ConnecTable Solar Charging Products | Universities, Resorts, Corporate Campus


The ConnecTable offers three sustainable outdoor solar charging products, the ConnecTable Café, the ConnecTable Hub and the Grid2Go solar mobile charger.

Solar Charging ProductsConnecTable Café
ConnecTable Café solar powered charging stations are an attractive, powerful business investment for those looking to keep technology-hungry consumers connected in outdoor areas.

These sustainable outdoor charging solutions utilize off-grid, solar photovoltaic technology and possess high-powered charging capability. They have been engineered to harvest more energy than any other solar charging table on the market, and to optimize the storage of that energy, providing reliable power for high volumes of daily users.

Popular with Universities, Corporate Campuses, Malls, Parks, Resorts and Theme Parks, the ConnecTable offers the perfect green solution that reduces your properties carbon footprint while also creating a clean gathering space.

HubConnecTable Hub
The ConnecTable Hub is our newest model of solar table charging station. The Hub offers the same great performance as our Café model, with key material and structural modifications that have enabled us to offer this solar charging solution at a more economical price point.

Designed for our customers looking for a more “out-of-the-box” sustainability solution, the ConnecTable Hub is the ultimate outdoor workstation.

Solar Charging ProductsGrid2Go
Grid2Go is a sustainable outdoor charging solution that provides portable solar charging to anyone, anywhere, at any time. It’s perfect for a day at the beach, camping trips, or as a backup emergency charger in any environment.

Grid2Go can fully charge an iPhone four (4) times before it needs to be recharged itself. Simply lay it in the sun, solar panels facing up, and recharge begins! In the case of multiple poor-weather days, the Grid2Go can be easily charged indoors with the included computer and wall attachments. Solar panels power the high-capacity battery, which charges up to two (2) cell phones at once.

Get Connected
601 Davisville Road
Suite 210
Willow Grove, PA 19090

info@theconnectable.com
267-419-8496
Copyright CarrierClass Green Infrastructure, All Rights Reserved 2017 Privacy Policy Site Hosted By Tekswift

Did your smart thermostat contribute to last week’s big cyberattack? | Grist

Massive Attack
Did your smart thermostat contribute to last week’s big cyberattack?
By Heather Smith on Oct 26, 2016 3:33 pm

In the future, we will live and work in buildings where the heat, lighting, and appliances are controlled by smart, internet-connected devices that save energy and money and help the grid work more efficiently. Isn’t that great? It seems great.

But then, what to do with the news last week that a robo-mob of clever internet-enabled gadgets was hijacked and used to temporarily bring down many of the most popular websites in the U.S.? Could our smart thermostats go rogue and help take out the internet?

It doesn’t look like internet-connected energy-saving devices were affected by the cyberattack, experts say. So this attack is not a reason to avoid buying or using them. It is, though, a reminder to make sure all of your smart devices are protected by top-notch security.

Here’s what you need to know:

What was the deal with this attack?

The Internet of Things — or IoT, for short — consists of more than 6 billion devices connected to the internet: security cameras, Fitbits, learning thermostats, what have you. Last week, hackers used malware named Mirai to create a botnet gang of several hundred thousand of these gadgets and attack Dyn, one of a handful of companies that direct traffic across the internet. An estimated 1,200 websites, including Twitter, Reddit, and the New York Times, didn’t so much go down as become impossible to find, because Dyn was too flooded with meaningless requests from Mirai’s zombie bot army to help real humans get where they were trying to go.

Dyn weathered that attack (and the attack after that, and the attack after that attack), but the episode left a lot of people wondering just how great the Internet of Things is after all.

Here’s how Justine Bone, CEO of MedSec, which studies security in internet-enabled medical devices, described the IoT security challenge to me: When you have a bad chip in your high-tech toaster, there’s not too much that can go wrong. Maybe you get some bad toast out of it. Maybe it catches on fire. But when a whole series of badly designed devices are connected to the internet, that can make everyone miserable, not just toast eaters. “An army of toasters can cause trouble,” she said.

