Go quad or go home. That's the general theme behind Patriot's new Xporter Rage series of USB flash memory drives, which offer up to 27MB/s read and up to 25MB/s write speeds, a result of the quad-channel design.
"The Xporter Rage USB Flash Drives are exceptionally fast and provide an outstanding value to users," states Meng Jay Choo, Product Manager at Patriot. "Designed around the quad-channel performance solution, these drives are some of the fastest available. When you also consider the convenience and ease of use offered by the capless rubber-coated housing, Rage drives are ideal for enthusiasts and professionals who need to transport and quickly access their important data on-the-go."
The Xporter Rage series is available now in a variety of capacities to suit a number of budgets, including 8GB ($25 street), 16GB ($40 street), 32GB ($75), and 64GB ($140).
Here's a scary thought - while you sit there firing foam projectiles at co-workers, your USB rocket launcher could be harvesting your personal data and sending it to a snooper. What's worse, your security software would be none the wiser.
This would be an example of a hardware trojan, which up to this point were mostly considered to be modified circuits. A hacker might, for example, intercept a microchip while it's still in the factory and code subtle changes into it so that whatever device the chip goes into ends up crashing.
John Clark, Sylvain Leblanc, and Scott Knight, three computer engineers at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, set out to prove that a hardware trojan could be sent out by other means, specifically by exploiting a weakness in USB's plug-and-play functionality, New Scientist reports. Because the USB protocol blindly trusts any device being plugged in to honestly report its identity, a hacker would need only to switch it out with a compromised device that reports the same information.
To show that it was possible, the team assembled a keyboard with malicious circuitry that was successfully able to swipe data from the hard drive and transmit it in one of two ways - by sending out Morse code via LED flashes, and by encoding data as a subtle warbling output from the soundcard. The transmission isn't limited to these two examples, however, and could just have easily been sent via email, but the team was more interested in seeing if they could steal information on the sly.
"We've shown any USB device could contain a hardware trojan," says Leblanc. "Security software, if it checks USB devices at all, tends to look only for malware on USB memory sticks."
Leblanc went on to say that "you could mount a hardware trojan attack with a USB coffee-cup warmer," so the next time someone asks how you like your coffee, "malware free" might be an appropriate response.
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.
Dension has figured out a way to cram tens of thousands of Internet radio stations into your pocket with no one ever being the wiser. It's called the Webradio and it's no bigger than a USB thumb stick, but unlike your flash drive, the Webradio lives up to its name by loading your RadioTime presets, provided you sign up for a free RadioTime.com account. After you do, just pair the device with a 3G-enabled mobile phone and plug it into your car radio's USB port and you're ready to rock.
"RadioTime.com will provide our users with access to 30,000 AM/FM and Internet-only radio stations and 100,000 music, news, talk, sports and entertainment programs, and the Dension Webradio makes it so easy to listen to your favorites anywhere, from the living room to the driver's seat," said Bill Moore, founder and CEO, RadioTime, Inc. "You simply plug the Webradio into your computer to copy your RadioTime account in one step. No need to enter any codes or endure a registration process."
You can also connect the Webradio to your home stereo, not just your car's audio system. Stations appear as MP3 files, and you can browse, select, and listen to the stations just as if they were regular MP3 music files.
Pretec's H220 Intellicable is receiving a quite a bit of buzz around the Internet, and deservedly so. Put simply, this handy USB cable connects your smartphone to your PC and essentially tricks most handsets into thinking they are USB modems.
The company claims it will work with just about any 2G, 3G, and 3.5G phone, and what's more, setup is automatic via plug-and-play. It supports simultaneous voice ahd high-speed data communication, and as Pretec points out, you can save a pocket full of jingle over an HSDPA modem and 1-2 year service commitment.
