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Need Home Security ? Try CCTV Monitoring System

If you’ve given any thought to home security you’ve probably considered a closed circuit television monitoring system (better known as CCTV.)

What you’ll have with your CCTV system is at least one surveillance camera, a variety of lenses (pan, zoom and infrared for night vision) to focus on particular areas of your grounds and home, and a VCR (video cassette recorder) that will make a permanent record of what the camera is seeing.

If you should decide you want to provide CCTV security in your home you’ll need to do at least one slow walk around your home, making notes as you go, about where you need surveillance, and what areas are the most vulnerable, and in need of protection. While you certainly want to focus on your house – the place where your family’s safety is the primary concern – don’t neglect to include garage, breezeway, in-law quarters, front and back yard, driveway, alleyway, or any outside fence or gate entrance.

You may want more than one camera in your home. This could be important if your home is large, for instance, and you’re regularly in one section of the home while a babysitter watches your children, or a housekeeper performs his or her duties. With the prevalence of home offices this may be especially important, if you’re in your office all day with the door shut. Having a separate camera watching that home office may also reduce your insurance bill as well.

Once you’ve determined what areas on which you need to focus you’ll have to measure the areas. The range of area needing monitoring is important to the size of camera or cameras you purchase.

While you can choose five sizes of camera – ranging in size from one quarter to two thirds of an inch, the wisest choices are to go no larger than one half an inch. With a camera one half inch or smaller you’ll have a more extensive choice of lenses that will work with it.

There are four different versions of CCTV camera lenses from which you can choose. They are fixed aperture, manual or auto iris and zoom. An auto iris lens is ideal for outside viewing, as it adjusts itself to accommodate changes in lighting. In places where the amount of lighting stays fairly stagnant a manual iris will do. This type of lens requires that you actually make the lighting adjustments by hand. Zoom lenses, just as with any camera, allow you to bring a viewed situation closer to your eye for improved visibility. Some zoom lenses offer a motorized option.

Once you know the number of cameras you’re going to need you’ll know whether you’re going to have to have more than one monitor or whether you can make do with a switcher (one monitor, alternating location views) or a multi-plexer (several locations showing in boxes on one monitor at the same time).

Decide how long you are going to need to record prior to being able to remove and replace the VCR film. If the time you’re going to be absent from the home, i.e., unable to remove and replace the VCR tape, is going to exceed 4-6 hours (depending on the VCR) you may not be able to use your household VCR. You may need to upgrade to a commercial quality recorder.

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August 4, 2010 Posted by | Computers & Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NATO ???

Yesterday in Brussels, NATO kicked off a yearlong process to draft a new strategic concept. The last strategic concept was adopted a decade ago at the Washington Summit marking the alliance’s 50th anniversary, when NATO was at war in what turned out to be a 78-day bombing campaign to stop Serbia and its autocratic leader Slobodan Milosevic’s ruthless campaign of slaughter in Kosovo labeled mildly as ethnic cleansing. But, in many ways, the challenges today are greater than at any time in NATO’s 60-year history.

For one thing, NATO’s success led to a complete dissolution of the enemy it was created to deter, contain and defeat when the Soviet Union imploded two decades ago. Yet, NATO still remains a military alliance directed against very diaphanous and different threats. Thus, NATO has been struggling for a raison d’etre that recognizes traditional defense does not fit the broader security challenges and dangers that are in evidence, all the while expanding from 19 to 28 member nations.

The centerpiece of the alliance rests in Article V of the Washington Treaty: an attack on one in Europe or North America constitutes an attack against all. In conducting its business, consensus, meaning unanimity in agreement, has been the modus operandi. However, the definition of threat is not universally shared as many NATO members are more comfortable with traditional and proximate notions of territorial defense than with the newer expeditionary missions that have taken the alliance to its first ground war ever in Afghanistan, and with new threats from cyberattack and protection of critical infrastructure to responding to huge disasters whether of man or nature. And make no mistake. The future credibility and cohesion of the alliance rests on how well or how badly Afghanistan turns out — in any event likely to prove a “close run thing.”

Beyond these profound changes in the security environment, NATO must come to grips with other tough issues. In virtually all member states, defense spending is declining in difficult economic times. NATO’s bureaucratic organization is sclerotic and needs major overhaul. And in dealing with this array of daunting issues, as outgoing Supreme Allied Commander Army Gen. John Craddock has outspokenly observed, “NATO’s political leadership is often AWOL.”

The Leninist question of “what is to be done?” now confronts the alliance in developing a new strategic concept. But not everything is negative. NATO has proven to be the most successful military alliance in history. It has the best armed forces in the world, many of whom have seen active combat in Afghanistan and some in Iraq. And France, under the leadership of President Nicolas Sarkozy, has rejoined the military command structure.

A new leadership is taking over in the key leadership positions. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen will become the new secretary-general later this fall. U.S. Adm. James Stavridis is the new Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the first time a navy admiral has held that position. And in September, French Air Force Gen. Stephane Abrial will assume the duties of Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in Norfolk, Va., becoming the first non-American ever to hold that post.

Furthermore, NATO has just completed a major study on “Joint Futures” means to sketch out the range of threats facing the alliance from conventional to the more exotic, a very good first step in helping the alliance think through the nature of the dangers it is prepared to counter. Clearly, the shift from a defense-based to a broader security-based alliance is essential. However, given domestic politics in the 28 member states, while intellectually straightforward, if not done carefully, this transformation could be the political equivalent of leaping across the Grand Canyon in two single bounds.

In negotiating this transformation from defense to security as the basis for the alliance, history offers a tempting way forward. In the mid-1960s, the alliance was divided over conventional defense versus nuclear deterrence. With growing Soviet capabilities in both conventional and nuclear forces, the United States argued for stressing the former. The European allies, not wanting either a conventional war in their back yards or having to spend more on conventional forces, favored nuclear deterrence. The solution was “flexible response.”

Originally meant to defend across the entire conflict spectrum, the political brilliance of flexible response was that it allowed both sides of the Atlantic to emphasize their strategic preferences, relieving this political tension. What is needed is a new version of flexible response that enables member states to focus on the threats each view as most critical so the alliance is not forced into strategic platitudes or fundamental deadlock over the rationale underpinning the alliance. If this balance can be achieved, NATO could have at least another 60 years left. If not, we could end up reinventing an unsatisfactory replacement structure.

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments