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Matt LeBoff

Kicking around in technology since 2002. I like to write about technology products and ideas, but at the consumer level understanding. Some tech, but not too techie.

Trained Dogs to Sniff Out SD Cards and USB Sticks

USB stick, dog

Police dogs have yet another smell they must detect. Tactical Detection K9 company now trains dogs to sniff out SD cards and USB sticks. The training is in response to better assisting law enforcement in child pornography investigations.

The percentage of a dog’s brain which is devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times greater than humans. For example, humans can detect about 5 million scents and a German Shepherd can detect around 225 million smells.

In a recent investigation a dog was used in the FBI raid of the home of the former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle in Hancock County, Indiana.

What could take investigators hours to find an SD card or USB stick in a house would take a trained dog considerably less time, probably no more than 30 minutes.

According to Tactical Detection K9 it took scientists over four years to isolate the odor associated with memory devices. Now that a specific odor has been identified it takes 8-9 months for a dog to be trained in picking up that scent.

A dog which can sniff out SD and USB sticks can cost upwards of $9,000.

Source: IB Times and Dummies.com .

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Lenovo USB Compu-Stick

Computers on a stick will begin to gain popularity over the next two years. Lenovo is the most recent to offer a compu-stick. The Ideacentre 300 Stick is a 2GB of RAM computer with an Intel Atom Z3735F processor (2M cache + 1.83 Ghz) and runs Windows 8.1.

The Compu-Stick can be plugged into any computer and when you reboot, the hardware now uses the OS of the compu-stick.

compu-stick, usb

Alternatively you may connect the device to a TV and sync a keyboard and mouse and now you have a fully functioning PC with your TV as the monitor.

This is a great step in the right direction as all technology will move towards solid state memory. The Lenovo product has 32GBs of memory which is fine for a first generation product. If they can house a microSD slot in there for expanded memory, it would be an inexpensive solution to a possible data storage problem.

The only caveat left is that unless true Grade A memory is used in these devices the data retention and stability is the week point. With Grade A NAND memory you have a re-write of about 100,000 cycles. SLC memory will help this issue and improve reliability.

Reports indicate the Compu-Stick will run about $150.

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Portable, Plugable USB Type C Dock Station

With the single USB-C port of the new MacBook laptop we knew a power station and/or dock station was right behind.  Here is a Kickstarter compaign to address the single port computer and connecting all your peripheral gadgets to your new computer.

The ultimate dock station will power and charge your system using USB’s new Power Delivery specification, while providing an additional alternate mode video output up to 4K resolution, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and 4 USB ports.  The tall slender design of the dock station packs a number of sockets to support any type of peripheral you need to connect.

In addition, the USB 3.1 Type-C specification supports a feature called “VESA Alternate Mode” which works with the built-in graphics processor on supported systems to provide video output at resolutions up to 4K.  This is particularly important given the up-tick in TVs and monitors which are being released with a 4K specification.  The other two display outputs in the Ultimate Dock are enabled by the DisplayLink DL-3900 graphics processor, which can support two additional 1080P displays at 60Hz.  The DisplayLink driver is still in development, but the Kickstarter campaign claims the driver will have a final release by the time the dock station hits full production.

The Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station supports:

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Massive 60 Target USB Charging Station

Brando, a USB gadget distributor located in Hong Kong, now has available a massive USB charging station.

The 60 port charging station can charge sixty devices at 1A or charge 30 devices at 2A. It is not clear if the 2A charge would require a USB Y-Cable.  The box does not support data transfer capability so don’t purchase the unit if you are looking to sync your digital device or USB data load a bunch of flash drives.

At $199 USD this is worth considering.

Imagine what kind of bird’s nest would be created with all those cables!

Source: Brando.

Large USB Charging Station
USB Charger, Large
USB Charger, power switch
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Our Answer to a Smartphone / Tablet Dock Charging Station

With the iPhone in its 8th iteration of the product and most likely you have some older models laying around. Those older models can be put to use, but chances are, you don’t keep them charged up. So after a couple of days without connection, they are dead. I currently use an older iPhone to stream my music at work. I don’t stream from my phone, because I always seem to get disconnect to the Bluetooth speakers after I take a call. USB charge dock station This is why I like the 10 port charging station from USBFever. It’s got a logical design for holding ten devices. With the USB ports on the bottom, it keeps the plugs from hanging off the wall. Just above the USB ports are hollow channels you can bundle up the USB cable and stash it away. On top are vertical channels to hold your iPhone, iPad, Smartphone or tablet. The vertical channels are tall enough the devices will sit sturdy and proper. Finally, the design includes a good balance of power output for the devices. There are a total of 10 USB ports. Eight of which push out a 2.5amp power supply and the remaining two are 1amp. This means the charging dock station will power the tablets as well as the larger iPhone and Samsung product while you can leave the smaller phones to the 1amp channels. The default color is Continue Reading

How Flash Memory Works

This is a great video that explains how flash memory works. Granted, the video is very technical but does work through the concept of reading and writing data to flash. So if you have the 17 minutes to use, I suggest giving this a watch. The video does cover SLC, MLC and TLC memory and how each of these technologies read and write with the different layers of a floating gate device like NAND. Source: YouTube. Continue Reading

Video: USB Inkjet Printer for USB Swivel Drives by Nexcopy

Video: Nexcopy USB7P inkjet printer for USB swivel drives.

