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New GE head introduced

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Dean Seavers met the industry for the first time this morning and looked remarkably comfortable for someone on the job only three weeks. He let the VPs do most of the talking during an hour-long press conference, but led off with a nice quote from Colin Powell about not being afraid to let people under you show their own leadership capabilities. Very apropos, I thought. Also, he addressed the Smiths fall out, if briefly, saying, "we couldn't agree on combined strategic vision." I'll have more with Dean for the newswire, after a meeting later today.

UTC consolidates all systems integration into Red Hawk

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Monday, September 24, 2007
Breaking news from the ASIS floor: UTC Fire & Security is celebrating the one year anniversary of its buy of integrator Red Hawk by consolidating all of its U.S. systems integration business under the Red Hawk name. Chubb and Initial, notably, will cease to exist as U.S. brands. On the other hand, all Canadian integration business will consolidate under the Chubb name. UTC's monitoring operation, Counterforce, will continue throughout North America. I interviewed Antonio Cintra, the president of security services America for UTC, this morning and I'll have a full report of what he had to say on the newswire Thursday morning. Suffice it to say, though, that UTC is investing a lot of money in the Red Hawk brand and intend to be a force in more than just the financial vertical that Red Hawk currently specializes in.

ASIS opens with a wake

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Monday, September 24, 2007
As visitors crowded into the Las Vegas Convention center here for the opening of this year's ASIS International conference, they were greeted with the sounds of bagpipes as IP access control manufacturer Viscount held a "wake" for the control panel, which featured a procession through the red-carpeted aisles. There was even a coffin. And arm-bands with blinking Viscount lights. And booze. It was pretty funny, actually.

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ASIS opens with a wake

 - 
Monday, September 24, 2007
As visitors crowded into the Las Vegas Convention center here for the opening of this year's ASIS International conference, they were greeted with the sounds of bagpipes as IP access control manufacturer Viscount held a "wake" for the control panel, which featured a procession through the red-carpeted aisles. There was even a coffin. And arm-bands with blinking Viscount lights. And booze. It was pretty funny, actually.

Help for small Canadians

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Or, maybe, small Canadian businesses would be more accurate. Joe Cosentino and a group of four small independent distributors have founded the Canadian Association of Independent Security Distributors, which will operate something like a co-op, offering members collective buying power. I'll have an interview with Cosentino in our November issue, but he basically just says this is a way of leveling the playing field for independent distributors who are competing with the likes of ADT and Tri-Ed, who obviously have a little bit of buying power of their own. The CAISD is hoping for a total of about 40 paying members, but there will also be an opportunity for dealers to join as free memebers, and receive discounts on products and even services in the way that monitoring centers can often offer deals on telecom services and the like. It's based in Toronto, but there's nothing in the group's by-laws that says you have to be a Maple Leafs fan.

GE, Smiths call off joint venture

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Thursday, September 20, 2007
News has come out of the UK that Smiths Detection and GE have called off their collaboration to tackle the market for scanning devices used in airports and other screening applications. I consider that big news. A number of news organizations have speculated that Smiths is being broken up, which could mean the Smiths Detection arm is simply up for sale. Who's buying? I still wonder what this means for Registered Traveler.

Icx is pretty thermal, too

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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Speaking of thermal cameras (see Flir item, below), icx imaging systems certainly has some nice product, though I'm not sure how much they're selling. Want to take a camera for a test drive? Sorry, I'm a sucker for cool web tricks.

Flir is getting hot (or should I say, "thermal"?)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007
My European counterpart alerted me to the fact that Flir has agreed to pay more than $40 million for Cedip Infrared Systems, a provider of infrared cameras and stabilized gimbaled systems, based in suburban Paris. First of all, how can you not get psyched about using the word "gimbaled," but, second, I think it's clear now that Flir is taking names in the infrared/thermal market. Check out the awards they've announced here. That's more than $60 million in business in the last two months. Not too shabby. Speaking of thermal cameras, have you heard about these SARS/Avian Flu detecting cameras. Basically, they provide alarms for people with high body temperatures, or, as the site says, "fever-like symptoms." What, exactly, would be "fever-like"? Don't you either have a fever or you don't? Supposedly, this would make sense to install in an airport at customs. But wouldn't it pick up anybody with a fever? Just because I have the flu doesn't mean I should be retained as a potential SARS case.

Security and OJ Simpson

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I've got to admit that I am beyond shocked that video footage of OJ Simpson in the Palace Station in Vegas hasn't appeared yet. We all know how much has been invested in security at casinos and hotels in the city of sin, yet all we're being given is a bad audio tape made by one of Simpson's victims and some footage from Simpson's bail hearing. I'm deeply disappointed in the security director at the Palace - shouldn't he or she have sold that footage to Fox News for a million bucks by now? Maybe the Palace hasn't upgraded to IP yet and they're still looking for the video on their VCRs....

Piling on

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Okay, so the New England Patriots cheating scandal has officially reached the realm of the ludicrous. Now comes word from Kimmons Security Services, an outfit based in Houston doing investigations and debugging and the like, that head honcho Rob L. Kimmons thinks law enforcement should investigate the team for possibly audio-recording opposing teams' offensive audibles. "If this is true," Kimmons writes in a press release that was distributed through all the normal channels, "and conversations were covertly intercepted without participants' knowledge, this could very well be a criminal offense. In most states, at least one party in a conversation must know it is being intercepted or taped, or a criminal law has been violated. Some states require all party consent for audio monitoring." Okay, that's all well and good, but is this really the way you'd like your tax-payer-funded law-enforcement officers spending their time? Investigating whether the Patriots illegally taped their opponents? Mightn't we simply let the league police their own on this one? If Kimmons was serious about this, woudn't he have researched which laws actually applied in New Jersey? Hey, I'm all for attention grabbing by companies who'd like to get themselves on ESPN or CNN. That's what American mainstream media is today, a giant opportunity for building your brand. But this seems particularly shameless. For one, it implies that the law-enforcement types whose jurisdiction is the Meadowlands aren't aware of laws surrounding audio surveillance. For another thing, something makes me think this guy is a Texans fan. Look, it's not the Patriots' fault your team didn't draft Vince Young. And just because you're 2-0, don't start thinking you're going to the Super Bowl.

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