Discussion:
Arrrrrrgggghhhh! The Cameras
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David Kaye
2014-10-05 07:51:56 UTC
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Let's run down the scenario: New DVR and I've replaced 3 cameras that had
rolling hum bars and video breakup. The new cameras had the same problem,
and adding to that was the fact the new cameras all had multi-colored video
lines as if they were some kind of alignment lines or perhaps distance
measuring lines. Here's a URL to a JPG photo of these mysterious lines:
http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/Camera Alignment Bars.jpg

Mysterious, no? The otherwise flawless tech support folks for Swann had
never seen them before!

Okay, rolling 60Hz bars and occasional picture tearing, along with the
mystery bars.

My first idea was a ground loop. Okay, that creates buzzing, etc. My
multimeter showed *some* ground differential between the power transformers
(aka wall warts) at the remote outlets and the outlet where the DVR is.
Some differential, less than a volt, and probably in the millivolts. BUT
KSFO is about 15 blocks away and they're running 5kw and they could well be
inducing enough stray RF to cause the multimeter to budge a bit. These
things happen. Put in an isolation transformer. No change.

What else? Ran a number of lonnnnggg extension cords from a camera wall
outlet to the DVR and plugged into the DVR circuit. No change.

Let's see. I hooked an old camera to the DVR via 60 feet of cable supplied
by Swann. The old flaky camera that I'd taken down sprang to life with
flawless video. Huh? If it works at the DVR over 60 feet of co-ax then why
not at 100 feet over the existing co-ax. Maybe there's enough of an
impedance mismatch to cause standing waves, etc. The could account for hum
induction and picture break-up.

The handyman was puzzling over this. "Uh, have you replaced one of the new
camera power supplies with a new one from the kit?" No, because there are
THREE of these cameras with problems. Gotta be something else.

I went home. I slept on it. I went in to the cafe this evening and cut out
the hard-wired transformer from the easiest available faulty camera.
Connected a new power supply.

VOILA! The handyman was right. The camera is flawless AND the color lines
have disappeared AND the camera is working in night mode, too. The motion
detector and recording are working properly. Everything is FINE!

So, what's the story? Looking at one power transformer and figuring that
the ones I can't get to are all the same (they look the same from a
distance) I look and notice that the it's rated for 300ma and given the
cable run, the originals were probably underrated and the capacitors had
dried out from overheating, which would certainly account for the 60Hz and
for the picture break-up.

So, my conclusion is that the 3 cameras with the problems ALL have faulty
power transformers. Now comes the job of climbing to the ceiling and trying
to replace them the easiest way, hopefully without climbing into the ceiling
crawl space.





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Bhairitu
2014-10-05 21:36:43 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Let's run down the scenario: New DVR and I've replaced 3 cameras that had
rolling hum bars and video breakup. The new cameras had the same problem,
and adding to that was the fact the new cameras all had multi-colored video
lines as if they were some kind of alignment lines or perhaps distance
http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/Camera Alignment Bars.jpg
Mysterious, no? The otherwise flawless tech support folks for Swann had
never seen them before!
Okay, rolling 60Hz bars and occasional picture tearing, along with the
mystery bars.
My first idea was a ground loop. Okay, that creates buzzing, etc. My
multimeter showed *some* ground differential between the power transformers
(aka wall warts) at the remote outlets and the outlet where the DVR is.
Some differential, less than a volt, and probably in the millivolts. BUT
KSFO is about 15 blocks away and they're running 5kw and they could well be
inducing enough stray RF to cause the multimeter to budge a bit. These
things happen. Put in an isolation transformer. No change.
What else? Ran a number of lonnnnggg extension cords from a camera wall
outlet to the DVR and plugged into the DVR circuit. No change.
Let's see. I hooked an old camera to the DVR via 60 feet of cable supplied
by Swann. The old flaky camera that I'd taken down sprang to life with
flawless video. Huh? If it works at the DVR over 60 feet of co-ax then why
not at 100 feet over the existing co-ax. Maybe there's enough of an
impedance mismatch to cause standing waves, etc. The could account for hum
induction and picture break-up.
The handyman was puzzling over this. "Uh, have you replaced one of the new
camera power supplies with a new one from the kit?" No, because there are
THREE of these cameras with problems. Gotta be something else.
I went home. I slept on it. I went in to the cafe this evening and cut out
the hard-wired transformer from the easiest available faulty camera.
Connected a new power supply.
VOILA! The handyman was right. The camera is flawless AND the color lines
have disappeared AND the camera is working in night mode, too. The motion
detector and recording are working properly. Everything is FINE!
So, what's the story? Looking at one power transformer and figuring that
the ones I can't get to are all the same (they look the same from a
distance) I look and notice that the it's rated for 300ma and given the
cable run, the originals were probably underrated and the capacitors had
dried out from overheating, which would certainly account for the 60Hz and
for the picture break-up.
So, my conclusion is that the 3 cameras with the problems ALL have faulty
power transformers. Now comes the job of climbing to the ceiling and trying
to replace them the easiest way, hopefully without climbing into the ceiling
crawl space.
I just got back from Fry's where I picked up a second camera for my
system and got a price adjustment on the original purchase because it
was on sale for $30 less this week. The guy in the security camera
section knew his stuff and even opened another box with the camera to
see what size jack and plug the system takes. Swann isn't good about
telling you this on the box and they don't make a cable to extend the
power. Their other extender cable was the right size but the camera
jack is deep for use outside so it wouldn't work.

Crawl spaces definitely aren't fun especially with this house.
David Kaye
2014-10-05 22:33:32 UTC
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Swann isn't good about telling you this on the box and they don't make a
cable to extend the power. Their other extender cable was the right size
but the camera jack is deep for use outside so it wouldn't work.
I may be wrong about this, but I thought that 12vdc plugs and jacks were
standardized. On the "camera end" of the Swann-supplied cable there's a
plug and on the "DVR end" there's a jack. The video comes with BNC screw-on
male connectors on both ends. To put two cables together needs only a BNC
to BNC connector, since the power parts plug together.






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Bhairitu
2014-10-06 00:07:37 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Swann isn't good about telling you this on the box and they don't make a
cable to extend the power. Their other extender cable was the right size
but the camera jack is deep for use outside so it wouldn't work.
I may be wrong about this, but I thought that 12vdc plugs and jacks were
standardized. On the "camera end" of the Swann-supplied cable there's a
plug and on the "DVR end" there's a jack. The video comes with BNC screw-on
male connectors on both ends. To put two cables together needs only a BNC
to BNC connector, since the power parts plug together.
Nope, just measured and the plug and jack for this camera is slightly
larger than 5.5mm. You'd think they would stick to more of a standard.
b***@MIX.COM
2014-10-06 17:04:44 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/Camera Alignment Bars.jpg
I think you mean (the perhaps on-charter part of this followup)
Loading Image...
Post by David Kaye
Okay, rolling 60Hz bars and occasional picture tearing
The tearing happens when the hum bars roll through the vertical sync.
Post by David Kaye
So, what's the story?
Ripple in the dc power, eh? Taking a (battery powered) video monitor to
the camera would have been useful, as would looking at the power supplies
outputs with a scope.

Billy Y..
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David Kaye
2014-10-06 19:34:21 UTC
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Post by b***@MIX.COM
The tearing happens when the hum bars roll through the vertical sync.
Well, yes. It's the differential between the 60Hz power and the
59.something NTSC color synch. But it could have been induced via bad
shielding, etc. Remember, there are THREE of these power supplies that have
the same problem.
Post by b***@MIX.COM
Ripple in the dc power, eh? Taking a (battery powered) video monitor to
the camera would have been useful, as would looking at the power supplies
outputs with a scope.
Scope. That's an oldie. No longer being in broadcasting I haven't even
seen a scope in years. If there's a fairly cheap one out there I might buy
it for the future.




