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Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the it's-never-the-facing-the-right-way-on-the-first-try dept.

Cellphones 191

orasio writes: One of the most frustrating first-world problems ever (trying to connect an upside-down Micro-USB connector) could disappear soon. The Type-C connector for USB has been declared ready for production by the USB Promoter Group (PDF). "With the Type-C spec finalized, it now comes down to the USB-IF to actually implement the sockets, plugs, cables, adapters, and devices. The problem is that there are billions of existing USB devices and cables that will need adapters and new cables to work with new Type-C devices. It’s a lot like when Apple released the Lightning connector, but on an even grander scale. Further exacerbating the issue is the fact that China, the EU, and the GSMA have all agreed that new mobile devices use Micro-USB for charging — though it might be as simple as including a Micro-USB-to-Type-C adapter with every new smartphone."

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What for? (-1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 2 months ago | (#47658893)

n/t

What for? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47658923)

Because - and the Libertards will hate this - the ultimate goal of capitalism is to make bank, not to do useful things. Sometimes the goals coincide, but mostly they do not. In that case, you employ psychology ("marketing") to make people feel that they're getting what they always wanted, when all they're really doing is making you richer.

Here is an example of de rigueur bullshittery.

(And, no, you ideological retards, I'm not a commie.)

Re:What for? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659711)

No, you are another fucking tea-bagger that blames everybody for your failures.
Sadly, cock suckers like you have more in common with Nazis and Stalinist, then you do with the original tea party, or even communism.
I am amazed that you tea-baggers continue to suck on the kock brothers cock, but you sure do seem to like it.

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659889)

Wow. Just wow. We've come full circle, folks.

Re:What for? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47660183)

Full circle?

As in circle jerk? Or am I dating myself?

Re:What for? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 months ago | (#47660597)

yes, evidently you have longer arms than a normal person and are able to circle-jerk yourself, hence your desire to date yourself. You have to, because you won't put out without getting a decent meal first.

Re: What for? (3, Informative)

JBell4 (740892) | about 2 months ago | (#47659013)

Easy of use? The locking tabs and uni-orientation of all the micro connectors sucks compared a lightening connector which plugs in regardless of which way you grab it off the floor in the dark.... That, or it's to screw up benedict cummberbatchs ability to determine who is a drunk by how messed up the connectors of their phones are ;)

Re: What for? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 months ago | (#47659047)

I just hope the damned thing lasts longer than the current micro POS, which has difficulties with thoisands of connect-disconnect cycles and the occasional bump.

Re: What for? (4, Insightful)

inflex (123318) | about 2 months ago | (#47659419)

It likely won't, and its failure will be expensive on the device.

As a non-apple-fanboy, I do have to say that the lightning connector used on iPhones is a smarter connector. If it's going to break due to external force, it'll break the tongue off the plug, rather than damaging the socket, subsequently a lot cheaper and easier to fix. Replacing broken microUSB ( and soon Type-C ) sockets on phones, tablets and similar devices is rarely cheap and frequently has additional complications ( such as lifting tracks, broken PCBs or just nearly impossible to find a suitable replacement connector ).

It's a lot simpler extracting a broken off tongue from a lightning socket and getting a new cable.

Re: What for? (4, Insightful)

JonBoy47 (2813759) | about 2 months ago | (#47660199)

Say what you will about Apple and their tendancy to buck the greater tech trends in the industry, but when Apple does buck the trend, their solution is technically superior and more user friendly than the incumbent alternative. The Lightning connector is but the latest example. Previous examples include Thunderbolt over USB 3, Firewire over USB 2, ADB over every pre-USB keyboard and mouse connection.

