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Microsoft to release patch for USB power drain

Several weeks ago GetUSB heard that external USB 2.0 devices may cause certain notebook computers to consume power excessively. In the interest of tracking down the source of the problem, Tom’s Hardware Guide worked with engineers from both Intel and Microsoft. Through their extensive collaborative research, they reported that an Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) driver in Windows XP Service Pack 2 is the sole cause of the unusually high power drainage observed by all three teams. Today, Microsoft confirmed that it is developing a new patch to fix this particular driver bug, whose nature is somewhat different of those addressed by earlier Microsoft Knowledgebase postings. Source of full story by TGDaily.

Microsoft posts fix for USB power drain plug.

Microsoft has posted a fix for a driver flaw that prevented owners of Windows XP Service Pack 2-based notebooks from taking advantage of power-saving sleep states.

Download is here.

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Atmel adds USB and OTG to it’s MCU family

Atmel, a global leader in semiconductors, announced USB and OTG (On-The-Go) in the AT90USB family. Several products in the AT90USB line have USB interface for applications needing to communicate with USB host. The AT90USB1287 and AT90USB647 comply with the USB OTG standards for use as both host or device. The USB host capability is key to embedded devices needing to communicate without PCs, a good example of this would be transfer of data between two devices without a computer, i.e. from camera to printer for On-The-Go productivity. Engineers; click on image for more details.

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Fiat and Microsoft present Blue&Me

Windows Automotive and Fiat are poised to unveil a new in-car technology via USB called “Infotainment.” This Bluetooth based technology will interact with hand held devices like phones, PDAs, GPS systems and other communication devices. Connection is made from a hardwired USB port located in the glove box to the internal car system. Voice activated features, like reading SMS messages, playing MP3 files and more

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Sushi USB Key – Is it a catch?

With so many USB flash drives on the market the Japanese company, Solid Alliance, has tipped the scales by making Sushi designed key drives. Sure to have been a lunch-time idea, we see a variety of sushi available. Maybe the perfect gift – maybe not. Appears the storage capacities range from 32MB to 128MB. At this time GetUSB could not find a US supplier but did find the Solid Alliance Shop in case you’re interested.

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Intel-based Macs have Keyspan support

Keyspan announced support for Intel-based Macs with its line of USB serial adapters and remote controls. The software is available for download from Keyspan’s Web site. The updates include new versions of the software for Keyspan’s serial adapters, USB Server, infrared remote controls, and the Easy Presenter and USB PS/2 Adapter. Continue Reading

Home theater in your back pocket by Turtle Beach

RoadieTurtle Beach announces it’s release of the “Roadie” portable surround sound system.  Smaller then a deck of cards, this guy packs a host of features.  Connecting to PC or Laptop via USB, the Roadie transforms computer sound into 5:1 or 7:1 theater sound.  Digital singal processing provides a stereo 10-band EQ with ambience control for full, dynamic sound and independent 10-band EQs for each speaker making it possible to adjust speakers and even delay for a custom surround sound feel.  We see this as a great application for business man wanting an elaborate presentation, college kids who study and game or perfect for the home gaming enthusiast or music buff.  List of $79.95 but we found it less.

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SanDisk partners with Safend

The collaboration between SanDisk and Safend ensures that data stored on corporate laptops and desktop PCs can be securely transferred to SanDisk TrustedFlash(TM) devices. TrustedFlash is a highly secure technology being built into SanDisk mobile flash memory cards and USB flash drives. It combines SanDisk’s 32-bit controller architecture with an embedded high-performance cryptographic engine provided by Safend, providing real-time encryption and tamper-resistant data protection. As a secure platform that is transparent to the consumer, TrustedFlash is ideal for safeguarding information and supporting secure value-added applications. Continue Reading

Palm certifies mVox MV900 speakerphone

The mVox MV900 is a portable and true hands-free speakerphone with DSP voice processing technologies together with speaker independent voice dialing. Now certified to work with Palm Treo 700w and Treo 650 it is the ideal communication solution for mobile professionals using it with Bluetooth cellular phones or with computers to make conference calls via Voice over IP such as Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo IM, and DialPad. With voice activated speed dial and the industry’s smallest, clearest, and loudest speakerphone with 120dB peak volume it’s acceptance from Palm is a stamp of approval for it’s design and performance. Continue Reading

Review: EZDigiMusic MP300 – PC-less MP3 ripper

One of the necessary evils of migrating from aCD player to a digital music player is the tedious process of extracting music from already owned CDs. Sure, anyone with a computer can use one of the available music extraction software programs, many of which are free. But for those that don’t have access to a computer, or that don’t want to tie up their computer system resources while “ripping” CDs, there is another option. EZPnP is perhaps best known for their EZDigiMagic CD Burner, a standalone device which removes files such as digital photos from memory cards, and then burns that data to a CD. They have now introduced the EZDigiMusic MP300 which basically does just the opposite. Instead of copying data from a memory card to a CD, it copies music files from a CD and converts them to MP3 files which are then placed directly on a memory card or onto a connected USB enabled flash memory device.

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E-Paper meter for USB flash drives

Lexar e-paper flash driveThe folks over at GizMag gave us a little tip Lexar gave out. The storage specialist, Lexar Media, released a preview of one of its products that we think will be a winner a USB flash drive with a unique storage capacity meter to its popular drives by integrating an innovative electronic paper display from E Ink Corporation. The E Ink display is a paper-thin, shatter proof, easy-to-read meter that’s non-volatile in that it does not rely on power to show the capacity information when disconnected from the computer. The Lexar JumpDrive Mercury will be the first USB flash drive to feature the on-board non-volatile smart capacity meter that will let customers easily monitor their available storage capacity. No pricing or availablity dates where given at time of article post. Continue Reading

Calculator becomes 10 Key touchpad via USB

So you have limited space on your desk and enough gadgets to fill your closet. You still need a calculator for those tough commission check calculations but also need a 10 key numeric touchpad because your laptop is miserable for inputting numbers, well ThinkGeek has the answer. This convenient device is a standalone calculator which also transforms into an input numeric device via USB. Expandable cord and full size buttons. Runs about $35.

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SanDisk announces gaming USB drive

The SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire is especially designed for the hardcore gamer. Running from the U3 platform a player can view interactive game content, save game levels, check out previews and launch games directly from the Crossfire. With Xbox 360 already having USB ports and Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo to follow in their next console release the Cruzer Crossfire can be used in a variety of ways.

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