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b***@MIX.COM
2014-10-06 20:54:56 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by b***@MIX.COM
The tearing happens when the hum bars roll through the vertical sync.
Well, yes. It's the differential between the 60Hz power and the
59.something NTSC color synch.
59.94Hz. That's why the hums bars travel upward at 8.3 seconds
from the bottom to the top of the frame.

The interference with vertical sync, though, is a level problem.
Post by David Kaye
Scope. That's an oldie. No longer being in broadcasting I haven't even
seen a scope in years. If there's a fairly cheap one out there I might buy
it for the future.
Since you're doing NTSC video, it shouldn't be hard to find a now
inexpensive one (<$200) with a TV sync trigger. Then you can set
and check video levels, etc...

Billy Y..
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David Kaye
2014-10-07 07:50:15 UTC
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Post by b***@MIX.COM
Since you're doing NTSC video, it shouldn't be hard to find a now
inexpensive one (<$200) with a TV sync trigger. Then you can set
and check video levels, etc...
Yeahhh! It'd be just like TV engineering all over again. While I've never
missed the *content* of TV (I didn't even own a TV when I worked in it), I
absolutely LOVED TV electronics.




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b***@MIX.COM
2014-10-07 15:33:56 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Yeahhh! It'd be just like TV engineering all over again. While I've never
missed the *content* of TV (I didn't even own a TV when I worked in it), I
absolutely LOVED TV electronics.
These days I work in tv program production, but do I watch it? Not unless
I absolutely have to. The engineering work is a lot of fun, other than the
lip-sync problems due to latency in all the new digital gear.

Billy Y..
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Kevin McMurtrie
2014-10-07 04:20:04 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Let's run down the scenario: New DVR and I've replaced 3 cameras that had
rolling hum bars and video breakup. The new cameras had the same problem,
and adding to that was the fact the new cameras all had multi-colored video
lines as if they were some kind of alignment lines or perhaps distance
http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/Camera Alignment Bars.jpg
Mysterious, no? The otherwise flawless tech support folks for Swann had
never seen them before!
Not mysterious at all. Swann bought the cameras dirt-cheap from a
no-name Chinese or Taiwanese supplier that provides custom branded
electronics in as-is condition. Swann tech support won't be of any use
because they probably have no idea where the cameras came from. Your
cameras may a one-time production using counterfeit or surplus
components.

I recently went surveillance camera shopping and rebranded junk was a
real hassle. An original defective camera would keep popping up over
and over as other consumer brands. I eventually went with an Axis
camera. It's pricey but they're a real manufacturer with legit firmware
and real tech support.
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David Kaye
2014-10-07 08:00:39 UTC
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Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Not mysterious at all. Swann bought the cameras dirt-cheap from a
no-name Chinese or Taiwanese supplier that provides custom branded
electronics in as-is condition. Swann tech support won't be of any use
because they probably have no idea where the cameras came from. Your
cameras may a one-time production using counterfeit or surplus
components.
Given that Swann offers "lifetime" 24/7 live phone support, it behooves them
to get quality equipment. My first Swann installation goes back 5 years and
it's still flawless. They need to work on their net-based viewing apps,
though.

I'm assuming that the color lines in the picture is some kind of alignment
pattern, perhaps for determining distance when aiming the camera. It may
well be that Swann didn't have the specs on that part. The URL I gave out
yesterday annoyed someone because it had spaces in the filename. Okay, here
it is without spaces: Loading Image...

I'm thinking that the cameras may flip to "alignment" mode when powered,
say, with 9 volts and to regular mode when powered with 12. Just a guess.
I haven't climbed the ladder to check on what voltage the cameras have been
getting.




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Kevin McMurtrie
2014-10-09 15:56:00 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Not mysterious at all. Swann bought the cameras dirt-cheap from a
no-name Chinese or Taiwanese supplier that provides custom branded
electronics in as-is condition. Swann tech support won't be of any use
because they probably have no idea where the cameras came from. Your
cameras may a one-time production using counterfeit or surplus
components.
Given that Swann offers "lifetime" 24/7 live phone support, it behooves them
to get quality equipment. My first Swann installation goes back 5 years and
it's still flawless. They need to work on their net-based viewing apps,
though.
I'm assuming that the color lines in the picture is some kind of alignment
pattern, perhaps for determining distance when aiming the camera. It may
well be that Swann didn't have the specs on that part. The URL I gave out
yesterday annoyed someone because it had spaces in the filename. Okay, here
it is without spaces: http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/camerabars.jpg
I'm thinking that the cameras may flip to "alignment" mode when powered,
say, with 9 volts and to regular mode when powered with 12. Just a guess.
I haven't climbed the ladder to check on what voltage the cameras have been
getting.
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Google for backup camera images if you don't believe me. The lines are
the driving path. There's an input on the board somewhere to curve
those lines as the steering wheel is turned.

Swann can offer lifetime warranties because they got the cameras cheap
enough to cover losses. By cheap, I mean a $10 camera in a $0.10 body
with $1 of cables and a $2 power supply. Check e-bay to see what
surplus backup cameras are selling for.
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David Kaye
2014-10-09 19:23:44 UTC
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Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Google for backup camera images if you don't believe me. The lines are
the driving path. There's an input on the board somewhere to curve
those lines as the steering wheel is turned.
Well, that's cute! I have no problem with cameras that were designed with
multiple purposes, just as long as they work for their advertised purposes.
We'll know tonight as my assistant climbs up on the ceiling and replaces
power supplies.
Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Swann can offer lifetime warranties because they got the cameras cheap
enough to cover losses. By cheap, I mean a $10 camera in a $0.10 body
with $1 of cables and a $2 power supply. Check e-bay to see what
surplus backup cameras are selling for.
I don't think you understand. The more hardware problems a company has the
more phone calls they're going go get from disgruntled customers. Since
Swann provides 24/7 phone support they want to keep angry calls to a
minimum, thus they provide reliable equipment in the first place. I don't
care if the cameras were used on submarines, as long as they work well today
and through their warantee period, which is either a year or two years, I
forget.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-10 18:41:32 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Google for backup camera images if you don't believe me. The lines are
the driving path. There's an input on the board somewhere to curve
those lines as the steering wheel is turned.
Well, that's cute! I have no problem with cameras that were designed with
multiple purposes, just as long as they work for their advertised purposes.
We'll know tonight as my assistant climbs up on the ceiling and replaces
power supplies.
Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Swann can offer lifetime warranties because they got the cameras cheap
enough to cover losses. By cheap, I mean a $10 camera in a $0.10 body
with $1 of cables and a $2 power supply. Check e-bay to see what
surplus backup cameras are selling for.
I don't think you understand. The more hardware problems a company has the
more phone calls they're going go get from disgruntled customers. Since
Swann provides 24/7 phone support they want to keep angry calls to a
minimum, thus they provide reliable equipment in the first place. I don't
care if the cameras were used on submarines, as long as they work well today
and through their warantee period, which is either a year or two years, I
forget.
Exactly, I learned that lesson at the game company I worked at in the
1990s. Make the product as intuitive as possible so that the user
doesn't have to call. But for the product I have they should make a
video for installation. Otherwise their printed instructions are fairly
good for running the system.
Thad Floryan
2014-10-09 19:16:56 UTC
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Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Post by David Kaye
Let's run down the scenario: New DVR and I've replaced 3 cameras that had
rolling hum bars and video breakup. The new cameras had the same problem,
and adding to that was the fact the new cameras all had multi-colored video
lines as if they were some kind of alignment lines or perhaps distance
http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/Camera Alignment Bars.jpg
Mysterious, no? The otherwise flawless tech support folks for Swann had
never seen them before!
Not mysterious at all. Swann bought the cameras dirt-cheap from a
no-name Chinese or Taiwanese supplier that provides custom branded
electronics in as-is condition. Swann tech support won't be of any use
because they probably have no idea where the cameras came from. Your
cameras may a one-time production using counterfeit or surplus
components.
I recently went surveillance camera shopping and rebranded junk was a
real hassle. An original defective camera would keep popping up over
and over as other consumer brands. I eventually went with an Axis
camera. It's pricey but they're a real manufacturer with legit firmware
and real tech support.
Hi Kevin,

100% correct.

