• 18 OCT 14

    Victorian Government to fight electricity price rises over smart meter cost overruns (Victoria Australia)

    Excerpt

    Updated 11 Oct 2014

    ABC News

    A plan by the state’s electricity suppliers to make households pay for a blowout in the budget for the installation of smart meter across the state has been rejected by the Victorian Government. The state’s Energy Minister was responding to a report by News Limited that suppliers had asked the Australian Energy Regulator to approve household price increases to cover hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cost overruns by the companies. That could add hundreds of dollars to yearly power bills.
    SNIP

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    • 02 OCT 14

    The Internet of Things is ’70 percent hackable’

    The Internet of Things is promising a heady future of connected homes and connected businesses but hackers are currently threatening the outcome, according to a new study from multinational tech firm Hewlett-Packard. The study looked at 10 kinds of Internet of Things gadgets, such as smart TVs, webcams and thermostats, and found 70% of all Internet of Things devices are hackable. It found there was average of 25 different vulnerable points in each device, meaning 250 vulnerabilities across just 10 devices. That’s a lot of legroom for hackers to move, and may point to a potential future in which people’s entire homes can be hacked.
    SNIP

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    • 30 SEP 14

    Ralph Nader’s Viewpoint on Smart Meters: A “Step Toward Technological Despotism”

    From Patricia Burke:

    A wonderful radio interview on Ralph Nader Radio prompted by a call from someone named Ken Herrmann from San Luis Obispo, California.
    Excerpt

    Ralph Nader: “[Smart meters are] one of many examples of how the constitutional right to privacy, which often is associated also with health, safety, security manifestations, is being eroded, step by step, coercively. It’s like they’re driving us into the credit economy instead of using a cash economy by actually penalizing people who use cash instead of a credit card or a debit card. And when you add all this up, you’re basically stripping individual citizens of what remains as consumers of control over their own lives. … and putting it in the hands of Big Corporations backed by Big Government; what the conservatives call crony capitalism…The propaganda is overwhelming on one side. Oh, here are the great benefits; they never mention the hazards…It’s just one more step toward technological despotism that corporations and government collude under various false arguments.”
    SNIP

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    • 29 SEP 14

    Smart Dust Is Getting Smarter New technologies allow for extremely tiny—and ubiquitous—military sensors

    From David Axe:

    In the 1972 science fiction story The Unknown by Christopher Anvil, three space pilots find themselves plagued by “ultra-miniature spy-circuits.” Tiny computers used for espionage and no bigger than a speck of dust. “They drift in like dust motes,” one space pilot says. “But you have no control over where they drift. An air current, or a static charge, can completely foul up your arrangements.”

    In 1972, dust-sized electronic spies were far-out stuff. But in 2014, it’s not so far out at all.
    SNIP

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    • 19 SEP 14

    U.S. sailors’ new smart uniforms wirelessly track them all over the hip

    Excerpt

    The problem with current naval uniforms is that they aren’t designed for the highly automated vessels that are all the rage. The Littoral Combat Ship, for example, has video game-like controls so that 75 or so sailors can do the work of 250. So the Navy is looking for uniforms that will continuously link sailors to their ships. These uniforms should “wirelessly communicate the sailor’s position and track movement, as well as to monitor and relay the human state of health important for situations such as damage control events,” according to the sailing branch….SNIP…. On the other hand, life on a ship where the computers—and your skipper—know your every move might be a bit oppressive. Pity the poor sailor sneaking off for a smoke.
    SNIP

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    • 23 AUG 14

    CBC: Smart meter overbilling complaints investigated by Hydro-Québec

    From Take Back Your Power

    Excerpt

    Hydro-Québec is looking into complaints that its new smart meters are overbilling homeowners, following a CBC investigation.

    The provincially owned power utility is in the process of installing close to 4 million next-generation meters across Quebec — a switch the utility had claimed would save it, and by proxy its customers, millions of dollars.