Re: What for? (2)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 2 months ago | (#47660581)

you left off the best one, the magsafe plug that gets sucked into the port when you just dangle the power cable near it

also, you'll catch flag for bringing up Thunderbolt

Re: What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660453)

What kind of idiot would put pins facing the world / not protected? If you accidentally leave it out while it rains / spill some liquid, you're going to increase the corrosion on the connector -- then there's a good chance you're going to spread the corrosion inside the port! Think about every other cable in existence (here's a headstart: http://xkcd.com/1406/ ) Every one of them has Ground on the sheath to protect the sensitive data pins. Even Headphone jacks have ground closest to the outside just in case some liquid gets in the socket.

Can you think of any other stupid cable design that has the important data connectors facing the elements?!?

Also, How do they break the tab off the inside of the plug when there's a stiff metal frame around the side making sure the cable head itself doesn't move? I think there's more to the story than your friends are telling you - blaming the connector first before themselves. It's like breaking off a coax wall socket - the amount of force required would have destroyed ANY device because it ripped the socket off the mainboard and probably warped the chassis!

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659829)

and they couldn't make it smaller deeper for backward compatibility?

Government selection of connector technoglogy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47658921)

So, all you folks who thought that it was a great idea for the EU to legislate the "One True Connection" please discuss.

Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47658989)

It was a great idea for the EU to legislate "One True Connection", because we now have "One True Connection" rather than eleventy-billion connectors, soon to be eleventy-billion-and-one connectors.

I only need to connect my 'phone to charge it. I really don't give a shit if it's Micro, C-type, Mini or Purple Dildo shaped.

Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (4, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 months ago | (#47659107)

It was a great idea for the EU to legislate "One True Connection", because we now have "One True Connection" rather than eleventy-billion connectors, soon to be eleventy-billion-and-one connectors.

I only need to connect my 'phone to charge it. I really don't give a shit if it's Micro, C-type, Mini or Purple Dildo shaped.

All you need is one of these puppies:
http://xkcd.com/1406/ [xkcd.com]
Also, if you have the Purple Dildo shaped connector and try to pass through airport security screening, you may have an interesting afternoon...

Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47659189)

All you need is one of these puppies:
  http://xkcd.com/1406/ [xkcd.com]

Huh? NO RS-232 (either DB-9 or DB-25)? It doesn't fit my use case.

Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659391)

Wow--just in time for today's Slashdot.

XKCD's big converter box points exactly to the problem: yet another USB connector. C'mon--my computer bag is heavy enough.

Re: Government selection of connector technoglogy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660293)

And to that I say, http://xkcd.com/927/.

Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 2 months ago | (#47660595)

Also, if you have the Purple Dildo shaped connector and try to pass through airport security screening, you may have an interesting afternoon...

Fight Club

Narrator: Was it ticking?
Airport Security Officer: Actually, throwers don't worry about ticking 'cause modern bombs don't tick.
Narrator: Sorry, throwers?
Airport Security Officer: Baggage handlers. But when a suitcase vibrates, then the throwers gotta call the police.
Narrator: My suitcase was vibrating?
Airport Security Officer: Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But every once in a while [looks around, leans in conspiratorially] it's a dildo. [leans back] Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never *your* dildo.
Narrator: I don't own a dildo!

Re: Government selection of connector technoglogy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660025)

This is still one single upgrade. So a new phone could use one now.. Or an adapter down for older phones.

What the EU missed is that the AMPERAGE requirements for this size connector and copper wires aren't going to work when phones need to pull 3 amps fast-charging. Something has to bulk up or get melt and let the magic smoke out.

The same with data, do you get a choice of in and/or out data lines at a reasonable speed. It's too many choices to meet all of them reasonably.

Re:Government selection of connector technoglogy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660067)

One true connection + one standard adapter plug to the new standard is better than 15 connectors and (15 x 14) = 210 possible adapters.

Screw you MicroUSB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47658925)

You heard me! Screw all of you who think it's a good connector!

Re:Screw you MicroUSB! (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 months ago | (#47659201)

Err MicroUSB doesn't have thumb screws. You must be thinking of a different connector like RS232 or DVI.

Re:Screw you MicroUSB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660365)

And screw you Samsung for mounting your MicroUSB connectors upside-down.

