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Held annually in Las Vegas, CES is unquestionably the most famous and influential tech show on the planet.

With the pandemic still hanging around the world last year, its 2022 appearance was a shadow of its former self, attracting just 45,000 people – down from its pre-Covid high of 150,000 – with dozens of exhibitors ramping up their on-floor presence ahead of the show was cancelled.

This year’s event, happily, attracted significantly more attendees, reaching the 115,000 mark, according to the event’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association.

After logging nearly 80,000 steps, attending over 35 meetings, and spending many hours on the show floor during my five-day stint, I can attest that the event lived up to my expectations.

There were interesting products and solutions, running the gamut from wireless TVs for your toilet to urine sensors that can monitor your kidney health, VR headsets to the latest electric vehicles; There was literally something for everyone.

Putting those product categories aside, I was looking to see what inroads the industry has made in smart home energy management. Over the past several years, some companies have tried to broaden the definition of a smart home to include the ability to manage electricity use as part of their sustainability efforts to reduce carbon and fossil fuels.

In late 2021, I embarked on a long journey into my home to test the theory that smart devices — and ultimately smart appliances — could reduce my electricity use and, most importantly, my electric bills.

A year after upgrading my 1,700-square-foot condo in San Jose, California, with a host of devices specifically designed to monitor my electricity usage in precise detail, the results were surprising and ultimately disappointing.

How do I upgrade my home with smart energy management devices?

As the saying goes, you can’t manage something until you can measure it, and this is important in the field of smart energy management.

Fortunately, there are some ways to accurately measure power consumption. If you’re building a new home, many homeowners opt to install smart energy electrical panels that connect to the home network and provide detailed information on electricity usage to appliances and outlets.

Legacy Electrical For homeowners with legacy panels, a product such as Schneider Electric’s Visor Energy System is a more economical alternative to replacing the entire electrical board. However, you’ll need a certified electrician to install it because the unit gets embedded behind an existing panel.

schneider electric sensible energy system

Wise Energy Home Power Monitor | Image credit: Schneider Electric


Wiser Energy uses machine learning to check all the power you use in your home. It can identify appliances that are on and off, and its intelligence can even identify major appliances and power usage down to the outlet level. I’ve been using it since late 2021, and it helps me determine which devices in my home are in “always on” status, like the refrigerator.

I’ve gone a step further and used several Kasa Smart Wi-Fi power strips to help me dramatically reduce so-called “ghost” power (also known as “vampire” power), because Most devices waste power when they are not on. use or even discontinued. Ghost power is estimated to account for around 20% of all residential energy consumption, so it is a significant phenomenon.

I’ve installed four Casa Smart Wi-Fi power strips in key areas like my bedroom, den, and office, allowing me to automatically power down and power these areas on at specific times in the morning and at night. Plus, these power strips are Amazon Alexa-compatible, so I can wake them up and turn them off via spoken word.

Smart appliances were the next major upgrade.

Despite a lot of momentum classifying the smart home at a higher level, many consumers have been reluctant about upgrading their major devices to “connected” models because the perceived benefits outweigh the costs.

It’s worth mentioning that it cost about $7,000 to upgrade my entire kitchen and laundry room (refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and washer/dryer) with the latest connected models from Samsung and LG.

For the mainstream consumer, the convenience of remotely changing the refrigerator’s temperature, being notified of when the filter needs to be replaced, or how many times the refrigerator door has been opened, is worth a lot of cash. .


Sure, the ability to remotely see inside your Samsung refrigerator with its integrated indoor camera to figure out when you need to buy milk when you’re already at the grocery store can be helpful. Nevertheless, the fact that most appliances have a life cycle of more than 15 years facilitates consumer behavior that these in-home machines do not upgrade until they fail.

Strangely, smart appliance makers haven’t aggressively used appliance intelligence to change consumer behavior. Neither LG nor Samsung’s Smart app will advise users to delay doing their dishes or laundry until early morning or late evening, when utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric in California offer less-expensive time-of-use (TOU) plans. offers.

TOU plans are available in California, Arizona and Massachusetts, with scores of other states coming in the coming years. TOU plans are widespread in Western Europe and Asia, and it is only a matter of time before these offers become ubiquitous in the United States.

