In a recent post we discussed Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to bring terror suspects, including the alleged mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, to New York City to stand trial.
The decision to have the defendants, including accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants, stand trial inside the United States and just blocks away from Ground Zero was met with concern from many Americans who felt that extremists could use the trial as an opportunity to stage another attack on the city.
Now, New York City’s top cop, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, is echoing those concerns. In fact, he’s asking Congress for additional funds and stating the $75 million requested by Senator Charles Schumer is woefully inadequate to properly prepare and secure the city.
In a recent USA Today article, the Commissioner stressed the sheer cost of security alone is too much for the city to handle by itself. This raises additional questions about the decision to try these accused terrorists in the United States, and more specifically in a city that is already considered a top terrorist target.
Commissioner Kelly’s plea for funds is just another reason why TANDBERG whole-heartedly supports finding an alternate solution to holding the trial within our borders. Although we believe in the American justice system, we feel it’s unnecessary to expose American citizens to even the slightest increase in probability of attack, especially when alternatives are available.
In an effort to decrease the probability of attack, and to reduce the rapidly increasing security expense being incurred by a country and city struggling to get past significant economic hardships, Attorney General Eric Holder should instead turn to technology, specifically video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions, to conduct the trial. This would enable the defendants to appear in court regardless of their physical location, eliminating the need to transport them to New York City and reducing the potential of attack.
We believe that VTC solutions have the ability to more effectively and efficiently conduct the trial and improve the safety of American citizens at a significantly smaller cost than the dollars needed for additional security. In fact, we’re so adamant that we previously offered to provide the equipment and services needed FREE OF CHARGE until the trial ended.
That offer is still on the table. Why? Because when it comes to America’s safety, even a small chance of attack is too large a risk.
In a recent post we discussed how STEM subjects are becoming increasingly important in preparing students for the hi-tech, hi-demand jobs of the future. The fact is, there is a renewed focus on STEM subjects, core curriculum and all subjects. That’s because American students are losing ground compared to the rest of the world.
This is why President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have fired the starting gun on Race to the Top, an initiative that will distribute $4.35 billion in grants intended to help revitalize and reform the American education system. The funds are to be spent on turning around low performing schools, improving teacher and administrator talent, establishing standards and creating systems to help monitor success and perpetuate best practices.
These aren’t small tasks to accomplish, but there are tools that school systems can acquire to help them along the way. One of these tools is video teleconferencing (VTC), which can positively impact schools and help them address every one of these areas.
When working to turn around low performing schools, VTC can have significant and positive benefits in the classroom, such as:
Virtual fieldtrips -- Virtual fieldtrips are inexpensive and efficient ways to give students first-person experiences and let them actively participate for real-life application of the lessons.
Credit replacement -- Students falling behind can utilize VTC for credit replacement and get themselves back on track.
Guest speakers -- Experts from various fields and anywhere on the globe come right into the classroom for interactive discussions.
Resource sharing -- Schools utilize VTC to share resources, including teachers. This means subjects frequently being cut -- such as art, music and languages -- can be maintained at even the most resource-strapped schools.
But the benefits of VTC in the educational environment don’t stop at the classroom door.
The Race to the Top initiative calls for improving teacher and administrator talent, which is yet another area where VTC can benefit schools. With VTC, teachers and principals can attend seminars, connect and share best practices all without expensive travel and missing school days.
By integrating VTC solutions across a region, school administrators can easily meet to discuss the establishment of universal academic standards and identify the practices that have been effective and ineffective at helping students reach those standards.
Here at TANDBERG, we commend the effort to improve America’s schools and give them the resources to make the necessary changes in the form of the Race to the Top funds. We’re also sure that America’s schools will regain top status. However, why race to the top when you can get there via video? It’s cheaper and faster and the views are the same. Now that’s a new way of learning.
Vyopta has developed a new app called vControl that enables anyone to control TANDBERG video conferencing systems directly from their iPhone. Watch the video to see how vControl utilizes the iPhone’s touch screen interface to act as a remote for operating the system and making calls.
This will definitely come in handy for times when the remote gets lost! I’ll be keeping my eye out for the new universal remote app for my home entertainment system…
As the nation’s primary homeland defense and the first line for bringing assistance, aid and relief to areas of America damaged by natural disasters, the National Guard and Air National Guard have an extremely important mission.
Situations where the National Guard and Air National Guard are needed are often chaotic. In fact, in times of attack and natural disaster, communication resources are often damaged and unavailable. This makes it difficult for communication and collaboration with controlling officers and even between units.
Luckily, some recent technological advances such as HD and mobile video teleconferencing (VTC) and satellite communication, are now available for the National Guard and Air National Guard to help them coordinate during attacks and natural disasters.
By utilizing mobile VTC solutions that receive and send signals via satellite, National Guard units can communicate face-to-face with their commanding officers and other units regardless of their location.
Our conversations with National Guard and Air National Guard IT personnel during the conference revealed a strong desire to see communication and collaboration increase, but many were concerned that disparate networks and firewalls could be a potential deal breaker in the implementation of VTC solutions.
In times of recession and tight budgets, many agencies are fearful to implement solutions that would require significant investments and overhauls in their network infrastructure. This is why interoperability is so important for the National Guard, Air National Guard and other agencies. VTC solutions, such as those offered by TANDBERG, are interoperable and can function with network equipment from many different vendors. This ensures VTC solutions can be implemented without significant investments and overhauls in the datacenter.
It’s the National Guard and Air National Guard’s mission to protect America from attack and disaster. At TANDBERG, we’re excited to be a part of outfitting a new Guard, one that communicates in the most chaotic of situations and more effectively and efficiently completes their mission.