* Posts by G D WEBB

3 posts • joined 23 Jul 2007

Inside USB 3.0


Oh dear :(

This is going to end badly.

The thing about USB1/USB2 is that it all runs down the same cables with standardised connectors.

USB3 with its seperate transmit/receive busses means its NOT backward compatible with USB2, they are only claiming it is because they've added extra pins and just left USB2 in there alongside it.

Now thats all very nice on paper, but you can you really see manufacturers with names like "Unbrand-o-tron" bothering with that?

I see a future where you will have USB2 cables, USB3 cables that do USB2 and USB3 cables that only do USB3. I can see the same applying to some devices and host controllers too in order to trim a few cents off the bottom line.

I'm not saying this bus is bad, I'm just saying that trying to market it by abusing the name 'USB' is going to cause trouble. I think this bus would work a hell of a lot better if it simply had a different name, aslong as its called USB people will expect a level of compatibility that real world economics will not allow. Great, if you are selling kit and cables to customers who don't know the difference, once you've sold them the camera that only supports USB3 you get to sell them a host controller and a new set of cables too!

And then there is the question of where does it end?

I mean, if this multi-bus system was taken to extremes we'd end up with a six foot wide connector that has a serial, parallel, composite video, rgb, dvi, ide, sata, ps2.....

Apple patent filing suggests solar powered iPhone

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How silly

This is perhaps the most ill thought through idea I have ever seen in the history of 'because we can!' engineering.

Anyone who thinks this is a viable idea, ask yourself four questions.

1. Where is the sun?

2. Where is your phone most of the time?

3. What happens when you take the phone out of your pocket and leave it lying about in the sun on its own?

4. How much is a new phone when the insurance people understandly won't cough up for a phone you left unattended and walked off without?

OLPC project goes into production



Hmmm, I've not really followed this OLPC thing but this is the way I see it:

Someone is making these notebooks, therefore someone is making a profit from it. THAT is the real motivation, all this 'helping children' stuff is a marketting excersise.

However what is worrying me is this, if you give a bunch of poor kids PC's they will indeed learn IT skills, what do you imagine they will use them for?

Somehow I don't think the kind of places they are aiming these machines at have a flourishing software industry for them to take up jobs in... and can you see any established middle-class company either in their own countries or in the US giving jobs to the poorest of the poor? (We all know 'equal oppurtunities' is as much of a marketting excersise as this scheme, its not what you know, its who you know.)

I think its much more likely that ten years down the line all you will end up with is someone who makes the parts for these notebooks buying a new boat and a generation of unemployed, socially excluded but extremely tech savvy young people desperate to make some cash.

Don't be suprised if you suddenly find Africa churning out more hackers-for-hire than eastern europe ever could.


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