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102 comments

This stupid thing too. (4, Interesting)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094112)

My most sincere apologies to Fiftythree.org, but when I read about plugging unconventional things into the computer, this classic came to mind. Note: the USBKiller is not listed. Scatter a few of these outside the back door of your local bank.

The EtherKiller and friends: http://www.fiftythree.org/etherkiller/ [fiftythree.org]
The Google cache [64.233.167.104]

Or this stupid thing [thinkgeek.com] is more in line with the aim of the article.

Re:This stupid thing too. (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094866)

The EtherKiller and friends: http://www.fiftythree.org/etherkiller/ [fiftythree.org]

I once had a PC case where the connection to the 'hard disk is running' LED had an evil twin that connected to the power supply....

Re:This stupid thing too. (1)

balbord (447248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095273)

>Or this stupid thing [thinkgeek.com] is more in line with the aim of the article.
Bah! I have one those right in front of me by the tft... the stupid thing broke down 36 hours after arriving!

Re:This stupid thing too. (1)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095303)

The people at fiftythree.org need to proofread their site. It's full of spelling and grammar mistakes.

Stuff that just uses power shouldn't count (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094128)

I'm only interested in weird stuff that uses the USB data connection also.

No kidding, way boring. (1)

skids (119237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094221)

However, by the same token I'm way more interested in really cheap wireless telemetry a-la zigbee (thermometers, etc) than I am in USB, which was junk to begin with, once it decided to try to play in areas where it really didn't belong.

Re:Stuff that just uses power shouldn't count (4, Funny)

Qadesh (998988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094430)

I am so disappointed. I thought the vacuum cleaner would connect via the usb to a plan of the house and do the vacuuming for me.

Re:Stuff that just uses power shouldn't count (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#16097170)

USB would be a good interface for programming a Roomba, though! (They use RS-232, don't they?)

Re:Stuff that just uses power shouldn't count (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094493)

Yeah but you don't get on Digg with that kinda tripe...oh wait this is /.

Never Mind... :)

The appeal of USB is the power (2, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094591)

I agree with parent that anything that just steal USB isn't really a USB device.

However it is worth noting that it is the power that really makes USB different from other interfaces (sure you can steal a few mA from RS232). I quite often use USB to power small electronic circuits (development boards etc) instead of a wallwart or a bench power supply, even if they are using some other connectivity.

USB (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094132)

They're not USB controlled at all. They're USB powered, and I wish people who write articles would get the difference (hint: one can be replaced with batteries, the other can't).

Re:USB (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094157)

I got a USB fan that has a software-controlled speed setting. It's pretty useless outside an air-conditioned room, but it's mostly around for novelty's sake. I hate when people just yank the cord out without right-click removing it from the device list. It leaves the fan in an unstable state and blue screens Windows when I plug it back in.

Re:USB (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094217)

That's what you get for being a Windows Fan-boy.

I know, I know: {groan}

Re:USB (2, Funny)

uncle_riley (655260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094338)

The Linux USB fan drivers are still in beta I'm sure

Re:USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094392)

<insert ascii-art of a stick puppet with the word 'you' next to it, and an arrow above the puppet with the word 'joke' next to it.>

Re:USB (2, Funny)

miro f (944325) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094589)

in your haste to notify the GP of the fact that the GGP was a joke, you failed to realise that he was simply replying to the joke with a joke of his own

oh sorry, I forgot this is slashdot... I mean:

      <-- joke

    o
  -+- <-- you
    ^

Re:USB (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094617)

Of course, Linux doesn't need fans when it has rabid zealots.

Go on, mod me down, but you know it's true.

Re:USB (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095334)

But the rabid ones blow humid hot air.

Re:USB (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094460)

No, really. A USB device driver shouldn't do that. Though it has nothing to do with Windows, that's what you get for using proprietary software.

Re:USB (4, Informative)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094586)

The missile launcher is aimable and fireable through windows.

Re:USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094837)

One of the reasons why it's a very, very cool gadget. What would be even cooler is if you could hook up a little "radar" unit to it and have fire control through that...

Re:USB (2, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094841)

hahaha, did you mean, through Windows (tm) or through windows (is it open or did someone polish the glass really well?)

