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Do you know the NBSP?

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Had a good meeting with Integrated Biometrics at ISC West. Just when I thought biometrics, especially fingerprint, had reached the point where people were just wrapping different pieces of plastic and tin around the same old technology, here was Wallace Seaborn, CEO of IB, to set me straight. For instance, did you know you could do "live" fingerprint reading, so that you can't spoof the reader with a rubber finger or a dead finger? I hadn't seen that before. IB does it with "light emitting sensor scanning technology." They've also got some interesting things to say about curved surfaces with Teflon that read better (no smudging out the finger to get flat) and last longer (1.5 million touches without degradation, which seems like a lot). Wallace also put me on to the National Biometric Security Project, an independent body that tests and certifies biometric devices based on performance standards for false acceptance rates, false rejections and failure to acquires, failure to enroll rates, and throughput rates. Apparently, IB is the only fingerprint solution to be certified thus far (which is why they pointed me in the direction of the NBSP in the first place, of course). Does anyone know about this group? Their board of directors seems solid. But why haven't I ever heard of this organization before? Here's their pitch:
NBSP, a non-profit organization, was established after the events of 9/11 with the support of the US Congress. NBSP widely supports government and private sector efforts to standardize, test, acquire, and deploy biometric technology; and to do so in an environment compatible with rational social objectives in preserving individual privacy and civil liberties.
The support of the US Congress? What does that mean? I'm not sure why I'm sounding so skeptical of this organization. I guess I figured I would have heard about them before now.

Whole body scans are coming to an airport near you

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The New York Times has been paying more attention to security technology recently, if only to stoke privacy fears. Still, this isn't a bad article on the new body screeners that will eventually be at every airport. Oh, no! There's a naked picture of me somewhere! Despite assurances that the images won't be stored, I imagine eventually there will be some kind of porn web site where you can view weird body-scan images of ugly Americans naked. It will probably be quite popular: "Ooh, look at the rolls of fat on that one! So sexy!"

Apx hires 200

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009
So ISC West 2009 won at the old political game: Exceeding expectations. And it succeeded, once again, in exhausting my colleagues and I. It was a great show, with some Vegas-style fun, but there's nothing like an ISC West show, and a 15-hour journey home to make me realize why Maine is truly home sweet home. And, on the news front, here's some good economic news: ApxAlarm announced that it'll be hiring 200 full-time people, most of whom will work in the Provo HQ. I'm talking to COO Alex Dunn today or tomorrow, so I'll have more details likely for a newswire story this week.

PSAPs need a break

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Monday, April 6, 2009
I just came across this story at kait8.com, Jonesboro, Ark.'s ABC affiliate. This is just too much. Part of my job here at SSN is covering developments in false alarm reduction efforts around the country. Public safety answering points such as 911, as well as police and other emergency responders are already pretty stretched as far as resources go. I guess my point is if you have an alarm system, make sure it's inspected, tested, and in good working order. Be certain everyone who may be on the protected premises knows all the codes and passwords, knows how to operate the system. Obviously, acts of God, such as weather, hurricanes and the like can't be helped and can cause false alarms, and municipalities generally make allowances for such eventualities. If there's actually an emergency, and you need to hit your panic button, or call 911, then fine, but for the love of God, use your alarm system properly, and don't call 911 because your brothers, "they gone come up pootin' and pickin' on me."

Camera-DVRs will soon be all the rage

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Monday, April 6, 2009
Kind of buried in this release is news that Dedicated Micros will soon unveil a camera-DVR combo package, kind of like what VideoIQ does, just without that analytics (or maybe with less-sophisticated analytics - we'll see):
Most notable of the new advances form Dedicated Micros at ISC-West is the preview of the Integrated Camera Recorder, which combines a megapixel camera with an enterprise class video server in one compact package that delivers robust recording at the edge of the network. It provides video on demand and eliminates the risk of losing video data due to network failure.
No word on when exactly this will be available for installation. When the VideoIQ camera was announced last year, it made a lot of sense to me (other than the fact that if you smash the camera you smash the memory), and I expect we'll see more and more cameras with significant on-board storage as it gets smaller and cheaper.

Follow the Saflink technology

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Monday, April 6, 2009
Just saw that Imprivata purchased IdentiPHI last week. They're traveling further down the road of converged identity by picking up more biometric capabilities, and the deal makes sense to me, but it's mostly of interest since Saflink was one of the first companies I took an interest in when I got into the security market, and now they're even one more step removed from reality. Saflink first split itself in half and spun off the Flo corporation, which deals in that registered traveler business. Then, Saflink "purchased" or "merged" with IdentiPHI in one of my favorite deals:
Saflink will acquire all of the outstanding shares of IdentiPHI in a stock-for-stock transaction where all of the outstanding shares of IdentiPHI will be exchanged for an aggregate total of 614,981,516 shares of Saflink common stock. After completion of the deal, former security holders of IdentiPHI would hold roughly 75 percent of the new company, which will be known as IdentiPHI, going forward, with headquarters in Austin, Texas. With Saflink stock trading at roughly 7.5 cents on Sept. 5, the deal is worth a theoretical $48 million. According to May 15 filings with the SEC, Saflink lost $3.5 million over the previous three months, with revenue of roughly $500,000.
614,981,516 shares. That's a lot of shares. And you've got to think three or four people held maybe 100,000,000 shares each. Imagine if you actually had 100,000,000 pieces of paper to represent those shares? Would that fill your entire house 10 times over? That Saflink/IdentiPHI leadership got something for former Saflink shareholders is probably a great executive maneuver. I'll try to find out exactly what he got.

