Hub Accepts USB Plugs In Any Direction

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Yesterday’s biggest news – the biggest I tell you – was the announcement of a new USB plug that can be stuck into its hole any way you like, eliminating one of the many frustrations of USB connectors. But that plug won’t be available until 2014, and will doubtless be ruined by some stupid design decision along the way.

But fret not, dear frustrated USB user, because you can have your USB two-way today, in the form of this Buffalo USB hub.

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The Sound Step Recharge: Study And Work With Better Sound #BackToSchool [Deals]

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This is #BackToSchool week at Cult of Mac Deals. There will be several new deals launching each day. Check in here each day for new deals for #BackToSchool. There will be a ton of apps, gear, gadgets, games, and more to buy just in time for the start of school, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for deals that have school — and savings — in mind.

One of the things I do when I’m writing is play music in hte background. I just can’t work in silence.

Lately I’ve been using a cool online service called focus@will that plays a variety of types of music that can serve to enhance productivity and focus. But I don’t use my Mac’s internal speakers when I use the service. Instead, I use external speakers. That way I can get much better sound out of the experience — and Cult of Mac Deals has a deal on the Soundfreaq Sound Step Recharge that will help you have a great-sounding experience during work and play.

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AccessIO Brings All Your iMac’s Ports To The Front [Kickstarter]

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Kickstarters are like wonderful, vivid dreams that you’re never quite sure are real, and constantly terrified that you’re suddenly going to wake up from, with nothing to show for it. That’s why I usually don’t write them up: even if a Kickstarter is fully funded, you’re never sure if it’s going to come to market as planned, or not be a steaming pile when it does.

I’m making an exception for the AccessIO, though. It corrects a major design issue I’ve had with the iMac pretty much forever: it’s impossible to reach its ports. AccessIO brings your iMac USB and headphone jack to the front of the device, where they belong.

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Microsoft’s Newest Ad Pits The Struggling Surface RT Against The iPad [Video]

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Microsoft’s recent barrage of antiiPad ads have nearly all featured third-party tablets rather than boasting about Microsoft’s own iPad-killer, the Surface RT. Now that it’s desperately slashed prices on RT units, Microsoft is feeling inexplicably cocky in its latest ad, which pits the hardware and software specs of the iPad against that of the Surface RT.

Basically, Microsoft is praying the iPad’s lack of a keyboard (that you have to purchase separately), Microsoft Office, and a USB port will be enough to entice some unlucky nerds to buy a Surface RT instead of an iPad now that it’s cheaper than ever but still deprived of quality apps.

Here’s the ad:

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Recharge Your Smart Devices On The Go With The Portable Power Pack [Deals]

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This Cult of Mac Deals promotion doesn’t just offer portable energy – it offers peace of mind.

The Portable Power Pack works with smartphones, iPods/mp3 players, and virtually any handheld device with a USB or mini-USB charging cable. And Cult of Mac Deals has the Portable Power Pack available at a savings of 44% – only $37.99 – for a limited time.

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Anker’s New Astro 3 Battery Can Fully Charge an iPad for Just Fifty Bucks

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That’s right, $50 nabs you the Anker Astro 3, an external battery with three USB ports and 12,000 mAh, which is — in theory — enough juice to completely charge any iPad.

Why the in theory disclaimer? Because although the Astro 3’s 12,000 mAh capacity exceeds the 11,560 mAh capacity of the battery in the two latest iPads (the iPad 2’s battery is about half that of its successors), there’s always some energy loss when transferring energy from one battery to another.

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AOC Unveils Its New Cafe-Ready Portable USB-Powered Display

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AOC didn't have an image with a MacBook. Pthhh.

 

AOC’s new USB-powered, 16-inch LCD display may be a godsend for travelers who occasionally need a little extra MacBook screen real estate.

The AOC screen plugs into a USB 3 port (and only a USB 3 port), and just like any other external monitor can either mirror or augment a MacBook’s screen. The screen’s resolution is 1366×768, which covers an area of 15.6 inches — not quite the resolution of the standard 15″ MBP’s screen, but not that far off.

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