One of the most frustrating first-world problems (5, Insightful)

Target Drone (546651) | about 2 months ago | (#47658939)

One of the most frustrating first-world problems... they keep inventing new incompatible connectors for no good reason (at least for the consumer).

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (0, Troll)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47659011)

One of the most frustrating first-world problems... they keep inventing new incompatible connectors for no good reason (at least for the consumer).

Ahh, quit your complaining and buy the converter like a good rube... It was good enough for Apple!

Where I like the reversible nature and the current capacity of the new connector, I'm frustrated too. I only just now got enough cables to run all the devices I have in all the places I need them and now I've got another cable type to mess with once I switch out the next device. Hopefully the cables won't be as expensive as those Apple lightning, you pay though the nose because we're APPLE, cables. Thanks..

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47660205)

At some point in your life you're going to have to go all Zen about it and not care so much.

Only then can you throw those old SCSI cables out.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (1)

QQBoss (2527196) | about 2 months ago | (#47660641)

At some point in your life you're going to have to go all Zen about it and not care so much.

Only then can you throw those old SCSI cables out.

Hah, I scrapped 4 cubic yards of collected computer detritus, including at least a dozen different SCSI cables (with some ultraSCSIs) today. Been needing to do that for years. I did shed a bit of a tear over the Amiga stuff, though.

Yes, I donated to anyone and everyone all that I could before I scrapped. But 4 working PCs couldn't even be given away to an orphanage!

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 2 months ago | (#47659019)

As an Apple customer, I am quite happy they ditched the "30-pin" connector and went with the reversible lightning connector. One less thing to fiddle with when charging my phone. Nice to see USB picking up the feature, even if it is a couple years later with implementations still not available.

That said, the cable/connector interface on the lightning cables is not nearly strong enough for the insertion/removal force required. It will be interesting to see if the USB design will work better in that regard, as the shield does provide some mechanical latching.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (2)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 months ago | (#47659179)

What do you mean, not strong enough? We've managed to walk an Apple wall wart out of an outlet several times. The lightning connecter stayed connected to the iPad.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 2 months ago | (#47659951)

The cable connection at the lightning connector has failed on me several times, specifically because the connector stays connected to the device. The removal force exceeds the strength of the cable. Yes, I understand you shouldn't pull from the cable, but the connector body is sometimes too small to get a good hold on.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659307)

Yeah, and you know what also suck? The gas tank on my car which is on only on the left side. I can never remember this and half of the time I'm in the wrong way at the gas station. (Yes, I had to do the obligatory car analogy.)

Seriously, how dumb are we becoming?

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659447)

Look at your fuel gauge in the car. There is a little arrow on it that tells you which side your gas tank is on.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (1)

Wormfan (122848) | about 2 months ago | (#47659747)

Work colleague got a new Ford Ranger, the arrow points to the wrong side :-P

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 months ago | (#47659861)

Work colleague got a new Ford Ranger, the arrow points to the wrong side :-P

That's not the wrong side, it's just that on his Ranger, the arrow points to which side of the pump you're supposed to be on.

Re: One of the most frustrating first-world proble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660045)

And that's on the gas logo.. Which is at the "full" position. My eyeballs are looking at the "empty" position.. The arrow is missing.

Not at all dumb (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 months ago | (#47659621)

Seriously, how dumb are we becoming?

We aren't dumb at all, as evidenced by multiple directionless plugs taking over where annoying plugs held sway before.

That's a lot of pointless time saved in aggregate.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660383)

The fuel port belongs on the driver's side. Cars with it on the other side are wrong.

(you are probably not old enough to remember cars with the cap under the license plate, I am barely old enough to remember... much less drive one)

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47659647)

No good reason? Really?

Look on the bright side - with Type-D they'll figure out how to go reversible and genderless and then we'll be done for good.

Re: One of the most frustrating first-world proble (1)

Xel (84370) | about 2 months ago | (#47659755)

Don't they call that Bluetooth?