Re:USB (1)

Raumkraut (518382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094935)

There are a few interfaces for other OSes too. Someone below mentioned OSX, and there are two that I've seen for linux - I use pymissile [weston.id.au] at the moment (though it needed some fixing to get to work) - being able to control it over the network for teh win! :D

Re:USB (1)

bozzy (992580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16097511)

Yeah, though it isn't quite USB "powered". It requires 3 AA batteries [tesora.com.au] .

Give me more power, Scotty! (2, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094138)

I knew there was a reason Intel invested $6 bln in R&D last year: so I'd have plenty of power left over to run my USB nose hair trimmer.

Really useful? Laptop lights! (4, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094143)

Remember when USB started to go mainstream? After reading for a while about the 'glut' of 'wonderful devices' that would come down on the market and then hearing about USB-powered Tamagotchi (or some such stupidity) I pretty much gave up on the idea... until the laptop light. The USB-powered laptop light. Hell hath no fury compared to my reaching for my wallet to get one of these things at CompUSA the first time I saw them.

If USB gives us nothing more in the way of alternative devices and gadgets, I will consider it a victory anyway =)

Re:Really useful? Laptop lights! (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095043)

Well you could just by an IBM, they have a laptop light built in. As if producing the best laptops alone wasn't enough.

iBrator (5, Funny)

diablo-d3 (175104) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094144)

Well, there is always the iBrator [flamingmailbox.com] , the most, uh, "friendly" of USB devices.

Mirror (1)

Bifurcati (699683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094148)

MirrorDot [mirrordot.org] mirror.

The site's down for me (BusinessWeek.org down?! Maybe it's just gremlins in my walls.)

USB controlled or USB powered? (4, Informative)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094163)

Pisani offers a listing of some of the most creative USB-controlled gadgets available

Only the little missles look like they could be USB controlled. The rest just seem to be drawing power from the USB port.

Re:USB controlled or USB powered? (4, Interesting)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094257)

Well, this qualifies. DIY USB phone handset [instructables.com]
The guy combined a USB skype/gaming headset and an older style telephone handset for something that actually seems somewhat practical compared to a USB aquarium.

Re:USB controlled or USB powered? (1)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094417)

Only the little missles look like they could be USB controlled. The rest just seem to be drawing power from the USB port.

Got that one for my Dad for Father's day. Not only are the missiles controlled by USB, it comes complete with realistic soundeffects, and ducking co-workers! (nothing like a little in-office terror :)

Re:USB controlled or USB powered? (1)

praedictus (61731) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095924)

In other news, Tesora Gifts of Australia has been puzzled by huge numbers of web hits from Iran and North Korea. An unidentified NK source remarked that the off the shelf solution was much better than the software responsible for the recent failure of their long range missile test. Homeland Security has dispatched a Special Forces team to seal this obvious breach of export restrictions.

USB power is cool (4, Interesting)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094193)

I wish more devices used USB power to charge, then I wouldn't have to carry as many different power adapters around.

Re:USB power is cool (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094263)

They need the Irish magnetic system attached to the USB port so you could recharge your laptop with it.

Re:USB power is cool (1)

andrewweb (257554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095121)

Wow, I haven't heard an "Irish" joke for ages !

Are you, by any chance, from the 70's ? ;)

Re:USB power is cool (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094351)

Say goodbye to karma. Oh well.

What really friggin annoyed me is that I have a shiny, new cell phone, with a universal plug on the bottom. The charger plugs into that plug, and so does the USB cable. So I can't use the USB interface at the same time as I charge the phone with the AC adapter.

BUT IT WON'T CHARGE THE PHONE WITH A USB CABLE!

What kind of retarded corporate brain damage is that? It would be SO NICE if I could plug my phone into my laptop and charge the phone while I'm plugged in at a starbucks.

Friggen Motorola... Otherwise a decent, tri-mode phone The Motorola V325 [motorolav325.net]

Re:USB power is cool (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094488)

Sometimes a half-assed attempt at a good idea is more contemptible than ignoring the idea completely.

Let me tell you about such a half-assed attempt. I too have a shiny new phone with a universal plug on the buttom. Both the charger and the USB cable plug into it (as well as other stuff like a headset). The phone determines what kind of device is connected by using an ADC to check the voltage on pin 4 of the connector and changing its behavior accordingly (so this is all in software! !). This behavior-setting only works completely when the phone is turned on. The phone charges from either a charger or a USB cable while it is turned on. However, if the phone is turned off (usually because the freaking battery is dead), it charges happily if there is a 200k or 400k pulldown resister on pin 4, but if pin 4 is Z (as it is in the case of a USB cable), it won't charge.

