■ U3 Flash drives —
such as the
SanDisk Cruzer —
operation on a
range of computers.
drive and boot
them up on any handy machine, making
the drive essentially a portable version
of your computer minus the computer.
You can take your browser and
bookmarks, email program, word
processor, or whatever with you
wherever you go. While it appears
that most of the drives are compatible
with Windows® only, SanDisk
( www.sandisk.com) sells the Cruzer®
Micro USB Flash Drive, with 256 MB
capacity, for $24.95, and it is said to be
compatible with Windows ME, 2000,
and XP, Mac OS 9.1.x+ and OS X
v10.1.2+, and Certified Windows XP.
U3-Info offers various articles and
other information on the hardware and
software, plus a list of companies that
sell U3 products. And, in case you were
wondering, no, you can’t upgrade your
existing Flash drive to U3 level. Sorry,
but the hardware is different.
storage systems, including blade
servers, 1U servers with full
RAID 5 capability, and larger
rack servers that need the
highest possible performance density.
Interfaces include 3 GB serial attached
SCSI (SAS) and 4 GB fiber channel. Price
information was unavailable at the time
of this writing, but the previous 73. 4 GB
version sold for between $464 and $565,
according to CNET ( www.cnet.com),
which might provide a hint.
PHOTO COURTESY OF U3-INFO.
Unless you own or run a bank, you
won’t be buying the product, but
the Falcon One for Online Access
product line, recently introduced by Fair
Issac Corp. ( www.fairisaac.com), may
affect you anyway. Billed as a comprehensive system for protecting online
financial transactions, it provides neural
network-based transaction monitoring
by learning customer behavior patterns
and recognizing suspicious transactions,
including activities that include online,
debit, branch, and credit transactions.
By “suspicious,” we’re talking
about whether you log on from your
usual IP address, the clock setting on
your computer, and even the way you
type and operate your mouse. You will
probably be unaware that the system is
watching you unless your activities
reach a certain threshold of fraud risk,
at which point the bank might send a
password to your known email address
or cell phone and ask you to enter it
before continuing the session. It may
seem slightly like Big Brother is watching you, but it might be a reasonable
trade-off for protecting your assets.
( www.cpsc.gov), Hewlett-Packard has
agreed to a voluntary recall of its
Photosmart R707 digital cameras, of
which it has sold about 224,000 units in
the USA and 670,000 worldwide.
Apparently, when the camera is connected to an AC adaptor or docking station,
it can cause some nonrechargeable batteries — and specifically the Duracell CP-
1 — to overheat and pose a fire hazard.
The Chinese-built camera has not
actually caused physical harm to anyone, but owners are advised to stop
using the cameras until they have been
upgraded with a firmware update that
eliminates the problem. The good
news is that you can do it yourself
simply by logging onto www.hp.com
and clicking on the “Replacement
programs & recalls” link.
2.5-INCH DRIVE OFFERS
PHOTO COURTES Y OF SEAGATE TECHNOLOG Y LLC.
■ Seagate’s new Savvio 10K.2 drive
provides reduced power consumption
and high reliability.
On a more traditional level is the new
Savvio 10K.2 disk drive, which is the
second-generation 2.5-inch enterprise-class storage device from Seagate
( www.seagate.com). Available with up to
146 GB capacity, it uses 15 percent less
power than its predecessor and offers
what Seagate claims is a world record in
reliability: 1.6 million hours MTBF. That
comes out to a little better than 182
years, and there’s a good chance you
won’t be using it that long, but it is a
pretty impressive number. The drive is
aimed at the creation of new types of
If your latest design is for something
that is particularly sensitive to short-circuit failures, take a look at the TBW
series tantalum fused capacitors from
AVX Corp. ( www.avxcorp.com). Using
a thin film technology, the device
includes an internal fuse to protect
against short circuits, and it also offers
lower ESR limits than many other caps.
The primary applications for the
capacitor include any military or aerospace circuitry where derating is at
marginal levels and reliability relating
to voltage breakdown is a concern.
Capacitance values range from 4. 7 µF
to 47 µF, with a capacitance tolerance
of ±10% to ±20%. The series is rated
for a temperature range - 55 to +125°C
and is available with voltage ratings up
to 50 VDC.
ONE SMOKING CAMERA
DEVELOPED FOR CELL
According to a recent announcement from the US
■ HP’s R707 camera
is recalled because
of fire hazard.
PHOTO COURTESY OF
This may not be the most momentous development in electronics,
but for people who use the
cameras on their cell phones, this
new feature could eliminate a
minor source of annoyance. Samsung Electro-Mechanics ( www.sem.
August 2006 9