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659777)

Type-C is reversible and genderless. It also is rated to deliver up to 30W. To deliver more than that they would need to make the connector bigger, which phone users wouldn't like.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (2)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 2 months ago | (#47660297)

Look on the bright side - with Type-D they'll figure out how to go reversible and genderless and then we'll be done for good.

Along those lines: the "gendering" (sort of) of USB was deliberate. USB is a master/slave protocol with a host that supplies power and a device that (optionally) consumes it. The cables were designed to prevent people from connecting two hosts together and shorting out their power supplies. The newer USB On-The-Go (OTG) standard allows two hosts to connect using special connectors (micro-AB) to control power switching and a connection protocol for deciding which end is the master, but it's pretty complicated and requires analog voltage measurement. Fun to have on a smart phone, but massive overkill for most devices.

Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47660451)

Along those lines: the "gendering" (sort of) of USB was deliberate. USB is a master/slave protocol with a host that supplies power and a device that (optionally) consumes it. The cables were designed to prevent people from connecting two hosts together and shorting out their power supplies. The newer USB On-The-Go (OTG) standard allows two hosts to connect using special connectors (micro-AB) to control power switching and a connection protocol for deciding which end is the master, but it's pretty complicated and requires analog voltage measurement. Fun to have on a smart phone, but massive overkill for most devices.

No real device actually implement OTG - it's such a complex protocol with HNP and role-switching that very few people bothered. Especially since the real goal for the manufacturer really just wanted USB host support, USB client support, and not worry about HNP or other nonsense.

USB Forum did listen though, as USB 3.0 abandoned the OTG spec. Instead, they have "Dual Role Device" or DRD. Basically it can be a host or client depending on the voltage applied to a pin. No complex HNP or other protocol - the user basically just plugs in an adapter to bring it back to the normal USB A female plug.

OTG was conceived as a way for two people to connect their phones or other devices together and share data - HNP and role-switching as necessary in order to properly handle the transfer. It was all brilliant and everything, but so overly complex with high software requirements. Bluetooth also came around which basically handled all the use cases that USB OTG was envisioning, so in the end, the only real use was to provide USB host mode.

Er, what? (5, Insightful)

pathological liar (659969) | about 2 months ago | (#47658991)

though it might be as simple as including a Micro-USB-to-Type-C adapter with every new smartphone

This is genius.

"This new connector, whose only value is that it's reversible, doesn't work on the billions of existing devices. Why don't we include a non-reversible adapter?"

Hell, for extra convenience, just leave the adapter on the cable all the time.

Re:Er, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659225)

Having a converter come with the phone is the least desirable option, but it still means i can buy any phone and know it can be charged in any "standard" charger. (and if we do have a standard, upgrading it will mean a period of converters for already manufactured products and new ones would have the new standard connector designed in /theory)

Nothing silly about that, unless you want to just trash all the products created up to the time we discover a better method and make it the new standard.

Re:Er, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659541)

I imagine the actual solution will be putting Type-C ports on the devices themselves and including a C to Micro-B adapter so that the manufacturers can comply with the EU's demands from on high while still capitalising on cable sales for those of us who hate adapters.

Re:Er, what? (1)

stoborrobots (577882) | about 2 months ago | (#47660395)

I can see them doing this, rather than the much simpler solution of having two ports: a Micro-B port for charging only, and a C port for data/charging.

Compliant with all regulations, simpler for the consumer (no adapter required), minimal outlay (one extra trace on the PCB, one extra component costing fractions of a cent), no questions about cables.

Re:Er, what? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 2 months ago | (#47659629)

It has several other values: Higher current capacity to allow faster charging of devices, and higher bandwidth to allow faster revisions of the USB spec.

Re:Er, what? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47659963)

Not sure if trying to be funny or just braindead. There's this thing called backwards compatibility that is typically required when you change a global standard.

Oh are you going to be massively inconvenienced by having to use an adapter for a few years while all your devices adopt the new standards and your cables get replaced by attrition? Maybe your story can get on Slashdot as the "most frustrating first-world problem".

