Friday, June 30, 2006

More U3 Reviews

If you still haven't got a U3 Smart Drive (a USB drive with built-in applications), maybe these review articles maybe of help to you.

Me and the U3

Office To Go: U3 Puts The Desktop On A USB Stick

U3 Newbie Guide

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Places to Buy Flash Memory Market Reports

If you are a businessman or market analyst and would like to learn more about the intricacies of this complicated market, then these publications will be of help to you. Please be reminded that as high-level research products, they do not come cheap and run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Here is a list of publications you might want to look into:

iSuppli

Research and Markets

INFRASTRUCTURE Advisors
Press Release

Memory in Cellular Handsets

Web Feet Research


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sony Jumps the Gun on Flash Memory

While Windows Vista Laptops aren't here yet and the Samsung Hybrid-Hard-Drive is being marketed initially in South Korea, Sony surprises everybody with the new VAIO based on flash memory instead of a traditional hard disk. This is also no ordinary VAIO laptop since this is actually Sony's first UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC). The tag price is hefty one though worth $1,805.

This seems to be an early (very early) adopter product since others have UMPC products priced below $1000. It is seen as a very high-end product right now and it would be good to wait for a few more months or even years of development for the ordinary person to get this product.

Source: Sony ditches hard disk in latest laptop

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flash Memory Encryption Methods

My fellow Google Answers Researcher, mathtalk, asks in one of his comments if I have already did a post on flash memory encryption. I said not yet but it was a good idea so here it is.

In my web search, I found the Wikipedia article about flash memory having a good discussion about encryption. The article mentions different methods of encryption.

1. Encrypted filesystem - "This prevents an unauthorized person (who has found or stolen the drive) from accessing the data stored on it. The disadvantage of this is that the drive is accessible only in the minority of computers which have the same encryption software..."

2. Software Encryption - TrueCrypt, CryptoBuddy, and Private Disk

3. Biometric Encryption

Source: USB Flash Drive: Security

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Bulletproof Flash Drive

It seems that flash drives are in a fighting mood these days. From US Military secrets to Terrorist finds, Flash drives have been on the war path recently.

Even the concept of USB drive design is reflecting this seemingly odd association. Pretec's i-Disk Bulletproof is what it names says it is. They say it is almost indestructible since even a bullet can't break it. I think such a portable storage system will be of great use to the military and law enforcement people who will need to carry around data. The downside however is that if something goes wrong and such flash drives falls into the wrong hands, military and police security could be compromised which will lead to even bigger problems.

"PRETEC i-Disk BulletProof is constructed with double layers of sealed protective metal, capable of preventing circuit damage from water, fire, and even shielding the heavy impact of a bullet."

Source: Pretec's Almost Indestructible USB Flash Drive

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India's Classified Navy Information Available on Flash Drives

Another example of military operations wherein flash drives have infiltrated the ranks can be seen in this story from India. The ones receiving the information aren't really after the so-called weaponry or military secret stuff but business contracts in the Indian navy. Information is given to a specific company of procurement deals to give the former some headstart.

"According to media sources, Sensitive data on procurement deals and information on air-conditioning plants for ships and submarines was passed to "commercial establishments" from the Indian Navy's war room, an internal probe has revealed."

"Equally worrying, a pen drive with at least 100 downloaded documents was recovered and officials feel more such "information sticks" could have made their way out of the war room."

Source: Evidence of systematic Sensitive data leaked from navy's war room

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

An Assessment of Windows Vista and the Hybrid-Hard Drive

An article from David Morgenstern of the Channel Insider talks about the possible effects of hybrid-hard drives once the Windows Vista comes out. He acknowledges that the effects will likely be more scrutinized in laptops since this is where battery problems are of utmost concern. His take is that the approach of Windows Vista is just to scale down performance when in fact what the market really needs is development in battery technology.

"The currently prevailing antidote to the problem of battery power in notebooks is to throttle back on performance, letting you do more with less. Microsoft's ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive take this approach. But what we want to do with our computers requires more processing power and more often, especially with today's advanced interfaces."

Source: Readers Are Ready for Vista's Flash Speed-Up By David Morgenstern

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Micron Takes Lexar

Finally, one of the biggest deals in the flash memory industry has materialized. The $850 million dollar deal has been approved and now Micron, the surviving company, will become a major player in the flash memory industry at a time when demand is just heating up.