Motorola sucks at making phones. period. The only compensating factor of my phone is that it runs Linux so that when I some day have the time, I can make it work the way a phone should. Of course, I'm out of luck on the charging thing, because whatever I run on the AP won't affect what the phone does while it is off.

Re:USB power is cool (2, Interesting)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095063)

I think you'll find that the phone's main processor is controlling the switched-mode power supply for battery charging. Instead of a comparator, a few resistors and a hefty transistor, they use an ADC and some spare CPU cycles to operate said hefty transistor. The idea is that as soon as there's enough voltage just to power the processor at all, it can deal with the whole business of interrupting and restarting the charging current to the supply capacitor {which is how a conventional SMPS regulates its voltage}. I first observed something like this about 7 years ago in a piece of vehicle electronics, containing a microprocessor. It used some kind of charge pump {i.e. where capacitors are alternately charged in parallel then discharged in series} to generate a higher supply voltage than the battery, to feed an op-amp amplifying the voltage drop across a resistance of a few milliohms to monitor current {no op-amp can amplify signals which are hard up against either supply rail, so you always need a supply just out of range. Easy to obtain in a mains appliance, harder in a battery appliance}. The transistors, diodes and capacitors were obvious, but damned if I could find the oscillator that ran it. Turned out it was a pin on the processor .....

My mobile is a Sony Ericsson, bought before Sony did that scandalous rootkit thing {but then I'm immune to that anyway, not having any Windows PCs}.

Re:USB power is cool (1)

iMaple (769378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094679)

My Motorola phone charges from the usb cable like a dream (I forgot the model number maybe 350 or 385 .. its new). Maybe you your usb port are have a cutoff circuit and the Motorola cell phone has a high power rating (which would mean that I am frying my usb port)

Re:USB power is cool (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095070)

I have an LGU8360 which has exactly the same problem - it charges through the same port as the USB data port BUT IT WON'T CHARGE THE PHONE WITH THE USB CABLE! Worst of all is that, when transfering data (it has an incredibly slow data modem, i think it's a 14.4kbps modem) the external screen displays the "connected" image... so if I leave the data to transfer overnight (necessary for anything that is over about 50mb) the external screen drains the power. If it had a seperate data to power port OR it charged via USB, this wouldn't be a problem...
This ALSO upsets it's ability to serve as a (very expensive and slow) modem when connected to laptops etc, since it drains all its power quite quickly, what with the screen being on and the transmitter/reciever working overtime.
Its only saving grace in this regard is that, it lasts forever off a full charge (much longer than other 3G phones with comparable screen sizes) so it won't be completely drained when I unplug it the next morning.

USB Powered != USB Gadget (3, Interesting)

Zaffle (13798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094247)

I'm sick of every man and his dog working out that their product can run from 5v dc, and therefore sticking a usb port on it, and saying its now able to connect to your computer!

Imagine if a photocopier did this. Oh no, you can't *print* to it. It just runs off USB power, but because the specification limits a single USB port to 200mA, we have provided a "conveniant" multiheaded usb plug (count them, 4 usb plugs).

No no no no no no

There are some really neat ICs out there that allow you to build a device thats USB controlled, eg the PC can send a signal down the wire (and vice versa) and you can make the device do something. USB pencil sharpers are not a great category for this. USB weather stations are.

Heck, I've always wanted to build a USB *controlled* fan. One that you can change the direction and speed via the USB port.

A really big useful-ness of the USB devices is that you can now replace almost any part of your PC. USB serial, USB parallel, USB sound, USB network. Case-in-point, my network took a power surge via the network/switch. Best I can tell, the server took the main charge, probably though the power supply, and happily diverted it through the ethernet port, which the switch passed on to each device connect. Then end result is the network component on every device on the network is fried. The simple answer, especially for my beauitful geeked-out slimline MythTV box is a USB network. (No room for any more PCI cards)

Re:USB Powered != USB Gadget (1)

Aluvus (691449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094817)

You would only need 2 USB plugs, since the spec says up to 500 mA per port is kosher.

I mean, assuming you could build a 4 W DC-powered photocopier to begin with.

Re:USB Powered != USB Gadget (1)

P-Nuts (592605) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095220)

There are some really neat ICs out there that allow you to build a device thats USB controlled, eg the PC can send a signal down the wire (and vice versa) and you can make the device do something.

