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BlurPort Is Gate Keeper For Your USB Things

BlurPort is putting a cool twist to securing your USB devices.  From flash drives to hard drives BlurPort has you covered. The product can be found (and funded) on Kickstarter right now.  The concept is the BlurPort device is an 8GB stick…but it’s more.  The BlurPort uses a multi-factor authentication method to unlock your digital content.  Meaning you need the knowledge of the password and you need a physical device to act as the token.  What is the physical device you ask?  Simple:  your smartphone. The BlurPort app on your phone will offer many different ways to authenticate yourself, from facial recognition and eye scanning to NFC tokens, even pattern trace passwords. So who wants another 8GB flash drive…well the BlurPort can also grant access to your USB hard drive and other storage devices.  By removing the tail end of the BlurPort you now have a female USB socket for connecting another USB peripheral.  This is where we believe the product is very unique.  The BlurPort (now you can understand the name) is the gate-keeper for all your USB devices.  It’s the digital road block to access and only your dual authentication will grant access. Work flow after the jump: Continue Reading

Ajay Bhatt Inventor of USB, Nominated

One of the most underrated and overlooked advancements in personal computers is the USB port.  The USB protocol has given countless device makers, cable manufacturers and peripheral innovators the ability to quickly and easy connect their products to a host computer.  It has finally been recognized that Ajay V. Bhatt and his team are getting the praise they deserve with the nomination of the European Inventor Award in the non-European Countries category. It may not be as well known on this side of the Atlantic, but the European Inventor Award is highly regarded and considered the “Oscar” of the technology award. By nominating Bhatt and his team for their amazing efforts to bring about “one of the most revolutionary advances in computing since the development of the silicon chip”, Europe is finally taking steps to give these inventors the credit they so rightly deserve. While we may take it for granted, the PC industry was a mess back in 1997 and installing a new device – be it a mouse, camera, printer or even storage – was not as simple as plugging in a standard cable and installing a few drivers. Thanks to Bhatt’s leadership, this all changed and now consumers can be almost assured of interoperability between peripherals and the operating system. Since 1997, over 10 billion USB devices have been shipped and we are not exaggerating when we say that entire markets owe their existence to the lowly USB standard. Hopefully, on May 28th Bhatt Continue Reading

Weight Management System via USB Fork

In what is easily one of the strangest weight loss ideas we have seen in a long while comes word of a new Kickstarter project called the HAPIfork. The USB HAPIfork or Happy Fork is a smart fork which can track how fast you are eating and make recommendations on how fast you should be eating. Simply put, most people eat their food way too fast which can lead to digestion problems, acid reflux and even weight gain. The HAPIfork can break you of this bad habit as it will tell you when you are eating too fast via gentle vibration. As time goes by, you will naturally change your eating pace and not only potentially lose weight but also learn to enjoy your food more. Best of all, you can track all your meals and eating habits on your computer or Android device – via a free included app – as the HAPIfork will come with integrated Bluetooth and USB 2.0 connectivity. Where this is a wireless electronics device you will also have to plug it into a free USB 2.0 port from time to time to recharge, but this is also a great time to download your data from your HAPIfork. If you think you could benefit from such a device, you should rush over to Kickstarter and make a pledge. Expect to pledge $99 if you want to actually get one when they are made. Though with such a high asking price, you will need to be very dedicated to eating healthier. Continue Reading

Gadgeteer Loves USB Power Now on Alaska Airlines

Question:  Would you take a slimmer seat cushion (thus less space) to gain USB power? If your answer is yes, then Alaska Airlines has you covered. Alaska announced last week that the new seats, manufactured by German company Recaro Aircraft Seating, will also include 110-volt socket AND USB power outlets on the seat back in front of every passenger.  To date, the company has installed the slim seats with USB sockets on seven new planes and plans to have them on 75% of its fleet of 125 planes by the end of 2014. Initial response from customers Continue Reading

USB To Kick Into High High Gear

You can’t help to think Apple’s push for Thunderbolt has something to do with the latest announcement from the USB-IF…in that transfer speeds via USB will double what the USB 3.0 specification currently is.  If development can stay on target, this increased speed should be seeing implementation by end of 2014. The new specification will run with USB 3.0 sockets and connectors; however, will require new wire setup for the cables. It is expected to see the faster USB spec in PCs, adapter cards and hard drives, but will take significantly longer to reach mobile devices and tablets.  As it stands now, USB 3.0 is just gaining momentum as a standard socket in PCs and mobile devices should start seeing 3.0 connectors in late 2013.   Continue Reading

