Wrap Your Device In A USB Condom Before Using Strange Ports
Before I even start writing, I think I'm going to have to accept the fact that there's really no way I can address this topic without sounding like I'm tossing out a series of euphemisms. All I can hope is that you, the readers, are mature enough to look past all that stuff and read into the actual message of this piece. Wistful thinking? Perhaps.
The situation, I'm sure, is familiar to many of us: you're not at home, and you realize your phone/tablet is starting to conk out on you. The battery, for whatever reason, isn't charged. Your phone or tablet - which it just so happens is vital to either your business or your social life (maybe both) is just about dead. You need to find somewhere to charge it, and, as the old adage goes "any port in a storm will do."
Unfortunately, the ports you do happen to find aren't necessarily going to be clean. There's a good chance - particularly if you connect to a public computer or charge kiosk- that you might find yourself with a few unwanted guests on your phone after the fact. Peripheral developer int3.cc has come up with a rather interesting - and interestingly named - solution to that problem: it's called the USB condom.
How it works is fairly simple. Once you've equipped your USB cable with a condom, the peripheral will block the pins on the cable responsible for data transfer - meaning the only pins that actually connect will be those related to charging your device. This effectively means you can plug your phone in to charge pretty much wherever you see fit. As long as you have a condom, you'll be safe.
So, basically...next time you're thinking of plugging into a strange port, make sure you use protection. Your phone might wind up with a digitally-transmitted disease, otherwise. Of course, one also must wonder if the USB condom is as reliable as the more traditional variant. What do you suppose the failure rate might be?
Sorry. Couldn't resist.