ATORCH USB PD Power Meter Comes with USB type-C, type-B, and type-A Ports

ATORCH J7-c

Most smartphones are charged over a USB port, and many single board computers are powered by a micro USB or USB type-C port, and USB power meters such as USB Charger Doctor can be useful to evaluate phone chargers, as well as measure power consumption of SBCs. With the launch of the USB type-C connector and features such as USB PD (Power Delivery), old USB power meters are not adapted to the new standard since the connector and most importantly voltages are different, so we need USB PD compatible meters like Satechi USB Type-C power meter. Today, I decided to look for more options on Aliexpress, and you’ll find many USB-C power meters with the cheapest models going for under $5 shipped. However,  ATORCH J7-c model caught my attention since it supports both USB type-C, micro USB type-B, and USB type-A power sources, so you can keep using the same meter for all your USB testing needs. ATORCH J7-c USB-PD …

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$69 Orange Pi AI Stick 2801 Features Lightspeeur 2801S Neural Processor

Orange Pi AI Stick 2801

Intel is not the only company selling neural compute sticks to accelerate artificial intelligence workloads at low power, as Gyrfalcon introduced their Laceli AI Compute Stick based on their own Lightspeeur 2801S matrix processor earlier this year, but it was not exactly easy to buy. Even the company’s latest PLAI Plug USB3.0 dongle (new name for Laceli AI Compute Stick?) and PLAI WiFi AI wireless accessory announced just  a few days ago are not that easy to purchase, as they require you to fill a form with your project details before being able to buy anything. But thanks to Shenzhen Xunlong Software, the Orange Pi boards maker, it’s now much easier to experiment with the technology since they launched Orange Pi AI Stick 2801, based on the same Lightspeeur 2801S ASIC found in PLAI Plug, but sold directly on Aliexpress for $69 plus shipping ($73.97 in total here). Orange Pi AI Stick 2801 specifications: ASIC – SPR2801S Lightspeeur series processor …

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CHOETECH 24W Foldable Solar Charger Review

Foldable Solar Charger Charging Smartphone

A short while ago, I wrote about  a tri-panel waterproof solar power bank that delivers up to 4 Watts and comes with 10,000 mAh capacity. I’ve now received a sample of a somewhat similar product, except CHOETECH told me it can deliver up to 24 Watts, which should be more suitable for charging devices like smartphone daily. CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger Unboxing The gadget is supposed to be fitted on larger backpacks as we’ll see below, but it comes in a relatively small package. The thing just looks like some purse or wallet out of the box. Once it’s unfolded we’ll see four solar panel, six hoops around the design, and some pouch / pocket on the right. The “junction box” includes a micro USB to USB cable, some silica gel, and four metal hoops to hook around some of the 6 fabric hoops The text on the photo above explains cloudy weather and indirect sunlight may cause the phone …

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USB Charging Actually Poses Security Risks – Hacking a Laptop via a USB-C Adapter

Hacked USB type-C Charger

Smartphones have been charged over USB for many years, but with the advance of USB type-C now even laptops may be charged over USB, instead of the typical DC power barrel jack. Why am I writing about that? That’s because charging over a DC jack is normally safe, but after reading an article on BBC website, I’ve just realized when you charge over USB you also give access to the data connection, and security researcher (MG) has found a way to hack the USB-C charger of an Apple laptop and show a login prompt to steal credentials (username / password). The full details of the hack are no public, but it does require altering the hardware of the charger. So as long as you use the charger sold with your laptop, you should be safe. However, there’s always a risk if you charge from public places, or buy  a charger from a third party. It’s a limited risk, but still …

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A Quick Look at MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter, and Windows 10 M.2 SSD Card for N42C-4 Mini PC

MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter Android 7.1

A couple of weeks ago, MINIX announced their NEO C Plus USB type C adapter with 9 ports including two HDMI outputs. The company has now sent me samples of the adapter, as well as an M.2 SSD for MINIX NEO N42C-4 pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro. I’ll first have a look at the accessories I received before testing MINIX NEO C Plus adapter with Android 7.1 running on NanoPC-T4 board. MINIX NEO C Plus and M.2 SSD Unboxing I received two USB-C multiport adapter with dual HDMI output which are identical, except for the color with one white version and a silver version, as well as a “128GB M.2 SSD for MINIX NEO N42C-4”. The USB-C adapter comes with a bilingual English-German user manual. We learn some interesting information and limitations from the device. First, the adapter is only certified to use with MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, and some of the limitations include: Total USB output is limited …

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Google Titan Security Key Prevents Phishing Attacks

Google Titan Security Key

Phising is a social engineering method that aims to trick users into giving their passwords. This can normally be mitigated with things called “brain” and “paying attention”, but since we are all humans mistakes may happen on a bad day. Even Google employees who should be tech savvy fell for the tricks from time-to-time, so Google made employees use 2-factor authentication with a  hardware security key since January 2017, and none of Google workers failed for a phising attack since then. CNET was provided with a sample of Google’s “Titan Security Key”, which comes in both USB and Bluetooth/NFC versions, and will be available for sale in Google’s online store within the next few months. The full technical details have not been provided for the key, but we do know Titan Security Keys support FIDO protocol, and are built with a secure element and a firmware written by Google that verifies the integrity of security keys at the hardware level. …

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Google Unveils Edge TPU Low Power Machine Learning Chip, AIY Edge TPU Development Board and Accelerator

AIY Edge TPU Dev Board

Google introduced artificial intelligence and machine learning concepts to hundreds of thousands of people with their AIY projects kit such as the AIY Voice Kit with voice recognition and the AIY Vision Kit for computer vision applications. The company has now gone further by unveiling Edge TPU, its own  purpose-built ASIC chip designed to run TensorFlow Lite ML models at the edge, as well as corresponding AIY Edge TPU development board, and AIY Edge TPU accelerator USB stick to add to any USB compatible hardware. Google Edge TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) & Cloud IoT Edge Software Edge TPU is a tiny chip for machine learning (ML) optimized for performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar.  It can either accelerate ML inferencing on device, or can pair with Google Cloud to create a full cloud-to-edge ML stack. In either case, local processing reduces latency, remove the needs for a persistent network connection, increases privacy, and allows for higher performance using less power. The chip will …

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MINIX NEO C Plus is a 9-Port USB-C Adapter with Dual HDMI Output

MINIX NEO C Plus USB type C Hub

Hong Kong based MINIX Technology Limited is better known for their Android TV boxes and WIndows mini PCs, but the company also makes accessories for computers, and their latest product is MINIX NEO C Plus, a multi-port USB-C adapter providing 9 interfaces including two HDMI output ports capable of 4K UHD resolution at 30 Hz. MINIX NEO C Plus specifications: Input – USB type C port Ports / Interfaces 2x HDMI up to 4K @ 30 Hz for triple mirror or dual extend mode. Gigabit Ethernet 3x USB 3.0 ports (5Gbps) 1x USB type C port for power delivery Micro SD card and SD card readers The downside is that – for some reasons – the dual 4K HDMI display support, and triple mirror / dual extend modes are only available for Mac OS. It should also be noted that the HDMI displays connected to the adapter can only display the same thing, so you could configure a triple mirror setup …

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