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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LoStik USB Dongle Adds LoRa Connectivity to any Computer or Linux Board (Crowdfunding)

We’ve covered plenty of hardware with LoRa radio from gateways, to Arduino shields, tracker boards, and mini PCIe cards, but after reading an article on Time4EE this morning, I realized we never wrote about any LoRa USB stick. LoStik – previoulsy LoRa Stick – is an open source hardware USB dongle based on Microchip RN2903 / RN2483 LoRa module, and offered on CrowdSupply for $39. LoStik specifications: USB – USB 2.0 port LoRa Connectivity Microchip RN2903 – 915 MHz for  US, Canada, South America and Australia Microchip RN2483 – 868 Mhz for Europe Receiver Sensitivity – down to -146 dBm TX Power – adjustable up to +18.5 dBm Range – up to 15 km coverage in suburban and up to 5 km coverage in urban areas Misc – 2x user LEDs Power Consumption – 140 ma typical TX, 20 ma idle (with power LED) Dimensions – 80 mm x 25 mm x 12 mm (without antenna) As usual, people requiring …

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Add a 3.5″ Hard Drive to Your Raspberry Pi with Suptronics X830 Add-on Board

Raspberry-Pi-3-3.5-Hard-drive

If you ever plan to make your own NAS with an Arm Linux board, the Raspberry Pi board should not be your first choice, as regular readers will already know  they are already cheaper and/or better solutions such as NanoPi NEO2 NAS Kit, ODROID HC2, or Popcorn Transformer to name a few. But if you already own one of the Raspberry Pi boards and a 3.5″ hard drive, you considering going with Suptronics X830 add-on boards – also sold under Geekworm brand – instead of a DC powered USB enclosure since it avoids extra cabling and the use of two power supplies. SupTronics X830 board features: SATA connector for 3.5″ SATA drive up to 10TB implemented via USB 3.1 Gen1 to SATA 6Gb/s bridge controller USB 3.0 port to connect to Raspberry Pi board Power Supply Input – 14 to 40V DC input via 5.5/2.5mm power barrel jack (Powers the Raspberry Pi, so a separate USB power supply is not …

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