Good morning and Happy New Year!

I don’t have great Videos, GIF’s or inspiring Cards but a few sincere wishes that should touch your life with the emerging sunrise of 2017.

We humans can only dream and strive, however, in the struggle to strive for what we want, let us not forget what we have – our inner self, our family and friends. Let’s stay positive despite the torment and tribulations! Let’s pray the lord to reveal and unravel the true meaning of life inbuilt in our inner compass, let us continue our commitment on our path towards salvation! Let us pray Lord to offer us the strength to withstand the hard realities of Life and despite the odds, let’s pray to empower us to strive to achieve what we wish!

I wish you all the happiness, success and dreams you yearn for. Wish you a Very Happy New Year!!

On Socialization disconnecting us from our inner self

In the daily hustle bustle of life and the new world of interconnectedness (with social media such as What’sUp and Facebook), let’s not forget to reflect and connect with our spiritual self and enrich our inner being. I wish you get several moments to truly enrich our inner being and enjoy each rapturous moments of revelation from 2017.

Enriching our inner being, as you all know, is a serene everlasting experience. It has no trapping of this material world, there are no rewards, no accolades and no sensuous tingling, just a serene experience that stays for life.

  • Life is but a snap shot of passing times, like me, we all are witness to the beauty of life of creation and of sunset.  I wish you all take the time to feel every moment, everyday, all the time.
  • Let’s remember, socialization is being connected, an extension of our yearning to be connected with our surrounding cognitively and otherwise. Let us not get scarred or be intimated knowing the difference of perspective within us.
  • Let us welcome those unraveled facets of ‘Life and Living’,  let us have the grace to expand our magnitude of difference and acceptance.

On Politics and outside world influencing our inner self

  • Let us not be swayed by political opinion but keep ourself rooted to our conscious self and let us consciously make efforts to guide our destiny through these tormenting times.
  • In the face of criticism, and negativity, I wish you get the strength to trust ourselves and get the strength to interact with criticism guided by our inner voice.

On our responsibilities towards Mother Earth and Nature

Individually and collectively, Let us strive proactive preserve this universe, let’s keep mother earth and nature in our thought. As we are crossing the 7.475 billion population mark, while this rapturous moment is unfolding, let us remember, we are straining the mother Earth and depriving her of her precious resources and also depriving other creatures that are sustained on her resources. Let us all, individually and collectively, conserve those, not for saving our money or resources but as a respect and love towards Mother Nature, especially as we collectively are assuming a size of 7.475 billion.

  • We humans can only dream and strive, but let’s stay positive despite the torment and tribulations!
  • Let’s pray the Lord to reveal and unravel the true meaning of life inbuilt within ourselves, keep us stay committed on our path towards salvation!
  • Let us pray the Lord to offer us the strength to withstand the hard realities of Life and despite the odds, lets pray to empower us to strive and achieve what we wish!

Wish you a Very Happy New Year!!

 

Community Cameras Vs Home (Perimeter) Cameras

For Emerald Valley Only. Please forward to residents of Emerald Valley Only.

In general, holiday season in itself is a sufficient reason to see a spike in security related issues. Recently, we saw few security related incidences such as the cone placement or specific homes being targeted. Community cameras are definitely a great option. Several complex issues make the decision making difficult.

I talked about the top ten things that need to be considered while choosing community cameras. As against community cameras, Home (Perimeter) cameras offer an easy cost effective decision. In addition, it is available anywhere (where connectivity is available) on your smart phone. In addition to having cameras, we can supplement those with Neighborhood Watch Sign with Smart Alert. All these will act as deterrence.

Understand, this is deterrence, crime will not stop or be reduced to zero with any of the above efforts. Please visit the link to share your opinion. http://wp.me/p7XEWW-pj

Community cameras are definitely a great option. Choosing a right technology, placing the cameras at vantage points, monitoring those (in real time and historical), archiving, retrieval the saved information and policies on retrieval (viewing data) bear down the decision on proceeding with the cameras. All these activities need resources and we can either explore mobilizing our own home owners doing that or hire outside resources ($125, 000 for five years, a costly option). Thus funding also becomes a critical issue for the success of this initiative.

While we resolve the complex decisions around community cameras, I had suggested earlier using “Dummy Cameras”. The design of those dummy cameras can be made to retrofit, if we decide to proceed with permanent community cameras, once we choose a permanent option. Dummy cameras backed up with signs such as “Neighborhood Watch with Smart Phone Alert” can dissuade or discourage many. Thus, reactivating Neighborhood watch and repainting those signs indicating Neighborhood Watch with Smart Phone Alert will provide an interim workable option.

