Lock and Load — SecureData SecureDrive BT Review

Introductions
SecureData has been more than gracious, sending me drive after drive from their line of flash and solid-state-based storage devices that are built — from the inside and out — to protect your data.

With big data a hot topic, it’s only a matter of time before home users realize the need for everyday protection. I’ve already written at length about how these drives are useful for spies and executives, but we’re moving into an era where everyone’s storing their pictures, personal spreadsheets, and even their school assignments on drives.

The world has changed in the past few months. It’s becoming more a matter of when than if this pandemic will end, and with hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of employees returning to their work sites as vaccines are released, many of them will have laptops and data to carry.

In the days of yore, physical briefcases came with number locks standard. It may only be a matter of time before data drives with built-in security features become the norm.

That doesn’t mean we’ll get rid of flash drives completely — they’re convenient and disposable. But all of the drawbacks for carrying portable hard drives have become nullified with the advent of cheaper, thinner, and lighter solid state drives that are much less fragile than their spinning-plate counterparts.

And with the SecureDrive BT, it looks like I have a new addition to my everyday carry essentials that will compete with the SecureDrive KP I reviewed a few months back.

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Sophomore Slump – Wonder Woman 1984 Review

Wonder Woman returned to the big screen, and many little ones, on Christmas Day.

After announcing that their 2021 slate of movies would have same-day release dates for theaters and its HBO Max streaming service, Warner Bros. also gave fans stuck at home during shelter-in-place orders something else to look forward to during the holiday season.

Gal Gadot reprises her role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, an Amazonian created by Zeus to protect humanity.

Set 66 years after she fought in World War I, the sequel reintroduces us to Diana Prince who now works as a curator for the Smithsonian Museum. Prince has managed to reinvent herself and keep her superhero identity a secret throughout the decades, though it’s becoming increasingly difficult thanks to technology.

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X-Factor — Microsoft Xbox Series X Review

Preordering
The morning the Xbox Series X went up for preorder, I was sitting in a hospital room with my wife who had just given birth to our beautiful baby boy, Elijah.

I was able to carve out an hour when nothing was happening to try and log onto several sites with the hope that the hospital wi-fi wouldn’t fail me.

With customers across the country given adequate time to prepare — Microsoft made it a point to give notice of where, when, and how to preorder the new consoles — it was pretty much a given that things wouldn’t go smoothly.

And they didn’t.

Though I was able to get the console into my cart on one website, I wasn’t able to check out and confirm the purchase. One store didn’t even have their preorders up on time, and once they made the console available to purchase, I ran into issues there as well.

After about an hour of coming up short, I accepted the possibility of not being a day-one owner of a new Xbox and continued on with my day. I ran home for some errands and a hot shower and then returned to my wife and baby.

I checked Twitter — because misery loves company — and saw posts about resupplying and canceled orders. Someone else posted that someone they knew had just bought a console.

The post had been made recently, so I gave it a go and checked the store’s website. I saw a console still in my cart from the previous attempt, and I was able to go straight into checkout.

It seemed to be good to be true, but a few weeks later, I got an email asking me to reserve a date and time to pick up the console.

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Coded — SecureData SecureUSB KP Review

SecureData

Attache
If you’ve been following the website the past few months, you’ve seen several of my reviews for SecureData’s line of protected drives.

The opportunity to test and use the company’s products has been an amazing opportunity to delve into the world of secure data storage, and I’m honored to have been sent another drive for review — the SecureUSB KP flash drive.

The SecureUSB KP drive combines the portability of the SecureUSB BT flash drive with the keypad protection of the SecureDrive KP external drive.

While I’ve put the SecureDrive KP into my EDC (everyday carry) kit because it hits a sweet spot for me in terms of carry and drive size, I haven’t found as much use for either of the flash drives I’ve reviewed — the one from SecureData and the other from iStorage.

That’s not to say either of those flash drives are useless — they’re fantastic tools that some will find very, very useful depending on need and necessity.

Now that I have the SecureUSB KP in my hands, will the combination of portability and onboard security be enough to put this in my go bag — or will it be relegated to occasional use?

