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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.

USB Zipper Cable – Great Idea

The Xpower 2 in 1 Zipper USB cable will support all micro USB and lightning devices. With its unique zipper design, it allows the cable to become expandable enough to charge more than one device at any given moment. It also supports iOS 7 and android devices. It is conveniently 36cm in length. The 2 in 1 Zipper USB cable will make multitasking much easier. The design and size make it very practical for transporting with you on the go. Its cable syncsupport is a 2.4A output at max and it has a 30/30 AWG high speed transmission and cable sync with micro UBSs only.
USB ziper cable

USB zipper cable

Source:  Brando. Continue Reading

USB Head Massage Thang

We have heard about the USB hand warmer or the USB foot warmer or even the USB eye warmer, but it appears we’ve gone one step further.  I guess if there were ever a line to draw in the sand as to much, is too much, this would be it.  Brando, a distributor of USB gadgets, now has on sale a USB head massager. For $52 US dollars you can have this goofy looking head bracket which will vibrate at your heads key acupuncture points. USB head massager If anyone ends up buying this USB head massager, please post a picture of you wearing it on our facebook page. Continue Reading

Corsair Brings USB and microUSB Stick to CES 2014

Corsair continues their reputation for high speed, high quality USB products.  This year at the CES 2014 show Corsair is showing off their new Voyager Go USB drive. Two improvements with this device: 1)  The USB includes a standard USB connector and a microUSB connector.  This addition makes it easier to store files from a portable device directly to the flash memory. 2)  The USB cap and USB body include a loop so when connected with a lanyard you no longer have the option to lose the cap.  This is the first that I’ve seen with a cap/body configuration like this…and it should have happened years ago. Corsair USB The Corsair Voyager Go USB is available as a 3.0 device in 16, 32 and 64GB capacity.  USB 3.0 can boost transfer speeds in excess of 135MB/s however we must realize this spec is not real-world environment. Corsair microUSB Source:  Corsair, CES. Continue Reading

USB 3.1 Connector, Physical Design, Universal Connector

It is all over the internet, the universal USB connector; however, it is difficult to find the physical design or look of the connector.  Most websites are posting old style 2.0 or 3.0 connectors.  From reading through the USB.org documentation, we have the following physical design specs. USB, universal connector, female   USB, universal connector, male   From the notes in the document, these designs could change, but at least we have an idea. Continue Reading

Question: CRC Verse Checksum Verification for USB Flash Drives?

Is Checksum or CRC better for checking data written to USB flash drives?

This post is to give the general user an idea of what verification method is better for writing data to a flash drive.  There are reference links at the bottom of this post which dive much deeper into the two methods of verification if this simple overview is not enough.

The short answer is Cyclical Redundancy Check or CRC is the best method for checking data written to a USB flash drive.

Many believe a checksum is the best method to verify data written to a flash drive (most popular is MD5).  I believe this is favored because it is easier to understand how the verification works, and also easier to implement.  However, there are flaws in checksum verification and therefore not suitable for verification of data written to a flash drive.

What is the difference between Checksum and CRC verification?  The checksum method uses addition in its math calculations to check whether all data was written correctly.  CRC uses long division in its math calculations to check whether all data was written correctly.  It is worth noting I am talking about binary long division, not the school-yard long division you so fondly remember.

Checksum methods will calculate the total bits in a packet of data and include that total checksum amount when the data is sent over communication lines.  The receiver will then look at the packet, read the checksum value and then perform the same calculation to make sure everything adds up.  If the calculation on the receiver’s end matches the value passed in the packet, all is good.  The problem is a high probability that somewhere between the sender and receiver the bits of data are changed, corrupted or swapped yet still turn a correct checksum value after calculation on the receiving end.

Continue Reading

Alaska Airlines adds USB Ports with Power

Alaska Airlines passengers will now be able to use their tablets, book readers, and cellphones all the way from the gate to thousands of feet in the air. Starting Nov. 9, passengers will be able to use their electronic devices on board the plane, and even use WiFi, at 10,000 feet in the air.  Alaska Airlines will start flying its first aircraft with 110-volt and USB power outlets at every seat next month. Most of the fleet will be equipped by the end of 2014. Continue Reading

Nexcopy Adds New Standalone SD Duplicators With SD Card Sanitization Features

SD duplicator, stand-alone Press Release:  Lake Forest, CA – November 5, 2013 – Nexcopy Inc., a leading manufacturer and developer of flash memory duplicators, introduces two new standalone SD Duplicator models to Nexcopy’s line of flash memory duplicators and sanitizers.  The 1-15 and 1-31 target systems offer unparalleled copy speeds to Secure Digital media with additional functions for device sanitization. Sanitization features available by the new Nexcopy SD Duplicators include full binary overwrite feature in both single pass and triple pass random write sequencing.  The proprietary triple pass overwrite method developed by Nexcopy insures all data of a secure digital card cannot be recovered or restored through forensic process. These new standalone SD duplicators by Nexcopy can sanitize multiple devices simultaneously saving IT professionals valuable time in flash memory management.  Core functions of these new systems include the binary copy process used in the popular Nexcopy USB duplicators systems.  Binary copy modes include the ability to copy bootable SD media, FAT, FAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4 and any other file format system, proprietary or public. “Pivoting from our core binary copy firmware, Nexcopy expands our technology to include Continue Reading