Below, I have reactivated the polls to collect the community opinion.  Please forward this to anyone within the community. These polls will end on Dec 26, 2016. Please visit the link on http://wp.me/p7XEWW-pj. I have called out the Top Ten Things to consider while placing the community cameras.

Several factors are important while choosing and placing the cameras. Eg. Fixed focal length lenses are available in various fields of views: wide, medium, and narrow. A lens that provides a “normal” focal length creates a picture that approximates the field of view of the human eye. A wide-angle lens has a short focal length, and a telephoto lens has a long focal length.

Top Ten Things to Consider while Placing Community Cameras

  1. Location of the cameras – unobstructed view, redundancy (if one fails or obstructed by a vehicle, alternate place for capturing). Away from Vandalism. Mounting Electric poles or homes where cameras can be
  2. Types of cameras (depth of field) – narrow angle, wide angle regular, pan tilt zoom (PTZ) etc. Wide angle is required at the entrance and exit, where as a narrow angle will be required while focusing on the alley or narrow street. Zooming will help if there is active monitoring. Tilt and pan will serve a similar purpose.
  3. Frame per second – remember, intruders will be very fast and agile in completing their tasks. Higher number of frames per second helps in gathering precise information
  4. Night vision enabled cameras are a must obviously since thefts are like to occur while it is dark.
  5. Cloud storage and safety of the data is critical. While dealing with a cloud solution, you may want to explore if that is from the manufacturer or service provider.
  6. Power option – solar powered are best preferred.
  7. Integrating all the cameras into single dashboard is not a difficulty thing but you need folks with sound knowledge in networking.
  8. Monitoring (do we want real time monitoring?). Who will be responsible for retrieving older information, how long do we save that information etc.)
  9. Policies and Access to Saved data needs an adequate understanding from the users. This is one key aspect that will cause a lot less heartburn if resolved early on.
  10. CCTV and cabling

Don’t forget to account for – 

  1. Installation cost (not the purchase cost)
  2. Maintenance (include services, repair or replacement)

Overall, you need Governance on all these aspects. A group of dedicated folks with experience and or understanding on the different aspects need to handle all issues related with cameras. I know, you might have just thought that I made it so difficult. However, it is easy to install and very difficult to maintain unless you have given an adequate thought to all these aspects.

How about Residential Cameras?

Home perimeter cameras are still a good option. Cheaper, no hassle decision, and monitoring under home owners control (on the Smart Phone). In addition, they provide granular information right until where the incidence is happening (in this case your home). My personal experience has been exceedingly good since the time of placing (Perimeter) Home Cameras. Dummy Cameras on my farm have provided me a lot of safety too.

Use the same 10 principles mentioned above while installing home perimeter cameras.

To conclude  

Multiple layers of security are required to secure our community. Each has its place, advantages and disadvantages. Also, just in case one fails, we have other layers of security. While a decision of installing community cameras is not an easy one, community should explore interim options, such as dummy camera, that are easy to deploy.

Not sure why we wait in closing decisions on issues that matter us universally? Do you think you don’t need this because you will never be affected? Are we waiting for someone to take an initiative? Are we opposed to installing cameras? Simply voice your opinion. It stays anonymous.

Please share your opinion –

To see additional opinion from community members on security related issues or for additional links on below topics, visit documents or links on –

http://wp.me/p7XEWW-8E

The blog mentioned above offers hyperlinks to topics or documents addressing concerns on – 

  1. GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC VIDEO SURVEILLANCE: A guide to protecting communities and preserving civil liberties
  2. An example of Camera Policies from University of Wisconsin at Green Bay
  3. Code of practice: A guide to the 12 principles (This does not apply to US scenario but it offers good understanding of issues to consider)
  4. Camera Types from Brick House Security (Offers an understanding of different types of cameras)
  5. Principles of Design for Operational Risk Reduction

 

 

Chinese (ill) Competition

China’s state protection for their enterprise is equivalent to parents holding their kids in their arms and running the race for the kids.

Almost daily, I see messages to boycott Chinese products. How often have we thought of investing more and buying a costly product made by our local industry? How often do you really research (at the store) about the origin of the product?

Buying locally promotes local economy and consequently, helps a local ecosystem. If one wants to willfully subject our community to despair, we should stay away from contributing to our local economy. We also lose a lot of foreign currency perpetually, when we buy substandard products again and again, it affects the Macroeconomy of the country.

Despite, we all buy cheap products from China. What drives this ambivalence? Or is it that we are only as active as forwarding some messages? What would drive us to actively change our behavior?

