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Was the iPod Accessory Port Inspired By a 40-Year-Old Camera?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the danged-neat-even-if-coincidence dept.

Iphone 263

An anonymous reader writes "While Samsung has been accused of repeatedly borrowing everything from Apple's hardware, to packaging and accessories, it appears that all current iDevices share a port which is very similar to one found on a forty-year-old Polaroid camera. It gets more interesting when you realize that camera was the 'supreme achievement' of a man Steve Jobs idolized. Edwin Land was the creator of the Polaroid camera and, if Steve Jobs obsessed over Land's devices the way many do with iPhones, etc. today, there's a chance this similarity is not a coincidence."

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263 comments

RIP Steve Jobs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651778)

He's pushin' up the daises. Get over it you FruitFags.

Re:RIP Steve Jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651786)

Shut up cunt!

Re:RIP Steve Jobs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651892)

yeah. pretend you knew him. then it will feel almost real.

fucking phony-ass douche. difference between you and Jobs' family and real friends, is when they feel his loss they're not lying sacks of sycophantic shit.

"but I read about him in business magazines and Slashdot frontpage stories, that's exactly like knowing him!!" just shut the fuck up. seriously. let the deceased have more dignity than that.

Why not? (1, Interesting)

the Dragonweaver (460267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651782)

It wouldn't surprise me in the least that a look/feel would be emulated, especially if the designer were idolized. It might even be a sort of design Easter egg, the sort of in-joke that only those in the know would get as funny. Like font jokes, which are only funny if you use the fonts every day.

Re:Why not? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651800)

They should use that in court against Samsung.
"It's not parent infringement, it's an Easter egg!"

Re:Why not? (1)

Bork (115412) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651816)

Most likely was they were trying to figure out what the connector configuration should be, he referred to it and told the designers to use it as an example.

Re:Why not? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651966)

Most likely Samsung was trying to figure out what the corner configuration should be, he referred to his 18-year old TI-30 Stat calculator and told the designers to use it as an example.

There FTFY...

Re:Why not? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652230)

Apple steals everything. They stole the GUI from Xerox, they stole the mouse from Douglas Engelbart, they stole Mac OS X from BSD, they stole the iPod UI from Creative Labs, they stole the design of the iPhone from LG. Fuck Apple. The world is a better place without that faggot cult leader Steve Jobs.

Remember the good old days? (3, Insightful)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651784)

You guys remember the days when every piece of bullshit spewed by an Apple fanboy wasn't immediately posted on the front page of slashdot?

Re:Remember the good old days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651812)

Nope

Re:Remember the good old days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651858)

Good neither do I, I was worried I had Alzheimers.

Re:Remember the good old days? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651936)

Yes. The same days when /b/ was good, and Reagan had any positive stats other than CHA.

Those aren't the same. (5, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651790)

That slot on a Polaroid camera was actually an edge connector. The flash bar was printed on a PCB and had gold trace "fingers" on a protruding section, like an ISA card. These are very cheap, as only one side of the connector even is a connector at all, the other is just a PCB. But they also aren't physically very strong and aren't good for a lot of insertion/removal cycles.

The iPod 30-pin has a metal shelled connector on both mating pieces. These are more precise, last longer and with the a latch system (present on some iPod cables, not others) physically strong. You can hang an iPod Mini easily from a latched 30-pin connector while the Polaroid flash bars fell out without even putting weight on them.

Also note Steve Jobs didn't design Apple's 30-pin connector, Donald J Novotney did.

Re:Those aren't the same. (0)

aacool (700143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651798)

That slot on a Polaroid camera was actually an edge connector. The flash bar was printed on a PCB and had gold trace "fingers" on a protruding section, like an ISA card. These are very cheap, as only one side of the connector even is a connector at all, the other is just a PCB. But they also aren't physically very strong and aren't good for a lot of insertion/removal cycles.

The iPod 30-pin has a metal shelled connector on both mating pieces. These are more precise, last longer and with the a latch system (present on some iPod cables, not others) physically strong. You can hang an iPod Mini easily from a latched 30-pin connector while the Polaroid flash bars fell out without even putting weight on them.

Also note Steve Jobs didn't design Apple's 30-pin connector, Donald J Novotney did.

Interesting update - thanks very much for the info

Re:Those aren't the same. (5, Informative)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651838)

Hi, I was the one who posted. I didn't mean to imply that the port was functionally the same. Just that the two ports are micrometers apart in size. And both are situated centered on the end of the device. It struck me as an interesting coincidence. Also, my server is slashdotted. I have supercache enabled and CDN for my media. Still couldn't handle the load. Ugh. Wordpress. Maybe time to move to Tumblr.

