As we mentioned in our previous post about Amazon cracking down on sellers of unsafe USBs, it’s now evident that many USB Type-C cables are just plain dangerous. With incredible utility does indeed come great responsibility but manufacturers and resellers have not been prioritizing manageable temps and safe power transfers in efforts to maximize data speeds. Fortunately, USBCheck has a solution to put testing for cable integrity directly into the user’s hands.
USBCheck checks current draw when a compatible device is connected to a PC USB port and will tell you if the current draw is following appropriate USB specs and recommendations. While it’s not 100% accurate to keep up with all the devices out there, it gives a strict value which a user can then check against manufacturer power specs.
Earlier this month, tech giant IBM announced a more efficient way to use phase-change memory. This new method is a breakthrough with the potential to transition electronic devices from standard RAM and flash to the much faster and more reliable phase-change memory, or PCM. Phase-change memory is a type of non-volatile optical storage that manipulates the behavior of chalcogenide glass, the same method of data storage on rewriteable Blue-ray disks. Electric current applied to the PCM cells enables a binary modification from amorphous to crystalline structure which is the equivalent of a 0 or a 1 for the purpose of memory storage.
In the past, PCM’s limited capacity and high cost have been barriers to its widespread use but the recent discovery by IBM researchers was a way to triple the storage amount per cell. By operating the cells at high temperatures and studying the cells’ reactions, 3 bits were able to be stored per cell instead of 1. Haris Pozidis, an IBM manager of non-volatile memory research writes, ” The jump is significant because at this density, the cost of PCM will be significantly less than DRAM and closer to flash.”
As computer hardware becomes cheaper and more powerful, leaps such such as NVIDIA’s new GeForce GTX 1080 are why it has never been a better time to be a PC gamer. The rise of virtual reality and the growing 4K trend makes the power and efficiency of the GTX 1080 heavily desirable. Not only that, but with a $599 price tag and claims by NVIDIA of faster speeds than the $1000 Titan X, the GTX 1080 is an incredible value for the most powerful graphics card on the market.
Running at over 1600 MHz and with 8GB of Micron’s new DDR5X RAM, it’s a massive megahertz bump which will hopefully spur other manufacturers to do the same and mirror the performance increases of modern day CPUs. By comparison, last year’s 980 Ti card came in at 1000MHz with 6GB of standard DDR5. Most of the GTX 1080’s performance upgrade can be accredited to NVIDIA’s new Pascal architecture making its consumer hardware debut in this card. The big benefit with Pascal is its 16nm FinFET transistor technology, allowing NVIDIA cards utilizing the new style to reach higher clock speeds as well as make their cards much more power efficient.
Understanding language can be difficult from human to human, much less for machines attempting to understand the intricacies of human speech and text. Google knows this as well as anyone considering the countless queries made every hour which take a user where they need to go, even in the face of abhorrent sentence structure and unfortunate spelling mistakes. Today, Google is open-sourcing something called SyntaxNet and specifically a component for it, Parsey McParseface. With an endearing reference to the polled name Boaty McBoatface for NERC’s research vessel earlier this year, Google is releasing the tools it uses to understand natural language when typed into a box or interpreted via spoken word.
SyntaxNet is the overall framework for parsing sentences, called a “syntactic parser.” Mr. McParseface is the English language plugin for SyntaxNet. Google claims the plugin can identify objects, subjects, verbs, and other grammatical building blocks of sentences as well as, or even better than, trained human linguists.
As AI technology grows in popularity and complexity, the natural progression would then be to shrink the actual size this tool needs to function and that’s exactly what a Silicon Valley chip designer has done.
Chip designer Movidius has launched a USB stick with a supercomputer onboard, essentially taking the deep learning paradigm of artificial intelligence to the spacial efficiency of a USB drive. Deep learing involves training a computer which, as we saw with Google’s AlphaGo, can create a true force to be reckoned with. Dubbed, the “Fathom Neural Compute Stick”, the device has been designed to connect to existing systems and increase the performance of deep learning tasks by 20-30 times.
The chip maker is applying the leap to other endeavors such as helping drones avoid obstacles, and developing higher sensitivity thermal imaging. The company has also signed a deal with Google which may take their DeepMind project to new heights as well.
There have been many interesting hacks to increase the battery life of an iPhone since its release but hearing “light it on fire” has probably not been one of them. Lighting your phone on fire is still a terrible idea and should not be attempted to charge ANYTHING but a device called the FlameStower USB Fire Charger lets you harness humanities oldest discovery to power one of its newest inventions.