Appliance apps lack energy provider integration

Connected device manufacturers have a lot of work to do in this area. Suggesting to postpone doing dishes or laundry with a general message about saving money isn’t enough. A great smart home appliance app should be able to connect to my energy provider account so that it can provide specific cost savings based on my behavior and routine.

For example, let’s say my LG dishwasher tells me I’ll save 90 cents by delaying using it until after 9 p.m., which could translate into savings of several dollars a month or a year. In that case, I imagine the behavior would change quickly. Sadly, this capability is not integrated into the LG and Samsung Smart apps.

The Schneider Electric Wiser app provides me with typical kilowatt-hour (kWH) costs for appliances at the zip code level. Yet, it is not directly tied to my utility account and does not provide the personalized messaging needed to change consumer behavior. This situation is a substantial missed opportunity for all parties involved.

On the bright side, the Home Connectivity Alliance formally announced its interface spec at CES 2023, which should provide greater interoperability between individual devices, including paving the way for how connected solutions work in the real world for the consumer. Can provide energy and cost savings. hope springs eternal.

Will smart energy upgrades to my home save me money?

With 2022 now in the rearview mirror, I could do some “behind the envelope” math to figure out the effect. As mentioned earlier, the results were both surprising and disappointing.

First, the good news: Despite the scorching heat in the Bay Area in 2022 and “staying” with friends and relatives more often in 2021 versus last year, when I lived more or less in isolation, my overall electricity use was about 3.5% lower.

I attribute much of this to the elimination of phantom power, but my more efficient intelligent appliances, which I installed in October, also played a part. One notable example: FTC.gov rates the cost of a new LG washing machine for a full year of use at $13 compared to $38 for the older 2007 model it was replaced with.


Today’s new equipment is dramatically more affordable than the products available 15 years ago. If I pro-rate the savings related to those new appliances for a full year, I could see an even more dramatic reduction in total electricity use in 2023, potentially reducing my annual electricity use by 10% May come This is really a big deal.

But here’s the bad news: Despite that power cut, in 2021 through 2022, my actual power bill climbed About 18%, from $2,508 to $2,954 in 2022. This type of news will reduce the skepticism of smart home energy management.

Yes, California is to blame, as it has some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, despite regularly taking advantage of less expensive TOU plans.

While some may mildly spin this result because it could have been much worse if I hadn’t made all these upgrades to my condo, it’s not the type of message that will be successful with most consumers, as they View the upgrade as a means. In fact now to save money from their expenses.

In the final analysis, my main conclusion is that this underscores how seriously I should consider moving out of California.

Other notable sightings at CES 2023

A few other product demonstrations caught my attention and were worthy of being called out during my five-day stint in Las Vegas.

lenovo thinkbook wireless dock

lenovo thinkbook wireless dock

Image credit: Synaptics


Synaptics, one of the major human interface “component” technology leaders in the world, announced a new capability that Lenovo has used to release a completely wireless docking station, the aptly named Lenovo ThinkBook Wireless Dock .

With the potential to feature seamless, cable-free 4K display connectivity, this capability will resonate with work-from-home users who hate cluttered desktops.

EV Battery Management

Infineon Technologies and Newtron Controls, as shown in my on-site interviews, demonstrated new technology designed to optimize overall battery management and consumption in the EV field.

Given the scores of control systems in the average EV, this capability will find wide appeal by electric car makers looking to optimize as much as possible in a highly coordinated, synchronized manner without sacrificing functionality or safety.

schneider home

Schneider Electric unveils its innovative, sustainable home energy management solution, called Schneider Home.

Schneider Home Sustainable Home Energy Management

Image credit: Schneider Electric


Consisting of a home battery for clean energy storage, a high-power solar inverter, a smart electric panel, an EV charger, connected electric sockets and light switches, this attractively designed solution monitors energy consumption by individual appliances Uses an app to manage and decide how to prioritize power during an outage.

While it lays the groundwork for lower electricity costs by taking advantage of solar energy stored in local batteries, its associated app still provides functionality based on individual account linkage with the local energy provider, rather than guiding consumer behavior at the device level. ready to monitor. Nevertheless, it is a good step in the right direction.

material product display

Finally, it was good to see the Matter smart home inoperability initiative making an appearance at CES 2023.