Peddle to the Metal with USB 3.1 Spec

The Universal Serial Buss Implementers Forum or USB-IF has released their new specification, USB 3.1.  The full spec will be available for download off the USB-IF website on Friday Aug 2, 2013.  The new specification allows for 10Gb/s transfer rate.  Of course this is optimal transfer speed without the incurrence of operating system resources trying to regulate bandwidth for multi device transfers, but none-the-less it’s a huge jump in speed for USB.

USB 3.1 cable

USB is the most versatile connector type in the computer market.  Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard developed in the mid-1990s that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices. Originally USB was specific to connect computer peripherals such as keyboards, pointing devices, digital cameras, printers and network adapters.  With the increased need for bandwidth with digital content and the faster speeds of portable storage devices and smartphones the need to increase the speed of USB has been significant. In addition the USB specification incorporated a Power Delivery or PD protocol which can deliver up to 100watts of power over a USB cable.  The PD technology must use a certified cable with the Power Delivery wiring so not all USB cables will have the PD ability.  The intent is to permit uniformly charging laptops, tablets, USB-powered disks and similarly higher power consumer electronics, as a natural extension of existing European and Chinese mobile telephone charging standards. With the increased 3.1 speeds and the power ability of 100watts per cable it appears USB has made a substantial gain in the cable of choice for manufacturers and consumers a like for connecting their peripherals to their host computers. The USB 3.1 specification is just now in development and products should come to market in the next 8-10 months. Continue Reading

USB ScanStik with Voice Notes

Planon is known for having pen-sized scanners for mobile scanning of business cards, documents, lecture notes and more.  What Planon continues to do is develop the scanning technology year after year. The company has just released it’s latest pen scanner, the ScanStik SK600V.  The V is for Voice Notes.  It’s now possible to scan from a device the size of a writing pen and include voice memos for the scanned document.  Nice. They have also added bluetooth connectivity, but apparently the “b” didn’t make it into the updated part number. You can scan at 600dpi (dots per inch) and save the file to a microSD card.  Once you are ready for download, you can connect to a host computer via USB and off-load all those trade show business cards (or competitors spec sheets of that product not yet released). Continue Reading

How To: Minecraft on USB Stick

Minecraft has taken on a life of it’s own. From 5 year old kids being obsessed with Minecraft to adults making movie trailers it’s a strange little obsession for digital lego’s that look like CAD drawings. Either way, you might find this post useful for how to make a portable Minecraft USB stick. With a portable version of Minecraft you can now play the game anywhere, school, library, work, you name it. This is how you do it: (Download Portable Minecaft rar now)
  1. Download portabal_minecraft.rar
  2. Extract Minecraft folder to Memory stick  *Need program to extract .rar file, just Google “extract rar”
  3. Open the Run.exe
  4. Log into your Minecraft account and let it update for you
  5. That’s it!
The resultant USB will have several items in the root of the USB.
  • .minecraft folder with all your assets
  • Minecraft exe file which is the program
  • Start.bin file, which generates Minecaft when you start
Did this help you? Continue Reading

(Infograph) History of Portable Storage Devices

The history of portable storage is an interesting one and starts earlier then you probably think.  Starting in 1928 the punch card is what started it all.  Like the punch music you probably remember on your grandmothers piano where the piano played automatically from the punch roll. History of Portable Storage (Infograph) – An infographic by the team at History of Portable Storage (Infograph) Continue Reading

ECCN and HS Code for USB Flash Drives

When importing or exporting USB flash drives in the United States you will want to use these ECCN and HS Codes to help with customs paperwork. The ECCN Code for a USB flash drive is:  EAR99 The HS Code for a USB flash drive is:  8523.51.0000 In the event your freight forwarder or delivery service tells you that an ECCN is needed to ship USB flash drives and is required to complete the Automated Export System (AES) or other documentation then please give them the above information and it should all work out. ECCN stands for Export Control Classification Number.  An ECCN is an alpha-numeric classification used in the Commerce Control List to identify items for export control purposes. HS Code is the  “Harmonized System” which is a 6-digit standardized numerical method of classifying traded products developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization.  The Harmonized System system (HS) forms the basis of all countries’ tariff Schedule all over the world.  Or it helps countries asses value to a product in a standardized way and by definitions all countries can agree and interpret. Continue Reading

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