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StarTech USB 3.0 & 4K DisplayPort Dock Station

The USB 3.0 / 4K display and dock station is ideal for the Bring Your Own Device work environment (BYOD).

Assuming you have a limited port laptop computer the StarTech dock station can expand your laptop screen and extend out to a 4K video feed needed. It doesn’t stop there with USB 3.0 port connectivity, and Ethernet connection.

The front side of the dock station also includes a USB charging port. You can avoid the inconvenience of a dead battery and make sure your mobile device is always ready to go, using the dock’s USB fast-charge and sync port. Plus, the always-on port supports device charging even when your laptop isn’t connected to the dock.

The dock station can act as a charging station unplugged as well, making it a very portable solution. A good fit for this product would be home-office where the work space is not that large, or class room where the budget isn’t there for a complete work station and a BYOD situation best applies.

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The USB is Write Protected: Why?

USB write protected means the USB cannot be written to. But why?

There are really only two reasons why a USB stick is write protected.

#1 The USB is corrupted in some way and is no longer working properly. It’s actually very easy to destroy a USB stick and the most common way is sending multiple write threads to the device. So for example, you decide to copy a bunch of files form your computer to your USB stick. While that data transfer is going on, you give another request to write data to the flash drive. If the second request doesn’t write protect the USB, then try sending a third command, all at the same time of course, and this will certainly write protect the drive.

#2 The USB is write protected by design. Meaning the content owner (person who put data on the drive) made the stick read only. Read only is another way of saying write protected.

USB Write Protectedv

How you make a working USB stick write protected is sending a

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Question: Format a Flash Drive as exFAT or NTFS?

Most of the time formatting a flash drive is a very simple decision. There are only two situations where you should take consideration on what format to use. Here are the details:

Note: This article is focused towards Windows and Mac operating systems.

The file formats available for a flash drive are:

  • FAT (also called FAT16)
  • FAT32
  • exFAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS (Mac only)

Flash drive manufacturers format a drive as either FAT or FAT32. Any device of 2GBs or smaller will be formatted as FAT and any USB over 2GBs will be formatted as FAT32.

exFAT, USB

These two formats are the best file system for removable drives like flash drives because they support the quick disconnect function and chances are very slim you will destroy the device or files if you unplug the USB without using the Eject function (in Windows) or Un-mount function (in Mac).

The one huge limitation with FAT and FAT32 is the single file size limitation. If a single file is larger than 2GBs you need to have the device as FAT32. If you have a single file bigger than 4GBs then you must use NTFS or exFAT. Typically these large files are either video files or restore image files (for restoring a computer operating system from a single image file).

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Trained Dogs to Sniff Out SD Cards and USB Sticks

USB stick, dog

Police dogs have yet another smell they must detect. Tactical Detection K9 company now trains dogs to sniff out SD cards and USB sticks. The training is in response to better assisting law enforcement in child pornography investigations.

The percentage of a dog’s brain which is devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times greater than humans. For example, humans can detect about 5 million scents and a German Shepherd can detect around 225 million smells.

In a recent investigation a dog was used in the FBI raid of the home of the former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle in Hancock County, Indiana.

What could take investigators hours to find an SD card or USB stick in a house would take a trained dog considerably less time, probably no more than 30 minutes.

According to Tactical Detection K9 it took scientists over four years to isolate the odor associated with memory devices. Now that a specific odor has been identified it takes 8-9 months for a dog to be trained in picking up that scent.

A dog which can sniff out SD and USB sticks can cost upwards of $9,000.

Source: IB Times and Dummies.com .

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Lenovo USB Compu-Stick

Computers on a stick will begin to gain popularity over the next two years. Lenovo is the most recent to offer a compu-stick. The Ideacentre 300 Stick is a 2GB of RAM computer with an Intel Atom Z3735F processor (2M cache + 1.83 Ghz) and runs Windows 8.1.

The Compu-Stick can be plugged into any computer and when you reboot, the hardware now uses the OS of the compu-stick.

compu-stick, usb

Alternatively you may connect the device to a TV and sync a keyboard and mouse and now you have a fully functioning PC with your TV as the monitor.

This is a great step in the right direction as all technology will move towards solid state memory. The Lenovo product has 32GBs of memory which is fine for a first generation product. If they can house a microSD slot in there for expanded memory, it would be an inexpensive solution to a possible data storage problem.

The only caveat left is that unless true Grade A memory is used in these devices the data retention and stability is the week point. With Grade A NAND memory you have a re-write of about 100,000 cycles. SLC memory will help this issue and improve reliability.

Reports indicate the Compu-Stick will run about $150.

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