• I work at a power company

    I work at a power company that serves several local municipalities. Some of these municipalities are in the process of installing smart meters.
    Here is how smart meters work; roughly every hour they send your usage (kWh's used) to a collection point via a radio signal (encrypted). Yes, I suppose someone can cleverly intercept and decode your usage, but they can do this with any wireless communication already with your wireless network, phone, or whatever else you got.
    Smart meters cannot tell _what_ you use, if the air conditioner was turned on, your electric toothbrush, the TV, whatever-- it only records the kWh used. A spike in kWh used over a time period would indicate something was turned on, but it can't tell what.
    An abnormal increase in kWh usage that might be used against you to determine if you're growing pot (or whatever it is you don't want to be found doing) would be equally evident to the power company based on monthly meter reading. Either way, they can tell, and it's already stored in a reading history database.

    Smart meters have a lot of benefits - for the power company, they help reduce costs with reading meters dramatically - it might take an hour to get reads for all the meters in a town with smart meters vs. sending a guy(s) out with handheld reading devices (which also work wirelessly, btw) to collect read over a period of days. It also helps them reduce read errors and billing errors (it happens). So your talking about more accuracy, at a fraction of the cost. Many power companies are or will make the data available to you as a consumer as well. We're looking at making a web interface for customers to be able to see their usage as recorded by the meter to help them review and reduce their usage and save money. This is especially helpful for commercial and industrial customers. You can also contact your power company and request reading history if you'd like.

    There is technology coming that will identify _what_ is using energy - your A/C, TV, electric stove, etc. but this requires that the appliance identify itself and meter itself -- that is to say, you have the option of not buying such appliances. That said, this technology would allow you, as a customer, to turn off your TV remotely, or your A/C, or whatever it is. Which of course would mean that potentially they could at the power company too, but I have yet to see more detail on how this sort of thing would work. This would, again, be very beneficial to large power (commercial/industrial) users to help them control costs. This technology is not inherent to smart meters, though, and I imagine will be available on an opt-in basis only.

    Let me know if you've got any questions! :)

  • Love it!

    I'm getting all kinds of ideas for things I'd like to put on FRNs! Here are some of my ideas;

    In 1933, the govt
    took everyone's gold!

    You would need $20 today
    to buy $1 of stuff in 1913

    The US Constitution §1 s.10
    says only gold/silver are money

    What is money?
    Today, money is debt.

    Spend me!
    I'm worth less tomorrow!

    Prices don't have to inflate!
    Gold is REAL money.

    The income tax is govt theft.
    Before 1914, we didn't have it!

    Did you know...?
    Using debt creates money.

    The American public can only process bite size pieces of info at a time, lol.

  • My Dear Wormwood,

    As a Christian, I find this repugnant. There is no special attack on America by the devil. What Santorum is saying is that America is essentially some sort of special nation chosen by the Lord to accomplish good in the world. This isn't a Christian belief. America is not special to the Lord, it's not mentioned in the bible, there was no covenant with George Washington or any founding father, and there are certainly no special promises for people in America because they are from America. No, the Lord established his own kingdom, America is not so important. What he is saying is very naive.

    When sending mail to Santorum, it should begin "My Dear Wormwood,"
    Seriously, it's bad.

  • He's a smart guy

    I used to live in Atlanta and go to the same church as him. He's a man of great integrity for sure. Makes sense that he supports Paul :)

  • Just read a good portion of

    Just read a good portion of the bill as well. It sounds like this lays groundwork for a 5 year period to develop and test unmanned aircraft for integration and safe use in air traffic control system.

    While nothing about how the aircraft will be used is specified in the bill, it's not hard to imagine that unmanned aircraft would be used for surveillance purposes. On the other hand, I don't think the military needs this bill to claim they can do this - after all, the US is already part of the declared battlefield for the war on terror. I think they're already probably operating such aircraft in US skies with the full blessing of our fearful leaders.

  • disgusted

    I'm dumbfounded as well. Do people not understand this guy wants a theocracy and is going to start wars like it's the easiest choice he's ever made? It's abhorrent!

    Apathy and ignorance are gonna bring this country to its knees.

  • That's a lot of money

    The 60k thread was more thought provoking, heh. With 200 mil, I wouldn't be concerned about growing my wealth as much as protecting it or investing it. Silver may be a good move to grow wealth (if you expect dollar to collapse) or to protect wealth (hedge against inflation) at a minimum. I like the suggestion of donating to the Ron Paul cause of course.

    At 200 mil though, that would not be my primary concern. I'd set aside 10 mil in relatively safe investments that I can easily live off the interest/returns. I'd probably buy another 15 mil in silver, gold, and real estate to protect my wealth. Then the rest I would either donate to causes and charities, use as venture capitol or start my own business, and do various recreational fun stuffs.

  • Madtown

    Madison in the house!

  • Tasty severance!

    I would personally invest first in myself (knowledge/skills), and then in physical gold/silver (mostly silver).

