obsoleted GSM900 bandwidth (channels, even) to build their mesh network via neighbourhood hubs and landlines, that said wireless links are two way, which means that not only is information passed back and forth between meters and hubs, so are instructions (such as kill switch). This presents a problem as anyone with a 934MHz transceiver (rare in the UK since they're now illegal to operate, have been since the block was reallocated to GSM) can simply key on CH1 and potentially kill grid power to any property so equipped, for miles, as the strength of the signal will overwhelm the meter... for those with access to a 934, try keying CH1 next to a GSM900 cellphone.

Re:Shocked (2)

mcbridematt (544099) | about 2 years ago | (#41425557)

The ones in my area (here in Victoria,Australia) are frequency hopping in the 900MHz unlicensed use band (never has been used for GSM900 here). Jamming one channel won't kill anyones supply. Apparently each meter has an IPv6 based connection as well.

Re:Shocked (5, Interesting)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#41424797)

Info does = money and that is exactly why people put up smart meters. Most business have a peak demand charge when they buy bulk electricity, smart metering lets the customer know when and what causes that, so it can be minimized and greatly minimise his bill. It's also useful to the average joe consumer who wants to export power back to the grid. Maybe some one else that wants to buy power at the cheap off peak rate and store it in a battery bank for when the price is high. It allows for all kinds of different billing methods that can greatly reward taking stress of the network when it needs it. Smart metering is all about saving money by knowing what the network is doing. Everything you mentioned already exists, smart tv's that record the shows it thinks you'll like so you don't have to, smart browsers that remember your history have been around since the internet started, and smart shoes have been brought out by Nike for exercises freaks. Knowledge is power for all who embrace it. That said I most defiantly can not condone what Origin is doing with the customer's data, and can only assure you that they are the only retailer doing this. Choose the other guys (it's completely up to the customer) and they have very strict rules in place about who gets access. Origin are giant dicks, giving the rest of us a bad name. We have enough problems already trying to convince all the idiots that these setups have no more radiation than an iphone and their old meter.

They already know this shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425387)

Dude, the already know when and what is used by which area.

Its quite easy for the power companies to place smart meters on each final leg distribution box/building.

Sure its not as accurate as knowing each house, but they can know each district or suburb down to the second, not 30 minute interval.

The whole reason for SM is control, just like you being in a big prison, and lights out mean lights out.
The govt can , like a Sims player, then turn power off to whom ever they dont like or isnt paying. But also detailed usage can infer activities, like how many people live there, what times they are up/sleep, if they are growing drugs, etc... FFWD to the future 10 years, every consumer whitegood valued >$200 might have a $3 chip SOC that can communicate via custom wifi/lan to the SM, so that power usage could be widely throttled.

Problem is these will be under full control. Where in fact it should be a one way only suggestion to use less power. ie, the SM should broadcast a 'please use less, or dont bother. Kind of like telling your laptop to use full power, balanced mode, or super low power mode. More a suggestive approach, rather than full direct control defined by their servers. Too many fuck ups can happen with full control, imagine if its hacked in.

But no laws or regulations exist for utilities to be controlled in how they decide on what they are allowed to do in regard to remotely controlling home users devices. Expect restrictions. Full control will not happen, before some major mistake turns of a whole hospital and kills 100s.

But, instead they will have full IO control, like all your devices having root access to the govt. Power to turn everything off, or on. If devices have high speed links, who knows, microphones on gaming console activated, or on your Smart TV equiped wiht built in camera/mic could be activated to record your at home secretly (Show us the source code LG, else we cant trust you) , built in Wifi, but hey, in 10 years, every TV might have built in LTE. So if activated could upload the video/voice data to the power vendor or police server, at zero cost to the LTE provider since im sure they would have a 'emergency back channel' that wont required SIM or active account.

Protect your future, invest in learning how to build freq jammers, in the 868/915mhz.

And ironically, the cost of all this new tech would have been better spent giving every household free solar panels, which would have reduced loads for grids by more than this scheme.

As Jobs says, one more thing, if any one chooses Windows Servers, stay away, and have absolute zero trust in them.

Re:They already know this shit (0)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#41425703)

Oh dear god, if only i didn't have a life, then i might sit here and explain everything that is wrong about your post to you.

