August 05, 2011

Interactive recording kiosks will offer convenience to county residents

Interactive recording kiosks will offer convenience - CBS5 - KPHO - Phoenix News, Weather and Sports



FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ (KPHO) -
Folks in Maricopa County looking to record documents now have a new high-tech tool they can use at the Fountain Hills library.

It's an interactive kiosk, a computer terminal with touch-screen ability, document scanning and printing, audio, video and even a credit card scanner. It's a huge convenience, letting folks record a document without having to make the trip to the County recorder's office downtown.

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office is the first in the United States to offer the public an option of same-day "document-recording" through a kiosk.

link

Posted by staff at 02:19 PM

May 16, 2011

Emergent, Meridian Zero partner to bring self-service to government

Emergent, an IT solutions provider, and Meridian Zero Degrees have partnered to sell kiosks to government offices for use in a variety of ways, including visitor check-in, services payment, health care and security.

Emergent, Meridian Zero partner to bring self-service to government | kioskmarketplace.com

According to a press release, these self-service solutions are customizable to meet the needs of any organization. Meridian Zero kiosks can assist an organization in managing visitors by preventing intrusions, granting access and securing a building.

The partnership will combine Emergent's government IT expertise with Meridian Zero's robust and scalable self-service solutions, said Sheridan Orr, vice president of Global Sales and Marketing of Meridian Zero.

"This partnership will greatly improve upon current government processes by reducing costs and increasing security efficiency," she said in the release.

The addition of Meridian Zero to Emergent's product portfolio reinforces its mission to offer complimentary best of breed products and technologies solving mission critical government business challenges, according to Greg Christensen, president of Emergent.

"Emergent is excited to announce our partnership with Meridian Zero, adding another elite vendor to our complimentary portfolio of products and services, serving our public sector and commercial customers," he said in the release. "Meridian Zero's history and demonstrated expertise in kiosk and self-service devices combined with Emergent's unrivaled end to end solution capabilities will result in cost-effective, leading edge solutions to the government sector."


Emergent, Meridian Zero partner to bring self-service to government | kioskmarketplace.com

Posted by staff at 11:44 AM

March 15, 2011

JPay Inc Wins Exclusive Offender Services Contract with Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections

PR: JPay Inc, the leader in offender related payment and media services, has been awarded an exclusive contract by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections to provide electronic offender payments, release debit cards, offender email, kiosk services and MP3 players to the State's 40,000 offenders and their families.

JPay Inc Wins Exclusive Offender Services Contract with Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections | Benzinga.com

DOC's award allows the state to accept electronic payments from inmate friends and families alleviating the DOC of manually processing money orders. JPay will also install it's offender kiosk system which allows offenders and family members to communicate electronically - decreasing the influx of physical mail that needs to be read and sorted by hand. The kiosks will also let offenders purchase secure MP3 players to download digital music. Based in Miami, JPay develops solutions that streamline prison operations while delivering quality services for incarcerated inmates, their friends and families, and for offenders on parole or probation. The award was made through a competitive bidding process in response to a DOC Request for Proposal.
"We are very excited about our new partnership with the Louisiana DOC," said JPay CEO RJ Shapiro. "JPay will be breaking new ground in the State by bringing electronic payment and email systems custom built for the prison environment." In addition, the entire system is provided at no cost to the DOC. Says Shapiro, "the services are funded by the end user. It could be the inmate downloading music or the family member sending money on our website using a debit card or walking a cash payment down to a local WalMart." JPay hopes to have the electronic payment service available statewide within a couple months.
"This is not just a win for us, it's a win for the Louisiana DOC and the friends and families of the Louisiana offenders" says Shapiro.
About JPay Inc.
With Louisiana as the latest addition to their client list, JPay now serves over 1.3 million offenders, their families and friends across 22 states and over 60 county jails. For more information about JPay Inc visit http://www.jpayinc.com.
###
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/03/prweb5162094.htm


Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/press-releases/11/03/p926776/jpay-inc-wins-exclusive-offender-services-contract-with-louisiana-depar#ixzz1GgbLVklC

JPay Inc Wins Exclusive Offender Services Contract with Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections | Benzinga.com

Posted by staff at 09:25 AM

August 17, 2010

DPS Kiosks in Mississippi

Driver's license kiosks expand with another 29 units. Large picture of unit included.

View image

Renewing a driver's license has meant a trip to the local license office and likely an extended wait in line, but the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is announcing it is expanding its use of kiosks that process renewals in minutes.

The self-service machines were first placed in seven driver's license offices in December, according to a news release from the Department of Public Safety. There are now 29 kiosks in license offices and two stand alone machines in the Harrison and Yazoo county courthouses .

Instead of standing in line for hours, most transactions can be completed in just two minutes, the news release stated.

Stephen Simpson, Department of Public Safety commissioner, said, "We have seen a steady increase in the number of people now using our kiosks. I believe with more machines available across the state fewer drivers will have to stand in line; and that means Mississippians can get on with their day rather than spending time in our driver services' buildings.

And, Gov. Haley Barbour said, "Given the option of standing in line or utilizing something as familiar as an ATM, I believe a lot of Mississippians will take advantage of this technology. The easier and less-painful we can make license renewal, it's better for the state, and more importantly, it's better for the taxpayer."

The kiosks work by swiping a driver's license or credit card just like a at an ATM, the news release stated. Limited information appears on the screen and the user can verify information on the driver's license, take a new picture and pay for the renewal using a debit or credit card.

Simpson says the kiosks have safety features to protect each user's identity.

"The one-to-one facial recognition technology compares the photo on the driver's license to the new photo of the person standing in front of the kiosk. If they don't match, you can't renew a license at the kiosk," Simpson said.

Mississippi is the first sate to use the new technology, according to the news release.

The Harrison and Yazoo courthouses are the first outside of licenses offices, Simpson said.

"I promised efficiency and convenience when I introduced to first kiosk in December. That means placing them not only in our buildings but at courthouses and public buildings, places where drivers might realize their license is expired. Now drivers won't have to go out of their way to get their license renewed," Simpson said.

Area driver's license kiosks
Hancock County
Driver's License Station, 3016 Stringfellow Road, Bay St. Louis.

Harrison County
Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop K Building,16741 Highway 67, Biloxi.
Driver's License Station, 10393 Automall Parkway (MEMA trailer), D'Iberville.
Harrison County Courthouse, 1801 23rd Ave., Gulfport.

Jackson County
Fairgrounds, 2914 Shortcut Road, Pascagoula.

Posted by staff at 07:03 AM

August 13, 2010

DMV Renewal Kiosks in MS

Corrected version of DMV kiosks from L-1 being deployed for Mississippi. Includes photo.

Official touts renewal kiosks | hattiesburgamerican.com | Hattiesburg American

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Simpson said he's glad Mississippi is finally first in something good.

Simpson is talking about the state's new automated driver's license renewal system which now has 24 kiosks in license renewal sites around the state. The kiosks are designed to save Mississippians from "what has historically been a long, long line," he noted.

The automated system is the first of its kind in the U.S., and includes units in Hattiesburg and Laurel.

"We're thrilled to be the first in the country for a change, and there's about 30 states clamoring to get them."

renewal-kiosk.jpg

Users of the new kiosks aged 17 to 75 can insert their old licenses - whether expired or not - into the machine. The system asks for the last four digits of a user's Social Security number, then matches the user to the file in the state database.

The kiosk then re-takes the user's photo, and matches the new photo to the old photo using facial recognition software. If the photos don't match, then the machine stops the transaction.

If the person trying to renew his or her license matches the face on the old license, the machine then takes a credit or debit card payment and prints a receipt usable as a license.

The receipt includes the new photo and all the bar codes from a standard driver's license card. A new license is printed in Jackson and should then reach the user in about two days, Simpson explained.

Simpson stressed the security of the system, noting that each kiosk stores no identification information about any user, and touting the accuracy of the facial-recognition software.

L-1 Identity Solutions in Billerica, Mass., developed the system for the state.

"The state of Mississippi did not invest one dime," Simpson said, adding that L-1 researched, developed, manufactured and are now maintaining the units.

This tax spending relief comes with a $3 price tag to users of the kiosk.

Simpson said of the 600,000 license renewals statewide this year, about 20 percent of renewals from locations with kiosks.

The state hopes to add more machines during the next six to nine months, bringing the total number up to about 100. Simpson said the plan also includes putting the machines in other public places, such as shopping malls, university union buildings and airports.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Director of Driver Services Jason Jennings said he hopes the system will streamline operations at each driver's license renewal site.

"What it does and we hope it continues to do even more is take the routine transactions away from the examiners so they can spend more time doing things they need to do - give examinations and verify documents and things of that nature," he said. "It's not going to replace any examiners, it's just going to allow them to do a better job at what they need to do."

Drivers can already avoid the "long, long lines" by renewing licenses at https://www.ms.gov/hp/drivers/license/Main.do.

Editor's note: This is a corrected version of the story.

Posted by staff at 10:39 AM

May 11, 2010

Kiosks to ‘boost’ efficiency of Winnebago County jail

County wants to let inmantes purchase commissary items and also allow family member put money in the inmates account. Officers no longer need to handle the money.....

Kiosks to ‘boost’ efficiency of Winnebago County jail - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

By Matt Williams
RRSTAR.COM
Posted May 10, 2010 @ 12:02 AM
Last update May 10, 2010 @ 12:03 AM
ROCKFORD — Ramen noodles, tortilla chips and nacho cheese dip are some of the most popular items purchased by inmates at the Winnebago County Jail.

But Sheriff Dick Meyers says corrections officers spend too much time — as much as 40 hours a week — processing inmates’ weekly paper commissary requests. It’s an expensive task, Meyers said, considering an entry-level jail guard earns about $665 for a 40-hour week.

The county is considering bids for a system that would allow inmates to purchase commissary items through an automated kiosk, similar to an ATM. Purchases would automatically be deducted from an inmate’s electronic account.