    I've just started reading Smith's Wealth of Nations, and these are some of the points I'm picking up so far;
    To be relevant in a market, and to grow your wealth, you need to have skills the market wants (be employable). In the absence of markets, and the smaller the market is, the more self-reliant you need to be. Either way, developing personal knowledge/skills is vital to growth of wealth and security.
    Having skills is good (earning money on your work). Being able to invest in businesses is better (or earning money on your money). But owning capital that you can rent out is best (earning money on your assets), but this may be out of reach at 60k.

    Expecting to floor to drop out from under the dollar, and personally not knowing a lot about traditional investments, I would feel secure in owning physical gold and silver. Not to mention this could potentially be THE best place to invest right now according to some very bullish people.

  • Oh, it's on!

    The campaign should have a mini Rally for the Republic. Rent the next closest, biggest venue for the same day/time and show CPAC how it's done.

  • NDAA, TSA, ACTA, Patriot Act,

    NDAA, TSA, ACTA, Patriot Act, and Homeland Security at Gingrich's disposal is a scary thought. No doubt in my mind he would abuse such power to an absurd level. The guy is making mandates about political debates that are moderated by certain people or have certain rules for the crowd, for Pete's sake.

    Newt's egocentric behavior, his disdain for people who disagree with him, his short temper, and his remarkable ability to disconnect his actions from morality are all characteristic of dictators - not presidents.

  • Madisonian here!

    As a denizen of Madison, and living in the more 'hippy' part at that, I gotta say I love this town. Sure the people are by and large socialist-leaning, but I've never let it bother me. It's at least nice that people are politically engaged, and there are a few of us Paul supporters at least. Admittedly, I'm jealous of other people's stories about wearing Ron Paul stuff... no one comes up to me here when I wear mine, lol.

    Anyways... yeah this milk thing is ridiculous. Also, they just passed a law about what types of light bulbs can be manufactured (thus limiting consumer options/market fixing). Bye-bye incandescent bulbs.

  • Stinkin' Awesome

    This is great! The revolution will march on - with or without the presidency.

  • Let's hear it

    She's probably keeping the dirt to use if he's selected as the nominee, which is probably smart strategy for the Dems, but I wish she would come out with it already. I want this guy outta the race ASAP.

  • I thought it was ok

    Dr. Paul getting shorted on time is nothing new, so that didn't really upset me. The questions were sometimes biased, but that's par for the course as well.

    I was content to see Romney and Gringrich tear each other up quite a bit - that didn't look particularly good for either of them.

    I did really appreciate that NBC kept the audience quiet though, I thought that was good. I only remember twice that the audience broke the rule, and one time was to cheer for Ron's foreign policy with Cuba. A quiet audience is good though - forces people at home to make up their own minds and discourages mob mentality.

  • huh?

    What's going on here. How can they call it without anyone reporting?

  • Disturbing

    I hope this makes national news. People need to be made aware of this sort of thing.

    I worry that people who are doing this are using our own phone from home system to make the calls... :(

  • I don't expect it

    But I'd be happy to be proven wrong, of course.

    As things stand, there's an decent outlook on the future of this race for Ron.
    Santorum is likely to finish last in SC, I think - which should lead him to dropping out.

    With the field down to three, expect Santorum's voters mostly to go to Gingrich or Romney. As we all know though, Gingrich is going to have problems going the distance because of electability - polls will continue to show he has very little chance in a head to head w/ Obama, which will also show Ron more favorably vs Obama. This will have many reconsidering looking at Paul.

    At the same time, there will be more pressure and scrutiny on Romney over this whole tax issue, I think. This will also get people to take another look at Paul.

    So eventually I would expect a lot of the soft support (and there is a lot of it) to come Paul's way through this natural flow. It may take some time to materialize - perhaps past Nevada if Gingrich stays in that long. The trick will be to have the necessary funding until such time. The sooner it's a two man race with Ron and whomever, the better though.

  • was awesome

    I have never seen him break character in front of a camera be it on his show or testifying to congress, and it seems that he just did so there in support of Ron Paul - that's really saying something. Bravo, Mr. Colbert, bravo.

  • I agree, vision is important.

    I was talking to someone about this at a previous debate. When asked about a vision, this is a golden opportunity to send a positive message about where the country could be instead of talking about how we need to fix a broken country. Really they're two ways of saying the same thing, but putting it in positive context can win many more voters over.

    I'd like to hear something along the lines of, "I have two distinct visions, one for government, and one for the people. My vision for government is for it to get out of people's lives. My vision for the people is that they pursue their happiness - for this is what a free society is about. Every individual has a vision for their own lives, and people are imaginative and industrious and capable. I have a vision where people can be all those things and the government won't be waiting around every corner to tell them that 'they can't do that' or 'you can only do this' or 'you have to do it this way'. Our founding fathers fought a war to tell the British Empire 'you can't do that to us' and 'your way is not our way'. This message is my message - my vision is that we lay hold of it and let the ingenuity of our citizens bring forth progress and economic strength in ways we haven't seen in a very long time."