By: Biometric BarneySafran Group: MorphoTrust USA (formerly Bioscrypt)

Bioscrypt’s recent acquisition by the Safran Group apparently is having no effect on their current product line, their offerings or their branding. Bioscrypt’s name is still a staple in the biometric access control industry and they’re still manufacturing top notch quality products, as was made evident by their newest product offerings, the 4G Lite Series Readers. These 4G Lite Readers, which offer V-Station Lite, V-Flex Lite and CR-Pass models (the CR-Pass is a credential only reader, meant to be used in tandem with the V-Station Lite and V-Flex Lite on any doors that opt for credential only access control as opposed to full biometrics), join the already robust line of V-Station, V-Flex and FingerVein Readers in a wide variety of models including weather resistant models for extreme and slightly adverse weather conditions as well as a large smattering of different product options for each of those different product lines. To help alleviate some of the confusion of ordering Bioscrypt Biometric Fingerprint Readers, we’ve assembled an easy to use “How to Order Guide” to help guide potential purchasers who are looking to

By now, we are all familiar with the hassle that we all have to deal with at the airport. Pat-downs, screenings, shoe-checks, it’s all become a routine part of the experience. With this, however, a fundamental question is raised: are these measures worth the hassle? Are we safer now than before?

On one hand, some members of Congress believe the new security measures to be “ineffective”, and are voicing their concerns with more fervor. Congressman John L. Mica said in a recent interview that the whole program needs dramatic change. One such concern is about the high rate of false alarms, requiring a pat-down, and further inconveniencing travelers. On the other hand, major cases are being reported where the increased security measures have prevented potential attacks, and some proponents of the increased security measures are raising their voices as well. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger praised the TSA for their “professionalism” and “courtesy” during his experience at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

The long term effect of the increased security measures by the TSA remains to be seen. The question still remains, however: How can we effectively reduce the threat of attacks on Americans, while still maintaining our privacy?

We are all familiar with the sealed lead acid batteries we use in cars and trucks, however, chances are that sealed lead acid batteries have played a larger role in your everyday life than you are aware. SLA batteries, as they are more commonly known, have an incredibly broad range of uses in today’s world. Aside from their use in starter motors, electric cars, and other vehicles, SLA batteries are used to provide backup power for fire alarm systems, access control systems, and CCTV surveillance environments as well. As you can see, sealed lead acid batteries play an extremely vital role in our everyday lives.

Because of their importance, SLA batteries need to be properly maintained, and replaced as needed. It’s important to keep your SLA batteries ‘high and dry’; you don’t want them in a damp or very humid area, as that decreases their lifespan. Most SLA batteries work on a ‘trickle charge’ basis, meaning that when the power supply system they are connected to is running, the battery stays charged, and when the system goes down, the battery supplies power until the system can get up and running again. This process extends the life of the battery substantially, however, they still need to be replaced every five years or so.

There are a number of brands of SLA batteries available today, including Enersys, Casil, and Ultratech Power Products. The industry leading Ultratech SLA batteries are a very popular brand, and for good reason. They come in a few different voltage and amperage combinations, so more than likely, they’ll fit into a system without any hassle. The Ultratech UT1240 is one of the more popular batteries, and is used in residential alarm panels. The Ultratech UT1270 is a 12 Volt, 7 Ah battery best suited for use in fire alarm and commercial systems. Ultratech has become very well known for its reliability and value, and it is definitely one of the brands to consider when looking replacing your current SLA battery.

After over ten years of heightened security at American airports, it seems there may be a few ways for qualified travelers to relax.

As announced earlier this month, the TSA has created a new program called Global Check, which allows authorized travelers who travel internationally to apply for an expedited checkpoint clearance for “pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival into the United States”. With the scan of your passport and a four-finger biometric fingerprint scan, you may receive expedited treatment at security checkpoints around the airport. However, this does not come as a guarantee, as the TSA has still vowed to proceed with random checks around the airport to maintain a high level of security.

As reported by Joe Sharkey of the New York Times earlier this month, certain travelers are also passing through airport security without having to disrobe, dismantle and with their dignity intact.

The Transportation Security Administration has also launched a second program known as PreCheck, allowing another small number of qualified travelers the ability to speed through security checkpoints without the usual routine of removing jackets and shoes as well as displaying laptops from bags, and carrying liquids and gels in see-through containers. This program was designed more for the domestic flyer, as Global Entry is an international option.

