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Security Surveillance Aid for Crime Prevention

31 Jan 2013

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CCTV systems

Many places of business rely on security cameras or surveillance systems to record or monitor activity inside and outside of their facilities.  While their effectiveness in deterring crime is debatable, they can provide evidence and make a good witness if they are high quality and are installed correctly.  If you have or plan on having security cameras or surveillance systems installed at your place of business, there are a few things you may want to consider before purchasing your system.

Large companies and retailers have a lot of property to protect.  With an IP surveillance camera, the business can exist securely without any concern for theft or tampering going on unmonitored. An IP system can monitor an area 24/7, and the business owner can access either live video or recorded video through a network or on the Internet. These systems are becoming vastly more effective than CCTV and even DVR because clearer still images can be pulled from Internet protocol video, making it easier to identify culprits, even in quick motion. Plus, companies with previously established DVR or CCTV systems can easily integrate Internet protocol into the old system without making it completely useless. Others find that Internet protocol is superior to old methods of surveillance monitoring because CCTV requires expensive coaxial cabling while protocol cables are significantly cheaper and can be less obtrusive.

IP Based Security Surveillance Solution

Security surveillance has been a popular security tool for years. And thanks to new breakthroughs in technology, security cameras, motion detection and analytics to mention a few are more effective than ever before. Banks, retail stores, and countless other end-users depend on the protection provided by security surveillance. From the streets of London to subway stations in New York City, hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras ubiquitously collect hundreds of thousands of videos, running 24/7. At home if you want to keep an eye on things in your House, either while you are away or just busy in the other room, intelligent surveillance camera provide solution. A surveillance camera is nothing new when a customer walks into a store, convenience store, a college or school or transit bus.

What is an IP Camera?

While analog CCTV systems were once the norm, they can be expensive, requiring complicated installations and constant upkeep. Fortunately, advances in digital technology have made video surveillance systems far more cost-effective, flexible, and simple to operate. Security systems using IP (Internet Protocol) cameras are easy to install and maintain, and can be customized and scaled to perfectly match your specific needs. An IP camera captures and sends video footage over an IP network, allowing users to view, record, store, and manage their video surveillance images either locally or remotely over the network infrastructure. The camera can be placed wherever there's an IP network connection. It has its own IP address and unlike a webcam, doesn't require a connection to a PC in order to operate.

Along with streaming video footage, network cameras can include a number of additional functionalities, such as pan/tilt/zoom operation, motion detection, audio surveillance, integration with alarms and other security systems, automated alerts, intelligent video analytics, and much more. Many IP cameras can also send multiple streams of video, using different compression technologies for live viewing and archiving.

IP cameras offer flexible installation, ease of use, higher-quality images, stability, and scalability as new cameras can be added to the network at any time.

Wireless Connectivity

Wireless network cameras are primarily used in situations where the installation of extra cabling in a building could cause damage, or in locations where cameras need to be frequently repositioned. Basically, we're talking about video surveillance installations where a wired solution is impractical, or installations requiring the mobility that a wireless solution provides.

The most common modes of wireless communication are wireless LANs and wireless bridges. A wireless LAN is just what it sounds like – a wireless local area network. Wireless LANS are typically setup indoors and cover short distances. The standards for this type of wireless network are usually well defined so products from different vendors can operate together on the same network.

Wireless bridges are used to connect buildings or multiple sites together using a point-to-point data link that allows data to travel long distances at high speeds.

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet (or PoE) is a technology that allows LAN-enabled devices, such as network cameras and IP telephones, to be powered over an IP network infrastructure using standard Ethernet cabling. In the case of an IP-based surveillance system featuring PoE cameras, each individual camera transmits data and receives power via a single Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for complicated and expensive cabling because the system operates along an existing network. Power over Ethernet allows for flexible camera installation as cameras can be placed in areas where power outlets aren't readily available. This means users can actually install the cameras where they're needed, not just where the AC sockets are. Power is supplied directly from the data ports that the cameras and other network devices are connected to. Users can also install Wireless LAN access points for even greater flexibility.