Do you have any more information on these ICs? How difficult and expensive is it to build a simple few-channel low-voltage DC DAC/ADC device? Something where I can simply set an output to a desired voltage, and read the voltage into an input channel. I'm not talking waveforms: a response of around 1 Hz would be fine.

Re:USB Powered != USB Gadget (2, Informative)

jridley (9305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095262)

Pick up any copy of Nuts and Volts. There are ads galore for USB development kits and inexpensive interface chips, and most issues have some damn thing or another that interfaces to USB.

Re:USB Powered != USB Gadget (3, Informative)

saider (177166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095610)

Go to Sparkfun [sparkfun.com] and search for USB. Lots of cheap (less than $30) dohickeys for doing all kinds of electronics projects.

Where's the SEX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094266)

As suggested elsewhere, sex and pornography are the true killer apps for any medium/device. Thus, I submit the REZ Trance Vibrator [google.com] as the future of USB devices.

It's a Playstation 2 USB compatible vibrator that's *controlled* by in game events, not just powered. If I had any idea where to start reverse engineering this device, I would have done so already.

Could any of you hardware/interface wizards suggest some approprate tools?

~od

Realdoll (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094268)

The Realdoll was the best, at least until the time I left it plugged in while playing Quake.

I Gotta Get Me One Of These... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094269)

Anti-cubicle missile system?

I wished I had one of those when I was a video game tester at Atari. One of the supervisors used to fire his soft pellet air gun over the cubicles, especially when he lost at Counter-Strike.

Re:I Gotta Get Me One Of These... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094309)

What they need now is a cubicle missile defense system. Let the cubicle arms war start!

Re:I Gotta Get Me One Of These... (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094311)

I bet JFK wished he had one of those. ...Oh, you said cubical, not cuban.

Re:I Gotta Get Me One Of These... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099601)

Anti-cubicle missile system?

It shoots down cubicles with missiles? I'd expect such a thing only in my Tetris-induced dreams.

Re:I Gotta Get Me One Of These... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16100132)

When you work in the video game industry, you see a lot of weird stuff. At one E3 party, the vice president took off his pants to show off his fishnet stockings while doing a showgirl dance with the PR girls. Weird but he was French anyway.

He missed the best one... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094301)

The usb big red button. [reghardware.co.uk]

Re:He missed the best one... (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095900)

Hehe if the button was programable to send the launch command to the missles I'd get them both for my desk in a heart beat.

How about an AI... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094307)

Mind [sourceforge.net] on a flash drive? You could carry it around with you on your keychain and talk to it once in a while through the USB port.

Another AI Mind [memebot.com] is also available as we approach the Technological Singularity.

Re:How about an AI... (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094368)

Mind on a flash drive?

I know I could carry my Mind around on a flash drive, but I'm afraid I'd end up losing it!

*rimshot*

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

Creative is the wrong word (1)

snafu109 (852770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094364)

How about a vacuum cleaner? Pair of heated gloves? Anti-cubicle missile system?

A pair of heated gloves? What a brilliant idea! Until, ya know, you have to actually go outside. In the cold. There ain't an extension cord long enough.

Re:Creative is the wrong word (1)

frickendevil (977786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094452)

A pair of heated gloves? What a brilliant idea! Until, ya know, you have to actually go outside. In the cold. There ain't an extension cord long enough.

What is this outside you speak of? My life revolves around being within 4 feet of my computer at all times.

Re:Creative is the wrong word (2, Insightful)

Rageaholic (728509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094606)

A pair of heated gloves? What a brilliant idea! Until, ya know, you have to actually go outside. In the cold. There ain't an extension cord long enough.

Well Duh. Thats why you have a laptop...

Re:Creative is the wrong word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094868)

Those heated gloves are the idem I'm looking at most fondly. I do geophysics field work with a laptop in tow, and it would be nice to keep my hands warmer. The laptop is powered by a portable generator if you're curious.

Re:Creative is the wrong word (1)

PaulRivers (647856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16096161)

Sir! I'm sure Bob Cratchit would disagree!

(...Ebenezer Scrooge? A Christmas Carol?)

Actually...if you were really desperate to save money (yet *needed* to use your computer), these might be useful - you put your winter jacket on, and these could keep your fingers warm for typing.. :-)

(Admittedly, it does seem like being cold to save money on heat then running a computer might not truly be economical...)

