Military Grade Protection for your USB flash drive

ironkey.jpgWalyou: We have become dependent on USB flash drives, for these compact devices are both extremely practical and convenient. While these offer many advantages, they also hold very important personal and professional data and therefore we would not want to lose this information. Ironkey knows how important it is to keep your data safe and raised the bar on data security and protection.

The Ironkey USB Flash Drive holds your important documents, pictures, and online passwords secure by its own Cryptochip, which provides military grade AES encryption for safeguarding. If it is physically damaged or the password is incorrectly entered 10 times, the internal data will self destruct. In addition, it is filled with epoxy based compound, making it waterproof and preventing individuals from reaching its internal hardware. In the case it is lost or stolen, you can rest assured that your data will be secured.

Self destructing USB flash drive by Ironkey [Walyou]

Shine On, You Crazy Gadgets

I spent this decade hunting for the perfect gadget. I never thought I would end up with tech as good as this. But it’s not the tech that interests me the most anymore.

In 2000, I was just another kid out of college in Boston escaping to the Golden State’s climate and opportunity. The perfect job didn’t present itself for six long months; four months later, it burst with the bubble.

It’s not important what the job was. I was fired not just because the company was eating shit but also because I spent extraordinary amounts of company time online, obsessively reading about games and gadgets. That was fate, it seems.

My toys were nothing fancy; a leftover Dell Inspiron laptop with a 266 MHz processor, maybe 256MB of RAM, and no 3D graphics; a Motorola Startac variant on T-Mobile (300 minutes, no data plan—can you imagine!—or even text messages).

I don’t think I even had a portable media player, playing Napster MP3s only at home on Winamp. For video games I had a first generation PlayStation, games rented from Kosmo and copied with a CD burner, played on an Aiwa 24-inch TV that was built around a Sony Trinitron CRT tube. At the time, these were important brands.

Since then the companies that made the gadgets I loved started looking old-fashioned, following that simple-minded formula of chasing more MHz, more pixels.

Then: iPod.

And I ignored it. It was pretty but I couldn’t afford one. It almost seemed stupid, since lots of other MP3 players advertised more features for less cash. I didn’t own a Mac, nor did I plan to. It was white—and who wanted a white gadget? Silver was my kind of cool. Fake plastic silver, even. Anything with a metallic flake in its finish. I didn’t get it, conceptually or literally.

Remember Creative? They made better stuff than Apple for less money, and I wanted one of their players. Today, I don’t know if Creative even makes MP3 players. I use iTunes and for music buying. I bet you do, too. It took more than a few failed experiments, but a lot of us are actually buying music again.

Digital changed cameras, too.

My first digital camera was a Kodak, because Kodak was the brand for imaging even through the late ’90s, before the Canon and Nikon train barreled past Rochester, leaving Kodak a ghost town. Kodak was invested in the past.

This was the decade I got into PC gaming hardware—then got out. I wasn’t even that into the games, but loved slapping cheap components into tall steel Taiwanese cases, looping wires through sharp-edged bays for fans, lights, optical and hard drives.

A year into this habit, I realized I was in an pointless upgrade loop. I’d get a few more frames per second out of a new video card, but the games weren’t more fun at higher frames-rates or resolutions, especially when everyone got stuck playing Counterstrike for two years straight. (I was still playing consoles, but my fervor was waning; I waited in line for a PS2 and only to collapse onto my bed with the box, too tired to open it.)

One sweltering day my PC suffered a fatal crash and lost a lot of data. That was that. I gave in to Mactardedness—and not because I loved Apple, but because I hated inconvenience. Maybe using a Mac would provoke less cursing. I even got an iPod. Slowly, my brain released its desire to tinker, and I used my rebuilt PC less and less.

I noticed Friendster. Joined. It got slow.

Joined MySpace. It got filled with junk.

Joined that Facebook thing because Nick Denton made me. Man is it ugly. I didn’t log back in for a few years.

Signed up for Twitter. No one I know in real life uses this thing. Didn’t sign in for a few years. I didn’t get the social web, at first. Google—not other people—was my door to the internet.

Got a PS3. Turned it on for Metal Gear. Squinted at menus. It asked me to log in for its store, but there was nothing in there. Beat Metal Gear twice, turned it off. Dust looks like a matte finish on a PS3.

