September 19, 2008
• Trusted by real estate agents for over 40 years
• Easy access for friends and family
• Provides scheduled access for cleaning
personnel, pool service, household maintenance
and unattended deliveries
• Securely mounts to most flat surfaces with
4 screws provided
• SURFACE MOUNT UNIT
• WEATHER RESISTANT METAL within
• WEATHER RESISTANT, HIGH IMPACT
September 8, 2008
THX has more uses then just making a starship battle sound awesome you know. That’s why THX has partnered with Serious Materials to develop some new sound proof doors. The QuietHome soundproof doors are the 2 1/4-inch thick THX-certified doors that claim to be a full 85% acoustical improvement over any other sound proof doors.
How does it work? QuietHome Doors incorporate Serious’ proprietary viscoelastic polymer-based constrained layer damped system, a multi-layer design and advanced seals throughout the door edge. The doors are made up of stainable wood, and come in a pre-hung door package. You wouldn’t want to just replace your front door with it. Well, maybe you would if you are super loud. Your neighbors would appreciate it. But it’s designed for high-end home theaters, commercial studios, offices and conference rooms etc. The doors will cost you $2,500 and will block out so much sound your neighbors will think the place is vacant.
iPods are Hot!
iPods and MP3 players have quickly become some of the most popular and widely used portable media players with people of all ages. Their frequent use while people are on the go and are less attentive to their surroundings – and the visible white ear buds – have made them an easy target for would be thieves in urban areas, on campus, and on public transportation systems. Without built–in anti–theft deterrents or subscriptions, iPods and MP3 players are left fully operational if stolen.
Your iPod Security Solution
With these factors in mind, Master Lock® created the iPod iCage™, a locking skin for protecting your iPod player. The iCage creates added security and convenience to your media player with a lightweight metal skin, scratch resistant cover, and set-your-own combination lock and cable. Most iPod users purchase a skin for scratch protection – why not buy a skin that adds a convenient security solution as well?
The following statistics are a few years old, but with the quantity of Apple products and other MP3 players ever increasing, so is the quantity of crime related to these devices. And dont forget the unreported instances.
iPod Theft Statistics
National statistics are not detailed enough to tell how many robberies involved iPods, but statistics from New York, Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Bay area show that iPod thefts were responsible for a significant fraction of increased crime in those areas. Things got so bad in New York subways in 2005 that warnings were posted that read "Earphones are a giveaway. Protect your device.”
- Washington D.C.
- From January through April 2007, 30 iPods were stolen from Metro customers. iPod thefts totaled 34 in all of 2006, and just two in 2005. (Washington Metro Area Transit Authority)
- 2007, robberies of iPods on the Metro alone account for approximately 4% of all robberies in the city, compared with well less than 1% of robberies in 2005.
- New York
- In the first three months of 2005, major felonies rose 18.3% on the New York City subway — however, if cell phone and iPod thefts are excluded, felonies actually declined by 3%,
- March 21, 2007, exact numbers in Seattle are hard to pin down, but the latest police figures show 135 iPods have been stolen, many by force, over the past 3 1/2 months.
- San Francisco
- There were four reported iPod robberies in 2004, 102 in 2005, and 193 in 2006.
- 2004-2006, iPod robberies accounted for 23% of the increase in robbery in the entire city over that time.
- Los Angeles
- Police statistics indicate that robberies of iPods and cell phones are up 34 percent this year, accounting for about 1,700 of the city’s 8,000 total robberies. (LAPD November 9th, 2006)
LAS VEGAS -- Life takes Visa, says the credit card company's catchy and ubiquitous TV ads.
And now, according to a group of security researchers speaking at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas, Medeco high-security locks take Visa, too. As well as MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.
To be more precise, the researchers say that plastic used in all of these credit cards can be easily fashioned into simulated keys that open three kinds of M3 high-security locks made by the Virginia-based Medeco Security Locks company -- locks that are used to secure sensitive facilities in places such as the White House, the Pentagon, embassies and other buildings.