The FlameStower is useful when camping, and especially useful for those unfortunate times stranded on a desert island. It works by converting thermal energy to a generator which juices the phone. A blade protruding from the device is placed into the fire to get a generator going. From there, the attached phone will begin to receive power, albeit at a crawl. With the ability to charge small electronics, cameras, and flashlights as long as the device receiving charge is USB compatible.
Printers, phones, laptops, even particularly high tech coffee makers. Everything in our daily lives has a network connection to the other devices around them. By utilizing this connectivity, the USB Network Gate allows you to connect to remote USB devices over the internet and local networks as if they were directly connected to your computer.
Available for both Mac and PC, USB Network Gate allows computers to operate USB devices from virtually anywhere in the world. With Mac, Windows, or Linux based systems that call for USB security authorization, you can share access without the hassle of running a physical device between systems.
Syncing remotely can be an invaluable tool when traveling, leaving valuable storage at home or work, or to avoid the hassle of getting up and migrating to where your hardware is instead of having that data come to you. Up to 10 USB devices can be supported using the USB Network Gate.
Smartphones are not in short supply when it comes to software gadgets. Rulers, levels, and calculators are great examples for the software, but hardware extensions to our powerful devices have been scarce in recent years. Android now offers a tool which utilizes the computation, camera, and display of a smartphone for an endoscope with incredible versatility.
The endoscope can take photos, record video, and store these forms of media directly on an Android smarphone or tablet. Included with the IP67 waterproof camera are 6 adjustable LEDs which enables further aquatic synergy with the trend of waterproof phones. The endoscope is an invaluable tool for mobile drainage inspection, cost-effective intraoral camera systems, motor vehicle examination, and even home care for vents or other hard to reach spaces.
While there has been a recent push for more customizable mobile phones, most carriers offer a fairly limited of variety in the hardware customers can receive. There isn’t much a user can purchase to make their iPhone battery last longer, but the SanDisk iXpand flash drive is coming up strong as a compact solution to make the standard 16GB iPhone a little less standard.
Services like Google Photos or other backup methods through the Cloud can be useful but require a stable internet connection to save and access files. The beauty of an iPhone compatible flash drive is that it’s portable, secure, and comes with a mountain of storage space to suit an individual consumer’s needs. SanDisk’s iXpand is designed to be an iPhone companion by automatically backing up the camera roll, offering video viewing straight from the drive, and acting as a storage space for some of those bulkier applications.
The obvious size discrepancy and the not so obvious set of protocol difference between SD memory and a standard disk drive has made it difficult to utilize SD cards as a primary or even secondary storage space on a standard computer. Fortunately, converters to bridge the gap between these two types of memory have become smaller and faster to finally utilize a set of SD cards as a SATA SSD.
The 10 x Micro SD to SATA converter utilizes a RAID 0 level which increases system performance, read speeds, and write speeds. RAID setups link multiple storage mediums together for better results and hardware RAID does not use the host computer’s CPU to function. Available for $64.00, this converter is an excellent way to take advantage of the speed of Micro SD cards for a desktop.
Novomatic slots games will be soon available as USB portable version with full features due to new technology developed by Gaminator Slots ltd. This means that anyone can play the games online or offline using the portable version of the slots games. This new technology is very secured and allow players to play real money even if they are not connected to the internet. Every piece of data is saved on the USB drive and it cannot be moved, copied or modified. When the player wants to cash out the money earned during the offline play he just needs to insert the usb flash drive in a computer connected to the internet.
This is not a new idea, but it is the first time when a casino succeed to create this kind of software, fully secured and ready to be used for general public.
Right now just 3 slots games have been ported to this new technology, but in a matter of months there will be a lot of games available in this format.
You can download these 3 games on your USB flash drive from these links:
The information age heralded by our technology is proving more than capable of eroding the media blockade of regimes such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Over 250 defectors have studied at a journalist academy founded by one of their own in 2011 and they have gone on to further undermine North Korean efforts to keep its population in the dark. These subversions include going on to work for radio stations broadcasting into North Korea, writing about their homeland for media in South Korea or surrounding nations, and just recently, a defector by the name of Daniel Jeong has begun a project to smuggle 6,000 USB drives loaded with news and other media into the isolated state.