You can hack a MacBook battery from afar. Is there a point?

A seasoned security hacker who spent seven months figuring out how to hack a laptop battery disclosed his findings today at the Black Hat security conference. Charlie Miller, who specializes in hacking Apple software, figured out how to remotely control a battery and do some damage to it such as “bricking it” – or incapacitating it – from afar.

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Sodium-ion cell maker Aquion Energy raises $20M

Aquion Energy, a maker of sodium-ion batteries that can store large amounts of electricity, has raised $20 million of a roughly $30 million round that includes Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Foundation Capital as investors, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On the GreenBeat: Siemens buys SureGrid, Fenix debuts portable electricity for developing countries

Siemens has purchased building management firm SureGrid, Green Tech Media reports. The acquisition is a sign of interest in building efficiency startups, which make software that integrates into building management systems created by big companies like Siemens and Honeywell. There’s also an overall trend of conglomeration within the smart grid sector, the article notes, and highlights a few startups as potential acquisition targets: Audra Technologies, Building IQ, Hara, Optimum Energy, Lumenergi and Redwood Systems.

On the GreenBeat: Ener1 sells $20 million in stock, Hara’s success could attract buyers

Battery company Ener1 is selling $20 million in stock as part of efforts to expand capacity at its plants, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Ener1 batteries are geared towards electric vehicle use. The company announced a $65 million capital raise earlier this month. It has raised over $160 million in equity so far and also earned a government grant.

On the GreenBeat: A123 opens battery plant, Siemens targets India

A123 opens largest lithium-ion battery plant in the U.S. The Livonia, Mich. plant will expand the company’s manufacturing capabilities by up to 600 megawatt-hours per year, with the goal of ramping up to a total 760M megawatt-hours by next year’s end. The announcement comes one year after A123 was awarded a $249 million grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As GigaOm notes, A123’s IPO last year opened at $17 per share but now trades at less than $10 per share. Another Michigan-based battery player, Sakti3, made news last week for winning a $3.2 million investment from the venture capital arm of GM.