In case the recent rash of 128GB and 256GB USB drives are not enough for you Intel and Micro have developed a 34nm NAND Flash chip that allows them to squeeze another bit into each cell. This is a roughly 50% increase in density as current cells only allow for 2 bits.
the advent of the 34nm process will also allow for lower power needs and a smaller foot print for the actual drives.
However, there is a small problem, it seems that packing in the extra bit has lowered the cells reliability. This not something that you look at lightly. Still according to Intel and Micron the new chips are more than reliable enough for USB drives but not quite there for SSDs.
So be on the lookout for 1TB USB keys soon.
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Remember the apocalypse SMS flaw that we told you about the other day?
Well there is a rumor that Apple is so concerned that they are going to release a patch out of cycle.
This rumor comes from O2 the iPhone's UK carrier. If the information they are providing is accurate this new patch will be available on iTunes this weekend.
Of course there is no word if this is a standalone patch (3.0.1?) or if they are going to bump up the release of 3.1. We know that 3.1 should be in the final days of its Beta run so it is entirely possible that Apple is just bumping up the time line for release. After all they can run minor bug fixes after the fact, but this SMS flaw is so major that they really have to do something now.
So what do you get the Geek who has everything? Normally I would say a date with a real girl but barring that I would say that a 49 port USB hub would about cover it.
Yes, you read right. There actually is a USB hub with a full 49 ports on it. The device is being made by Cambrionix and is selling under the inspired name of "49 Port Professional USB Hub." And can be picked up for around $650 US dollars.
It is actually being marketed as a development and testing hub (which makes sense really) and appears to be a useful tool for mass testing of USB flash drives.
For the consumer or super geek this is perfect for all those USB keys you might have laying around. You will need a full ATX-2 Power supply to make everything work. But you will be the envy of all the other geeks on your block.
There is a bit of news today that Clearwire has managed to grab another city for its 4G network. The city in question is none other than Sin City, Las Vegas.
The new WiMAX enabled service has gone live for roughly 1.7 Million residents. The new wireless service brings broad band speeds to wireless networking. Clearwire hopes to have 80 markets by the end of next year.
Starting on August 1st Clearwire will offer a Dual Mode USB dongle that will allow PC users to use the expanded speeds of the 4G network. Apple users will have to wait until the 17th.
Meanwhile Samsung dropped its new 4G (WiMAX) enabled handheld device the Mondi. This is, according to Samsung, the most advanced wireless hand held available today.
Despite the bad news that SATA 6G might not hit the retail shelves until after September we do have some good news. It looks like we might see some new USB 3.0 boards hitting the market soon.
A picture of what is supposed to be an Asus P6X58 is floating around the Internet showing off tow of these high-speed ports. The chip behind them is the NEC µPD720200.
The new ports are blue instead of black (I wonder how that will work on the boards that have been making USB ports Yellow).
As of right now there are no available USB 3.0 devices but once there are more boards out that support the standard the devices will start hitting the shelves.
Interestingly the pictures also show SATA 6Gbps, but there is no mention on if this is using the same Marvell controller that is being removed from the P55 boards or now.
Take a look here
While searching around I stumbled across this little bit of news on how the EU is planning to revamp its rules for internet downloads. Now, thinking about the way that most governments handle any kind of technology questions I thought this would be something very funny to read and might while away a few minutes with a nice grin at the end.
This was not the case, as I started to read what I found was that, for a change, this could be something good. In the article it stated that the growing prevalence of Internet Piracy represented "a vote of no-confidence in existing business models and legal solutions. It should a wake-up call for policy makers,"
This is a staggering statement as it is exactly what most "casual pirates" rant about time and time again.
If this is not more political posturing it is possible that a "best of both worlds" solution could finally hit the EU. This would be a situation where both the consumer and the content creator can benefit. Perhaps in the process they can throw in a bone for the original content creators, out of the content distributors share of course.
More information here
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Sugar Labs, the open sourcerer which came up with the software for One Laptop per Child's (OLPC) little laptop has now announced it has bunged its OS onto a USB stick which can be used on any old computer. Literally.
Sugar on a stick, as it's being called rather sweetly, can be run directly from a 1GB USB drive, giving kids a veritable candy mountain of collaborative educational software to play with. The stick, unwrapped at the LinuxTag conference in Berlin, aims to sugar coat the market with free software, according to its Sugar Labs developers, who only recently broke off from OLPC.
The kid friendly OS which was originally made for just OLPC's little XO lappies, boasts 40 programmes including a word processor, drawing application and games. The user interface is designed especially to push children towards collaborative learning, meaning it makes it easy for them to share docs on different machines and work on them together. Another kid friendly feature is the fact Sugar automatically backs up and saves all data, whilst simultaneously logging every action in a journal.
Despite a few sticky moments in XO's history (the little lappie was originally supposed to cost just $100 but still costs double) the little portable has purportedly been used by over a million kids worldwide, many in the developing world. As if that wasn't enough to make it addictive, Ubuntu and Fedora Linux systems also demonstrated a sweet tooth for the OS and bundled it with their own releases.