Axis was the first company in the world to launch a network camera in 1996,
initiating the shift from analog to digital technology. The majority of Axis’
sales are generated by the video product area: network cameras, video encoders,
accessories and application software:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_Communications

http://www.axis.com/corporate/index.htm

Everything else are toys. Axis cameras are HDTV using PoE and video from
them is permitted as evidence in courtrooms; toy cameras are generally not
because resolution is crappy and insufficient for, say, facial recognition.

As I wrote before, the best free video surveillance software is Zoneminder
and the best cameras -- no toys -- are sold by BlueCherry and others.

One camera I've been recently examining is this one (1.3MB, 48p PDF):

http://store.bluecherry.net/?s=axis+p1214&post_type=product
http://www.axis.com/files/manuals/um_p1214-e_51835_en_1305.pdf

They aren't cheap but they're perfect for professional use. Note the
associated control module is able to report vandalism because it's separated
from the camera itself. Vandalism = painting the lens, shooting the camera,
and more.

$150 - $200 surveillance "systems" at big box stores are, well, consumer
crap -- you get what you pay for.

BTW, San Mateo Electronics has some interesting super-miniature video
surveillance cams.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-09 22:47:59 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
They aren't cheap but they're perfect for professional use. Note the
associated control module is able to report vandalism because it's separated
from the camera itself. Vandalism = painting the lens, shooting the camera,
and more.
The Swann systems I've installed can sound physical alarms locally and
remotely, and send email. They can be configured, for instance, to set off
an alarm if there is movement in any given camera during any particular
daypart. For instance, they can be set to record from all cameras during
the daytime when the business is open, to watch for pickpockets and thefts,
then can be set to set off alarms if there is any movement between
particular hours, such as late night, to detect break-ins.

As for vandalism, Swann's software has a buffer which is always active, so
that the motion detection begins recording BEFORE motion is detected by
dumping that buffer onto the recording. Thus, if someone paints the lens
the camera has a good shot of the culprit before they do the deed.

In a case several months ago the cafe provided videos from 2 angles of a guy
who snatched a laptop from a customer. Snaps were circulated around and the
SFPD caught the guy.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-10 18:49:43 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
They aren't cheap but they're perfect for professional use. Note the
associated control module is able to report vandalism because it's separated
from the camera itself. Vandalism = painting the lens, shooting the camera,
and more.
The Swann systems I've installed can sound physical alarms locally and
remotely, and send email. They can be configured, for instance, to set off
an alarm if there is movement in any given camera during any particular
daypart. For instance, they can be set to record from all cameras during
the daytime when the business is open, to watch for pickpockets and thefts,
then can be set to set off alarms if there is any movement between
particular hours, such as late night, to detect break-ins.
As for vandalism, Swann's software has a buffer which is always active, so
that the motion detection begins recording BEFORE motion is detected by
dumping that buffer onto the recording. Thus, if someone paints the lens
the camera has a good shot of the culprit before they do the deed.
In a case several months ago the cafe provided videos from 2 angles of a guy
who snatched a laptop from a customer. Snaps were circulated around and the
SFPD caught the guy.
The Walnut Creek PD posted some bank images from a robbery this week on
a local news blog. Chase's cameras must be ancient as the resolution
was only 320x240. Not too easy to identify the robber at that
resolution plus seems to me some additional cameras at a lower height
might catch the face which is usually obscured by a cap.
Bhairitu
2014-10-10 18:46:21 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Kevin McMurtrie
Post by David Kaye
Let's run down the scenario: New DVR and I've replaced 3 cameras that had
rolling hum bars and video breakup. The new cameras had the same problem,
and adding to that was the fact the new cameras all had multi-colored video
lines as if they were some kind of alignment lines or perhaps distance
http://s532650451.onlinehome.us/test/Camera Alignment Bars.jpg
Mysterious, no? The otherwise flawless tech support folks for Swann had
never seen them before!
Not mysterious at all. Swann bought the cameras dirt-cheap from a
no-name Chinese or Taiwanese supplier that provides custom branded
electronics in as-is condition. Swann tech support won't be of any use
because they probably have no idea where the cameras came from. Your
cameras may a one-time production using counterfeit or surplus
components.
I recently went surveillance camera shopping and rebranded junk was a
real hassle. An original defective camera would keep popping up over
and over as other consumer brands. I eventually went with an Axis
camera. It's pricey but they're a real manufacturer with legit firmware
and real tech support.
Hi Kevin,
100% correct.
Axis was the first company in the world to launch a network camera in 1996,
initiating the shift from analog to digital technology. The majority of Axis’
sales are generated by the video product area: network cameras, video encoders,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_Communications
http://www.axis.com/corporate/index.htm
Everything else are toys. Axis cameras are HDTV using PoE and video from
them is permitted as evidence in courtrooms; toy cameras are generally not
because resolution is crappy and insufficient for, say, facial recognition.
As I wrote before, the best free video surveillance software is Zoneminder
and the best cameras -- no toys -- are sold by BlueCherry and others.
http://store.bluecherry.net/?s=axis+p1214&post_type=product
http://www.axis.com/files/manuals/um_p1214-e_51835_en_1305.pdf
They aren't cheap but they're perfect for professional use. Note the
associated control module is able to report vandalism because it's separated
from the camera itself. Vandalism = painting the lens, shooting the camera,
and more.
$150 - $200 surveillance "systems" at big box stores are, well, consumer
crap -- you get what you pay for.
BTW, San Mateo Electronics has some interesting super-miniature video
surveillance cams.
Thad
Depends. The market for consumer systems is going to increase and the
world goes more crazy and the economy goes down the tubes. IMHO, some
of the companies are blowing out systems with older chipsets and will
introduce inexpensive 1080p cameras since new chipsets came out for
those at the first of the year.

Questionable though if the ruggedly build Swann camera in the system I
bought actually just scares any miscreants away and I could have gotten
away with a fake one.

There are also new systems being introduced for apartment and condo
dweller who wouldn't be allowed to mount exterior cameras. Many of
these are 1080p.
David Kaye
2014-10-10 19:32:11 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
Depends. The market for consumer systems is going to increase and the
world goes more crazy and the economy goes down the tubes.
Who says that the world is going more crazy or that the economy is going
down the tubes? The world is no more crazy today than it's ever been. We
just learn about things immediately that in years gone by would have been
buried on page 48 of the local newspaper.

All one has to do is compare today with the brutality of Hitler, Mussolini,
and Hirohito in the 1930s and 40s to see that today things are quite mild.