The timing of Micron couldn't have been better as an impending surge of demand for flash memory devices is expected as MP3 players are ordering them at a tremendous pace. As what is reported yesterday, the scene will get hotter with the new iPod being based on high capacity flash memory.

"'We believe Lexar's retail products and channel relationships complements Micron's manufacturing capabilities and allows access to the data card market in addition to the wireless and portable media markets they are already addressing,' wrote Credit Suisse analyst Michael Masdea in a client note."

Source: Micron's Lexar Buy Looks Like A Good Fit

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

In the Pockets of A Terrorist

The US Military has been shamed in the past when their secret files were being sold off the markets of Afghanistan, Now its the terrorist turn to feel the heat because of some flash drives.

When Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was found dead after an all out assault. on his home. After that the military was looking for anything that could help them in the war against terror. They found a treasure trove of information on o USB drive. The authenticity of such information cannot be questioned since the drive was found on the pockets of Zarqawi himself.

"When asked how he could be sure the information was authentic, al-Rubaie said 'there is nothing more authentic than finding a thumbdrive in his pocket.'"

It seems that Zarqawi was just a regular guy, not being careful with his files and moving around Iraq with them on his pockets. People really has a lot to learn about flash drives.

Source: Iraq Announces Info From Al-Zarqawi Raid

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Blame MP3 Players for the Flash Memory Shortage

Companies are increasing their production of flash memory devices. As a testament to this, they are either making new plants or converting DRAM production facilities to NAND. Keeping-up with demand will be a really big challenge which will be compounded when Apple begins producing its next generation of iPods

"Despite converting factories from DRAM (dynamic RAM) to NAND production, chip makers won't be able to keep up with such growth. So the market for NAND flash will experience a 5.8 percent shortage in the fourth quarter of 2006 and a 2.6 percent shortage in the first quarter of 2007, Gartner predicted."

If the shortage comes and demand continues to rise, the flash memory price reductions being experienced now might be short lived. Another way to look at it though is that it will open up new opportunities for small time manufacturers that could fill-up the need.

Source: Music Player Sales Drive NAND Flash Memory Shortage

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Play Baseball With Your Flash Drive

baseball-flashdriveRachel Hill of Freshly Squeezed Flash has done it again.

It seems that she is constantly redefining her product line with ingenious uses of everyday inexpensive things to incorporate with USB drives. This time she is using an old electronic game, a Coleco Electronic Baseball game!

So now you have a reason to bring your baseball video game with you since now it is attached to your USB flash drive and your files!

It seems that Rachel is moving on to more complicated but innovative projects. She will have very happy customers in the future.

Source: One of a Kind Gallery - Baseball Videogame USB Flash Drive!

See More: Funny Flash Drives

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posted by Henry Marcos at 3:39 AM 0 comments

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Panasonic's Own SD Card Reader

Panasonic came out a week ago with a new SD Card standard that is basically geared for digital video cameras. Now they are coming out with a memory card reader for it. The reader comes in two forms, one is for USB 2.0 and the other is in PC Card type.

The probable price tag for such a card reader is $43! Now I know that this is a specialized SD Card and the Reader is unique for this product as well but the price is too steep for such a product category. Two things are at work here, it is hard enough to introduce a new standard and now you are making a reader, catered to only one product instead of multiple ones, and pricing it at such a fortune! Unless third-part manufacturers pick on the new SD format of Panasonic and its accompanying reader, then it will be hard to convince people to shell out such big bucks when there are numerous alternatives available out there.

Source: Panasonic intros two new SDHC card readers

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Flash Memory Summit

Flash Memory has truly arrived and a new summit just for this industry will be held in San Jose California on August 8-10. The topics are mostly technical in nature and would appeal to those who are on the engineering side of things for this industry. Their website provides a host of other info as regards to the nature of this event.

I wished I could attend this one so I could visit the exhibitors area but its too expensive and too far from my country (Philippines).

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Fujio Masuoka -The Inventor of Flash Memory

In my wanderings at the Flash Memory Summit website, I found this interesting link to a Business Week magazine article about the inventor of flash memory, Fujio Masuoka. He was just a midlevel factory manager for Toshiba when he took on this project.