Re:Those aren't the same. (2)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651874)

Rght..so they designed a port that has multiple charging pins, av in and out data connections for more than one bus and a variety of other features based on "make it this wide and this thin--even though that other port did none of it."

Right...

Sheesh. D people seriously just post random brain matter up here and see what sticks?

Re:Those aren't the same. (2, Informative)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651898)

Lot's of devices need multipurpose ports. Nokia and Sony were making devices for years with multimedia out. None of them were the exact dimensions of the SX-70. That's all I was thinking. Cheers,

I dunno why people are pooping on you (1, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651934)

Even if the ports aren't the same, what's the harm in your article? I don't get the hate.

Re:I dunno why people are pooping on you (1)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651948)

Thanks. I agree. I wasn't presenting myself as authority. The headline was actually a question. I was just sharing something that I was excited to discover. I just love design. That's why I kept a 40 year old camera on my shelf. Other than my server exploding, which is lame, I am not sure what would elicit the hostility from some. Cheers to you

Re:I dunno why people are pooping on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652202)

I am not sure what would elicit the hostility from some.

Pretty simple really: there is a potential way of reading the summary which implies that your article might contain some kind of criticism of Apple. That's a guaranteed flamefest right there. It wouldn't really have helped if the server had stayed up, since the flamers don't tend to bother reading the article anyway.

I look forward to perusing your article once it's available again. The Polaroid SLR looks fascinating.

Re:I dunno why people are pooping on you (1)

denobug (753200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652268)

Even if the ports aren't the same, what's the harm in your article? I don't get the hate.

Indeed it is an interesting observation of coincidence. We are just not sure if it is worthwhile to be published on /. as news worthy, that's all.

Re:Those aren't the same. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651962)

that is a very thin argument, I have made many connectors with those dimensions before as its a pretty standard spacing for PCB's

Re:Those aren't the same. (1)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652012)

This wasn't intended to be definitive. I'd love to see others. I just went from the NY Times article to the SX-70 on my shelf. The ports were so similar. I've owned dozens of phones, portable game players, home electronics, etc. I couldn't recall anything that was as close of a match. I said in the (now slash dotted) article that it could be wishful thinking. In that, we like to believe there is intention behind everything. Perhaps in this case, there is not. If there are similar connectors that predate the 30-pin. , than my theory was wrong. And that's ok.

Wait a minute.... (2)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652272)

You are the one who posted the article? Why did you post it anonymously only to follow up with your real account? It's a conspiracy, isn't it?

Re:Those aren't the same. (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651992)

No, it's just that in 20 years of cell phones, not one phone has ever had a charger that'd work for another. And then Apple came along and managed to not only get an entire data port that works BETWEEN MODELS...

Very, very significant. /sarcasm

Re:Those aren't the same. (2, Informative)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652044)

No, you didn't "mean" to imply that the port was functionally the same, but in effect, that's exactly what people have gathered. Now we have folks claiming that Steve Jobs appropriated the design from Polaroid and so any other kind of copying by the likes of Samsung is therefore okay. Whether or not you intended a deception is irrelevant; you basically took a poorly-researched supposition and presented it as fodder for those who already made up their mind to hate Apple products.

If you have any degree of sincerity, you would update your blog post to reflect this information. Otherwise, you are being disingenuous and your credibility is nil.

Re:Those aren't the same. (1, Insightful)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652142)

I specifically addressed the Samsung issue in my post. I don't have that text locally. And I can't get to it now because my server is blown. I said that I felt it was an homage in design if Apple did in fact settle on that size and design for the port. The two products were decades apart and didn't compete. Much different than Samsung having connectors on the market to confusing consumers with a product directly competing with Apple.

Re:Those aren't the same. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652250)

Google's Cache saved the text of your blog post [googleusercontent.com]

Steve Jobs, an inspiration to artists and business leaders alike, had a hero of his own. According to this article from the New York Times [nytimes.com], Edwin Land, the creator of Polariod was a role model for Jobs. Land was also a college dropout who developed great products, simply and elegantly designed to appeal to an enormous market. It's an interesting read, as is the linked Fastcompany book review [fastcompany.com].

Like Jobs, Edwin Land had numerous technological and commercial achievements. However, the NYTimes article calls the Polaroid SX-70 folding camera Edwin Land's 'supreme achievement'.

