IK Multimedia announces iRig Stomp I/O USB pedalboard controller for Mac/PC and iOS with built-in HD audio and MIDI

IK Multimedia is proud to introduce iRig Stomp I/O, an all-new generation of USB pedalboard controller for live and studio use, featuring a built-in audio interface. It is expected to be available in March 2018 and is now open for pre-order. iRig Stomp I/O is a sturdy, portable pedalboard controller that has 4 built-in switches along with an expression pedal and features a professional high-definition audio interface with 24-bit audio and up to 96kHz sampling rate, a combo input jack for line, instrument or mic input with phantom power, balanced stereo output and high quality ¼” headphone output ideal for use with the latest Apple devices like the iPhone X.

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Locking down your precious data with encrypted PIN authenticated diskAshur2

We keep our computers on lockdown, encrypt our data and secure them from prying eyes and online predators. But what about our backups and those external drives?

United Kingdom-based iStorage has created diskAshur2, an updated line of virtually bulletproof PIN-authenticated and hardware-encrypted hard drives. Even if the drive was stolen, your data is fully protected.

The beauty of this system is that your data will be secure and there’s really no need to worry about installing software, which operating system is running or what platform you’re using. All your data’s encryption (AES 256-bit XTS) is done through hardware, thanks to the drive’s built-in secure microprocessor. It uses secure algorithms that encrypt the data and encryption key. It also has built-in mechanisms to protect itself from tampering and bypass attacks. And it’s all controlled from the drive with a simple PIN pad.

The diskAshur drive series includes portable and desktop models that are hard-disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD) based with capacity up to 8TB. My test unit was the portable 1TB HDD diskAshur2.

Physically, diskAshur2 starts with tight seals on a solidly built case. It’s pocket-sized, not much bigger than the drive itself. It has a rubber finish, so it won’t easily slip out of your hand. It has a built-in pigtail USB 3.1 cable that tucks in and wraps around and the edge of the drive enclosure for easy storage. And there’s a small slot should you wish to attach a desk lock. It also comes with a compact carry case and wrist strap for added protection and portability.

Three PINs

On the front face are three LED lights and a PIN pad. You can have up to three PINs. The Admin PIN gives you all-access privileges to the drive. The second can be configured as a User PIN, allowing access to read from the drive but not write to it. This can be handy to share documents or photos. The third is a self-destruct pin. If you’re forced to unlock your drive, this PIN will erase everything on the drive.

Brute force protection

To further protect the drive against brute force attacks, the drive will be frozen after five bad attempts. At that time, the USB cable must be reinserted and five more attempts are allowed.

If entry is still unsuccessful, the users have five more tries (15 total) but must hold down the shift button when reinserting the USB cable.

After five more unsuccessful tries, the system assumes it’s under attack and permanently deletes everything on the drive, including the encryption keys.

So you better remember your PIN.

Lazy PIN protection

Out of the box, the drive is configured with a default Admin PIN. I you forget the default, you can find it in the user guide. Of course, it would be smart to change it.

If you do decide to change it to add a user or self-destruct PIN, the system has built-in protection for those who are lazy. Passwords must be seven to 15 digits. The system will automatically reject passwords that have all sequential numbers or are all the same. You can also use the shift key for additional digits. There’s a special sequence of steps to change a PIN, along with a series of LEDs to guide you. But make sure you keep the manual handy in case you need to refer to it.

The PIN makes it easy to unlock but locking is just as easy. Simply push the lock button on the drive. It also auto-locks upon eject. Auto-lock can also be set to lock after a specified time of non-use.


The unit is compatible with most devices that have a USB port. It works Windows, Linux, Android, Chrome, embedded systems and others (not iOS). It comes formatted for NTFS.

If you want to use it on a Macintosh, you will need to reformat it but it’s easily done with the Apple Disk Utility.

Bottom line

The diskAshur2 is well designed and highly recommended for those who travel, have their hardware in public places or are concerned about keeping personal or corporate data safe.

In the event of a drive theft, your data is encrypted and brute-force attack controls make the drive almost bulletproof.  Of course, there’s a risk you will forget your PIN or the internal controller fails, in which case your drive data will likely be unrecoverable.

It’s important to know that if you have a newer device that uses a USB-C connection, you may to have to carry an adapter. And while the USB cable has a solid rubber finish, you need to take precautions. If you’re excessively hard on your cables and have a tendency to pinch the ends too much, it could become unusable over time.

Still, I like its size and form, and the fact that everything is in a package not much bigger than the drive itself.