Re:Shocked (2)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41424811)

So.... You actually believed them? That is slightly naive isn't it? Info=$$$ It is always been that way, and will always be that way. Anyone knows that, so it is a pretty stupid idea to have yourself monitored that way. No matter what the fanboys say. Smartmeters are for dumb people (assuming one has a choice). What is next, smart-tv's, smart browsers, smart shoes that tell where you are walking?

To see these things coming before they actually happen is a great way to be told that your tinfoil hat is too tight.

That's why this kind of understanding (of what should be obvious) is so rarely appreciated. It belongs to a small minority who know their reasoning is sound with no concern for popularity. That's not the way I would have it, but that's the way it is.

Re:Shocked (2)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#41424919)

I am all for no video camera network and no government enforced internet snooping but this is hardly the case with smart meters. I work for a smart meter company (not these douches in question) and your making it sound like we have this god like power, when there is a lot less data there than you think which can be very easily masked by a number of things. All we see is a usage per half an hour, and that figure could be made up of any number of different appliences. Yes you could make assumptions based on time like when a big spike kicks in at 6 oclock it's could be the oven, but he could just as easily have a massive computer. Also i don't know who you think cares when you cook a roast, but it's not like it's watching every place you drive too with licence plate scanners. If your really worried about this (and aren't happy with using someone other than origin) just get a bunch of batteries charge them up on off peak power at night and use battery power during the day, you'll save money, the network will like you because you put less stress on the network, and you'll be happy because the metering company won't be able to guess what you might be doing. Now the police department and tax office they have much juicer concrete information on you.

Re:Shocked (1)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41425141)

I work for a smart meter company (not these douches in question) and your making it sound like we have this god like power, when there is a lot less data there than you think which can be very easily masked by a number of things.

I appreciate what you're saying, though you must understand that you are not the most unbiased source of information.

That you wouldn't abuse what power can be had, does not mean Origin is the only one who will. They are proving that it takes much, much less than "god-like power" to hassle me and betray my trust. I do not hire an electric utility to rat me out to debt collectors. I hire them to provide electricity. I give them money, they give me units of electricity, and our relationship should end there.

Until we really do solve this gigantic social problem of "I can't just live my life and let other people live theirs, with a policy of non-interference based on respecting that anything you choose not to actively share is none of my fucking business, because that would be too easy" then we're going to keep playing whack-a-mole with each new opportunity to spy on your neighbor and approve or disapprove of how he/she lives.

Until the problem is really solved and people start realizing that if you care so much about how other people live, it means you are a pathetic nobody who is not living your own life (as a side-effect this would destroy the entire tabloid/paparazzi industry), then privacy is the only reasonable way to go. The only really effective way to do that is on a need-to-know basis. What with current database and retention capabilities, what seems harmless now could bite you in the future. People who were denied employment because of legal yet slightly-not-politically-correct Facebook posts discovered that the hard way.

I never asked the world to work this way. In fact, I have repeatedly spoken out against the course it's on. So long as the world insists on doing it this way, I will do whatever is necessary to avoid getting caught up in it. You think that's an argument against the potential benefits of smart meters, or the benevolence of the average employee? That's a very single-minded position. It could only come from taking it too personally merely because you work in the industry. That's what I mean about bias. What I am actually talking about is far greater than you, me, or any single company.

Re:Shocked (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#41425691)

If your really so worried that some one is going to use the amount of electricity you used in a 30 minute interval against you in some way; Then good news friend it's never been easier to go off grid, solar panels, wind generator, and batteries are at an all new low price. No one is forcing you to buy their electricity.

Re:Shocked (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41425213)

I believe the OP was an example of "sarcasm".

Re:Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424657)

This is only one company. If you didn't already know origin are giant dicks, but they are the only ones that do this. Sign up with any other retailer and meter provider and this will not happen. Just use metering dynamics or agl and they will look after your data.

Re:Shocked (1)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41424841)

This is only one company. If you didn't already know origin are giant dicks, but they are the only ones that do this. Sign up with any other retailer and meter provider and this will not happen. Just use metering dynamics or agl and they will look after your data.

