The Automated Meter Reading (AMR) industry is big stuff. During the past decade, advances in radio frequency (RF) technology, software, and powerline signal transmission have enabled utilities to change business processes from reading meters manually to downloading meter reads automatically. The potential cost savings for utilities are enormous. Entire workforces that were once charged with…

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Pre-paid metering for utility services is a win-win-win proposition. Prepaid meter makers such as AMPY (www.ampy.co.uk) and Landis + Gyr (www.landisgyr.com) directly benefit from the sale. Utilities, such as Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E, www.lgeenergy.com) and Salt River Project (SRP, www.srpnet.com), are able to supply service to the 15% of their customers with a poor…

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Since the invention of the tunable laser, scientists have enjoyed tweaking matter with its luminescence with remarkable control. Without it, our ability to control molecules was limited to little more than heating a sample over a Bunsen burner and observing the outcome. With it, we are able to isolate a specific sample of molecules, control…

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Nearly everyone is familiar with “The 80/20 Rule.” Almost as many are familiar with its more accurate name, “Pareto’s Law.” The basic premise emerged from a study of income distribution in Italy by an economist named Pareto. He found that 80% of the wealth in the economy was concentrated in 20% of the population. It…

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