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Double AA Rechargeable USB Battery – 4 Pack

These are 1450mAh batteries that are rechargeable via standard USB port.

This is the better way digital devices should be designed.  I am not a fan of, for example, my portable speaker going south because the device can no longer hold a charge.  I’d much rather have my portable speaker take batteries which I can replace, than my device going dead and I have to throw it away.

As I type this, the four pack of double AA batteries are going for $35.  So just under $10 per battery. 

The company claims they will take 500 charges.  Assuming they have over stated that statistic, even at 250 charges… it’s a smart move.

They also claim the AA battery will last 2 to 3 times longer than a normal battery.  Probably a direct link to the 1.2V NiMH nickel metal hydride cell technology.

rechargeable AA batteries
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USB4, The Royalty Free Thunderbolt from Intel

In the news, Intel has given their specification for its high-speed Thunderbolt technology to the USB-IF implementers forum.  This is the group which creates and manages USB technology.

The USB4 specification will follow the current USB 3.2 specification, yet an exact date of release has not been defined.

USB4 will double the bandwidth of USB 3.2 and provide transfer rates at a theoretical maximum of 40Gb/s. 

USB4 Flash Drive

USB4 will also enable the use of multiple data and display protocols simultaneously.  This implies you will be able to transfer data, run your monitor and power your devices through a single connection.

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AirBar – Make Any Laptop Touchscreen

The Airbar will turn any Windows laptop into a touch screen. Very cool. The technology is friendly with Windows 8 and 10 and this is because it uses Microsoft’s “Gestures” technology to turn your laptop into a touchscreen laptop.

The Airbar was designed in Sweden and made in Sweden. The bar is $50 US Dollars.

The Airbar works by invisible light beams. To get it working you connect is via USB and set the bar at the bottom of your laptop screen, just like you see in the picture.

The Airbar will project light upward. As your fingers break the barrier of the projected light, the bar will translate this into gestures. Through the Windows API for gestures your actions will translate to the programs running.

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StarTech USB 3.0 & 4K DisplayPort Dock Station

The USB 3.0 / 4K display and dock station is ideal for the Bring Your Own Device work environment (BYOD).

Assuming you have a limited port laptop computer the StarTech dock station can expand your laptop screen and extend out to a 4K video feed needed. It doesn’t stop there with USB 3.0 port connectivity, and Ethernet connection.

The front side of the dock station also includes a USB charging port. You can avoid the inconvenience of a dead battery and make sure your mobile device is always ready to go, using the dock’s USB fast-charge and sync port. Plus, the always-on port supports device charging even when your laptop isn’t connected to the dock.

The dock station can act as a charging station unplugged as well, making it a very portable solution. A good fit for this product would be home-office where the work space is not that large, or class room where the budget isn’t there for a complete work station and a BYOD situation best applies.

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Question: Format a Flash Drive as exFAT or NTFS?

Most of the time formatting a flash drive is a very simple decision. There are only two situations where you should take consideration on what format to use. Here are the details:

Note: This article is focused towards Windows and Mac operating systems.

The file formats available for a flash drive are:

  • FAT (also called FAT16)
  • FAT32
  • exFAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS (Mac only)

Flash drive manufacturers format a drive as either FAT or FAT32. Any device of 2GBs or smaller will be formatted as FAT and any USB over 2GBs will be formatted as FAT32.

exFAT, USB

These two formats are the best file system for removable drives like flash drives because they support the quick disconnect function and chances are very slim you will destroy the device or files if you unplug the USB without using the Eject function (in Windows) or Un-mount function (in Mac).

The one huge limitation with FAT and FAT32 is the single file size limitation. If a single file is larger than 2GBs you need to have the device as FAT32. If you have a single file bigger than 4GBs then you must use NTFS or exFAT. Typically these large files are either video files or restore image files (for restoring a computer operating system from a single image file).

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