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Best in Show — Airdog X5 Air Purifier Review

First things first…
I had the opportunity to review the Airdog X5 air purifier and received it a few days before a midnight lightning strike that occurred after a very dry day sparked fires in my county. The fires were very close to my home, and so much ash was sent up into the atmosphere that the streets turned an eerie orange from the sunlight trying to get through the heavy pall which could evidently be seen from space.

Though this review will discuss the merits of the Airdog X5, I hope I can also raise awareness of the plight of those who have lost homes and possessions to the fires that have ravaged California. Please consider supporting the Wildfire Relief Fund or donating to an organization that helps the displaced.

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Under Lock and Keypad — SecureData SecureDrive KP Review

Digital briefcase
Having now reviewed two flash drives with security features, I’ve yet to come up with any real-world applications for them because — well, let’s face it — I’m not that big of a deal.

Sure, it’s nice to know that my files — be they MP3s, client photos, or lesson plans — are safe and secure from prying eyes. But does anyone really care what I’m carrying in my pocket or hanging from my keychain?

I imagine anyone finding one of my non-secure flash drives would be happy just knowing they’ve received a free flash drive that needs a quick formatting. No one, after having gone through my files, will feel like they’ve stumbled across something huge. I don’t carry anything so sensitive that I’d be the ideal target for blackmail, and anything I have that’s actually confidential is better served being stored in the cloud behind passwords.

Now, there are some who would love to have the kind of security SecureDrive offers on its BT flash drives. Contracts, sensitive for-your-eyes-only documents, and unique files that could lead to lawsuits or controversy if leaked would be well protected by any of SecureDrive’s products so long as they work as intended.

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Security Now — SecureData SecureUSB BT Review

Lock it down
In a world where the ever-increasing need for data security has finally gone past the office doors and into the homes of private users, the SecureUSB BT from Secure Drive offers so, so, so many options for keeping your files safe and secure.

An award-winning flash drive like this — it was the Red Dot 2019 Award winner as well as a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree — can do a lot of good for people who can’t exactly handcuff their digital briefcases to their wrists but want to keep one handy and hanging off a keychain.

With the one-two punch of the SecureUSB BT and the DataLock app, you’ll have the option of locking down your drive with an assorted and stackable set of security options that require either a password, biometrics, a code sent to your phone or all three at the same time.

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Batchair — Secretlab OMEGA Dark Knight (2020 Series) Review

Na na na na na na na na — Batchair!
I’ve owned my Secretlab OMEGA Dark Knight chair for about a year now, and I think I have enough information for a complete review.

So, here goes!

When my wife and I bought a house and moved in, it was an opportunity to build the home office I’ve always wanted. I painted the walls a shade of blue, bought a whole suite of furniture, and loaded the room with my favorite things.

On my list of things to buy was a racing chair because the office chair I’ve had for more than a decade now has been breaking down over time and showing a lot of wear.

I had a few brands in mind, but when Secretlab announced their limited edition Dark Knight chair, I jumped at the chance and preordered.

Making the deal even better, Secretlab sent me an email with a surprise announcement notifying me that my chair would also get the 2020 Series upgrades that the company was rolling out after three years of research and development.

Upgrades included the new PRIME 2.0 PU (polyurethane) leather, Cold-Cure foam, full-metal armrests, and a new neck pillow featuring a cooling gel pad.

Combined with industry-awesome specs — a full-length recline mode, Class 4 hydraulics, and the ADC12 aluminum wheelbase — the Secretlab OMEGA is a top-tier chair worthy of the Batman himself.

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Mixed Results — Coffee Time Review

Ever wonder what it would be like to own a small coffee shop that doubles as a late-night meetup in a fantasy world where orcs order cafe lattes?

In Coffee Time, you are the Barista, a faceless character serving drinks to regulars and the occasional extra-terrestrial looking for dating advice.

Coffee Time fits in the genre of a visual novel with intermittent spurts of activity where you fill someone’s order for a drink by choosing the ingredients. You don’t get to choose options for dialogue, and you’ll mostly rely on one or two buttons to continue the automatic conversations or fast-forward quickly through sections on a replay after you’ve beaten the game.

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