So yes, it is actually quite genius to design a system like that.

Re:Er, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660089)

Not to mention new smartphones generally ship with a cable, if not a wall-socket adapter.

Re:Er, what? (1)

InvalidError (771317) | about 2 months ago | (#47660677)

The whole point of Type-C is to address the ugly kludge that is the current micro-USB3 connector that almost no phone or tablet adopted because the connector is huge - over twice as wide as micro-USB.

As for the EU and others with mandated micro-USB charging, I bet they will include Type-C as an acceptable or even preferred alternative in short enough order.

... yas uoy ,elbisreveR (5, Funny)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 2 months ago | (#47658993)

.revelc woh ...

Re:... yas uoy ,elbisreveR (4, Funny)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 months ago | (#47659097)

Down Vote, you made me think today....

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659003)

what are the advantages that outweigh the currently universal cheap data/power cables?

Good. (4, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | about 2 months ago | (#47659007)

I know, one more USB connector to have an adaptor for... But this is how the mini/micro and even old USB 'A' should have been from the beginning.

There's nothing worse than having to blind mate USB, and having to flip it four bloody times before it works. (except maybe blind mating 'F' connectors, or sometimes D sub..)

Re:Good. (1)

erice (13380) | about 2 months ago | (#47659239)

I know, one more USB connector to have an adaptor for... But this is how the mini/micro and even old USB 'A' should have been from the beginning.

There's nothing worse than having to blind mate USB, and having to flip it four bloody times before it works. (except maybe blind mating 'F' connectors, or sometimes D sub..)

I can think of a few things that are worse, including:

1) Arriving at your destination needing to charge your phone and finding that, although you have the charger and the phone, you forgot the adapter.
2) Having to mate and secure two connections instead of just one.
3) Unplugging phone cable from adapter leaving converter behind. This already happens with car adapters where you can easily walk off with the cable and phone, leaving the 12V adapter behind.
4) Arriving at far off destination to find that you have a new style power adapter (for another device) but old style microusb on your phone with no converter and you may not even be able to get a converter at any price because everyone assumes that people migrate old to new and not the other way.

Re:Good. (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 2 months ago | (#47659601)

That's kind of a bullshit complaint. Do you currently plug your phone into a USB A to USB B adaptor, to a USB B to USB mini B adaptor, which is plugged into a USB mini B to micro B adaptor? (yeah, I skipped some USB variants).

No? then shortly you'll just have a USB micro C cable / charger, same as how you have a micro B cable / charger now.

Re:Good. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 months ago | (#47660327)

same as how you have a micro B cable / charger now.

And what about the thousands or hundreds of thousands of installed USB chargers and devices? Some public library in the EU installed 50 micro B USB cables after the EU legislation. How many products went and built themselves around micro USB B? What if you want to borrow your friend's. A lot of stuff has in integrated USB micro B instead of a USB-A.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659249)

I know, one more USB connector to have an adaptor for... But this is how the mini/micro and even old USB 'A' should have been from the beginning.

There's nothing worse than having to blind mate USB, and having to flip it four bloody times before it works. (except maybe blind mating 'F' connectors, or sometimes D sub..)

There were worse things... blind mating older connectors that contained live pins that could short out the circuitry through the reversed position, for example. I remember "letting out the magic smoke" a number of times in the 90's due to a reversed connector....

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659633)

I just today encountered an external HDD that had had a 19V laptop power supply briefly plugged into its 12V power receptacle. Killed the HDD stone dead, although the enclosure is still usable with a replacement HDD.

Both the laptop and HDD plugs are round, so fully "reversible". They just shouldn't have been the same size in the first place!

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659793)

so you're the one who makes sure no two devices have chargers of quite the same shape.

Not xkcd, but close: (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 2 months ago | (#47659575)

Proof that cables exist in 4-dimensional space:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/ind... [smbc-comics.com]

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659723)

There's nothing worse than having to blind mate USB, and having to flip it four bloody times before it works. (except maybe blind mating 'F' connectors, or sometimes D sub..)

