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Archive for September, 2007

USB 3.0 Around The Corner – Fiber Optics and All

The Who’s Who of technology got together and established USB 3.0. Backward compatibility is covered with the same wired connection and greater speeds, up to 10 times faster than 480Mbps, and will include fiber optics support.
“USB 3.0 is the next logical step for the PC’s most popular wired connectivity,” said Jeff Ravencraft, technology strategist with Intel and president of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). “The digital era requires high-speed performance and reliable connectivity to move the enormous amounts of digital content now present in everyday life.
Intel, HP, Microsoft, NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments are the rat-pack for USB 3.0 while the USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) will act as trade association for the USB 3.0 Specifications. The full and complete USB 3.0 specifications are expected to be released sometime during the first half of 2008. The mission statement throughout this process is:
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group is committed to preserving the existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of USB while continuing to expand this great technology’s capabilities.
Source: USB-IF Continue Reading

Military Grade PDA

PDAs don’t make it into military applications because of glass on the display. PDAs don’t make it into military applications because battery life is too short. This is no longer true. InHand Electronics introduces a rugged low-power flex PDA (SFPDA) to withstand military environments and extended missions. This rugged PDA includes Ethernet, USB, Bluetooth, and keypad interface connections.
military grade pda
The non-glass flexible display not only reduces possibility of injury but reduces power consumption to display information. In conjunction with InHands power management software these PDAs will run for 6 continuous hours. 6 hours may not seem like a long time, but this spec is continuous hours, so it doesn’t include stand-by time or sleep mode. The new iPod touch barely gets 5 hours of video – and we know that claim doesn’t stand up to government specifications – so cut that in half. 6 hours is impressive. Some quick bullet points on the BatterySmart technology include:
  • Startup CPU Speed Adjustment – Automatically and dynamically adjust CPU clock speed based on the operating bandwidth requirements of your handheld device.
  • Advanced Idle Mode – Understand the differences in power consumption at 100MHz versus 400MHz.
  • Dynamic CPU Speed Adjustment – Determine the required computational bandwidth of your application software at different CPU clock speeds.
  • Performance-Tuned Core Software Drivers – Understand how battery life is affected by plugging in a PCMCIA peripheral?
  • Optimized Peripheral Software Drivers – Reduce both computational bandwidth and power consumption while connecting to multiple peripheral devices.
InHand didn’t publish a price tag for the Military PDA – who cares – get our guys what they need when they need it. Source: InHand via Engadget Continue Reading

USB Keyboard With Built In Touch Screen for Handwriting Recognition

Not meant for the left-handed this USB keyboard includes a built-in touch screen and stylus for handwriting recognition. Not a bad idea for some applications like log-in procedures or signature requirements before payment.
usb keyboard with stylus
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usb keyboard
Although the information is limited, the concept is good.  Interested in dropping $25 on this USB keyboard.  Buy from: DealExteme. Source: Digital Drops Continue Reading

Public Service Announcement: ATP Petito USB Drive Sets Out to Fight Breast Cancer

The well known ATP Petito USB drive is now available in a limited edition Pink Ribbon version marking the support for the fight against Breast Cancer.
petito pink ribbon
ATP has joined hands with Susan G. Komen against the fight. A percentage of retail sales will be used to support the organization in funding research, supporting education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world.
“As a leader in the technology marketplace, we were excited about taking the initiative in contributing to this important cause,” said Michael Plaksin, ATP Vice President of Sales. “The Pink Ribbon Special Edition of our Petito USB Drive presents an opportunity for our consumers to make a change in someone’s life and proudly display their support of this critically important cause. With this innovative device, they have the unique ability to keep the all the memories of their loved ones, who have been affected by the disease, close at all times.”
The Petito Pink Ribbon flash drive is available from 512MB to 2GB sizes. This great news comes on the heels of SanDisk announcing their support for Alzheimer’s; as one can see flash drives are quickly becoming the favored item for fundraising. Nice. For more info: ATP Inc. Komen for the Cure Continue Reading

Docking Haven From Kensington

Kensington eases the pain of laptop life with their all new re-designed notebook USB docking station. The SD200V is a tower update to it’s predecessor, the SD100, a wedge shaped design.
kensington notebook dock station
The SD200V allows dual view of monitors with it’s beefed up “DualView” boost feature. Max support is 1280×1024 pixels. The notebook dock station connects to your laptop via a single USB port. From there, you can sync up a VGA monitor, keyboard and mouse along with connection for stereo-out and microphone-in port. The Kensington dock station includes front USB port for easy connection (although we’d like to see more) and ability to hot swap USB devices and other peripherals without the need to reboot your notebook. Price set at $139 and pre-orders are being taken at Kensington. Continue Reading

