NDSP implements new K-9 program

first_imgNotre Dame Security Police (NDSP) implemented a K-9 program this semester to add another layer of security to its operations.The two black Labrador retrievers who were recently added to the police department — 3-year-old Skeet and 18-month-old Toxi — are NDSP’s first security dogs, Clark said. Clark is Skeet’s handler, while security officer Jarret Gilpin is Toxi’s handler.“I believe it’s pretty much an innovative thing,” Clark said. “We made the choice so we’d have another layer of security. The way the world is changing, people are exploding things — today’s suicide bombers, the Boston marathon run [and] what happened there. And you know, it’s easier for the dogs to detect explosives than it is for us with their sense of smell.”NDSP’s efforts to ensure safety during home football games was one of the driving factors that lead the department to implement a K-9 program, deputy chief Stephan Smith said.“We did our research and found that this is some of the best technology that’s out there, and it’s definitely a direction we wanted to go,” he said. “It’s important to say there is no imminent threat to Notre Dame or our community at this time. However, we just felt that this is something worth investing in because, you know, everybody’s safety — not only on game day but every single day here on campus — is our priority.”Clark said Toxi and Skeet are “vapor wake dogs,” which means they have been trained to detect explosives. The dogs underwent intensive training for about three months, Gilpin said.“ … Probably out of 100, two dogs had the qualities and stuff like that of a vapor wake canine that they were looking for,” Gilpin said. “They have high independence and a high drive and stuff like that, so [Toxi’s] been training since she was like 3 months [old] or so, I believe.”Though he has worked for NDSP for 27 years and seen three proposals for a K-9 program, Clark said Toxi and Skeet are the department’s first security dogs. Clark said the new K-9 program has been “a dream come true” for him.“My dad actually trained dogs in Compton, California, in the ’70s,” Clark said. “He was a carpenter, so he started training dogs to watch the property out after he had repaired it. He’s always had a love for dogs, so I guess that I got the fever, too.“So I’ve been involved in training them for a very long time — in obedience, in protection. To me, it’s like I’m not even working anymore. I’m just enjoying myself.”Clark said the dogs have contributed to a new routine within the police department.“If there’s any special events going on, they like for us to work the special events,” he said. “When dignitaries come, we will probably sweep the building they’re in before they return. We kind of do our lock-up differently now.”Gilpin added that since they have only been working with the dogs for about seven weeks, he and Clark are still adjusting to the changes.“We’re still learning and they’re still learning,” he said. “They’re from Alabama and now they’re in Indiana, and it’s just kind of a different atmosphere for them. I’m looking forward to seeing [Toxi] in snow because she probably hasn’t seen snow yet.”One of the biggest challenges to integrating the dogs into the police department is getting to know their personalities, Gilpin said.“Each dog is different. My issues are different than [Clark’s],” he said. “They’re similar but different. Each dog is a different personality. It’s getting used to where we work together better. We’ve only worked together for seven weeks.”Clark described Skeet as “an eager beaver” who enjoys work, while Gilpin said Toxi was “very playful and loving.”“When it comes time to work, she works, but it’s just one of those things where her personality is, ‘Hey, let’s play,’” Gilpin said of Toxi. “She wants to play tug-of-war, loves playing fetch like any other dog. She’s just very affectionate.”Students should not be afraid of the dogs, Clark said, as they are not aggressive.“Their basic job is to protect the University,” he said. “If you see us, you’ll notice they’ll smell garbage cans. Because they’re vapor wake dogs, they’ll hit on the backpacks and if they hit on it, they’re smelling it — their job is to make sure there isn’t explosives there.”The dogs have served as great outreach tools in the community, Smith said, and NDSP would like to continue to use the dogs to connect with people across campus.“You know, if somebody says, ‘Hey, I’m having this event, and it’d be nice to have one of the NDSP canines and the handler there,’ we’d love to do that,” he said. “We’d love to find new ways to connect with our community.”last_img read more

MDL Wraps Up North Sea FPSO Job

first_imgMDL has carried out a complete overhaul of a number of lifting equipment on board a North Sea FPSO, in the facility’s 20th year in operation.The marine services project, which reinstated a 25-tonne riser pull-in winch and three 200-tonne anchor chain winches, is estimated to have contributed to extending the working life of the FPSO by a further 10 years.The initial scope of work carried out by MDL’s project and engineering team was to survey the lifting equipment on board the North Sea facility, to assess condition and plan 5-year maintenance and testing, following a period of no operation.Following the survey, the MDL teams executed on-board equipment overhaul, including complete winch strip down, service, reassembly and load testing. MDL offshore expertise also came into play for winch wire respooling, carried out in-situ under tension.“Over 1400 MDL man hours have gone into this project across all MDL disciplines to deliver a solution that was fit for purpose and added value by extending the assets’ producing life, without costly repair works onshore,” said Steve Morrison, MDL project engineering manager.last_img read more

