I’m more of an SD card person myself, so I’ve never actually owned a USB thumb device, but this recent survey repotred on by japan.internet.com and conducted by goo Research into said USB memory found that I am very much in the minority in Japan.
Between the 25th of February and the 3rd of March 2009 1,075 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 16.3% in their teens, 18.3% in their twenties, 21.4% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, 15.8% in their fifties, and 11.9% aged sixty or older.
I read last month about an interesting (for “interesting” read “useless”) USB memory-centred security system for PCs from NTT; they encrypt the hard drive, then select random parts of the encrypted files to write out to USB memory, the theory being that the PC without the USB memory or vice versa is useless. However, I cannot actually think of valid threats that this defends against, unless the memory dongle has a wired or wireless tether, and if there’s a tether you don’t need the writing to USB memory, and all it does is introduce another point of failure, especially as a detached USB drive is easy to lose.
I can guess that it’s patented, as sadly that seems the major driver behind many developments at my employer at least.
Q1: Do you have any USB memory? (Sample size=1,075)
Yes (to SQs) 70.5% Used to have, but not now 3.4% No, never 21.7% Don’t know what USB memory is 4.4%
Q1SQ1: How many USB memory drives do you have? (Sample size=758)
One 42.3% Two 29.4% Three 16.8% Four 4.9% Five 4.5% Six or more 2.1%
Q1SQ2: What capacities of USB memory drives do you have? (Sample size=758, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage 64 MB or less 59 7.8% 128 MB 98 12.9% 256 MB 159 21.0% 512 MB 148 19.5% 1 GB 291 38.4% 2 GB 256 33.8% 4 GB 133 17.5% 8 GB 60 7.9% 16 GB 15 2.0% 32 GB or more 6 0.8% Don’t know the size of any 30 4.0%