That will inevitably change, just as soon as a slick salesman gives them a nice pitch about how such data can be monetized. It is only a matter of time. If the current management won't ever consider it under any circumstances no matter how much money they are offered (unlikely), future management will. Once it becomes a revenue stream, it will be depended upon as part of the budget and will not be reversed. "We will remove this revenue stream to fulfill non-material values" has never been popular among shareholders, however wise.

It is a general principle of inertia and inevitability that, for some reason, continues to be poorly understood by too many. You see the same thing with the legal system (the US income tax was "a temporary wartime measure").

The most telling mark of such events is that they are pushed by the institution and not the result of overwhelming demand by its customers/constituents.

Re:Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425073)

With the number of things we need to worry about these days, smart metering is absolutely at the bottom. There are a million ways to fool it, and the information isn't all that interesting any way (unless you get really excited about when people use hair dryers and air con).

Re:Shocked (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41425161)

With the number of things we need to worry about these days, smart metering is absolutely at the bottom. There are a million ways to fool it, and the information isn't all that interesting any way (unless you get really excited about when people use hair dryers and air con).

So you are willfully neglecting the principle, merely because you see no current significance to its presently immediate applications?

Most of these "things to worry about" boil down to a few major philosophical ideas. You can understand that and focus on the major ideas. You can also fail to understand that and see millions of "issues" that you'd never have time for because you are unable to grasp how they are interrelated and proceed from the same root. Life is full of choices.

Re:Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425721)

Care to elaborate on all these evil ways the government is going to use my 30 minute load profile against me. I can think of hundreds for internet snooping and camera networks, but smart meters will really only be used to make the network more efficient.

Re:Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425195)

With the number of things we need to worry about these days, smart metering is absolutely at the bottom.

Oh please. You can tackle more than one issue at a time, and all you have to do is say "no" to smart meters.

Re:Shocked (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#41425511)

cool, so i'm saying no to smart meters. can i safely assume the problem has just magically gone away?

Lovely (5, Insightful)

tqft (619476) | about 2 years ago | (#41424345)

Data security is such a good thing. Good thing the hackers didn't get it.

And with the data retention proposals of course no isp is going to be tempted to defray the cost with either on-site or outsourced datamining. And all storage is onsite and under their control.

From the FTA
"An Origin spokesman said the portal was fully compliant with Australian privacy legislation. He said the additional information requested about each household ''adds to the richness of the Origin Smart experience''.

Customer information can only be accessed by staff involved in billing. He said the electricity retailer only shared information with third parties when they had a ''legitimate business need to do so in order to meet our service obligations to our customers''."

"with third parties" the easiest way for the NSA to get all the data in the world would be to sell cheap datamining services as the Narly Stats Advisers.

And government and business wonder why people don't trust them.

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424499)

I don't understand why the data needs to be sent to another country, that in itself is mis-use of private information. There are capable companies in the country to perform these tasks, or they could have built one themselves. Its not rocket science.

Re:Lovely (5, Interesting)

HeadlessNotAHorseman (823040) | about 2 years ago | (#41425019)

It might actually be illegal. In a nutshell, the Privacy Act requires that all personal information must be kept appropriately secure. If a company sends personal information to a third party, it requires the company to ensure that they keep the information secure too (e.g. by having a clause in the contract requiring them to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act). It is not possible to provide personal information to a USA company and still meet the requirements of the Privacy Act, because the USA's Patriot Act allows the US government to gain access to that information (without even informing the information owner).

Re:Lovely (1)

tqft (619476) | about 2 years ago | (#41425261)

cost? someone overseas offering to it cheaper

Re:Lovely (1)

strack (1051390) | about 2 years ago | (#41425095)

they dont care that people dont trust them.

Re:Lovely (1)

tqft (619476) | about 2 years ago | (#41425253)

true, they will just get laws passed if us pesky citizens get in the way of profit

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425543)

This is the same Origin that last month sent out a heap of 'Overdue' bill notices, announcing that the user was also going to be charged a $12 late fee, then waited 2 weeks then sent an 'apology' letter saying sorry for making you pay early, but we hadn't sent the bills out yet, so we wont charge the late fee, BUT WE WILL KEEP YOUR MONEY, AND OFFER NO REIMBURSMENT AS A PENALTY FOR US, EVEN THOUGH WE OFFER TO PENALISE YOU AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY!!!