You’re sure my thermostat wasn’t involved?

Yes. Here’s how we know: Brian Krebs, a former reporter for the Washington Post who now runs his own site on computer security, became an involuntary expert in Mirai when someone used it to attack his site in September. Attacks like this are fairly common (they’re called distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks), but the size of the one on his site attracted some attention. Akamai, the company that keeps Krebs’ site running, claimed at the time that it was one of the largest botnet attacks in the history of the internet.

A few weeks after the attack on Krebs, the source code for Mirai was publicly released onto the internet, probably to confuse any law enforcement agencies trying to trace the program back to its source. The code revealed that Mirai works by constantly scanning the internet for IoT gadgets with usernames and passwords that are still set to the factory defaults. Mirai then uses those passwords to make itself administrator of the devices.

So here’s where your thermostat gets a pass. None of the passwords used by the Mirai code are for smart home energy-saving devices.

Craig Young, a security researcher with Tripwire, told Consumer Reports, “I would be confident in saying that most popular IoT devices have not been exposed to the Mirai threat — thermostats, fridges, name-brand cameras, smart outlets, and lighting.”

Thermostat company Nest, perhaps the most well-known maker of smart home energy-saving gadgets, believes none of its products were affected: “To our knowledge, no Nest device has been involved in any of the recent attacks,” it said in a statement.

So what devices were hijacked?

Last week’s attack primarily involved security cameras and digital video recorders being used for surveillance.

The hackers who write botnet software are looking for the low-hanging fruit — usernames and passwords that will let them unlock as many devices as possible. So they targeted products from a handful of companies that make low-cost electronics in high volume, and with terrible security features.

Most consumers who buy easily hackable devices aren’t thinking about internet security — in part because DDoS attacks and the like target public websites rather than individuals. “People just plug in these things and forget about them,” Krebs said when I called him to ask about the latest attack.

“People want to blame the Russians or something, but there’s lots of blame to go around,” Krebs continued. “This is a case of some companies wanting to own this market and dumping cheap hardware and flimsy software. The IoT storm has been a decade in the making, and now it’s happening. The longer we ignore it, the harder it is to fix.”

Many of the insecure devices hijacked last week contain hardware manufactured by Chinese company XiongMai Technologies. When word got out about this, XiongMai announced that it had tightened its security standards and was recalling millions of cameras — even as it threatened legal action against media outlets that it said were issuing “false statements” about the company.

How can I make sure my smart gadgets are protected going forward?

Figuring out how secure your devices are can be tricky, but it’s important — not just to make sure you don’t facilitate DDoS attacks, but to protect your personal data and ensure that you’re the one controlling the heating, lighting, etc., in your home.

A device with good security will require you to come up with a new username and password before you connect it to the internet. A device with not-so-great security will make it possible to change the factory default username and password. A device with terrible security will come with a factory-installed username and password that you can’t change, making it a sitting duck for any program crawling the web and looking for machines that can be turned into zombie minions.

If you’re going to connect something to the internet, go with a brand that emphasizes its attention to security. Companies that are trying to establish or maintain a reputation for security will be much more motivated to patch a security hole than companies that don’t mention security at all.

Smart thermostat makers Nest, Ecobee, and Tado have security information clearly posted on their websites. Nest goes even further; it’s owned by Google, which offers a reward to anyone who can find a security hole in the system. In contrast, thermostat manufacturer Trane, whose various past security holes are described in this blog post, does not highlight security on its website.

“At the end of the day, security is just a symptom of the quality of the product,” said Bone. “If a product is badly designed, that will flow through to mistakes in the underlying software.”

Going for a cheap, off-brand model is not a good idea. “Basically, you get what you pay for,” said Krebs.

What’s the solution to all this poor security?

As security expert Bruce Schneier put it after the attack on Krebs, “the economics of the IoT mean that it will remain insecure unless government steps in to fix the problem. This is a market failure that can’t get fixed on its own.”

