A USB key, aka thumb drive, is a must-have item for any hardware-fixing performance junkie, and now that USB 3.0 versions have arrived we all want the fastest one we can get our sweaty digits on. To find out which key holds the combination to our hearts, we put four models with top-tier specs through their paces. Since most of them don't come with any extras, they will be judged primarily on straight-line speed and overall usability. May the best key end up on your keychain!
Note: This article was taken from the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
Flash storage is sexy right now, so it's really not all that surprising that Western Digital went and scooped up Virident Systems, a provider of server-side flash storage solutions, for $685 million in cash. Virident will be integrated into HGST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital, the two companies announced today. In doing so, HGST becomes a player in enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), a market that's predicted to be worth $7 billion by 2017, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
Analysts at IHS iSuppli spent some time pondering what would happen if current tensions in Korea escalate to the point of a war on the Korean peninsula, and what they determined is that it could theoretically cripple the global electronics business. South Korea is a major cog in the electronics supply chain, as it accounts for half of the world's DRAM output, two-thirds of NAND flash manufacturing, and 70 percent of the world's tablet display.
The solution to pricey DRAM is memcached for flash.
You can stuff your home system full of DRAM without putting a hurt on your bank account, but when you're talking about servers on the scale of what's needed to keep Facebook up and running, things tend to get expensive. It's for this reason that Facebook has decided to reduce its dependance on DRAM. In its place, the social networking site built a data cache that runs on flash memory.
Microsoft has suffered through more than a few security embarrassments over the years, but at least according to Kaspersky Labs, the Redmond based software giant is back in control. The security researchers have named the top 10 offending companies/products, and for once, Microsoft has been knocked off the list thanks to improvements in Windows 7 & 8. Automatic update mechanisms are citied as the top reason for the high profile exclusion, and have indeed done an amazing job of keeping hackers at bay.
Want to see the top 10 worst offenders? Hit the jump to see the list.
Time is running out if you're a fan of Adobe's Flash Player plugin for Android and haven't yet downloaded it. On August 15 (tomorrow), Adobe will yank its plugin from Google Play as a readily available download, and only devices that already have Flash Player installed will see any future updates. The move is intended to avoid any compatibility conflicts with Google's Jelly Bean build (Android 4.1).
It’s just not all of us who have become blasé about browser updates, but even browser developers themselves seem to be having a hard time keeping up with all the frequent updates. The Google Chrome team must have been very jaded when they released the latest stable version of their browser late last month, as they totally forgot to mention one of the most important changes inside—one that took over two years for them to put together.
Samsung and Hynix, two of the world's largest NAND flash memory producers, are reportedly planning to scale back production in order to deal with an oversupply situation that is forcing prices down. Toshiba is said to have already slowed down its operations at one of its Japan plants for the very same reason, and now that the first domino has fallen, others are expected to follow suit.
Patriot Memory's begun waving around a new flagship secure digital card line called the EP Pro Series. The new SDHC/SDXC flash storage cards were designed with high definition video and photography gurus in mind, the company says, and boast blazing fast read and write speeds that are nearly five times faster than the transfer speeds of standard SDHC cards.
Memory makers would be wise never to take consumer demand for granted. It's a lesson all involved had to learn the hard way after the DRAM market crashed crashed a few years ago, and with the rise in popularity of solid state drives and products that use them, NAND flash memory is proving to be their mulligan. Even still, a repeat of what happened to DRAM sales is possible, and surprisingly enough, it's the Ultrabook market that's driving sales of NAND flash memory, not all those supposed PC-killing tablets.