Unlike last year’s CES, the Matter product demos, which promise to allow smart home devices to work together without strict allegiance to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, were on the show floor and behind the NDA sessions. Was visible in both the shows. ,

Unfortunately, MATER-compliant products are still not available at retail, but that should change in the next 60 to 90 days.

Significant scientific research recognizes that climate has affected humans and animals over the past decades. Reasonable people can, and should, argue about the severity effect level. But it is also logical to ask what the world can do to reduce the impact of climate change in a practical, cost-friendly and measurable way.

Schneider Electric is arguably the undisputed leader in the digital transformation of energy management. Equally important, few companies have a technology legacy, global credibility and authoritative reputation in energy and sustainability.

The 186-year-old company has stood firm in its view that access to energy and digital technology is a fundamental human right. To implement that vision, Schneider Electric offers a wide range of energy and automation digital products that help individuals, homeowners and businesses become more efficient and sustainable.

From a practical standpoint, Schneider Electric solutions – often integrated from a hardware, software and services standpoint – often appear in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure (such as airports) and industrial entities.

event on time

Last week, the company used its annual customer and partner event in Las Vegas, called the Innovation Summit, to announce several new offerings to its energy management business.

Interestingly, its timing could not be more surprising given the complexity of the current instability of the energy environment, which has sent raw material and energy prices to four-decade highs.

Schneider Electric's Energy-as-a-Service solution showcased at Innovation Summit 2022

Schneider Electric’s energy-as-a-service solution on display at Innovation Summit 2022 (Image credit: SmartTech Research)


Ultimately, the goal should be to remove significant sources of energy waste and emissions. The focus on smart grid deployment and simplifying building energy management, a historic Schneider Electric strength, are all decisive steps that could help take the environmental football to the field.

new eco-friendly solutions

With this as a backdrop, Schneider Electric used Innovation World to announce four new solutions that will help companies strategize, digitize and decarbonize their daily operations, accelerate sustainability goals, and address the current energy disaster. To provide necessary help and support. These capabilities seek to eliminate many of the world’s most potent greenhouse gases from energy-based infrastructure.

SM Airset

On the emissions front, the company announced the SM AirSat, a green, digital solution powered by air purifiers.

SM AirSat targets utilities and industries to reduce their environmental footprint and optimize their operation and maintenance.

EcoStruxure for Renewable Energy

Renewing its focus on the energy grid, the company is updating the legacy strategy of its Grid of the Future, Schneider Electric, to enhance the promise of clean, renewable energy.

The company’s new solution, Ecostructure for Renewables, is attractive as it pools new technologies and 21st century digital twin integrations to help renewable agriculture operators bring renewables to market faster.

It is innovative and reflects the much needed urgency in the market. This new capability utilizes digital continuity by combining hybrid power sources into the operations of farm operators.

Schneider Electric was one of the first companies committed to the belief that the world should reach a net-zero carbon emissions currency as soon as possible.

Ecostructure Energy Hub

The company’s new EcoStructure Energy Hub allows businesses to embrace their net-zero goals by facilitating energy awareness, compliance, optimization and performance.

Essentially, this solution is an easy-to-use and highly secure IoT SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that creates visibility into the energy and emissions profiles of installations and streamlines the management of building energy systems.

The solution was initially launched in the United States, but will be released in select countries during the remainder of 2022, with global availability in 2023.

ecocare

Finally, the Schneider Electric EcoCare program can be compared to a premium credit card-like concierge service for energy organizations. The offering aims to help customers leverage their energy and internal resources by using Schneider Electric’s expertise in electrical and industrial equipment, sustainability, mission-critical power, and digital and analytics competencies.

Furthermore, EcoCare is designed as an integrated, IoT-enabled bundle of professional 24/7 support, with a focus on deep insight into asset status and understanding efficiency and potential sustainability enhancements.

Analyst Tech

Before we finish, take a quick look at several demos at Schneider Electric’s Innovation Summit:

There is no doubt that the global economy is facing unprecedented changes in the energy sector. While climate change and decarbonization targets are the main drivers of this change, energy security and independence concerns also play a powerful role.

