Andy Wendt – Fun Technology

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WiMax – Nothing big is ever easy.

I just came across an old post by my co-worker Alexander Solis from last October. Alexander wrote a little WiMax Primer on our Computer Service Blog.

 One of the first lines in that post mentioned that WiMax should be hitting big in 2008. So wanting to see how “big” it had gotten I started to do some more research. Of course the first thing I notice is that several months after Alexander’s post there was a big problem between the two major WiMax players. (Those players of course being Sprint and Clearwire.) It appears that late last year Sprint lost their CEO and WiMax champion, ultimately putting the billion dollar deal in a tail spin.

However within the last few weeks it looks as if new hope on the horizon, as Intel has agreed to kick in two billion dollars to get his big project going. So all is not lost when it comes to the dream of roaming the country on a super fast high speed wireless network, but it may be the only big WiMax thing that happens this year is more talk and more back room deals.

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Technology News | , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Consumer Technology Victim

What CCTV Is Beginning To Stand For: Cheap Consumer Technology Victim

A new acronym I just came up with  that describes how today’s security minded public is falling for low cost video surveillance solutions, pushed by the nations largest retailers, that are little more than toys.

If some of you think I am being to harsh then consider the cost of a Play Station 3 at roughly $499. Then put yourself in my shoes and listen to the calls I take each week from customers who tell me how badly they need a security system at their home or office and yet balk at spending more on a Digital Video Recorder than they would have spent on a game system.

So bad has this become that I recently visited the website of one of the above mentioned toy pushers to take a look at what sort of camera systems they were selling these days. This site just so happens to belong to the nation’s fourth largest retailer.  Using their store search bar I type in the words “CCTV” and the site comes back with one lone result: that being a Suzuki Concertino Collection Trumpet.

When I changed the search to “security cameras” I did get an entire page of results, an entire page of Digital Cameras.

But if you look hard enough on their site you will find what you are looking for, and once you manage to get to the right spot you can’t help but notice they sell an almost complete 4 camera “security system” for as little as $299. (Offer valid through Feb 22 and reqires a coupon) Again judging by the calls I take from customers looking for help getting these system installed they sell quite a few.

I did learn something about this company’s target market the other day when I was speaking to a lady who told me she saw an entire 6 camera system installed for less than $1,000. When I politely explained to the caller that you need to be careful when buying security cameras that are that cheap she replied: “What do I care what the picture looks like?”. In my opinion this lady was a Cheap Consumer Technology Victim waiting to happen.

I did see on their web page that this giant retailer had one of their security systems featured on the Today Show just 4 days ago. I quickly followed the link to see this great product. Though I wish I could say I was surprised I was not, as the page for this great product simply read “This product is no longer available”. But even if the product were there I would imagine this disclaimer , and it’s implications, listed on the bottom of the page would go unnoticed more times than not: “UnNamedBigReatilStore.com offers merchandise which complements our warehouse product selection. Therefore, most items available on our web site are unique to UnNamedBigReatilStore.com.”

In case you don’t see the problem with that let me explain it. They are saying that they are selling what they have in stock. That it may be uniquely sold by them, and if you ever want to buy a compatible unit, or parts at a later time, don’t get your hopes up because these may be one of a kind systems. Again pardon me if I am being insensitive but who would read that and say “yep sounds good, lets buy that camera system”?

So as more and more of the American media and the American consumer fall victim to this mindset that a video security system can be had for less than the cost of a Play Station 3, I can’t help but be disappointed by the thought that these some day once tragedy strikes these people will  learn the hard way how worthless their video surveillance systems actually are.

*In the spirit of full disclosure Andy Wendt is a writer for Xopnex Media Services and Camera Security Now

February 14, 2008 Posted by | Security Cameras | , , | 2 Comments