Who doesn't hate carrying around their laptop? Even the lightest ones weigh a couple of pounds and can be a huge burden to lug around the city. That's where portable apps, ones stored on a USB drive, come in.
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When I was in primary school, kids used to pass around printed out copies of The Anarchist's Cookbook and we would delight in the type of mischief and mayhem that book described. My favourite entry was the one for the floppy disk bomb. According to the book, with a little bit of match powder and nail polish, you could create a "bomb" out of a 3.5-inch floppy drive that would successfully fry the hard drive on a computer.
If you're an owner of a new Apple MacBook, HP Spectre or Samsung Galaxy Note 7 you'd be familiar with the slim, high-speed, high-power USB Type-C connector. It's set to become the new standard, with its reversibility (that's right, there's no wrong way up with the USB-C) just one of the advantages. It can power laptops, transfer data and solve world hunger (okay, maybe not that last one).
Now Intel have hailed it as the ideal — and superior — alternative to the headphone jack.
USB-C is a great new connector, but has been somewhat slow in its inevitable march to becoming the default option. But now a range of new products from laptops to phones use USB-C, so there are a handful of accessories sporting the new plug. So what different options are there, and how much do they cost?
Over the past six months, the state of USB-C cables and chargers has been a minefield. That's OK, you tell yourself, just stick with stock accessories and all should be well. Except no. An independent researcher has discovered that even Google's boxed chargers for its Nexus phones can be defective, putting your devices at risk.
Government-sponsored hackers are using a clever trick to attack critical infrastructure like nuclear power plants, dams and oil refineries. According to Eric Knapp, chief cybersecurity engineer at Honeywell, one third of malware found in critical infrastructure came from USB drives plugged in by users.
Seagate and Lacie have launched a few new portable hard drives in Australia this past week, and they're all designed for the future. Like the new Seagate Innov8, two new Lacie drives — including one for an eye-watering $2400 — are built around superfast USB 3.1 Gen 2, with built-in power and reversible data connectors.
USB-C is a fantastic new standard for almost everything, unless you have a crappy cable, in which case you might accidentally fry your laptop. The people behind USB-C understandably see this as a problem, so a fix is in the works.
A cheap USB-C cable can fry your phone or computer. So it's nice to see that Amazon is taking action, clamping down on the sale of poor-quality USB-C cables that don't make the grade.
Centuries ago, man's biggest struggle was survival. Today, it's finding a way to keep our smartphones charged until bedtime. But instead of having to hunt for an available power outlet, Nathalie Teugels has designed a comfy chair that converts your fidgets and nervous energy into usable electricity.
If you've configured two-step verification for your Gmail account, rather than checking your mobile for codes you can plug in a verified USB stick instead. You can carry it wherever you go, and of course, it doesn't lose battery or signal. According to Google, it also offers better protection against phishing attacks. Here's how you can set it up.
If you were hoping to simply grab a USB Type-C adaptor and reuse all your micro USB cables and accessories with your shiny new Nexus 5X or 6P — you might want to think again. According to Benson Leung, a senior software engineer at Google, you should stay away from basically all such adaptors until the company gives the say so.
The last thing you ever want to do is connect a random flash drive you've found to your computer's USB port. But a security researcher who goes by the nickname 'Dark Purple' has created an even more dangerous flash stick that can physically destroy your computer — not just infect its drives.