29 November 2012

Welcome to INFRAGARD

I am honored to be a new member of INFRAGARD and look forward to providing my support and skills to the organization. InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.

From drinking water supplies to communications systems, chemical production processes to agricultural resources, Americans depend on a select group of critical infrastructures to sustain our way of life. Any attempts to harm or destroy these resources would directly impact the security of the United States and its citizens.

Most of these systems and services are owned and operated by private industry. Therefore, the protection of our nation’s infrastructure cannot be accomplished by the federal government alone. It requires coordinated action from numerous stakeholders – including government, the private sector, law enforcement, academia and concerned citizens. My INFRAGARD E-Mail is James.E.McDonald@infragard.org.

12 September 2012

9/11 Thoughts on 9/12

Never forget!
Driving to work yesterday it hit me that the day's weather felt the same as it did in 2001.  I took pause to remember the horrific and tragic events of 9/11: the thousands of lives lost, the bravery and dedication of first responders and ordinary citizens and the lingering  effects on us all.

05 September 2012

Food for thought, are you happy?

Rhonda Byrne, creator of "The Secret" say's it this way...

"You must be happy now to bring happiness into your life through the law of attraction. It's a simple formula. Happiness attracts happiness. Yet people use so many excuses as to why they can't be happy. They use excuses of debt, excuses of health, excuses of relationships, and excuses of all sorts of things as to why they can't use this simple formula. But the formula is the law.
No matter what the excuse, unless you begin to feel happy despite it, you cannot attract happiness. The law of attraction is saying to you, "Be happy now, and as long as you keep doing that, I will give you unlimited happiness."  -  Rhonda Byrne, 9/3/2012

Thermal Imaging Software Detects Drunks

Thermal imaging software detects drunks - Vision Systems Design Greek researchers have developed software to analyze images from thermal imaging cameras to objectively determine whether a person has consumed an excessive amount of alcohol.

Georgia Koukiou and Vassilis Anastassopoulos of the Electronics Laboratory at the University of Patras (Rio,Greece) have devised two algorithms that can determine whether a person has been drinking alcohol to excess by analyzing infrared thermal images of the person's face.
The first algorithm measures pixel values of specific points on the person's face, which are compared to values in a database of scans of sober and inebriated people. Given that alcohol causes dilation of blood vessels in the surface of the skin, hot spots on the face can be seen in the thermal imaging scans, which can be used to classify whether an individual is drunk or sober.
The second algorithm assesses the thermal differences between various locations on the face. Using the approach, the researchers found that increased thermal illumination is common in the noses of inebriated people whereas their foreheads tend to be cooler. The advantage of the second technique is that no thermal image of the sober person is needed to determine whether the individual has been drinking.
Working together, the researchers say that the two techniques could be used to quickly scan individuals entering public premises or attempting to buy alcohol while inebriated.
The researchers presented the results of their work in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics in a paper entitled "Drunk person identification using thermal infrared images."

02 September 2012

Avigilon has a Superior Platform and Camera Line and Will Also Work with Most Existing Cameras You May Have

Many of you who have worked with me in the last 18 months know that I have been deploying Avigilon’s cameras and platform throughout my customer base.  I was very impressed with their processing and management of high-definition surveillance footage especially how they handle can bandwidth management.  HD can be taxing on your bandwidth—that’s not the case with High-Definition Stream Management™ (HDSM™) by Avigilon.  HDSM™ efficiently manages bandwidth usage and storage, so you can add as many high-definition surveillance cameras to your system as you want without affecting your network.  Additionally, With HDSM™ you can add more megapixels to your surveillance system including cameras from existing analog up to 29 MP to get better coverage and more image detail by putting more pixels on target than the millions of traditional analog and lower IP systems that are already deployed.

ACC was designed with openness in mind. Their video management software allows you to easily integrate with most leading camera and hardware manufactures. You can integrate Avigilon with existing legacy systems, including access control and building management. Their distributed architecture with .NET based API makes it easy. Maintain a single interface and save on training costs. Personally I have had great success with many of my preferred solution platforms.

Most recently I have begun to deploy their new H3 (H.246) line of 1mp – 5mp including their 1.0mp and 2.0mp PTZ products.  I have gotten crystal clear images even in challenging lighting conditions, with wide dynamic range on their upgraded H3 compression platform. The new 3 MP H264 HD camera has greater resolution and improved low light performance as well as simple installation with remote zoom and focus, which has been accepted very well equally by my customers and installation technicians.

If you have been deploying video solutions for more than a few years, you know from time your solution does not always work as designed.  Many times there is finger pointing by the different manufacturers on why this camera doesn’t work with this software and so on. With Avigilon's network video recorders that employ RAID storage when needed and redundant power supply options for maximum reliability so you never have to worry about downtime or finger pointing.   The Avigilon servers are perfect for larger-scale deployments. NVR servers come in a standard rack mount enclosure and can record up to 32MB/s of image data from up to 128 cameras, giving you a scalable solution to meet your growing needs.

No matter if your organization is Retail, Banking, Airport, Transportation, Casino, Healthcare, Education, Public Transit, Critical Infrastructure or any location or facility where an integrated surveillance solution can enhance your security or mitigate risk and liability, Avigilon is a solution you should explore.  Avigilon is a leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of high definition, network-based video surveillance systems and equipment for the global security market.  Go to www.Avigilon.com for additional information, for a no obligation demonstration or free 30 day trial, give me a call.

Physical Security Talking Points and Fraud

When discussing physical security, there are several important talking points to consider. Here are some key points to include: Risk Assessm...