Another benefit of PoE technology is it enables easy installation of UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) for video surveillance applications requiring 24-hour surveillance that will continue even during power outages.

Audio Recording

Many IP camera models offer audio support. Some feature built-in microphones that allow operators to listen in on areas under surveillance, while others provide for two-way audio communication using a microphone and external speaker. Audio is transmitted across your network the same way video footage is, so setting up a surveillance system that captures audio is as simple as hooking up your cameras. Using either a built-in or external microphone, the camera captures the audio, integrates it into the video stream, and streams it over the network for monitoring and recording.

Just like network video, audio footage can be accessed from remote locations. Users can monitor and listen in on areas within range of the cameras, and with a two-way audio setup can even talk to those under the camera's watch. The cameras can also be programmed to deliver recorded messages informing possible perpetrators that they're under watch. Another useful function is audio detection. This is the process where a network camera is set to record when the audio level reaches a certain mark. Audio detection can also be used to trigger alarms and send alerts.

Video Analytics

Video analytics are sophisticated applications and software algorithms that perform analysis of surveillance video as it's being captured. While there are many potential benefits to using video analytics, the main aim of the technology is to enable surveillance systems to not just capture video footage for post-event investigation, but to actually detect suspicious activity as it happens. In that sense, video analytics serve to provide a form of preventative surveillance.

Some of the more common surveillance applications that fall under the video analytics umbrella include advanced motion detection, facial recognition, behavioral recognition, audio detection, license plate recognition, and the ability to detect very specific events such as a person leaving behind an object, or acts of graffiti and vandalism.

Video analytics can either be built into the network camera, or work as part of a video management software platform. With the introduction of megapixel IP cameras, this technology has become increasingly popular and effective. While the technology is applicable to a range of applications, it's most commonly used for surveillance in high-security locations such as banks, airports, and government facilities. Some banks, for instance, now use facial recognition to identify individuals suspected of check fraud and other criminal activities.

Since the technology is relatively new, the various impacts of video analytics are still being weighed. As the technology improves, and more options become available, we can expect to see different forms of video analytics used for everything from preventing crime and speeding up response times, to reducing false alarms and optimizing video storage space.

Network Video Recorder (NVR)

Video management software is a key component of any video surveillance solution. It's the software that provides the tools for monitoring and analyzing surveillance footage, as well as recording. While a standard web browser often allows for remote viewing, dedicated video management software is required for viewing and managing multiple cameras at once.

The most basic IP video software provides live viewing, recording, and retrieving of video footage. More advanced NVR software platforms offer simultaneous viewing of multiple cameras, and multiple recording modes (including continuous, scheduled, and triggered recording). Other features may include the ability to handle large image files with high frame rates, fast search capabilities, pan/tilt/zoom control, audio support, and remote access via web browser as well as cell phones and other handheld devices. Some software programs also support intelligent surveillance using sophisticated video analytics such as facial recognition and advanced motion detection.

Security

As with any video surveillance system, privacy and security are important factors to consider when setting up an IP-based video solution. Users want to be assured that no one can tap into their video feeds. Those concerns are understandable, but with IP network cameras, it’s quite easy to protect your files from unauthorized viewing and tampering. In most cases, the network camera encrypts the surveillance video before sending it over the network. This helps to ensure that only authorized viewers can access the camera feeds. Most systems also include password protection and different levels of authentication that work to prevent hacking and outside access.

Another tool for protecting network video feeds is digital watermarking. IP cameras are capable of adding encrypted watermarks into the video stream. The watermarks can include information such as time, location, and user activity, while time stamping can create a trail that shows who has accessed specific video images, and whether any edits have been made to the files.

THISWEEK ON GADGETS

The NEW 128GB iPad 4

Following a flurry of 128GB iPad 4 release rumours, Apple has officially launched the increased storage tablet with the a 128GB iPad 4.

Formerly unveiled after days of speculation and repeated leaks, Apple has confirmed that a 128GB iPad 4 release date will be held on February 5 with the Wi-Fi only model, which will offer twice the storage over previous model of  iPad’s.