As to the economy, I dunno about you but I'm doing nicely, thank you. Most
people I know are also doing just fine. The stock market has recovered all
its losses of the Great Recession. The dollar is as stable as it's ever
been. I'm not the least bit worried about the U.S. economy.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-11 19:22:37 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
Depends. The market for consumer systems is going to increase and the
world goes more crazy and the economy goes down the tubes.
Who says that the world is going more crazy or that the economy is going
down the tubes? The world is no more crazy today than it's ever been. We
just learn about things immediately that in years gone by would have been
buried on page 48 of the local newspaper.
All one has to do is compare today with the brutality of Hitler, Mussolini,
and Hirohito in the 1930s and 40s to see that today things are quite mild.
As to the economy, I dunno about you but I'm doing nicely, thank you. Most
people I know are also doing just fine. The stock market has recovered all
its losses of the Great Recession. The dollar is as stable as it's ever
been. I'm not the least bit worried about the U.S. economy.
Well lucky you. Lots of very qualified and experienced tech people are
having a tough time because they're "too old." In past times they would
have been able to keep working until they wanted to retire even if that
was age 75.

I say the economy is bad because I've kept an eye on it since the late
1970s. I studied it from the viewpoint of a number of economists. You
are believing a lot of propaganda from our government. Have you noticed
that sandwiches that used to cost less than $5 a short time ago are now
priced at $8 to $10? They are slowly pushing us into austerity and
trusting that people have short memories not to notice.
David Kaye
2014-10-11 21:35:45 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bhairitu
Well lucky you. Lots of very qualified and experienced tech people are
having a tough time because they're "too old." In past times they would
have been able to keep working until they wanted to retire even if that
was age 75.
I was "too old" in 1996 when I got my job at TeleResults as lead developer.
The guy who was hiring was 27, I was "significantly older", but the trump
was the CEO who was about 70 at the time. He saw my experience and
abilities and hired me after a 15 minute chat.

When I left that job almost 5 years later I could not find a software job.
By then I was over a generation older than most programmers. But I was
getting friends and other folks calling me about computer problems. I
reasoned that there must be a need, so I studied up as much as I could and
began promoting myself for tech support, which I've been doing freelance for
the past 13 years. Even in tech support nobody is likely to hire me because
I'm "too old".

Many of my customers are people who are "too old" for their professions, and
have adjusted to a different world. But they've adjusted and they're doing
just fine, otherwise they'd be unable to afford me to fix their stuff.
Post by Bhairitu
I say the economy is bad because I've kept an eye on it since the late
1970s. I studied it from the viewpoint of a number of economists. You are
believing a lot of propaganda from our government. Have you noticed that
sandwiches that used to cost less than $5 a short time ago are now priced
at $8 to $10? They are slowly pushing us into austerity and trusting that
people have short memories not to notice.
Have you noticed that gasoline prices haven't even come close to the $5 a
gallon Bill Wattenburg predicted 5 and 10 years ago?

But as for $8-10 sandwiches, it depends on where you go. Given that SF has
a LOT of money, cafe owners are taking advantage of this and are sprucing up
their offerings and charging more for them.

Last night at Taqueria San Jose on Mission Street where SF Games meets, I
took home 2 burritos for $5; that's $2.50 apiece. I can name several bars
where mixed well drinks are $4, not $9 as you see in the trendy places.
Heck, at Winters Tavern in Pacifica, they have a $2.50 drink special every
Sunday.

Full meals? Check out the Hard Knox Cafe on 3rd Street, and you can get a
full meal (entree, 2 sides, and cornbread) for $10 to #12. And the Hard
Knox is NOT a slum; it's a hot restaurant!

You're looking in the places that cater to people with money to burn. I'm
looking in the neighborhoods where the real people live.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-12 20:12:58 UTC
Permalink
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
Well lucky you. Lots of very qualified and experienced tech people are
having a tough time because they're "too old." In past times they would
have been able to keep working until they wanted to retire even if that
was age 75.
I was "too old" in 1996 when I got my job at TeleResults as lead developer.
The guy who was hiring was 27, I was "significantly older", but the trump
was the CEO who was about 70 at the time. He saw my experience and
abilities and hired me after a 15 minute chat.
When I left that job almost 5 years later I could not find a software job.
By then I was over a generation older than most programmers. But I was
getting friends and other folks calling me about computer problems. I
reasoned that there must be a need, so I studied up as much as I could and
began promoting myself for tech support, which I've been doing freelance for
the past 13 years. Even in tech support nobody is likely to hire me because
I'm "too old".
Many of my customers are people who are "too old" for their professions, and
have adjusted to a different world. But they've adjusted and they're doing
just fine, otherwise they'd be unable to afford me to fix their stuff.
I know some 40 year olds with a lot of experience in world class
software who can't find work either. It's been said that the vulture
capitalists believe young people bring more to the table. They do and a
lot of bugs too.
Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
I say the economy is bad because I've kept an eye on it since the late
1970s. I studied it from the viewpoint of a number of economists. You are
believing a lot of propaganda from our government. Have you noticed that
sandwiches that used to cost less than $5 a short time ago are now priced
at $8 to $10? They are slowly pushing us into austerity and trusting that
people have short memories not to notice.
Have you noticed that gasoline prices haven't even come close to the $5 a
gallon Bill Wattenburg predicted 5 and 10 years ago?
Theory is that this is blowback from the Saudis against fracking which
they dislike.
Post by David Kaye
But as for $8-10 sandwiches, it depends on where you go. Given that SF has
a LOT of money, cafe owners are taking advantage of this and are sprucing up
their offerings and charging more for them.
Last night at Taqueria San Jose on Mission Street where SF Games meets, I
took home 2 burritos for $5; that's $2.50 apiece. I can name several bars
where mixed well drinks are $4, not $9 as you see in the trendy places.
Heck, at Winters Tavern in Pacifica, they have a $2.50 drink special every
Sunday.
Full meals? Check out the Hard Knox Cafe on 3rd Street, and you can get a
full meal (entree, 2 sides, and cornbread) for $10 to #12. And the Hard
Knox is NOT a slum; it's a hot restaurant!
You're looking in the places that cater to people with money to burn. I'm
looking in the neighborhoods where the real people live.
This is in the burbs. Yup, they are catering to the haves and the
seniors who were lucky enough to have a good retirement. Everyone else
can starve.
David Kaye
2014-10-12 21:17:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I know some 40 year olds with a lot of experience in world class software
who can't find work either. It's been said that the vulture capitalists
believe young people bring more to the table. They do and a lot of bugs
too.
This is why the libertarian business model doesn't work. Companies hire
young programmers because they're cheaper, they'll work extremely long
hours, and they're unlikely to unionize. But the companies prefer to hire
offshore because they can get workers even cheaper.

But economies are always changing. Before I was born my dad worked as a
lumberjack in the forests around Mendocino. When the areas were logged to
near-nudity, he lost his job. With only a high school education and no
significant training, he had to change careers. He ended up as a helper for
a city gardener. When that played out, he went to work at the post office
as a mail carrier, where he spent the rest of his career.

I always advise people to look at what people WANT to buy and do it
high-end. You may have seen the report about my friend Max Hunter who
operates Western Dovetail, a cabinet drawer maker that was wrecked by the
Napa quake. His business is at Mare Island in a leased brick building. The
quake literally knocked over heavy machinery and made the building totally
unusable.

