23 September 2009

the Apple tablet

Back in 1983, after studing computer science and working in sales for three years I was working for a small computer company as VP of sales and marketing for a small technology service computer company. The reason I bring this up is that one day we were sitting around discussing where the industry should go and what type of devices we wanted to see. The good news is the industry is finally catching up to the vision. The company that makes the Mac computer, iPod music player and iPhone is reportedly poised to launch a tablet computer – small enough to carry in a handbag or briefcase but big enough to comfortably surf the web, read newspapers and watch films. It could be Apple's latest billion-dollar jackpot.

Months of rumour and hype have reached a crescendo in recent days with some reports suggesting that the tablet could be launched by Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs, next month and be in the shops by Christmas. Such is the fascination with all things Apple that blogs are humming with speculation and a new mention of the tablet crops up on Twitter around every eight minutes.

"The Apple magic is great technology and great marketing," said Leander Kahney, a blogger and author of The Cult of Mac. "We've seen it with the iPod, the iPhone and, before that, the Mac. That's why this is so exciting."

He added: "They've been working on this for the past six years. People expect it to be the ultimate Apple surprise. This thing will knock people's socks off."

Apple product launches are celebrated rituals where the talismanic Jobs, in black sweater and jeans, stands on a stage in San Francisco and unveils the company's latest innovation, cheered by adulatory crowds with near religious fervour. The Californian giant has sold more 200 million iPods since their launch in 2001.

Famously secretive, Apple has refused to comment on the tablet speculation. But Tim Cook, its chief operating officer, recently hinted that the company was working on something "very innovative". Jobs – now back at work after a six-month leave of absence following a liver transplant – is thought to have been personally involved in the development of the device over the past two years.

The tablet is rumoured to be any size and scale between the iPhone and the MacBook laptop. Some have described the tablet as a "Kindle-killer", potentially usurping the Amazon Kindle and other electronic book readers. It would be billed as a solution for people who work a lot on the move but don't want to carry a laptop. What experts believe would set the tablet apart would be that, instead of a keyboard, it would use a touch-sensitive screen. Kahney said: "Apple will totally rejig the computing experience. You won't manipulate a keyboard and mouse any more but rather use an intuitive touchscreen. It will very tactile. It will be a whole new paradigm."

It might also prove the launchpad for an "iTunes for newspapers", allowing commuters to read news on screen instead of in print. Even magazines might be reproduced convincingly on the high-resolution screen. Kahney said: "Instead of reading a review of a band, you could have audio and video embedded and listen to them and watch them being interviewed."

Expectations flared recently when Gene Munster, a technology research analyst, said that he had had discussions with an Asian component supplier that claimed to have received orders for a touchscreen device which needed to be filled by the end of the year. Munster took this as evidence that Apple would launch a tablet in early 2010.

He estimated that an Apple tablet, with an onscreen keyboard like the iPhone, would cost around $600 (£363), putting it between the highest-end iPod Touch at $399 and the MacBook, which starts at $999. At $600, Munster calculated that sales of 2 million tablets could add $1.2bn (£727m) to Apple's sales next year.

Sales of Apple laptops are stalling as they face competition from netbooks, the smaller and lighter laptops that have proved popular among students. Rival companies have also introduced tablets but lack the hype that guarantees Apple mountains of free publicity.

Bill Thompson, a technology author and blogger, warned, however, that Apple's run of dramatic breakthroughs was unlikely to last for ever. "If Steve Jobs stands up and announces this, it could be his last hurrah. The technology industry has matured and, unless Apple does something completely unexpected, we have a pretty good idea what this will look like. The world has been shaped by technology in such a way that it is no longer surprising."

22 September 2009

Cisco and Pelco Form Strategic Technology Agreement

CLOVIS, CA and SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2009) - Pelco by Schneider Electric, and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced a strategic technology agreement to pursue the joint development of new high-definition (HD) Internet Protocol (IP) video security cameras built upon Pelco's award-winning Sarix™ technology platform. The new co-branded video security cameras will bring together Pelco's leadership in imaging with Cisco's IP networking expertise to deliver the next generation of high-definition IP video security cameras. These cameras will be sold globally by Cisco Authorized Technology Providers and are currently projected to be available from the end of 2009.

