Monday, March 05, 2007

Real uses for flash drive lanyards

Retractor LanyardIt was reported May 17, 2006 that a senior military officer left a CD containing a confidential report in a computer in the at an airport lounge:

... today it emerged Brigadier ... left the results of her investigation in a computer in the Qantas Club lounge at Melbourne Airport on Monday.

Defence Minister Brendan Nelson told reporters he was "angry and disappointed" by the latest bungle, and said he had not seen a copy of the report. ...

In response I wrote a spoof press release about a fictional product:
Coil Lanyard
"... reinforced military specification lanyard which can be attached to a flash drive, or other removable electronic memory device. The other end of the FlashHard is secured to the uniform of the personnel responsible for the information. The FlashHard will first provide a warning if the user attempts to leave their workstation without removing the flash drive. If the user ignores the warning, the FlashHard will automatically eject the flash drive from the workstation and retract it onto the user's uniform. ...".
It turns out that this is a real use. My brother, Dr. John Worthington, is an Educational Consultant and Psychologist, dealing with children. One problem is with some children leaving flash drives in PCs at school. So he suggested they be attached to a retractable reel, as used by staff for swipe cards. As in my spoof release, the drive is tethered to the child. After a few weeks of reminders from the device, the child gets into the habit of checking the flash drive before getting up.

Perhaps this would also work on military personnel, but they may still want a more military looking unit. ;-)

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