[Broken Image]

I happen to have a vintage Polaroid SX-70. After reading the article, I pulled it off the shelf to take another look. It's a really beautiful piece of design. It even came with this handsome leather case.

[Broken Images]

This camera was my father's, and I've handled it hundreds of times since I was a child. Today, pulling it out the case I was immediately struck with a question:

Why does a 40 year old camera have an Apple 30-pin connector port on it?

[Broken Images]

There is a port, just above the lens, that seems ready for any iPod accessory. It's not as obvious when the camera is open, but the port to connect the old fashioned 'flash bar' is very obvious when the camera is collapsed. In fact, the collapsed SX-70 looks like a piece of consumer electronics Steve Jobs would have created if he'd been born a generation earlier.

It's not just similar. It's almost an exact match. You can even put the tip of a 30-pin connector in the Polaroid and it's a snug fit. I know that this seems like Apple fanboi wishful thinking -- that something could be this specifically thought through. Perhaps it is, and that thought occurred to me. So I tried other things that could be similar in size. An SD card. Close, but it doesn't fit. You don't get snug fit of the 30-pin connector.

Keep in mind that this is the only port on this device. And it's designed to allow the camera to interact with accessories. And this isn't just any device. It's the 'supreme achievement' of the man Steve Jobs called a 'national treasure'. Now, this port of nearly identical proportions is the common denominator three devices that could each, along with the original Macintosh, contend as Steve's 'supreme achievement.' And out of all of the sizes available for peripheral ports (micro-usb, etc), this is nearly an exact match, within micrometers (if I had the appropriate tools, I'd measure it for you). Here's a video to give you a better sense of the fit:

Perhaps there was never an explicit intention to mimic the SX-70. Of course, if this similarity is by design, I am sure someone like Jony Ive would know. The port could have been a result of teamwork, but if Steve Jobs obsessed over Edwind Land's creations the way we obsess over his, there is a reason that this could have felt like the right size for an accessory port according to Steve's aesthetic sensibilities.

I've never giving much thought to the 30-pin connector. It wasn't any more interesting to me than a USB port. But now, I'd be very curious to know the background of the only physical trait that latest iPhone shares with the early iPods... and with a forty year-old camera.

[Broken Image]

Re:Those aren't the same. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652228)

Steve Jobs was only ever good at stealing other people's ideas. He even admitted that on video.

Apple's only real innovations have been in marketing.

Re:Those aren't the same. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651890)

Someone needs to learn what inspired means...

Re:Those aren't the same. (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652050)

I like Apple's stuff but I hate that connector. I've had 2 pairs of iPod speakers go bad via the connector (one of them even had a bracket to keep the iPod immobile). It seems rather weak to me.

Re:Those aren't the same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652140)

Don't lie, Steve jobs designed and invented everything apple has ever done and will ever put out after his death. Apple has 1 employee his name is Steve jobs....

Where's the app for that? (2)

aacool (700143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651792)

Interesting - how much time until there's an app for loading Polaroid pictures to the iOS?

Re:Where's the app for that? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652254)

if polaroid makes a camera with an SD card slot, then it already exits.. The eye-fi wifi SD Card.

link fucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651796)

good job janitors, erm i mean editors...

Slashdotted already? (2)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651806)

Slashdotted within ten minutes at 2100 EST on a Saturday night? What are all of you people doing reading /. now?

Re:Slashdotted already? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651822)

2100 EST on a Saturday night? What are all of you people doing reading /. now?

Seriously? Like, what? Everyone that normally reads slashdot is supposed to be out at a bar right now or something?

Re:Slashdotted already? (2)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651894)

2100 EST on a Saturday night? What are all of you people doing reading /. now?

Seriously? Like, what? Everyone that normally reads slashdot is supposed to be out at a bar right now or something?

Exactly! I posted that from a bar while I was chatting to a pair of Slovakian models. I totally am not sitting around my house in my PJs.

Re:Slashdotted already? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651956)

2100 EST on a Saturday night? What are all of you people doing reading /. now?

Seriously? Like, what? Everyone that normally reads slashdot is supposed to be out at a bar right now or something?

I am reading Slashdot in a bar, you insensitive clod!

Re:Slashdotted already? (1)

Capeman (589717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651840)

We are always here.

Re:Slashdotted already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651986)

Slashdotted within ten minutes at 2100 EST on a Saturday night? What are all of you people doing reading /. now?