Re:Lovely (1)

tqft (619476) | about 2 years ago | (#41425643)

I had to hassle Origin a few times to get them to actually send me a bill. Billing systems are the pits.

Information not the problem (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41424347)

*grabs some popcorn* I'm sure a lot of people will immediately jump all over this company for sharing the data, even collecting it, and long rants about the usefulness, ethicality, or lawfulness, of said activity. None of that really matters terribly much though. Computers record information, and computers are becoming a part of everything that requires electricity. There's microprocessors now in toasters. The question isn't whether or not information can or should be collected, but how it's used.

Knowledge of how it could be used or abused isn't sufficient to cause social change, and the life of the law has never been wisdom, but experience. In other words, the only way we learn not to do something as a society is by running headlong into the problem. It's like climate change. The science is not in dispute; But until large sections of the Earth are desert and millions are dying every day from starvation, hunger, pestilence, etc., nothing will ever be done about it. That's how society works (or doesn't).

The belief that an enhanced understanding of a problem will stir people to action is one of mankind's oldest delusions. We only learn one way: By fucking it up.

Re:Information not the problem (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41424357)

The question isn't whether or not information can or should be collected, but how it's used.

Information that isn't collected can't be abused.

Re:Information not the problem (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41424427)

An Origin spokesman said the portal was fully compliant with Australian privacy legislation. He said the additional information requested about each household ''adds to the richness of the Origin Smart experience''.

Legislation that isn't specific essentially ensures that data will be misused.
Then again, to the people who passed the law, that was probably a feature, not a bug.

Re:Information not the problem (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41424435)

Information that isn't collected can't be abused.

There is an entire field of mathematics dedicating to filling in the blank when that happens. Sometimes the absence of information says more than its presence... ask any police officer. And as for it not being collected -- remember the TSA body screener fiasco? Anything with a microprocessor, a sensor, and programmable logic can be modified to collect information, and most probably without your knowledge, even if it says it doesn't on the tin. And the other thing, which many slashdot readers can attest to, is debugging. Almost every device has some diagnostic mode, factory mode, engineering mode, etc., which allows a 3rd party to examine its inputs and outputs for the purposes of quality assurance. Even Google got screwed on this one recently with their capturing of wifi packets... They had no business reason to do it, few people knew about it, the data was (to the best of anyone's knowledge) not used, but there it was, sitting on hundreds of harddrives, getting backed up, and the word is it was all because of one engineer who forgot to disable logging.

It's better to just assume everything is being logged and recorded; And then pass laws limiting its use -- that way, it'll never become widespread or systematic. I don't see any way of reasonably preventing information collection -- it's intrinsic to the function of most information systems.

I do see ways of limiting abuse...

Re:Information not the problem (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about 2 years ago | (#41424479)

good luck getting that passed. it will be swiss cheese you can use for a porch screen!. They got every one of those congress persons bought and sold. As soon as they say ' I want to offer you a job when you get out of office...' they got em hook line and sinker.

Re:Information not the problem (1)

lurker1997 (2005954) | about 2 years ago | (#41424515)

I'm unusual enough that whatever I'm doing is probably an outlier in terms of marketin usefullness, whether it's power consumption, spending habits, location, etc. It pisses me off that data is being collected about me whatever I do, but I would rather focus my energy fighting other battles.I agree with you that its best to just assume everything that can be monitored/logged is and act accordingly.

If enough people are bothered by this, I wonder if it is ecomomic for someone to make a load balancing system that draws a constant current from the mains (at zero power factor), and stores energy in a battery system which powers the house. There could be different privacy options; for example random power draw or a consertvatively high constant power which would have to be blown off if the batteries get full charged. Or, in municipalities like mine that have time of use pricing, all the energy could be stored at night.

This would certainly be expensive and wasteful but might be a product for private people

Re:Information not the problem (1)

flaming error (1041742) | about 2 years ago | (#41424547)

So, legislation can't prevent logging, tracking, and retention, but it can prevent mining, hacking, and leaking?

