Smart Meters Subject to Hacking — KPHO-TV

Smart Meters are dangerous devices that, in addition to being subject to hacking, cause house fires, invade your privacy and may make you sick.

Here is a video of a news cast led by Lindsey Reiser on Channel 5 in Phoenix on March 20, 2015 entitled “New Utility Meters Could Be Vulnerable To Hacking” —>

Here is a 2011 commentary from James Woolsey, a past Director of Central Intelligence on the Smart Grid

Q: Are you saying also on a federal level there is no one in charge of cyber security, policy and defense.
A: There is no one in charge of security for the grid, whether its cyber or transformers or whatever.  You can search forever thru the Federal Code to try to find who that person might be.
Q: You think it should be the President?
A: Well I think it’s — there is a very good reason for it perhaps to be the Chairman of the, of FERC.  Or, but to try out to see what would work, I think having the Defense Department work with the local utility is the best.
What they’re doing now, they’re constructing what they call a smart grid and they’re going to make it easier for you and me to call our homes on our cell phone and turn down our air conditioning on a hot afternoon if we’re not there.  Great!
But that may well mean that a hacker in Shanghai with his cell phone can do the same thing or worse.  And, a so-called smart grid that is as vulnerable as what we’ve got is not smart at all.  It’s a really, really stupid grid.

YouTube Video is available at https://youtu.be/MAid1bS8t9U

[to be continued]

Living Really Green in the Big City

Living Really GREEN In The Big City – How a Middle-Aged Man Does It In Central Phoenix

Until he retired at age 50, John was well-employed and spending his money on the usual middle-class things: cars, TVs, computers and so on.  Then he bought a fixer-upper house and began to question his lifestyle.  He had become addicted to his computer games and his TV.  So, he unplugged the computer and limited TV usage to viewing movies on VHS tapes.  Most significantly, he began a crusade to limit his consumption of electricity, natural gas, water and gasoline.  Today, he uses little more electricity than enough to power one refrigerator, only three therms per year of natural gas, about two “units” of water per month, and rides one of his bicycles, uses public transportation or walks to get around Phoenix.  How he got there is the subject of this story.

 

[to be continued]

Toyota’s Safety “Brake-To-Idle” Cannot Work If Computerized

The brake-to-idle safety feature required by Federal Regulations to be on all newer cars CANNOT work if it depends on the existing car’s Computer(s) to detect two conditions and control the throttle; a separate and independent device is required

In simplified form, this safety feature reduces the engine speed to idle if the brake and the accelerator (gas pedal) are depressed at the same time.  To work, two conditions must be detected and one operation must be accomplished.  The two conditions are the gas pedal position and the brake pedal status; the operation is the closing of the throttle to idle position.  If these things depend of the car’s main computer, then the feature cannot work if that computer freezes or otherwise crashes.

Computer crashes or freezes were the cause of Toyota’s sudden unintended problems a few years ago (not floor mats or driver error).  When the computer malfunctioned, the driver had, except for brakes and steering, almost no control over his or her car, especially over the engine or the transmission.  In most cases, the brakes were not powerful enough to stop the car.  The driver could not shift the transmission into neutral or turn off the engine.  The crashes were often deadly!

It seems to me that if the main computer has serious problems, it may not be able to detect the position of the gas pedal or the depressed status of the brake pedal and may not be able to cause the throttle towards closure.  Or, it may not be able to compare the positions of the gas pedal and the brake pedal and perform the operation of closing the throttle.

If, however, the feature uses a separate and independent “computer” or some sort of ultra-reliable logic processor, then the feature may work.  I will do further research and report back later.

Note that I recently bought a 2013 Toyota that has this feature but was not told about it by the dealer’s personnel.  As a result, I was almost struck in the rear when I changed lanes and could not accelerate because I was resting my left foot on the brake pedal (a safety habit I use to reduce my reaction time in case of emergency).  Now I have to keep my left foot off the brakes to avoid activating this so-called safety feature while losing my ability to be a safer driver by resting my left foot gently on the brakes when a situation appears to require prompt braking.  So much for governmental regulations!!

More to come …

Trump Makes America Great with World War III

I Voted for Trump to Make America Great Again – via World War III                                                                                                             Dick Gayer,  11 March 2017

President Trump is a remarkable man who will apply business principles to improve our economy for Americans of all socio-economic classes.  But in order to make America great again, he must start or get into a world wide nuclear war against a recognized enemy of the Free World.  Such enemies include Russia, China and North Korea.

Since even China does not like North Korea, Trump will probably select that enemy as his starting point.  Moreover, he will probably be able to obtain United Nations approval of such an action.  The problem with North Korea as a target is that any attack on that country exposes South Korea to substantial harm.  But, where is another target?

Trump could decide on the Chinese installations on islands in the South China Sea, but those may not be large enough for greatness.  Besides, China is almost a kind of ally, since countless American companies manufacture their products there.  As a result, North Korea must be the first target.

I believe that Trump is likely to sacrifice South Korea in order to seek his greatness and restore that of America.

 

Marijuana: When I Was a Child, I Thought as a Child, But …

When I was a child, I thought as a child, but I did not DARE speak my thoughts for fear of being ridiculed and embarrassed.  Through my teenage years, I thought that using certain psychoactive drugs to wake up in the morning, facilitate social interaction and relieve headaches was a sign of moral weakness.  Of course, I am referring to caffeine, alcohol and aspirin, all legal but all having some or great potential for abuse.

Our only legal drug for relaxation and relief of stress is alcohol, but alcohol is likely to be addictive for about ten percent of the population.  In addition, alcohol is known to cause many of its drinkers to become verbally loud and physically violent (in addition to impairing their driving).  We need something safer, and that drug is marijuana.  Marijuana is a calming drug and has not been observed to result in violent or other dangerous behavior.  It is an excellent choice for relaxing; if you use too much, you just go to sleep.  In addition, its psychoactive effects wear off in a few hours (although its metabolites remain for over one week).

On the subject of driving, the State of Washington years ago tested many people on a driving simulator on the effects of intoxicating amounts of marijuana.  They discovered only one impairment: driving somewhat BELOW the speed limit!

In these times when many people are stressed out from having to work at two jobs (or more) to support their families, they may fail at both tasks if their only choice is alcohol.  Since they probably face having to work on five or six (or even seven) consecutive days, they need “immediate” relief from their continuing stress.  Getting relaxed through will power is NOT an option for these people.

I, and perhaps you the reader, have been fortunate enough to obtain a good education and enjoy employment that provides sufficient income from just one job.  Nearly all of my jobs (except for delivering newspapers as a teenager) have been enjoyable and I have with rare exception looked forward to going to work.  But both of us know that most people have not been so fortunate.  They are suffering from the continuing consequences of the Great Recession, despite a decrease in statistical unemployment.

Of course, no mind-altering drug should ever be used by children or anyone else under (say) 21, and the proposed legalization of marijuana would not alter any laws that currently protect children and teenagers from unsuitable drugs.