Same as you, I guess.

Re:Slashdotted already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652074)

maybe /. is more international than you thought, most of the world does not know what EST is.

Re:Slashdotted already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652088)

Waiting for a tech support drone to reply... And yourself?

Please post the website content in your post.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651844)

I think the sites aer /.'ed as I can't load them. Actually if anyone can post the content on all the links in the OP posting it would help everyone out.

Re:Please post the website content in your post.. (2)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652124)

And here is an earlier draft of the text from the article:

Steve Jobs, an inspiration to artists and business leaders alike, had a hero of his own. According to this article from the New York Times, Edwin Land, the creator of Polariod was a role model for Jobs. Land was also a college dropout who developed great products, simply and elegantly designed to appeal to an enormous market. It's an interesting read, as is the linked Fastcompany book review.

Like Jobs, Edwin Land had numerous technological and commercial achievements. However, the NYTimes article calls the Polaroid SX-70 folding camera Edwin Land's 'supreme achievement'.

I happen to have a vintage Polaroid SX-70. After reading the article, I pulled it off the shelf to take another look. It's a really beautiful piece of design. It even came with this handsome leather case.

This camera was my father's, and I've handled it hundreds of times since I was a child. Today, pulling it out the case I was immediately struck with a question:

Why does a 40 year old camera have an Apple 30-pin connector port on it? (or at least one that looks nearly identical)
There is a port, just above the lens, that seems ready for any iPod accessory. It's not as obvious when the camera is open, but the port to connect the old fashioned 'flash bar' is very obvious when the camera is collapsed. In fact, the collapsed SX-70 looks like a piece of consumer electronics Steve Jobs would have created if he'd been born a generation earlier.
It's not just similar. Physically, it's almost an exact match. You can even put the tip of a 30-pin connector in the Polaroid and it's a snug fit. I know that this seems like Apple fanboi wishful thinking - that something could be this specifically thought through. Perhaps it is, and that thought occurred to me. So I tried other things that could be similar in size. An SD card. Close, but it doesn't fit. You don't get snug fit of the 30-pin connector.
Keep in mind that this is the only port on this device. And it's designed to allow the camera to interact with accessories. And this isn't just any device. It's the 'supreme achievement' of the man Steve Jobs called a 'national treasure'. Now, this port of nearly identical proportions is the common denominator three devices that could each, along with the original Macintosh, contend as Steve's 'supreme achievement.' And out of all of the sizes available for peripheral ports (micro-usb, etc), this is nearly an exact match, within micrometers (if I had the appropriate tools, I'd measure it for you). Here's a video to give you a better sense of the fit:

http://vimeo.com/30244633 [vimeo.com]

Perhaps there was never an explicit intention to mimic the SX-70. Of course, if this similarity is by design, I am sure someone like Jony Ive would know. The port could have been a result of teamwork, but if Steve Jobs obsessed over Edwind Land's creations the way we obsess over his, there is a reason that this could have felt like the right size for an accessory port according to Steve's aesthetic sensibilities.

I've never givien much thought to the 30-pin connector. It wasn't any more interesting to me than a USB port. But now, I'd be very curious to know the background of the only physical trait that latest iPhone shares with the early iPods and with a forty year-old camera invented by a man Steve Jobs idolized. .

USB and Gameboy port... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651846)

I'd state that the current USB port and a connector on the Gameboy would be closer than a PCB edge connector (which was made to give enough juice to pop flashes, flip the board, pop more flashes.)

Re:USB and Gameboy port... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651942)

I thought that as well, I did not own a gameboy until USB was well on its way to being a standard feature, and said hmm isn't that neat.

Re:USB and Gameboy port... (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651976)

Nintendo did a good job with that connector; from what I know, it took a lot of wear without breaking. The designers of USB could have imitated worse things.

If I were to guess about the form factor of the 30 pin connector, it would solve a number of issues:

1: It is decently thin. Maybe one could make a connector thinner, but then there is the engineering for dealing with high insertion/removal cycles, mis-insertion, torquing, and so on.

2: It provides structural support. This provides it an edge over MicroUSB, because one can just mount any device on a cradle using the 30 pin connector, and it will stay in place without any additional reinforcement (molding around the bottom).

3: It provides enough pins to handle things the original design likely never was thought to do, such as HDMI.

4: The springs holding the connector in place are in the dock or the cable, so if those break, it is generally easier to replace that than the iPod, iPad, or iPhone.