Now, in stick format, the OS can be used on any computer; Linux machines, as well as Macs and Windows PCs. Ironically, it has also been demonstrated on XO's rival, the Intel Classmate PC and Sugar labs says the software can be downloaded for free from the organisation's website.
Patriot Memory has announce a new addtion to the Xporter Magnum flash drives, the 128GB model.
Patriot is the only one on the market with a 128GB flash drive and it is the largest that is available. Patriot says that the drive is capable 31Mb/s read speeds but does not say how fast the drive is capable of writing. Since it connect through USB, you can be sure that it is no faster 40MB/s and would certainly take quite a while to fill up.
Patriot makes no mention of availability or price in their press release and no information is available from their website about the 128GB XPORTER Magnum drive either. They did however provide a picture with a part number, description, and UPC instead of a picture of the new drive.
Patriot's innovation has made it possible for users to have unmatchable capacity for storing, transporting and securing large amounts of data. Thanks to Patriot's Magnum series, never before has it been so easy for users to make portable libraries of their favorite movies, TV shows, entire CD music collections and important data; anything the consumer wants to make portable and mobile. At 128GB of storage capacity and the largest USB on the market, the Magnum not only delivers on being the biggest, but also the fastest; producing an amazing 210x read speed or equivalent of 31MB/s data transfer rate.
Kingston has done something pretty impressive. They have launched the first ever 128GB USB flash drive. This impressive new drive is part of the DT200 family and features a capless design, ReadyBoot compatibility, Password Traveler software for Windows, and a $546 price tag.
If that high of a price puts you off your lunch you can still get the DT200 in 32 and 64GB flavors and not miss your rent. Due to its high manufacture cost the 128GB DT200 will be a made to order product.
If you need the biggest USB key out this might be your thing.
Read more here.
"The new DT200's robust storage capability lets consumers store complete libraries of music, photos and videos. It is also a great tool for business users who carry around large databases or files," said Andrew Ewing, USB business manager, Kingston®. "The password protection helps safeguard data and requires no admin rights, making the DT200 a terrific solution for the home or office."
The Kingston DataTraveler 200 features a capless design to protect the USB connector when not in use and is enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost™. It is available in 32-, 64- and 128GB capacities. The 128GB drive is build-to-order only. Customers who wish to purchase it can place an order through normal channels (e.g., e-tailers or resellers).
Well the future of HDMI is out as the complete skinny on HDMI 1.4 hits the streets.
According to the news at VRZone we are looking at compatability with 4k and 2k a complete Ethernet channel, audio return, 3D support, broader color range and of course...new connectors.
Now I love new technology and better support from it, I do get annoyed when I have to replace everything to get them.
Read more here.
The following are enhancements that will be brought to the new specification.
HDMI Ethernet Channel
Adding a data channel to the HDMI cable and will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature will be able to send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet.
Audio Return Channel
An Audio Return Channel will reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio upstream for processing and playback. In cases where HDTVs are directly receiving audio and video content, this new Audio Return Channel allows the HDTV to send the audio stream to the A/V receiver over the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for an extra cable.
3D Over HDMI
The 1.4 version of the specification will define common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices. The specification will standardize the input/output portion of the home 3D system and will specify up to dual-stream 1080p resolution.
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NEC has introduced the world's first USB 3.0 host controller, the µPD720200.
The new host controller supports the finalized SuperSpeed USB standard, allowing for transfer speeds up to 5Gbps and is fully backwards compatible with all previous USB standards.
NEC says that they will agressively market the host controller and expects a very rapid expansion in 2010. NEC also plans to offer a range of related products by incorporating USB 3.0 communications in various applications specific ICs.
The µPD720200 host controller is expected to be available sometime in June and will cost US$15. In September, NEC expects to ramp up production to 1,000,000 units a month.
With its high-speed transfer capability, the µPD720200 host controller makes it possible to expand the boundaries of digital appliances such as PCs, digital TVs, and DVD recorders. The new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 chip from NEC Electronics requires only 70 seconds to transfer 25 Gb of video content on a blu-ray disc, compared to 14 minutes to transfer the same content when using the high-speed USB 2.0 with 480 Mbps transfer capability. This enormous increase in transfer speed will enable system designers to transfer large-volume data quickly and without stress and develop a new generation of high-performance consumer electronic products.
USB is the next-generation interface standard used in a wide range of electronic devices including PCs and PC peripherals. Originally designed as an interface for relatively low-speed computer peripherals, USB made it possible to connect keyboards, mice, and other devices with the same USB standard cables. Later, version 2.0 of the standard defined a high-speed transfer mode that made USB a practical and popular interface for devices such as digital televisions, digital cameras, and DVD recorders. USB version 3.0 builds on this success by offering a ten-fold increase in speed, for stress-free transfers of large volumes of data.