    Marc Magendie lives in a two-storey home in Laval. He says he’s extremely careful with his electricity consumption, so he was shocked when his hydro bills doubled after a new smart meter was installed. Magendie got his first surprise in January — when he received a bill for more than $1,000. He normally pays between $450 and $500 for that same time period.
    smart-meter-customer-overbilling-hydro-quebec Marc Magendie says he doesn’t know how he’ll afford his increasing hydro bills. “I’m running a very tight budget and that increase is breaking me.” (CBC) Marc Magendie says he doesn’t know how he’ll afford his increasing hydro bills. “I’m running a very tight budget and that increase is breaking me.” (CBC) Magendie responded by reducing his electricity consumption even further. “I’ve got a programmable thermostat … I don’t use my dishwasher, I only do laundry once a week when they’re full, I use a drying line.” But he says it hasn’t made a difference. Magendie’s bills have already cost him nearly $3,000 for this year. Normally, he says he pays an average of about $2,000 per year for electricity.
    SNIP

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    • 09 AUG 14

    SkyVision Solutions introduces a New “Smart” Meter Wireless Radiation Comparison Chart …

    From Skyvision Solutions

    Excerpt:

    Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation Power Density Levels for Smart Meters, Various Biological Effects, and Exposure Guidelines
    Introducing a New “Smart” Meter Wireless Radiation Comparison Chart …

    There are growing concerns that radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless utility “smart” meters cause serious adverse health impacts. Unfortunately, no human health impact studies were conducted prior to the deployment of RF emitting smart grid technologies, which include the smart meters themselves as well as the associated gatekeepers and routers that are part of the overall mesh communications network for each utility’s smart grid system.

    In the absence of health impact studies conducted prior to smart meter deployment by utility companies, equipment manufacturers, or health agencies, there have been myriads of anecdotal reports of adverse effects caused by smart meter emissions. In addition, there have been at least limited studies (as listed below) subsequent to smart meter deployments indicating ill-effects:

    SNIP

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    • 03 AUG 14

    Smart Meters Increase the Risk of Fires

    From SkyVision Solutions

    Excerpt

    Fire after Fire after Fire … The Saskatchewan Smart Meter Fiasco

    The recent events in Saskatchewan, Canada have refocused attention on one of the many risks associated with “smart” utility meters, i.e., the increased risk of fires.

    As reported this past Thursday, July 31, the Saskatchewan government has ordered SaskPower to remove all 105,000 smart meters that have been installed across the province following several fires linked to the devices.
    SNIP

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    • 30 JUL 14

    Lessons not learned: UK govt. and industry to mount massive spin campaign to promote smart grids

    Contrary to the claim below that the British energy industry has “learned from mistakes in the USA and Australia” just the opposite is true. What about the many reports on health effects coming from Australia and the U.S. Absolutely nothing is mentioned below. Its all about “lifestyle changes” with part of the spin using cartoon characters Gaz and Leccy spreading the supposed benefits of smart meters. Perhaps appropriately like to the cartoon character Joe Camel featured in those old cigarette commercials.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the money was instead spent on investigating those health effects? A bit like believing in the Easter Bunny…..

    I recommend downloading the report mentioned at the end of the article.

    Don

    **********************************************

    From Smart Grid Australia

    UK Energy industry unveils £85m plan to tout smart meter benefits

    Having learned from mistakes in the USA and Australia, the British energy industry has joined forces for a nationwide campaign that seeks to rally support for smart meters by touting the devices as a platform for future lifestyle changes in households. Cartoon versions of gas and electricity (Gaz and Leccy) will star in ads nationwide later this month.

    Smart Energy GB, an organisation set up by the Government and funded by energy companies, has just launched the first phase of the £85 seven-year marketing plan. It was first revealed in March and the campaign will play a key role in the Government’s £11bn plan to install the devices in every home by 2020.

    SNIP

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    • 18 JUL 14

    Dariusz Leszczynski on Australia’s “independent” audit of smart meters

    From Dariusz’s blog Between A Rock And A Hard Place

    Australia’s independent audit of smart meters – do not have any hopes…

    Excerpt:

    On July 15, 2014, Australian news site news.com.au published a brief story: ‘Reports of illness prompt audit of smart meter radiation‘. Those, who have any hopes that this audit will help to resolve the problem of smart meters and reports of illness should lose their hopes immediately. It is very likely that nothing will change. Smart meters will be pronounced perfectly safe because emitted radiation levels are below current safety standards.
    SNIP
    This is and will be the answer to anyone who now, or in the near future, will question safety of smart meters or any EMF-emitting device – safety standards are met.
    SNIP

