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Archive for January, 2009

USB For Kids – Construction Site

GetUSB.info has a category called “Useless Novelty” and it’s used for those gadgets that really don’t make sense, or just ridiculous.  Scrolling through just the first two pages we have items like:  USB Breast Warmers, USB Volcano or USB Cabbage.

usb construction site

Today I add to the list with the USB construction set.  Sure the photo looks cool and sure it seems like fun if you’re an 8 year old, but is it really worth it? I guess if you have a train set with a laptop that sits in the middle of the track you could make up “a scene” but that’s far and few between. On the slight chance you are excited about this useless novelty item, you’ll need to source it from an on-line vendor since the USB construction site is only available in Japan.  Cost is about $20. Continue Reading

USB Hack: Turn a USB Stick Into a Hard Drive or Local Disk

USB Tutorial:  Turn a USB stick into a Hard Drive or Local Disk

usb hack

This is a very valuable tutorial, especially if you are looking to partition a USB stick.  Another application for turning a removable drive into a local disk, is that now many software programs can be loaded directly to a USB drive.  The first program which comes to mind is iTunes.  I know you need My Documents and a Local Disk to install it, so after this tutorial, I’ll try installing iTunes and share the results.

The process of turning a USB stick into a hard drive is fairly easy.  However, there are limitations.  For example, this works best with Windows XP operating systems.  You also need to update the drivers for the device for any computer you are going to use.  Typically, this isn’t a big deal as you can easily do this for your work and home computers.  However, this isn’t a great solution if you are trying to create a partitions USB stick for distribution to many possible users [say trade show give-away].

Couple of items you’ll need:

  • USB_LocalDisk.zip files [download here]
  • Windows XP
  • USB stick

What we will do, is connected the USB stick, find the driver code, update the driver code and re-connect the device.  Simple.

Here are the details:

Continue Reading

iPhone Custom Flash Drive

Gizmodo did an interesting post today, it’s as though they knew I purchased an iPhone over the weekend.  Yes, I’m part of the “cool kid crowd.”  Giz did a post on a new iPhone custom flash drive.  It’s a cute little thang, with two eyes, a red dot mouth where the home button is and two munchkin feet.

iphone custom flash drive

By pulling the top rubber lid, you expose the USB for connection.  No word on the price, but you can visit the site if you really need one. Continue Reading

Make Your Move: USB Breast Warmers

usb breast warmers

I found this USB powered gadget at Boingboing, and I must admit the author, Joel Johnson does such a great job with the post, I’ve got to publish the whole entry:
Ladies, a question: For years I have offered my services as a breast warmer out of what I must now admit was a desire not for the comfort of your more prominent glands, but instead an attempt to put my mittens on your kittens. But unlike my campaign to make sure your bosom is extraordinarily clean by barging into your shower with gallons of frothy soap — motivated purely by Christian hygienic charity — I was not entirely positive that your mams got, you know, chilly. Do they? That Thanko has created a USB-powered breast warming system has turned my world upside down. In fact, I’m getting a bit dizzy. If only there were some warm, soft place to lay my head.
Source:  BoingBoing via Thanko. Continue Reading

USB Buffalo Speakers

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam.  Where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day.
Might be the perfect song for this USB buffalo speaker system by Gadget4all.  With freaky looking blue LED lights to illuminate the eyes and horns, you’ll be impressed with these speakers even in the dark.  Not the strangest USB powered gadget, but it’s up there.

usb buffalo speaker

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USB buffalo speakers

The USB buffalo speakers include a small Li-ion battery for portable use.  Because you need to take this out on the range.  Back at the ranch you can charge her back up via USB. You can get all this buffalo madness for only $14. Continue Reading

Decompress With USB Stress Ball

These are trying times.  Everyone I talk with seems to be going through a rough time.  Whether it be work related stress, finances or personal challenges – life these days is tough.

usb stress ball

No better time could the USB stress ball be introduced.  It’s not your typical stress ball, as those don’t have USB connectivity.  But this does.  The stress ball includes software where you can load up a picture [your boss or ex] and as you bang away at the stress ball or squeeze the day-lights out of it, the picture will reflect the stress. The USB stress ball includes some options as well.  You’ve got a strength game and a squeeze game. It’s amazing how technology can make it’s way into any product, even a dumb little squeeze stress ball. Continue Reading