Re:Information not the problem (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41425173)

It's better to just assume everything is being logged and recorded; And then pass laws limiting its use -- that way, it'll never become widespread or systematic.

Sounds fine in theory, but there will always be extremely powerful entities that will not limit their use. Like governments for instance.
Legislation after the fact does not mitigate the risk, particularly from the most dangerous entities.

What about less dangerous entities, but nonetheless, very disruptive with their actions like corporations? What if a company could get their hands on that data and deny access to services and products? Like insurance carriers? Sure the law may say no, but how would you know it was actually part of the decision? It would require a whistle blower to really bring down a company, and usually there are tens of thousands, if not millions of people impacted along the way.

No, I really think there needs to be legislation against the logging of data. Strong legislation. Possession needs to be a crime, not use.

Re:Information not the problem (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41424573)

...or stolen. The more parties have possession of sensitive data, the higher the chance it will be "lost" or stolen by those that WOULD use it against you.

Re:Information not the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424755)

especially burglars, they love this type of information

Re:Information not the problem (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41425119)

We only learn one way: By fucking it up.

Uh huh. That's not fucking true. Plenty of men have been fucking up for years trying to keep women happy and still have not learned how yet....

Perhaps you meant the opportunity is there to learn, but we often fuck that up too.

Re:Information not the problem (1)

tqk (413719) | about 2 years ago | (#41425525)

Plenty of men have been fucking up for years trying to keep women happy and still have not learned how yet....

Hey princess, the same can be said about women in the opposite direction. We're not the ones who're still wearing warpaint.

surprise!? (2)

fish waffle (179067) | about 2 years ago | (#41424353)

...Customers can provide information about the size of their home, whether they rent or own, the number of adults and children in their family, if anyone stays in during the day and what appliances they own....

If you don't want information to get out, don't give it out.

Re:surprise!? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41424581)

Which is fine for the above information, but in many places we have no choice but to use smart meters.

Re:surprise!? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41424653)

Which is fine for the above information, but in many places we have no choice but to use smart meters.

Of course you do. Buy a generator.

You're going to need one pretty soon when they start ramping down the amount of electricity you're 'allowed' to use.

Re:surprise!? (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | about 2 years ago | (#41425357)

"You're going to need one pretty soon when they start ramping down the amount of electricity you're 'allowed' to use."

Will that be before or after the lizard men activate the mind control chips that we all got with our flu shots?

Or do you actually have electricity rationing in Australia?

We Are The Government - It's the Law. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424377)

Resistance is V/I.

Re:We Are The Government - It's the Law. (-1, Offtopic)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#41424799)

if you had not been a coward, I could have modded this up.

So how do I... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424405)

So how do I get myself taken off these lists?

Re:So how do I... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424483)

You don't, you just need to leave the company. Even then they have already given your details/information over, so a little too late now.

Re:So how do I... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425281)

call them up and tell them what an asshole company they are, write a strongly worded letter to their CEO. Then call up a company that is small, who you know will not be able to invest in things like this.

Re:So how do I... (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about 2 years ago | (#41424487)

you'll be born into it and die in it.

Re:So how do I... (4, Funny)

nadaou (535365) | about 2 years ago | (#41424537)

So how do I get myself taken off these lists?

Send an email to support@slashdot.com with the word "UNSUBSCRIBE" somewhere in the body.

As the old saying goes (1)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#41424459)

Follow the money. If someone can make money from this, a reason to justify it will be constructed. Money will be used to stop child sex traffic, improve education, lower tax bills, etc.

You bloody fucking idiots! (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#41424485)

You took a perfectly good cause and ruined it in the name of profit!!!! You have just fed the tinfoil hat crown and ruined smart meters world wide for years to come.

Let's think about this? Hey spouse, want to get a new smart meter? Hell no, I do that and the government will spy on me, the debt collectors will use it against me, do I look like I was born yesterday?

No one is going to want one of these things attached to their house now knowing how they have actually been used. Why the hell couldn't you leave well enough alone and use it for what it was actually meant for?

Smart meter technology could have been one of the greatest real world technological green technologies we have seen in a long time. Instead some short sighted, can't see the next week because tomorrow is in the way greedy bastards ruined it to sell their customers out to debt collectors!