The owners of the security cameras that are being used to attack the internet don’t know that their devices have been taken over. Meanwhile, the manufacturers are busy trying to sell new models, instead of patching up old ones. “There is no market solution,” Schneier concludes, “because the insecurity is what economists call an externality: it’s an effect of the purchasing decision that affects other people. Think of it kind of like invisible pollution.”

But neither Bone nor Krebs have faith that governments will effectively regulate the Internet of Things, especially given the hot mess that is international trade. More than anything, they think it will be the fear of losing customers that will motivate companies to tighten up their security.

So, do I even want to be a part of this Internet of Things?

Well, you’re reading this on the internet, so you’re already partway there. If you like gadgets, don’t be frightened off from buying smart devices as long as they’re from reputable and well-reviewed companies.

On the other hand, if you think gadgets are overrated, you can feel smug in knowing that there are plenty of low-tech ways to conserve energy.

A Beacon in the Smog®

© 1999-2016 Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Grist is powered by WordPress.com VIP.

Should I keep my laptop plugged in while I use it? | Grist


Q. Dear Umbra,

I work all day on a laptop (a MacBook Air). I’d like to prolong the life of my computer and battery so I don’t have the expense and waste of having to replace the laptop earlier than necessary. So what’s the best approach to plugging the laptop in vs. running it off the battery? When it’s 100-percent charged, should I unplug it and let the battery charge drop down low before plugging it in again? Or should I keep it plugged in all day long while I work?

Jamal J.
Princeton, New Jersey

A. Dearest Jamal,

Most people understand that repurposing or recycling something is better than throwing it away. But you know what’s even better than that? Not recycling that thing, because it still works perfectly — or, at least, postponing that inevitable moment of mortality as long as possible. In our culture of planned obsolescence and gimme-that-hot-new-tech upgrades, this is a somewhat radical idea. I tip my hat to you, my status quo–shaking friend.

“Maintain it, don’t disdain it!” could be your creed. Apply it to most material things, but it’s particularly important with laptops and their lithium-ion batteries, as well as other electronics. Not only do these gadgets cost a pretty penny, but manufacturing them (and their batteries) requires water, energy, and rare-metal mining, and also brings up concerns about potentially toxic substances and human rights for miners. In short: The fewer you go through in your working life, the better.

To that end: There is indeed a plug-in protocol you can use to maximize your battery’s overall lifespan, Jamal, and it’s all about minimizing stress on that hardworking power pack.

The No. 1 thing that shortens a lithium-ion battery’s life? Letting it drain to zero. So try never to do that.

Why? Let’s start with a quick vocabulary primer. Depth of discharge refers to how much of a battery’s power has been used up: 40 percent depth of discharge means it has 60 percent of its life left, and 100 percent means you’ve let the battery run dry. A charge or discharge cycle is one full drop from 100-percent charged to dead as a doornail (or multiple partial discharges that add up to 100 percent). These two concepts are directly connected: The larger the average depth of discharge, the fewer total discharge cycles you get out of the battery.

In other words, if you regularly let that battery gauge dip into the red zone, then fully recharge it, the battery will degrade more quickly. And we’re not just talking a little difference: According to Battery University, an online juggernaut of battery information, if you tend to drain your battery low and then charge it back up to 100 percent, you’ll get about 300-500 discharge cycles before the battery starts losing capacity. But if you go with frequent partial recharges, you can boost total discharge cycles up as high as 4,700 before the battery’s performance starts slipping (and before you have to get much more aggressive about commandeering the outlet at the coffeehouse).

So is it best to just leave it plugged in at 100-percent charge all the time? Nope. As it happens, being completely full also stresses out a lithium-ion battery, aka the Goldilocks of portable power sources. The sweet spot, according to battery experts, is between 40 and 80 percent charged. In a perfect world, then, you’d drain the battery to 40, recharge it to 80, and repeat for years of top-notch battery performance. If monitoring your battery levels to this degree sounds a bit obsessive, well, it is. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find any easy apps or settings tweaks that would do this automatically for you. (Hey, developers: Opportunity alert!)