Estimated 9,000 USB drives Lost or Left at Laundry Mat

lost usbA recent study was just released that suggests over 9,000 USB drives are left, lost or forgotten at laundry mats.  The study was done to show consumers how easy it is to have valuable information fall into the hands of a stranger. Even on our best day, accidents happen.  A similar study was done with PDA and cell phones left in taxi cabs.  That number is close to 6,200 per year. Given this information and each of us knowing we are not perfect, it is wise to put some encryption on your USB drive or password protect the device.  Many times the manufacturer will supply a utility free with the device…don’t try and format it off, rather use it!
David Porter, head of security and risk at Detica, explained that there was only so much that experts and computer systems could do to thwart identity fraud. According to Porter, final responsibility rests with the consumer. “Identity fraud attacks succeed largely because of human fallibility; however there are simple steps that people can take to avoid being caught out by fraudsters,” said Porter.
So take a moment and protect yourself from the accidents of everyday life. Continue Reading

USB Powered Mini Monitor from D-Link

usb monitor d-linkD-Link introduced a sweet little 7 inch LCD display powered by USB.  The SideStage, which I think is a great name, is a 800×400 resolution monitor which extends your primary screen.  It’s great to stream stock quotes, or run IM applications or other small utilities you don’t want to use on the main monitor.  Yet not the first one we’ve seen. The SideStage would also be ideal for Photoshop users and such who want to move the toolbar out of the main screen. The SideStage from D-Link is expected to sell for about $100, although no price point has yet been announced.  The other piece of info we didn’t get is launch date.  Set to be summer time, which isn’t soon enough. According to D-Link’s representative Les Goldberg, the SideStage is compatible with virtually all CRT and flat-panel monitors, has standard and wide-screen aspect ratios, 32-bit True Color depth for high-quality images, and ultra-low power consumption, which is consistent with the D-Link Green initiative. Continue Reading

USB Drive Is Double Take of DDR RAM Memory

USB sticks come in many different sizes, shapes and colors, but today is the first time we’ve seen a custom USB drive with the look and feel of RAM memory.  The Segon Turbo drive is another release from Brando on unique USB shapes. Brando claims it’s ingenious and exquisite, which I think is a bit too much on credit, but definitely a different look.  Too bad you can’t use the PCI looking slot to boost your real RAM needs.

ram usb stick

The Segon Turbo drive includes a push-pull design for the USB connector making it a good portable product with protection to the connector. Some notable software functionality comes preloaded on the IC controller chip, such as:
  1. Security Manager
  2. Boot Manager
  3. Flash Mail Manager
  4. PC Lock Manager
  5. Bookmark Manager
  6. Security Folder
Available in a 2 and 4GB sizes, starting at just $12. Continue Reading

Goofy USB Photo Frame Brightens Your Day

USB Fever is looking for some fun with their new USB photo frame shaped like a person and a bobble head type photo frame. The cute little frame will spin 360 degrees and rotate forward and backward by 60 degrees.

usb photo frame

Yes, it’s cute, but also useful.  The USB photo frame also doubles as a 4 port USB hub…so you’re not just taking up valuable desk space, but making it a bit useful too.  After all, with everything USB, a couple extra ports wouldn’t hurt. What else doesn’t hurt is the price tag – just $12.99 plus some change for shipping. Source: USB Fever. Continue Reading

USB Cable Runs Your Back Up Software

Backing up your data is probably the #1 item most computer users neglect, ignore or simply don’t pay attention to.  Most times it’s because the software is too difficult or you don’t have the right storage device to back up your data [sat DVD, DLT tape etc].  Well, this article should change your mind.

usb backup cable

ClickFree has a very unique and convenient solution for data backup.  Using their USB cable and embedded backup software [embedded on the cable] you can backup any computer to your USB hard drive, USB stick or anything else USB. No software to install or setup.  Works right out-of-the-box.  Just plug the Clickfree Transformer into the computer, then plug any external USB hard drive into the other end of the Transformer and it converts the external hard drive into a Clickfree backup drive.  Automatically starts, finds, organizes and backs up all of your data onto the external hard drive. The ClickFree software is robust enough to support over 400 file types.  Here is the category breakdown for you: Continue Reading

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