Well, he and his brother began the company about 15 or so years ago by
themselves. Today they've grown large enough to have 20 employees. And
again, what do they do? They make DRAWERS for cabinets. They don't make
the cabinets. They make the drawers. HIGH END to appeal to rich people
with money. They are loved so much that when it looked like all gloom and
doom for them they got clients to pay their bills in advance so that the
company would hav extra money to re-start. I believe they got about
$100,000 in advance orders in one day. They're THAT well-liked.

Another friend is a personal chef who cooks meals for rich people's parties.
Another gives personal BARBECUE lessons! It goes on and on like this.

Myself, I've been easing into another career booking musicians and circus
acts for rich people's parties. So far I've booked for Apple, Oracle, and
Microsoft, among the more well-known companies. Eventually this may replace
my tech support business if I want to go in that direction.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-13 20:47:45 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
I know some 40 year olds with a lot of experience in world class software
who can't find work either. It's been said that the vulture capitalists
believe young people bring more to the table. They do and a lot of bugs
too.
This is why the libertarian business model doesn't work. Companies hire
young programmers because they're cheaper, they'll work extremely long
hours, and they're unlikely to unionize. But the companies prefer to hire
offshore because they can get workers even cheaper.
But economies are always changing. Before I was born my dad worked as a
lumberjack in the forests around Mendocino. When the areas were logged to
near-nudity, he lost his job. With only a high school education and no
significant training, he had to change careers. He ended up as a helper for
a city gardener. When that played out, he went to work at the post office
as a mail carrier, where he spent the rest of his career.
I always advise people to look at what people WANT to buy and do it
high-end. You may have seen the report about my friend Max Hunter who
operates Western Dovetail, a cabinet drawer maker that was wrecked by the
Napa quake. His business is at Mare Island in a leased brick building. The
quake literally knocked over heavy machinery and made the building totally
unusable.
Well, he and his brother began the company about 15 or so years ago by
themselves. Today they've grown large enough to have 20 employees. And
again, what do they do? They make DRAWERS for cabinets. They don't make
the cabinets. They make the drawers. HIGH END to appeal to rich people
with money. They are loved so much that when it looked like all gloom and
doom for them they got clients to pay their bills in advance so that the
company would hav extra money to re-start. I believe they got about
$100,000 in advance orders in one day. They're THAT well-liked.
Another friend is a personal chef who cooks meals for rich people's parties.
Another gives personal BARBECUE lessons! It goes on and on like this.
Myself, I've been easing into another career booking musicians and circus
acts for rich people's parties. So far I've booked for Apple, Oracle, and
Microsoft, among the more well-known companies. Eventually this may replace
my tech support business if I want to go in that direction.
See, you sound like a natural business man. I bet you would come out
that way with a Myers-Briggs test. Some people are natural salesmen.
Creative people don't always have the stuff to sell what they do. Hence
the need for agents to represent them.

I begged as a manager at the software company to add a budget for
headhunter fees because we were only getting the programmers who were
good at selling themselves but not necessarily good at the job. We found
some better ones who were represented by recruiters.

This is a very odd market we have now. By all rights we've come to a
point where it may be better to pay people not to work. There really
are not that many jobs that need to be filled. You can't expect
everyone to re-invent themselves. Even if they do it may be a gamble.

You may be having success today but maybe not so much next year.
David Kaye
2014-10-13 21:38:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
See, you sound like a natural business man. I bet you would come out that
way with a Myers-Briggs test. Some people are natural salesmen. Creative
people don't always have the stuff to sell what they do. Hence the need
for agents to represent them.
I'll go one further: Creative people SELDOM have the stuff to sell what they
do. Among my many projects is booking and presenting a weekly jazz show. I
have asked over and over again for the bands to get photos of themselves so
that I have something to send out to the papers and websites. I seldom get
anything, and when I do, the photos are useless because they're too jumbled
up with extraneous stuff. I tell them to just pose together in front of a
wall and get someone to take a smartphone photo of that. But they
can't/won't even go that far. Two bands I regularly book don't have
websites; most won't pass around a tip jar or ask for tips at all. None of
the present bands have any CDs or T-shirts to sell. Nothing.

As for being a natural business man, well for me I see a potential in
something and if it's cheap enough to start and run, I may go for it. I've
built and/or rescued from bankruptcy a telephone call center, 2
mailbox/wrap'n'ship businesses, a moving company, a restaurant, a nightclub,
and my present tech support business. While I've had business partners on a
couple of them, I've never had to borrow any money. My credit is thus
nonexistent. I literally don't have a FICO score.
I begged as a manager at the software company to add a budget for
headhunter fees because we were only getting the programmers who were good
at selling themselves but not necessarily good at the job. We found some
better ones who were represented by recruiters.
My strategy has always been this: As part of the interview process have the
person do an example of the work I'm hiring them to do. With programming, I
had a simple test: Connect to a database any way you want. Connect to the
first and last names and put the info into a listbox. I don't care what the
listbox looks like or anything else about the program; just make it work AND
USE ANY BOOK IN OUR LIBRARY if you need help. The people with the degrees
couldn't do crap. The people who programmed as a hobby breezed through it
(there weren't many).

My hiring strategy has always been to ask around and hire people who are
already actively doing something. I got a couple assistants for my tech
work by talking with guys who were already working. One is a busser, the
other is a hotel concierge. Both needed more hours. Both have been
excellent.

I steer clear of anyone who doesn't do anything with their time. If they're
out of work they should at least have SOME kind of project going, volunteer
work, anything. I've employed hundreds of people over the years and the
very last thing I ever want to do is to have to advertise for help. I want
to draw on my social network and find people who already have the social
skills to be friends with people in my network, and have the energy to be
doing SOMETHING while they're looking for work.

For instance, do you need someone who can do Ruby on Rails? I know a guy
who's been taking classes in it and absolutely LOVES it. He has the
environment on his home computer and is futzing around writing little
programs. He works right now as a parking attendant, shows up for work
early, and has managed to impress his boss. Yeah, he might need a few days
to come up to speed, but he'd be an easy hire considering that the
alternative is to go through the whole HR process and get burned in the end
anyway.
This is a very odd market we have now. By all rights we've come to a
point where it may be better to pay people not to work. There really are
not that many jobs that need to be filled. You can't expect everyone to
re-invent themselves. Even if they do it may be a gamble.
Yes, I can expect everyone, EVERY ONE, to reinvent themselves. In Mexico,
uneducated farmers have left the farms after government corn subsidies were
stopped. They've had to reinvent themselves as streetcorner merchants, taxi
drivers, and whatnot. If people can do it in the depths of rural,
poverty-stricken Mexico, we can do it here.
You may be having success today but maybe not so much next year.
Why do you throw a bucket of cold water on this? It seems that most of your
posts are very negative. Negativity only makes a person more negative; it
doesn't solve anything.

I'm reminded of the sax player who lost the use of his left hand to
diabetes. Did he stop playing music? No. He took up the trumpet, which
only requires one hand to play!