What is interesting about this article is that Masuoka actually intended Flash Memory as a replacement storage for hard disk drives. In the midst of the potential issues being cried out against hybrid-hard drives, this is what Masuoka actually intended for flash memory devices.

Read About Other Flash memory Inventions

Source: Fujio Masuoka: Thanks For The Memory Via Flash Memory Summit

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Monday, June 19, 2006

The Case of the Missing Flash Drive

lockersWe have heard time and time again that one of the criticisms of flash drives is that they can easily get lost. This time we look at real life case of this issue. A professor lost a flash drive full of data of his students. Such an event sent shivers the spine of students since they are in an era that one compromise in personal security can give lots of things away to the thieves.

"Officials think the drive contained the students' names, their grades for the professor's classes and their Social Security numbers, which the university uses as identification. The university is in the process of creating a non-Social Security-based identifier for students."

The other question I would like to ask is why was the teacher allowed to have the Social Security numbers of his students? What if he is of dubious character as well? Shouldn't such data be in the confines of the school servers alone wherein proper security measures through a combination of software and hardware tools are being used?

Source:UK students' data stolen

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:22 AM 3 comments

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Tracking A Lost Flash Drive

The blog at Oklol.co.uk provides a tutorial on how track a missing flash drive. But still this will be no dice to the professor who lost his USB drive since the thief should plug the USB drive on a computer that is included on the school network.

Unless of course the thief actually used the school computers.

"Everybody on the network will recive the username of the person who stole the drive, this only may work on individual workgroups."

Source: Track Your Stolen USB v2

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Father's Day!!!!!!!

fathers-dayWe'll I'm a dad so happy father's day to all the crazy ones like myself! What would be a good gift for dads? If you are thinking if maybe Dad may just need one of those thumb drives, may we suggest a few.

1. A USB drive with about 1GB and up storage - Dad might be carrying around a bunch of powerpoint presentations, photos and even music in a bunch of floppies or CD-ROMs. Give him something small instead like these thumb drives but go for the larger storage ones since files these days are getting larger and before dad knows it, its already filled up.

2. U3 Smart Drive - If dad wants to carry his computer settings around but he isn't a techie, a U3 Smart Drive is the way to go. It synchs his document folders and web favorites by just pressing a button.

3. USB Drive with Security Features - Dad must have very important files stored in his USB drive and PC. Maybe changing it to drives with security software and features will lessen the chances of his data being stolen or just simply getting lost.

Read Our Past Product Features:

A USB Drive Built for Web Surfing Security
Lexar and its Secured USB Drive
Don’t worry about this USB Drive

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Should You Format or Just Simply Delete?

Google Answers is a source of great answers from questions coming from clients. You can search it as well for previously asked questions. I am a part of this answer service from Google and it is really fun.

Our feature today is an answer from a fellow researcher palitoy-ga. The client wants to know if it is better to use the "Delete All" function in a flash memory card or to format it altogether.

In this answer the researcher first explains what happens when you use each of the options above. "Deleting All" of it actually doesn't delete all but retains the file image. Meanwhile, using the format function completely deletes it.

"Generally and in basic terms, when you format your memory card you write to every spot on the card therefore removing all traces of what was on there previously. When you "delete all" from your card you are only removing the information that tells your card reader where to find your pictures on the card."

So he suggests that if you would likely need to retrieve that file in your memory card in the future, use the "Delete All" function so that you may have a chance of possibly recovering it in the future. But if you are selling or giving a card away then format it so as to completely erase your file.

Source: digital camera SD card

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posted by Henry Marcos at 5:13 PM 0 comments

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Here Comes Superfetch for the Hybrid-Hard Drive

We revisit Windows Vista anew with its continuing buzz on how it will incorporate flash memory in the OS. In the past we looked at the promise of Readyboost and how it can speed up your system by doubling as an extra RAM provider. Now we will focus our sights on its sister technology, Superfetch.

TechEd 2006 highlighted the presentation of Windows Vista and one of the most intriguing part was when it was shown that through Superfetch, applications load faster after continues use.

