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Beware of Freebie USB Sticks; Could Have Worms

I read an article today about the growing concern of worms embedded on USB flash drives. With the popularity of UFDs it’s important to protect yourself so that viruses, worms and identity theft don’t happen to you. This new type of worm is embedded on UFDs, than automatically runs when connected to an operating system.
Computer owners should tread very carefully when plugging an unknown device into their PC as it could have malicious code planted on it.
The best way to prevent a worm or virus from entering your system is disabling the autorun file on your Operating System before connecting the USB thumb drive. Since memory prices have dropped the USB stick is a hot item for tradeshows, give-aways and direct mailers. For this reason, it’s important to protect yourself from unwanted viruses. In addition, these flash drives could become a big threat to companies as the financial motivation to obtain secure information has big payoffs. Continue Reading

Free Open Source USB Encryption Software Utility: TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt has just what you are looking for, provided you are looking for free USB flash drive encryption software utilities.
usb encryption software
The best feature of TrueCrypt is the automatic, on-the-fly, real-time encryption process. So it’s completely transparent. The other great feature is the Plausible Deniability feature which provides two levels for you.
  • Level 1: Hidden volumes. This is where a volume is created within another volume by TrueCrypt. The upper level (the one seen by a person forcing you to get the content) is filled with random data, so you can show them “Look man, there’s nothing there!”
  • Level 2: A volume appears to consist of nothing more than random data, no signature or typology what-so-ever. Therefore, it is impossible to prove that a file, a partition or a device has been encrypted.
To round out the offerings of this free USB encryption software, TrueCrypt includes a key-log which records the time and date the last time modifications were made. Such as password changes, data access or more concerning information such as last time the device was mounted in an OS, or attempted to be mounted. The only down side, which I feel Continue Reading

USB Driver Development Kit for the Non-Tech

Kithara Software has a USB toolkit for quick development of USB devices in the Windows environment. The USB driver development kit also supports the most recent, Vista OS.
usb development toolkit
The biggest claim: non-technical folks can get their hands into USB driver development with little or no previous experience with USB. Simply edit an INF file and configure the USB stack to perform just about any function you desire. Now, I’m no programmer, but have been around enough that I know nothing is quite this easy. None-the-less, with the popularity of USB, development kits such as the Kithara USB toolkit is a welcomed sign. Continue Reading

U3 Software: ZACK U3 Game

So the makers who brought you Drops just released another fun and adictive game called ZACK.
zack
Simple. Place the colored squares in the grid without getting stuck. The color of your stone must match the color to the left, right, top or bottom. You do have gray stones as jokers whereby you can place them anywhere there is a free slot. When you fill a complete row or column it’s removed from the grid. I guess one guy got so into this game, he emailed in and said:
I lost my wife because of this game. Thank you Derbrill
Not sure who to feel sorry for… Continue Reading

U3 Software: XnView a Free Graphics Editor and Viewer

XnView is now available for U3 enabled flash drives. XnView is a powerful graphics tool for viewing and converting files from one format to another.
U3 software
I would recommend this software if you’re a blogger, but have a job where there is no graphic editor software like Photoshop. Load up your U3 flash drive and edit anywhere, on any PC. I particularly like the slide show feature XnView offers. The list of features is insane long so here’s the cut-n-paste: Continue Reading

U3 Software: Beef Up Your Kids IQ with USB Math Software

The latest addition to U3 is the Junior edition of MathOwns software. Yep, now it’s possible to drill your kids via USB in their math abilities. For the competitive parent this is an ideal tool to sharpen skills based off pre-reselected criteria and math levels. Forget flash cards as the MathOwns software auto-generates exercises and provides email or PDF notification options upon completion of drills.
mathowns software u3
Sarcasm set aside, anything to make kids learn more and make it more interactive and fun is definitely a plus. I have first hand seen the interest kids have when working on computers and to have math lessons and exercises loaded on their Spongebob flash drive is a nice benefit. Continue Reading

Automatic and Simple USB Backup Utility

I came across this handy USB disk drive backup software utility the other day. Tom Bell did a nice job putting this package together. The program automatically starts when the UFD is connected to the PC. Backing up your thumb drive could never be easier.
USB backup utility
USB Backup looks for a specific configuration file – when found – it begins the auto backup. The USB backup will archive the information to a directory of your choice. If the config file isn’t found on your UFD then a simple guide will walk you through setup. Get USB Backup. The utility is in Beta now, so download and give him feedback. The back story for why Tom created this: Continue Reading

Zune Hack: Run Zune on Vista

My buddy purchased a Zune a couple days ago and learned it didn’t work with his Windows Vista. He did figure out how to run the Zune on Windows Vista. A little digging around he came up with the following article, thought to pass it along.
Run Zune on Vista
Before you start be sure you have the Zune CD, WinRAR (if you don’t have it, grab a trial version) and a this Zune.msi install patch (here *requires log-in on forum). There are 10 steps to this process and please don’t plug in your Zune until prompted to by the Zune software. Instructions: Continue Reading

U3 Software: Backup Software, BackUp4All

Softland jumps onto the U3 momentum and offers a portable backup solution, Back Up 4 All. One feature which caught my eye, is the ability to preconfigure a UFD to auto-backup upon plugin to a host computer.
backup4all backup u3 software
BackUp4All can also back up locked files and perform full, partial or mirror backups. Softland mentions you can also set filters and review which files changed between the current back and the previous. If you are like the other 90% of computer users, backing up once a month will do the trick, but if you’re a U3 junkie or simply want to be better prepaired, grab Back Up 4 All. Source: U3, Download BackUp4All Continue Reading

MagicJack the Magic Phone Jack

UPDATE: The MagicJack phone jack received Product of the Year in 2007. After the purchase of the MagicJack USB dongle (about $40) you pay a one time fee of $19.95 per year for unlimited calling. Not $19.95 per month BUT $19.95 per year. This will reduce your phone bill to just $20 a year! The MagicJack phone is available at Amazon. Review: GetUSB.info reviews MagicJack, the Magic Phone Jack.
MagicJack is a convenient USB dongle with phone jack attached to it. By connecting your regular phone to the MagicJack phone port, you can now make free calls anywhere within the US for free. If traveling in Canada, Mexico, UK, China, Italy and Israel then you can call home (USA) for free.

magicjack voip usb dongle

MagicJack is a VoIP service which doesn’t have phone charges but rather an upfront cost for the USB dongle. No pricing yet, but it does provide not only free calling using your regular phone, but includes Continue Reading

How Popular Is U3 Software

Yesterday GetUSB.info reported on Kingston giving U3 the axe and their decision to stop selling the portable application bundled into Kingston UFDs. Interestingly enough, part of that announcement indicated sales for U3 devices are lack-luster and demand for U3 drives aren’t high enough to offset the royalty fee associated with platform.
u3 popularity
However, as the story broke, GetUSB.info just finished their latest USB Poll on “Do You Own a Flash Drive With U3 Software?” The results concluded that 64% of GetUSB.info readers have U3 drives, where as the balance do not. Seems to us, there are some mixed numbers. Continue Reading

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