As the majority of passengers, do not have access to this PreCheck program (it is a program cultivated from the ideal that frequent travelers who spend the most money are also the easiest to track because their travel patterns are understandable and familiar), it is still not a complete solution to airport delays, extended wait times and inconvenient hassles for every day travelers.

The TSA has also specified that members who are accepted into Global Entry could potentially receive expedited treatment at PreCheck equipped airports as well and vice versa.

We often get quite a few inquiries from our readers on a daily basis about what we would recommend as far as Biometrics hardware, a topic we haven’t really discussed as of yet. It’s really because there are only two clear cut leaders in the biometric fingerprint access control field that could be considered clear contenders and they go after two somewhat different market segments. Those two brands in question are BioScrypt and FingerTec.

For the most part, BioScrypt has been a mainstay in the enterprise level biometric community for a while, offering amazing performance for all variety of fingerprinting requirements. About a year or two ago, BioScrypt was acquired by L-1 Identity Solutions, however their product line remained BioScrypt, so not as many people know about it as you would think. Primarily, it is because BioScrypt is such a well-known name due to the high quality of devices they manufacture. In addition to their merger, they also released their 4G Series of fingerprint readers, which have quickly become a mainstay in the biometric access control field, as well as many other biometric market segments. The Bioscrypt 4G Series of readers cover a wide variety of applications, with the 4G V-Station capable of operating as a stand-alone reader or intergrating it into a controller system. Not to mention, BioScrypt’s line of readers are compatible with many different varieties of popular credential types, such as HID Proximity Cards, MIFare/DESFire credentials and iClass Smart Credentials, some of the most popular credentials in the Enterprise Level industry. With all of these benefits, plus the new 4G Lite series of readers, which can provide very similar performance to their full-size counterparts, it’s easy to see why BioScrypt is the Commercial Enterprise Access Solution, with it’s applications ranging from large scale corporate installations to federal government installations.

On the converse, however, most end users who are looking for biometrics don’t have the financial means to buy readers costing upwards in the thousands. That’s where FingerTec Biometric Readers come in. FingerTec has only been around for a little over a decade, which is a remarkable thing when examining how explosive it’s growth has been. They undertook the task of making what was usually a very commercial, extremely high-end technology in fingerprint biometrics and brought it to mid-level consumers and small businesses that require reliable biometrics for their installations, such as jewelry stores, warehouses and other places where high-risk inventory needs to be protected. FingerTec also tapped another market that has been growing rapidly in the past few years; Fingerprint Biometrics used for Time and Attendance. A large portion of their devices, such as the Fingertec TA102, were designed to address the needs of the modern-day workplace, where time theft is most likely to occur. By using fingerprint biometrics in workplace attendance situations, FingerTec effectively elminated issues such as buddy punching and attendance fraud. Not to mention, FingerTec’s products help save companies thousands of dollars on human resources that were originally used to verify time sheets and process payroll.

Regardless of what kind of solution you’re looking for, there is an option for your intended installation, whether you’re looking for a high-end professional grade biometric fingerprint reader from BioScrypt or an economical-level fingerprint system from FingerTec.

Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate yielded unflattering criticisms towards the current administration’s approach to national security, care of Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney. However, in true gentlemen fashion, President Obama brushed off Mitt Romney’s comments the next evening, calling Mitt Romney’s comments oversimplification and saying that anyone that engages in such talk regarding the issue “is either politicking or doesn’t know what they’re talking about”.

Mitt Romney boldly claimed that “[Obama's] biggest foreign policy failure is Iran [and that] if [Obama] is re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon”, a charge that is easily refuted when examining Obama’s track record for maintaining the highest levels of national security both nationally and abroad, with the most active (not to mention effective) offensive on Al-Qaeda since the war on terror started.

Over the past three years of Obama’s first presidential term, he only landed crushing blows to several top Al Qaeda officials, ordered crippling drone attacks on the Taliban and Al Qaeda and even brought America the bounty that took ten years and three Presidential terms to fulfill; Osama Bin Laden.