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Bhairitu
2014-10-14 18:37:08 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
See, you sound like a natural business man. I bet you would come out that
way with a Myers-Briggs test. Some people are natural salesmen. Creative
people don't always have the stuff to sell what they do. Hence the need
for agents to represent them.
I'll go one further: Creative people SELDOM have the stuff to sell what they
do. Among my many projects is booking and presenting a weekly jazz show. I
have asked over and over again for the bands to get photos of themselves so
that I have something to send out to the papers and websites. I seldom get
anything, and when I do, the photos are useless because they're too jumbled
up with extraneous stuff. I tell them to just pose together in front of a
wall and get someone to take a smartphone photo of that. But they
can't/won't even go that far. Two bands I regularly book don't have
websites; most won't pass around a tip jar or ask for tips at all. None of
the present bands have any CDs or T-shirts to sell. Nothing.
As for being a natural business man, well for me I see a potential in
something and if it's cheap enough to start and run, I may go for it. I've
built and/or rescued from bankruptcy a telephone call center, 2
mailbox/wrap'n'ship businesses, a moving company, a restaurant, a nightclub,
and my present tech support business. While I've had business partners on a
couple of them, I've never had to borrow any money. My credit is thus
nonexistent. I literally don't have a FICO score.
I begged as a manager at the software company to add a budget for
headhunter fees because we were only getting the programmers who were good
at selling themselves but not necessarily good at the job. We found some
better ones who were represented by recruiters.
My strategy has always been this: As part of the interview process have the
person do an example of the work I'm hiring them to do. With programming, I
had a simple test: Connect to a database any way you want. Connect to the
first and last names and put the info into a listbox. I don't care what the
listbox looks like or anything else about the program; just make it work AND
USE ANY BOOK IN OUR LIBRARY if you need help. The people with the degrees
couldn't do crap. The people who programmed as a hobby breezed through it
(there weren't many).
My hiring strategy has always been to ask around and hire people who are
already actively doing something. I got a couple assistants for my tech
work by talking with guys who were already working. One is a busser, the
other is a hotel concierge. Both needed more hours. Both have been
excellent.
I steer clear of anyone who doesn't do anything with their time. If they're
out of work they should at least have SOME kind of project going, volunteer
work, anything. I've employed hundreds of people over the years and the
very last thing I ever want to do is to have to advertise for help. I want
to draw on my social network and find people who already have the social
skills to be friends with people in my network, and have the energy to be
doing SOMETHING while they're looking for work.
For instance, do you need someone who can do Ruby on Rails? I know a guy
who's been taking classes in it and absolutely LOVES it. He has the
environment on his home computer and is futzing around writing little
programs. He works right now as a parking attendant, shows up for work
early, and has managed to impress his boss. Yeah, he might need a few days
to come up to speed, but he'd be an easy hire considering that the
alternative is to go through the whole HR process and get burned in the end
anyway.
Some of these things don't require anyone with years of programming
experience to take a class. They can be learned in a few days just
playing with the API. And one could certainly bring examples of what
they've done with them to an interview.

I do keep getting inquiries for positions but most all of them would be
a horrific commute. And if it got as far as a face-to-face interview it
would be fun to see what excuse they would come up with when they see
I'm in my late 60s.
Post by David Kaye
This is a very odd market we have now. By all rights we've come to a
point where it may be better to pay people not to work. There really are
not that many jobs that need to be filled. You can't expect everyone to
re-invent themselves. Even if they do it may be a gamble.
Yes, I can expect everyone, EVERY ONE, to reinvent themselves. In Mexico,
uneducated farmers have left the farms after government corn subsidies were
stopped. They've had to reinvent themselves as streetcorner merchants, taxi
drivers, and whatnot. If people can do it in the depths of rural,
poverty-stricken Mexico, we can do it here.
You may be having success today but maybe not so much next year.
Why do you throw a bucket of cold water on this? It seems that most of your
posts are very negative. Negativity only makes a person more negative; it
doesn't solve anything.
I'm reminded of the sax player who lost the use of his left hand to
diabetes. Did he stop playing music? No. He took up the trumpet, which
only requires one hand to play!
Not throwing a bucket of cold water. Everyone goes through good times
and bad times. These days much of it is beyond their control. Maybe
you are mistaking my realism for negativity.

You may cue up Bobby McFerrin now. :-D
David Kaye
2014-10-14 19:12:36 UTC
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Raw Message
Not throwing a bucket of cold water. Everyone goes through good times and
bad times. These days much of it is beyond their control. Maybe you are
mistaking my realism for negativity.
Realism is always filtered through our eyes. I'm old enough to have seen
Janis Joplin in concert, so I'm not exactly young and employable. Okay, I
now have the lemons. Do I make lemonade, lemon meringue pie, salad
dressing, or a battery?

As for control, this is one thing I stress to people: I can't control what
goes on halfway around the world; I can't even control what goes on halfway
around the block where I live. The best I can do is ask my neighbor next
door to turn down his stereo. So, why should I burden myself worrying about
all those things I can't control? I don't need the negativity; it only
serves to make me miserable.

But, I do have a sack of lemons and THAT I can control. I can make
something out of it, and hopefully something that other people will buy.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-15 01:25:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Not throwing a bucket of cold water. Everyone goes through good times and
bad times. These days much of it is beyond their control. Maybe you are
mistaking my realism for negativity.
Realism is always filtered through our eyes. I'm old enough to have seen
Janis Joplin in concert, so I'm not exactly young and employable. Okay, I
now have the lemons. Do I make lemonade, lemon meringue pie, salad
dressing, or a battery?
As for control, this is one thing I stress to people: I can't control what
goes on halfway around the world; I can't even control what goes on halfway
around the block where I live. The best I can do is ask my neighbor next
door to turn down his stereo. So, why should I burden myself worrying about
all those things I can't control? I don't need the negativity; it only
serves to make me miserable.
But, I do have a sack of lemons and THAT I can control. I can make
something out of it, and hopefully something that other people will buy.
Heh, I'm old enough that Janis Joplin offered me a swig of Southern
Comfort backstage (my band opened for her).

And I have a very promiscuous lemon tree with the winter crop coming on
now.
Post by David Kaye
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David Kaye
2014-10-15 02:24:47 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
Heh, I'm old enough that Janis Joplin offered me a swig of Southern
Comfort backstage (my band opened for her).
Really? What band was that? Maybe I was there!




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Bhairitu
2014-10-15 18:33:54 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
Heh, I'm old enough that Janis Joplin offered me a swig of Southern
Comfort backstage (my band opened for her).
Really? What band was that? Maybe I was there!
Only if you were in Seattle. ;-)

David Kaye
2014-10-12 04:30:59 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
I say the economy is bad because I've kept an eye on it since the late
1970s. I studied it from the viewpoint of a number of economists.
Maybe you should study some history. Find out about the Depression. THAT
was economic disaster. Note that oil, the most precious commodity on earth
after water, is traded not in euros, yen, yuan, pounds sterling, or even in
gold or bitcoins. It's traded in DOLLARS because the dollar is by far the
most stable currency on earth.

If you're having a tough time personally, it might be time to change your
career. Sometimes you just have to do that in order to keep up with changes
in the economy.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-12 20:07:38 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
I say the economy is bad because I've kept an eye on it since the late
1970s. I studied it from the viewpoint of a number of economists.
Maybe you should study some history. Find out about the Depression. THAT
was economic disaster. Note that oil, the most precious commodity on earth
after water, is traded not in euros, yen, yuan, pounds sterling, or even in
gold or bitcoins. It's traded in DOLLARS because the dollar is by far the
most stable currency on earth.
If you're having a tough time personally, it might be time to change your
career. Sometimes you just have to do that in order to keep up with changes
in the economy.
I heard a lot about the Great Depression from my parents. My dad had to
drop of college because of it. He was lucky and got a job with the
county which had until retirement.

A lot of countries are talking about dropping the dollar for trade. They
were afraid that Saddam was going to start the trend.

I've also read and seen plenty of documentaries about those times. I
also think that we are in for an even bigger Depression but they may try
to deflect it by creating a party known as WWIII.
David Kaye
2014-10-12 21:02:43 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
I've also read and seen plenty of documentaries about those times.
If you have then you know that our recent recession was just a blip compared
to those times. What's more, the people who left their IRA and other
investment money right where it was have recovered nicely from the
recession. In fact they'll find that their portfolio values have gained
significantly since 2008, pre-recession.

