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by: Martha Entwistle - Friday, January 25, 2008
Okay, so this happened in China, where maybe privacy isn't as closely held by government employees, but having surveillance footage of people kissing on a subway platform show up on YouTube has got to be the worst possible PR for those pushing cameras as a way of reducing crime. Here's the video. Sorry, couldn't resist. If this happened in the U.S., I'm pretty sure Nancy Grape's head would explode. It would be wise, in general, for security professionals of all stripes to acquaint themselves with privacy laws and best practices. If you can advise your customers in this area, you might find yourself with another piece of RMR, acting as an outsourced chief privacy officer. If you're looking to start down the path of privacy, you can't do better than the IAPP. And, hey, they're in Maine, so they must be smart.

by: Martha Entwistle - Thursday, January 24, 2008
For whatever reason, there's a management shake-up going on at Cisco. The past couple of days have seen press releases come across my desk reporting the new positions of two former higher-up physical security execs: Hirsch Electronics today announced Robert Beliles, co-founder of Cisco's physical security initiative and business unit, has been appointed vice president, enterprise business development. Mr. Beliles brings to Hirsch more than eleven years of product marketing and product management experience with Cisco Systems, Inc. He is also the co-author of several networked physical security system patents-pending. I like the "Mr. Beliles." The PR agency apparently used to work for the New York Times. Then there's this: Agent Vi, developers of enterprise video analytics software to improve security, business intelligence and operations, today announced the appointment of Mark Kolar to the newly created position of vice president, channels for the Americas. He will build, lead and direct the company’s channel partner efforts and related programs in North, Central and South America. Kolar joins Agent Vi from Cisco Systems where he served as director of physical security for worldwide channels. While at Cisco, Kolar founded and initially developed Cisco’s physical security go-to-market and acquisition strategies, and most recently designed, launched, and enhanced Cisco’s worldwide physical security reseller and channel program. His efforts included the implementation of processes to control and scale the deployment of Cisco's physical security solutions as well as the management of several large systems integrator relationships. Considering Cisco's only been in the physical security marketplace for a couple years, that would seem to be a large loss of institutional memory, but I guess Bill Stuntz has plenty of that himself.
by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 23, 2008
There are puns to be had and bad jokes galore here, but I'm going to maintain decorum in telling you that IP access manufacturer Edge Integration Systems is now Reach Systems. The press release tells us: Edge chose to rename the company and flagship product, the Edge Access Control System (Edge ACS), to further differentiate our unique service-based access control solution from other legacy security products using the word “Edge” in their name. Many of these similarly named products belong to our valued partners like respected card reader manufacturer, HID Global. Not to cast aspersions, but I'm guessing HID Global was maybe respectfully involved in getting that name change accomplished. They've been working hard to establish their Edge line of IP access products, and probably weren't too keen on confusion with a start-up. Reach, nee Edge, makes a good product, allowing tons of web-based control of access systems, offering a great solution for multi-site businesses that aren't huge, for example, or for integrators to offer managed access control to SMB customers. I had a good interview with Dennis Raefield about it here.
by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I saw this police-penned story come across the wire. It's actually a nice tale of police and the alarm industry working together to do what both are supposed to do: stop crime and keep people and property safe. I just find this part interesting: One idea centered on “Eliminating the number of steps with the alarm,” that caused a Hayward Baker representative being notified before the SPPD that the alarm had been activated. Due to the number of thefts at the company the SPPD and Hayward Baker decided to “Have the security company call us directly so we could catch the guys there on the property,” said Chief MacKinnon. When the January 12 report of the alarm was received by the SPPD the Officers “went down and skipped” the normal security measures of checking doors and windows to see if the business had been broken into. Ignoring the weird capitalization and distaste for commas, what's strange here is we have a police department touting its "proactive policing," when, in fact, they wouldn't have caught anybody doing anything if it weren't for the alarm company, whose name for some reason can't be mentioned. They don't have any problem naming the establishment that's protected, Hayward Baker, but can't seem to remember which alarm firm it was that was so compliant in changing protocol to suit the police department's needs. Huh. Over on Leischen's blog, there's discussion of alarm companies using free labor. Well, how many criminals are the cops catching if no one calls them up to tell them where they are?
by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 23, 2008
There are puns to be had and bad jokes galore here, but I'm going to maintain decorum in telling you that IP access manufacturer Edge Integration Systems is now Reach Systems. The press release tells us: Edge chose to rename the company and flagship product, the Edge Access Control System (Edge ACS), to further differentiate our unique service-based access control solution from other legacy security products using the word “Edge” in their name. Many of these similarly named products belong to our valued partners like respected card reader manufacturer, HID Global. Not to cast aspersions, but I'm guessing HID Global was maybe respectfully involved in getting that name change accomplished. They've been working hard to establish their Edge line of IP access products, and probably weren't too keen on confusion with a start-up. Reach, nee Edge, makes a good product, allowing tons of web-based control of access systems, offering a great solution for multi-site businesses that aren't huge, for example, or for integrators to offer managed access control to SMB customers. I had a good interview with Dennis Raefield about it here.

by: Martha Entwistle - Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This article caught my eye today, especially considering the Brink's back-pay settlement we wrote about a few months back. Basically, lawsuits against small businesses are on the rise, where employees are paying more attention to "the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates time-and-a-half wages for any hours worked beyond 40 a week." This line is particularly auspicious: A New Orleans security company was assessed $185,385. I'm kind of assuming that's a guard company, but there's no way to know (I've never understood why mainstream reporters don't name companies specifically in stories like this. The information is right in front of them. Do they think it would be embarrassing for the company named? Isn't it worse to be hit with $185,385 in back wages?). Regardless, for you integrators and installers that might be sending people out at odd hours to fix stuff, or are pushing to finish up a job with salaried employees, you might want to make sure everybody's working the proper amount or being paid more.
by: Martha Entwistle - Monday, January 21, 2008
Sorry to be away from the blog for a while, but here's a solid mid-afternoon pick-you-up. Why do we need security systems in schools? To catch this kid. Apparently, he had a hankering for pie at 4:15 a.m. Who doesn't, really?
by: Martha Entwistle - Monday, January 21, 2008
Just an FYI that Blogger has been hiding some comments from me for reasons undetermined and that you can see what some other people said if you scroll back down through the January posts. Okay, well, it's the Tim Whall post where people had the most to say. Check it out. Jan. 7. I think I've got the problem solved going forward, so you keep up the comments, and I'll keep up the random thoughts on Mission:Impossible.
by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 16, 2008
It's hard to pass up these mainstream videos from news organizations covering the proliferation of cameras in public spaces. It's such a great window into how the general population feels. We talk often about educating the end user, but maybe not often enough about educating the level below the end user. Is this something SIA could take on? A general public educational campaign about the benefits of CCTV? It might get more municipalities buying, I think, with less public uncertainty and cynicism. Go here to check out the latest from NYC. Pardon the ad that starts the video - everybody's got to pay the bills somehow.
by: Martha Entwistle - Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I always point out when the mainstream press gets security wrong, so I thought I'd point out this article that really does a nice job of explaining to the general public what's going on at their local courthouse. Nothing revolutionary, but the installer is interviewed and the nuts and bolts are outlined well. On a smaller note, I can't decide what to think about this quote: "The courthouse can be a violable place," Armentrout said. "If something were to happen, we hope to be able to respond to it adequately." Did he really say volatile or violent, and violable is a typo, or did he really say violable, using an archaic adjectival form of the verb to violate? Meaning, I guess, the courthouse can be a place where people are violated, in the broad sense of the word?

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