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Fire sprinklers to get day on Hill?

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Friday, June 5, 2009
Here's an opinion piece which is mostly about House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel, but also talks about the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act. This guy complains that the National Fire Sprinkler Association is lining Rep. Rangel's pockets (nicely, to to tune of $20,000) and will be rewarded with a legislative hearing, finally, on this pet project of theirs, the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act. Here's the piece This guy notes that the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act is not a bad piece of legislation. Indeed, as the name suggests, it gives tax breaks to businesses (and in some cases, homeowners,) that install fire sprinklers.
But the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act is no boondoggle for the industry. It's a fairly modest tinker to tax law. Currently, if a building owner--residential or commercial -- installs automated fire sprinklers, he cannot claim the entire cost as a tax deduction that same year, but he has to spread that deduction over about 30 years, taking a deduction on the annual "depreciation" of the sprinkler system rather than the actual cost. Many long-term capital investments are treated the same way. NFSA wants to speed that depreciation up to five years, thus increasing the tax savings for sprinkler buyers, and thus spurring their purchase. The makers and installers of fire sprinklers -- NFSA's members -- clearly benefit. Landlords and developers benefit. Public safety benefits if more buildings have these sprinklers.
His complaint is really more with Rangel than with the fire industry--although he does say that "this obscure industry"--that's you, fire people--will benefit from the bill if passed. He also makes this statement:
The loser is the federal Treasury, because revenue would decrease in the short term.
Which, as my middle school kiddos would say, is a lame claim, in my book. Yes guy, be worried about revenues and the Treasury, but don't worry about the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, for heaven's sake. Someone should direct him to the NFPA's recent fire sprinkler demos which I referenced in my most recent blog. It's convincing stuff. Here it is again in case you missed it.

A surreal Friday

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Friday, June 5, 2009
I'm slaving away on some ESX products and the 20 under 40 feature, so not much time for anything thoughtful, but I thought I'd pass along the most surreal thing that's come up in a YouTube search lately. I present to you the Cupcake Security Camera. Enjoy.

PERS news: Life Alert wins injunction

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Friday, June 5, 2009
Life Alert (previously called LifeCall), the PERS company that gave us the iconic "Help, I've fallen, and I can't get up!" has won a victory in court. A year ago Life Alert was locked in a lawsuit with pharmacy chain CVS Caremark and its PERS partner, Connect America Medical Alarm Company, which markets its PERS products through CVS' retail chains. My predecessor Leischen Stelter wrote all about. On May 26, the U.S. District Court sided with Life Alert in its legal battle against Medical Guardian, LLC, Tracking Now, LLC and Tracking Now president Geoff Gross--Wait a minute... is he related to Connect America president Ken Gross, who was involved in the aforementioned lawsuit against CVS? ATTENTION GROSS FAMILY: PLEASE STOP MESSING WITH AMERICA'S ICONIC PERS COMPANY!! Medical Guardian, Tracking Now and Geoff Gross are now permanently enjoined from using Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc. trademarks in any way, including but not limited to, bidding on them as keywords in internet search engines. The injunction stems from a lawsuit filed by Life Alert against Tracking Now and Geoff Gross in July of 2008. Life Alert has been providing PERS services and helping seniors get back up for 22 years.

Apparently, many in the security industry don't have the Internet

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Thursday, June 4, 2009
Because, if they did have the Internet, they wouldn't go around saying things that are fairly obviously not true. A couple days back I made fun of Alarm.com for saying they were first when they weren't, so it's only fair that I pick on an integrator for basically doing the same thing. Here's a story out of Bethlehem, PA (maybe registration required), about an upgrade to the municipal wireless video system by Intelligent Decisions and Let's Think Wireless, which is cool and all, but let me get to the good part in a hurry:
"The city of Bethlehem has been able to start a true Public/Private partnership within the city by soliciting the support and contributions from various residents and business entities," said Mickey Branson, Senior Director of National Sales at Let's Think Wireless. "This partnership, which may be the first of its kind, has allowed this project to grow rapidly while putting virtual feet on the street, almost overnight."
Come on, duder. It "may be the first of its kind"? As though it would be impossible to check that out. Well, let me google that for you. And if the Google results don't satisfy you, try reading your industry periodicals. (And, yeah, I wrote that story in 2007.) I mean, come on - you thought you guys were the first to think of having private entities fund publicly used surveillance cameras? Really?