I love it when a plan falls apart in pieces leaving you more confused than before...Um or something like that.
At least that is the way I feel after seeing the new HDMI 1.4 spec and cables. Yes that is right cables plural. You see there are two of them, one high data rate and a low data rate.
The new spec offers some great features though, connection with other HDMI Ethernet connection devices, Internet over the TV (with the right parts inside of course) better audio and video handling.
I just am not sure about the need for multiple cables…
Read more here
The 100Mbps data deal happens through HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) which will let internet-connected TVs share internet with other HEC devices through the HEC-enabled HDMI port. In other words, internet through HDMI ports, if it's got the right brand mojo. There's also easier audio streaming, and Automatic Content Enhancement will automagically optimize the picture based on the type of content, besides already being ready for future 3D video stuff.
Microsoft has made a last minute change to Windows 7 in an effort to try and increase security even more. This time around they have removed the AutoRun feature for most USB drives.
This will hopefully prevent malware from tricking users into running an application, at least that is Microsoft's intent. All USB drives won't be affected however. Drives that use specialized software such as U3 will still continue to show up as DVD drives, thus allowing them to still utilize AutoRun.
Microsoft has managed to squeeze this change into the release candidate that it will make available to the public next week as well as the version that is going out to developers this week. They are also planning on making the change available for XP and Vista users, although it is unclear as to whether Microsoft will offer the change as a hotfix or a patch.
Fixed removable media, such as CDs and DVDs will still be able to use AutoRun. Also, some specialized "smart" USB flash drives such as those containing U3 software will still be able to appear as DVD drives, effectively allowing them to also use AutoRun, Microsoft cautioned.
The AutoRun functionality has been blamed for malware that has infected USB thumb drives, leading to a temporary ban on their use at the U.S. Defense Department, and digital photo frames, among other storage types.
Microsoft detailed additional security features in Windows 7 during the RSA security conference last week.
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While many are satisfied with the current USB 2.0 standard, the need for USB 3.0 is here and many are eagerly awaiting its arrival. Nordic Hardware says that things are picking up steam for USB 3.0.
At a USB 3.0 seminar last week in Tokyo, it was revealed that the first test specifiacation, "Test Specification 1.0," will be released at the end of June this year. This means that testing will begin in the second half of 2009 and we should see USB 3.0 products on the market by mid-2010.
USB 3.0 is slated to bump the transfer rate of USB up to 5000Mbps, more than ten times that of the current 480Mbps of USB 2.0. This should allow for some very fast external storage options, and the increased power offered by the new USB spec should also allow the introduction of more bus-powered devices.
Compatibility tests for transmitting circuits and receiving circuits will begin in the second half of 2009, he said. After that, USB Implementers Forum Inc (USB-IF) will have its first "compliance workshop" at about the end of 2009. And USB 3.0-compatible end products certified by USB-IF are expected to debut in 2010.
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Silicon Power has released a 64GB eSATA/USB SSD that fits in your pocket, about the size of your typical USB Flash drive.
The new SSD featurs both eSATA and mini USB connections for increased versatility no matter where you are. Using eSATA, the drive will read at 90 MB/s and write at 42 MB/s. Switching over to USB, the drive will only read at 30MB/s and write at 25MB/s.
The new drive will be available in multiple sizes ranging from 8GB all the way up to 64GB to fit your portable storage needs. These SSDs also have the same features as Silicon Image's 2.5" SSD's including ECC and wear leveling.
The full press release is avaialable for your reading pleasure here.
2009/2/23-(Taipei, Taiwan) Silicon Power released the availability of eSATA/USB SSD with 64GB capacity, a higher capacity handy SSD on worldwide markets. This pioneering product won Malaysia HWM magazine's Gold Award in February, awarding it a score of 9 out of 10. The eSATA/USB SSD features eSATA and Mini USB dual interface, hot plug and play and four-channel high performance technology. The eSATA connection has a read speed of 90 MB/s and a write speed of 42MB/s, which is 8 times the write speed of the normal USB. The eSATA connector provides external data transfer at speeds up to 3Gbps, which is higher than USB 2.0 interface with 480MB/s. It is very convenient for large volume of data transfer at a short time. At the bottom side is a mini USB connector offering a read speed of 30MB/s and a write speed of 25MB/s.
After upgrading from an Athlon 64 FX-62 to the Phenom X4 9600, the crew over at bit-tech managed to catch their motherboard on fire. We aren't sure what they were thinking when they put the fire out BEFORE taking pictures, but we know that in the heat of the moment priorities can quickly get out of order.
The motherboard appears to have failed due to a failed Enermax Noisetaker power supply, as the board caught fire when a new PSU was hooked up. They suspect that the root cause of the problem boils down to limited support on low-end boards for high-end Phenom's, despite the board clearly supporting the new chip.
They have contacted ASUS and sent the board back in for further analysis. Hopefully some good can come of this and it might lead to at least some increased quality control along the lines.