"...a battery of four applications were loaded in sequence: Outlook first, followed by OneNote, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat. On an ordinary HP notebook computer, with a 2 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM, the sequence of apps took 32.6 seconds of load time. With SuperFetch turned on, load time immediately improved to 26.5 seconds - a boost of 18.7%."

"Frankly, that's not too impressive. But as Matt Ayers explained, SuperFetch is learning from its user about the patterns of hard disk pages it tends to load."

The load time after such repeated trials were improved by 206%! You begin to wonder if coupled with ReadyBoost, the load times will even be more dramatic.

This still however begs the question on how the market will receive a more expensive machine since the hybrid-hard drives will definitely jack up prices. Will the speed really be that significant for the market to try this out and again the lingering concerns as well on the ability of flash memory to last the distance.

Read More About Superfetch: Microsoft details performance of Vista's SuperFetch, ReadyDrive

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

More Memory for Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are really not just for calling and texting anymore. With the new Toshiba NAND flash products, people can cram more songs and pictures onto their phones.

"With the GB MCP memories, mobile phone users can get the most out of 2- and 3-megapixel cameras and enjoy a great deal of music; the new 2GB GB MCP memory can store more than 500 four-minute songs recorded at a bit rate of 128kbps2"

Source: Toshiba package integrates NAND flash, controller

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posted by Henry Marcos at 3:16 AM 0 comments

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Why are Flash Drive Storage Less Than Advertised

This very interesting point from Patrick Marhsall of the Seattle Times explains why the actual storage space is actually less than indicated on the box. The first point is that some flash drives have software inside like the U3. Another is that because of the different storage architecture used by the manufacturers.

"Devices may also use different storage architecture and file systems, which will result in more or less overhead for file storage. These choices may also result in different performance levels, as will the type of controller chip being used in the flash drive and the number and size of storage chips."

Source:Flash-memory devices don't always have same innards

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nintendo Wii Will Offer Own SD Card

It seems that Nintendo plans to offer its own SD Card when the Wii comes out of the market. I really don't think this is necessary for Nintendo to do unless their SD Cards will be specialized ones that will greatly maximize the Wii. We have seen Sandisk do this with the PSP but based on the tests, it doesn't make much of a difference from the higher end cards out there.

Nintendo should concentrate again on the gaming experience since they're very good at it. Then they should make the gaming platform flexible enough so that consumers will have a choice on additional peripherals that are just indirect consequence to the games themselves.

Source: Nintendo will release official SD memory cards

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posted by Henry Marcos at 3:07 AM 0 comments

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How To Hack A U3 Smart Drive

I am not trying this out since it is too technical for me. I just want to point you out to this article wherein the writer is intrigued by a U3 flash drives ability to open two drives (a fake CD-ROM drive) and a real USB Drive once it is plugged in.

It seems that there is so much going on inside a U3 Smart Drive.

Source: Hacking U3 Smart USB Drives

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Flash Memory + Windows Vista = Nightmare?

An article from eWeek mentions some of the possible problems in using flash drives as extra memory for Windows Vista. Lets see them and provide some comments.

"First, about the ReadyBoost thumb drive caching. Let's face it, while the USB port is fine for desktop uses where there's little movement, it's a bit unreliable for mobile applications." - Yes this depends on manufacturer ability on how to make the USB drive fit snugly on the port. This is indeed a question that must be addressed not by Microsoft however but by the PC makers..

"Worse, USB devices stick out from the plane of the enclosure, making them easy to jiggle or dislodge." - Another looming problem but more on the user side of being responsible with his or her gadgets. Whatever gadget we have, care should be practiced whenever we utilize them.

"Microsoft says that the thumb drive can be removed "without any loss of data or negative impact to the system." But that doesn't mean that your notebook won't be locked up for a while figuring out that there's no longer a device attached." - I think this is a very legitimate concern since notebooks are pretty picky when it comes to the presence of devices attached to it.

Overall great article and a lot of things that Windows Vista must answer in the near future.

Source: Is Vista Heading for a Flash Nightmare?

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posted by Henry Marcos at 7:01 AM 0 comments

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Panasonic's SD Cards for Video

Panasonic has recently unveiled an SD Card that is specifically catered to DV Cameras. So this means that may cousin's relatively cheap DV Camera can record better videos on this one. Plus they are very easy to view on the PC after one transfers the video file with a memory card reader.