Since my test unit was a 5400 RPM HDD drive, it won’t perform at SSD speeds (if you need SSD speed, get the SDD model). However, it does transfer at USB 3.1 speeds and it performed quite well against similar external drives even given diskAshur is encrypting and decrypting on the fly.

To illustrate the fine detail this drive has, the keypad has a wear-resistant epoxy coating to keep hackers from identifying commonly used keys.

iStorage diskAshur2 HDD comes in red, green, black and blue. Prices start at about C$275 for a 500-GB drive HDD. SSD models start from $239 for 128-GB. You can get them directly from Nuimpact (iStorage’s distributor) and Amazon.

Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, small business and technology speaker, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.

This Article also appears at Troy Media.

Maximus Craftsman: Full-service home security in a smart light fixture

Maximus Craftsman Smart Security Light is as easy to install as an ordinary light fixture – 
but it’s anything but ordinary

It’s always comforting to know that your home and its contents are well protected, whether you’re on holidays or hunkered down for the evening with a good movie and a bowl of popcorn.

You may have motion sensor lights, cameras and an intercom. But if you don’t remember to turn them on or to set the timer, they’re not doing much good.

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Celebrating Christmas in 18th and 19th century Alberta

Christmas was more primitive in the 18th  and mid-19th century, but it was still Christmas – joy and fellowship were, and are, its primary expression.

Turn the clock back to the late 18th century and mid-19th century Alberta, and chances are you’d be eating fish, beavertail, and stewed moose rather than roasted turkey and honey-glazed ham for Christmas dinner. [Read more…]

Tech gifts to lighten, brighten and colour your life

Still searching for just the right tech gifts for Christmas? Here are a few bright, colourful ideas that might make the last-minute rush a little easier

Still searching for just the right tech gifts for Christmas? Here are a few bright, colourful ideas that might make the last-minute rush a little easier. [Read more…]

Getting a jolt out of the Chevy Bolt’s practicality and versatility

GM’s top-selling electric car has plenty of features that make it attractive for everyday use, at a price that puts its chief competition to shame

With the growing public focus on the use of clean energy, electric cars sales are on the rise – and the frontrunner may surprise you.

CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, which track U.S. plug-in sales by automaker, report that in November, Chevrolet’s Bolt EV outsold Tesla’s sleek Model S.

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Moon by 1-Ring: World’s COOLEST Smart Home System

All-in-One Smart Hub, Security Camera, Stable Levitation and 360º Vision, Event Direction Detection.



Technology startup 1-Ring Inc. started a crowdfunding campaign of the Moon, the world’s first all-in- one smart home hub with levitating 360-degree camera. The campaign has already passed 300% of its funding goal. Packed with a plethora of Smart Home functionality, the sophisticated hub reveals itself as a full-fledged home automation solution to monitor and control your home and office environments.
The crowdfunding campaign to kick-start mass production of the working prototype started on October 17, 2017 and collected the goal amount within 24 hours.

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Cases to protect your $1,000 phone from earth, wind, water, and the Force






Some smartphones can easily run you over $1,000, all the more reason to give them the proper protection they need to keep them running

No matter where they’re going, or what they’re doing, people are taking their smartphones with them. And, as some the latest models can easily run you over $1,000 to buy, this is all the more reason to give them the proper protection they need to keep them running. To do so, it’s important that they have the right case for the right person for the right environment.   You can also read the full article at Troy Media.

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Holiday gadget gift ideas for TV and music lovers

Music- and TV-related gadgets are always safe bets for gifts, so here are a few of my top picks this Christmas season.

Roku Express

Is the family going to cut the cable cord this year? Or are you just looking for an easy way to stream HD video and high-quality digital audio? Consider putting a Roku Express under the tree.

It’s a small control unit with wireless remote. Just plug in the power and connect the included HDMI cable to the box and your HDTV, follow the step-by-step guide and you’ll be up and running before your popcorn is ready.

Some of the popular streaming services can be quickly accessed by a dedicated button on the remote, and the free Roku downloadable app for iOS or Android gives you even more power.  Read Full post at Troy Media.

Christmas gift ideas for TV and music lovers

You’re never too old for the new GLIDER Electric Scooter


You’re never too old to ride a scooter, especially the new GLIDER Electric Scooter by GOTRAX, a company known for its HOVERFLY hoverboards. And whether you’re looking to ride for fun or as an eco-friendly mode of transportation, this clever little gadget is suitable for both kids and adults whose weight is between 44 and 264 lb. (20-120 kg). [Read more…]