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Hand Crafted Flash Drive Brings Back Tradition

Markus Bischof is a Germany craftsman who’s recently applied his skills to the creation of hand crafted USB drives. Made from extremely old wood and veneers it’s hard to believe a single tree hasn’t been (recently) cut down for it’s creation. Rather, the materials used, come from old wood collections where the wood is as hard as stone and incredibly smooth to the touch. For example some USB drives where made from an old pipe organ built in 1839 and dismantled years ago. It’s clear these materials aren’t collected from local trees but rather hand crafted and hold a historical past from the materials used.

hand crafted usb drive

The image above is a sample shot which the German Bundesumweltminister (Federal Environment Minister) ordered as a representative giveaway to the ministers of other countries. Continue Reading

The Fuggly Waterproof Mouse

Not the best looking USB mouse, but it does hold one unique characteristic…it’s waterproof.  Yep, you can now browse the web, underwater, safe and secure.  Putting some traditional yellow to signify the waterproof feature would help the look, but not by much. The redeeming quality for this USB gadget is the application in hospitals, weathered / outdoor applications or possibly chemical laboratories as the mouse is chemical resistant as well.

usb waterproof mouse

The USB waterproof mouse is sealed  with high quality silicone making it possible to clean, disinfect and even wash under water without harm or damage. So if you happen to be a pool bartender, restaurant owner of just a slob, you can pick up the waterproof mouse for $37. Continue Reading

USB 3.0 Sockets and Jacks Shape Made Public

Not to anyone’s surprise…the USB 3.0 jacks and sockets look exactly the same.  Go figure, as part of the specification is to be backward compatible.  But taking a closer look, you do see some differences.

usb 3.0 socket

The folks from Register Hardware had a peak at the USB 3.0 connectors while at CES 2008 this year.  As you can see from the image below, the USB 3.0 sockets have an additional row of connectors.  The connectors located in front are to keep the backward compatibility to USB 1.1 and USB 2.0.  The connectors placed behind this first row are for USB 3.0.

usb 3.0 socket schematic

The new USB 3.0 specification is promising transfer speeds 10 times greater than current 2.0 standards – to that of 4.7Gb/s.  There is also a fiber optics connector which hasn’t been made available yet. As the USB 3.0 specification is expected to be finalized sometime in June of 2008 – we can expect to see product following by the end of this year.  Although I am looking forward to the new, faster USB 3.0 spec, not everyone shares the same love.  Here is what some are saying: Continue Reading

35mm Slide Converter Lets You See Them Digitally

Here’s one for the select few, yet equally as interesting for those digital SLR fans. The 35mm slide and film negative scanner is your one-stop workstation for turning those old negatives into digital masterpieces.

usb slide negative scanner

The slide and negative converter will scan your old photo’s up to 1,829 DPI and easily convert them to jpeg. With USB connection the digital slide converter will quickly and easily build your family photo album into a digital copy. The slide scanner also comes with drives to work directly with Photoshop to remove pesty Continue Reading

USB Connected Fire Safe

SentrySafe is the first [I think] Safe manufacturer to include USB connectivity for external access.  We’ll get to the USB portion soon enough, but lets take a look at the physical characteristics of the SentrySafe Fire-Safe.

usb safe sentrysafe

In the picture above, I am talking about the larger two Safes in the back.  The sizes are available in 1.2 or 2.0 cu feet sizes.  Are fire resistant for up to 2 hours and can sit in water up to 8 inches.  A perfect Safe for the home or office. Now on to the USB Safe portion:  Sizing allows for 120CDs or DVDs with door pockets to hold hard drives.  In the door pocket sits USB connectivity to an external USB port.  From here, outside of safe, you have digital access to the hard drives inside.  This is a nice twist for those who need high security for their hard drives. However, and I can see it now, you need to encrypt your hard drive.  Saving your digital data physically is only half the battle.  Here is some free open source USB encryption software that’ll work great with any hard drive. As a closing note, if you have a window office spot, and the safe happens to fall out during an blaze, she’s good for a drop up to 30 feet.  Cost is $420  for the 1.2 cu ft and $520 for the 2.0 cu ft version. SentrySafe USB Fire Safe Photo Source: GizMag Continue Reading

24 Hour Fitness USB Mouse

usb exercise mouseHere is a fun way for you boss types to get a grip on productivity all the while making the work place fun. Enter the USB exercise mouse. With this – far from Mickey looking – USB mouse you can view how many words a minute an employee types. Or more appropriately a good keylogger for the kids on monitoring type skills. Although a better fit these days might be for text messaging. The USB exercise mouse is [about] $25 and available for delivery. USB exercise mouse product page. Continue Reading

Wireless Belkin 5 Port USB Hub Share’s The Love

Buy.com is currently running a special on the Belkin wireless 5 port USB hub and I thought to share the tip. Right now you can get the $100 wireless USB hub at just $79. The discounted price requires a MIR for the cash-back $20. Being able to reduce the amount of clutter in ones office, even by a cable or two, is always a noble cause. The Belkin wireless USB hub allows you to stream line your office and reduce the cable count by 5. Not bad I must say. Plus you get to share the love [wirelessly] with printers, scanners, network connections and digital cameras.

belkin wireless usb hub

Using the wireless USB hub lets other computers on your network think a printer is directly connected to a PC, so instant and reliable access from any PC to a remote or introvert printer is np.You will need a router to make this bad boy work and transfer speeds will vary by environment and distance. But for $80 it’s worth giving this wireless thing a shot. Belking Wireless Hub product page. Continue Reading

USB Surge Protector is Eco Friendly

So the USB Ecostrip is a kinda like a smart power strip for office peripherals and gadgets. The surge protector was designed to reduce energy waste. This is how it works:

usb ecostrip power strip

The USB Ecostrip plugs into the wall and the PC is plugged into the socket marked by the red arrow on the diagram. From there all other devices on the power strip are powered via the USB port connected from the surge protector to the PC. This way, when the PC is shut down all other devices are also shut down, such as your printer, scanner, modem and speakers.
“We set out to design a product that reduces energy waste, yet, allows distributors and retailers to profit from the new emphasis on this type of product,” said Bjarne Waedeled, President of Centritech Limited, Hong Kong, designer and producer of the Ecostrip. “And, because it functions like any other power strip, there is no education of the consumer required.”
The USB Ecostrip has been around since 2005 but has yet to make it into the US market. However, that’s all going to change fairly soon. USB Ecostrip Press Release Continue Reading

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