I've got the missile launcher, it's okay. (4, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094377)

I wanted to up the ante in a rubber-band-gun arms race in my office, but I couldn't find it available from any online vendors in the U.S. I see ThinkGeek now has a listing for them and they're expected in stock there in October. Anyway, I ended up picking one up on eBay from a guy in Australia for a decent price, about a month and a half ago.

It takes AA batteries to actually power the launcher motors, with a switch on the underside of the base. The part of the missile that locks into the spring mechanism is actually heavier than the the rest of it, so it doesn't always fly nose-first like you'd think. It also doesn't have much in the way of range. If I could find extra missiles for it I'd experiment a bit with weighting the tips to try to address those issues.

I haven't used the included (Windows-only) control app yet, but a guy wrote a control app for it for OS X that's not too bad. You can find it on Versiontracker, I'm too lazy to hunt it down and make a link right now.

~Philly

Re:I've got the missile launcher, it's okay. (1)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094628)

Instead of weighting the tips, extend the fins backwards or out with tape/paper. All that's needed is for the center of area to be behind the center of gravity.

Re:I've got the missile launcher, it's okay. (1)

Raumkraut (518382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094953)

The part of the missile that locks into the spring mechanism is actually heavier than the the rest of it, so it doesn't always fly nose-first like you'd think.


We armed our missiles with white-tack warheads (it sticks surprisingly well to foam), and they do fly much better, without a significant loss in range.
They do tend to pick up a lot of hairs and muck from this grotty old carpet though.

uhhh. yeah. (2, Informative)

highwaytohell (621667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094388)

how this [condomcountry.com.au] didnt rate a mention is beyond me!

Re:uhhh. yeah. (1)

Qadesh (998988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094467)

So does this one use the data connection - does in have an interface with chat programs?

Re:uhhh. yeah. (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095074)

Where is the companion product: USB-controlled penis enlargement pump?

REZ Trance Vibrator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16094410)

Hmm... how about the Trance Vibrator [play-asia.com] from the game REZ. You remember, the one featured in the infamous GameGirlAdvance article.

Keychain obligatories (1)

marol (734015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094418)

And yet, still no combined bottle opener/usb memory.

Re:Keychain obligatories (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094803)

Of course. The bottle-opener and USB memory are totally separate devices simply attached to each other, without any influence on each other.

Now if there was a bottle opener and USB memory that automatically backs up YOUR physical memory to the drive when the bottle opener is used, allowing to restore it once the effects of the contents of the bottle expire, that would be useful.

Re:Keychain obligatories (1)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099663)

Now if there was a bottle opener and USB memory that automatically backs up YOUR physical memory to the drive when the bottle opener is used, allowing to restore it once the effects of the contents of the bottle expire, that would be useful.
That's a brilliant idea - except how would one remember there is a backup to restore to when one needs to restore the memory first to remember there was a backup? ;-)

Missing: USB powered frypan (3, Funny)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094560)

Re:Missing: USB powered frypan (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16097175)

Thanks for the laugh, that was the funniest thing I have seen in weeks.

USB needs (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094619)

When you think about it, when you carry a laptop with you all the time, all you're really lugging around is a massive battery with a computer on top of it. Seems to me, that battery could be used to power all the OTHER crap I have to lug around - why carry three power adapters when I really only NEED one?

You can show me all the flashy usb devices that currently exist, but NOTHING is as convenient as one of these [westsidecellular.com] .

Personal Protection (2, Funny)

Ben Jackson (30284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094650)

I want a USB Bayonet.

Missed one (1)

markrages (310959) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094754)

I think they missed this USB device [demon.co.uk] .

Hah! Trinkets. (0, Redundant)

eataTREE (7407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16094876)

Some of those knicknacks may have been mildly amusing, but nothing in that article compared to the wonder and majesty that is the USB turd [demon.co.uk] .

my favourite (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095059)

My favourite USB thingy is my memory card reader. Instead of the 347-in-1 readers that take up a lot of desk space, this one is a SD memory card reader shaped like regular thumbdrives. This should last a life time (mine or of the SD/MMC card standard). http://www.amazon.com/Simple-BONZAI-CARD-READER-ST I-USB2BONZAI/dp/B000189W0A [amazon.com]

Re:my favourite (1)

bogado (25959) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095649)

I was searching for one of these. I couldn't find it anywhere. It's damn stupid to buy a large 623in1 card reader, when all you need/want is a reader for a tiny card... :-P

Re:my favourite (1)

alcourt (198386) | more than 7 years ago | (#16096087)

Camera shops seem to be where I find the thumb drive sized card readers.