“We spend several hours a week putting together all the sheets to the 800 inmates for commissary, most of which is done by hand,” Meyers said. “In the jail, we want to keep a corrections officer in the hallways and the pods.”

Commissary required by law
The jail is required by state law to have a commissary allowing prisoners to spend their own money on everything from snacks to toiletry items from third-party vendors, said jail Superintendent Andrea Tack.

The county’s profits from the arrangement must be spent on classroom chairs, television and other items that benefit the inmate population.

The kiosk systems would be paid for with commissions from the commissary purchases, Tack said.

The jail processed about $540,000 worth of commissary purchases in 2009, with more than $190,000 going back into the jail.

The new commissary system also would allow family members and friends to be able to put money into an inmate’s account through a kiosk in the lobby area by using cash or debit and credit cards.

Similar changes will be made to the inmate intake and bond processes, which could save officers time and take money-handling responsibilities out of their hands.

Officers are currently responsible for counting and processing cash that a person has on them when they are arrested.

A pre-booking kiosk would allow the inmate to feed their money into the machine in exchange for a receipt for their record keeping.

“There are a lot of transactions going back and forth,” Meyers said. “We are not bank tellers, and once in a while we will make an honest mistake, especially with the volume of money we go through.”

Change to bond process
Bonding an inmate out of jail would become easier as well. Today only money orders are accepted by jail officials, but a kiosk would allow for cash and credit or debit cards, which would then electronically update the inmate’s bond status.

All money transactions would then be handled by the company that provides and maintains the machines, an added bonus that takes all liability off the county, Meyers said.

“It is taking the money-handling systems away from us and putting it into a more accurate system,” he said. “The company would bear the cost for any mistakes.”

Meyers is hoping the new system could be in place within the next couple months.

“This will be a tremendous efficiency boost to the day-to day operations of the jail,” he said.

Reach staff writer Matt Williams at mwilliams@rrstar.com or 815-987-1389.

By the numbers: Jail commissary

40 Hours projected to be saved per week by switching to a new commissary system

801 Average of inmates lodged in the jail during 2009

$34,645 Annual salary for an entry-level corrections officer

$546,182.91 Amount inmates spent on commissary goods in 2009

$190,654.67 Commission earned by Winnebago County from those sales

Posted by staff at 09:01 AM

April 04, 2010

DMV Kiosks cutting costs used in political campaign

Cost and budget cutting measures now include kiosks for DMV according to polics in Massachusetts.

02 Apr 2010
The Boston Herald reports that Massachusetts GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker is citing multilingual self-service kiosks as a way to improve service and cost-effectiveness at that state's Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offices.

"While other states have created award-winning programs to meet the needs of their customers, the Patrick administration has imposed more than $75 million in outrageous new RMV fees," Baker said in a statement.

Baker said the 100 proposed kiosks would only take an average of 86 seconds per transaction as opposed to the roughly 12 minutes he said it takes with an RMV employee.

In making his case, Baker cited kiosk use in Mississippi, where residents can renew their driver's licenses at self-service kiosks. According to a recent report in The Hattiesburg American, the Mississippi kiosks print a temporary license for immediate use. The Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles then mails the customer's official license to his or her address within three to five days.

noted on KioskMarketplace

Posted by staff at 11:28 AM

December 11, 2009

No more lines? Kiosks offer self-serve renewals for drivers

Writeup at Clarion on new DMV kiosks including nice photo shots of the units.

Story with pictures at| The Clarion-Ledger

noying lines associated with driver's license renewal in Mississippi could be a thing of the past with the state's new self-service automated renewal kiosks.

A person using the kiosk can choose to use the same picture on his or her card or have a new one taken. After a person pays with a debit or credit card, the license will be sent to the person's address in three to five business days.

The information sent through the kiosks are carried on an Internet connection, which means the machines alone do not contain any sensitive information, Simpson said.

Officials said the installations of the kiosks will not change how the current DMV centers operate and no jobs will be lost.

Address changes still will need to be done in person to prevent identity theft, Simpson said.

On Thursday, Earnest Moore of Jackson and a friend drove to the DMV on Woodrow Wilson Avenue to get their licenses renewed. He said there could be some benefit to the system.

"I like personal contact myself, but I can see how it can make it easier to expedite the process and keep everyone from waiting in line like this," he said. " You pay your cell phone bill with machines and everything else. I guess it's like anything new, you just have to get used to it."

On Thursday, Gov. Haley Barbour joined Department of Public Safety officials in Jackson for the unveiling of the kiosks as the latest measure to improve the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Over the next two weeks, kiosks will be placed inside Department of Motor Vehicles buildings in Jackson, Tupelo, Olive Branch, Hattiesburg, Gulfport and D'Iberville.

"Anyone who has ever used an ATM machine or touchscreen technology will find this easy to use," Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Simpson said.

Simpson said it takes less than five minutes to renew or replace a driver's license.

The kiosks are similar to those used for self-service airport check-ins and movie ticket purchases.

Mississippi will be the first state in the country to use automated kiosks for driver's license renewal, Simpson said.

"Hopefully, this will serve as a model for other departments. We need to use technology to improve service and save money," Barbour said.

Simpson said the state does not have enough money to purchase the system. Instead, L-1 Identity Solutions, the Boston-based company that created the kiosks, will own and operate each one. The company will then collect a $3 service fee, which is tacked onto the cost of every transaction, and use that money to service and maintain the system.

L-1 Identity Solutions has provided the state with other driver's license services since 2002, including the camera and computer systems, said Jenny Openshaw, vice president of sales.

"This is a first-generation machine. Certainly over the next couple of months we'll get input from the public and find ways we can improve it," she said.

Upon completion of the pilot period, Simpson said the state plans to roll out 100 kiosks by the end of 2010.

Simpson said he is not sure when the state will be able to purchase the system.

Michael Mazzu, vice president of engineering with L-1, said facial recognition technology makes the kiosks safe from identity theft. It takes about 90 seconds for the kiosk to check for red flags that may prevent them from renewing a license, including license suspension, he said.

Posted by staff at 02:39 PM

December 10, 2009

L-1 Identity Solutions Introduces Self-Service Kiosks for Driver’s License Renewals and Replacements

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ID), a leading provider of identity solutions and services, today introduced new automated kiosks for processing driver’s license renewals and replacements. With more than half of all license transactions relating to replacements and renewals, the self-service kiosks streamline Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) operations and offer the public a faster and more convenient alternative to waiting in line for agents


Source Link --L-1 Identity Solutions Introduces Self-Service Kiosks for Driver’s License Renewals and Replacements | Press Releases @ Your Story

The first two L-1 kiosks will be made available to the public today at Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) headquarters in Jackson, MS. Six additional kiosks will roll out by the end of the month across State DPS offices; additional kiosks are expected to be installed in 2010.
“For us this is more than just a technological innovation, the kiosks add a new dynamic to the way in which we interact with our customers,” said Stephen Simpson, Commissioner of the Mississippi DPS. “Automating the simple, yet time and labor consuming tasks of renewal and replacement will boost operational efficiencies while paving the way for reduced wait times, shorter lines and more quality interactions between our staff and the public. We have promoted the kiosks to the public over the last few months and the reaction so far has been very positive.”
Robert V. LaPenta, Chairman, President and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions added, “Self-service kiosks are everywhere, widely used by the public for everything from airport checks-ins to retail check-outs. The convenience and speed these systems offer lend itself naturally to adoption within a DMV, directly benefiting both the State and its drivers. This also represents an opportunity for L-1 to pursue a new form of recurring revenue based on convenience fees paid by users; income that is independent from, and additive to, the revenues we generate from our State driver’s license production contracts.”
L-1 provides driver’s license solutions to 80 percent of U.S. states.
How it Works
Using a simple touch screen menu, customers are led through a series of prompts to securely enter personal information that will be used to locate their record in the DMV system. The kiosk then takes a photo and performs a 1:1 facial recognition match against the existing photos in the DMV database to verify the identity. Once the identity details are confirmed, the consumer’s credit/debit payment is processed on the kiosk using a card swipe. If the State uses an Over-the-Counter issuance system, the kiosk dispenses a bar coded receipt that can be exchanged at the express window of the DMV office for the new card. For States using Central Issuance systems, the kiosk produces an interim document/receipt for use until the secure card is received in the mail.
State-of-the art security technologies ensure the integrity of every transaction and the privacy of information provided on the kiosk. The unit does not retain any personal information. Data collected is transmitted via a secure encrypted line from the kiosk workstation to the DMV host server and database system where it is stored and managed by the State. Photos taken at the kiosk are purged from the machines after they are taken and transmitted to the central image server.
Flexible and agnostic, the kiosks support a wide range of card types from L-1 and other third party suppliers, making the kiosks ideal for any State and any card. The units are extensible, easily supporting future requirements such as photo first workflow and incorporating other simple transactions such as appointment scheduling, updating customer data, fine and civil penalty collection, and more.
The kiosks can be located in areas outside of office traffic flow to help ease congestion. They also can be placed in heavily trafficked public places, adding more service outlet locations for added convenience, such as in libraries, shopping malls, County offices and courthouses, AAA offices, and more.
Several different payment models are available to meet the complete range of budgetary needs and business objectives. This includes purchase or lease of units and convenience fee-based operation.
About L-1 Identity Solutions
L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ID) protects and secures personal identities and assets. Its divisions include Biometrics, Secure Credentialing and Enterprise Access solutions, as well as Enrollment and Government Consulting services. With the trust and confidence in individual identities provided by L-1, international governments, federal and state agencies, law enforcement and commercial businesses can better guard the public against global terrorism, crime and identity theft fostered by fraudulent identity. L-1 Identity Solutions has more than 2,200 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Stamford, CT. For more information, visit www.L1ID.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this press release and those made from time to time by L-1 Identity Solutions through its senior management are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current views based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and information currently available. Forward-looking statements concerning future plans or results are necessarily only estimates, and actual results could differ materially from expectations. Certain factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among other things, the ability of the Company to successfully commercialize the automated model for processing driver’s license renewals and replacements, the availability of customer funding for L-1’s products and solutions, the unpredictable nature of working with federal, state and local government customers, and general economic and political conditions. Additional risks and uncertainties are described in the Securities and Exchange Commission filings of the Company, including the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2009. L-1 Identity Solutions expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
ID-ID
Press Release Contact Details:
L-1 Identity Solutions Doni Fordyce, 203-504-1109 dfordyce@L1ID.com

Posted by staff at 11:42 AM

May 21, 2008

Legal News - NAMA Responds To Currency Filing

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) said it will immediately look into the next steps that should be taken to protect the industry after a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. discriminates against blind people by printing paper money that makes it impossible for them to distinguish the bills' value.