"Virtually all conventional pin-tumbler locks are vulnerable to this method of attack, and frankly nobody has really considered it or looked at it before," says Marc Weber Tobias, one of the researchers.
The researchers showed Threat Level how they could create the simulated keys from plastic simply by scanning or photographing a Medeco key, printing the image onto a label and placing the label onto a credit card or other plastic to cut out the key with an X-Acto blade or scissors and then use the key to open a lock covertly.
Any credit card plastic will do to create a simulated key....
The researchers can make plastic keys, despite the fact that Medeco's M3 locks are supposed to be more secure than conventional locks, due to key-control measures designed to prevent unauthorized duplication of their keys.
"When you have a high-security lock, you don't expect this to be able to happen," says Tobias, an investigative lawyer who will be demonstrating the hack with Matt Fiddler, a computer-security researcher, and Tobias Bluzmanis, a Florida locksmith. "Key control is supposed to make this impossible to happen. That's what you're paying for."
High-security locks -- which can cost two to four times the price of a common Kwikset lock used in most homes -- have millions of possible key combinations, as opposed to just thousands in low-security locks. High-security locks also use patented key-control systems to prevent just anyone from duplicating the keys.
What this means is that only specific locksmiths who are authorized by the lock maker are given key blanks, key codes and equipment to make the keys. To ensure that no keys are made before a lock is sold, the locks are also shipped to the locksmith without pins in them -- the bars inside a lock cylinder that engage with the grooves on a key to open the lock. The pins are added by the seller after a customer purchases the lock, using proprietary key codes doled out to locksmiths by the lock manufacturer.
If a buyer wants additional keys made for the lock later on, he has to return to the same seller to have him make the keys or find another locksmith who is authorized to use that particular key code. Keys used in places like the White House would likely use an even higher level of key control, whereby only the manufacturer -- Medeco -- would be able to make duplicate keys....
The attack requires brief access to a high-security key long enough to take a picture of it with a camera phone or scan it, so it will likely have to involve an insider or someone else with access to keys -- such as a valet parking attendant.
"You're an employee and you loan it to somebody or your kid takes it off your key ring and makes a copy and tells his friends to break into the facility -- I can give you a lot of scenarios," Tobias says. "Insiders are always the biggest threat."...
"If you're a security manager for the Federal Reserve or Citibank, you have a belief that what the company is telling you is true, that unless it's authorized, nobody can reproduce your keys," Tobias says. "So if you give a key to an employee you don't have to worry about it. And that's the problem. It's not true."...
Researchers say the issue of the plastic keys is more serious than what they revealed last year at DefCon, when they demonstrated how they could bump and pick Medeco's patented M3 Biaxial and deadbolt locks -- locks that Medeco claimed were bump- and pick-proof. They were able to create bump keys for the locks after spending months analyzing Medeco's published key codes.
But by using plastic keys, the researchers can now crack the M3 locks in a way that doesn't require knowledge of key codes or any significant skills or equipment, although it does require brief access to a key to copy it....
Bluzmarin, who has been a locksmith for 25 years, says their research has forced him to rethink everything he once believed about Medeco locks.
"Basically if someone came to me (before) and said they could pick a Medeco lock, I'd say, 'You're crazy; you don't know what you're talking about.' If they told me they could open it with plastic, the same thing. I'd say, 'You're crazy.'
"Locksmiths don't have a clue what is going on. Your locksmith will tell you this is impossible."
September 3, 2008
Many opinions exist and all opinions are certainly accepted on face value. However, I was recently involved in a lengthy discussion about which is considered the more secure option.
In my opinion both alarms and locks complement each other, however physical protection can only be seen to occur with a physical product.
Locks provide a mechanical physical component to securing an entrance. Alarms do not!
Alarms perform the task for which they are so named. They "alarm" people that a condition has occurred or is occurring.
In summation, my determination is that only locks and locking systems are designed to physically secure an entrance and alarms are simply a means to inform if an entrance is compromised.
So, when asked "Which is better?", the suitable reply should be "Locks are better".
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