Got an Xbox 360. Added my friends. Liked knowing where my friends were and what they were doing. Liked killing my friends on Xbox, even though PS3 has faster, quieter, nicer hardware. I guess I am not as anti-social as I thought—as long as being social involves assassination. (Twitter would be better if you could use it to murder your friends.)

Bought HD-DVD. Blu-ray won the battle the last physical media format ever. Now I just subscribe to 15 different movie services. (Wait, is that better?)

Ten years ago, Dell was shaking things up because it sold through the internet for cheap. Now they’re shrinking. You can’t tell the difference between an Inspiron or Latitude or XPS with a 15-inch screen. People who shop for computers now often look to Apple simply because it’s easier to pick a size—small, medium, or large—and then pick the expensive or the cheaper version. (Do you want fries with that?) Dell’s branding and model line up is an American heartland clusterfuck.

Sony stopped cooking up so many proprietary—often imaginary—formats, but only because they’d lost. The company that made the Walkman now makes iPod docks. Sony’s hardware continues to be fantastic, but does it matter? They’re the only gadget company with a music label and movie studio. Can anyone name the Sony iTunes alternative? Does anyone talk to their friends about their love for the TX-1234xZR? Or its cousin without Bluetooth, the TX-1234xZRnbt? Or the TX-1234xZRnbt2xz with an extra 2X zoom? Sony’s branding and model line up is a Japanese megacorp clusterfuck.

For an all-too-brief moment, T-mobile was hip because they were cheap, had a phone called the Hiptop, and Catherine Zeta Jones was hotter than Ma Bell. You could get your problems taken care of in one call. Also: pink logo. Then we all got phones capable of doing real things that needed real pipes. AT&T was convinced by Apple to do some cheap flat rate thing on that iPhone. Sorry TMO.

Apple came back. It was Steve, a man who lost the first round 20 years ago and came back to fight the mobile war with all the old lessons from the PC war in pocket. Design, manufacturing, sourcing of components, marketing and maybe most importantly, software. He had almost everything under control. They went Intel, declaring that hardware wasn’t the thing that defined a better computer.

And, this little thing called iPhone. We had an email debate at Gizmodo about calling this decade the “iDecade”. Naming a decade after a gadget, no matter how great it is, makes me want to vomit. So does calling the iPhone the gadget of the year. It just seems too easy, too cliche.

But it was the one. It has been the culmination of decades of development across countless industries, all coming together into a single little slab of near-perfection. After a decade filled with so many aborted, ill-conceived clones and ideas tuned more for profit than progress, the iPhone was a rare gem. Just because it’s obvious doesn’t make it less true.

For years, the received wisdom was that specialized devices would always continue to progress at a rate that made all-in-one devices poor solutions.

Here are the things replaced by my iPhone: Mapping and GPS; point-and-shoot camera; Flip camcorder; Game Boy; calculator (okay, I didn’t carry this around ever); calendar; organizer; any book-of-the-moment; phone; Playboy; newspaper; notebook; voice recorder; iPod; video player (can you believe this was a whole gadget category just three years ago?); weatherman; TV; wrist watch; radio; alarm clock; compass; pedometer; musical instrument; Bible, medical journals, dictionary, any reference book. Sometimes, even my laptop. Put together enough “good enough” solutions, it turns out, and they begin to outweigh even the specialized devices.

Thank goodness it’s looking like it’s not going to just be the iPhone. (Although credit where it’s due; Apple pushed the whole industry forward by five years, easily, if judged by the rate the rest of the industry was moving.) Whether Android, Palm, maybe even Windows Mobile if Microsoft really buckles down, little portable internet computers with an ever-expanding array of senses we have (save taste/smell, but just wait) and little applications that make them more and more useful, are finally pushing gadgetry forward in ways we never fully expected.

None of this happened randomly. Those who ended up on top had luck and timing and resources. But why they came out ahead was predicated by several things, naturally highlighted in hindsight.

The four rings of gadgetdom in the 2000s were design, the social internet, powerful but inexpensive hardware, and a real software ecosystem.

