Account security is one of the most vital pieces of the busy and interconnected world right now and nobody wants strangers accessing their personal information online. You might use a password manager as well as two-factor authentication like we mentioned in a previous post, but now there’s another way to stay protected.
Here is a slick looking mini USB web cam Brando tipped us on.Â The mini web cam is extremely compact in size at just 89 x 24 x 20mm in size, can rotate 180 degrees and swivel 270 degrees.Â On top of all this, the mini web cam also has a microSD card reader slot.
In no time you can have a web cam setup for family chat or spy camera to keep an eye on that questionable one.Â At just 89mm tall, it would be hard to tell what was sticking out of your PC.
The resoltuion isn’t bad either with a 1.3M pixel and resolution up to 640 x 480 [VGA] or 2560 x 2048 max.
The microSD slot does support SDHC formats and the entire system comes with an installation drive CD to support Windows 2000/XP/Vista.Â $29 at Brando.
I ran into a situation the other day where my SD card was [all-of-a-sudden] write protected. I couldn’t format it, I couldn’t delete the files and I certainly couldn’t write to it. I checked the lock/unlock switch and still, no avail. I thought the card was a total loss.
It turns out, the SD card wasn’t the problem but the card reader was.
After some internet searching I found several solutions to the problem, but no one really explained what the problem was. So I thought others could learn on “why” their SD card was write protected and giving problems.
First off, lets take a look at the SD card reader itself. Below is a typical SD connector found inside most SD card readers. The area I will be talking about today is the part of the reader which makes a physical connection to either give write access or provide write protection. It’s the thin metal strip the blue arrow is pointing to.
What gives the SD card write protect error is when that metal strip does not make contact with another metal strip on the inside of the card reader. When the SD flash memory card is pushed inside the card reader, the internal metal strip is pushed outward and makes contact with the outer metal strip shown in the picture above.
To give you a better idea, here is a rough drawing / schematic of the metal connectors:
Here is a twist on the traditional flash memory card reader.Â The flash memoy Lady Bug is a creatively designed card reader with some additional features.
The little Lady Bug is a microSD card reader, includes a min 5pin data cable and of all things, includes a micro UV money detector light.Â Hmmm.
Topping it all off, the Lady Bug includes 4GBs of memory so she can be used as a USB drive.
Simply click the black “head” button on the front and the wings pop open giving you access to all her parts and features.Â All this for just $10.
Ya, that’s right…sometimes you need to crack your own flash memory.Â In this case, what if you have a password protected SD card?Â Well, the crafty fellows at USBFever have a solution which requires a USB port and a card reader adapter.
The USB Fever memory card unlocker is designed to crack your code and get back that flash memory you’ve been locked out from.Â The draw back, which I believe is appropriate punishment on forgetting your password, is the unlocker wipes your card clean of any data.Â If the data is that important you can send the flash card out to be serviced – but are pictures of your mother-in-law that important?Â Doubt it.
USB Fever memory card unlocker product page.
As things unfold for the miCard today we find a picture of the first [actual] product.
Here we see the Pretec S-Diamond miCard which is the new memory card standard from the MMC Association. The new format is expected to house anywhere from 128MB to 2TBs!
Measuring only 21mmX12mmX1.95mm, miCard is the smallest USB flash drive in the world, with an area 40% smaller than miniSD (volume is about 18% smaller than miniSD).
miCard can also be an SD/MMC card with an inexpensive adapter. The specification of miCard should be able to be released to MMCA members later this year.
S-Diamond is the 2nd generation of Pretec i-Disk Diamond series, which has been the smallest USB flash drive for years, which can now also serve as an SD/MMC card, saving not only consumers cost, but also saving hassles by getting rid of card readers and carrying multiple flash cards in different form factors.