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.
Talking of USB memory, if you have more than you can plug into your PC at one time, Strapya has a R2D2 and Darth Vader USB hub!
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.