With these announcements, Schneider deserves credit for playing the key role behind the goal of making electric energy more electric and perhaps more importantly digital. Often described as the Electricity 4.0 stage in the energy sector, the digitization component of Schneider Electric’s strategy is a challenge for the industry as a whole.

However, the Innovation Summit was not just about innovative and much-needed solutions. Perhaps what struck me most during the event were the eloquence, humility, and common-sense commentary from Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO and President of Schneider Electric, and Amir Paul (pictured above), the company’s North America was the chairman of.

The two officials spoke passionately about the urgency needed to confront the world’s current “triple” crises – energy, economic and climate – facing global governments.

Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal speaking at the Trichore Innovation Summit 2022

Jean-Pascal Trichoir, CEO of Schneider Electric, speaking at the Innovation Summit 2022 (Image credit: SmartTech Research)


Refreshingly, the company also believes that the investment costs needed to pivot the world to more sustainable and energy-efficient sources must be affordable. This need is extremely important and cannot be dismissed. After all, the energy sector includes many legacy companies with aggressive bottom lines where transformation costs play a significant role in how quickly they move.

Ultimately, governments need to hit the accelerator by removing, or at least dramatically reducing, the bureaucracy involved from regulatory perspectives so that these new technologies and solutions can be implemented friction-free, a The general theme that pervades many keynote presentations.

This was a common theme that pervaded the main presentations during the event. My recent experience installing EV chargers in my multi-residential condo building, while a single case, tells me that local governments have a long way to go.

closing thoughts

Schneider Electric propelled itself with enthusiasm, vision and passion during its Innovation Summit. The company has set a high benchmark for what the world needs to do to transform itself into a more sustainable and energy-efficient entity. The remaining question is whether the world’s economies are up to the challenge.

Significant scientific research recognizes that climate has affected humans and animals over the past decades. Reasonable people can, and should, argue about the severity effect level. But it is also logical to ask what the world can do to reduce the impact of climate change in a practical, cost-friendly and measurable way.

Schneider Electric is arguably the undisputed leader in the digital transformation of energy management. Equally important, few companies have a technology legacy, global credibility and authoritative reputation in energy and sustainability.

The 186-year-old company has stood firm in its view that access to energy and digital technology is a fundamental human right. To implement that vision, Schneider Electric offers a wide range of energy and automation digital products that help individuals, homeowners and businesses become more efficient and sustainable.

From a practical standpoint, Schneider Electric solutions – often integrated from a hardware, software and services standpoint – often appear in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure (such as airports) and industrial entities.

event on time

Last week, the company used its annual customer and partner event in Las Vegas, called the Innovation Summit, to announce several new offerings to its energy management business.

Interestingly, its timing could not be more surprising given the complexity of the current instability of the energy environment, which has sent raw material and energy prices to four-decade highs.

Schneider Electric's Energy-as-a-Service solution showcased at Innovation Summit 2022

Schneider Electric’s energy-as-a-service solution on display at Innovation Summit 2022 (Image credit: SmartTech Research)


Ultimately, the goal should be to remove significant sources of energy waste and emissions. The focus on smart grid deployment and simplifying building energy management, a historic Schneider Electric strength, are all decisive steps that could help take the environmental football to the field.

new eco-friendly solutions

With this as a backdrop, Schneider Electric used Innovation World to announce four new solutions that will help companies strategize, digitize and decarbonize their daily operations, accelerate sustainability goals, and address the current energy disaster. To provide necessary help and support. These capabilities seek to eliminate many of the world’s most potent greenhouse gases from energy-based infrastructure.

SM Airset

On the emissions front, the company announced the SM AirSat, a green, digital solution powered by air purifiers.

SM AirSat targets utilities and industries to reduce their environmental footprint and optimize their operation and maintenance.

EcoStruxure for Renewable Energy

Renewing its focus on the energy grid, the company is updating the legacy strategy of its Grid of the Future, Schneider Electric, to enhance the promise of clean, renewable energy.

The company’s new solution, Ecostructure for Renewables, is attractive as it pools new technologies and 21st century digital twin integrations to help renewable agriculture operators bring renewables to market faster.

It is innovative and reflects the much needed urgency in the market. This new capability utilizes digital continuity by combining hybrid power sources into the operations of farm operators.

