Today in Cleantech

Let’s call this smart grid wonk Friday. After more than a year of working on hundreds of smart grid standards, the National Institute for Standards and Technology has released five “foundational” sets of standards for federal and state regulators. But the five International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards in question don’t hit such hot topics as whether Internet protocol (IP) will be required in smart meters, or whether ZigBee will be favored for home energy networks. Rather, they deal with big utility systems, including data exchange between different utility control stations, transmission and distribution systems and substation automation systems — as well as the critical cybersecurity aspect of how all those systems will interact. As for real-world application of the standards, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has started a rulemaking process on how it could encourage, or perhaps force, compliance by utilities and their smart grid vendors. Stay tuned for more details — though, with the speed these things usually unfold, don’t hold your breath.

President’s Day Poll: Which Video Player Do You Prefer?

We talk a lot here at NewTeeVee about the business of various video platforms, as well as the technology that drives them. But you know what we don’t often get into? Real talk about which of their players offer the best viewing experience, especially since there are enough advantages and disadvantages to each that it often comes down to personal preference.

So, here’s the question for today’s poll: On a purely technical level, which embeddable video player do you prefer as a viewer of online video? Make your choice based on whatever factors you value most (sound and image quality, ease of use, user interface, embedding options like clipping or adjustable player size, et cetera) and feel free to discuss in the comments why you voted for a particular player — or why you didn’t.

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Today in Cleantech

As Katie at Earth2Tech noted, 2009 has been a heck of a year for cleantech and Green IT. Here at GigaOM Pro, we compiled a list of ten people, technologies and trends that emerged as winners and losers these past twelve months. The winners column includes Renault-Nissan’s CEO and President, Carlos Ghosn, and smart grid open standards. On the losing side of the eco-tech revolution is OLED, or rather, its painfully slow ascent as a display technology.  Catch the rest of the 2009 Green IT Winners & Losers list here (sub req’d) and be sure to sound off with your personal picks.

5 Next Steps for Smart Grid Standards

smartgridnextstepsIn a crucial step for the smart grid industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its smart grid standards road map last week, which revealed close to 80 standards that will serve as the building blocks for the nascent industry. OK, cool…so now what? The 90-page plan is actually just a very early step in the smart grid standardization process. Here are five more steps that need to happen to put the industry on the right path.

1. Certification and Testing: Standards on their own aren’t sufficient, explains the road map — “A testing and certification regime is essential.” In other words, after the proper standards are identified, the industry needs to have a process through which hardware and software are proven to be compatible and based on the individual standards.
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