Black Box Now in Nav System

GetUSBinfo reported on the car black box before, it was a standalone system you installed yourself. Now the same technology is available in your navigation system. Albeit only for Korea (for now), it’ll make it to the car capital of the world.
black box nav system usb
Joy unveiled their 7 inch built-in car nav system, the MD-3000J, with black box which records 12 seconds prior to accident and 18 seconds after. If you didn’t see this coming playback is via the nav console or via USB connection. If you want more details about how the technology works, read about our original Automotive Black Box post. The Joy MD-3000J system is just over $1,000 USD and not expected until October…that’s for Korea…the rest of us get the DIY black box, or a bike. Source: Aving News Continue Reading

Female Body Mouse – Buttons Any Guy Would Like to Push

Better known as Alexa, the Team Switzerland female body mouse, has some curiously placed buttons. Right clicking has never been this much fun (must be pathetic for that to apply).
usb body mouse
The female body mouse is available in four additional jerseys, RobertaTeam Brazil, BeckyTeam England, MichaelaTeam Germany, FrancescaTeam Italy and of course the featured body mouse, Alexa. Although this USB gadget wouldn’t be as popular in the US, it does make for a great gift for every other nation who loves soccer football. Or if you have difficulty explaining female anatomy to your up-n-coming little guy, this could help. USB Body Mouse product page. Continue Reading

$4,357 – 64GB Flash Drive – Someone Please Explain Why?

Cruising through Amazon several days ago my buddy from New York, who runs this talented design firm, came across a 64GB flash drive to the price tag of $4,357. He immediately shot me an email. Why? is all he typed…
64gb flash drive
I didn’t have a good answer for him. Sure portability is something you can’t put a price tag on, but there is a point of diminishing returns where this just doesn’t make sense. First off, the delta on price points between the 64GB flash drive and say a 120GB Western Digital Passport ($89) is $4,268. So other than the fact of extreme price differences lets look at some other factors.You might not know this, but the average life cycle of a flash drive isn’t that great so it’s not the best choice for long term storage. Especially at +$4 grand. Next, consider the size. The example Western Digital Passport is about the size of my wallet. 5.3 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. That’s portable enough for anyone. Although the Busdrive (64GB) is smaller, it’s not so impressive for a “must have” gadget.
wd passport comparison
Now consider this, lets take the $4,357 and sink it into some WD Passports, what do you end up with? Oh… about 5.8Terabytes of data storage. Of course your office space would look ridiculous (something like this), so buying one mini hard drive at double the capacity of a Busdrive is a very obvious choice. Other than making an extreme tech-geek argument on size verse MB what’s the point? Continue Reading

Icron Makes BIV’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies List

icronPress Release – BURNABY, B.C., September 13, 2007 – Icron Technologies Corporation (TSX Venture: IT), the developers of ExtremeUSB® places as one of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia by Business in Vancouver newspaper. Icron ranks in at 64 based upon their revenue growth between and including 2002 / 2006 which increased 213% during this period. This is Icron’s second recognition of rapid growth in the last three months Ranking BC’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the BIV Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies List profiles BC’s most successful growth companies. Published in the September 4th issue of BIV, the list shows that companies in BC are excelling more than ever before in this sustained economic boom. Continue Reading

Review: Logitech Premium Notebook Headset

The Logitech Premium Notebook Headset was reviewed by Shane McGlaun of I4U and here’s an outline of what I4U found. First off however, lets run down the specifications on what we’re looking at. The Logitech Premium Notebook Headset is targeted towards the mobile user with compact design, travel kit case and folding headset design. The headset is adjustable for customization and uses surface touching speakers, rather than ear buds like what you get with an iPod. This can be a good or bad thing depending on the weight of the headset, and from the sounds of it, Logitech gets uncomfortable; but read on for that…
logitech notebook headset
Regarding installation and testing Shane reports: Continue Reading

Unresponsive iPod

Do you have an iPod that is unresponsive? Occasionally an iPod may freeze or fail to respond to your commands. There are a few things you can do to troubleshoot this. Here’s an email from a MethodShop.com reader about an unresponsive iPod:
“I’m using a 40GB click-wheel iPod in Windows 2k. It is unable to fully boot up. When I turn it on, the Apple symbol comes up and the hard drive sounds like it begins to spin, and then it stops. Occasionally it gets to the folder w/exclamation point screen and then the hard drives stops and then starts again, going back to the apple screen. The iPod update application either doesn’t detect the iPod or it freezes my whole computer. I have tried resetting, and since Windows/iPod update don’t detect it, I can’t restore either (even in disk mode). I have been unable to get the disk scan working.” ~ dan
You most likely dropped your iPod or hit it pretty hard. This happened to a friend of mine (Bill) when he threw his backpack on the floor. His iPod was inside the backpack and the jolt from hitting the floor physically damaged the iPod’s hard drive. Unfortunately, if your hard drive is physically damaged, there’s only one way to fix it – get it replaced. If your iPod is still under warranty or you purchased extended AppleCare for your iPod, then have Apple replace or repair your iPod. If your iPod is out of warranty, there are several third-party companies that can fix your iPod like these guys. But before going through the hassle and cost of sending your iPod off to be repaired, try these free iPod troubleshooting tips first. Good luck! BeSocial: methodshop Continue Reading

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