First of all I like the idea of Panasonic in making even small type storage like 256mb SD Cards. This will be good for people who have older DV camera models that cannot accept SD Cards beyond 512mb. But make no mistake about it, that they have the power users in mind as well since the maximum on these devices go up to 4GB.

One of my very first posts here mentions that we buy flash memory cards only on the basis of what gadget we have. We rarely consider what memory card will come with that device. This product from Panasonic makes us now consider what products are out there that can accept this card.


Source: New SD flash memory card launched by Panasonic

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Monday, June 12, 2006

How Long Will That Flash Drive Last?

It depends on how one uses it.

Our next article says that flash drives usually lasts 10yrs through ordinary and less frequent use. But if you don't use it much you can actually make its lifespan doubly longer by using it a little bit more. According to Brandon Stevens of Kingston Technology.

"If you don't update or view the files, the electrical charge representing your stored data will disappear after about 10 years..."

"Using the flash drive isn't enough. You must call up, or update, each individual file and the electrical charge will be renewed and you're good for another 10 years..."

Interesting read. For one, it seems that at its present form, flash memory has some quirks on its abilities and these depends on the manner of usage and not just the frequency. Just goes to show that one must not depend on these things for data since nothing is perfect in this world. Maybe a combination of CDs, traditional hard drives and online storage will be more appropriate.

Source: On flash drives, data will last longer if used

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:11 AM 0 comments

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Cautious Trend in Flash Memory Movement Towards the PC

Since price levels of flash memory per GB hasn't yet reached the low levels of traditional hard drives, industry people are still cautious on their outlook on how manufacturers will incorporate their hybrid counterparts.

"About 5 to 10 percent of the world's laptops will have flash inside in 2008 and about 20 to 30 percent in 2009," according to Dave Lee of Kingston.

I agree with this prognosis since people will still go for the cheaper ones at the outset and for very good reason. Laptops and PCs are expensive by themselves so people will probably scrimp on the hybrid feature. The launch of Windows Vista however will add to sales since it promises to leverage to the power of flash memory technology.

Source: ANALYSIS - NAND memory sets sights on PC hard drives

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Fever on USB Drives

1219_football_usb_open
Are you ready for the World Cup? Whether you are or not, USB drives are raring to go.

Digital Era came up with two USB drives for the biggest football event with one drive having a soccer ball shape as seen from above. Since Digital Era is a UK company, they also have one in support of the country's ballclub.

I think that USB drives are slowly creeping in as marketing materials in our world today. We now have customized CD-ROMs and DVDs so it is but natural to expect something like this. If I am not mistaken though, it seems that the World Cup is the first sports event used by private companies as themes for their USB drives.

I bet more will follow suit. How about the NBA Finals?

1147_webelieve

Source: Digital Era

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Friday, June 09, 2006

ReadyBoosting Your Windows Vista with a USB Drive

Once you get your hands on Windows Vista, maybe you would want to try this functionality for ReadyBoost.

In our initial post on how Windows Vista takes advantage of USB drives, I think we did not do justice to discussing its ReadyBoost feature. We only say that its acts like providing more RAM. Actually this has far greater implications. With this functionality, it not only maximizes the USB drive but now it also ups the memory ante for Windows Vista.

This has been tried before and it seems Windows Vista is very serious on this one. This blog from KenLin shows us how to do it if you have the beta version of Windows Vista on your PC. It is actually quite easy to do. The only problem is that if used in this way, you are only allowed one USB device plugged in. Read his blog below.

KenLins Blog

What does this mean to us? I have checked the prices of 1GB RAM and they are in the horizon of $60 to $80. Compare this to a 1GB USB drive which you can buy for $30 to $40. So that cuts the cost in half immediately. Plus you have a wide variety of formats to choose from like SD Cards, Compact Flash and other vareieties of flash memory.

It seems that Microsoft and the Flash Memory Market will be boosting each others industry when Windows Vista comes along.

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:23 AM 0 comments

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A USB Drive Built for Web Surfing Security

We have known the U3 Smart Drive as a USB device containing built-in portable apps and ready to use with very little tweaking so that even if you are not a geek, you can enjoy portable applications.

Now we have a USB Drive which has a different perspective, it is loaded with portable applications specifically fitted so that you can protect yourself online.