The ruling upholds a decision by a lower court made in 2006, and would force the Treasury Department to redesign money.

"This decision would impose a tremendous financial hardship on our members who would be forced to spend hundreds of dollars on each machine so the new currency could be accepted," said NAMA CEO Richard Geerdes. "In addition it is sure to translate into higher prices for everyone as the costs associated with re-fitting and even manufacturing completely new machines are eventually passed along to consumers who will be forced to spend more money for the same products."

NAMA initially responded to this issue when the first lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Treasury by the American Council of the Blind in Washington. The suit claimed U.S. currency should be redesigned to help blind and visually impaired people distinguish among denominations. NAMA filed a brief during the trial, noting that a decision to change U.S. currency would cost the vending industry substantial amounts. In addition, on appeal from a decision against the U.S. Treasury and the interests of NAMA members, NAMA filed an Amicus Brief, again reciting the harm it could pose to our industry. NAMA was the only industry group that filed a brief opposing the change, although a host of other industries would be affected including the amusement game trade. AMOA leaders discussed the matter during their Washington Conference last year, but AAMA and AMOA have taken no formal action on the matter.

Full story

Posted by staff at 12:00 PM

January 09, 2008

Touch Screen Testing for Drivers License

Commercial driver license (CDL) applicants will take their test on a touch-screen kiosk rather than on paper in several branch offices. The automated systems provide applicants with immediate test results. They also eliminate the need for branch employees to correct the tests, giving them more time to assist other customers.


SOS - Touch-screen testing

JANUARY 8, 2008

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today announced that commercial driver license (CDL) applicants will take their test on a touch-screen kiosk rather than on paper in several branch offices.

The automated systems, funded by a $450,000 federal grant, provide applicants with immediate test results. They also eliminate the need for branch employees to correct the tests, giving them more time to assist other customers.

"Our drive to deliver cutting-edge conveniences never stops," Land said. "Moving to a paperless CDL test provides applicants with a more effective learning tool. It's also more efficient for the department. We're excited about this latest addition to our impressive list of modern services."

More than 100 systems are in 29 PLUS offices and SUPER!Centers. Land will explore expanding the program to other offices depending on available grant funding.

Benefits include:

* Test questions and answers that are scrambled to prevent cheating.
* Eliminating paper printouts for greater efficiency.
* Immediate test feedback for applicants. A green light indicates which questions were answered correctly and a red light shows the ones that were not.
* Maintaining the privacy of test results. Applicants learn their results at the kiosk rather than at the counter.
* Reducing the time that branch employees must spend with an applicant by about 13 minutes, which is time they can devote to other customers.

Employees queue up the test for applicants and can monitor it from a separate workstation.

A CDL is required for residents who operate a vehicle having a certain recommended maximum total weight, one that is designed to transport 16 or more people, or a vehicle that carries hazardous materials.

Visit www.Michigan.gov/sos for more information on CDL requirements or Department of State services.

Offices with the kiosks are below:

* Central Wayne County PLUS
* Delta County PLUS
* Clinton Twp. SUPER!Center
* Livonia Area SUPER!Center
* Detroit-East PLUS
* Montcalm County PLUS
* Flint Area SUPER!Center
* Kalamazoo County PLUS
* Lansing Area PLUS
* Grand Rapids Area SUPER!Center
* Grand Traverse County PLUS
* Lapeer County PLUS
* North Macomb County PLUS
* Northeast Wayne County PLUS
* Northwest Berrien County PLUS
* Northwest Detroit PLUS
* Oakland County SUPER!Center
* Sanilac County PLUS
* South Kalamazoo County PLUS
* Southeast Berrien County PLUS
* Southeast Macomb County PLUS
* Southeast Oakland County PLUS
* Southeast Wayne County PLUS
* Southwest Oakland County PLUS
* Southwest Wayne County PLUS
* Tuscola County PLUS
* Van Buren County PLUS
* Washtenaw County PLUS
* West Wayne County PLUS

Posted by staff at 11:16 AM

November 20, 2007

Case Study: Postal Kiosks and Usage

Nice article on selfservice.org on USPS and plan to incentify people to use them more. Interesting stats such as 2500 out of 5000 deployed, $400/day quota on income, customers complain they cannot use cash, etc. Francie Mendelsohn makes a lot of those comments. Part of the problem with these units is that once again it is a unit adapted from other industry for use in this one and probably on the cost prohibitive side. Similiar in many ways to VCOM and NCR for that matter...

Source Link

Cash-in at USPS kiosks

By Patrick Avery editor

19 Nov 2007

It’s not a casino in Las Vegas. But if you walk into your local post office and take a gamble by using the U.S. Postal Service’s automated kiosk, you could come away with some extra cash.

At post office locations nationwide, customers are eligible to win $250 daily in cash prizes and a grand prize of $10,000 when they use the Automatic Postal Center kiosks instead of standing in line.

The USPS contest, which ended Oct. 31, was designed to draw attention to a product that is very convenient and easy-to-use, says USPS spokeswoman Joanne Veto.

“This is just another way to remind people there is a convenient way to use the post office 24 hours a day,” Veto said.

Four years into the deployment, however, one kiosk industry expert says she wonders if the contest means that the USPS kiosks are hurting for revenue.

“I think it is very sad that the U.S. Postal Service has to resort to this because there are many compelling reasons to use the kiosk without this contest,” said Francie Mendelsohn, a veteran kiosk consultant and president of Summit Research Associates. “To pay people to use it, to me, it’s just not right.”

The APC has been an award-winning venture for USPS. At the Las Vegas Self Service Expo earlier this year, the kiosk was named the People’s Choice Winner.

The kiosk dispenses stamps, which the agency says makes up the overwhelming majority of transactions conducted at post offices. In addition, APC customers can access most of the services available at the counter, including shipment of first class parcel, ZIP-code lookup, weighing and rating packages up to 70 pounds, and delivery confirmation.

Prices for shipping and stamps are the same as at the postal counter, and there is no additional charge for using the kiosk. The only catch: Users better pack their plastic, since the kiosks don’t accept cash.

Despite remaining a convenient alternative to, the kiosks haven’t pulled in high transaction volumes at some post offices, Mendelsohn said.

In fact, one post office in Salisbury, Md., got rid of its APC when it failed to meet its projected income. Customers weren't using the machine enough to meet the standard $400 a day in income, says Freda Sauter, U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman for the Baltimore district.

"Customers prefer to use cash at the vending machines to buy stamps," Sauter said in a Salisbury Daily Times news article.

Only 2,500 out of an originally planned 5,000 APCs have been deployed, Mendelsohn said.

But the inability to accept cash at the machines doesn’t seem to be a negative for the majority of the kiosks. According to the American Postal Workers Union Web site, the 2,500 APCs that were deployed between February 2004 and March 2005 collected more than $170 million.

There have been pockets of success, Mendelsohn admits.

“I have been to several post offices where there are lines to use the machines,” she said.

In order for USPS to avoid other APC closings, Mendelsohn says the priority should be focused on getting existing APCs in spots where they can meet revenue goals. Only if that strategy is successful will USPS add more kiosks.

“Attention needs to be paid to making this kiosk successful, because if they are not successful, they won’t be around much longer,” she said.

One strategy the post office might take is to put the APCs in other locations, such as a shopping mall, Mendelsohn says. Regardless, USPS’s current situation, she adds, with at least one APC unit already removed from its location, is less than ideal.

“I think this is a setback,” Mendelsohn said. “How big a setback? Time will tell.”

Source Link

Posted by staff at 02:05 PM

September 11, 2007

Net Neutrality Ruling By Justice Department

Interesting development where Justice Department comes down on side against net neutrality citing need for infrastructure and innovation. It's worth noting that the Internet was overbuilt in last phase and 90% of fiber is still unused. Great exchange between McCurry and CraigsList founder. Question of the day is "Do you believe Yahoo should be allowed to outbid Google to slow down Google on people's computers?". That's apparently what they all say they will start doing.


WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic.

The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to "Net neutrality," the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.

Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others.


FURTHER READING
Reply All: Should the 'Net be neutral? Craigslist founder Craig Newmark debates the issue with former White House spokesman Mike McCurry. (5/24/06)

The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers," the agency said in its filing.

Such a result could diminish or delay network expansion and improvement, it added.

The agency said providing different levels of service is common, efficient and could satisfy consumers. As an example, it cited that the U.S. Postal Service charges customers different guarantees and speeds for package delivery, ranging from bulk mail to overnight delivery.

"Whether or not the same type of differentiated products and services will develop on the Internet should be determined by market forces, not regulatory intervention," the agency said in its filing.

The agency's stance comes more than two months after Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras cautioned policy makers to enact Net neutrality regulation.

Such a regulation could prevent rather than promote Internet investment and innovation and have "significant negative effects for the economy and consumers," the Justice Department said in the filing.

Supporters of Internet regulation have said that phone and cable companies could discriminate against certain Web site and services.