"The combination of Cisco's IP networking expertise and Pelco's imaging expertise is a win-win for customers. After conducting an extensive evaluation of current technologies, we found that Pelco has developed one of the most advanced IP HD imaging systems in the global security marketplace," explains Bill Stuntz, general manager and vice president of the Cisco Physical Security business unit. "When this product has been provided, we can take advantage of our expertise to deliver best-in-class solutions for customers."

According to Pelco President and CEO Dean Meyer, "Pelco and Cisco are natural partners to help drive the next generation of physical security systems. We're excited to work closely with Cisco to combine their deep understanding of IP networks with Pelco's industry-leading Sarix technology to drive innovative HD IP camera development for the global security market. Our shared commitment to our customers and proven success in working together will allow us to deliver new features and capabilities that meet the needs of today's safety and security professionals."

Pelco will initially supply Cisco with a complete line of HD imaging technologies that will be used to extend Cisco's existing camera line and network-centric video surveillance systems. Cameras co-branded by Cisco and Pelco will feature the powerful functionality of Sarix technology, including full-frame-rate video, H.264 compression, advanced low-light performance, embedded analytics, auto focus, and easy installation. As joint development proceeds, best-in-class IP networking features will be embedded into the co-branded cameras.

This agreement is the latest collaborative effort between Schneider Electric and Cisco.

About Pelco

Pelco, Inc., a Schneider Electric company, is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of video and security systems and equipment ideal for any industry. Pelco produces the security industry's most respected offering of discreet camera domes and enclosures, video matrix systems, next-generation digital video recorders, IP solutions and fiber optic transmission systems for video/data -- and much more. For additional product or company information, please visit www.pelco.com.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

Cisco, the Cisco logo, and Cisco Systems are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

For direct RSS Feeds of all Cisco news, please visit "News@Cisco" at the following link:


PSIM Creates Safe Harbor for Long Beach Port - Security Squared

PSIM Creates Safe Harbor for Long Beach Port - Security Squared

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17 September 2009

The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance Demonstrates PSIA-compliant Devices at ASIS

Leading security manufacturers will participate in interoperability demonstration on Sept. 22, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (www.psialliance.org), a global consortium of physical security providers focused on developing and promoting standards for IP-enabled devices, will showcase the interoperability of PSIA-compliant products during a demonstration at the 55th Annual ASIS International Seminar & Exhibits in Anaheim, Calif.
At the plug fest, leading IP device manufacturers including GE Security, IQInVision, Milestone Systems, Arecont Vision, Everfocus, HikVision and Synectics will demonstrate and test the interoperability of IP products implemented with the PSIA 1.0 API Media Device specification. The demonstration will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, at 3 p.m. at the Hilton Anaheim, adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center.
“The PSIA plug fest at ASIS this year is a key landmark in the progression of standards from PSIA. Prior to this point, the PSIA specs have been approved and available, but this event marks the groundswell of implementations that are becoming available from key security manufacturers. And, many more implementations are on their way this year,” said Roger Richter, Chief Engineer, GE Security, and Chairman of PSIA’s Systems Working Group. “Standards don’t become standards until they are implemented and they interoperate. For PSIA, this is happening now. This is what ‘IP convergence’ is all about.”
The PSIA specification enables interoperability between disparate products, expanding opportunities for companies that provide solutions to the physical security marketplace, and breaking down proprietary barriers for systems integrators and end users.
“The PSIA standardization effort is extremely important to the megapixel market. With a broad camera line-up ranging in resolutions from 1 to 10 megapixels and new models being introduced every few months, we had to overcome a constant challenge of closely working with a large number of NVR providers to assure seamless interoperability of new devices with their platforms,” stated Raul Calderon, Vice President, Strategic Relations, Arecont Vision. “With the growing acceptance of the PSIA standard we expect to be able to increase the rate of innovation, introducing more models that address different market segments, while avoiding the delays and effort associated with integration of each new device in a wide variety of platforms available on the market.”
“IQinVision is pleased to join all of these industry leaders contributing and demonstrating products at the inaugural PSIA plug fest,” said Ian Johnston, CTO, IQinVision. “This is a huge step forward for our industry as a whole, and we look forward to similar such events in the future.”
About PSIA
The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance is a global consortium of nearly 50 physical security manufacturers and integrators that are focused on promoting interoperability of IP-enabled security devices across every segment of the industry.

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