Forbes writes The physical format of the thumb drive–USB connector at one end, plastic case at the other–has suddenly become what Winnie the Pooh called “a Useful Pot to Put Things In.” The original thing was memory, in quantities far greater than floppy disks can handle. But now the format encompasses everything from Wi-Fi adapters to cameras that can shoot video.
Memory remains the primary use for the sneakernet set. Plug this data-on-a-stick into a USB port, and a new drive is suddenly available to do your storage bidding–no driver installation required unless you’re using an older operating system. You can get 32 megabytes for about $15; a 256-megabyte model with the higher-speed USB 2.0 goes for as little as $50.
As USB memory becomes a commodity, manufacturers are developing new features. If you’re willing to pay a steep premium for cuteness (16 megabytes for $50, 256 for $150), you can get a tiny model that slips into a plastic duckling and lights it up from the inside–the iDuck from Dynamism.com. Better idea: an expandable combo drive like the $50 Kanguru 64MB MicroDrive Plus. It comes with its own memory but can also accept SD cards like the ones that fit into many digital cameras. (full story)