I would think the 30 pin connector got that way out of functionality constraints if anything.

Apologies for my server. (3, Funny)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651848)

This is my server. Running wordpress. I have supercache enabled and all of my media is on a CDN. Still couldn't handle the load. Sorry guys. Sorry for submitting Timothy. I really thought it was up for the task. Best, M

Re:Apologies for my server. (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651910)

This is my server. Running wordpress. I have supercache enabled and all of my media is on a CDN. Still couldn't handle the load. Sorry guys.

If you can get this coral cache link [nyud.net] to load somehow (iptable-bounce everyone but their ip addresses?), then we'll be all set.

danke.

Re:Apologies for my server. (1)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651940)

Thanks for the input. I can't get the coral cache link to load. Working on it. Appreciate the help.

Re:Apologies for my server. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651968)

The state of your server sounds like that of your name. Deep Fried. As in total melt-down, toast, put a fork in it, it's done.

Why now? (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651850)

Given the interesting timing, does this story potentially fall under the heading of "you can't libel the dead"?

I'd read the story and decide, but it's already been slashdotted...

Re:Why now? (1)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651906)

There's nothing libelous. I just thought they were similar. If my server had held up, you'd see I defend the potential similarities with a decades old product versus Samsung potentially confusing customers with the similar cables for a competing product.

Re:Why now? (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652082)

That means "no matter what you say, it is not libel", as opposed to "there is an absolute prohibition against libeling the dead".

But whatever. It's clear that Jobs "stole" a lot of other people's ideas in making the iPod/iPhone; he said so himself, so it's not "libel".

Edwin Land biography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651854)

I remember searching bookstores fruitlessly for one a couple decades ago (pre-Internet days), so I was surprised to find one still in print [amazon.com]. I think there were probably several others published over the last fifty years focused specifically on Land (as opposed to histories of Polaroid) that are no longer available.

Who cares? (2)

KerrickStaley (2423808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651868)

Who wants to hear some blogger gossip about how some component of an Apple product kinda-sorta-maybe looks like that of some other 40-year-old product? It's in the same vein as comparing the Kennedy/Lincoln assassinations: you can always find random coincidences if you look hard enough.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651960)

Slashdot has really turned a corner. At least News for Nerds would have some factual basis behind it. Now it's Apple bashing all the time since the regular MS whipping boy hasn't whimpered in a while. It's sad when you're reading support for Samsung (a HUGE multinational corporation) vs. vilification of Apple (another huge multinational). I've been coming here for over a decade to read news aggregation that focused on technology. But lately I've just started going elsewhere. Sorry guys but this one really just hit a new low. I've got better things to do.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652246)

"I've been coming here for over a decade to read news aggregation that focused on technology. But lately I've just started going elsewhere. Sorry guys but this one really just hit a new low. I've got better things to do."

Agreed - I'm surprised it hasn't keyed off the liberal/conservative argument yet either, 'cause y'know that has a lot to do with 'technology' too. Slashdot has steadily deteriorated on my list of 'important places to visit' - at one point I would check here daily, now I'll go weeks at a time sometimes, just nothing really worth my time most of the time.

Re:Who cares? (1, Insightful)

netsharc (195805) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652190)

Yeah, this is basically an observation that would've fit in a tweet: "Oh look, the Polaroid SX70 bla bla port is almost the same size as the iPad data port.", instead Mr. Let's Waste Everyone's Time made a stupid video of him trying to force entry, and several useless paragraphs about it...

Inspired by a 40 year old camera? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651870)

People are just jealous of Apple's brilliant innovations in the areas of rounded black rectangles, white box packaging, grid-like arrangements of icons, and, yes, accessory ports.

Apple would never copy other companies' designs. They have way too much integrity for that!

Re:Inspired by a 40 year old camera? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37651928)

People are just jealous of Apple's brilliant innovations in the areas of rounded black rectangles, white box packaging, grid-like arrangements of icons, and, yes, accessory ports.

Apple would never copy other companies' designs. They have way too much integrity for that!

I love the fact that this was marked TROLL, not Funny.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37651996)

Samsung really has been shamelessly copying apple almost exactly. It looks like a clear attempt by samsung to milk apples design, I'm sure they think that's the key to success is just copying every little thing from something else successful.

Re:wow (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652092)

Jobs in 1996 interview: (quoting Picasso) "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal"

Jobs in same interview: (his own words) "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

Jobs in 2010 interview: "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Hypocritical? You decide.