“With more than 120 million iPads sold, it’s clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs.”

128GB iPad 4 Specs

Featuring the same specs as existing iPad 4 models, the newly confirmed 128GB iPad 4 with Retina display will differ only in its increased, 128GB storage capacity, with the upcoming tablet set to come pre-installed with the newly released iOS 6.1 operating system update.

With the tablet’s 9.7-inch Retina display providing stunning visuals thanks to a 2048 x 1536p resolution and 264 pixels-per-inch image density, the high-end 128GB iPad 4 specs sheet is to be further bolstered by a speedy A6X dual-core processor with quad-core graphics.

Previously available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options, the new 128GB iPad 4 with Retina display will play host to the tablet’s widely acclaimed 10 hour battery life whilst providing double the storage space of past models.

With a 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera offering 1080p Full HD video recording capabilities, the new 128GB iPad 4 camera collection will be complimented by a second, 1.2-megapixel FaceTime snapper around front, perfect for FaceTime and Skype video calls.

StarTimes Gets High Rating

StarTimes has been adjudged the best pay digital channel provider for the year 2012. The rating came from the Nigeria Broadcaster Merit Award, which is based on the company’s quest in ensuring that every home in Nigeria has access to digital television.

The rating, which was subject to public view and response through on-line voting and resourceful research and survey from agencies, placed StarTimes higher above other competitors on the same digital platform. Speaking on the criteria for the rating, the organisers said the rating was the outcome of Nigerians’ participation through on-line voting.

Marketing Director, StarTimes, Mr. Eric Liu said StarTimes as a brand, would continue to bring real entertainment to every home.

“Our vision is to revolutionise the digital broadcasting industry and provide service that is affordable and available to all Nigerians, and we will
continue to do so” he said.

Microsoft Launches New Office Software

Microsoft Corporation has launched its new Office software, featuring constantly updated online access to documents from a range of devices.
The software company attempts to tailor its most profitable product to a mobile generation. The consumer-focused version of the new software, called Office 365 Home Premium, was introduced into the market recently.

The new Office suite of applications, which include desktop staples outlook email, Excel charts, Word and PowerPoint, marks the first overhaul since 2010 and it is aimed at address growing competition from Google’s free online apps. Head of Microsoft Office Unit, Kurt DelBene, said, "The notion of an always up-to-date streaming version of Office comes directly from how people are using devices today."

Yahoo Records Growth in Quarterly Revenue

Yahoo has reported fourth quarter revenue of $1.35 billion, which shows an increase of nearly two per cent from last year’s revenue. About 700 million web surfers visit its website every month, ranking it among the top in the global industry, according to recent report. The report, however, said that Yahoo shed more than 1,000 jobs during 2012, which pitched it against diverse opinion on whether it should focus on media content or on tools and technologies.

A new Chief Executive Officer, Marissa Mayer, was brought in last July from Google to turn the company around and it is believed that the latest financial figures from Yahoo, was made possible through Mayer’s efforts and leadership style. According to analysts, Mayer has been focusing on building better mobile and social networking services, since her arrival at Yahoo.

Privacy Campaign against Google Thickens

A group of Apple's Safari web browser users has launched a campaign against Google over privacy concerns. They claim that Google by-passed Safari's security settings to install cookies which tracked their movements on the internet. Between 2011and 2012 they were assured by Google that it had nothing to do with piracy, but one person from the group has begun legal proceedings against Google.

A law firm has also been instructed to co-ordinate further claims made by other individuals. Last year Google was fined $22.5m in the United States (US) for the same action. The cookies collected data about the online activities of web users in order for Google to provide more targeted advertising to them. A former editor of Index on Censorship magazine, Judith Vidal-Hall from United Kingdom, had also taken legal action against Google for piracy.

When Google was fined by the US Federal Trade Commission in 2012, Chairman of the commission, Jon Leibowitz, said all companies must
"keep their privacy promises to customers".

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, Security Surveillance, Crime Prevention

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