Despite the dream of an "ultimate handheld," it's really hard to get down to fewer than two portable devices. A Treo may do it all, but you still want an iPod; an iPhone is great, but you still need a BlackBerry for work; you like to listen to your iPod while playing your PSP or DS; and so on. Even those who do manage to get down to one super smart phone often have a Bluetooth headset to go along with it. And traveling with two devices means taking two power adapters along. Or at least it did--until the Belkin Dual USB Power Adapter came along. … Read more
The inventors of the Universal Serial Bus probably never envisioned just how "universal" their creation would become. Today it's used for pretty much anything, from electric guitars and coffee mugs to cigarette lighters and fragrance oil burners.
But there's at least one non-computing use that we can endorse wholeheartedly: the USB greenhouse. This 9-inch tall, egg-shaped terrarium isn't just a plastic container; growth rates can be monitored with its own software, which reminds you when to water and feed the plants.
We'll be taking bets on how quickly it dies under our brown thumb.… Read more
Are you the kind of person who delicately dismantles expensive electronics? I know, sorta scary--you don't want to risk not being able to put it back together, and once you crack the case, your warranty's all over. TechRepublic understands. They're impatient hardware types who can't stand not knowing how stuff works. You can check their site for the "Cracking Open" series, where folks go to get their circuitry-related jollies.
One of the advertised improvements of the new PSP Slim was the fact that it could be recharged via its USB port. And while that may not sound like a major feature, for anyone who's ever traveled with a tangle of three, four, or even more AC adapters (laptop, phone, iPod, BlackBerry, ...), it was certainly an attractive idea. Unfortunately, it didn't quite deliver. Yes, the new PSP can be charged via its topside USB port, but the caveats involved make it more trouble than it's worth: the USB charging is almost twice as slow, only works when the PSP is powered on and in a dedicated USB charge mode, and it needs a PC as a source--it won't charge from a standalone AC-to-USB adapter. Thankfully, a handy accessory from Kensington provides a much better USB charging solution--and it works with both newer PSPs and the original models.… Read more
Military-grade USB drives are nothing new on Crave, which has even seen models designed to withstand nuclear explosions. But this particular version would be as useful in the next Cold War as it would be in the battlefield.
Not only is the "IronKey" secured in a rugged metal case sealed with "epoxy-based potting compound," according to PCLaunches, but the battle-ready drive has an additional feature worthy of opening scenes from the old Mission Impossible TV series--an encryption chip that self-destructs after 10 wrong passwords are tried. It will also destroy all its data if someone tries … Read more
Go figure. We thought that legendary luxury goods purveyor S.T. Dupont would have better things to do than make an occasional computer peripheral. But apparently the palladium memory stick it introduced earlier this year wasn't just a one-time thing.
In between crafting museum-quality pens and lighters, the Parisian institution is continuing to forge USB keys such as those from its "Cote d'Azur" collection. The newest models are made of palladium and a choice of three lacquered colors, each bearing the company's signature diamond-head pattern.
We don't necessarily object to the company keeping up … Read more
Even with all the useless items Crave encounters routinely, this has got to be one of the sillier examples. Which is why we feel compelled to write about it, of course.
It's a USB lighter. That's right, a flash drive that you can also use to fire up a stogie (or whatever). The German-made "Memlite," as it's called, has a 512MB memory key that pops out of this unlikely combo gadget for those frequent times when you just have to store some digital data while getting a smoke. As Everything USB notes, it's unclear … Read more
It's been raining '80s nostalgia gadgets around here lately. Between the Lasonic iPod boombox, Plusdeck EX cassette ripper, Speak & Spell speaker mod, and buckets of Transformers tschotkes--we're just waiting for Prince and John Cusack to pull up in front of CNET in a Delorean.
Here's another gadget to throw on the '80s retro-tech heap. The Suck UK Mix Tape USB is a Flash thumb-drive cleverly masquerading as a vintage Hitachi cassette tape. No word on pricing, but the product is poised to launch in the UK in September. But why wait? This looks like a totally … Read more
Corsair is apparently the kind of company we can relate to: a paranoid one. Although it's made a name for itself in high-speed technologies, some of its recent products seem more focused on security and survival than anything else. (Witness the seemingly indestructible "Flash Survivor" USB key.)
The company continues that theme in its latest offering, the "Flash Padlock," which expands the secure USB concept with a numeric keypad that can be programmed to your own five-digit code. It locks automatically when disconnected, according to OhGizmo, an it won't even be acknowledged by the … Read more
It's no surprise that the first necktie to come with a USB-powered fan built into the knot comes from Japan. Having lived in Tokyo for nearly three years, I can confirm that which you already know: Japan is technology heaven.
It's where old tech hopes to go when it dies so it can be resuscitated by an Atari 2600 fetishist, and it's where new tech hopes to be born. It's one of the few countries in the world where bleeding-edge cell phones shaped like pens and that, in fact, are pens can enjoy a limited if well-lit 15 seconds of fame.