Words cannot begin to describe how short sided and idiotic these people were. I'm sorry they just can't.

I've spent a fair amount of time in Melbourne, I thought well of the people down there. What the hell happened?

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#41424661)

You took a perfectly good cause and ruined it in the name of profit!!!
The only perfectly good idea was to sell Australia on ripping out spinning meters and replacing them with expensive networked smart meters vs digital import/export meters.
All with the dream of not having to send so many expensive police cleared workers into suburbia,
As for "technological green technologies"? or "actually meant for?" If people have solar they can do their own electrical audits or get a wireless clamp over their supply and chart their own usage.
Australia has forums packed with users offering ideas, links and devices for green technologies or getting the most from any Feed in tariff/day/night energy plan.
Most people need to run a washing machine, watch their shows, cool down in summer, warm up in winter.
Some expensive, imported software to map usage data over suburbia and sell - feels like 1984 to most people....
ie one person with aquarium heaters and a few tanks might have a larger than average bill for 1 person of that age per unit of time...
Face an extra green 'tax' or police sneak and peek for drug growing?

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424665)

One doesn't go out and get a smart meter, the state installs it.

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41425321)

*s/state/private contractor on behalf of one or more utility companies.

**+and there's no recourse to get it removed and a standard meter put in because it's deemed "progress". And anything which "progresses" energy delivery and monitoring can be nothing else but a good thing. Right?

Right??

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#41424695)

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious. I hope sarcastic.

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (1)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#41424853)

You will have to have it or they will raise the rates. Your significant other, who doesn't care about privacy ("We're not doing anything wrong...") will demand it.
Next is that little Progressive Insurance dongle that sits on the OBDII port in your car to examine your driving habits.

No choice (1)

HeadlessNotAHorseman (823040) | about 2 years ago | (#41425045)

You have no choice; they install the smart meter whether you will or nill it.

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41424883)

There was nothing "green" about smart meter technology. It was always about ToU billing and how much someone could screw you over at the end of the day.

smart meters can make wind, solar use easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425187)

True, smart meters themselves are not a green technology. Fossil fuels and uranium can be burned at any moment. Solar and wind are available at only certain times. Some electricity use has to occur at certain times, such as watching a football game on television. Other electricity use can be delayed or avoided. I might decide to charge my GM Volt tonight. The actual charging can occur at 9 PM, 11 PM, or 3 AM, as long as it happens before 8 AM. If there is no wind that night, I might avoid charging, and use expensive gasoline instead. With smart meters, the price during the day, or between days, can vary, so responsive customers can get variable tasks done using renewable power, instead of fossil fuels.

Re:You bloody fucking idiots! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424905)

Heh, I would've thought the reputation they have in this corner of the world for breaking down would've been enough by itself.

where is this info? (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#41424533)

Screw the privacy concerns, I want to know how I'm doing. How much energy are those blokes using per unit of area and per home? What percentage of their energy goes towards climate control?

For myself, we are in a 2200 sq ft house in north Texas with gas furnace and water tank. House was built in 1977. Per year, we use between 6500 and 7000 kWh, and about 60 MCF of gas. About 50% of that is for heating and cooling.

Re:where is this info? (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41424617)

Don't be daft, you can't have the information. Data protection and all that.

Re:where is this info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425299)

Nicely put. It works a lot like "medical privacy" laws in the US. They don't do squat about making your medical data private from anybody that you actually want to keep it private from (your employer, insurance company, the government, drug companies wanting to market at you, etc.), but they do an absolutely TREMENDOUS job of making sure that you can't get at your own information, can't designate somebody else to be allowed to do so, etc.

Re:where is this info? (2)

DaveJ2001 (559498) | about 2 years ago | (#41424891)

I am in North Texas as well. Access to smart meter data is available at http://www.smartmetertexas.com/ [smartmetertexas.com] . It provides monthly, daily and incremental reports (every 15 minutes IIRC), and I've found it to be quite useful in tracking which devices use more energy.