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    • 17 JUL 14

    Comcast is Building Its Public WiFi Network from Inside Your House (message re-sent)

    From the US Besttechie website

    by Jeff Weisbein February 15, 2014

    Excerpt

    Ever notice that xfinitywifi seems to appear on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop pretty much anywhere? Well, the reason for that is because in mid-2013 Comcast started turning customers’ Internet connections (home and business) into public WiFi hotspots that other Comcast customers can connect to, creating a massive network of hotspots across the U.S. The problem is customers have been surprised by the fact that the company is doing this and reactions to this “feature” have been mixed.

    There was a recent story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press which tells the tale of Comcast customer Ronaldo Boschulte who called the company to get his malfunctioning modem replaced with a new one, when the tech showed up the install it something happened he didn’t expect. Comcast’s cable modem doubles as a Wi-Fi router, which is useful for many people as it means don’t need additional hardware, but what Mr. Boschulte didn’t realize is that the router would, by default, broadcast a public Wi-Fi network that anyone with a Comcast account could connect to.
    SNIP

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    • 16 JUL 14

    Here we go again, another useless smart meter heath study

    Reports of illness prompt audit of smart meter radiation
    Karen Collier consumer reporter
    Herald Sun
    July 15, 2014 8:25PM

    AN independent audit of electromagnetic radiation from smart meters will begin next month as critics claim reports of illness from hundreds of Victorians represent an emerging health crisis. More than 250 Victorians have contacted Stop Smart Meters Australia to report insomnia, headaches, ringing in the ears, tiredness and burning or tingling sensations.
    “Adverse reactions to smart meter emissions have also resulted, for some, in loss of employment, social dislocation, and unwanted family separations,” it says in a letter to the State Government. Independent electromagnetic radiation tests at 55 properties are due to start late next month.

    SNIP

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    • 15 JUL 14

    5G home invasion….

    Further to the last message I was sent the following from Voyage Smart Energy, a company that describes itself as “a dedicated solutions Provider specialising in the Energy Sector covering oil & gas (offshore & onshore), power generation, smart energy, renewables, energy commodities and mining & minerals”.

    This is what it states in part on their website:

    Further our expertise is in smart grid (AMI – utility) and industrial power generation, oil and gas refineries and pipeline, and next generation 5G R&E networks combining smart grid and smart meter, broadband and mobile networks, smartphones, and M2M wireless remote monitoring.

    SNIP

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    • 10 JUL 14

    Smart Hackers could use your smart lightbulbs to access your data!

    The Age online, July 9, 2014

    Security vulnerability found in LIFX smart light bulbs exposes home Wi-Fi passwords

    Excerpt:

    Thought your wirelessly connected smart light bulbs were safe from hackers? Think again. IT security researchers have discovered that the smart LIFX bulbs created by Australian entrepreneurs living in Silicon Valley were exposing their users’ home wireless modem (Wi-Fi) passwords. With access to Wi-Fi credentials, hackers could potentially extract personal files on computers connected to a home network and make use of its internet connection to download large files. They could also wreak havoc by printing reams of documents on any connected printers and turn on and off and change the colours of LIFX bulbs.

    SNIP

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    • 07 JUL 14

    ‘Smart meters’ to be put in every British home despite fears they may not work

    Excerpt

    The £11 billion Government plan to put ‘smart meters’ into every British home will be launched this week

    The £11 billion Government plan to put ‘smart meters’ into every British home will be launched this week despite fears they may not work and could open the national grid up to cyber-terrorists. The meters, which are being introduced to meet EU green targets, will cost households £200 each in an effort to cut down energy consumption and reduce bills. However official documents have shown that the meters save less energy than predicted and five other countries who had been considering the plan have ditched it after deciding it could cost more money than it saves. Due to complex technology the metres will also not work in a third of British homes including rural houses, high-rise flats and basements. Energy companies will begin the installation of smart meters next year at a cost of at least £200 per home, and have admitted the expense will be passed on to customers.