However, the agency said it will continue to monitor and enforce any anticompetitive conduct to ensure a competitive broadband marketplace.

Posted by staff at 01:20 PM

May 10, 2007

Registered Traveler More Convenient than ever

Registered Traveler has deployed enrollment kiosks at two Hyatt Regency properties, one in Santa Clara and the other in San Francisco to bring convenience and speed in applying for the airport fast pass program to the city's business travelers. The Clear registered traveler program allows business travelers and other frequent fliers to pay a fee to be pre-screened by the TSA and receive a biometric identity card that provides them with expedited passage through airport security checkpoints.


Clear(R) Registered Traveler Opens Enrollment Units in Bay Area Hyatt Regency Hotels

NEW YORK, May 8--Clear(R) Registered Traveler has deployed enrollment kiosks at two Hyatt Regency properties -- in Santa Clara and San Francisco (Embarcadero) -- to bring convenience and speed in applying for the airport fast pass program to the city's business travelers. The enrollment locations will be open weekdays from 7am-7pm and will be staffed by Clear attendants in the hotels' lobbies beginning today.

Clear allows business travelers and other frequent fliers to pay a fee ($99.95) to be pre-screened by the TSA and receive a biometric identity card that provides them with expedited passage through airport security checkpoints.

With over 45,000 members, there are five airports with Clear fast pass lanes, including the San Jose International Airport program which launched three months ago and now has nearly 5,000 members. Other locations include Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Orlando International Airports, and JFK Terminal 7, with programs at Newark Airport and two new terminals at JFK about to launch. Albany, NY and Little Rock, AK airports recently selected Clear for their programs, which will become operational soon. In addition, San Francisco, Washington Reagan and Washington Dulles are expected to launch registered traveler programs this summer.

Holly Ivy, Vice President, Client Solutions Group of Ovation-Lawyers' Travel Service said, "We're delighted that Clear has constructed enrollment centers at convenient locations for our clients who have told us they want to enroll their travelers in this time saving, fast pass program. It's terrific that they'll now be able to take advantage of Clear's national network, which is already operational in San Jose and other cities, and we're thrilled that San Francisco International plans to add a registered traveler program later this year."

As Clear's first hotel partner, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Clear to provide complimentary memberships to Hyatt's Gold Passport Diamond Members since February 2006.

"Clear is an extension of our customer service offerings for our guests. As we have done at the Grand Hyatt New York in midtown Manhattan, we are now allowing Hyatt guests and area residents in the San Francisco Bay Area the convenience of enrolling in Clear right on our premises," said Tom O'Toole, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Systems for Global Hyatt Corp.

"The convenient location of Hyatt hotels in the Bay Area, and our ability to bring kiosks onsite because of our terrific partnership with Hyatt, means enrollment in Clear will be even easier," said Steven Brill, CEO and founder of Clear. "We reacted quickly to the feedback that we received from agencies such as Ovation and area law firms, tech companies, and others with frequent travelers. And, in some cases, we are bringing enrollment kiosks directly to their offices."

Those wishing to enroll at the Hyatt locations are asked to begin the enrollment process at www.flyclear.com before visiting the Clear enrollment centers. To complete the process, applicants must bring two pieces of government-issued ID (passport and driver's license are strongly recommended) to the hotels' lobbies during the designated hours - now through June 1.

About Clear(R) Registered Traveler

Verified Identity Pass's Clear Registered Traveler is the only registered traveler program operating at U.S. airports. Clear has been operational since July 19, 2005, at Orlando International Airport and has over 45,000 members. Earlier this year, Clear launched additional lanes at JFK's British Airways Terminal 7 and San Jose, Indianapolis and Cincinnati International Airports. Clear will begin operating programs at JFK's Terminal 1 and 4 and Newark's Terminal B soon. In addition, Clear has been selected by Albany International Airport and Little Rock National Airport for programs at those airports, and the company also has an agreement with Toronto Pearson International Airport to operate a Canadian program, working with Canadian authorities. Clear's verification kiosk with shoe scanning technology, co-developed with Verified Identity Pass's partner GE, will allow members, in most instances, to keep their shoes on as they pass through the Clear lanes at the security checkpoint. For more information: www.flyclear.com.

Posted by staff at 02:08 PM

March 09, 2007

KIOSKS Case Study -- new developments in Drivers Licenses leading to national ID card?

The ACLU comes out swinging against the latest guidelines from DHS and the proposed Real ID Act. They see it as becoming a de facto National ID card. They also see it impacting DMVs and other state motor vehicle departments with the changes to the drivers license. It's worth nothing that currently 49 of 50 states have a published format (albeit all different). This moves the drivers license towards a common format for sure.


source

New regulations get an ‘F’ in solving problems with Real ID Act, says ACLU
Friday, March 9 2007

The ACLU has come out swinging against proposed Real ID Act regulations, claiming that the new rules could still lead to a national ID card, could cost states more than double original estimates and would lead to increased wait times at driver license offices.

WASHINGTON - An American Civil Liberties Union scorecard analysis of the proposed new federal regulations on the Real ID Act, which was released today, finds that the regulations solve only 9 percent of problems with the legislation that have been identified.

"Some people have been withholding final judgment on Real ID Act pending release of these regulations," said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project. "But the verdict is in: when it comes to the expense, long lines, bureaucratic Catch-22’s, and loss of privacy, Real ID will be a real nightmare."

The ACLU’s analysis of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations revealed that of the 56 problems identified on the scorecard, the regulations passed 5 (9 percent), scored an incomplete on 9 (16 percent), and failed the rest. An issue was scored as incomplete in cases where DHS noted an issue, but did not offer a solution to fix it.

The proposed regulations were released on March 1 by the DHS. They offer guidance for the states in implementing Real ID, which would federalize state driver’s licenses and the motor vehicles departments that issue them and create the nation’s first-ever de facto national identity card system. In anticipation of the draft regulations, the ACLU earlier made public the blank scorecard; today it issued the actual grades.

"Our analysis shows there’s nothing in these regulations that should slow down Congress from repealing or rewriting Real ID," said Tim Sparapani, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "We’ve certainly seen that the rebellion against Real ID in the states hasn’t slowed down at all - in fact, it appears to be picking up momentum. Already, since the regulations were introduced, one state has passed an anti-Real ID bill out of its Senate, four states have sent a bill out of committee, and two states have introduced new bills."

Among the significant problems the ACLU found that the regulations were unable to or did not address were:

--National identity system. The regulations do nothing to prevent Real ID from becoming a de facto National ID card. They create a vast infrastructure for such a system, including a common machine-readable element and the construction of a national interlinked database. The regulations already require the card to fly or enter a federal facility, and state that Real ID will be considered for an expanding number of other functions.

--Cost. Real ID requires sweeping changes to state driver’s licenses and the systems by which those licenses are administered. The most authoritative prior estimate of Real ID’s costs was $11 billion. The regulations, however, concede that the price tag for Real ID will come to a whopping $23 billion.

--ID theft. Because Real ID requires the scanning and storage of birth certificates, social security cards, and many other foundational documents, and because it requires all the states to provide access to an individual’s personal data not only to DMV employees in their state but across the nation, the risk of fraud and identity theft is greatly increased.

--Increased wait times at DMVs. DHS acknowledges that the regulations will increase wait times and service times at DMVs. They are also likely to degrade service by, for example, making it difficult or impossible for DMVs to offer same-day licenses, Internet and mail transactions, and itinerant field stations and mobile offices.

--Threat to safety from ‘principal address’ requirement. A number of states have laws that allow judges, police officers, domestic violence victims, or others at risk of retaliatory criminal violence to use agency addresses or P.O. boxes in lieu of their actual residence address. Although DHS partially addresses the issue, the regulations are inadequate and the vulnerability of many domestic violent victims and others will actually be increased.

"When they released these regulations, DHS made a big fanfare about extending the deadline for Real ID," said Steinhardt. "But what this scorecard makes extremely clear is that this ill-conceived law that is beyond repair."

The scorecard, along with an explanation of each item and the grade assigned, is available at: www.realnightmare.org/resources/106.

In-depth information about Real ID, including the status of anti-Real ID legislation in the states, is available at: www.RealNightmare.org.

Posted by staff at 12:30 PM

November 30, 2006

Airline Security -- new kiosk unveiled by GE

VerifiedSRTKiosk-90.jpg The much anticipated Registered Traveler program just moved a little further along. The program, which allows travelers to pay extra money to go through screening faster than other travelers by pre-registering themselves with a DHS background check and biometric and identity information on file, has been in a pilot process as technology and policy for its management was created.

SecurityInfoWatch.com
Information, Assessment and Community

Updated: November 30th, 2006 10:16 AM EDT
A New Kiosk for Air Security, as Registered Traveler Moves Forward
GE kiosk gets 'Cleared' as Regist and GE demonstrate new identification and sensor kiosk

GE Security unveiled its full-featured kiosk for the TSA Registered Traveler program. The GE kiosk is being used with Verified's Clear program (the TSA Registered Traveler program is managed at the individual level by private companies, but overseen by the TSA).

GE Security unveiled its full-featured kiosk for the TSA Registered Traveler program. The GE kiosk is being used with Verified's Clear program (the TSA Registered Traveler program is managed at the individual level by private companies, but overseen by the TSA).

The much anticipated Registered Traveler program just moved a little further along. The program, which allows travelers to pay extra money to go through screening faster than other travelers by pre-registering themselves with a DHS background check and biometric and identity information on file, has been in a pilot process as technology and policy for its management was created.

On Friday it was clear that progress had indeed been made, as the Transportation Security Administration announced that it is setting an annual fee of $28 to handle background checks for Registered Traveler participants.
VerifiedSRTKiosk-90.jpg
As if that wasn't progress enough for the program, GE Security today unveiled a new technology kiosk that could be used as part of the program.