Re:where is this info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424921)

Per year, we use between 6500 and 7000 kWh

7000 kWh / yr = 800 W

This is what passes for a summary now? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41424609)

All we get is the first sentence of an article copy-and-pasted as a summary now? Does the submitter think this is a good thing or a bad thing? Why should we care about this? What are the implications?

Can't we just turn the whole thing over to a bot and be done with it?

Re:This is what passes for a summary now? (1)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41424925)

All we get is the first sentence of an article copy-and-pasted as a summary now? Does the submitter think this is a good thing or a bad thing? Why should we care about this? What are the implications?

Can't we just turn the whole thing over to a bot and be done with it?

No, we can't. At this time, with the current state-of-the-art in software development, it's just too damned difficult and expensive to cause a bot to randomly produce so many spelling and grammatical errors.

Spelling errors alone would be easy, but not grammatical errors such as using a correctly spelled word in the wrong way or understanding the importance of context. We cannot easily produce this kind of AI.

Re:This is what passes for a summary now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425705)

All we get is the first sentence of an article copy-and-pasted as a summary now?

No only is it copied, but it's credited as the submitters writing, which it clearly isn't. This has been going on for years and sadly it's starting to become the norm.

Panopticon; Coming to a household near you (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41424621)

I think for anyone paying attention to the subject of privacy, it is pretty apparent that tyrannical voyeurism is a State Vice -- behind which are packs of ravenous fiends that will stop at nothing short of pharisaic omniscience. Long before one method of 'evasion' (self defense) becomes popular among the masses, these fiends are devising new countermeasures to foil them. Already, they want to spy on us through household devices [networkworld.com] . It seems a time is coming when options are scarce and opting out will be difficult or impossible [adorraeli.com] . And all they seemingly need to do to pacify us is whisper in a soothing tone words like "transparency"". Yes, transparency, a simplex protocol for the masses.

Re:Panopticon; Coming to a household near you (1)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41424941)

I think for anyone paying attention to the subject of privacy, it is pretty apparent that tyrannical voyeurism is a State Vice -- behind which are packs of ravenous fiends that will stop at nothing short of pharisaic omniscience. Long before one method of 'evasion' (self defense) becomes popular among the masses, these fiends are devising new countermeasures to foil them. Already, they want to spy on us through household devices [networkworld.com] . It seems a time is coming when options are scarce and opting out will be difficult or impossible [adorraeli.com] . And all they seemingly need to do to pacify us is whisper in a soothing tone words like "transparency"". Yes, transparency, a simplex protocol for the masses.

The scary part is, the Panopticon was intended to be a prison.

In the near future, prison won't be place you send people to. It will be a place you extend to them. Naturally you will be guilty until proven innocent, and since you cannot prove a negative, well, that narrows it down. After all, you might be up to no good.

one week granularity 1 month delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424623)

I would have no problem with my electricity usage being posted to anyone with the following conditions:
total power for a week is smallest granularity. 1 month delay.

If the company started posting my instantaneous usage I'd get upset

Fuck your privacy! (1, Informative)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 2 years ago | (#41424629)

This is about conserving energy and Saving The Planet!

Re:Fuck your privacy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424785)

Oh sure, the jolly green giant of peace, love and market research. It's not that this tender green bastard refuses to buy back energy produced by solar, etc., it's simply that he's a little confused, and would if knew better. He means well though, and swears the planet can be saved if you obey. If you don't, he'll kick your ass though, because he's mean, he's green, and he needs information. It's just that the peer-pressure is really heavy, and his friends in high places insist that he care for the planet. He wouldn't want to disappoint his overlords, and his overlords are even bigger than he, and they want him to care because they don't have the capacity.

Re:Fuck your privacy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424793)

Meanwhile in Texas...

Texans Using Guns to Resist Smart Meter Installations [treehugger.com]

I think I heard guns were illegal in Australia. Too bad. Not that I'm really a proponent of guns I'm more of a hippy treehugger sort but just look what happens when you're not armed.... Government and industry tries to walk all over you.

I think the best solution is to dismantle all central authorities for everything and let little localized communities run themselves. Then they can decide what equipment works best in their area and what info to retain/share/etc. Central governance and management is always bad news as they're too far removed to care or understand what any local center wants/needs.