McDAID CALLS FOR RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE FOR DONEGAL

first_imgCllr James Pat Mc Daid is to ask his colleagues on the County Council to back his motion to establish a Rural Affairs Committee for Donegal.Cllr James Pat McDaidHe has highlighted a number of increasing deficits including lack of jobs, depopulation, no social housing construction that are not being addressed with any degree of urgency because there is no local forum to do so politically.The Fianna Fail councillor says that in previous times when Committees of Agriculture were part of the Local Government structure, rural communities had a real voice through their Cllrs. “With rural Ireland, its people, services and communities losing out on vital services, housing, investment and neglect of the infrastructure there is a very urgent for collective political action.We can do that best through a dedicated committee that gives us a real voice to address this crisis,” Cllr. McDaid told the Tribune last night.A recent Teagasc Report carried out by their Head of Rural Economy and Development, Prof Cathal O’Donoghue has indicated that rural Ireland and its small and medium sized towns have been affected to a greater extent by the economic downturn.The Report shows that unemployment increased by 193% in towns under 10,000 inhabitants compared with 115% in cities and 150% nationally. Cllr. McDaid who is aged 26 helps to run the family farm in Glenswilly says there was never more urgency for rural areas across Ireland to have their own voice at Local Government level. A ‘Rural affairs Committee’ is the best way forward, he believes. And it is vital to that a younger generation like himself is given a chance to make their homes in their local parishes.Cllr. McDaid said: “Rural Ireland is dying a death since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. More and more young people are either emigrating or moving into the larger towns or cities, where they might be lucky enough to a job, a house and a future.Vital services such as schools , Garda stations, post offices, national schools, shops , restaurants, the country pub, B&Bs, community services must be protected. These services are the heart and soul of our small villages. And when added up can count for a considerable amount of jobs that will give hope for the future. We have seen too many of our small villages and rural areas lose these essential services and we cannot afford to lose more.In rural communities the family farm is the most important thing that binds our rural way of life, its people and their interests. The retention of these smallholdings is one of my main priorities. There are over 9,000 farm units in this county, which suggests at least 60,000 people in Donegal are directly associated with farm incomes. At least 10,000 more are indirectly involved in food processing, management, and distribution.Communications and especially Broadband is another vital service which needs to be secured in rural areas. With the poor quality of broadband it is a fact that bad people cannot study online, work from home or indeed think about the setting up a new business. Rural areas need more houses. Government policy has seen SI schemes and rural farm cottages no longer being funded and this is a huge loss. In my own area there are young couples and single parents who want to live and work and be part of their own community. These are the people who we depend on to keep the countryside alive for the next generation and are being failed badly.That is why, I believe that to rebuild our rural communities we need a rural affairs voice on our local authorities,” he added.McDAID CALLS FOR RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE FOR DONEGAL was last modified: January 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cllr James Pat McDaiddonegallast_img read more

Brand Audio Visual

first_imgThere is a land where the dawn first cast its glow on mankind’s awakening. A land where deserts burst into bloom, and mountains rake the sky. There is a fledgling nation that turned the tide, that set out on a journey of hope and possibility, and tuned that hope into greatness, and that possibility into action. We are this nation. We are this land. We are South Africa.Click arrow to play video.Download [MP4, 60Mb](Right click to save to your computer)last_img