The company's technology launch was that of its Secure Registered Traveler (SRT) kiosk, which it was unveiling at the National Safe Skies Alliance Symposium in Washington, D.C. The kiosk had been tested as part of the Verified's Clear program, one of a few private businesses that provide the Registered Traveler services. Clear, the only one currently TSA approved -- though many others are close behind in the process to become TSA approved -- currently has 32,000 customers registered who pay roughly $100 per year for the privilege to move more quickly through security.

Read rest of story

Note: this is the "verification" iteration of kiosk. There is also the "enrollment" version of this kiosk as well.

Posted by staff at 12:49 PM

June 22, 2005

DMV Kiosk Accepts Cash

dmv_kiosk_small.jpgShannon Litz/The R-C Department of Motor Vehicle Supervisor Cary Graves, right, shows Rachel Krueger of Topaz how to use the new DMV kiosk for registration renewals.

DMV kiosk accepts cash

Shannon Litz/The R-C Department of Motor Vehicle Supervisor Cary Graves, right, shows Rachel Krueger of Topaz how to use the new DMV kiosk for registration renewals.

Staff Reports
June 22, 2005

The Department of Motor Vehicles has installed a kiosk in the Minden office that accepts cash for transactions from renewing registration to reinstating insurance.

The kiosk went into service earlier this month and is one of several installed over the state, according to Tom Jacobs, agency spokesman.

"It's very user-friendly," Jacobs said. "It takes your cash, gives you change and immediately dispenses the documents."

Jacobs said customers who use the kiosk can avoid waiting in line for services.
dmv_kiosk_large.jpg
He said other states use kiosks, but Nevada is the only location that accepts cash, makes change and provides the documents.

For vehicle registration, Jacobs said the user can scan in the bar code on the renewal notice at the kiosk and follow the directions.

"Pop-up information asks you questions and tells you how much it will cost. You put the money in and it spits out the decal in a little over a minute-and-a-half," he said.

By mid-June, more than 8,000 transactions had been handled for the month at kiosks across the state.

Jacobs said the kiosks were installed by a private company that developed the hardware and software and all the research.

"The cost was nothing to the department," he said. "For their investment, the company gets a commission on the transactions."

He said the next phase of the project will be to place kiosks outside offices for use 24 hours a day. In the third phase, Jacobs said the kiosks will be available at other locations like grocery stores and shopping malls.

Kiosks are located at DMV offices in Reno, Las Vegas, Carson City, Minden, Elko, Fallon, Pahrump and Sparks.

SOURCE

Posted by keefner at 08:59 PM

October 05, 2004

Voting Information Kiosks

Cass County election officials want to make it more convenient for people to vote in a fast-paced, high-tech world. On Friday, county officials placed a computerized voter information kiosk in a busy corridor of Fargo's West Acres mall.

IN THE NEWS:
Voting info while you shop

Reprinted from In-Forum News

Cass County election officials want to make it more convenient for people to vote in a fast-paced, high-tech world.

On Friday, county officials placed a computerized voter information kiosk in a busy corridor of Fargo's West Acres mall.

"We're trying to provide as many options as possible," Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir said. "It would be great if everybody could come vote on election day, but it's a 24-7 world now."

The information kiosk uses the mall's wireless Internet to connect to a server at the county courthouse, Montplaisir said.

The kiosk was paid for with money the county received for selling used voting equipment to South Dakota, he said.

With a few clicks of a keyboard, shoppers can find detailed maps of their Cass County precinct, voting information and sample ballots for the Nov. 2 election. They also can use it to find results after the election.

Voter education is one of the components of the federal Help America Vote Act, which was passed in response to problems uncovered in the 2000 election.

Work on voter education is ongoing statewide, but this is the first time a county in the state has put in such an information kiosk, Secretary of State Al Jaeger said.

"They have the technology to do it, and they took the initiative," he said.

The kiosk will be updated with more information as the election approaches, Montplaisir said.

"If it works good with this election, maybe we can expand that in the future."

Montplaisir, who is president of the North Dakota Association of Counties, said election officials want a similar network across the state.

"One of our goals statewide is to have it so that everybody could go to a Web site and find out where they vote," he said.

Another way Cass County is trying to make it easier on voters is by taking advantage of a law passed by the 2003 Legislature allowing counties to set up an early voting system so residents can vote just as they would on Nov. 2.

From Oct. 19 to Nov. 1, Cass County residents can vote at the courthouse in Fargo, 211 9th St. S., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Traditional absentee ballots became available on Friday. About 1,000 people already have filled out applications, Montplaisir said.

About 59,000 Cass County residents voted in the 2000 presidential election, and 48,000 voted in the 2002 election, Montplaisir said.

He expects up to 70,000 will cast a ballot this year.

"There's a lot of interest in this election from both sides of the aisle."

Posted by Craig at 05:09 PM

October 04, 2004

Voter Information System

Voter information kiosk installed at Fargo mall

Posted on Sat, Oct. 02, 2004

Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. - Cass County election officials have placed a computerized voter information kiosk at a shopping mall here.

"We're trying to provide as many options as possible," Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir said.

The $4,000 information kiosk uses the mall's wireless Internet to connect to a server at the county courthouse, Montplaisir said.

The kiosk was paid for with money the county received for selling used voting equipment to South Dakota, he said.

People can find detailed maps of their Cass County precinct, voting information and sample ballots for the Nov. 2 election. They also can use it to find results after the election.

Voter education is one of the components of the federal Help America Vote Act, which was passed in response to problems uncovered in the 2000 election.

Work on voter education is ongoing statewide, but it's the first time a county in the state has put in an information kiosk, Secretary of State Al Jaeger said.

---

Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com


AP Wire | 10/02/2004 | Voter information kiosk installed at Fargo mall

Posted by Craig at 02:00 PM

August 03, 2004

Security Government Kiosks

Department of Homeland Security to Begin Biometric Exit Pilot as Part of Us-Visit Program

Press Releases


Department of Homeland Security to Begin Biometric Exit Pilot as Part of Us-Visit Program

For Immediate Release
Press Office
Contact: Anna Hinken 202-298-5200
August 3, 2004

As a part of the border management system introduced at airports and seaports earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that it will pilot and evaluate US-VISIT automated biometric exit procedures for foreign visitors.

The exit pilot program will be expanded from its current locations, Baltimore -Washington International Airport and Miamis International Cruise Line Terminal, to Chicago OHare International Airport beginning in August 2004. It will be piloted at the following airports and seaports in September 2004:


Atlanta, Georgia (William B. Hartsfield International Airport)
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)
Denver, Colorado (Denver International Airport)
Detroit, Michigan (Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport)
Newark, New Jersey (Newark International Airport)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia International Airport)
Phoenix, Arizona (Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)
San Francisco, California (San Francisco International Airport)
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Luis Muoz Marin International Airport)
Seattle, Washington (Seattle/Tacoma International Airport
Los Angeles, California (San Pedro and Long Beach Seaports)

Any foreign visitor with a visa who leaves the United States through one of the pilot locations is required to comply with the exit procedure. After September 30, 2004, visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will be required to comply.

We will begin testing processes that will make exiting quick for visitors and effective for security, said Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security. We must implement a straightforward exit process to ensure that individuals adhere to the terms of their admission. This supports our efforts to strengthen homeland security and ensure the integrity of our immigration system.

As this is a pilot program, US-VISIT will analyze the benefits and challenges of each exit process in order to better develop a system that enhances security while facilitating legitimate travel and ensuring privacy.

The exit procedures being piloted require foreign visitors to check out at an automated exit kiosk or with a US-VISIT exit attendant at the departure gate at the port. Foreign visitors will go though one of the following two processes, depending on location.

Under one alternative, visitors departing the United States will check out of the country at exit kiosks located within the airport or seaport terminal. As with the process the visitors encounter upon entry, their travel documents are read, their two index fingers will be digitally scanned at the exit kiosk, a digital picture will be taken and they will receive a printed receipt that verifies that they have checked out. An exit workstation attendant will be available to assist with visitors check out. Visitors also may be required to present the receipt at their departure gate to confirm that they checked out at the exit kiosk.

Another alternative under the pilot program is a biometric check-out process with a US-VISIT exit attendant stationed at visitors departure gates.

To help the process run smoothly, foreign visitors will receive a printed card explaining the exit process from U.S. Customs and Border Protection when they arrive in the United States. Also, directional signs are strategically located throughout the airports and seaports.

US-VISIT is a continuum of security measures that begins overseas and continues on through entry and exit at U.S. airports and seaports and eventually, at land border crossings. The US-VISIT program enhances the security of U.S. citizens and visitors by matching the identity of visitors with their travel documents. At the same time, it facilitates legitimate travel and trade by leveraging technology and the evolving use of biometrics to expedite processing at our borders.

The first phase of US-VISIT launched on January 5, 2004, when DHS deployed the new biometric entry capabilities at 115 airports and 14 seaports and began testing a biometric departure confirmation system at two locations. Since then, millions of foreign visitors have been processed without impacting wait times and it is working. US-VISIT has helped to prevent hundreds of criminals and immigration violators from entering the country. Before the biometric component of US-VISIT, these people might have gotten through our system and into our country.

Biometric technology digital finger scans and digital photographs helps make US-VISIT simple and effective. In fact, the use of biometrics for identification is fast becoming the standard, and much of the world is following the trend.

US-VISIT is helping us demonstrate that we remain a welcoming nation and that we can keep America's doors open and our nation secure. For more information on US-VISIT, or to learn more about the new exit procedures, please visit the US-VISIT Web site at www.dhs.gov/us-visit.

###


DHS | Department of Homeland Security | Department of Homeland Security to Begin Biometric Exit Pilot as Part of Us-Visit Program

Posted by Craig at 09:36 PM

August 02, 2004

Postal Units APC

IBM sells Wincor ProCash ATM into USPS with sidecar.