As for countries threatening to abandon the dollar, that's all talk. The
euro was supposed to become a challenge to the dollar and it fizzled badly.
Britain was wise to not go with the euro. And the Chinese have been wagging
on and on about trading internationally only in yuan. If they enact this
policy they'll only be shooting themselves in the feet because nobody is
going to trade in yuan.

Bitcoins? HAH! That was supposed to be THE untouchable money that no
monetary regulator could touch. Look what happened to bitcoin. Thefts of
all kinds and little to no confidence in it.

One of the best things that happened to American monetary policy is the
Federal Reserve. We need an independent central bank that is not beholden
to politicians to tinker with. The Federal Reserve has done tremendous good
in stablizing the dollar against every other currency.


And as to wars, most of us have never seen wars like WWII, WWI or the other
wars that seemed to plague the world about once a generation, going back to
time immemorium. We haven't been visited by the famines the wars create.

And in our lifetimes, smallpox, measles, and polio have been eliminated or
severely curtailed. When I was little they were just reopening the swimming
pools after years of closure due to polio. When I was a kid we had a
teacher who had polio and classmates had family members with polio.

When I was a kid you could NOT see from SF to Oakland on a hot day because
the air pollution was so bad. The water pollution of the bay was so bad the
bay smelled like a sewer. When I was little, the houseboat channel near the
Giants stadium was called Shit Creek for obvious reason. Today people can
eat fish caught in the bay!

In short (or in long, in thie case), we are in the BEST OF TIMES.

And remember that we're living 15 years longer than we did in 1960, or a
gain in life expectancy of about 1 year for every 4 years. And we're living
healthier into old age as well. I have computer customers who are in their
80s and 90s, and they're getting around and enjoying life.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-13 20:53:25 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
I've also read and seen plenty of documentaries about those times.
If you have then you know that our recent recession was just a blip compared
to those times. What's more, the people who left their IRA and other
investment money right where it was have recovered nicely from the
recession. In fact they'll find that their portfolio values have gained
significantly since 2008, pre-recession.
As for countries threatening to abandon the dollar, that's all talk. The
euro was supposed to become a challenge to the dollar and it fizzled badly.
Britain was wise to not go with the euro. And the Chinese have been wagging
on and on about trading internationally only in yuan. If they enact this
policy they'll only be shooting themselves in the feet because nobody is
going to trade in yuan.
Bitcoins? HAH! That was supposed to be THE untouchable money that no
monetary regulator could touch. Look what happened to bitcoin. Thefts of
all kinds and little to no confidence in it.
One of the best things that happened to American monetary policy is the
Federal Reserve. We need an independent central bank that is not beholden
to politicians to tinker with. The Federal Reserve has done tremendous good
in stablizing the dollar against every other currency.
And as to wars, most of us have never seen wars like WWII, WWI or the other
wars that seemed to plague the world about once a generation, going back to
time immemorium. We haven't been visited by the famines the wars create.
And in our lifetimes, smallpox, measles, and polio have been eliminated or
severely curtailed. When I was little they were just reopening the swimming
pools after years of closure due to polio. When I was a kid we had a
teacher who had polio and classmates had family members with polio.
When I was a kid you could NOT see from SF to Oakland on a hot day because
the air pollution was so bad. The water pollution of the bay was so bad the
bay smelled like a sewer. When I was little, the houseboat channel near the
Giants stadium was called Shit Creek for obvious reason. Today people can
eat fish caught in the bay!
In short (or in long, in thie case), we are in the BEST OF TIMES.
And remember that we're living 15 years longer than we did in 1960, or a
gain in life expectancy of about 1 year for every 4 years. And we're living
healthier into old age as well. I have computer customers who are in their
80s and 90s, and they're getting around and enjoying life.
I disagree. A band-aid was thrown over the economic crisis of 2008. It
only delayed the inevitable. Eventually everything will come crashing
down. The banks should have been allowed to fail back then. Analysts
have said it would have only impacted the rich and not so much the
middle class. Now it will hurt the middle class.

The BEST OF TIMES was probably in the 1990s and only for those in
certain fields. Back then I had problems finding competent software
programmers. Often those who had learned out of book and written
programs at home were far better than those who had even advanced
degrees. My programmers who had degrees weren't computer science majors.

We're running on a house of cards.
David Kaye
2014-10-13 21:42:11 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Bhairitu
I disagree. A band-aid was thrown over the economic crisis of 2008. It
only delayed the inevitable. Eventually everything will come crashing
down. The banks should have been allowed to fail back then.
Spoken like a true libertarian. Hint: Libertarianism doesn't work for most
of us. It only benefits the rich by making them richer. Allowing the banks
to fail would have been a disaster on the scale of the Great Depression.
Once again, READ YOUR HISTORY. The Obama administration and the Federal
Reserve have done the right things. The only thing I would have done had I
been in charge and able to get anything through Congress would have been
instituting a public works project like the WPA. The way to get a society
out of a recession is to spend more government money and put people to work.
You don't stimulate an economy by choking off its money!





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Bhairitu
2014-10-14 18:31:20 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Bhairitu
I disagree. A band-aid was thrown over the economic crisis of 2008. It
only delayed the inevitable. Eventually everything will come crashing
down. The banks should have been allowed to fail back then.
Spoken like a true libertarian. Hint: Libertarianism doesn't work for most
of us. It only benefits the rich by making them richer. Allowing the banks
to fail would have been a disaster on the scale of the Great Depression.
Once again, READ YOUR HISTORY. The Obama administration and the Federal
Reserve have done the right things. The only thing I would have done had I
been in charge and able to get anything through Congress would have been
instituting a public works project like the WPA. The way to get a society
out of a recession is to spend more government money and put people to work.
You don't stimulate an economy by choking off its money!
I can't think of anyone more anti-Libertarian than Thom Hartmann but he
agrees with what I said. So does Bernie Sanders. There are even
conservatives who agree with it too. It's not a right/left issue.
David Kaye
2014-10-14 19:00:46 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
I can't think of anyone more anti-Libertarian than Thom Hartmann but he
agrees with what I said. So does Bernie Sanders. There are even
conservatives who agree with it too. It's not a right/left issue.
Will there be economic adjustments? Of course; there always are. Are we
losing our middle class? Yes, it's shrinking. Will we have economic
collapse? No.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-12 20:16:32 UTC
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Speaking of cameras here's one of my neighbors caught on video last
night sneaking through my patio (this is an image cropped from the video).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/***@N02/15329960719/
Thad Floryan
2014-10-12 21:10:06 UTC
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Post by Bhairitu
Speaking of cameras here's one of my neighbors caught on video last
night sneaking through my patio (this is an image cropped from the video).
Patio? That's your property and you can defend it in California
with extreme prejudice (i.e., the perp will be pushing up daisies
tomorrow) as has been law in California for over 100 years and has
been recently reaffirmed in 2012:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Stand-your-ground-the-rule-in-state-courts-affirm-3482665.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine

In my neighborhood there have been two burglary attempts since 1966
and in both cases the perps were removed in body bags -- last event
was about 30 years ago.

