Archive for May, 2012

IBM Credit Rating Boosted as Company Shifts to Software

May 31st, 2012

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) had its corporate credit rating upgraded to AA- from A+ by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, which cited the company’s lucrative shift to software and services.

S&P also boosted its short-term rating on IBM to A-1+ from A-1, according to a report today. The outlook is stable.

IBM, the world’s largest computer-services provider, expects software to deliver half of its earnings in 2015. The Armonk, New York-based company is relatively low risk and its effort to get more revenue from software and services is improving profit margins, Martha Toll-Reed, an S&P analyst in New York, said in the report.

“IBM’s good market position and broad product and revenue base provide cash flow and ratings stability,” she said. “Highly competitive industry conditions, a moderately acquisitive growth strategy, and significant share repurchases currently constrain the potential for a higher rating.”

IBM shares fell less than 1 percent to $194.53 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 5.8 percent this year.


TRENDnet(R) Sets New Standard for Free IP Camera Software

May 31st, 2012

A best-in-class wired and wireless networking hardware brand, today announces the availability of new industry leading SecurView Pro IP camera management software.

SecurView Pro software will be included with every new TRENDnet IP camera launched to market. It is compatible with all existing TRENDnet IP camera models, and will be phased into existing IP camera packaging in the coming months. Customers who own an existing compatible camera, or who have recently purchased a camera with older software are invited to download the new software free from TRENDnet’s website. SecurView Pro is compatible with Windows 7 and Microsoft Server 2008, it offers low CPU loading, and can manage up to 32 TRENDnet IP cameras.

SecurView Pro provides users with extensive camera viewing options including preset viewing modes, custom viewing layouts, and full screen mode. Side, top, and bottom tool bars can be hidden to increase the video viewing field. Managers can drag and drop live feeds to a new location; define camera cycle viewing sequences; and force video with motion to the front of the viewing screen.

Users can define a combination of weekly recording schedules and motion detection recording; program motion detection areas of any shape; integrate alarm system event triggers with IP cameras; set date, time, and text overlays per camera; and define mask overlays to conceal sensitive areas.

Zero loss architecture is provided with the ability to record a single video stream to multiple locations simultaneously. Manage recording files by recording time or by space allocation. Handy recording statistics help manage files and a disk cleaning feature condenses and optimizes old files.

Search and playback functionality is particularly advanced. A navigation timeline provides a quick visual reference to recorded content by displaying when video and motion was recorded over a set time. Users can save significant time using the option to search continuous recordings by motion event, within a defined area of the viewing field. Time lapse playback provides yet another useful search option. The Map feature allows users to map cameras onto an image such as an office floor plan, or onto Google Maps(TM).

“Free management software included with IP cameras is often cited as having high CPU loading and few advanced features,” stated Sonny Su, technology director for TRENDnet. “Our goal when we started redesigning TRENDnet’s camera software was to set a new standard for performance and functionality. I think customers who experience SecurView Pro software will agree that we hit a home run.”


Smartphone software keeps tabs on warnings

May 31st, 2012

If parenthood’s leading sport is thinking about all the ways kids are in danger, there’s now a mobile playbook.

Health & Safety Watch has released free smartphone software that aggregates recall notices, environmental advisories and health warnings, acting as a one-touch guide to the myriad means by which youngsters – and family pets – could become ill, injured or killed on a given day. The epidemiologist behind the application, a former Health Canada senior public health official, says the goal is to put potentially life-saving information at parents’ fingertips any time, anywhere, over the summer holidays. But is it education or feeding into a culture of parental angst?

“We’re already bombarded with warnings, many of which are about dangers that are exaggerated or highly unlikely,” says noted sociologist Barry Glassner, author of The Culture of Fear. “The net result is needless anxiety and increasing confusion about risks.”

Dr. Jeff Aramini, president of Health & Safety Watch, hopes the software will have the opposite effect, allowing parents a greater sense of control and easier access to information that’s personally relevant.

“The more we know and the more we feel confident that we’re on top of things, the less we have to worry,” says Aramini. “The kind of information [on the app] ranges from drinking water advisories to food recalls to disease outbreaks … .These aren’t emergencies as long as we, the public, take action appropriately.”

According to the Guelph, Ont.-based organization, more than 1,000 recalls and advisories are issued every year, adding up to a tremendous challenge for busy parents. The app not only sorts these public notices by geo-graphic location, it allows users to filter threats by category: consumer products, food and drug, public health, and environmental.

“I became a father about 10 years ago. That was the point when I really started paying attention to these things,” says Aramini, recalling a mother who mistakenly fed her daughter meat contaminated with E. coli – causing the girl to become seriously ill – because she missed the public advisory. “I thought: ‘There has got to be a better way.’” But in putting health-advisory tri-age into the hands of citizens, with each notice receiving equal space and prominence on the iPhone app, sociologist Frank Furedi wonders if people will feel overwhelmed.

“When you get so many of these things together, each one trivializes the next until you don’t know what you really need to worry about,” says Furedi, author of Paranoid Parenting. “It almost works to create an industry of fear around parenting.”


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