[August 02, 2004]

United States Postal Service to Install Wincor Nixdorf Self-Service Units at Over 2,500 Postal Locations
AUSTIN, Texas --(Business Wire)-- Aug. 2, 2004 -- Wincor Nixdorf, the global leader in open ATM hardware and multi-vendor software solutions that improve branch efficiencies, today announced that the United States Postal Service has selected self-service devices from Wincor Nixdorf and its U.S. alliance partner, IBM, for installation at 2,506 postal branches throughout the United States. The initial installations of the Automated Postal Center (APC) units occurred in May 2004 and will continue through November 2004.

The APC is based on Wincor Nixdorf's advanced ATM technology and consists of the Wincor Nixdorf ProCash 1500 ATM as the base unit, with two cassettes used for postage dispensing, a "print from cassette" device that prints on secure paper stock in the ATM safe, and an IBM sidecar with a scale and second printer. The APC improves operational efficiencies at postal branches by allowing customers to conduct routine postal transactions at the self-service platform instead of waiting in line for a clerk. Postal customers can use the APC to weigh packages and print bar-coded postage; weigh and rate envelopes, flaps, and packages up to 70 pounds; prepare, prep and deliver postage; and dispense stamp sheets.

The APC units include a 15-inch touch screen, a card reader for credit or debit transactions, a receipt printer, color camera, an encrypting PIN pad and software to assist visually-impaired customers. The APC units run on the United States Postal Service point-of-sale (POS) network. IBM Global Services, which exclusively markets, sells and services Wincor Nixdorf ATMs in the U.S. market, has adapted the software developed for the branch POS network to the self-service environment.

"Wincor Nixdorf's relationship with the United States Postal Service will add another layer of customer service through advanced self-service functionality," said Scott Hackl, vice president of Wincor Nixdorf Banking Solutions USA. "Worldwide, Wincor Nixdorf is a leader in delivering postal solutions, and this creative use of an ATM platform will provide USPS customers with a new level of convenience."

About the ProCash family

Wincor Nixdorf's ProCash family addresses the full spectrum of cash system applications, from multi-function ATMs to single-function, multi-media cash dispensers for retail environments. As the leader in open standards for ATMs, Wincor Nixdorf was the first to incorporate the Windows(R) operating system throughout the ProCash product line.

The ProCash family's standards-based design, combined with easy servicing and the ability to quickly upgrade for future functionality, allows Wincor Nixdorf to substantially lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for banks. Wincor Nixdorf's technology leadership improves the user experience at banks; for example, LCDs are used through the ProCash line, providing a sharp contrast to the commonly used CRTs found in most ATMs. Wincor Nixdorf's ATM solutions are exclusively represented in the United States by IBM Global Services, which markets, sells and services Wincor Nixdorf ATMs in the U.S. market.


United States Postal Service to Install Wincor Nixdorf Self-Service Units at Over 2,500 Postal Locations

Posted by Craig at 04:20 PM

June 25, 2004

Community Portals

New software for Community Portals in Florida

Innoprise Software, Inc. Introduces Community Development
June 25, 2004
Company: Innoprise Software, Inc
Industry: Local Government
Location: Orlando, FL, United States of America

Kissimmee, Florida, First to Deploy New Solution

Innoprise Software, Inc. today announced the launch of Innoprise Community Development, a software package that automates the creation, issuance and tracking of public sector community development activities. The software encompasses the end-to-end business processes required to support city and county planning, zoning, permitting, land development, building plan review, building inspections, licensing and code enforcement. The company also announces that the city of Kissimmee, Florida, is the first customer to deploy the software, replacing a legacy system that was no longer meeting its evolving business needs.

Innoprise Community Development is the first such solution based on the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) service-oriented architecture and a multi-tiered Internet-native platform. As a result, the unique software architecture provides anyone involved with the community development process immediate access to the data necessary to meet the needs of everyone from individual homeowners to large developers, thus streamlining the process from start to finish. Developed based on 30 years of experience in the local government market and heavy involvement by a core group of Innoprise local government customers, the software includes built-in workflow automation features that track each step of the complex land management process, from planning to permitting to code enforcement. The software is integrated with the companys Innoprise Customer Information System software, announced earlier in May and based on the the culmination of two years of intense effort to build the next generation standard in platform-neutral, cross-functional Web-based enterprise technology.

Innoprise Community Development provides government personnel, as well as the citizens of the community, with a consistent, up-to-date view of the various phases and steps of the land development process, ensuring that all critical data associated with each property or customer is immediately available via the softwares Web services architecture. This provides a single, consistent view of all relevant information, enabling a wide variety of applications across the full spectrum of community development interaction to access the same data set.

The departments, information and applications involved with land development are therefore unified, dramatically enhancing coordination among departments, personnel productivity and the ability to respond rapidly to citizen requests. Other benefits include a lower cost of operation, operating system and hardware independence, increased scalability, greater flexibility and the ability to easily add enhancements without paying for costly custom programming. With Microsoft Office integration and one-touch reporting, users across the enterprise can easily exchange data with desktop applications and extract information to create even the most complex ad hoc reports, charts and spreadsheets. Kissimmee, Florida, has purchased the new software to replace a legacy system that had been in place since 1988. Innoprise Community Development is a dramatic change for the better, commented Mike Steigerwald, Development Services Director for the city. Instead of having to open and sort through numerous computer screens to find various pieces of information about a particular property, we can now quickly find anything we want through one intuitive user interface. Kissimmee is initially deploying the software to 40 employees in five departments throughout the city.

From a management perspective, the biggest benefits weve seen so far as a result of the new technology are the way in which it easily integrates with standard Microsoft Office tools like Excel and Word, the ability to quickly generate a wide variety of standard and ad hoc reports with no need for any programming help from our IT staff. Reports that previously took more than two days to create are now created in just a few minutes. With the new technology, our software is easily ported to multiple touch points. Mobile workers can now use low-cost devices like PDAs that provide them with instant access to the information they need in the field instead of using rugged laptops, said Steigerwald. For example, building permit and occupational license inspection schedules can be viewed in the field using a PDA wireless connection, Steigerwald continued, and inspection results and comments can then be entered on-site rather than waiting until the next visit to the office. Thus information is captured once, efficiently and immediately, and available for any other person or application that needs it. Using PDA devices, we are able to offer the same functionality provided through ruggedized laptops, but at one-fourth of the capital cost.

Next month Kissimmee plans to deploy the software on a public kiosk at City Hall providing ready access to building and zoning information offering on-line payment of fees. The goal is to reduce our existing level of walk-in traffic, from 10,000 people per year to a more manageable level, thus freeing our staff from repetitive inquires. Were even looking at installing kiosks at Home Depot, said Steigerwald, to make life easier for our communitys homeowners and developers.

About Innoprise Software
Innoprise Software, Inc. provides enterprise software for the specific business challenges of utilities and local government agencies. For the last two years, the company has teamed with a core group of customers and concentrated all of its resources on developing next generation software for CIS, financial management, community development and work management. For additional information, visit www.innoprise.com.

Tina Metter (tmetter@innoprise.com)
Phone: 888.298.2133, ext. 2031


Innoprise Software, Inc.™ Introduces Community Development - Press Releases - Press Releases - Directions Magazine

Posted by Craig at 06:02 PM

May 14, 2004

DMV in Indiana

BMV vendor takes blame for causing overcharges

Hundreds of vehicle owners who renewed license plates March 30 at kiosks, on Internet were affected.


By Fred Kelly
fred.kelly@indystar.com
May 12, 2004

A vendor hired by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles admitted Tuesday to causing the beleaguered state agency to overcharge hundreds of people for license plate renewals.

Intellectual Technology bungled the billing process for Internet orders that were placed on March 30, leading the BMV to charge motorists hundreds of dollars more than they owed, President Craig Litchin said.

The snafu marks the fourth time in three years that the BMV has botched license plate renewals for large numbers of drivers, including twice this year.

Officials have identified 872 people whose credit card and bank accounts were charged as much as three times the correct amount. The agency has corrected the error with the motorists' financial institutions, said Dan Henkel, a BMV spokesman.

Fees for license plate renewals vary widely depending on the age and value of the vehicle but can reach as high as $500 for luxury cars and trucks.

The agency is still trying to identify other customers who were incorrectly billed.

Intellectual Technology, of Delaware, is offering to reimburse vehicle owners for any overcharges and checking and banking fees, Henkel said.

Twenty-four people in recent weeks have sent documentation to the BMV demanding reimbursement for nearly $3,000 in banking fees, such as overdrafts on checking accounts, he said.

"Most of the people used a charge card, and the money was put back in their accounts before they knew what happened," Henkel said.

Under a contract with the BMV, Intellectual Technology receives roughly $4.5 million a year to help register vehicles. The company's duties include supplying 36 BMV Express kiosks where customers can use a computer to renew their license plates.

Five of the machines failed to transmit billing information to customers' financial institutions for transactions that took place March 30.

Intellectual Technology officials tried to fix the problem April 14.

But instead of just billing customers who used the five kiosks, a subcontractor for the company wrongly billed the accounts of anyone who used the Internet on March 30 to renew their license plates, Henkel said.

As a result, many motorists were billed twice.

Litchin would not identify the subcontractor.

The BMV learned of the snafu on April 19 and a day later mailed notices to customers informing them about the mistake.

Agency officials asked Intellectual Technology to address the situation, but its subcontractor once again mistakenly billed the motorists.

The company has launched an internal investigation to determine how the mistake occurred, but executives believe it was human error, Litchin said.

"We're going to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.

Earlier this year, the BMV mistakenly mailed renewal notices to up to 500,000 motorists whose vehicle registrations didn't expire for months. Administrators acknowledged that thousands of people might have paid their registration unnecessarily early.

In 2003, a glitch delayed the delivery of tens of thousands of license plates. A year before that, a computer problem meant 16,000 motorists didn't receive renewal notices.

Henkel defended the agency, saying it handles more than 8 million transactions annually at 170 branches statewide.