Vigilance is key, and the Neighborhood Watch program helps noting
that when seconds count the police (or fire department) are minutes
away.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-12 21:21:25 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Vigilance is key, and the Neighborhood Watch program helps noting
that when seconds count the police (or fire department) are minutes
away.
Or my preferred option: Don't sweat the small stuff. The only new
equipment I have in my home is a monitor, my $55 tablet, clothes, and food.
Everything else I either buy used or acquire in trade or other ways. Thus,
if anybody breaks in and wants to steal anything (they never do), they're
welcome to do so. I'm not going to risk my life or limb over any of it.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-13 18:41:13 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Thad Floryan
Post by Bhairitu
Speaking of cameras here's one of my neighbors caught on video last
night sneaking through my patio (this is an image cropped from the video).
Patio? That's your property and you can defend it in California
with extreme prejudice (i.e., the perp will be pushing up daisies
tomorrow) as has been law in California for over 100 years and has
http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Stand-your-ground-the-rule-in-state-courts-affirm-3482665.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine
In my neighborhood there have been two burglary attempts since 1966
and in both cases the perps were removed in body bags -- last event
was about 30 years ago.
Vigilance is key, and the Neighborhood Watch program helps noting
that when seconds count the police (or fire department) are minutes
away.
Thad
LOL! You must not have looked at the pic. It's a skunk! I've smelled
them around here for years but didn't know they were getting into my
backyard. I plugged one place they could crawl under and will plug
another today. The pic was cropped out of a frame from a much larger
1280x720 video and that was a IR video. Daytime the video is very clean.
Thad Floryan
2014-10-12 21:15:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
[...]
This one doesn't appear to be a toy system and it's on
sale now until Saturday 18 October 2014:

http://www.neweggflash.com/product/9SIA46G1FP4480

Brand GW
Model GW-N-8616HDF4

$4,850.00, 38% OFF $2,999.99, Free Shipping

Spec
Type Kit Solution
Camera inputs 16 Channel
Video Input HDSDI (BNC) x 16
Video Output BNC x 1, VGA x 1, HDMI x 1
Audio Input RCA x 16
Audio Output RCA x 1
Resolution Display 1920*1080 / 1280*1024 / 1024*768 / 800*600
Display Frame Rate NTSC:480 fps (16 x 30fps)

http://www.gw-security-camera-system.com/

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-12 21:39:33 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
This one doesn't appear to be a toy system and it's on
Think I'll stick with my Swanns. Video is flawless, and everything the big
guys do the Swanns do as well...remote viewing, remote snaps and video
downloads, H.264, HD, PTZ control (though we don't use PTZ cameras),
smartphone access, web access, Windows app access, daily or weekly auto
reboot, maskable screen areas to prevent motion triggering (such as blocking
an ATM machine that has a flashing light), AVI download, etc. Again, I
installed the first one 5 years ago (a 12-camera setup for a school) and
it's still working fine.




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Thad Floryan
2014-10-12 22:43:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
This one doesn't appear to be a toy system and it's on
Think I'll stick with my Swanns. Video is flawless, and everything the big
guys do the Swanns do as well...remote viewing, remote snaps and video
downloads, H.264, HD, PTZ control (though we don't use PTZ cameras),
smartphone access, web access, Windows app access, daily or weekly auto
reboot, maskable screen areas to prevent motion triggering (such as blocking
an ATM machine that has a flashing light), AVI download, etc. Again, I
installed the first one 5 years ago (a 12-camera setup for a school) and
it's still working fine.
Hi David,

Just curious: do any of those systems you've setup have outdoor cameras?

Most, if not all, ads I receive describe systems costing $200 - $500 and
none [appear to] have outdoor cameras. I'd look with a jaundiced eye at
any system without outdoor monitoring capability since getting a license
plate (or even a good shot of the car) helps apprehension tremendously.

That usage implies [a] camera(s) located perhaps 20-50 feet away from the
property and mounted on a tree, telephone pole, or similar object.

By "outdoor camera" I mean one that's truly outdoors and not just looking
out a window especially regarding IR night vision. With a PoE camera it's
a lot easier (and better) than coax and some kind of kludged outdoor power
rig, and POE cameras are generally pricey along with the switch that supplies
Power over Ethernet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.3

Thad
David Kaye
2014-10-12 23:07:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Just curious: do any of those systems you've setup have outdoor cameras?
They're supposedly indoor/outdoor. I have an installation in Oakland that
is 4 cameras, all outdoors, two facing toward the front street, one on each
side of the house. That was 3 years ago. No objections so far. The woman
called me about putting up cameras and I thought she was a nut, given that
she lived in a "good" area of Oakland. Within a month after setting up the
cameras, an armed robber ran past 2 cameras and they got a good look at the
guy running, along with the gun tucked in the waistband. The OPD
apprehended him and the footage helped get a conviction I'm told.

Nobody's asked me about reading license plates, so I haven't researched
except to know that Swann offers something in that area. The night vision
on the Swanns goes out about 50 feet. That's 5 stories. That's probably
enough.

Mostly what I've gotten are people with apartment buildings and the like who
are looking for vandalism by tenants, graffiti, etc.




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Bhairitu
2014-10-13 18:46:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
This one doesn't appear to be a toy system and it's on
Think I'll stick with my Swanns. Video is flawless, and everything the big
guys do the Swanns do as well...remote viewing, remote snaps and video
downloads, H.264, HD, PTZ control (though we don't use PTZ cameras),
smartphone access, web access, Windows app access, daily or weekly auto
reboot, maskable screen areas to prevent motion triggering (such as blocking
an ATM machine that has a flashing light), AVI download, etc. Again, I
installed the first one 5 years ago (a 12-camera setup for a school) and
it's still working fine.
Hi David,
Just curious: do any of those systems you've setup have outdoor cameras?
Most, if not all, ads I receive describe systems costing $200 - $500 and
none [appear to] have outdoor cameras. I'd look with a jaundiced eye at
any system without outdoor monitoring capability since getting a license
plate (or even a good shot of the car) helps apprehension tremendously.
That usage implies [a] camera(s) located perhaps 20-50 feet away from the
property and mounted on a tree, telephone pole, or similar object.
By "outdoor camera" I mean one that's truly outdoors and not just looking
out a window especially regarding IR night vision. With a PoE camera it's
a lot easier (and better) than coax and some kind of kludged outdoor power
rig, and POE cameras are generally pricey along with the switch that supplies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.3
Thad
This is the system I'm using. The cameras are rugged and rated for
outdoor use. Biggest problem? Keeping spider webs away. I hear that
Vaseline around the camera helps.

http://www.swann.com/us/sw-digmonkit
Bhairitu
2014-10-13 18:43:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
This one doesn't appear to be a toy system and it's on
http://www.neweggflash.com/product/9SIA46G1FP4480
Brand GW
Model GW-N-8616HDF4
$4,850.00, 38% OFF $2,999.99, Free Shipping
Spec
Type Kit Solution
Camera inputs 16 Channel
Video Input HDSDI (BNC) x 16
Video Output BNC x 1, VGA x 1, HDMI x 1
Audio Input RCA x 16
Audio Output RCA x 1
Resolution Display 1920*1080 / 1280*1024 / 1024*768 / 800*600
Display Frame Rate NTSC:480 fps (16 x 30fps)
http://www.gw-security-camera-system.com/
Thad
That's a business system or maybe one for tech millionaires. The system
I have is fine for a homeowner who doesn't want to spend money on an
installer and just wants to keep an eye on things even when away.
David Kaye
2014-10-10 06:06:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Yup, it was the 3 power supplies, aka "wall warts". Imagine 3 of them
failing. Video is superb. I can hardly wait to check the logs tomorrow and
see that the software is no longer recording the rolling 60Hz bars as
movement. Should be able to get at least 2 to 3 weeks of recording out of
it rather than 10 days.




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