Newsletter – November 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year August September Trend % Change
2013 $0.137 $0.137 Same 0.00%
Year September Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.098 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.099 Increase 1.02% 1.02%
2005 $0.106 Increase 7.07% 8.16%
2006 $0.118 Increase 11.32% 20.41%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 23.47%
2008 $0.130 Increase 7.44% 32.65%
2009 $0.130 Same 0.00% 32.65%
2010 $0.132 Increase 1.54% 34.69%
2011 $0.135 Increase 2.27% 37.76%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 35.71%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 39.80%

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

  • A report that the home energy management market is set to explode.
  • An article describing who will compete in the energy industry of the future.
  • An article illustrating the best way to prevent outages during a heat wave is to have a grid that can handle load reduction to the energy subscriber through demand response.
  • An article with viable recommendations of how to get consumers to adopt demand response.
  • An article explaining how the global economy sinks under its debts as the real cost of energy rises.
  • A report demonstrating that demand response is lacking customer participation.
  • A report that the smart thermostat market will grow tenfold by 2020.
  • A report finding energy efficient companies are growing in commercial influence.
  • An editorial on Hurricane Sandy in hindsight, considering how the grid could be protected from such extreme damage in the future.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

OUR FIRST WEBINAR
GNU remotecontrol presented at the Smart Grid Educational Series on 31 October 2013. The series are hosted by Erfan Ibrahim, PhD. Dr. Ibrahim is the CEO of The Bit Bazaar, also serving as:
-Strategic Innovation Director of GridSTAR.
-Principal Consultant of the Energy Sector Practice for Scitor.

Over 70 people registered and over 40 people attended the event. The webinar is 1 hour 28 minutes in duration.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 1 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

Z-WAVE
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference describing hacking of Z-Wave Home Automation Systems.

TERRORISM: HOW VULNERABLE IS THE GRID?
An article describing an incident that brought the biggest damage to the energy industry yet and the object lesson that shutting down the grid is pretty easy.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – October 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year July August Trend % Change
2013 $0.137 $0.137 Same 0.00%
Year August Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.098 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.100 Increase 2.04% 2.04%
2005 $0.105 Increase 5.00% 7.14%
2006 $0.118 Increase 12.38% 20.41%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 23.47%
2008 $0.132 Increase 9.09% 34.69%
2009 $0.130 Decrease -1.52% 32.65%
2010 $0.133 Increase 2.31% 35.71%
2011 $0.135 Increase 1.50% 37.76%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 35.71%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 39.80%

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

  • An article from the Edison Electric Institute, regarding the financial implications and recommended strategic responses to the changing retail electric business.
  • An article from the BBC, about increasing energy bills for the elderly.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, illustrating the free market is the best generator of energy efficiency.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, explaining why energy efficiency is about to take major leap forward.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, describing how energy dashboards are entering the office cubicle.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, informing what and how utilities try to learn from smart meters.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

RELEASE NEW VERSION
We released our first upgrade at the end of September. We are very happy with the SORTING and GROUPING functionality that is now added to the Thermostat Profile table. This new functionality makes it easier and faster to manage large numbers of thermostats. Talk to us if you have any further questions on this version release.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 7 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

COMPROMISING INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES FROM FAR AWAY
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference describing how to compromise industrial facilities from 40 miles away.

GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

SMART GRID SPEAR PHISHING
An article illustrating higher security risks for companies with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, due to weaknesses in anti-phishing programs.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – September 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year June July Trend % Change
2013 $0.137 $0.137 Same 0.00%
Year July Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.098 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.099 Increase 1.02% 1.02%
2005 $0.105 Increase 6.06% 7.14%
2006 $0.118 Increase 12.38% 20.41%
2007 $0.122 Increase 3.39% 24.49%
2008 $0.131 Increase 7.38% 33.67%
2009 $0.131 Same 0.00% 33.67%
2010 $0.133 Increase 1.53% 35.71%
2011 $0.135 Increase 1.50% 37.76%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 35.71%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 39.80%

  • A documentary, considering the options available to monitor lives.
  • A news article, considering the future of the Smart City.
  • A news article, reporting energy efficiency improvements in Wi-Fi technology.
  • A news article, discussing how weather reports influence purchasing decisions.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

NEW VERSION IS COMPLETE
Development work for our first upgrade is complete. Testing is 90+ percent complete. We were unable to finish our testing before end of Summer personal vacations. We decided to release the upgrade after returning from vacations instead of rushing through final testing and packaging. We will release the next version in September. We are very happy with the SORTING and GROUPING functionality that is now added to the Thermostat Profile table. This new functionality makes it easier and faster to manage large numbers of thermostats. Talk to us if you have more changes you would like to see made with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

HOME INVASION V2.0 – ATTACKING NETWORK-CONTROLLED HARDWARE
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference regarding security of residential networked devices, demonstrating the ease of penetrating the common networked devices within a home.

GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – August 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year May June Trend % Change
2013 $0.131 $0.137 Increase 4.58%
Year June Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.097 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.099 Increase 2.06% 2.06%
2005 $0.104 Increase 5.05% 7.22%
2006 $0.118 Increase 13.46% 21.65%
2007 $0.122 Increase 3.39% 25.77%
2008 $0.128 Increase 4.92% 31.96%
2009 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 36.08%
2010 $0.132 Same 0.00% 36.08%
2011 $0.134 Increase 1.52% 38.14%
2012 $0.135 Increase 0.75% 39.18%
2013 $0.137 Increase 1.48% 41.24%

  • A review of Smart Thermostat programs offered by utility providers, assessing if homeowners prefer the idea of a smart thermostat they can set from their smartphones while away from home, or if they prefer a smart thermostat that does all the thinking for itself.
  • British Gas plans to offer free power on Saturdays, as a way to promote demand response adoption by the customer.
  • Energy firm warns bills to rise by more than government forecasts, though the public opinion is a belief in neither.
  • The smart phone weather applications, with up to the minute weather reports close to the user, are battling for more users.
  • An opinion calling for a global energy policy through an assessment of current scientific knowledge on energy issues, including levels of energy consumption, energy efficiency improvements, and changes in the types of fuel being used.
  • OpenADR Alliance announces a growing OpenADR interest in Asia.
  • An article with recommendations for how cities should handle electricity blackouts.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

VERSION 1.1 IS CLOSE TO RELEASE
Testing is going very well for our first upgrade. We are targeting our first upgrade for late August 2013. Talk to us if you have more changes you would like to see made with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

ENERGY FRAUD AND ORCHESTRATED BLACKOUTS
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference on Energy Fraud and Orchestrated Blackouts: Issues with Wireless Metering Protocols (wM-Bus).

GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – July 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year Apr May Trend % Change
2013 $0.128 $0.131 Increase 2.34%
Year May Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.092
2004 $0.093 Increase 1.09% 1.09%
2005 $0.097 Increase 4.30% 5.43%
2006 $0.110 Increase 13.40% 19.57%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 25.00%
2008 $0.120 Increase 4.35% 30.43%
2009 $0.126 Increase 5.00% 36.96%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 38.04%
2011 $0.129 Increase 1.57% 40.22%
2012 $0.129 Same 0.00% 40.22%
2013 $0.131 Increase 1.55% 42.39%

  • The UK government says energy minister Michael Fallon is “fully behind” a National Grid consultation that could see big businesses paid to cut their energy usage in times of shortage.
  • The danger of power shortages in the UK by the middle of the decade has risen, according to industry regulator Ofgem.
  • The risk of future blackouts has tripled in the last year as Britain is facing an energy crunch that will push up bills, the energy regulator has said.
  • TXU Energy is now servicing their customers with the Brighten iThermostat through a monthly subscription offering.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

VERSION 1.1
We are targeting our first upgrade for late August 2013. We are past unit testing and soon to begin final system testing. This upgrade provides display and layout tweaks along with new functionality. It addresses a number of requests and bug fixes which we have received to date. We do hope you will be pleased with these changes. Talk to us if you have more changes you would like to see made with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

ENERGY SECTOR NOW A BIGGER TARGET FOR CYBER ATTACKERS
The energy sector is reporting an enormous increase in the number of attempted cyber attacks in 2013, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security.

GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us if you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or if you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – June 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

  • AquaSmart will manufacture and market an energy-saving, remote control system for electric water heaters. The system includes a thermostat-style wireless transmitter that can be installed next to a home’s regular heating-cooling thermostat and a receiver that is wired into the water heater itself.
  • The introduction of energy smart meters in 30 million UK homes will be delayed for more than a year, because the industry needed more time to design, build, and test the communications’ system required.
  • Experts say smart meters need to be harder to hack, raising concerns about lack of addressing multiple attack vectors and the potential strategic vulnerability of a nation’s entire power grid.
  • A smart energy project to create software for in-home displays is piloted at Southampton University, to discover if software can change our energy habits.
  • A set of calculations for the processing power used to mine for new Bitcoins show a staggering amount of energy usage. An additional article finds Bitcoin is facing fresh scrutiny after a report revealed the power requirements of the currency’s miners. This provides evidence that computing infrastructure is becoming an increasingly significant part of the world’s energy demand.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

ACCESSIBILITY
We are capturing additional display requirements that tablet computers and smart phones place on the GNU remotecontrol interface. A new version release with improvements in the code will follow soon. Laws addressing the need to provide web accessibility of web pages and support for assistive technologies are influencing our code development.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 12 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

NIAGARA VULNERABILITY
A vulnerability in the Tridium Niagara AX Framework allows an attacker to remotely access the system’s config.bog file, which holds all of the system’s configuration data, including user-names and passwords to log in to operator work stations and gain control of the systems that are managed by them.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

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