Corsair on Monday announced it had discovered a security issue affecting its Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive that could expose your data. If you own one of these drives, Corsair says you can correct the issue by following these steps (be sure to back up your data first):
Drive must be in a LOCKED state. If the drive is plugged into a system, remove it.
Press and hold the KEY button and the 0/1 button down, simultaneously, for five or more seconds.
Release the KEY and 0/1 buttons. Note that at this stage your password MAY have been erased, but data will still exist on the drive.
Wait until any LEDs are no longer illuminated or blinking.
Press and hold the KEY button for three seconds. Both red and green LEDs will illuminate.
Enter a new PIN using the PIN keys. A user PIN may be 4 to 10 digits long; for security, Corsair recommends 6 digits or more.
Press and release the KEY button. Both red and green LEDs will blink in unison.
Re-enter your PIN to confirm.
Press and release the KEY button. Green LED will flash, indicating your PIN has been accepted.
Your drive is now secure.
Corsair didn't say exactly why all this is necessary or whether the issue affects only certain batches of Flash Padlock 2 drives, or all of them.
Google and Adobe are getting along swimmingly these days. In the mobile space, Android is the only platform that currently has full Flash support, and now Google's desktop browser has the Flash Player built in. The newest stable version of Chrome 5.0.376.86 has Adobe Flash by default. This feature was present in the beta and developer channels at various times recently, but now it is rolled out everywhere.
Many developers and consumers feel Flash is too resource intensive, and should be replaced by HTML5 standards. Interestingly, Google is one company pushing HTML5 quite hard. It seems they are willing to support multiple standards for the benefit of users who, like it or not, need to use Flash content from time to time.
Users who don't want the plug-in for whatever reason can disable it. Type about:plugins into the address bar and hit enter. From this page, you can turn off Flash, or any other plug-ins you don't want.
Samsung sounds awfully excited about its latest SSD, a 512GB drive utilzing "toggle-mode DDR NAND" memory. It's the first SSD to do so, and according to Samsung, this is a pretty major deal. As Samsung explains it, toggle-mode DDR allows for higher performance without a subsequent increase in power consumption.
"The resulting power throttling capability enables the drive’s high-performance levels without any increase in power consumption over a 40nm-class 16Gb NAND-based 256GB SSD," Samsung said. "The controller also analyzes frequency of use and preferences of the user to automatically activate a low-power mode that can extend a notebook’s battery life for an hour or more."
Samsung's first-run SSD to employ this technology checks in with up to 250MB/s sequential read and up to 220MB/s sequential write speeds. Respectable, though not earth shattering when considering that the competition has begun cranking out high-performance SSDs with read and write speeds in the vicinity of 280MB/s.
Volume production is expected to begin next month. No price has yet been set.
If you're not up to speed on your storage form factors, here's the quick and dirty rundown. Most desktop setups come with 3.5-inch drive bays, traditional notebooks typically ship with one or two 2.5-inch drive bays, and devices like ultra-thins, netbooks, some nettops, and tablet PCs usually employ 1.8-inch bays.
Now that you've graduated Storage 101, let's move on to solid state drives (SSDs), and specifically, a pair of new models from OCZ. Put more accurately, the memory maker took two existing SSD families -- the Vertex 2 and Onyx -- and put them under a shrinking ray, much like the one used in the movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," only far less powerful. The result is OCZ was able to deliver 1.8-inch versions of each drive without sacrificing any performance in the process.
"Solid State Drives provide numerous benefits to mobile users including improved performance and reliability as well as lower power consumption versus traditional hard drives," said Alex Mei, CMO of the OCZ Technology Group. "We are now introducing two new drives that are designed to cater to the entire range of mobile applications including the Vertex2 1.8-inch which delivers the same performance as our popular 2.5-inch version in a smaller form factor for customers looking to achieve maximum performance on the go, and the new Onyx 1.8-inch which is designed for consumers looking for a quality SSD that is aggressively priced and is ideal for netbooks."
In other words, these are the exact same drives, only smaller, so you can expect the same 285MBs read (Vertex 2) and 275MB/s write (Vertex 2) speeds.
You know that 32GB iPhone 4 you just pre-ordered? The amount of internal storage is going to seem comparatively quaint if Toshiba follows through with its plan to mass produce 128GB embedded NAND flash memory modules by the end of this year.
