Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Dec 2013 23:40 UTC
In the News

USB cable developers have announced that a forthcoming version of the connector's plug is to be reversible.

It means users of the Universal Serial Bus cables will no longer have to worry which way round the part is facing when plugging it into a device.

The specification is due to be completed by mid-2014, and the first product on the market by 2016.

Spend only a few days using Apple's Lightning connector, and you'll realise how small things like it being reversible just makes life that tiny little bit less frustrating. About time USB did this.

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RE: Pfff
by Wootery on Mon 9th Dec 2013 18:17 UTC in reply to "Pfff"
Member since:

Using same kind of cable/plug for hard drives, PC periferals, speakers, network seems to be as far as a target today as it was 10 years ago.

It will never happen - it's the way it is for good technical reasons. Let's look at audio: USB speakers means moving the task of digital-to-analog conversion into the speakers, driving up their price. Not to mention that the headphone plug standard is used by more than just computers.

USB speakers are out there if you want them though, of course.

As for USB vs SATA vs HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort vs Ethernet-over-copper, I doubt we're going to see them converge either, as SATA, HDMI (etc) and Ethernet benefit from being specialised for their purpose. You pay a high price for one-size-fits-all technologies like USB, in that you can't have task-specific innovation.

There's also backward-compatibility, which is a huge concern for real-world products.

USB has successfully taken the place of all three of PS/2, serial, and parallel, so there's been some unification... just not recently. (I'm ignoring Firewire, but personally I've never seen it used, ever.)

Personally I'm not too bothered by this. It's a little inconvenient, but that's all. (Maybe I'd think differently if I were a sysadmin, though.)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Pfff
by phoenix on Mon 9th Dec 2013 19:50 in reply to "RE: Pfff"
phoenix Member since:

Except that there's an official ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) spec that sends standard SATA commands through Ethernet frames. There's also an official SCSI-over-IP (iSCSI) spec that sends standard SCSI commands through TCP/IP packets. As well as a FibreChannel-over-Ethernet (FCoE) spec for sending standard FC commands over Ethernet frames.

IOW, storage and networking are converging. At least in the data centre.

I don't know about video over Ethernet, but (at work) we do use standard CAT6 cables to send HDMI/VGA signals over long distance to connect roof-mounted projectors, wall-mounted smartboards, and classroom laptops.

I think we also do the same for USB, but don't quote me on that.

IOW, Ethernet cabling can already be used to carry all kinds of protocols.

Reply Parent Score: 2