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How to choose the right security cam for your summer hols

AUGUST is a good month for break-ins, because many of us leave our homes unoccupied while we hightail it to Tuscany or Torremolinos . But a remotely controlled security camera back home can be as good as – or better than – a house sitter. The current fad for home automation products has spawned a raft of cameras that record what is going on and allow you to access the footage from wherever you are . They don t actively deter intruders but they do arm you with the evidence if you need it . More importantly, perhaps, they provide some peace of mind when home is far away. All of them work in more or less the same way, connecting to the internet and uploading footage to a cloud, from where it can be accessed by PC or phone . Most have sensors that can start recording when movement is detected, and some can be panned and swivelled remotely.

But while the technology is similar, the business models of the manufacturers vary greatly . In particular, some require you to pay a monthly fee to record and play video; others include everything in the purchase price. Recording and playing back your footage is a must for practical use . Any camera will let you watch live, and many will alert you when they detect something, but unless you can search and see events retrospectively, your evidence will vanish into the breeze. Less essential but still useful features on some models include the ability to store footage on an SD card in the camera itself, and two-way audio to communicate with someone back home. All security cameras have companion apps that let you watch footage on your phone, but the design and functionality of these varies enormously . The market has matured greatly in recent years, and the interface of my BT Smart HomeCam from 2014 seems rudimentary now. The Evo range from Y-Cam is among the newer entrants to the market, offering seven days rolling cloud storage of video clips for the first three years, as part of the upfront 129 . The range includes indoor and outdoor models, and can he had as bundles at a slight cost saving.

It is by selling you more than one camera that manufacturers try to lock you into whatever subscription model they are offering . The outlay is too great for you to replace them all and go elsewhere, they figure . But there are also advantages to you, since you can view and control all your cameras from a single app, like a security officer in a shopping mall. Security cameras typically record video in high definition, though not necessarily the highest available, and HD recording tends to be used as a sales incentive . In fact, for security use the definition hardly matters – the ability to compensate for bright sunlight and to shoot clearly at night is far more useful . A lens with a wide field of vision is also worth having, so you can position it without blind spots. Where to place these cameras is an art in itself . Nearly all need mains power, and it s a challenge to run cables discreetly along walls without compromising the view . It s also worth bearing in mind that if the power to your home is cut, so is the video feed.

Your intended use for a security camera – child minder, pet monitor, web cam – will dictate the functions you need, but even from those few examples, it s plain to see how easily they could become part of your life.

Saudi security suspects give themselves up

DUBAI (Reuters) – Three Saudi men on a list of 23 people wanted by the authorities over security offences have turned themselves in, the interior ministry said on Monday.

The report, carried by state news agency SPA, came as Saudi security forces pushed ahead with an operation in the eastern part of the kingdom to try to flush out armed men, including those on the list announced in January 2012 . The area is home to many of the country’s minority Shi’ite Muslims.

The interior ministry identified the three as Mohammed Isa al-Lubbad, Ramzi Mohammed Jamal and Ali Hassan al-Zayed, and said their “initiative (to surrender voluntarily) will be taken into consideration”.

Many of those on the list have been either killed or captured in recent years . The Saudi Gazette newspaper said that only three of those on the original list remained at large, while eight have surrendered .

The rest were killed during clashes with the security forces, it said.

Saudi security forces have been trying for more than two months to defeat gunmen behind attacks on police in Awamiya, a Shi’ite town of around 30,000 in the eastern region that has been the centre of protests against the Sunni government.

Fighting has intensified over the past two weeks, when elite forces entered the town . In May the authorities began a campaign to tear down the old quarter to prevent gunmen using the narrow streets to evade capture.

Residents estimate that up to 20,000 people have fled to towns and villages nearby . Up to 12 people have been killed in the past week: three policemen and nine civilians, residents say.

The area, in oil-producing Qatif province, has seen unrest and occasional armed attacks on security forces since 2011 “Arab Spring”-style protests .

Residents complain of unfair treatment by the government, something Riyadh denies.

Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Andrew Bolton

Security for Trump’s summer visit ruffles tranquil New Jersey town

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (Reuters) – Three military helicopters hovered over Anne Choi’s backyard, engaged in what appeared to be a drill ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit three weeks ago to this tranquil town of farmland and horse barns in rural New Jersey.

“My sheep were terrified,” Choi, 44, said on Thursday inside her two-story barn a mile east of Trump National Golf Club, as half a dozen Shetland sheep grazed outside. “It’s awful . We don’t have the infrastructure here . We can’t support the weight of his presence.”

As Bedminster prepared this week for the president’s latest trip to the 600-acre (240-hectare) private club, a 17-day stay that is his first extended vacation in office, some of the town’s 8,000 residents expressed frustration at the security protocols, road closures and daily disruption that will begin with his arrival on Friday.

On Wednesday, the U.S .

Secret Service said safety measures would also include a “tethered drone,” equipped with optical and infrared cameras and powered by a wire attached to a ground controller, that could impede on the privacy of nearby residences.

“It’s super creepy,” said Julie Henderson, an artist who lives down the road from Trump National, as two military helicopters roared overhead before circling and heading back towards the golf club.

The Secret Service said the drone would focus primarily on the outer perimeter and would not “physically intrude upon or disturb the use of private property outside the Trump National Golf Course.”

Trump’s movements can also lead to the closure of local roads and highways . Julie Henderson’s husband, Paul Henderson, said he has twice been stuck on an Interstate on his way to work while Trump’s motorcade used the highway.

Not everyone in this town about 40 miles (60 km) west of New York City agrees Trump’s visit will be a nuisance . Steve Desiderio, who owns a restaurant and catering business in Bedminster’s modest downtown, said the influx of federal agents and journalists would be a welcome boost to his business.

Desiderio, a 48-year-old Trump supporter, added that complaints about the disruption were overblown and media-driven.

“It’s just fake news,” he said, echoing one of the president’s favourite phrases. “They try to spin it like it’s gridlock . So there are five more cars at the stoplight?”

FILE PHOTO -U.S . President Donald Trump departs in his motorcade after a weekend at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S . May 7, 2017.Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Bedminster’s Republican mayor, Steven Parker, also brushed off the criticism.

“It’s really been a big non-event,” he said.

Some residents said Trump has been a generous neighbour in past years, allowing local events to be hosted at his club . As in previous years, the township committee held its annual reorganization meeting in 2017 at Trump National, where Parker was selected to continue as mayor.

While Trump’s visit may help the town’s eateries, it will shut down the local airport, where 110 private planes and 60 flight school students will be grounded from Aug .

4 to Aug .

20.

“Our summertime is our busiest time,” said Somerset Airport President Chris Walker, as a Coast Guard helicopter landed on the runway in preparation for the weekend. “We’re just rolling with the punches.”

About half of the planes were being moved to other airports outside the 10-mile (16-km) no-fly zone, Stewart said . Some workers will be sent home until Trump returns to Washington.

Trump has also drawn local protesters, both for and against him . Anti-Trump activists have been staging a weekly “People’s Motorcade,” driving slowly down the road past Trump National and honking their horns.

The town’s administrator, Judith Sullivan, said they were more of a distraction for her 16-member police department than the president, though they have largely been well behaved.

She hopes to recoup the $30,000 in overtime for officers working during Trump’s visit from the U.S .

government.

Choi, who moved to Bedminster from Maryland two years ago, said she likely would not have chosen her house had she known the “summer White House” would be only a mile away.

“Even if you agree with his politics, I think we can all agree that this is not what we bargained for,” she said.

Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Jonathan Oatis