Sunday, June 14, 2009

We control the horizontal, we control the vertical...

...but some script kiddie in Minsk pwns your local power grid.
[T]he Obama administration - no doubt at the behest of the Greens - is paving the way. Billions of dollars in the "stimulus" plan is for purchase and deployment of "smart" power meters, centrally controlled network devices that can let power be remotely turned on or off. The power companies like them because it makes it easy to implement "rolling blackouts" - think California in 1999. The Obama administration and the Greens like them because they now can make you use less power.

The bad guys like them because they can now use automated malware technology to take over the entire power grid at once...
I'm sure this seemed like a good idea to somebody, but that person must have had the trust of a kitten and the foresight of an anencephalic flatworm.


Cybrludite said...

Just spent the last week helping deal with yet another "day 0" virus at work.(The downside of having a world-class IT department w/ great security is you only get hit with the crud no one's ever seen before. Our last three outbreaks, we were the first ones to report the viruses involved to Trend.) All I can say about this plan is I'm stocking up on candles & sterno now. Well, even more than I had been...

TJP said...

"[T]hat person must have had the trust of a kitten and the foresight of an anencephalic flatworm"


You'd think the power companies had learned their lesson with the remotes operated by phone, where the default pass codes were never changed.

WV = "eresol"; what came before aerosol.

Borepatch said...

"... that person must have had the trust of a kitten and the foresight of an anencephalic flatworm."

I think that one's going to show up in a PowerPoint of mine. ;-)

Rabbit said...

I guess it's time for me to quit buying Home Power magazines and start buying solar panels and storage batteries. Local regs prohibit me from putting up a wind-powered generator in the back yard, although a couple of 'burbs north of me, the city hall uses them.

Guess I'll add that to the list, along with growing tobacco in raised beds out back and distilling my own whiskey. Got to start my civil disobedience somewhere.


Old NFO said...

Good one Tam, and Oh so true... Buy candles now, before they go up!

Carteach said...

Generator... Check.
Stabilized Fuel..... Check.
Propane.... Check.
Wood stove..... Check.
Means to defend them.... Check.

Roberta X said...

I'm liking the solar cells, batteries and high-power inverter trick but I can't quite afford them.

What I can afford are linesman's gloves, insulated tools and some simple copper U-jumpers. It's real effin' hard to turn off a power meter that is layin'in the ditch. --This is only for emergencies. I'll burn whales to read by for as long as I can.

[Don't try this at home, kids, unless you know exactly what you are doing and understand it is a) likely to be fatal if you slip up and b)a felony. Emergencies only!]

Word to the wise: keeping a big old bag of ice or two in the freezer can tide you over blackouts.

Captcha: rites. Got any?

Carteach said...

"Captcha: rites. Got any?"

LOL.... brought a memory to the fore..

In school, we were instructed to teach a lesson on 'The Bill of Rights' for constitution week. I suspect our school got a few bucks for doing it, so the Chinese governor instructed us peasants to hang lanterns on the street.

I chafed at this, not that I mind teaching it, but at having to teach it in my Auto Mech course. I TOLD them they didn't want me teaching this... and they would not like the results.

My lesson lasted about ten seconds. I asked the class if anyone knew what rights were protected by the Bill of Rights... and no one said a word. I told them "Then you have no rights... get back to work". End of lesson.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Bobbi -- exactly what I was thinking.

Got all the tools and materials I need in the garage and the shed. 30 years doing electrical work with the old man had its benefits :)

Brad K. said...


I don't understand about the civil disobedience part. Growing tobacco, brewing up to 200 gallon of beer, wine, distilled - that is all legal. Any head of household can, for use at home.

Oh, and SSI-Global has an attic vent turbine with bearings (silent!) that also generates electricity. And remember California's experience with solar power - the part that paid off was using solar panels to preheat for the water heater.

The part about smart meters I don't like is the problem with the remote water meters just installed here - they fail to record the correct usage more than 10-20% of the time.

That, and what do you think the punks whacking mailboxes will think, of the chance to blackout teacher's homes, or sections of neighborhoods? Tag games regarding how long it takes for everyone on ten city blocks to get their power restored?

How long for people to start mis-billing their power use to me? What about the loss of the mechanical meter's ability to recover misread readings?

Nope. Don't like it at all.

Baddog Nobiscuit said...

The MAIN reason for "smart" meters is MONEY!! Yes. I was shocked too. Smart meters =less manpower to read them and (this is HUGE), alternate pricing depending on time of day/usage in peak hours. It will cost more to run that A/C in the afternoon when everyone else is running theirs. Get ready/expect it soon.

Rabbit said...

Hiya Brad;

Yeah, I know about the beer/wine thing. I was thinking about my own little Whiskey Rebellion. As far as tabac, with the FDA getting regulatory control, until I get the nicotine monkey off my back I'd prefer to have a ready supply of fresh chew.


Anonymous said...

I would imagine it isn't hard to 'lay down' some noise above 60hz on the feeder between your local step-down and your meter. The noise would be significantly filtered by the transformer, so you only affect the low side (your neighbors). Just don't turn it on till it's needed so they CAN read your meters remotely.
Of course, that only works w/ the BPL type meters. The wireless can just be disabled via a tin-foil faraday cage to ground. A lot easier and safer than trying to hot-jumper those big feeders with a splice kit. Just sayin'.

I actually wish they would implement a remote meter for me, as I have lots of dogs that would love to go take themselves for a walk while I'm at work. Plus, the auxillary purpose of meter readers seems to be surreptitious surveillance without a warrant. In talking to the meter readers, they find and report all kinds of city code violations (too many pets, fences higher than code, home repair without a city permit, weeds too high, marihuana grow operations, possible home labs, etc., etc. In our state having a locked fence is probable cause for a no-knock warrant for drugs. So, with current pre-cursor laws and confiscation policies, the land owner fear is 'lock your property access, lose everything to the .gov'.

Gregg said...

Yes we are allowed to brew/ferment our own wine and beer. However, home distillation is illegal, except for use as fuel with the proper permit.

As for the Solar, it depends on where you live. Here in the desert southwest, solar water heaters, nope not pre-heaters, actual heaters, work VERY well.
Heck, my hot water heater in the garage works a lot less in the summer than the winter since it lives in the garage which has an average temperature over 100degrees F during the summer months. Trying to use cold, running water to deal with burns is difficult as the "cold" water tends to be quite hot.
Solar energy production actually works pretty well also, but then we have 211 days of full sun and another 88-115 days of partial sun (typically what other areas would call mostly sunny). The problem with solar here is the heat which degrades solar efficiency and lessens the lifetime of the equipment.

Anonymous said...

The transformer at the end of the dead-end blew big time at 2 pm. My generator kicked right in. Blast was loud enough I called the police [who thanked me!].
Eight hours later, the power came back on. Second time in two weeks. Hooray, AEP [Ohio]. OldeForce