"The Stealth Surfer II is essentially a USB drive with self-contained applications needed for secure web browsing. To use it, you simply plug the drive into any Windows 2000/XP machine and launch the applications on the drive. When using StealthSurfer II, all your sensitive Internet files such as cookies, internet history, and cache are stored on the StealthSurfer USB device instead of your computer. And should you lose the SSII, the device itself is protected by password, so it's useless to anyone else."

Source: StealthSurfer II USB Review

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

When USB Drives are Laying Around

What would people do when they see a USB drive laying around somewhere? They plug it in their computers of course!

In this interesting study about social engineering and security in the workplace, we can get some insights as to why USB drives can be quite nightmarish to the enterprise.

The consultants were testing the employees on how sensitive they were to the security of their data. How easy it is for them to share passwords and other critical information to other people. One way the consultants went about this is by scattering about 20 cheap USB drives in places where the employees frequently go like the parking lot. This was done very early in the morning. 15 USB drives were found and all of them were plugged into the computers once the employees found them. Unknown to them the USB drives had a Trojan that would run, collect and then send the passwords to the consultants.

"Of the 20 USB drives we planted, 15 were found by employees, and all had been plugged into company computers. The data we obtained helped us to compromise additional systems, and the best part of the whole scheme was its convenience. We never broke a sweat."

Maybe we should ask why does this happen? I think the primary reason is that even today USB drives I think still has that some sort of novelty in it unlike CD-ROMS and floppy disks which immediately gives you alarm signals on its possible contents. Just read the consultants observation on the behaviors of those who found the drives.

"It was really amusing to watch the reaction of the employees who found a USB drive. You know they plugged them into their computers the minute they got to their desks."

The thing is the people in this company knew that a security inspection is going on at that moment!

First off I think that the unique shape of every USB drive out there instills immediate curiosity on those who see it. Another thing is that maybe people are thrilled to know if they can make it work on their PC. Are they curious if they can find some hidden dirty secret there? Maybe but in my opinion it is just plain curiosity of a funny looking device at this point.

Source: Social Engineering, the USB Way

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:09 AM 0 comments

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Would You Use a USB Drive to Back-Up Data?

A new survey reports that only 54% backup their data. Those who do backup their data prefer CD-Rs and DVD-R Discs as backup devices while 25% use USB drives.

The percentage of those who use flash memory isn't bad actually since it hasn't really come to the cheap price levels of CD-Rs. Plus it has to compete with other media and also online storage. However, based on a post we had in the past, flash memory as a primary back-up is still not yet advisable at this time so people should be warned about this. USB Drives are still seen as one way to transport data conveniently from one location to another and not yet as the premier choice of storage.

Source: Survey: Some don't back up computer data

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Kitty Says Hello on your SD Card

kt_1GB_PWelcome to another edition of Fun with Flash memory and this time we have something a little bit different. We usually feature things here of fun shaped USB drives. USB drives are usually easier to manipulate or change in shape so I think its fair that more creativity can be made with it.

This time though we have something for SD Cards, and it took the lovable Hello Kitty to make something different with these products. The company behind this is Silicon-Powers. The Hello Kitty SD Cards are Limited Edition only. The last time they did this is with a Batman Edition (wow).

"The top design team of Sanrio has masterfully created an alluring product of function and fun for all. And this series is available in 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB capacities and are proudly available in 4 different designs with the choice of a blue or pink color theme."

kt_128MB_B

Source: Hello Kitty SD Memory Cards


See More Fun Flash Memory Devices



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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:32 AM 0 comments

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Apple Goes Flash Memory Shopping Spree

In order to equip its new generation of iPods, Apple goes into a flash memory buying spree. Industry sources are saying that an 8GB iPod is in the works and flash memory will be the storage of choice. Samsung and Hynix won the Apple contracts.

Source: Apple books considerable NAND flash capacity with Korean chipmakers for . . . 8GB iPod?

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:29 AM 0 comments

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Micron Enters Flash Memory Battle Ground

Micron knows where the trend is when it comes to memory and that is NAND. This time it enters an arena wherein Samsung is king. In fact it immediately challenges Samsung's new NAND technology called OneNand with its own dubbed Managed NAND.