Nexcopy introduces the USB Clip Printer – a full color, inkjet printer that brings vibrant custom logos and graphics to any standard USB swivel drive – and it’s all available from your desktop.

The USB7P was engineered to address full color printing to USB flash drives at an affordable price. The idea is simple. Using the body of the standards swivel drive you swap the metal clip from your supplier for the inkjet printable clip from Nexcopy. Now, with an inkjet printable clip you can print full color images, on both sides of the clip, from any jpeg image. The results are fantastic. The print is durable and the print is highly

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Nexcopy Introduces USB Clip Printerâ„¢

Press Release: Lake Forest, CA — Jun 11, 2014 — Nexcopy Inc., launches an all new inkjet printer for printing to USB flash drives. The USB Clip Printerâ„¢ is capable of printing full color logos on USB clips used with the popular USB swivel styled drive. The USB Clip Printerâ„¢ is targeted for small business, marketing firms and promotional companies where quick turn, full color printing is beneficial for customer service and product sales. Using the Nexcopy seven slot USB Clip Printerâ„¢ and Nexcopy inkjet printable clips, quickly and easily print full color logos in about 35 seconds.
  • Print from common jpeg and bmp files
  • Print 7 identical images or 7 different images with Nexcopy print software
  • USB clips are print ready on top and bottom
  • USB clips are available in a smooth, white, matte finish
  • Ideal for one-off samples or short and medium size print jobs
  • Printed images are instantly dry, highly water resistant and durable from scratching
  • Inkjet printable USB clips compatible with nearly all swivel USB drive styles
“The USB Clip Printerâ„¢ is an exciting product for Nexcopy to release,” says Greg Morris, President of Nexcopy Inc. “The USB7P opens doors for branding to flash drives the industry has never seen before. The printer has an aggressive price point which provides marketing firms and promotional companies a real in-house option for full color printing to USB flash memory.” printable USB clips   USB Clip Printer The USB7P is based off Hewlett Packard inkjet print technology. Hewlett Packard print technology is known for exceptional print quality and ability to closely match pantone colors when images are sent to print. Testing has shown the USB Clip Printerâ„¢ can print seven full color images in about 35 seconds. Print speed can improve with the quickest time being around 15 seconds for seven clips while printing a black only logo. “The USB Clip Printerâ„¢ gives small business a cost advantage because with an in-house print solution, there is no shipping fees associated with sending USB media to a print house. No screen costs or setup fees to pay and the per-print run cost is significantly lower than from a print shop.” Morris continues, “The USB7P is extremely easy to use. Our Resellers have pulled company logos off their client’s website, printed the image to a USB clip and it looks fantastic. The customer received their sample the following day and the client booked a large flash drive order. These are the types of examples we hope business consider when thinking about the purchase of our USB Clip Printerâ„¢.” Continue Reading

Credit Card Size Charge with USB and miniUSB

Revi Charger is a creative form factor.  The Revi power station is a cordless device which will accommodate either USB or microUSB sockets. The Revi was designed to be sleak and stylish charging unit and is available in 550mAh capacity or 1440 mAh capacity.  Retailing for $25 and $35 respectively “Since we are already funded, we were able to gather the world’s top talent to produce the Revi Charger. We want our customers to receive the biggest boost when they need it the most with no wires.” The company also has one impressive website that is easy to navigate, gather information and order. Revi Charger homepage. Continue Reading

Stand alone Windows Password Reset Tool

One of the most classic and – yet still perversely prevalent – issues IT staff face is resetting Windows passwords for users who have forgotten them (again). While remote administration has reduced the need to physically reactivate and reset passwords in most scenarios, a copy of L0phtcrack still remains in every experienced admins ‘toolbox’. Of course, having to reboot the system and use a copy of Bart PE or other portable OS’ to run L0phtcrack has a PITA factor all its own. USB key reset tool   Well, it seems that entrepreneur Jonty Lovell has done something about it as the all new – and fully funded – Password Reset Key has been designed to take the hassle out of this common issue. In fact, as long as you have physical access to the system even home owners can now reset their forgotten password within mere moments. The secret to the Password Reset Key is the fact that it combines a key shaped 1GB flash drive – available in black, stainless steel, or ‘gold’ – with a simple OS that auto-loads his custom software upon startup. Just as with L0phtcrack, with a simple click or three, you can scan, reset and even test how secure a given systems login passwords are. Because of its ‘key’ form factor, it will be hard to lose as you can simply stick on your keychain and always have it close at hand. However, be warned that this $15 – $50 device (depending on which option to choose) may get you in trouble with your IT staff as resetting the ‘administrator’ password will greatly ‘annoy’ them if they find out. Continue Reading

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