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.
Samsung is looking to strengthen their digital memory storage line with a possible purchase of SanDisk.Â SanDisk is currently the #1 supplier of solid state flash memory, world wide [such as Secure Digital, miniSD, microSD and many more].Â Samsung is the top producer of flash memory chips.
Through an acquisition, Samsung would strengthen it’s channel for supplying it’s flash chip to retail and channel sales of end-user flash memory.
With weak chip prices and fluctuating buyer habits, a move like this could strengthen Samsung’s position and would put Samsung at over 50% of world wide control of production, distribution and sales of NAND flash memory.
Avi Cohen of Avian Securities said it was an “unlikely prospect” due to SanDisk being unwilling to sell at the bottom of the cycle, and Samsung becoming a direct competitor to many of its customers and regulatory concerns. “Regulators in the US, Korea and Europe among others will likely have issue with one player controlling north of 50 per cent of NAND [Flash memory] supply,” he said.
Another option is Samsung reducing it’s royalty license to SanDisk to gain synergy with the top seller, reduce SanDisk’s bottom line and secure channel distribution of flash memory.
However if a deal goes ahead, it could block efforts by Samsung rivals Toshiba and Hynix Semiconductor to topple Samsung’s market leadership. Toshiba runs joint production lines with SanDisk and Hynix is also conducting joint re-search with the US group. Samsung controls 42.3 per cent of the NAND flash memory market, trailed by Toshiba with 27.5 per cent and Hynix with 13.4 per cent, says market researcher iSuppli.
Did you know that SD (Secure Digital) memory cards should use a specific type of formatting software? I didn’t. I’ve been using the typical Windows formatting utility for years now – never seen a problem. However, I found out today that Panasonic has such a software utility. A utility that complies with the SD Memory Card Specification.
The SD formatting software is specifically design for this media type and should not be used with other media types such as Compact Flash, USB or Memory Stick.
However, the SD formatting software is ideal for SD, SDHC and all the sub sizes including miniSD and microSD.
It is difficult to determine exactly what the difference is from the Panasonic website but from our investigation it appears you get two benefits. 1) the card size is formatted correctly to maximize size. The Windows version will make your card slightly smaller and 2) with optimized format the flash memory will perform slightly better.
Of the two benefits, it’s difficult to determine how much of a difference a user would really see. Marginal at best. However, if you are anything like me, grab the utility package and give her a try.
Panasonic’s webpage for SD Memory Card Formatting Utility.
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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.
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Yes, you read it correctly.Â Ricky Martin and Kingston Technology have teamed together to bring one of the first music albums to the microSD format.
The Ricky Martin microSD card comes with exclusive preloaded music is a 1GB size that features 2 free songs, a video clip and photos from Ricky Martin’s Black & White tour.
The microSD card includes a USB reader so users can instantly access the card from a host computer or laptop, or connect the microSD card directly into their MP3 compatible phone or PDA.
Comment from Ricky Martin:
“I am very excited by the new avenues for sharing music that technology continues to provide,â€ said Ricky Martin. “I enthusiastically embrace these new formats. They mean global growth for not only my music â€” but for all music â€” and that’s why I’m very happy to form this alliance with Kingston.â€
Comment from Kingston rep:
“The microSD Ricky Martin Live Card from Kingston is an innovative way for savvy consumers to enjoy Ricky Martin’s music,â€ said Seth A. Schachner, Vice President, Digital Business Latin America, Sony BMG Music Entertainment. “It’s also a terrific, versatile product to boot.â€
While forecasting strong sales and profitability in 2008, Silicon Motion projects that demand for low-density NAND flash will beat that for the high-density segment, driven by demand for microSD cards and embedded memory, said company president and CEO Wallace Kou.
Silicon Motion guides that annual sales will grow by 25-35% on year with gross margins to stay in the range of 52-53% in 2008. Although memory makers strive to migrate NAND flash applications to higher density under sales and profitability concerns, that makes no difference for controller makers, Kou said. For a controller IC design house, he stressed that memory density has no relationship on controller sales, given that any NAND flash application (such as USB drive or memory card) only requires one controller, regardless of memory density.
In light of global economic trends, Kou said demand for low-density NAND flash products should be better, partially due to sales spurred by the bundling of memory cards with handsets. Demand for microSD cards will continue to expand in 2008, Kuo said. Out of the 96.3 million units of controllers shipped in the fourth quarter, 89.3 million were for memory cards and USB drives, he detailed.
KoolSpan is offering up an encryption solution for cell phones, PDAs, smartphones and the like for end-to-end security. For mission critical applications, say government or defense contract work, a simple and convenient security system for cell phones is serious business.
KoolSpan has made encrypted cell phones simple. With any device that has microSD support the KoolSpan system will work. The solution is simple – just dial the number. If the other phone is KoolSpan enabled, then both phones automatically go [256bit] secure.
The KoolSpan encryption process is based off their TrustCenter management center. Here administrators can create security groups and permit / deny users based off security clearance protocols. All the necessary authentication keys, identity codes and crypto algorithms are pre-loaded into the KoolSpan TrustChipâ„¢. From that point on, mobile devices find each other through normal phone calls, and then transparently and automatically authenticate and encrypt sessions for secure end-to-end communications.
The KoolSpan encrypted cell phone solution is plug-n-play with the microSD TrustChip with no further configuration required. The TrustChip runs about $300 USD and isn’t clear on whether a monthly service is required.
KoolSpan TrustChip product page.
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Update: More info here
The other day (literally) a fellow blogger and I where talking about why cell phones are so damn proprietary and if someone could develop a phone with the same open-source mindset as say WordPress (this blogging platform) than our world would be much better off. Well apparently I’ve been living under a rock.
From OpenMoko comes the Neo 1973 open-source cell phone based off the Linux kernel.
We selected chips that have complete documentation publicly available, such as the ARM-based Samsung S3C2410 SOC. We added a debug port with complete access to JTAG and a serial console. This phone is designed for open-source development.
With a sporty 640×480 LCD that holds a beautiful 283 dpi the visual from the Neo 1973 should be amazing.
Unlike the first version of the iPhone the Neo 1973 will have 128MB RAM with 64MB NAND flash and an expandable microSD slot (bonus 512MB card ships with the phone).
So hackers, gadget hounds and side project guru’s I think this is worth a closer look. At just $300 – what a deal.
This first run of release units is more geared towards developers so don’t expect any retail phones to hit BestBuy just yet.
OpenMoko Neo 1973 home page