Of course all that is excuses and pretense. The end game is here. You are a resource, a battery or slave of sorts to be sucked dry and used up for some elite's whim. You're not allowed to organize or take action to better yourself or your own life. You are the terrorists: like this informational video explains in more details...

You are a Terrorist (Du bist Terrorist) German, English Subtitles on YouTube [youtube.com]

Politely say no to them. Peaceful polite resistance. Anything after that whether civil disobedience or more radical stances is on you. Remember Ghandi effected a great deal of change with non-violent methods...

Re:Fuck your privacy! (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41425355)

Wasn't Gandhi shot?

Great. Look where pacifism got him.

And John Lennon. Jean Jaurès. To name a couple more.

I'm sure there's a very long list somewhere.

Re:Fuck your privacy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425011)

Can't tell if you are joking or trolling.

What happens if they get hacked? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41424725)

I imagine some burglars could find this data quite useful, knowing which houses are empty.

Re:What happens if they get hacked? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425197)

Uh, they can already check this by going to the meter box and checking the spin on the current types of meters. Beyond that, what the burglers might want is digital signatures of appliances, that is if all they care about is appliances. Beyond that, if they are very technical they could categorise the occupants (i.e having bose sound system = loaded = higher chance of other moola in the house). But long and the short, they already have access to information on whether the house is empty or not based on appliance/electrical usage.

Re:What happens if they get hacked? (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about 2 years ago | (#41425473)

Uh, they can already check this by going to the meter box and checking the spin on the current types of meters.

One situation requires them to trespass to get the information.

What The Article Doesn't Say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41424745)

...is whether the data is anonymized prior to 3rd party release. We have fairly strict privacy laws and I expect this is what happens. I just don't expect a noob reporter to understand that point, or an experienced one to put that in a story he wants to get a snappy headline from.

Re:What The Article Doesn't Say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425233)

I think you are making fairly big assumptions which you cannot confirm or deny, unless you work for that company ?

1984... (3, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41424787)

is here!

Privacy Commissioner is a wet lettuce leaf (3, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 2 years ago | (#41424953)

People think they have Privacy Laws and the Privacy Commissioner protecting them. They don't. Like much the government does to reassure the public, they are deliberately weak and there for just for PR value. If you ever try and use them you will find they have all the whipping power of a wet lettuce leaf: The worst thing the Commissioner can do is write a letter to a company breaching your privacy saying "Please don't do that." There is no fine. http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/youre-being-more-closely-watched-20120916-260ko.html [theage.com.au]

Add to that Nicola Roxon's plans to snoop on Australians Internet Usage. Do you really trust public servants to keep your private that information secret? The only privacy they care about is hiding their mistakes from public. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/police-fight-to-keep-corby-secrets-20120922-26dni.html [canberratimes.com.au]

As for your privacy, they don' think you should have any: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/380194/20120904/ag-nicola-roxon-bats-data-retention-laws.htm [ibtimes.com]

Opted out of PG&E online bills (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41425135)

I had to opt out of Pacific Gas and Electric's online billing system and go back to paper bills when they changed their EULA to allow more "disclosure". If I just buy power from them, they're subject to regulatory rules, enforced by the California Public Utilities Commission. But they wanted me to sign up for an "online account", which isn't regulated. If you don't sign up, they're not allowed to redistribute your "smart meter" info. If you sign up, you've consented to distribution to "affiliates".

I strongly recommend opting out to PG&E customers (California, Nevada) who are concerned about privacy issues.

I left Citibank for the same reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425517)

Citibank UK changed their EULA to share your banking data with anyone for any reason. This was shortly after SWIFT was caught handing all their data over to the US. To avoid any liability, some banks added a clause to their usage terms that let them basically do anything with your data.

So I closed my Citibank account and wrote to them telling them why I was closing it.

How much money I have and how I spent that money should be private. I still think the US had something on Barosso that caused him to gleefully hand all that data over to the US.

It's not being shared (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425225)

It's being sold.

But, there is a remedy. If you don't like it, you can disconnect your electric service. Having electric service is a voluntary luxury. If you don't like the terms attached to having it, you don't have to have it.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41425701)

Is anyone surprised by this? In the US, vote for Gary Johnson. Live Free.

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