SD Memory Cards Should Use Specific Formatting Software

computer userDid 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. Continue Reading 2 Comments

Flash Memory Lady Bug

Here is a twist on the traditional flash memory card reader.  The flash memoy Lady Bug is a creatively designed card reader with some additional features.

lady bug usb

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.  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.  All this for just $10. Continue Reading

Ricky Martin microSD Card – Did You Read That Right?

Yes, you read it correctly.  Ricky Martin and Kingston Technology have teamed together to bring one of the first music albums to the microSD format.

ricky martin microsd

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,” said Ricky Martin. “I enthusiastically embrace these new formats. They mean global growth for not only my music — but for all music — and that’s why I’m very happy to form this alliance with Kingston.”
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,” said Seth A. Schachner, Vice President, Digital Business Latin America, Sony BMG Music Entertainment. “It’s also a terrific, versatile product to boot.”
The 1GB Ricky Martin microSD card is available at Amazon for only $11.  Ricky Martin fans rejoice! Continue Reading

Low Density NAND Flash Memory Stays Strong for 2008

Silicon Motion

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. Continue Reading

Encrypted Cell Phones Tell No Tales

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.

trustchip

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.

koolspan microsd trustchip

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. Continue Reading 35 Comments

First Open Source Linux Cell Phone On Sale

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.
open source cell phone
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 Continue Reading

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