Enterprise Software: 5 Ways SaaS Changes Everything & 3 Ways It Doesn’t

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Guest author Jeetu Patel is general manager of EMC Syncplicity.As enterprise software moves into the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and consumer technology innovations invade the workplace, how companies evaluate enterprise software vendor changes dramatically in many way. Yet, in some ways, it remains the same.First, five things that SaaS changes forever:1. Quality User Experience Drives AdoptionGone are the days when IT could mandate software solutions with a less than stellar user experience. Today, users will go rogue and adopt consumer apps over enterprise-approved software if it makes them more productive and more mobile. Before you select an enterprise SaaS solution, put yourself in the users’ seat and compare the experience to leading consumer apps. Do they match up? If not, you better keep looking.2. Simplicity Trumps Feature-RichFor decades, enterprise software providers have jammed features into their products to meet every IT and user need. The mobile first, cloud-computing world is all about apps that do one thing really, really well. A portfolio of simple, elegant products that are easy to use and easy to implement makes more sense than a complex, comprehensive solution with a long roll-out time and a steep learning curve.3. Continuous Improvement Is ExpectedThe 18-month product release cycle is a thing of the past. Today’s users demand constant improvements to the way they work – without radical changes that require retraining or disrupt productivity. And you’ll find it’s a great advantage to have your vendor improve features without having to install any software updates. Ask your SaaS providers how they maintain their products with regular releases that streamline and bring the best to the top. What is their pace of innovation?4. You’re In The Driver’s Seat One big change in enterprise software is the shift from perpetual licensing that hits capital expense budgets to subscription-based pricing that hits the operational expense budget. Software in the cloud requires no capital investment, expensive roll out or prolonged training. With relatively low initial investements, if a service doesn’t solve the problem or users don’t adopt it, cancel your subscription and move on.5. Your Success Is Critical To The SaaS Vendor’s SuccessBecause there are no huge upfront costs, SaaS vendors have to keep customers happy on an ongoing basis. Enterprises have no problem paying good money for software that delivers value, they just have a problem paying upfront for technology that they are not likely to use.And now, three fundamental ways your relationship with your vendor does not change.1. You Still Want To know And Trust Your ProviderNo matter how much digitization permeates our lives, people will continue to make large software or Software-as-a-Service purchases from people they know and trust. But this is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to partner with vendor in it for the long haul and are accountable beyond any one product or service.2. Security, Compliance And Management Still MatterIT technology restrictions may not seem logical to users, but the need to mitigate risk and comply with requirements remains and enterprise reality. A SaaS provider may be highly secure and have a terrific consumer following, but if it doesn’t meet the compliance bar, it doesn’t belong in the enterprise.3. You Still Need To Know What’s ComingSaaS companies that cater to the consumer market often introduce new features by rolling them out to users even before they tell them. Enterprises need predictability and a transparency about upcoming changes. Updates may have important implications for security, compliance, compatibility and workflow. Make sure your SaaS vendors communicate proactively.Gone are the days when IT could mandate which tools were used where. People want to work as efficiently as possible, anywhere, on any device. That dramatically affects how enterprises choose and buy their software, but some things never change.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. jeetu patelcenter_img Tags:#cloud computing#Cloud Providers#saas Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