Only five companies have a shot at nailing the home, mobile and work hat trick, from software and hardware to internet: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sony and Samsung. They’re all failing in some way. Apple’s cloud services are a joke. Sony can still make great hardware but have no idea how people want to use it. Samsung can’t write code. With Android, Google can’t figure out if they want to be Microsoft or Apple. Counterintuitive as it may seem, I think Microsoft has a real shot at winning the next decade, if they listen to their entertainment group who have figured out how to do a platform right.

Little companies don’t really have a shot at this level of unified, do-all gadget greatness. The age of the garage hardware start-up belongs to the web generation, not the next generation of gadget makers. Smartphones have become analogous to PCs of the ’90s. There’s little room for a new PC platform to come online, but a vast potential space for start-ups to use the big platforms as a springboard with new accessories and software.

Gizmodo has undergone fundamental changes in the last few years. It’s really hard to get excited about copy cat hardware made from the same underlying chips and parts, often in the same factory. Any blog that covers press release after press release indiscriminately is doing readers a serious disservice instead of focusing on what makes a real difference to gadgetry: content, social context and applications. What gets us excited are evolving operating systems that pump the hardware full of new life and devices that continuously inhale new movies, music, and messages from friends through the internet.

Right now, I’m in Japan. It’s already 2010. When I look ahead at this year, it’s easy to see why the anticipation for tablets is boiling over, even though the idea of tablets, like smartphones five years ago, is perhaps old hat. Now that we’ve seen what happens when companies really nail a unified smartphone, we’re projecting our hopes on the generation of tablets to come.

The best tech, as it approaches a zenith of purpose and polish, becomes invisible. It gets out of the way of the user, becomes just a portal to…stuff. One does not give much thought to a faucet as long as it provides water. Finally, at the end of this decade, we’ve had a taste of what it’s like when network capability, slick software, sensors and—most importantly—content and communication come together in such tiny, shrinking hardware.

It’s not shiny things that captivate me anymore; it’s what they shine.

Engadget’s top posts, 2009

Wow. Can you believe it? We made it all the way through 2009! We truly had some of the most amazing and exciting coverage ever on Engadget this past 12 months — and we figured it’s time to take a look back at the heaviest hitters from the last 365. This was a big year for us, we got a whole new look, an iPhone app (with more on the way), hired some new staff, got ourselves a show, went on late night TV, and managed to snap up some killer scoops and keep the news rolling (better than ever before, actually — this was by far our heaviest year for traffic). So let’s take a moment to reflect on what caused all the fuss in 2009, and yes, we know this list is Apple heavy. We blame you guys.

Top 20 most trafficked posts of 2009 (in order)

  1. Phil Schiller keynote live from WWDC 2009
  2. Live from Apple’s ‘It’s only rock and roll’ event
  3. Live from Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 preview event
  4. Live from the Macworld 2009 keynote
  5. iPhone 3GS review
  6. Motorola Droid review
  7. Palm Pre: everything you ever wanted to know
  8. Exclusive: first Google Phone / Nexus One photos, Android 2.1 on-board
  9. HTC Hero review
  10. Windows 7 review
  11. Palm Pre review
  12. Microsoft sucks at Photoshop
  13. Microsoft announces availability of Windows 7 Beta and Windows Live
  14. Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence from Apple due to health reasons
  15. Video: Sony’s PSP Go leaks out before E3, is obviously a go
  16. Motorola Droid first hands-on
  17. Windows 7 Beta goes public
  18. Modern Warfare 2’s Prestige Edition includes fully functioning night vision goggles
  19. Snow Leopard review
  20. Live from Palm’s CES press conference

And a few other statistics for 2009 (all related to Engadget Classic):

$38,204.57 – Retail value of stuff we gave away to readers
12,681 – total number of posts for 2009
1,821 – Number of galleries on Engadget for 2009
454 – Number of hands-on posts
99 – Number of Engadget reviews
66 – number of podcasts
4 – number of Engadget shows

Engadget’s top posts, 2009 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Dec 2009 23:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask Engadget: Best Skype phone for Europe?

We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget question is coming to us from Roland, who can’t wait to get his recently relocated sister some sort of phone with Skype capabilities.

