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Spec for 100W over USB is Here

The USB-IF released the Power Delivery [PD] specification for USB 3.0.  In addition, the 2.0 forum approved it too.

Because we are talking about 100watts over USB there is some risk associated with introducing such a spec.  The USB-IF said the power can be sent, both ways, intelligently where power ramps up or down upon delivery.  The spec includes an intelligent check of both the cable and the other end’s capability to insure nothing goes up in flames.

If you stop and think about this, if a typical laptop has three USB sockets, what kind of power brick would you need to power the laptop plus 300watts of power, assuming all sockets are requesting a full load.  Maybe the power brick will end up being bigger and heavier then the laptop {grin}.

For a very interesting read on the entire PD report,

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Burning Stove Charges Electronics via USB Socket

Biolite Stove is portable camping stove which converts boiling water into energy to charge your portable devices.  I like the symmetry already!

The Biolite Stove is no bigger then a large jug of water.  It can hold up to 1 liter of water and can boil that same amount of water in [about] 4.5 minutes.

The fire power, as they say, ranges between 3.4kw and 5.5kw and will charge at a continuous flow 2W @ 5volts or peak of 4W @ 5volts.  Peak power flow depends on the BTUs of the fire while it’s going…you know, the hottest the fire will get, the most energy it will create as the water is boiling at the highest rate.

The Biolite Stove will charge anything via USB.  As to the efficiency of that charging process, nothing to say it’s fast or slow, but conceptually

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Store Files on USB Flash or USB Hard Drive?

Flash drives are getting cheaper and flashdrives are getting bigger.  You get to a point and ask yourself, should I archive my valuable information on a large flashdrive or a USB hard drive?  For example, lets say you have 10GBs of photos from your phone or camera and you are looking to archive those pictures.  Should you do this to a flash drive or a hard drive?

The easiest and most convenient decision would be saving your files to the flash drive.  Most everyone has a 16GB USB flashdrive these days, it fits in  your hand and you can carry it around with out trouble.  But will it last?  Is a USB flashdrive where I should put my photos if my computer crashes and I need to restore my photos?  Lets forget about the possibility you simply misplace the USB flashdrive.  Is the device archive worthy?

The other option is the USB hard drive.  Most people don’t have one so you’ll need to buy one.  Although they are cheap, a USB hard drive is not as cheap as a 16GB or 32GB flash drive…and to be honest the 16-32GB sticks probably have enough space that it could hold your photos.  So is it worth the extra time and money to archive to a USB hard drive?  I guess this is the question more and more people are asking themselves.  Well I have the definitive answer:

USB hard drive.

Flashdrives are great products for quickly moving files from one computer to another.  However, they are not the best choice for archive purposes, and here are some reasons why:

The devices are small and will most likely get damaged.  Unless of course you put the USB stick into the back of your desk drawer, a USB flashdrive gets banged around a lot and this abuse lends itself to failed cells in the memory.  Meaning, over time the files will get corrupted because the NAND memory gets damaged.

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MacBook Air Adds USB 3.0

Apple released their new MacBook Air product and we are very excited to hear USB 3.0 is now standard.

If you have concerns about USB 3.0 being a new technology without much compatibility, you are totally wrong.  The great thing about USB is their backward compatible specification.  What this means, is the USB-IF [the forum which governs the technology] requires that any new USB specification work will all legacy USB protocols.

So even using that ultra slow USB drive from 2004 will work in the new MacBook Air products.  Not like you would, but it’s just an example.  Another example is using slower USB products like USB keyboards or USB calculators or USB breast warmers will work from the Apple USB 3.0 socket.

The USB 3.0 specification has a maximum transfer speed of gigabits per second.  That’s about 500MBs per second.  You must keep in mind this is the theoretical maximum and you can never expect this type of performance from a USB device, but it’s nice to know the efficiency ratios are dramatically improved with the new USB 3.0 specification.

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