"The company’s technology competes against Samsung’s so-called “fusion memory” technology, dubbed OneNAND. Geared for cell phones and other products, OneNAND’s fusion architecture features a single-level-cell NAND core with SRAM and logic elements that emulates a NOR flash interface, according to Samsung (Seoul, South Korea)."

Micron plans to put this into production by 2007

Source:Micron debuts 'fusion memory' for cell phones

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Post #100: Driven to Start and Beyond

100th postI have been posting my thoughts and internet finds about flash memory since April 24 of this year and for some kind of celebration, we will have something different for post number 100. It will be a look back and also what we intend to accomplish in days ahead.

First of, before I started blogging I read the posts on Problogger.net and took in everything I could learn in order to make a serious run at a blog. I followed almost every advice there except for one, having a domain name. Mind you it isn't that I don't agree with the idea of having with one's own domain. I used Blogger to compensate for my deficiencies. I am not really an expert in HTML and scripts and can hardly go by in tweaking things in my sidebar. Another reason why I didn't go for a domain is because of my personality. I know that if I don't start now, I might never start this thing of. So I took the plunge and whipped up something here.

I really feel that flash memory is a good niche topic. Even if I am not a techie this is one product and topic that can be appreciated by people like me since most of us who use gadgets already have them or planning to buy these devices. I also have a strong interest in business research and the flash memory market is one interesting industry to document and keep an eye on since I believe this is the future of storage.

In the coming months I hope to improve Flash Driven by coming up with more insights and interactive features. Making more specialized categories in the long run will be needed. A more unique template too will be a requirement as well but I will not rush until I found a look and feel that I will be comfortable with. I also would like to work hard in achieving a decent number of regular visitors here to make the place more fun and for others to share their experiences with flash memory devices.

My over-all goal however, is still to make Flash Driven a one-stop resource for all things flash memory, specifically NAND types or USB drives and the memory cards like SD Cards, Compact Flash, Memory Sticks and xD Cards.

Before starting this project, I have observed that you can get information about flash memory online but you have to get a little bit from this site another one from that blog, another technical bit from this programming site. It is my hope that someday, this humble work shall produce a repository of information that people can use to be more informed about this topic.

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:06 AM 5 comments

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Flash Drives in the Medical Industry

If you are in the medical industry, there are different products catered to doctors and medical companies so as to avail of the different ways that USB Drives can help in their daily jobs or marketing their products.

One such product is the MedicAlert Key. This product contains all the medical information of the patient. With this the doctor can immediately get the information needed during treatment.

Health companies can also use these USB drives to promote their products and services. Customized USB drives having your logo and providing built-in software can go a long way in your marketing efforts. An example will be these USB Flash Drives from Custom USB


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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:04 AM 0 comments

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Monday, June 05, 2006

USB Publishing

booksThis could be another market segment!

We know have USB drives pre-loaded with software, why not entertainment content. I think it would be a good idea for content publishers to start making use of USB drives. 128mb or 256mb drives are pretty cheap by now so material cost wouldn't be much of a problem. Here are some suggestions:

Music - I have seen some artists already publishing on USBs, pre-loaded with their own songs. Maybe they can create those cheap USB MP3 players pre-loaded only with their own songs.

E-Books - Authors who have made lots of books can publish all their creations in e-book forms. The smaller capacity drives can handle them pretty well since these books come only in small file sizes. Textbooks can also be a good product for this since students won't need a bag for all those heavy books.

Movies - With USB Drives coming in 8GB capacities, your movies are inside your pockets. Maybe for this to become a reality, new TVs should have a USB port.

Games - Small-scale game publishers can market their games on USB drives as well. Since they have higher capacities than CD-ROMs, more complicated games can be made.

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posted by Henry Marcos at 4:29 AM 2 comments

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Toshiba Will Release its Own Hybrid Hard Drive

It seems that as we have foreseen in our May 30 post, Toshiba will indeed dive in the hybrid hard drive sector. If it does, then it will be more than ready than Samsung.

According to Maciek Brzeski, vice president of marketing for the storage device division at Toshiba, the company plans to release the hybrid hard drives when the Windows Vista arrives which will take advantage of the hybrid hard drive. ZD Net UK made a small mention of it as it reports on Toshiba's new notebook drives (non-hybrid).

