In a battle that is so ancient most no longer consider it an issue, Microsoft has gone away with the safe removal for USB flash drives. The original suggestion by Microsoft was to eliminate data lose if a user removed the drive before properly ejecting it.
Nine out of ten times you wouldn’t lose data, unless a large file was being transferred, but it’s nice to see Microsoft adjust to user habits.
The update which includes this change is Windows 10 v v1809. If you are not sure the Windows version you have, simply right click the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen and select “System“
From the resultant page, you can view the version of your OS.
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
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.
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
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.Â
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.
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.
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 dockâ€™s USB fast-charge and sync port. Plus, the always-on port supports device charging even when your laptop isnâ€™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.
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)
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
Yes, there are million flash drives in the market. This one is a bit clever don’t you think? Buy the 4GB drive off Urban Outfitters. Create your own multimedia message with audio, video or text and save it to this flash drive. Throw it into the ocean and see what happens.
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 birdâ€™s nest would be created with all those cables!