The multi-functional wonder cable will also charge your device and even comes with 1GB of storage (optionally up to 8GB). Pretec says it will work with any PC, Mac, or Linux-based laptop or netbook. The caveat -- and you knew there would be one -- is that mobile phone support might not be as robust as Pretect touts. Officially, the Intellicable H220 supports 18 phones, most of which are from RIM, and the rest from Nokia, Motorola, and Sagem Navigation.
Pretec says it will sell the cable for $49 or less.
Can your cufflinks store wedding photos, video clips, and MP3 files? Believe it or not, there are some that can, and they're not as tacky as you might think. Just the opposite, these USB flash drive cufflinks from Cufflinks.com are surprisingly stylish, allowing you to wear your geekdom on your sleeve.
Each cufflink comes with 2GB of USB flash storage for 4GB total and are available in gunmetal and gold finishes. They're also engravable with up to 8 characters. The downside? They're freakin' expensive. At $195 a pair (plus $8 if you have them engraved), cheapskates need not apply. That's a lot of jingle for just 4GB of storage spread across two drives, but hey, that's apparently the price you'll have to pay to walk into your next board room meeting feeling like James Bond. Imagine the oohs and ahhs as you whip off the cap and remove the USB flash drive to begin your presentation - yeah, that's pretty pimp.
For those who plan to do just that, you can nab the gunmetal ones here and the gold ones here.
Intel hasn't been in any real hurry to promote the USB 3.0 standard, instead leaving it up to hardware makers to come up with their own solutions. EVGA, perhaps best known for the company's line of graphics cards, is one of those companies ready to usher in faster USB data transfers
To help do that, EVGA today launched its EU30 PCI-E host card, which adds an additional two USB 3.0 ports to your system. It works with any available PCI-E slot, including x1, x4, x8, and x16, and once plugged in will facilitate data transfers up to 5Gbps.
The low-profile design means it will slip in nicely to your HTPC or mATX LAN box, and of course it's backwards compatible too.
Yanko Design is known for conceptual products that represent outside-the-box thinking, some of which are brilliant while others are downright outlandish. We'll let you be the judge of which category the Concrete USB thumb drive falls under.
Crafted from cemet, the capacity also represents the drive's weight in grams. These would come in three varieties, including 64GB (64g), 128GB (128g), and 256GB (256g), any of which would be enough to store a whole bunch of data and smack a would-be robber across his temple if he tries to hijack your sensitive documents.
Who knows if this will ever make it to market, but if it does, be careful not to leave it dangling from your PC's USB port where gravity would take its toll.
We're big fans of the Das Keyboard, a mechanical plank with oh-so-satisfying key action and a pair of USB ports. Adesso's latest gaming keyboard, the MKB-135B, also sports mechanical keys and two USB ports, but kicks it up a notch by tossing audio jacks into the mix.
Adesso's full size keyboard offers up the same tactile and audio response inherent with mechanical key switches and is good for up to 20 million keystrokes. In addition, the n-key rollover function permits up to 6 keys to be pressed at the same time, ensuring all your keystrokes will be registered no matter how fast you type.
On the top left is where you'll find the integrated hi-speed USB 2.0 hub, which also provides 500mA power current so you shouldn't run into trouble charging your MP3 player and other handheld devices. Next to the two USB ports are the mic and audio jacks.
We're sure somewhere out there, someone is selling a replica of the Iron Man suit worn by Tony Starks, and it probably costs a fortune. If you're a fan of Iron Man and can do without the full-body garb, the new Iron Man 2 USB flash drive by Tyme Machines might be more up your alley.
"We at Tyme Machines pride ourselves on bringing beloved characters, such as Iron Man, to life in full 3D and making them available to fans across the world," said John McDaniel, Chief Marketing Officer of Tyme Machines. "We expect the Iron Man 2 movie release to generate many more fans of this great superhero and feel we have created a product that any fan can be proud to tote around and show off."
The 3-inch drive comes in capacities ranging from 4GB to 32GB and sports the same looking Mark VI suit as in Iron Man 2, complete with the new triangular chest plate. What you don't get, however, is support for USB 3.0.