Administrators have chastised Intellectual Technology for the incident, but "they have been a very good vendor," he said.

Call Star reporter Fred Kelly at (317) 444-6491.


BMV vendor takes blame for causing overcharges

Posted by Craig at 02:37 PM

April 30, 2004

DMV Licensing Kiosks

One kiosk mushrooms into 15 as self-service makes a hit with Nevada drivers

One kiosk mushrooms into 15 as self-service makes a hit with Nevada drivers
30 Apr, 2004

CARSON CITY, NV--A single kiosk installed six months ago at the Carey Avenue branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles in North Las Vegas proved so successful that the government agency has ordered 14 more.

The Las Vegas Sun reported the kiosks are used to renew vehicle registration, with a credit card or cash transaction taking no more than two minutes.

The additional kiosks will be placed in Las Vegas area DMW offices, then expanded into the Reno-Sparks area, said Ginny Lewis, director of the department, in the newspaper article.

Lewis testified before the Nevada Legislative Interim Finance Committee that about 1,000 customers a month use the Carey Avenue kiosk. The legislative committee authorized the department to spend $245,000 on the kiosks. The installations will begin in May.

Posted by Craig at 06:05 PM

April 24, 2004

Jail Kiosks

Inmates enter their booking number at kiosks to access legal information.

09:13 PM PDT on Friday, April 23, 2004


By LISA O'NEILL HILL / The Press-Enterprise

Inmates hid weapons and notes in the pages of the heavy law books available in Riverside County's five jails. They ripped pages out and scribbled all over them.

"It was just a problem trying to maintain them," said Riverside County Sheriff's Capt. Alan Flanary, commander of the Indio Jail.

But jail staff members haven't had to worry about keeping up the books for a while. They were replaced a few years ago by computers that allow inmates access to legal information.


Carrie Rosema / The Press-Enterprise
Correctional deputy Michelle Jones accesses the online law libraries at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. The center has three such kiosks.



In February, the jails got their latest technological boost: wall-mounted, state-of-the-art kiosks that inmates use by touching shatterproof screens.

The kiosks look similar to ATM machines. All an inmate has to do to use it is touch the screen and enter his booking number.

He then can peruse LexisNexis legal data - such as federal court cases, U.S. Supreme Court cases, legal dictionaries and other information - used by law firms across the country. The computer takes a photograph of the inmate but does not monitor what he is looking at, jail officials said.

Every jail but the Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside has one kiosk; that jail has three.

"We're probably ahead of a lot of people right now," said Riverside County Sheriff's Cpl. Mary Lou Segovia. "I'm getting phone calls from Texas, San Diego, L.A. Men's Central Jail."


The Law Library allows access to legal data from Lexus Nexus. Law firms across the country use the same database.



Touch Sonic Technologies, a Sonoma County computer and software design company, developed the kiosks. Correctional facilities in Hawaii were the first to install the systems. Riverside County was the second, said Jack Long, vice president of sales and marketing for Touch Sonic Technologies.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department also has done away with books and has electronic law libraries available for inmates.

The law libraries are not Internet-based for security reasons, a spokeswoman said. California prisons still have books, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections said. By law, jails and prisons have to provide inmates access to law libraries in some form.

Long said two other counties in California and a state in the Midwest have committed to installing the kiosks in their correctional systems. He said he has received calls from as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

"It uses pretty state-of-the art-technology," said Long, whose company specializes in kiosk applications for law enforcement and corrections industries. The other key element to the technology for use in prisons, he said, is that it is a closed system that does not involve any connection to the Internet.

Riverside County jails pay $94,400 each year to lease the equipment and to cover the costs of updates, Flanary said. That money comes from inmate welfare funds, he said.


PE.com | Inland Southern California | Local News

Posted by Craig at 04:03 PM

April 12, 2004

Oklahoma Wayfinders

Officials Say 'Wayfinding' System To Make Downtown Navigation Easier

POSTED: 5:47 pm CDT April 9, 2004
UPDATED: 7:28 pm CDT April 9, 2004

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City officials said Friday that they have started installing a system of about 100 signs to help pedestrians and drivers find their way around downtown Oklahoma City.

According to city officials, the wayfinding system will provide simple directions to various destinations, landmarks and attractions and will complement previously existing street signs.

The first two signs were installed Thursday on Walker Avenue in front of City Hall and on Hudson Avenue south of Robert S. Kerr Avenue. 45 vehicular signs and 22 pedestrian signs are ready for installation in the coming weeks, according to city spokeswoman Karen Farney.

Farney also said a network of 27 kiosks will be installed to provide detailed visitor information. The kiosks will be installed in late summer after a series of special maps is finished.

City leaders said the system will help visitors locate popular destinations such as the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Bricktown and the Arts District.

Wayfinding replaces the typical city hodge-podge of unrelated signs with a unified system, said City Manager Jim Couch. People cant be expected to navigate downtowns by relying on unfamiliar street names and addresses.

Drivers who exit Interstate 40 and Interstate 235 will be able to see the signs upon entering downtown.

Oklahoma City voters approved the signs in December 2000 during a special bond issue election.


ChannelOklahoma.com - News - Oklahoma City Installs New Signs For Visitors

Posted by Craig at 02:35 PM

March 04, 2004

Prison Kiosks

Inmates to get access to the law through info kiosks

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. -- LexisNexis U.S. and Touch Sonic Technologies launched a new legal information kiosk that will change the way prisons comply with court mandates requiring inmate access to the law.

The two companies have already installed the new wall-mounted kiosks with shatterproof touchscreens in four corrections facilities in Hawaii, and in five facilities in California.

The kiosks, called the TSTLL, were developed specifically for prisons by Touch Sonic Technologies and feature legal research from LexisNexis, a leading provider of legal, news and business information services, according to a news release.

Most prison libraries offer legal books, which can be damaged or lost, and are quickly outdated. With these kiosks, corrections departments are expected to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on costly law books, while offering comprehensive and current legal information to inmates. States also stand to save money with fewer prisoner complaints about lack of access to legal research, which comprise substantial numbers of the inmate lawsuits filed.

In addition to ensuring access to current legal information, the TSTLL unit allows the correctional facility to track the usage of each inmate through a login, providing a record that can be used to defend allegations of non-access.

"We designed the TSTLL to work in a corrections environment where safety is a big concern, so we built in not only safety features like a shatterproof screen but flexibility to locate the kiosk within the cellblock," said Jack Long, vice president of Touch Sonic Technologies, in the release. "We also know that inmates are dealing with time constraints and in many cases limited knowledge of the law, and we developed a system that offers options to both new and advanced users."

Posted by Craig at 04:46 PM

December 23, 2003

DMV Kiosks

Do-it-yourself kiosks are just fine with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
[published by Kiosk Magazine]

DIY DMV A OK

Do-it-yourself kiosks are just fine with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. At least that's the news we just heard when KIOSK magazine followed up on the project. The state DMV has been working on a pilot project to improve services to customers.

This pilot project is one result of the Nevada DMV's overall goal of reducing wait times in the offices to one hour or less for all transactions at all times. "We've brainstormed on every possible way to achieve this. The kiosk is one technology project we felt was worth pursuing," said Nevada DMV Public Information Officer Kevin Malone. Other solutions include staffing and legislative/statutory changes.

The vehicle registration renewal transaction is the most common transaction the DMV has and is central to the wait times. Their Internet, IVR (phone) and mail-in programs now handle approximately 60% of the vehicle renewals, which leaves 40% of VR renewals being processed at an office when they don't have to be.

The kiosk is being used to divert customers from waiting in line for a technician while also addressing their (customers) reasons for visiting an office in the first place. "A certain percentage of customers simply want the decal and registration slip in their hand," noted Malone. "They have had snafus in the mail previously and/or do not want to run the risk of being cited for expired plates."

Another reason is that many Las Vegas residents are tip earners and want to pay with cash. Again the kiosk was a logical solution. The kiosk accepts cash, debit or credit cards, gives change (fees are in round dollars only) and prints and dispenses the registration slip and decal. Screens are in English and Spanish. The machine will scan a barcode at the bottom of the mailed renewal notice or the customer can enter the license plate number and last 4 digits of the VIN.

"One problem at this point," mentioned Malone "is that it does not accept Visa debit cards easily." He said that customers are often forced to do multiple swipes with the card. (The terminal accepts Visa, MC, Amex, Discover) A more important problem Malone addressed is that the conveyor belt system used to dispense change jams or loses money frequently. Because of this, they've needed to have a technician sitting by the machine to clear the jams and get the customer their change, slip and decal. Malone said, however, that this is only a minor technical problem that he believes the vendor will be able to fix. Otherwise, the system has worked out very well for the Nevada DMV.

"The customers who have used it have liked it," said Malone. All DMV customers have to go to an information counter first. For customers with a 'clean' registration renewal quipped Malone, "we give them the choice of waiting for a half-hour or more or doing it on the machine." For the customer it's an easy decision.

If this pilot is successful, the DMV plans to install up to 20 additional machines in offices statewide. After that, they would foresee expanding the kiosks to outside locations such as banks and malls. The Nevada Legislature appropriated $2M to pay commissions (5% or $15 per transaction, whichever is lower) on these self-service kiosks over two years.

Research>>>
www.dmvnv.com

Posted by Craig at 11:55 PM

December 18, 2003

Program enrollment kiosks

Tri-Valley Herald Online - More Local News
As part of a "major push" to boost enrollment in the discount program, PG&E has installed self-service kiosks at customer service centers in the Bay Area. The kiosks allow customers to fill out the forms to receive the discount quickly and discreetly, Alderman said.

Posted by Craig at 06:44 PM

December 11, 2003

Voting Systems Go Linux

AccuPoll announces linux voting system.