Video analytics at work

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Thursday, June 4, 2009
A lot of you have probably already seen this, but here's a video where analytics pick up a woman who walks toward some traintracks, lies down in between them, and then lets a train travel over top of her before getting back up and walking away. I wonder what the general public thinks of all the green circles and what not. Do they understand that's video analytics at work? Are they curious about them at all?

Fla. gov. supports sprinkler installation

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Thursday, June 4, 2009
Florida condominium owners who are looking to put off installing fire sprinklers are out of luck. Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a bill that would have given those building owners until 2025 to install sprinklers. By vetoing the bill, those owners must install sprinklers by 2014. Here's what the gov said:
"I am sensitive to the costs of installing fire sprinkler systems, especially in these challenging economic times. However in the event of an emergency, public safety ... outweigh(s) all other considerations."
Here's the story And speaking of sprinklers, the NFPA is doing some convincing pr on their effectiveness. Check out these pictures. Wish I could post them for you. Sorry I can't do that you know. You gotta click here to see them.

Having trouble selling power protection?

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I still find power supplies and power protection to be one of the most opaque parts of the industry. Thus, I'm going to try to find time for this webcast that Minuteman is putting on next week. It's June 11 at 11 a.m. Eastern/10 Central/etc. Here's the agenda: The Problem With Power Why Your Customers Need Power Protection Benefits of Selling Power Protection Selling Power Protection in Security Selling Power Protection in Telecom/VoIP Selling Power Protection for Data Centers Selling to Architects and Engineering Firms Selling the Right Solution Overcoming Customer Objections Questions and Wrap-up

Agilence gets boost from Schneider

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
They're not saying how much, but Schneider Electric has invested money in Agilence, an analytics vendor focused on the point-of-sale space. We wrote about Agilence here and here. I'm not sure if there's any connection with Pelco, real or implied; or if Schneider is just looking to spread its wings in the video space a bit; or if the venture arm even knows what the rest of the company is doing. They might just have seen it as a good investment, plain and simple. I'm making some calls.

Murphy, Forman lauded by industry

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
News from the CSAA informs us that Vector Security president John A. Murphy and Altronix Corp. president Alan Forman are deserving of some applause. The most recent edition of CSAA's Signals reports Murphy received the Triton Tri-Association Award in recognition of his industry statesmanship and his efforts to promote good working relationships among the three associations--CSAA, NBFAA and SIA. Established in 2004, the Triton Award recognizes an individual's commitment to advancing the industry through the work of the three associations. Past winners include Stan Martin, Charlie Darsch, Marc Mineau, and Ralph Sevinor. Forman won SIA's George R. Lippert Memorial Award in recognition of his contributions to SIA and the security industry. Congrats to both for careers well-led and well-recognized.

What will they do with the lingerie?

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Okay, so there's nothing really interesting about this story concerning a Victoria's Secret store getting robbed. It's pretty standard stuff:
Police said the pair stuffed dozens of bras into bags about 4:30 p.m. May 27. The security video shows the suspects walking between tables of merchandise. The woman carried a large purse. The man had a large bag that appeared to get fuller as the minutes ticked by.
However, I found this paragraph amusing:
Police suspect the stolen merchandise will be sold on the Internet or the black market. Victoria's Secret's loss-prevention staff will monitor the Internet to see if the items are posted for sale.
That's crack police thinking there. What, you don't think those dozen bras were stolen for personal use? Hey, the economy's tough out there!

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