That's right folks, 128 awesome gigabytes of storage capacity could become standard on everything from high-end smartphones to tablet PCs, digital cameras, and everywhere else you find embedded flash chips. It's the highest capacity yet achieved in the industry, part of which is the result of Toshiba's 32nm manufacturing technology. The other part of the equation involves stuffing sixteen 64Gbit (equal to 8GB) NAND chips onto a dedicated controller into a package measuring just 17 x 22 x 1.4mm.
The implications here are huge, especially with competition ramping up in the mobile market. With 1GHz Snapdragon chips strutting through the smartphone scene and 2GHz chips on the horizon, smartphones are finally powerful enough to truly be considered handheld PCs. And with a spate of Android, WebOS, and Windows 7 tablets on the horizon, Apple's flagship 64GB iPad could suddenly become far less appealing, and for reasons other than lack of Flash support.
Good news for secret agents and anyone else who has a need to keep their data both portable and secure - Corsair has gone and doubled up the capacity of its Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive to 16GB.
Previously only available in 8GB, the Flash Padlock 2 sports a couple of security safeguards, including a user-defined PIN. A user's PIN can range from four to ten digits, while the data inside remains scrambled with 256-bit AES encryption. It should also be noted that the PIN is hardwired to the drive, so there's no special software to install, allowing you to unlock the drive on any USB-equipped PC, be it Windows, OS X, Linux, and even game consoles.
Corsair didn't say when the 16GB version would be available or for how much, though we'd guess it to command around $100. For reference, the 8GB version sells for around $55 street.
If you thought your 2-year-old solid-state-drive (SSD) was fast, you may want to bury your head in the sand. The alternative is to take a peek at the ridiculous read and write speeds current-gen SSDs are hitting, such as Super Talent's new TeraDrive CT SSD series, and get hit with the upgrade bug.
Built around the SandForce 1222 controller, the TeraDrive CT series comes rated at up to 285MB/s read and up to 275MB/s write speeds, which is only half of the story. In addition to raw performance, these drives come in capacities up to 480GB (60GB, 120GB, and 240GB also available), giving you nearly 1TB of blazing fast storage should you deck out your desktop or notebook with two of Super Talent's flagship models in a RAID 0 array.
Built-in Garbage Collection and TRIM support are part of the package, as are other technologies for enhanced reliability (RAISE) and improved endurance (DuraWrite).
The new drives are available now priced at $199 (60GB), $349 (120GB), and $669 (240GB). And the 480GB? Super Talent didn't say, though we'd suspect it's around the $1,300 mark.
According to a bulletin from Adobe Labs, Adobe Systems has decided to halt the development of the Labs program of Flash Player 10 software for 64-bit flavors of Linux. Adobe insists this is only temporary, as well as necessary in order to making significant architectural changes and beef up security.
"We are fully committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player for the desktop by providing native support for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux 64-bit platforms in an upcoming major release of Flash Player," Adobe added. "We intend to provide more regular update information on our progress as we continue our work on 64-bit versions of Flash Player. Thank you for your continued help and support."
According to InfoWorld, an Adobe representative expressed the same sentiment, saying that the company is not killing development, and instead working to improve the underlying code for this version of the runtime.
Apple and Adobe have been trading verbal blows quite regularly, with both companies even accusing each other of being a “closed system” at an unwittingly hilarious point in their duel. But Apple’s resolute vow to never allow Flash on the iPhone and iPad means Adobe, whether it likes it or not, will have to concentrate on other mobile devices. And it does seem to have the blessings of nearly all other major players in the smartphone market.
But Adobe might just be counting its chickens too early, especially given its failures to bridge the vast gulf between desktop and mobile versions of the Flash players. It can’t really afford another failed attempt.
After months of betas and release candidates, the final version of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is available for download. We've been running the release candidate for a few months, but if you were holding back, now's the time to make the jump. Most of the improvements are not particularly user-facing. The one feature that people will notice is the addition of hardware acceleration of Flash content.
The hardware acceleration will use a computer's graphics processing abilities to more efficiently run Flash content, taking strain off the CPU. The Mac version of Flash 10.1 does not have hardware acceleration built in at this time. This capability is still being developed in the Gala Project. Apple just opened the necessary APIs a few weeks ago, so we expect a bit of a wait.
What we didn't get today is a final version of Flash 10.1 for Android. We don't know when that product will move out of beta and Adobe isn't giving any hints. Get it here. Do you feel like the new Flash is running better on your system?