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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

 

 

Why Not Write Correctly?

Often I see business documents, college essay and (email) communications with incorrect English. American English is truly simple and not imposing. If efforts are made, it is not difficult to write a good quality communication (email) or a business document, college essay etc. in proper English. I have shared tips from a reputed journal of higher education for writing quality English.

Irrespective of the medium of communication, it is never late to learn writing correctly. Like thoughts provide clarity to our mind and percepts, so do written language provides an insight to our tone and our thought process. Visit my blog to view those tips. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-12h

While we communicating in English, we increasingly see a reflection of original language and dialect, especially our written English. We all from the Asian subcontinent write English that is truly translated and transcribed from our original language and has shades of our dialect as well.

Often, I write grammatically incorrect English. It is not sloppiness or irresponsible writing. The root cause is how we think and write. While, America (especially US) is truly great in absorbing all styles of accents and variant English, I noticed that there is increasingly less emphasis on correcting our English (because sloppiness if disregarded) in favor of pragmatism. While I too make mistakes in writing, I continuously make efforts to write correctly and use appropriate word. Often it helps to use dictionary, guidelines on how best to avoid mistakes while writing and tips for better communicating.

Here is an article which I think we and especially, our kids should inculcate as we are increasing getting embedded in the American and Global culture. This article is little verbose but comes from a reputed source, ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’, which I respect.

https://www.chronicle.com/items/biz/resource/ChronFocus_LinguaFrancav6_i.pdf.

This is not the only source; you may also do a Youtube or Google search. However, it is truly important we write correctly.

 

A Sombre reality

It is no blasphemy. Sanatan Dharma, commonly called Hindu religion, has its own artifacts and deficits. However, its greatest strengths lie in its ability to question itself, introspect and build a logical foundation for the next generation of thoughts. This very ethos of the religion aligns well with the natural pursuit of human intelligence. It is this fundamental posit that has lead to its longevity through the annals of millenia and history. However, we also have to realize that, somewhere the safeguardians have introduced aberrations and fossilized those practices not enumerated by our religious texts.

In this blog, I have taken a critical view of two such percepts – the varna system and the deprecation of women as a second class citizen by a patriarchal society. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-12n

Sounds sombre… it will only stop with women being assertive of their own rights.

So i was writing this week in response to the reaction of a Christian from a southern Indian state who felt India is changing, it was never like this before…Let’s admit, we bastardized our own religion, fossilized the great ideas given by our Lords and created this Varna system.

Concurrently, we men (gender explicit) also created and institutionalized patriarchal system, a dominance of a gender over another, irrespective of the merits and often at the cost of innate vulnerabilities that the fair gender is born with.

Both are in servitude towards dominance of a state, that worked for millennia, at the cost of many. It’s a time for change. Seeming change in political ideology won’t be any resemblance to the actual and deemed change to these fundamental aberrations of justice.

Both, the class and varna mobility as well as gender equality has to rein in for a true freedom.

‘I couldn’t mourn my grandmother because I had my period’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-42608302

Padmavat – a reflection from desent

Nov 27, 2017

Freedom doesn’t mean you can run naked on the street. You still have a social responsibility and bhansali doesn’t get the right to do whatever under the pretext of freedom of speech or expression.

Why should a movie, even though labeled fictional, distort history that embodies character. Rani Padmavati is deeply inscribed in our psyche and part of the fundamental character that builds our ethos.

Given the influence of movie in shaping memory and creating a lasting impression, we should not let such esoteric depictions to portray and play with our ethos.

That movie can be named ‘Queen Elizabeth’ or may be some other name, and Bhasali can still earn money without showing Rajput culture.

India Padmavati: Body found near fort linked to film protest
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-42107416

Afghanistan – A Century in turmoil

This is an interesting story of a country that was moving towards enlightenment and true democratic system of governance but slipped on its way into deep chaos and turmoil. Contemporary historians blame US- USSR polarity and rivalry for this but you may find insight and glimpses of a different nature to the build up to such catastrophic fall.

I call it into two phases – first phase being, In my view, the rich-poor divide, democratization of polity by Daoud Khan, the successor to Zahir Khan and aggressive influence of communist all culminated into an era of soviet occupation.

The second phase was the soviet occupation and the disenchantment and fundamental malalignment of human endeavor associated with bolshevik philosophy and the succeeding revolt (supported by US led capitalist) to throw the Russian. This second phase saw the rise of radical muslims (the poor muslims transformed into Taliban). That heralded the third phase, which is currently ongoing.

… I am still reflecting on how unfurling events, if not controlled, can immerse a country and its generation, into deep chism and chaos. Any thought?

 

A short history of Life: Afghanistan’s lost magazine
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-42878241

Groundhog – Predicting Weather

It will be interesting to know that America too has its believes (and dark faith). This one, the Ground Hog, they say, has predicted end of winter and onset of spring for the last 100 plus years. Farmers in US have used Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions in planting crop. Prediction of spring (and end of winter) becomes important as emphasizes the time of sowing, a ‘Go To Market’ strategy to make best yield out of farming efforts. Obviously, world across, farmers have been doing that but the Ground Hog is one such faith embedded within the American pysche.

Read the complete story of Ground Hog and the celebration. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/group-normal-guys-wearing-top-hats-and-tuxes-keep-groundhog-day-running-180961954/?utm_source=onesignal.

#Me Too in India – Long Awaited Movement

On religion and worship, a facet of Sanatan Dharma (colloquially Hinduism) characteristically stands out, all mother Goddesses are in the Sanctum Sanctorum, all are depicted at the same level as Men Gods. Give my expression but let us revisit Lord Ram and Sita, Lord Krishn and Radha, Lord Shiv goes a step further, he says he is incomplete without Lord Parvati. Such is the legacy we all inherit, wherein religion has built our ethos to respect ladies with that adoration and equal respect. Just to highlight the contrary, I haven’t seen a single temple wherein the female consort is outside Sanctum Sanctorum.

Not sure at what point in time have we mutated this legacy but irrespective of when it happened, we dealt a severe body blow to our culture and heritage. I am not a well read person like several of you are. However, I can see a transition of another facet, the Ghungat/padar/burqh. If you observe carefully, you will notice it prominently in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. As you go south towards Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, you see that size of Ghunghat decreasing. Not sure if you guys concur with me?

Sometimes that makes me wonder, has it changed after the Mughal onslaught? Those barbaric marauders attacked the western border and we see that tradition more on that side. They had least respect for the land, ladies or the people and they pretty much plundered heinously everything. That moght have changed our custom and culture.

But again, second citizen treatment for women has its genesis on the nature (of procreation), their intrinsic physical vulnerability and mens attitude to dominate with coercion. It is an exploitation that we embedded and made it ritualistic.

Just look at our Hindu Temples, men can visit temple anytime but women cannot, while they are menstruating. We consider that less spiritual time. Never understood the logic. Aren’t we all born out of that physiologic process? Why consider it lesser (and probably dirty)?

A lot has to do with women’s own submission. They should support their own equality. They should break those taboos created as aberrations over a period of millennia. Just assert and walk confidently. Men will simply follow.

==

What is wrong with us? Despite our value system and religious ethos, we such heinous crimes? Of course, this is an outlier and can be counted as rarest of the rare reporting by the open sensationalizing media. However, even if we bar this incidence, crimes against women are much common place in India, compared to western standards though we are a shade better than Muslim world. How can we as a doctor community help this problem?
India outcry after eight-month-old baby raped
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-42869010

 

Republic Day – A Mirage or Illusion

Below, I have taken a clip from a movie, wherein Sunil Dutt sang a song that remains an apt as a vision for india.

Another is a satire, that is circulating on the internet, though sublime, provides a vitriolic criticism of a India as a nation and the general psyche.

(Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to convert it into a format to upload)

The last one is the Jana Gana Mhana… a poem written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1911 and first sung at the Indian National Congress (except for name, no relationship with Indira Congress). Apart from its rich lyrics, exceptional creativity in articulating the vision in verbs that is easily understood by the common man, it provides the ethos and captures the essence of the conceptualizing nationality. This song will remain eternal in the minds of generations to come.