My god, you people are a bunch of pansies. Every night when I go to bed, I leave my phone charging on my nightstand, and I plug in the cable in the dark. It's really not that big of a deal.

Re: Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659957)

They actually make reversible USB-A connectors. They're compatible with all existing ports.

XKDC alrady out of date ! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659021)

This is today's XKCD - and it's already out of date !
http://xkcd.com/1406/

Re:XKDC alrady out of date ! (5, Funny)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 months ago | (#47659109)

Already covered... http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

Re:XKDC alrady out of date ! (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47659231)

I was just gonna post that.

By the way, when the world switched to USB, they forgot to provide for backward compatibility with RS232. As in the USB port to function as a dumb RS232 2 pin (SND/RCV) + ground connector (so that excludes hardware handshake), just like a lot of 3.5 mm headphone connectors do. And they should have included all under one hat, 3.5 mm headphone analog, or USB polling protocol, RS232 dumb protocol. By the way the 3.5 mm or the like audio connectors are some of the most robust ones out there, and they are cost effective too, they can be machined on a lathe as opposed to the other funky shapes. My life would be a whole lot different today if they provided a 3.5 mm plug to a USB port that's able to do oldschool RS232 protocol, such as 9600-8-N-1, or even 480,000-8-n-1. I could almost be a millionaire with a USB connector like that. However that also proliferates sensory computing, and possible appearance of super-artificial-intelligence in the world out in the wild, so the people on top trying to hog and control all computing technologies to benefit their own pocket, they do have that argument on their side for making it difficult to use USB, compared to RS232, or even trying to force everyone off of computers completely and put them onto smartphones where we can monitor every thought, every action, in the name of safety. I for one hate MCMLXXXIV.

wtf (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659057)

why do they keep trying to slime beta to me? they are total tards. they don't get what is wrong with beta so without fixing it they keep sliming blaming us. BETA SUCKS and i am not going to tell you why because /. aka Dice Holdings is not open source.

Shaped like speaker cable (3, Interesting)

Cockatrice_hunter (1777856) | about 2 months ago | (#47659069)

Is there a reason why USB cables can't be shaped like 3.5 mm speaker cables just with more 'stripes'? Then they could be plugged in any direction and they'd be rotate-able.

Re:Shaped like speaker cable (5, Informative)

ChipMonk (711367) | about 2 months ago | (#47659193)

It has to do with exactly *how* the connections are made as the plug is inserted. Ground/common so static can dissipate, then data/signal, then power last. Each line connects only to its corresponding line in the other piece. A 3.5mm plug doesn't provide that kind of "signal safety"; at some point, it's possible the power on one side would touch the ground on the other, and put a charge into the device before it was fully plugged-in.

Re:Shaped like speaker cable (4, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47659985)

There's even more to it than that. The typical 3.5mm *will* briefly short when mating. Not that this is necessarily a problem but it needs to be taken into account in the design.

Furthermore USB being a high speed data link relies on transmission line characteristics. That is the impedance of the lines need to be carefully controlled, the distance between data lines needs to be carefully controlled, and in these cases the construction of the connector matters a lot. Everything from the spacing of the pins to the shell, to the layout of signals as they reach the circuit board matters. There's no easy way to keep this all nice and even if you pass one signal through another.

Standards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659099)

http://xkcd.com/927/

Re:Standards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659163)

Because this.

http://xkcd.com/927/

hint for the non apple people (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 2 months ago | (#47659137)

A dot of white nail polish will mark the proper orientation of a usb connector for approximately 800 units. Manufacturers actually used to spend the extra 2 cents per 1000 units to do this for you. But we buy our shit from china now, and all we have left in the UdotS is people think up ways to screw you just a little more. Because you demand it.