Schneider Electric was one of the first companies committed to the belief that the world should reach a net-zero carbon emissions currency as soon as possible.

Ecostructure Energy Hub

The company’s new EcoStructure Energy Hub allows businesses to embrace their net-zero goals by facilitating energy awareness, compliance, optimization and performance.

Essentially, this solution is an easy-to-use and highly secure IoT SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that creates visibility into the energy and emissions profiles of installations and streamlines the management of building energy systems.

The solution was initially launched in the United States, but will be released in select countries during the remainder of 2022, with global availability in 2023.

ecocare

Finally, the Schneider Electric EcoCare program can be compared to a premium credit card-like concierge service for energy organizations. The offering aims to help customers leverage their energy and internal resources by accessing Schneider Electric’s expertise in electrical and industrial equipment, sustainability, mission-critical power, and digital and analytics competencies.

Furthermore, EcoCare is designed as an integrated, IoT-enabled bundle of professional 24/7 support, with a focus on deep insight into asset status and understanding efficiency and potential sustainability enhancements.

Analyst Tech

Before we finish, take a quick look at several demos at Schneider Electric’s Innovation Summit:

There is no doubt that the global economy is facing unprecedented changes in the energy sector. While climate change and decarbonization targets are the main drivers of this change, energy security and independence concerns also play a powerful role.

With these announcements, Schneider deserves credit for playing the key role behind the goal of making electric energy more electric and perhaps more importantly digital. Often described as the power 4.0 phase in the energy sector, the digitization component of Schneider Electric’s strategy is a challenge for the industry as a whole.

However, the Innovation Summit was not just about innovative and much-needed solutions. Perhaps what struck me most during the event were the eloquence, humility, and common-sense commentary from Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO and President of Schneider Electric, and Amir Paul (pictured above), the company’s North America was the chairman of.

The two officials spoke passionately about the urgency needed to confront the world’s current “triple” crises – energy, economic and climate – facing global governments.

Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal speaking at the Trichore Innovation Summit 2022

Jean-Pascal Trichoir, CEO of Schneider Electric, speaking at the Innovation Summit 2022 (Image credit: SmartTech Research)


Refreshingly, the company also believes that the investment costs needed to pivot the world to more sustainable and energy-efficient sources must be affordable. This need is extremely important and cannot be dismissed. After all, the energy sector includes many legacy companies with aggressive bottom lines where transformation costs play a significant role in how quickly they move.

Ultimately, governments need to hit the accelerator by removing, or at least dramatically reducing, the bureaucracy involved from regulatory perspectives so that these new technologies and solutions can be implemented friction-free, a The general theme that pervades many keynote presentations.

This was a common theme that pervaded the main presentations during the event. My recent experience installing EV chargers in my multi-residential condo building, while a single case, tells me that local governments have a long way to go.

closing thoughts

Schneider Electric propelled itself with enthusiasm, vision and passion during its Innovation Summit. The company has set a high benchmark for what the world needs to do to transform itself into a more sustainable and energy-efficient entity. The remaining question is whether the world’s economies are up to the challenge.

A Chinese cyber espionage group is using a fake news site to infect government and energy industry targets in Australia, Malaysia and Europe with malware, according to a blog posted online on Tuesday by Proofpoint and PwC Threat Intelligence .

The group is known by several names, including APT40, Leviathan, TA423 and Red Ladon. Four of its members were indicted by the US Department of Justice in 2021 for hacking several companies, universities and governments in the United States and around the world between 2011 and 2018.

APT40 members indicted by the United States Department of Justice in 2021

The United States Department of Justice indicted APT40 members in 2021 / Image Credit: FBI


The group is using its fake Australian news site to infect visitors with the Scanbox exploit framework. “Scanbox is a reconnaissance and exploitation framework deployed by an attacker to collect a variety of information, such as the target’s public-facing IP address, the type of web browser used, and its configuration,” Proofpoint Vice President for Threat Research and Detection Sherrod explained DeGripo.

“It serves as a setup for the information gathering steps that follow and potential follow-up exploits or compromises, where malware is deployed to gain persistence on the victim’s system and allow the attacker to carry out espionage activities.” can be done,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“It creates a perception of the victim’s network that the actors then study and determine the best path forward for further compromise,” she said.