The USB device I really want (1)

hotspotbloc (767418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095218)

An USB flash drive with three LEDS (RGB) that are individually controllable by the host computer. Maybe the driver on the host and a dedicated directory on the flash drive with a configuration file. The idea is the flash drive could alert the user to new email, a weather change (like a tiny, old John Hancock building), whatever they wanted.


So, how hard would this be to develope, how much would it add to the price of a flash drive and is it practical? Would it sell?

Re:The USB device I really want (1)

GroinWeasel (970787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095675)

"and is it practical? Would it sell?"

1 What does it do that the screen/screensaver/speaker cannot?

2 No

Fondu (2, Funny)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095420)

I'm amazed that the USB Fondu pot [thinkgeek.com] didn't make the list!

Re:Fondu (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16096051)

I'm amazed that the USB Fondu pot didn't make the list!

Maybe they got punished for that incredibly nasty sounding recipe for fondue at the website. It sure killed my desire to have one.

Air Ionizer (1)

Yamaha2000usyahoo.co (969468) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095572)

A friend of mine wreaked havoc with an IT department. He noticed that IT was servicing the floor's shared laser printer because it kept spewing out random text on the pages. He immediately realized it was occurring whenever he turned on his Radio Shack air ionizer. This was placed right next to the laser printer. He toyed with IT for months.

Last Xmas (1)

puregen1us (648116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095697)

The rocket launcher was features as a gadget to get for Xmas last year on the Register in the UK.

Sold by Marks and Spenser for 20 quid.

And now only available in Aus? Someone didn't check things out properly. This is Slashdot, what's new?

Cold (1)

Exploid (945241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095771)

Well I would like the heating gloves...My class is so cold

USB Dildo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095855)

Still looking for a usb dildo (high-speed).

USB "short run" gadgets (1)

gwgwgw (415150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16096512)

Last I looked, USB development kits with any chance of helping you succeed right away were about $2000. If you wanted to make a USB device that supplied some simple information, e.g. temperature probe? the light is on --or not--, how would you go about it?

Make a device and supply a command line program to retrieve that simple information. It would seem to be expensive and more than a couple weekends of work.

Re:USB "short run" gadgets (1)

wiml (883109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16097875)

$2000? Where on earth are you shopping? Here are a few less expensive products for one-offs: What does cost a few thousand dollars is joining the USB-IF [usb.org] , which is necessary to get a unique vendor ID, which is necessary for drivers to be correctly associated with your device. But you can buy small blocks of product IDs from other peoples' vendor space, if you're not planning to make a hundred different gadgets.

Re:USB "short run" gadgets (2, Informative)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098599)

Last I looked, USB development kits with any chance of helping you succeed right away were about $2000. If you wanted to make a USB device that supplied some simple information, e.g. temperature probe? the light is on --or not--, how would you go about it?

Look again: Silicon Labs [silabs.com]

makes some nifty microcontrollers and you can buy a developer's kit [silabs.com] with in-circuit debugger for a hundred bucks. And you can use sdcc [sourceforge.net] for your compiler.

Of course if you want to sell your USB device you need to get your own Vendor ID from the USB-IF.

Re:USB "short run" gadgets (1)

asquared256 (637499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16101158)

Go to microchip.com [microchip.com] , and search for "PIC18F4550." They'll even give you free samples and code to make it work. You can build the programming cable yourself, or buy one. Google for "PIC programmer."

Oh Yeah, Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16096823)

FTA "But for every silly or downright fake USB gadget there are a few that are useful, even genius. There's a USB vacuum cleaner, sold via sites including funusb.com, that can be a great substitute for the compressed air duster."

Oh Yeah, great substitute. Last time I checked, vacuum cleaners and the massive amounts of static electricity they generate are NOT particularly good for your electronics. that really is genius.

 

How do you make a USB device like this? (1)

ExternalDingus (951990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099035)

I want to make a project like the USB missile launcher... how could I make a little USB robot like this? What would it take to control it and to write a program for it? Does anyone know of some good sites for learning about this?

Wow, nobody yet mentioned this thing? (2, Funny)

SEE (7681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16100858)

I mean, sure, there was a reference to the fictional iBrator, but this is real [sexshop365.co.uk] .

.
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