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It can stream live video or send still images of what’s happening in your garage, living room, backyard or wherever you deploy a security camera. You can even be alerted before the break in, the moment the burglar pulls into the driveway!BUILDING A SECURITY SYSTEM Smart systems consist of hardware that doesn’t look a lot different than it did twenty five years ago. There are some specialized sensors and video cameras that weren’t common in the past and window and door contact switches have gotten a lot smaller, but the basics are the same: a control panel or console, magnetic contact switches, motion sensors, a siren. The new systems may also be connected to central monitoring stations, as do many old style security systems. The big difference, however, is the degree of interactivity. New software platforms, such as alarm. com and iControl allow you to send commands, program home systems, view surveillance video, and receive alerts on a smart phone or computer—whether you’re at home or away. When shopping for a system, review software platforms first. Alarm. com and iControl are the two biggest. The former has partnered with more than 2,500 dealers and the latter with ADT and Comcast.

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Mark Miller: After the Crash, a New Realism Emerges About RetirementBy Donna J. Jodhan Up until the crash of a few months ago, there were so many of us who had made such grandiose plans for retirement. From the person in the 20s to those in their 40s and 50s and from those who were o so close to retirement to those millions of baby boomers. We were all looking forward to a retirement filled with our dreams of travel, owning our ideal homes, taking the courses that we never had time to take while we were working, golfing and fishing, and so much more. Yes, we were really dreaming then and no one could have blamed us for doing so. We figured that we would have earned it all by the time that we were ready to retire but who could have forecasted what started to happen late last year?Who could have foretold that in the matter of just a few months all of our dreams would come crashing down and by the time this is all over retirement would be adopting a new meaning?There was a time that the word retirement meant the fulfillment of dreams unrealized but these days this cherished word now means continuing to toil away just to keep one's head above water. I am afraid that the reality is going to be very different for the majority of us by the time this is all over. A new and more somber reality is going to take the place of golden dreams; one that will probably be comprised of working longer and harder, more funds needed to fulfill those dreams of ideal homes and once in a lifetime trips, plus more careful financial planning to satisfy the needs of both parents and kids. Yes, a more harsh reality is awaiting us at the end of this tunnel. I am going to leave you with a very insightful reference to check out. One that will introduce you to the new reality of the future.