Source: Toshiba touts data density record with new drive

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

128MB Flash Memory Capacity by September?

Storage needs of consumers are increasing and both hard drives and flash memory device makers are cashing on the surge of demand. The information cited in this article have actually been covered before but there is one bit of information worth of interest.

The article says that flash memory capacity doubles in capacity every 9 months!

"Flash memory makers have been doubling capacities about every nine months, says Celeste Crystal, an analyst at market researcher IDC. They're squeezing more bits of data onto cells in their silicon chips as well as developing new ways to stack layers of cells in the same amount of space."

Based on our post last April, maybe the 128MB flash drive will be available by Christmas.

Source: Storage demands fuel hard drive, flash memory industries

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

E-Ink's Paper-Thin Display on Flash Drives

Lexar and E-Ink, the makers of paper-thin displays are working on flash drives that will incorporate the technology. Paper-thin displays is a promising technology development since the display will be paper like. Imagine a newspaper you're holding being updated through the internet!

Lexar will use this to show a meter on how much data you have on the drive. This will be useful since the paper-thin display is low powered. The E-Ink display is only 0.7mm.

“E Ink's display products are paper-thin, low-power and ideal for a wide range of products from smart mobile devices to simple indicators such as those offered by Lexar,” said Darren Bischoff, E Ink Senior Marketing Manager."

Source: LEXAR ADDS INNOVATIVE STORAGE CAPACITY METER WITH ELECTRONIC PAPER DISPLAY FROM E INK

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:13 AM 0 comments

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Flash Memory Launches

Get up to date with all the product launches that has happened the past two weeks. Read the following links on different new products know what will be on your neighborhood mall or favorite online store.

BioCert ClipBio

Buffalo 8GB Thumb Drive

Toshiba 2GB miniSD card

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:09 AM 0 comments

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Friday, June 02, 2006

U3 Smart Drive Showdown

U3 Are you itching to get a U3 Smart Drive? Do you like the idea of having applications built in your USB drives? Are you going to grab one now?

Before heading to the store (online or offline), go first to PC Magazine. They have a quick table comparison of four U3 Smart Drives and based on this, they are not created equally. You can glance a quick look at the table to see which is the best U3 Smart Drive or you can click on the product name to get more detailed observations.

PC Magazine: U3 Smart Drive Comparison

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:14 AM 0 comments

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Flash Memory Market Starting to Recover

After a sluggish start because of inventory problems and pricing pressures, flash memory is slowly recovering according to Samsung.

MP3 players and digital cameras are the drivers for this demand in NAND flash memory. But what is interesting is looking at using NAND so as to provide video capabilities in the future and to sustain market interest.

"Looking forward, Chu said Samsung was in talks with 'several' makers of MP3 music players looking to offer video capabilities by using high-end 8-gigabyte flash chips. The products are likely to be launched in the third quarter, he said."

Source: Samsung says memory business recovering fast

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Flash Memory Reviews on Video

film_reel_seriesIf you are not in the mood for reading reviews about flash drives then why not watch them? I searched some videos on the C-Net website and found a bunch of them. Most are from 2005 down to 2003 but they're still good. Just like the other categories here, whenever we have related posts we will add it to the list here.

Enjoy Watching!

Kanguru Bio Drive

Back up your PC to USB

Get e-mail on your USB drive

Manage passwords with your USB drive

Run apps from your USB drive

Powerhouse Technologies Migo USB 2.0 flash drive (512MB)

Lexar Jump Drive Lightning

SanDisk Cruzer Titanium

SD Card Music Playback

Flash drive gets biometric protection


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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:12 AM 0 comments

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Will Flash Memory Card Readers Go Obsolete?

More than a week ago we mentioned a product by PNY which does away with memory card readers. A similar one is also being marketed by MediaGear called the XtraDrive. Unlike the PNY however, it seems that this one doesn't have a built-in storage but more like a small card reader.

But if we go by this shape, it would be easy for MediaGear to pop in some storage there just like PNY. Instead of having an extra gadget for a card reader, you can just have one. Right now basing on PNY's price, a combo usb storage and reader drive will cost about $30 for only 128MB storage. However if it goes below $10, could this signal the demise of card readers.

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posted by Henry Marcos at 12:03 AM 0 comments

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