Story Link

AUSTIN, CA, December 8, 2003-(LinuxElectrons)-AccuPoll (OCTBB: ACUP) is the technology leader in electronic voting systems. The company stated today that its new multi-lingual, electronic voting system combines the transparency of touch screen input with the documentation of a voter-verified, printed-paper record and the inherent security of a Linux based system.

"The choice of voting systems to purchase is simple, the AccuPoll system is in its final certification process. The system will be one of the most technologically advanced, federally certified, electronic voting systems with a voter verified paper printout available today, stated Frank Wiebe, president of AccuPoll.

The versatile system offers many features that provide strong security measures and increases the voting record accuracy. The Linux-based system is affordable due to non-proprietary hardware and open source software that reduces costs. Eliminating costly pre-printed ballots also generates savings by reducing paper waste.

The AccuPoll system satisfies all the requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 including the use of provisional ballots and hand counting of ballots (manual audit). The system also meets the accessibility requirements for disabled voters and will support a variety of commonly used languages as required under the Voting Rights Act. Ballots can also be completed by means of audio headphones and keypad for the visually impaired.

The voting station transparently guides voters through the voting process. Votes are confirmed via an on-screen acknowledgement and by a paper Proof of Vote printed by the voting station. A voter is warned if there are blank voting sections and it will not allow overvoting.

Once the vote is cast, the AccuPoll system provides an independent, voter verifiable audit trail thats recorded simultaneously in multiple locations in both electronic and paper form.


About AccuPoll Holding Corp.
AccuPoll (OCTBB: ACUP) is the developer of electronic voting systems that will be federally certified and has the support of many voters, election officials, and special needs advocates in the United States with its new approach to recording and counting votes. Combining touch screen input with the confidence of a voter verified printed-paper record; AccuPoll allows voters to see their vote recorded and creates a permanent paper audit trail of the election as mandated in the "Help America Vote Act of 2002."

AccuPoll works with all levels of government to insure the integrity, security and accuracy of elections. AccuPoll makes every vote count by counting every vote. For additional information, visit www.accupoll.com.

Posted by Craig at 12:17 AM

December 09, 2003

Pavement pods link to the Net

The kiosks will offer free internet access, text messages and tourist information.

People will also be able to pay their council tax bills, book on-line tickets and report complaints to the council.

If the sites are successful, advertising space on every kiosk could generate 2,500 annually.

story link

Pavement pods link to the Net

Dec 9 2003

By Mark Hookham Daily Post Staff

CITY leaders are expected to give the green-light to futuristic 'pavement pods'.

The kiosks will offer free internet access, text messages and tourist information.

People will also be able to pay their council tax bills, book on-line tickets and report complaints to the council.

Councillors are due to give the 363,562 pilot scheme the go-ahead on Friday and plan to build the pods by March.

Seven sites across the city have been identified for the 24-hour kiosks.

They will be in: Allerton Road, Allerton; Woolton Street, Woolton Village; West Derby Road, Newsham Park, Whitechapel, city centre; Breck Road, Kensington; Princes Road, Toxteth and Moss Way, Croxteth.

If these sites are successful a further 100 kiosks could be built across the city.

The pods are part of the council's plan to make all its services accessible via the internet by the end of 2004.

Users will also be able to report crimes and disturbances on a special Crimestoppers web-page.

Council tenants will also be able to link up with the city's One-Stop-Shop centres and register building complaints.

Coun Chris Newby, executive member for information technology and e-government, said: "We chose seven areas across the city because we want to test how much people from different economic backgrounds use the pods for council services.

"This is just a pilot scheme and we plan to roll it out to between 50 and 100 pods in the city.

"Initially, people will be able to e-mail and get internet access for free as well as contact the police and any council services that are available through electronic means.

"As time goes on other services will become available through the pods."

The pods have been located in busy pedestrian areas and will have CCTV cameras to prevent users becoming targets for criminals.

Telecommunications giant BT was recently awarded the contract to build the pods on behalf of Liverpool Direct.

The kiosks will be vandal proof and even able to withstand a car hitting them. Engineers crashed cars into the prototypes to make sure they cannot be toppled.

Similar information points been introduced to the streets of Bristol and Newcastle.

If the sites are successful, advertising space on every kiosk could generate 2,500 annually.

Liverpool's executive board is expected to give its backing to the scheme at its meeting on Friday.

Posted by Craig at 03:32 PM

November 24, 2003

TSA Awards Security Contract

The Transportation Security Administration has awarded an $8 million contract to Unisys Corp. to test technologies to improve airport security.

Under the Airport Access Control Pilot Program, Unisys will assess biometrics, surveillance systems and other security measures for TSAs Office of the Chief Technology Officer. The 20-month, cost-plus-fixed-fee deal could be worth up to $17 million, the company said in a statement.

Unisys will test fingerprinting, facial recognition and iris scanning to control physical access to airport facilities as well as logical access to information systems. Testing will take place at 20 airports across the country, but the specific locations have not been determined yet, Unisys president Greg Baroni said.

Unisys also is the prime contractor for TSAs IT Managed Services contract, under which it is setting up a technology infrastructure at 429 airports. The systems being tested under AACPP will be integrated with ITMS.

The airport infrastructure is rolling out in three phases: Red package: Basic technology such as notebook PCs, cell phones, pagers, radios, dial-up virtual private network access to e-mail and Web services

White package: LAN and WAN connectivity

Blue package: Electronic surveillance and biometric systems being tested under AACPP.

Baroni said ITMS deployment is about midway through the white phase. The contractor has accelerated deployment in response to recent security threats such as carrying box cutters and other dangerous items onto airplanes.

Posted by Craig at 02:33 PM

October 24, 2003

Parking Kiosks

Cherry Creek parking kiosks delayed


Denver Post article on Parking Kiosks

Cherry Creek parking kiosks delayed
Machines fail final tests; shoppers to be given free parking through Christmas

By Karen E. Crummy
Denver Post Staff Writer
Cherry Creek shoppers are getting an early Christmas gift.

Parking kiosks that were supposed to be installed this month - and last month and the month before - failed their final operational test.

That means shoppers can continue parking for free through the Christmas season.

But while store patrons are celebrating the holiday windfall, the city of Denver is left holding a lump of coal.

City officials asked the company from which they're leasing the kiosks, Denver Capital Leasing Corp., to terminate the contract with TCS, the supplier of the kiosks.

Now officials are back to square one, facing the distinct possibility that they have to start the entire process again.

"We're working with all the relevant parties to see what alternatives there are," said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, spokeswoman for Mayor John Hickenlooper. "We have a lot of decisions to make."

The city has not yet paid for the machines.

Advertisement

The kiosks were supposed to be in place Aug. 1 under terms of the contract. But the machines continued to fail operational tests, with the final one last Friday.

Getting the kiosks into place by early next year, however, is critical for the city, said assistant city attorney David Broadwell.

Two hundred parking spots in a Cherry Creek lot, costing $4.7 million, are under the same financing agreement as the kiosks.

The parking spaces will be offered on a monthly basis to employees of Cherry Creek North merchants.

The 77 kiosks are supposed to generate enough money to cover the lease-purchase payments of the spaces in the lot. The payments start Nov. 4, 2004, and continue for 15 years.

"It is incumbent, economically, that we generate (kiosk) revenue as soon as possible," Broadwell said.

Although the pay-to-park stations are intended to create more turnover in the shopping district, there was concern that installing them in late October before the holiday shopping season might hurt retailers.

As a result, the Cherry Creek North Improvement District, which has been working with the city on the parking issue, was not upset by the delay.

"I think from our perspective, we're glad they aren't going in at this time of year. The timing wasn't what it was originally planned to be," said marketing director Christina Brickley.

Posted by Craig at 02:33 PM

October 13, 2003

Netshift Chosen in Large Project

Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ: CPWR), the software and services provider, has chosen NetShift as one of its strategic partners for a project with Torfaen Borough Council. The 1.1M contract, won by the software and services provider......

Original Release

Compuware Chooses NetShift for Torfaen Borough Council Project


London UK, 13 October, 2003 - Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ: CPWR), the software and services provider, has chosen NetShift as one of its strategic partners for a project with Torfaen Borough Council. The 1.1M contract, won by the software and services provider Compuware, is for the development and deployment of a community portal within the Torfaen Borough in South Wales. Torfaens portal, being introduced as part of a pilot project in the area, will provide information and services under the following headings: Public Service, The Community and Business. The portal will be branded Webster and is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund, The Welsh National Assembly, The Welsh Development Agency and the Council itself.

30 Internet kiosks will be installed across the Borough providing information and services to its citizens. NetShift will be responsible for designing the user interface which will look to attract and encourage people to use the kiosk. NetShift will also provide remote management technology enabling continual monitoring, fault diagnosis, problem management, content management and reporting.

The portal will be launched in January 2004 and will initially operate for 18 months; however the council is already exploring funding opportunities to sustain the portals future. Although the concept of a community portal is not new, this project is widely viewed as ground-breaking due to the involvement of the community and the breadth of services planned. Public and voluntary sector organisations will be able to provide and maintain content and interactive services via an easy to use content management interface. Torfaen County Borough Council will also be integrating existing public services, with information provided by community groups and other local organisations. To assist them in providing content these groups will receive at least one PC, a broadband Internet connection (where available), an e-mail account, access to two community outreach workers and a training programme free of charge. Businesses will be offered similar incentives to provide content for the portal. Chat rooms and discussion boards will also be formed to encourage community groups and business to share ideas and thoughts. Also planned is a teaching and learning section, which will deliver information of interest to teachers, pupils, parents and training organisations.

Being in the position of prime contractor for this project meant that we needed to be sure that not only the price of the kiosk solution was competitive, but it also had to be of the highest quality and reliability, comments Steve Jobson, Vice President UK and Ireland, Compuware Ltd. NetShift demonstrated a thorough understanding of how to build, deploy and run kiosks in a local government environment. They also worked extremely hard to make sure the solution was the right one which mirrors our own ethic.

Posted by Craig at 03:01 PM