Flash Memory – Supply and Demand

In recent weeks the cost of flash memory has increased substantially.  The commodity product, is for the most part, a stable consumable with pricing that fluctuations in single digit percentages.  However, lately the prices have increased between 10-30%.  As with any product there are variables which contribute to price and the following information might help explain why flash memory is getting more expensive. The two largest manufacturers of flash memory (NAND memory) are Samsung and Toshiba.  Together they account for about 70% of the world’s flash.  These companies produce a wide variety of flash memory models and the factories have various levels of quality for the output of their product. Typically the high performance memory that gets the best test ratings is sold to large consumers like Apple, Nokia and Sony.  As the ratings for the speed of the memory drop, these variants get pushed into the low-end market segments, such as USB drives and inexpensive MP3 players and other promotional gadgets. In Q3 2012 Toshiba made an announcement they will reduce world wide production by 30%.  Since this time, flash pricing has remained stable and has not decreased in cost. With the on-going patent battles between Apple and Samsung the Cupertino based company made a decision Continue Reading

Microsoft Foils USB Hack In Latest Windows Update

When a USB stick is connected to a PC the Windows operating system enumerates the device.  In simple terms, this means Windows will check to see what type of device was just connected, a HID device, Mass Storage Devicet etc, it will also check the speed of the device. During the enumeration process some registry entries are made into the Windows registry…this is where a hacker could get into your system and take control.  This is the update Microsoft issues earlier this week to fix the security flaw. Since the vulnerability is triggered during USB enumeration, no user intervention is required. In fact, the vulnerability can be triggered when the workstation is locked or when no user is logged in, making this an unauthenticated elevation of privilege for an attacker with casual physical access to the machine. Other software that enables low-level pass-through of USB device enumeration may open additional avenues of exploitation that do not require direct physical access to the system. So be sure to update your PC with the update notification comes through – it’s in your best interest. Full Microsoft article Continue Reading

Dell USB Project Called Ophelia

If you haven’t heard,DELL is looking to buy back it’s public shares and go private.  Why you ask?  Going private would allow them to make quick and swift changes with in the company to re-invent itself.  Currently the never-ending demands of the stock holders and investors ties their hands in freedom to create as they wish. DELL, so it is said, started a new code project call Ophelia.  The project is turning a USB key into a portable desktop.  The USB would have the ability to access online software tools and operating systems.  The USB solution from Ophelia will still require a hardware setup (someone’s PC) so think of it as a USB stick high-jacking the processor, RAM, motherboard, video controller etc to run it’s own OS. We’ve seen things like this from smaller, start-up companies,  but DELL has the ability to really make this main stream.  The rumor on target price is $50 US Dollars. I for one believe the ability to high-jack another PCs hardware doesn’t warrant it enough to be more then a complimentary tool to one’s main PC.  Now if DELL can high-jack the Continue Reading

Best USB Steampunk Flash Drives for 2012

What is it about USB steampunk flash drives?  Am I the only one with a keen interest in showing off these hand crafted USB drives?  Could it be the material used which draws my attention?  Could it be the fine detail of each device which peaks my interested?  Could it be the impressive number of hours required to make each piece?  I’m not sure, but I could flip through pages and pages of these USB steampunk drives. For 2012, here are the top 12 styles.  There is not particular order as each person will favor their own, but you will agree these are probably the 12 most unique designs you’ve seen the past twelve months. steampunk USB steampunk USB steampunk USB Continue Reading

“Spendy” $1,000+ Flash Drive

If you look up ambiguous in the dictionary [or wiki page] you’ll probably find a picture of a USB flash drive.  After all, aren’t they?  Not with standing, Zana Design has put craft, materials and resource to the limit with their Apophis meteorite flash drive. Of course, just being made with a meteorite seems like enough, but no, it also comes with a high-purity diamond embedded in it. The drive also incorporates African Black Wood, which is considered a rather high quality material. As far as the actual thumb drive is concerned, it’s USB 3.0-compatible, and comes with 64GB of internal memory. It also has a lifetime warranty, so at least you know if anything goes wrong with your ultra-expensive drive, you will be able to get it replaced. The device comes in two different flavors. Both have the diamond and meteorite, but the cheaper version also features silver and will set you back $1,130. The more expensive 18C gold model will set you back $1,990. My buddy made the comment:  Continue Reading

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