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USB Movie Kiosk – Flix On Stix

If you haven’t noticed, Red Box Movie rental kiosks have popped up all over the place.  Most notably are the Red Box’ at the grocery store, which makes perfect sense, you’re going to the store anyway, why not put a movie rental at check-out.

Movies on USB

Flix-on-Stix is looking to do the same thing, only difference is the Flix On Stix is renting your beloved movie on USB.  The concept is simple, yet peppered with problems.  Lets cover the concept first…the idea is having a user insert their USB drive into the Flix on Stix kiosk and download a movie.  Great idea…simple, convenient and assuming cheap. Look just one step deeper and you start asking yourself about transfer times.  The Flix-on-Stix is USB 3.0 enabled, but SuperSpeed flash drives have just ‘barely’ come to market, most will have USB 2.0.  So to download a low quality video will take at least 10 minutes.  Next, what kind of DRM does Flix on Stix use?  We know our USB and their is no universal USB copy protection that will work on PCs, Macs and set-top boxes…so how & where will these movies play?  The last bit is the type of movies to be offered…we know studios wont sign off on DRM that isn’t proven by CDSA [https://www.cdsaonline.org/] so after all this, I’m not sure where Flix On Stix leaves us.  What do you think? Continue Reading

PQI Now in USB 3.0 USB Drive Market

PQI introduced their first SuperSpeed USB 3.0 flash drive today, called the U339V.  The PQI 3.0 stick is available in 8GB through 64GB sizes.  As with any new technology, the performance is lagging behind the specification of performance.

PQI USB SuperSpeed 3.0

For example the smaller 8GB PQI drive shows a read speed of 55MB/s and a write speed of 10MB/s.  Verse the larger 16GB and larger sizes are more like 86MB/s read speed and 20MB/s write speed.  If you know anything about flash drives, it just means the bigger sizes are dual channel and the 8GB is single channel. Still far from the 5Gbps transfer rate USB 3.0 is suppose to offer, but once more advanced controllers come into the market, we’ll see the performance rise. The PQI drive will be available through Continue Reading

Mysterious USB Ports Show Up In NYC

A New York artist names Aram Bartholl is trying a very daring, if not crazy, art exhibit by placing USB sticks throughout New York City.  The idea is for others to share their digital life, secrets, information with others to bridge the life of digital information with that of the physical world.  So what exactly do you do?

USB in wall

Aram has placed a small collection of USB ports in public places thinking that others will connect their laptop or computer to the USB port and upload or download data to share.  I bit crazy if you ask me…you know how many viruses and key logging programs one could get?  Even with virus checking software – there are sophisticated attacks you could expose yourself too.  BUT, if you dare, connect! Currently the installation is only a five-stick preview, but Bartholl is planning to expand the operation to more sticks and more cities. Check Bartholl’s blog for coming information including “full documentation, movie, map, and ‘How to make your own dead drop’ manual coming soon!”

USB in New York

Aram – you should use USB Write Protected flash drives and share controlled data so that you’re exhibit doesn’t kill computers!  Maybe provide an upload link where you can control the data, then put the data on flash drives and write protect the stick.  Don’t know how – contact us, we’ll show you. Continue Reading

Dirty Little Secret of 32GB Flash Drives

Verbatim announced their 32GB flash drive today in the form of a USB dongle no larger than a nickel.  There is no lanyard loop and it’s damn small, so will most likely get lost if you place it in your pocket – but that is all okay.  It seems Verbatim is gunning for this product to be a permanent extension of memory for your Netbook or laptop anyway.

Verbatim USB, 32GB

However, in the event you plan to swap the 32GB stick from PC to PC there is one dirty little secret you should be aware of…it needs a DC powered USB port. In most situations and applications this isn’t a problem as the device will be connected directly to a motherboard USB port, but you’ll need to pay specific attention to dock stations or non-powered USB hubs.  To understand a little better, the device controller needs Continue Reading

64GB Will Become Common Place for USB 2.0

Samsung logo We have already seen USB sticks getting to the 64GB capacity, but it doesn’t go without some serious trouble or expense in making them.  Currently all 64GB sticks are made up of four 16GB NAND chips.  The drives are huge and far more expensive than a 1TB USB hard drive.  But this will all change… Samsung announced that it has begun mass production the industry’s first 3-bit-per-cell, 64 Gb (8 GB) MLC NAND flash chip using 20-nm-class processing.  In addition to the larger capacity, Samsung’s new NAND flash  will use Toggle DDR (Double Data Rate) 1.0 specifications, offering a 60-percent higher productivity level than the previous 30-nm-class, 32 Gb 3-bit NAND using SDR (Single Data Rate). Samsung’s chips are expected to arrive in USB flash drives, Secur Digital cards, smartphones and SSDs while replacing the current 4 GB (32 Gb) devices on the market. Samsung did not comment on time-frame; however the new devices may begin to appear in the market and offer 8 GB minimum and 64 GB maximum. Continue Reading

Hitachi Launches Hybrid Drive – Optical Drive and Solid State

With netbooks gaining popularity, the fact that no optical drive is included with the product has become a bit of an issue.  With out an optical drive, software manufacturers are forced to provide download links for the installation packages.  With very large installation packages, a download option may not be available, so vendors need to switch to a solid state device like a USB thumb drive or SD card.