    SNIP

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    • 11 JUN 14

    New mobile phone rat study that has implications for prolonged 900 MHz smart meter exposures

    Effects of mobile phone radiation (900 MHz radiofrequency) on structure and functions of rat brain

    Objectives: The goals of this study were: (1) to obtain basic information about the effects of long-term use of mobile phone on cytological makeup of the hippocampus in rat brain (2) to evaluate the effects on antioxidant status, and (3) to evaluate the effects on cognitive behavior particularly on learning and memory.

    Methods: Rats (age 30 days, 120 ± 5 g) were exposed to 900 MHz radio waves by means of a mobile hand set for 4 hours per day for 15 days. Effects on anxiety, spatial learning, and memory were studied using open field test, elevated plus maze, Morris water maze (MWM), and classic maze test. Effects on brain antioxidant status were also studied. Cresyl violet staining was done to access the neuronal damage.

    Result: A significant change in behavior, i.e., more anxiety and poor learning was shown by test animals as compared to controls and sham group. A significant change in level of antioxidant enzymes and non-enzymatic antioxidants, and increase in lipid peroxidation were observed in test rats. Histological examination showed neurodegenerative cells in hippocampal sub regions and cerebral cortex.
    SNIP

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    • 10 JUN 14

    Smart Meter Emissions and the Antenna Effect (Updated)

    From The International Coalition for an Electromagnetic Safe Planet (IC-ESP)

    Excerpt

    DEBUNKING THE UTILITY INDUSTRY MYTH ABOUT SMART METER SAFETY:
    THE ANTENNA EFFECT

    The utility industry’s argument that smart (AMR, ERT) meters are safe must be rejected, because it relies on FCC testing for radiofrequency (RF) interference, which is not a safety testing protocol, and flawed FCC radiation exposure guidelines. The FCC testing for smart meters is done in an isolated laboratory, divorced from the context in which these meters are intended to be used, connected to the wiring in a home or business.

    We present below compelling technical and empirical proof that, when these meters are used as intended, they cause an antenna effect, inflicting great harm to occupants inside their homes and businesses. When used as intended, smart meters that appear to be safe in the testing laboratory are lethal.

    1. An RF engineer’s technical report confirms that smart meters cause an antenna effect when connected to electrical distribution systems, resulting in extraordinary RF exposures that are significantly higher than those reported in isolated laboratory testing.
    SNIP

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    • 06 JUN 14

    Canberra neurosurgeon writes about smart meters…

    Posted on June 6, 2014 by Stop Smart Meters Australia

    Here is what Dr Vini G. Khurana MBBS (Syd, Hons), BScMed (Syd, Hons), PhD (Mayo Clinic), FRACS, neurosurgeon from Canberra, thinks about wireless smart meters:

    The Australian electrical utility company Citipower (Powercor) is currently rolling out “smart meters” in Australian homes. There are public concerns regarding possible health effects that such a device might have via continuous near-field electromagnetic radiation emissions (especially if situated near bed-heads and family and childrens’ rooms). Info about smart meter health and safety issues via Citipower’s own brochure (CLICK HERE) appears inadequate based on information gathered from experts elsewhere (see links below). Regarding smart meters:

    SNIP

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    • 01 JUN 14

    Useful sites on Smart Meter Studies and Information

    Smart Meter Studies and Information

    Excerpt

    Currently, specific studies involving Smart Meters are few and far between (something that should be of some concern in itself in a new and untested technology). We will add to this page, as and when more information becomes available. Currently available on the website: Smart meter case series document from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine – AND: Preliminary survey of people affected by smart meters – by Richard Conrad, PhD, the principal of the consulting service Conrad Biologic. A comprehensive round-up of smart meter information can be found here. More information on smart meters can be found on our Other Flyers page.
    SNIP

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    • 30 APR 14

    Even wi-fi baby monitors can be hacked

    Mother Heather Schreck said she only discovered an intruder had hacked into her baby monitor when she was awoken in the middle of night by the sound of a voice. “I was just absolutely shocked to see that somebody could get into my house so easily,” she said. Picking up her mobile phone, which was streaming the baby monitor, she noticed the images were moving erratically as if someone was changing the viewing position of the camera. “About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter. He was screaming ‘wake up baby, wake up baby’,” Ms Schreck said. Her partner, Adam Schreck, said he was deeply disturbed by the discovery. “You kind of do feel violated in a way,” he said.

    SNIP

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