How to Choose and Implement the Right Cloud-Hosted Desktop

first_imgRelated Posts Follow the Puck Tags:#BYOD#cloud#cloud services#DaaS#Device Security#IoT Robin Hau is the founder and CEO of SimplyClouds, a provider of powerful, affordable cloud services that utilizes a self-service marketplace. Hau also serves as CEO of SimplyClouds’ parent company, USWired. The modern workplace is increasingly characterized by remote and contingent workers, BYOD policies, and the need for 24/7 access to data. My position as the CEO of USWired has given me a firsthand look at both the positive impact the cloud can have on businesses and the barriers to its adoption. We’ve seen a growing demand for cloud-hosted desktop as a service, but many people don’t know what factors to consider when adopting DaaS.Under the Hood of a Hosted DesktopDaaS allows users to access critical applications and files at any time — no matter where in the world they are — from any smart device, regardless of its operating system.In other words, cloud-hosted desktops mean enhanced workflow across devices.You can start a working session on your Windows laptop, and if it runs out of battery life, you can pick up right where you left off on your iPad. Ultimately, this increased accessibility translates to increased productivity.Housing data and files remotely also provide additional security. DaaS solutions typically come with enterprise-grade firewalls, intrusion detection, and malware protection, and they secure your data through encryption, regular backups, and multifactor authentication. These security features mean that it’s harder for attackers to breach your network, and the fact that your business data is stored remotely makes a complete recovery from an on-premise disaster far more likely.In short, DaaS makes your business more resilient.There are also benefits from a financial standpoint. Because the cost of hosting your desktop in the cloud is dependent on your needs, you only pay for what you use. It enables you to avoid the expenses that come with upgrading hardware or installing new platforms, as the only requirement for accessing a hosted desktop is a connected device.Finding the Best Cloud Provider for Your NeedsNot all virtual desktop providers are created equal, and choosing one that fails to deliver what you’re looking for can be a significant drain on resources.One of the common mistakes business leaders make: choosing the wrong provider, so start your process by doing plenty of research.Jot down the names of providers that are well-reviewed or mentioned in publications. Ask for recommendations from your professional network. Once you have a list, visit the providers’ websites to see whether they offer the services that you need and the prices that fit your budget.After you’ve narrowed your list to three or four options, call them to discuss your hosted desktop needs. Ask for references, and make sure they are authorized by the respective vendors (Microsoft, Citrix, etc.). Vet providers by asking the following questions:Is uptime guaranteed? DaaS providers should be able to offer close to a 100% uptime, or system reliability. Good providers will guarantee near-perfect reliability. Inquire about support resources available for when issues do inevitably arise. Most providers should offer extended support hours and services.Will my privacy be protected? DaaS providers typically have access to data that belongs to all clients. Ask for details about how a provider ensures confidentiality. Ask about technical security features, and make sure that your provider is located in a geographically secure area — damage to its facilities could affect your business.Can the provider comply with industry regulations? If you work in a highly regulated industry such as finance or healthcare, for instance, you’ll face unique legal requirements. Make sure a provider has experience working in your environment.What is the lag time? Data stored in the cloud has to travel between servers and devices so that users could experience lag time during particular transactions. Specific high-performance, graphics-intensive applications, such as computer-aided design and drafting, may need a dedicated graphics processing unit as part of their hosted desktop configuration to achieve an acceptable level of performance. Depending on the underlying technology a vendor uses for the hosted desktop and your Internet connection, lag time may or may not be an issue. Citrix’s Virtual Desktop (formerly called XenDesktop) claims near-native performance, for example. Regardless, you should discuss your specific performance requirements with any potential provider.Implementing Hosted Desktops With Minimum DisruptionWhen you’ve secured a partnership with a provider you trust, work with those experts to create a nimble, specialized DaaS platform that meets your company’s needs.Your company’s DaaS platform will not look like any other company’s platform, and that’s a good thing. Walk through the following steps with your selected provider to determine the best program for your needs:1. Decide how much control you’ll allow users.A hosted desktop can either be shared among all users or dedicated to each user. Work with your cloud provider to determine which approach makes the most sense for your company’s workflow and regulations.Shared desktops allow higher-ups greater control over what users can do. When users log in, they can customize their desktop and have private folders to store documents. However, they can’t install applications themselves. A shared hosted desktop is ideal for businesses that need to limit application or data use.Dedicated desktops provide maximum flexibility for users but limited control for the business owner. In addition to customizing desktops, users can install any application. A dedicated, hosted desktop is ideal for businesses that want maximum flexibility for their users.2. Decide which applications and data should remain on-premise.Even with DaaS, many businesses choose to maintain some applications or data storage in-house. This is an important discussion to have with your provider. For example, would it make more sense for your company to run the email system through the cloud but payroll through on-premise servers? Does your industry have regulations about keeping sensitive data on-site? Be sure also to consider the requirements of vendors whose applications you are considering moving to the cloud.If you have decided to have applications running on-premise as well as in the cloud, you need a hosted desktop capable of running a hybrid cloud. The provider typically will set up a virtual private network, or VPN, to your on-premise network so that your hosted desktop can access your on-premise applications as if you were using a locally networked office desktop.3. Obtain a second internet line.The cloud provides security in case of a disaster or other interruptions that would otherwise bring operations to a halt. However, access is key. Invest in a second internet line to protect your data, applications, and transactions in case the primary line goes down. You should not use the same internet provider for your second line as for your primary line, in case one has a blackout. Ask your cloud provider for a recommendation.4. Account for the transition.It shouldn’t take long for a provider to configure your virtual desktop. Depending on the DaaS provider, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours to provision a hosted desktop. The reason for this wide range is that some DaaS providers completely automate the provisioning (requiring no human intervention); others have to manually provision the desktop (which requires a human being to receive the work order and then schedule an engineer to configure and spin up the desktop).What will take the longest is employees becoming comfortable with the new system, so you’ll likely need to provide training and encourage plenty of patience. Ask your provider for training, resources, and support.A virtual desktop can be a game-changer for your business, but choosing the wrong provider can turn DaaS into an obstacle rather than a solution. Find a provider who is willing to spend time learning about your objectives and your unique needs and who understands your industry. The best providers will give you useful input and recommendations that steer you toward the right solution. AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Robin HauCEO of SimplyCloudslast_img read more