Hitachi Hybrid Drive

Today Hitachi is trying to tackle this problem and provide a solution where everyone wins.  Their ODD Hybrid Drive is the solution. The ODD [Optical Disc Drive] is a combination of a solid state hard drive and optical disc drive.  Together, the hybrid drive allows the smaller netbooks and soon tablet PCs the ability to have optical accessibility.Having optical is also critical for Windows restore procedures in the event the operating system needs to be restored or repaired. The added feature of this type of hybrid drive is the speed.  Check this out, Windows 7 boots in about 29 seconds.  Starcraft 2 Battlenet loads in about 38 seconds.  Of course these numbers will very depending on your hardware setup, but it gives you an idea of performance. The report from Aving didn’t mention price, but did say the hybrid drive will become available mid Oct 2010. Source:  Aving.net. Continue Reading

HP Slate – Fiction or Non Fiction?

We’ve seen some talk about the HP Slate coming back.  It was canned several months ago, but just recently we’ve started to hear about reviews and product spotted out in the wild.  Most recently is a blog post from Engadget [source for these images]:

HP Slate

It’s well known the Slate was canceled back in March and I find it very unlikely the company would about-face yet again to re-launch the tablet PC. My theory is the guy posting video on the web, is a guy who got his hands on a prototype unit while it was in development.  The HP Slate most likely had hundreds if not thousands of prototypes made and clearly some of them have leaked into the public sector. The HP Slate shown in the video on Engadget’s site does show so interesting tips.  For example the processing time to switch between landscape and portrait.  We also like the SD and USB connectivity along with nice dock station for the tablet PC.  In our opinion, these to features alone, set it apart from the iPad product.

HP tablet PC

Of course, we’ll leave it up to you to decide. Source: Engadget [including Video clip] Continue Reading

Lenovo F360 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hard Drive

With the fast pace of our multimedia lifestyles it’s getting more important to be able to transfer or save large files more quickly.  With this future trend it’s nice to see the USB 3.0 products hitting the market in larger quantities with different product offerings.  Lenovo is introducing their first portable USB 3.0 hard drive, the F360. With the 3.0 getting integrated into more products, it’s nice to see a large industry leader like Lenovo getting on board.

Lenovo F360

The slim F360 USB hard drive is only 11 mm thick with a brushed metal surface treatment and unique etching process to give it a contemporary look.  The no screw chassis is an additional feature, which I guess, is more common these days, but still looks great.The F360 will be a 7200RPM drive and includes a new calibration chip [no info on which one] which guarantees data transfer efficiency, error correction and security to insure your data is always safe, yet accessible. Continue Reading

Windows Phone 7 Offers USB Tethering

There was a tweet about Windows Phone 7 offering USB tethering.  It first started with a claim the feature will be available, and it would be available withour the courier adding additional charges.  Unfortunately, that claim has been retracted.  However, there is still hope for USB tethering.

I think in all likelyhood, Windows Phone 7 will offer USB tethering so you can get to the internet through your phone, but it’ll be with a data plan surcharge.That’s OK by me for the moment because sometimes it’s critical to get your data while on-site or at a remote location where there just isn’t an option.  In addition, this would give WP7 a nice edge on Apple products who don’t let you tether. What do you think? Continue Reading

GetUSB Dealz: Samsung 40 Inch With USB $995

It’s not often you see a great deal on a TV which includes USB connectivity.  Granted, we are starting to see more USB ports on TVs, but it’s still not a common feature like volume or channel. The Samsung 40″ flat screen is only $995.  Normal price is $1,699 so it’s one hell of a deal.

Samsung TV with USB

What do you get when you combine Internet@TV with Auto Motion Plus 120Hzâ„¢ Clear Motion Rate technology? The Samsung LED 6500. With the two USB ports on the back it’s easy to stream audio or video to the TV and expand your limit of multimedia without needing to run network wires from your PC to the TV niche. Get the best of the web, right on your HDTV, with down-loadable and customizable widgets – and coming soon, Samsung apps. Connect to friends, share pictures, shop online and more. And the 6500 is as beautiful as it is functional, with a design that complements virtually any room in the house. The GetUSB Dealz is only available for a short time, so click it and check it, maybe it’s in your budget. Grab the GetUSB Dealz now! Continue Reading

Viewsonic With Android ViewPad and USB Port

Viewsonic is throwing their hat into the ring for tablet PCs this coming week at the IFA 2010 technology show.  The new Viewsonic ViewPad appears to be a 7 inch model with touch pad buttons running the side of the case for navigation.

ViewPad Viewsonic

There is very little information about the device but what we can glean from the image shown below there is a front facing camera and what appears to be a microphone pick-up, a headphone jack and a lovely USB port.

Viewsonic tablet

I get the felling there will be tablets everywhere this year aat IFA. Continue Reading

PS Jailbreak Sales Solution Held Up In Red Tape

PS3 jailbreakingOver the past several weeks we’ve read reports about the PS3 Jail breaking solution via USB whereby the jailbreak tricks the console into thinking it’s in debug mode and thus gives you access to the device like never before. The PS3 jailbreak would allow the use of illegal games as well as homebrew games to be played on the console.  In addition, the hack also blocked mandatory updates from Sony which could overwrite the hack and secure the device once again. Jail breaking like this is nothing new, in fact we’ve heard about it with the iPhone for [literally] years.  However, with the PS3 it was a bit different.  It was different because the PS3 has been a platform which has remained unbroken or un-hacked [if that’s a word] for nearly a decade.  That is a feat no other gaming company has Continue Reading

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