So when criticizing Obama’s track record, we should all be clear of what we’re examining; the track record of an effective and influential leader that has done his best to protect the security and safety of an entire nation, without becoming the most hated leader in American history in foreign countries, a mistake that was egregiously made by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

As reported last week by Rod Nordland of the New York Times, Afghanistan has begun integrating biometric identification methods at its Kabul Airport, as well as at eight of its American controlled border crossings; a program funded and supported by the American Department of Homeland Security.

Ultimately, the goal is to have every Afghanistan citizen on record with a full biometric profile of an iris scan, facial photos and all ten fingerprints. The goal is to ultimately be able to identify Watch List insurgents and handle them accordingly, dealing them a crippling blow by removing what Capt. Kevin Aandahl of the U.S. Navy called “the mask of anonymity”.

This program has been met with much criticism from Afghanistan’s occupying countries, however, as all arriving and departing travelers at the Kabul airport must biometrically enrolled, creating hours of delays and confusion as the process can take three to fifteen minutes per passenger, creating hours of delays.

As the Afghan government moves forward with their plans to launch a national biometric database, one that Homeland Security and no doubt other involved nations would have access to, the only question is whether this will truly help with the fight against terrorist insurgency.

by: Jim Taylor | Topics: Education Reform, Barack Obama

As the Commander-in-Chief works to gain momentum leading up to the pivotal 2012 Elections, an election where many have already predicted Obama’s defeat, Barack is doing his best to hit home on one of the nation’s most controversial topics, Education Reform.

However, Obama’s solution for the plan is deeply misaligned with the actual problems that are contributing to our decaying educational system. Instead of focusing on the underlying issues that have much more detriment on our school systems, like the deepening poverty gap and ridiculously ineffective standardized testing as a means to measure the success of our teachers, Obama is instead attempting to put the squeeze on educators who are already pressured to provide results for children in environments where violence, crime and so many out-of-school influences are already severely affecting their ability to receive a fulfilling education.

As the Huffington Post reported Friday evening, Obama’s modified version of his predecessor’s “No Child Left Behind” Act looks to put “between $2 billion and $2.7 billion” into California’s educational system alone, with not a single penny being invested into urban revitalization. While it is extremely important that children receive the books and materials, proper learning standards and adequately trained teachers, the true issue at root is not these problems. The true problem is the growing country-wide poverty index. As far back as history can date itself, poverty has been the cause of crime, violence and a general deterioration in the ‘status quo’ of society. As we look to improve our educational systems, maybe we should also work to improve the general living conditions of those children that have to attend these schools as well.

Beyond this crippling issue, is also the severely detrimental effect that the Obama Administration’s plan will have on the systematization of teacher evaluation. International Business Times reported that the Administration is “focused on accountability by using test-based measures of student progress”. Some of the most important lessons we’ve learned in our lives have been the decision-making skills, reasoning and understanding skills and interpersonal abilities given to us by some of our most beloved educators. This is not something that is measurable by a test and accountable by numbers. In truth, what justice are we doing for our next generation of children?

Someone needs to wake up the Obama Administration. While I am typically a huge supporter of many of their policies, this is one where they are completely missing the mark. The reforms that have been proposed will not only fail to improve our quality of education, but will further prove that America is becoming nothing more than a “conveyor belt society”, which can only hurt our position as a global society.

For many years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s main source of biometric identification has been to use fingerprints as a unique attribute to identify their suspects. The evolution of this use has gone from the old ink pad to the modern day scanners and readers that will record a person’s fingerprints digitally. However, by mid-January of 2012, this will all begin to change. Nextgov.com reported on October 7th, 2011 that the FBI will begin to incorporate a facial recognition service in several states, including Michigan, Washington, Florida, and North Carolina, which allow the local authorities to identify unknown person of interests in photos.

This is the beginning of the transition from using the FBI’s existing fingerprint database to using a new biometric marker to identify suspects in a quicker but still accurate fashion. The reason behind this evolution in biometrics is because more often than not, the local police has a picture of the suspect or the person of interest, but are unable to identify who this individual is. With this new information from the FBI, the local police can identify who the person in the photo is by comparing that photo to a list of mug shots ranked in order of similarity to the features of the subject’s photo. Currently, the agent who have to already have a person’s name before they are able to run it through a scanner or reader in order to retrieve a photo of this person. It is important to note however, that this biometric service only provides a list of candidates and not a direct match. While this is an innovative approach to the use of biometrics, it is not without its own controversy.

