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Flash Memory Puts Mars Curiosity into Safe Mode


As with any good project, there should always be a back up plan.  The Curiosity for Mars is no different.  The system has a B-Side computer in the event the A-Side computer went down…well guess what, it went down.

There is a theory that cosmic rays affected some of the flash memory on Curiosity causing the A-Side computer to shut down and reboot into Safe Mode.

JPL is currently backup up the A-Side data to the B-Side computer and should reboot by weeks end.  Configuration and data transfer can take a while, then of course the verification process of everything done right.

JPL states:

“The hardware that we fly is radiation tolerant, but there’s a limit to how hardened it can be, you can still get high-energy particles that can cause the memory to be corrupted. It certainly is a possibility and that’s what we’re looking into.”

For updates please visit the NASA website.

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IronKey Workspace Windows 8 PC on a Stick

ComputerWorld did a nice write up about the IronKey Workspace product for Windows 8 operating system.

Read the full article here.

“IronKey storage devices have also been validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to meet the stringent Level 3 criteria of FIPS 140-2. Combined with the cloud -based IronKey Enterprise Management Service, data security can be managed and audited from anywhere in the world. The IronKey Workspace flash drive, however, is not FIPS-certified.”

The IronKey will boot from any PC or Mac computer.  Boots in about 35 seconds but has an initial configuration time of about 4 minutes.

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USB Flash Drive Power Monitor

Smartronix has a USB power monitor and it’s ideal for those who want to regulate what power is coming from a USB device.  Most notably would be the ability to test power from a suspect defective drive or gadget.  With so many useless USB toys made in cheap factories over seas, one can get a product which plays havoc with your system.  Most problems always come from power.

Granted the power meter probably takes more juice then any USB power gadget your testing, but again, this is designed for the hobbyist or guy troubleshooting some gear.

This is also a good device to test products which claim to fall into the USB-IF specification for a USB device, something like this USB power meter could help prove your case against an overseas supplier who’s not fessing up to their poor quality work.  (can you tell we’ve ran into this problem on multiple occasions !)

Too bad it doesn’t measure calories, otherwise we’d find out just how hard that USB humping dog is really working.

Smartronix webstore, vai Gadgeteer.

Features:

  • USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 compatible
  • Large, easy to read LCD
  • Folding Stand
  • Auto Power-Down
  • Peak Hold
  • Measures current in either direction (Host>Device or Device>Host
  • Batteries and USB Cable included

Specifications:

  • Maximum Voltage Reading +/- 19.99 Volts
  • Voltage Reading Accuracy: +/- 0.1 volt from -10V to 10V; 5% from 10.01V to 19.99V; 5% from -10.01V to -19.99V
  • Maximum Current Reading +/- 1999 mA
  • Current Reading Accuracy: +/- 2mA from -500mA to 500mA; 5% from 501mA to 1999mA; 5% from -501mA to -1999mA
  • USB Type B upstream Jack
  • USB type A downstream Jack
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USB Cable Lets You Control Smartphone Screen Through PC

The DN-84254 is a microUSB cable which mirrors your smartphone screen on your PC.  The sync software allows you to click around on the PC screen and control your phone.


So what’s it good for, imagine this:   If an app would require you to input letters or characters, you can simply do so by using the PC’s keyboard. Several key shortcut buttons on top of the program also allow you to conveniently make the device do specific commands, or access certain areas instantly. So, aside from being able to record screen activity directly on your PC (for gaming and reviews and the likes), you can also intuitively control the smartphone within the PC’s environment as if it was just a simple Android emulating program or similar.

For me, this cable is worth

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Tech Hack: Alesis IO Dock with USB Hub

The Alesis IO Dock is a great product for iPad musicians – this small hack makes it even greater. It overcomes one limitation of the IO Dock: You can’t simply hook it to a USB hub. So I decided to build in an additional hub – which allows me to hook up additional class-compliant interfaces like my M-Audio Axiom master keyboard, and power them via the hub.

Yes, it works. No, it hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet. So try at your own risk.

Full Tutorial (nice)

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3D Printing

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