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+ - Looking for smartgrid software design ideas

Submitted by presidenteloco
presidenteloco (659168) writes "I work for a polytechnic university applied research group working on a smartgrid testbed project. That is, we are implementing R&D versions of electrical power grid technologies. My team does the software side of the work. One thing we are building is energy management system web applications for residential energy consumers to look at their consumption and set profiles for their consumption depending on energy price. What features should that have? What pricing models would you like to see? Can you think of any social energy management apps? We have some resources to implement prototypes, and are looking for ideas. This is for research purposes and innovation of the grid for environmental and economic and security reasons. Someone might try to commercialize some of it. Do you have any smartgrid software ideas you are willing to share?"
Software

+ - Should I open-source the code of my web-app?

Submitted by presidenteloco
presidenteloco (659168) writes "I have developed a web application that I plan to offer on a subscription or service-fee basis.
Should I make the source code behind it free and open source?

What are the factors I should consider? If I FOSS it, I'll receive possibly some assistance
with refining and extending the software, and some good Karma, but on the other hand,
It will be trivial for anyone else to replicate my business model, or to set up their own in-house
version of my service, with no remuneration for me. Also, the value of the "asset" from an
investment or acquisition perspective would likely fall. Ideally, I'd like to earn a humble living or a
portion thereof from operating web applications that I develop. What would Slashdotters do?"

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