Because this scanner does not provide an exact match, this is where the controversy lies in this

"The FBI will begin to incorporate a facial recognition service in several states... which allow the local authorities to identify unknown person of interests in photos."

project. Immigrant rights groups are concerned that this new biometric device maybe used by the Homeland Security Department as a way to intrusively filter out immigrants who are in this country illegally. Currently, the DHS is running a fingerprint program that takes fingerprint scans from booked offenders and send it to the department’s IDENT biometric database to check on their legality status.  The concerns of the immigration rights groups is that this new program may lead to a slippery slope of using the photo biometrics as a scanner that oversees all immigrants, not just the ones who were detained for committing illegal acts. Much like the “The Cure” from X-Men 3, where the cure was eventually used as a weapon against the mutants, these immigrant rights groups are worried about the potential abuse and misuse of the reader and program.

However, government officials have moved to alleviate these worries by employing an elaborate system of checks and balances to guard against abuse and misuse of this biometric tool. The point of the project, in their point-a-view, is to provide scanners and readers that will help in the pursuit in the capture of highly dangerous criminals, and not to collect a bunch of surveillance film. However, isn’t having a biometric tool and collection of data a form of surveillance after all?

This post will show how biometric access control systems and fingerprint readers and scanners can be extremely beneficial in many educational settings.  A major priority for high Schools, colleges, and universities around the globe, is trying to keep teachers, students, and guests safe and secure.  While security is a top priority, the schools would like to disrupt the daily activities of its members as little as possible.  Technology is making our lives easier and easier every day; Schools have been using technological breakthroughs for many years to increase security and accessibility. Campus security systems have evolved simultaneously with technology, and we do not expect the evolution to stop any time soon.  Campus ID Cards are a necessity and a given, in this day and age.  Campus IDs are usually linked to the student/staff member’s meal plan and can be used for many different applications.  The ID cards are used for laundry services, textbook buying, library borrowing, meal plans, vending machines, and as security access to many different zones, buildings, and rooms.

"Keeping these unwanted unauthorized people from accessing the areas which are designated only to certain people is where biometrics comes into play."

Biometrics is becoming more and more used in the education field as a form of access control and identification.  Many laws are being passed to regulate and force educators to take fingerprints of their employees too.  In order to stay on track with technological advancements, schools are using different forms of biometrics (fingerprint, vein, facial, etc.) to increase security.

There are many benefits of biometrics.  Students do not need to remember to carry a card or remember a password. This is extremely beneficial for college students who are constantly juggling tons of things.  Every student would rather not have to remember something, and have one less thing to worry about.  Also, biometrics cannot be “gamed” nearly as easily as more traditional ID cards.   A password or PIN can easily be told to someone, or a threatening individual can creep up behind someone who is entering a PIN and see what PIN they enter.  An ID card is necessary in order to access many different areas throughout a campus.  The gymnasium is a great example of an area where an ID card is needed in order to gain entry.  The problem is that nobody is efficiently monitoring the people who are entering, and an ID card can easily be given to a friend, or even stolen.  Libraries are another reason why schools should start incorporating biometrics.  A schools library is supposed to be for authorized staff and students only – not for public use.  But for an outsider wishing to gain access, all it takes is having a friend who is authorized to lend you their ID card.  These types of instances are rampant throughout universities, and most students will consider these actions to be normal, fine, and accepted.  The colleges themselves on the other hand do not agree with this and need to step up to the task of ensuring that it is much more difficult to keep unauthorized people out of desired areas.

Keeping these unwanted unauthorized people from accessing the areas which are designated only to certain people is where biometrics comes into play.  Biometrics use physical traits (such as fingerprint, vein, facial, retina, etc.) to identify a person, rather than a something a person knows or carriers.  This is what makes it more secure.  Biometrics are not replacing ID cards, rather they are a compliment to them.  Schools can require using biometrics solo, biometrics with an ID cards, or with ID cards and passwords.

With biometrics, students and staff don’t need to have an ID on them in order to get into every building and room.  They could hypothetically gain entry to the gymnasium by scanner the fingerprint reader.  Having the option to require a biometric form of ID is beneficial during times in which campuses choose to heighten security for whatever reason.  Biometric access control devices are vital in making campuses more secure and more convenient.