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The device has the same form-factor as a conventional mains dual electrical outlet.
It also has an RJ45 socket and a Type A USB socket on the front.
It also incorporates an Ethernet-Over-Mains bridge, the USB socket provides 5V @ 100 mA, and the dual outlets can be remotely switched by signals
sent over the Ethernet connection.
The power sockets and network nodes are individually addressable.
Can be quickly DIY retrofitted to any home or business.
[Difficult choice of category - any better ideas ?]
Ethernet over Power
US Version (UK Versions available) [zen_tom, Sep 15 2010]
Power Line Communication
The general idea. [Jinbish, Sep 15 2010]
||Good idea if not already baked [+], especially the USB part.
||Has anyone else seen the ethernet over power-circuit devices? They plug into the wall like a wall-wart, and present an ethernet socket. By plugging one or more of the devices into your wall-sockets, you can use the wires in your house as network cables. Apparently plugging more of these devices into your mains is supposed to improve the overall signal, but that may just be crafty sales shpiel.
||Signal degredation/interference is an issue, but assuming you're not drilling, and running the washing machine at the same time, it's a workable solution. They don't work all that well via flexible extension cables either and you start losing packets.
||Where they've missed a trick is in not presenting a 'pass-through' power-socket so if you use one of these, you are using up one of your power sockets - so I see the benefits of the idea. [+]
||With those power-line ethernet systems, can your neighbours(*) see all your network traffic too?
(* Actually not your neighbours, at least not in the UK where, usually, the power line in the street is 3-phase and each house gets a single phase of (roughly) 220VAC, so your neighbours aren't connected to the same power as you, but the people 3 doors down the road might be.)