What does "USB" stand for?Universal Serial Bus. The term "USB" is vague and refers mostly to the actual "port" or place where you stick it in. Ports are usually located in the back of the computer, or attached by wires (for Windows), or in the back of the computer or in the keyboard (for Macs). USB ports are more useful than just for flash drives. Many other devices can be hooked up by using an USB port as well. These accessories include mice, printers, scanners, joysticks, cameras, webcams, network (internet) connections, phones, and a vast variety of others also.
USB Drives are called a variety of terms including: USB, Drive, Flash Drive, "Stick", Flash Memory Data Storage Device, Memory Stick, and several others as well.
Invented only recently in around 2000, and made popular around 2005, these drives are the next generation of floppy disks. The advantages are abundant, from size, dust and scratch resistant, more storage space, and durability...it goes on endlessly.
The first commercially sold flash drive was created by a company in Singapore, selling them under the name "ThumbDrive"
What's it look like on the inside?
Why I shouldn't rip out my USB without ejecting.
I'm not going to lie. Usually nothing bad happens. HOWEVER, there is a very slim possibility that you may corrupt your whole drive. Which in that case, your files would all be destroyed or mutated, and you will no longer be able to use the USB. $20 down the drain.
Generally, ejecting only takes 1 sec., and can save a lot of trouble.
Consider this. What if you were writing an essay, and you were in the middle of it, when suddenly the paper disappears. You'd be confused, and frustrated. You still have stuff to write down. A USB is the same. When the computer is saving, and you pull out the drive, the computer may have half recorded a save you made, or a cache it automatically makes. Next, time, you'll only have half the needed data, therefore, your file may be mutated or corrupted.
Point being, how hard is it to drag it to the trashcan and wait 2 seconds for the icon disappear? It saves a lot of trouble.