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Furrygoat and USB Keychains

Cool Tech

November 7, 2005 10:19 AM PST

Furrygoat muses on the future of USB keychains. He mentions some strategies for running XP from USB via VM images. This could be done with various VM products including VM Player, which we have mentioned previously.

He has also championed the idea of 'portable CE'. This is running CE apps from a USB keychain via emulation.

There are a lot of resources floating around the web on how to get various apps (like Firefox) to run directly from flash. Many apps however don't lend them selves to this. More work will go on however as this idea becomes more popular. I find the prospect of carrying your favorite data and apps around with you very appealing. Another thing that would be nice would be for all your 'state' to be with you as well. This would be OS and app preferences, desktop settings etc. We are a little bit further away on this one.

Lastly a plug for a related idea that I've been hearing from some of my friends; In the wake of the recent hurricanes and other natural disasters, many people have found themselves not only without their homes and possessions, but without their important identity documents like birth certificates, social security cards, etc. The proposed solution is to scan these documents and store a copy via CD in a safe deposit box or with relatives. A variation is to keep them with you at all times on a USB keychain. I know a few people that do this, including photos of their family members for identification purposes. Of course security of this information would be a concern. To prevent identity theft I would strongly recommend encrypting this personal data somehow.

Comments (2)
J, November 8, 2005 10:24 AM:

It would be nice to have a USB port on the keychain as well, so you could chain a keyboard through it and avoid key sniffing. Someone could still modify the keyboard, but it would be pretty tough.

I've got the SwissBit Swiss Army Knife that I find very useful. It actually has two partitions on the flash, one of them encrypted. There's a runnable executable on the encrypted partition that accepts a password and unlocks the partition on successful entry. Could be a good solution to your medical records thing. If you're not incapacitated, and can give the password to someone!

Only problem with army knife format is flying on planes, but the flash memory can unclip from the knife for seperate transport. If a 2" blade can take down all of western civilization we're all doomed... but that's another commentary.

John, November 8, 2005 11:24 AM:

Yeah, not so worried about key logging as I would be about losing you USB keychain and just 'giving' someone everthing they need to steal your identity.

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