I believe we're past the customary mourning period, so it's back to business as usual. It's been 3 days and no sign of a resurrection yet, so maybe he wasn't the Massiah after all.

Why don't you just ask him? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652032)

Why don't they just ask him if it's true?

Oh. Right. How convenient.

You've got to be kidding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652052)

It's just a black rectangle...

lots of less obscure prior art (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652072)

Almost every PDA since the 1990's has had iPod-like connectors, since before USB.

Palm and Windows PDAs and phones have had most of the other things Apple-fans associated with the iPhone, including the launch screen, MP3 players, finger keyboards, cameras, etc.

For tablets, it's pretty much the same: tons of prior art, tons of prior designs that were quite similar.

Re:lots of less obscure prior art (0)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652232)

Almost every PDA since the 1990's has had iPod-like connectors, since before USB.

Pre-iPhone/iPod PDA connectors support data transfers/mass storage, expansion (peripherals), charging, composite video, component video, HDMI/DVI, and S/PDIF amount other features? Sure, if you include CF slots and PCMCIA slots, possibly, but that's not what you're referring to.

Palm and Windows PDAs and phones have had most of the other things Apple-fans associated with the iPhone, including the launch screen, MP3 players, finger keyboards, cameras, etc.

Honestly, Palm was a joke until the PocketPC gained market share. I was a diehard PocketPC user and bought a lot of software for mine, as well as accessories such as GPS receivers. However, they are inferior to the iPhone even despite the presence of PCMCIA, CF, and MMC/SDIO slots in the PocketPCs.

What Apple Learned from Kodak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652094)

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/next/archives/2008/12/what_apple_lear.html

Why are car axles as long as they are? (4, Funny)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652106)

Here's something that is barely relevant about standards. At least some of it isn't made up! ;)

Why are (most) automobile axles as long as they are?

Because they were the same length as the then railcar axles (I think railroads were originally narrow Gage).

Why were railcars axles as long as they were?

Because that was the Gage (duh) of the railway.

Why was the Gage of the railway set to be that width?

Because it matched the width of the wagons and carriages used on roads at the time.

Why was the axles of the wagons and carriages standardized on that length? (they were made before mass production so many varying lengths would be more probable).

Because they were made to match the ruts formed in the often muddy roads.

Why were the ruts in the road formed at that particular width?

Because one width was used by one kind of common vehicle (the roman chariot).

Why was that width particularly useful?

Because it was the width of two horses.

(Sort of) Moral: nothing is new and our primary transportation technology is based on horses assess!

Re:Why are car axles as long as they are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652220)

Gauge. Also, http://www.snopes.com/history/american/gauge.asp

Re:Why are car axles as long as they are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652276)

This is an old myth and it's not true.

Strikes me as (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652114)

some chancer trying to score some easy hits off Jobs' death. Quality work slashdot.

Re:Strikes me as (1)

DeepFried (644194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652134)

Not at all. I am a huge fan of Apple. And vintage Polaroid for that matter. I thought it was an homage in design. The products were decades apart and never competed. There's nothing technically useful about the Polaroid port for the iPod. I was guessing, yes guessing, that the exact dimensions may be a result of Steve liking the design. Having been a fan of Edwin Land and Polaroid.

A worthy role model (5, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652152)

Edwin Land would certainly be a good role model for Jobs.

He was probably the greatest developer of optical and photographic technologies in American history. I'm particularly fond of him for designing the folding ultra-high resolution cameras that allowed the U2 spyplane to photograph objects at 2.5 foot resolutions from 60,000 feet up. Those cameras were refined into those used on the blackbird (80,000 feet and resolution high enough to see the stripes on a parking lot) and those used in satellites. These cameras were, of course, was just one of many achievements in his field.

Anyone with those kind of standards would have been a god to Steve Jobs, I'm sure.

Perfectly plausible... (3, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652234)

Especially when you consider that the click wheel iPod is thought to be influenced by a 1954 transistor radio [bbc.co.uk].

Plus even Jobs' comments about the iPhone 4 being "like a Leica camera" betray the fact to yes, their designers look to past gadgets for inspiration, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone given the task of locating the port saw the Polaroid camera and went "let's try that"...

Land comparision a stretch, Samsung guilty though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652264)

I don't see the comparison on the Land camera but Samsung cloned Apples packaging. They are obviously trying to create confusion. Hey ours is just as good, look at the box art! To me it makes me assume it's a cheap knock off but plenty of people will fall for it.

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