“My sister recently moved to Belgium. She has access to WiFi at home, so I’d like to send her a mobile phone that can run a Skype client. Requirements are WiFi, can work on Belgian / European carriers, runs Skype, and has excellent battery life. Anyone have any suggestions?”

There’s nothing worse than not being able to communicate with someone when you desperately need to, so we’re hoping that our readers across the pond will be able to chime in here with a little advice. If you’ve got something productive to add, drop it down in comments below!

Ask Engadget: Best Skype phone for Europe? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Dec 2009 23:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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‘8-bit Xmas’ breathes new life into your ‘Bah! Humbug!’ NES

Is there still room in your heart for eight more unassuming bits of Xmas? We hoped you’d say yes. See, 8-bit Xmas 2009 is an all-new NES cart full of festive LEDs and an original multiplayer snowball fight NES game. It sells for $43, but for $5 more you can get a personalized title screen — which seems like a relatively cheap fulfillment of that decades long dream of yours to have your name up in pixelated lights on the home console that defined the home console. The cart should be compatible with all real NES systems and hopefully many fake ones, and while it can’t help you forgive your Aunt Samantha for giving you that Sudoku quilt, it might just do the insignificant task of teaching you the true meaning of Xmas.

‘8-bit Xmas’ breathes new life into your ‘Bah! Humbug!’ NES originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Dec 2009 21:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Joystiq  |  sourceRetroZone  | Email this | Comments

Time Warner Cable shows subscribers how to cut cord

Cable company posts a comprehensive set of instructions for grabbing video directly from the Web, part of the company’s posturing with News Corp.’s Fox over rates. pOriginally posted at a href=”” class=”origPostedBlog”News – Digital Media/a/p

Palm App catalog hits 1,000 apps… okay, 946

Hey, good news everybody! The Palm App Catalog, which has lagged far behind its peers, has reached the 1,000 app milestone as of this morning. Well, to be precise, it’s hit 946, as pointed out by Electronista, but still, it’s a nice little sign of growth for the webOS apps, whose development was hampered by very restricted initial access to its Mojo SDK. In comparison to contenders such as Android, whose catalog numbers around 20,000, and Apples iTunes store, which boasts over 100,000, Palm’s numbers are extremely modest — but progress is progress, especially considering it launched its App Catalog in June with just 30 apps. We look forward to hearing Palm’s CES keynote, that’s for sure.

Palm App catalog hits 1,000 apps… okay, 946 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Dec 2009 19:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Invetech 3D bio-printer is ready for production, promises ’tissue on demand’

Say hello to “the world’s first production model 3D bio-printer.” What you’re looking at is a machine capable of arranging human cells and artificial scaffolds into complex three-dimensional structures, which result in such wonderful things as replacement liver and kidney tissue, or such simple niceties as artificially grown teeth. All we’re told of the internal workings is that the bio-printer utilizes laser-calibrated print heads and that its design is the first to offer sufficiently wide flexibility of use to make the device viable. Organovo will be the company responsible for promoting the new hardware to research institutions, while at the same time trying to convince the world that it’s not the fifth sign of the apocalypse. Maybe if the printer didn’t have a menacing red button attached to it, we’d all be a little less freaked out by it.

Invetech 3D bio-printer is ready for production, promises ’tissue on demand’ originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Dec 2009 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Gizmodo  |  sourceLive Science  | Email this | Comments

Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball, a timeline

The 102-year history of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is filled with technology, death, and, of course, pretty shiny lights. See it all unfold in our historical timeline.

Study: middle-aged people unimpressed with modern technology

The Olds — they’re never happy, are they? Just look at this study conducted by the feared and respected Zogby International. According to a poll, those aged 35-54 are most disappointed by how far technology has come by 2010, having grown up with the concept of that Jetsons robot that automatically brushes your teeth and the promise of Sleeper’s Orgasmatron. Still, 21 percent of Emperor Zogby’s subjects said tech was more advanced than they would have imagined, while another 37 percent claimed we were right on track with our technological achievements. But what about the super old people, you ask? Well go figure, a third of those queried 70 years of age and over said our current tech was basically blowing their collective minds (or, was more advanced than they expected). Said one respondent, “I never know where the next robot attack is coming from.”

Study: middle-aged people unimpressed with modern technology originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Dec 2009 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceZogby  | Email this | Comments