“Watering hole” attacks that use Scanbox appeal to hackers because the point of compromise is not within the victim’s organization, added John Bumbleneck, a principle threat hunter at Netenrich, a San Jose, California-based IT and digital security operations company. .

“Therefore, it is difficult to detect that information is being stolen,” he told TechNewsWorld.

modular attack

According to the Proofpoint/PwC blog, the TA423 campaign primarily targeted local and federal Australian government agencies, Australian news media companies and global heavy industry manufacturers, which maintain a fleet of wind turbines in the South China Sea.

It noted that the phishing emails for the campaign were sent from Gmail and Outlook email addresses, which Proofpoint believes were created by attackers with “moderate trust.”

Subject lines in phishing emails included “sick leave,” “user research,” and “request collaboration.”

Threatened actors often pose as employees of the fictional media publication “Australian Morning News”, the blog explained, and provide a URL to their malicious domain, to view their website or share research material that the website is publishing. Ask for goals.

If someone clicks on the target URL, they will be redirected to a fake news site and without their knowledge, the Scanbox malware will be introduced. To give credibility to their fake website, opponents posted content from legitimate news sites such as the BBC and Sky News.

Scanbox can distribute its code in one of two ways: in a single block, which gives an attacker instant access to the full functionality of the malware, or as a plug-in, modular architecture. The TA423 crew chose the plug-in method.

According to PwC, the modular route can help avoid accidents and errors that would alert a target that their system is under attack. It is also a way for researchers to reduce the visibility of the attack.

phishing boom

As such campaigns show, phishing remains the tip of the spear used to break into many organizations and steal their data. “Phishing sites will see an unexpected increase in 2022,” said Monia Deng, director of product marketing at Bolster, a provider of automated digital risk protection in Los Altos, Calif.

“Research has shown that this problem will increase tenfold in 2022 because this method is easy, effective and a perfect storm to deploy in the post-work digital age,” she told TechNewsWorld.

DeGripo said phishing campaigns continue to work as threat actors adapt. “They use current affairs and holistic social engineering techniques, at times hunting down target fear and a sense of urgency or importance,” she said.

A recent trend among threat actors, he continued, is attempting to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns by building trust with intended victims through extended interactions with individuals or through existing interactions between coworkers. .

Roger Grimes, a defense campaigner with KnowBe4, a security awareness training provider in Clearwater, Fla., stressed that social-engineering attacks are particularly resistant to technical security.

“Try as much as you can, there is no great technical defense so far that prevents all social engineering attacks,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This is especially difficult because social engineering attacks can come across email, phone, text messages and social media.

Even though social engineering is involved in 70% to 90% of all successful malicious cyber attacks, it is the rare organization that spends more than 5% of its resources to mitigate this, he continued.

“It’s the number one problem, and we treat it like a small part of the problem,” he said. “It’s the fundamental disconnect that allows attackers and malware to be so successful. Until we see this as the number one problem, it will continue to be the primary way attackers attack us. It’s just math.” “

two things to remember

While TA423 used email in its phishing campaign, Grimes notes that opponents are moving away from that approach.

“Attackers are using other methods, such as social media, SMS text messages, and voice calls to do their social engineering more often,” he explained. “This is because many organizations focus almost exclusively on email-based social engineering and the training and tools to combat social engineering on other types of media channels are not at the same level of sophistication in most organizations.”

“That’s why it’s important that every organization builds an individual and organizational culture of healthy skepticism,” he adds, “where everyone is taught how to recognize the signs of a social engineering attack, no matter how it comes.” , web, social media, SMS messages or phone calls – and it doesn’t matter who it appears to be sent by.”

He explained that most social engineering attacks have two things in common. First, they come unexpectedly. The user was not expecting this. Second, it is asking the user to do something that the sender – whatever he is pretending to be – has never asked the user to do it before.

“This may be a valid request,” he continued, “but all users should be taught that any message with those two traits is at very high risk of being a social engineering attack, and should be verified using a reliable method. as if calling that person directly on a known good phone number.”

“If more organizations taught two things to remember,” he said, “the online world would be a much safer place to calculate.”