That said, it’s not a terrible practice to leave your laptop plugged in at times. You won’t “overcharge” a lithium-ion battery; once it tops up, the battery essentially steps off to the side and lets the power grid run the computer, waiting until you need it again. So while keeping the battery full does cause strain, it’s better than a 100-percent depth of discharge.

If you are tethered to the outlet for a while, some experts suggest removing your laptop’s battery entirely (though that’s not an option for Macs because they have integrated batteries). Removing it protects it from a lithium-ion battery’s No. 2 nemesis: heat. A battery’s optimal temperature zone is about 62 to 72 degrees (what a coincidence — that’s my optimal zone, too), and anything hotter than about 95 degrees can really wreak havoc. So keep your laptop out of hot cars, direct summer sunlight, Bikram yoga class, etc. And make sure to keep the cooling vents clear — work at a table or desk, not in bed with your computer on a quilt on your lap.

There you have the secret to long life: Watch your power levels, and keep it cool. And you know, I suspect following that advice might translate to a longer, happier life for ourselves as well as our batteries.

Stress-freely,
Umbra

© 1999-2016 Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Grist is powered by WordPress.com VIP.

Safety alert and recall: 26,000 baby monitors recalled due to burn hazard | WPMT FOX43

A popular brand of baby monitor is being recalled over the possibility that the video monitor’s batteries can overheat, swell and expand and cause the battery cover to open or come off. This can expose hot batteries, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

The recall is for about 26,000 units of the Lorex CARE ‘N’ SHARE Series video baby monitor (in addition, 8,000 were sold in Canada.)

The model numbers included in this recall are WL3520, WL4320 and WL3401. The model numbers are printed on the back panel of the monitor. The monitors were sold in bundles with cameras. The monitors contain a blue lithium polymer battery and measure about 4 inches tall by 5 inches wide. The monitors have a white plastic back and either a white or black border. “LOREX” or “The Lorex Baby” is printed below the monitor screen.

Picture: Lorex Technology

Babies “R” Us, B&H, Best Buy, Target, The Home Depot, Walmart and online at http://www.amazon.com andwww.lorextechnology.com from May 2013 through April 2016. The video baby monitors were sold in bundles for between $60 and $140.

The firm has received 488 reports of batteries overheating and expanding; about 140 reports involved the swelling of the battery pack, causing its plastic casing to open or come off. No injuries have been reported.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled monitors and contact Lorex to receive a full refund.

Lorex toll-free at 844-265-7388 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday

Best Weather Apps for iPhone and Android

TIME

With our high-tech tendency to watch TV using DVRs, TV on demand and streaming media, there are some things we miss: like the local news. And though we get most of that news from our favorite online news sources, the local weather report is something we sorely miss—we just don’t miss it quite enough to remember to catch the local news for the forecast every night.

Fortunately, there are quite a few apps to keep us on top of the local forecast and help us remember to pack our umbrellas—or carry our sunglasses—when we need them.

Top Pick: AccuWeather

accuweather-app-iphone-cropped-510pxAccuWeather

Our overall favorite weather app is the simple-to-use AccuWeather, from the company of the same name. Specifically, we love its MinuteCast feature. It predicts when precipitation will start in your exact GPS location all the way down to the minute. And if it’s severe weather you’re worried about, Accuweather…

View original post 720 more words

Can this brain-sensing headband give you serenity?

myfox8.com

Imagine a gadget that knows your mind better than you do.

Picture a device that can rank the activities in your life that bring you joy, or interject your typed words with your feelings.

One woman has helped create just that.

Ariel Garten believes that the brain — with its 100 billion neurons that receive, register, and respond to thoughts and impulses — has the power to accomplish almost anything, if only its power could be properly harnessed.

Her company InteraXon, which she co-founded with Trevor Coleman, has produced Muse, a lightweight headband that uses electroencephalography (EEG) sensors to monitor your brain activity, transmitting that information to a smartphone, laptop or tablet.

The high-tech headband has been used to pour beer, levitate chairs, or control the lights — all without the wearer lifting a finger.

And in a world where technology is often blamed for raising stress levels, 35-year-old Garten…

View original post 751 more words