Bloomberg published a very interesting story on how Chinese Airlines are flooding the market with cheap ticket airlines and creating an unhealthy competition of killing other national airlines. The Link is here, http://bloom.bg/2hmk28x. Below is generally and most commonly felt reaction to this Chinese Imperialism.

We need to protect our customers, our market and our ecosystem of supply chain and customers. Why? The consequences are grave. Yesterday, it was Imperialist England, tomorrow, it will be Imperialist China. We need to break this vicious cycle, somewhere. What about the protections offered through WTO?

China is circumventing WTO approved competition

Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows governments to act on trade in order to protect human, animal or plant life or health, provided they do not discriminate or use this as disguised protectionism. However, WTO is still lopsided with built-in obsolescence and China have found a way to circumvent competition with State Protection.

Ambivalence or Apathy?

Almost daily, I see messages to boycott Chinese products. Mostly, we all agree that we should not buy or abandon Chinese products, either for their substandard component or built in obsolescence.  How often have we thought of investing more and buying a costly product made by our local industry? How often do you see really investigating yourself at the store about the origin of the product? Despite, we all buy cheap products from China.

We all know, buying locally promotes local economy and consequently, helps a local ecosystem. If one wants to willfully subject our community to despair, we should stay away from contributing to our local economy. Now, these are not unknown dynamics, despite, we all show apathy in actively changing our behavior. Some little facts not thought off generally, we lose a lot of foreign currency, it affects the Macroeconomy of the country too.

What drives this ambivalence? Or is it that we are only as active as forwarding some messages? What would drive us to actively change our behavior?

Value for Money

My father bought a ceiling fan from Usha in 1965 and except for occasional repairs or change of coil, as of 2016, that ceiling fan is still working. I knew a Professor, who worked as a fellow around at a US University at around the same time. While going back, he bought a refrigerator and barring occasional change of Freon, that is still working. That ceiling fan or that refrigerator, both hold a value despite fifty years of it continuous work. These are examples of Value to Money.

The Supply Chain – Willful Omission

In 2003, I bought a pedestal fan to withstand the summer heat of Texas. It was $39.99 plus taxes. I was so excited for the savings on that pedestal fan. Within three years, the legs broke and I had to discard that pedestal fan. Obviously, it was made it China. However, China is not to be blamed alone.

It is a completely well oiled machinery that is destroying the value of the customer. I bought that fan from one of the biggest retail outlet. This retail outlet, as is usual in the industry, has several vendors that procure for them from China. The manufacturers, the vendors, the retailers all know that the fan will last beyond the three months of warranty period. Despite, they promoted the product. This is not an act of omission, this is an act of willful commission in promoting a product that destroys the money of your customer. Why would an entire chain do that? Why would others keep watching? Obviously, their business model runs on these cyclic purchases occurring every so many years.

Lack of collective thinking is organized society

Almost daily, I see messages to boycott Chinese products. Almost all agree that we should ban or abandon Chinese products, either for their substandard component or built in obsolescence. Despite, we all proceed and buy cheap products from China. How often have we thought of investing more and buying a costly product made by our local industry? How often do you see really investigating yourself at the store about the origin of the product?

This is primarily dictated by individual interests which overrides our norms of collective living, how can we change this behavior?

We should boycott Chinese products, including Chinese services. This is slowly going towards economic imperialism. First, low cost products with built in obsolescence and state funded manufacturing with substandard material flooding the market to kill competitive industry built on true enterprise. Now, State sponsored services killing competitive industries.

This sounds similar to a competition at school where parents are (cheating) to help their kids win the game. It is fair to drop kids to school, it is fair to be with them while they are studying, but it is not fair to do their homework. Here, China is actually holding these enterprises in their arms and running for them.

Chinese State funded Enterprise a Threat to Global Economy at Local Scale.

State funded subsidized industry with gross mismanagement of labor and environmental laws. The model is reminiscent of a philosophy adopted from vexed state machinery. If we think, this is specifically affecting only one country, we are wrong. This is almost universal. Chinese state sponsored protectionism is a threat across the globe. Almost all local economies, irrespective of the countries are likely to to affected, to a greater or lesser degree.

If a vendor has apathy towards his customer and their sentiments, if a customer lacks that collective social thinking and the Government lacks the oversight, can we really get rid of these substandard products built with obsolescence from China?

Cognitive dissonance or Collective Apathy 

Samuel Beckett famously said in his Novel Waiting for Godot, “Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It’s awful.” Or is it…“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.”

I believe, only a collective responsible thinking will drive this change. Who would do that?

(Wow, don’t get me wrong – Be careful; let’s differentiate Chinese man from China. Yes, it has always been challenging for us to differentiate between Pakistan and Pakistani. So, let us not repeat that).

http://bloom.bg/2hmk28x