And the winners are...

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Monday, April 6, 2009
I know some of you care about the New Product Showcase winners from ISC West. I don't have a link (they don't seem to be online yet), but I've got a cut-and-paste for you. Pivot3's the big winner - though they unveiled the product at ASIS, so just how "new" is it exactly? Here you go: Pivot3 Wins Top Prize at New Product Showcase General Electric takes Judges’ Innovation Award LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Pivot3 on Wednesday was honored with the Best in Show Award at the 2009 New Product Showcase for its Serverless Computing storage solution. Serverless Computing, according to Pivot3, consolidates resources to reduce power, cooling, rack space and cost dramatically. General Electric’s Vigilant V-Series life safety system received the NPS Judges’ Innovation Award. The New Product Showcase (NPS), which is sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA), is held annually in conjunction with ISC West at the Sands Expo and Convention Center to recognize the best security product innovations. This year’s competition included 76 entrants. “The Security Industry Association is proud to promote the development of products that make our world safer,” SIA Chief Executive Officer Richard Chace said. “We congratulate each of the winners for their impressive technological achievements, and we thank all of the competitors for their important contributions to the industry.” The NPS category winners included: Monitoring: Broadband Discovery Systems for the Merlin LE Video Storage and Distribution: Pivot3 for Serverless Computing Access Control: EC Key for the EK 4 Enterprise Relay Integrated Software, Products and Systems: Vidsys for RiskShield Intrusion Detection: Designed Security for the Entry Sentry Tailgate Detection System Fire and Life Safety: (tie) FireLite Alarms by Honeywell for the IPDACT-2UD FireWatch Series IP Communicator; System Sensor for the CO1224T CO Detector with RealTest Ooooh, they'll have to arm wrestle in the Honeywell offices for who's the real top dog. OEM: Pentax for the 1.3 Megapixel Varifocal Plus Lens False Alarm Solutions: Nascom for the Universal Flip Switch IP Devices, Products and Software: Panasonic for the iPro WV-NP502 Megapixel Fixed Network Camera Video Devices: TimeSight Systems for Video Surveillance Appliances Video Analytics: Behavioral Recognition Systems for AISight Let me know if you consider any of that thrilling.

"The Haymaker for closing sales"

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Saturday, April 4, 2009
I'm bored out of my skull in JFK, stuck in limbo trying to get home to Portland, Maine. So, of course, I'm surfing YouTube for security videos. That's how I spend my spare time, don't you know. And I've passed up all manner of videos of video cameras catching strange bright lights in the sky to bring you a guy talking in his kitchen. Why? This guy wants to help you sell residential accounts. He sells Smokin' Security. My favorite part is that he has a "Mr. X" that helps him with search engine optimization. I'm not sure I've ever heard a denser collection of empty marketing terms. Very impressive. Be a circle of influence, people.

Acuity: Major new player in IP video?

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Friday, April 3, 2009
We'll have a more-robust story on this for the next newswire, but Acuity Systems seems like a new video company to watch closely. Just spoke with Glenn Waehner, the company's CEO, and here's the story. Basically, we worked at American Dynamics, which invented a ton of the technology that's still used today in video, back in the 1980s. Then, it was bought by Tyco, and Glenn moved over to Pelco, where he was senior VP of product development. All his old buddies at AD called him right up and said, "take us with you." So he did, opening up the Pelco New York office and basically housing all those guys there. Fast forward to last year when Schneider bought Pelco. Schneider wants to close New York, the guys in New York don't want to move, and so Glenn (who was most recently CTO at Pelco) and the rest of that legacy team started Acuity Systems, which is brand new and focused along the same innovation and service lines that they've always been focused. Does the world need another video company? Maybe they need this one - interesting to see what happens there.

The social media experiment at ISC

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Friday, April 3, 2009
It's not like I didn't have the blog at last ISC West. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to bring you this guy: Sadly, Taser man has still never reached out to me - maybe he's on Twitter. That's definitely one way I'm suddenly contacting and being contacted. Though I think there's a universal bit of skepticism about the business value of Twitter and other social networking devices (Hi Chris), what we did last night, gathering maybe 30 people in the Treasure Island bar to talk shop (and not talk shop), was pretty cool. Basically, we only advertised the gathering via the blog and Twitter (and, I guess, telling people about it), and people actually showed up. At ASIS, we had a wine and cheese party at our booth that gathered the same amount of people, but we paid to print up little post cards and we paid to have it catered, and I'm thinking about the methods and the results. Catered events at shows=expensive. Printing things up=expensive (and wasteful). Twitter and the blog=free. Buying people drinks at the bar=less expensive (though we're in Vegas where beers are $7 unless you're at the tables, where they're free). So is that a business case argument for social networking. Did we see some ROI there, maybe? Kind of hard to say. I wonder if we'd have gotten the same amount of people if we'd just told people about it. I'm not entirely sure what all of the tabs came to. Maybe people like wine and cheese parties at the booth (where all of our branding happens to be, as well). Still, as an experiment, I think it was successful. And though all the conversations were "off the record," I still learned a bit and had some great arguments. Managed services may be the buzz here at ISC, but let's just say that there are still some skeptics. But I'm talking to Westec first thing this morning, so maybe I can do more to quiet that skepticism (or fuel it).

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