Re:hint for the non apple people (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 2 months ago | (#47659929)

One of the problems is that in some cases you need to mark both devices. For example, for some Android phones the top of the micro cable corresponds to the screen, while with other phones the top corresponds to the rear of the device. It is an issue mainly for developers who deal with multiple devices in an single day, but still.

Re:hint for the non apple people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660443)

Does not work at all. Devices are not consistent on which way is "up". Micro USB cables are at least able to be determined by the contour of the cable, but with computers using USB-A, it is impossible to tell from the device or the cable.

No USB in the third world? (1)

Ateocinico (32734) | about 2 months ago | (#47659177)

I thought that the third world bought their technology from the first world. Like USB devices...

Re:No USB in the third world? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659383)

Who gives a crap. Those primitive shitballs should all just die of AIDS like the US government intended them to.

I'll be inventing a type 'D' USB connector... (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about 2 months ago | (#47659187)

.. momentarily.

Re:I'll be inventing a type 'D' USB connector... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 months ago | (#47659807)

Idiot.

You're supposed to wait a few years to make a killing selling USB 'C' cables before you make an announcement like that. ;-)

Note that Micro-USB isn't law in the EU (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659211)

The EU threatened to make a law to unify the charging connector if the mobile phone industry didn't come to an agreement on their own. They did come to an agreement (Micro-USB), so there is no law. That agreement ended, btw, so the specter of a unified connector by law has reappeared, and with wildly differing power requirements and different ways of signalling charge modes, more standardization is indeed necessary.

Bad idea. Sherlock would not like it. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#47659233)

If you can plug in the USB either way, then there will not be scratch marks on the phone when a drunk tried to plug it in the wrong way. Then his brother might not have tell tale scratches in the phone he borrowed. Then how can Sherlock impress Watson? Bad idea.

Took the USB organization close to 20 years... (4, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47659369)

So they are finally getting the connector right. After 5 different connectors and almost 20 years they are finally going to fix the USB connector problem (at least most of them). Not only that but they designed with a future awareness that will hopefully prevent the Micro-USB3 nightmare (two connectors in one) in the future.

It's Smaller than every previous USB connection.
It's reversible so you can plug it only one time.
They designed it with the ability to add additional wires in the future as the standard evolves.
The C connector supports USB 3.1 which allows up to 100watts of power transfer (enough to power smaller laptops).
IIRC it's also designed to put less strain on the connection to the circuit board so you won't get the solder flex failure so common with USB.

What they got wrong is it's almost indistinguishable from Micro without close examination. They didn't put in a color or other requirement that would have made the port obvious without close examination, even though it's smaller a LOT of people are going to be trying to plug USB micro connectors into these ports.

All in all I'd say the USB working group finally fixed a few major problems with USB and it's a good standard that will probably eventually replace all A,B,Mini and Micro ports over the next few years. The beauty is finally incorporating 100watt capability, it should be possible to have standard power adapters on laptops that use 1 or 2 USB ports for power eliminating the need to replace your power brick all the time.

Re:Took the USB organization close to 20 years... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47659733)

The C connector supports USB 3.1 which allows up to 100watts of power transfer (enough to power smaller laptops).

Now THIS is totally awesome. I can just plug my laptop into itself, and I no longer have to carry around that behemoth charging brick. That TOTALLY make it worth it.

Re:Took the USB organization close to 20 years... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47660003)

IIRC it's also designed to put less strain on the connection to the circuit board so you won't get the solder flex failure so common with USB.

That is exclusively the department of the connector manufacturer and nothing at all to do with the USB spec or working group. Do a quick search on your favourite parts supplier's website for MicroUSB connectors and you'll see all sorts of weird and wonderful designs from ones which anchor through the circuit board in multiple places to some which have 2 flimsy pads holding the resulting mess together.

There are bad USB connectors out there, but there are also good connectors. None of this changes with the new spec which doesn't specify how the anchoring is supposed to happen, though it is very nice seeing the reference design with a through-hole anchor rather than a surface mount one.

Re:Took the USB organization close to 20 years... (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47660267)

Of course there are other circuit board connectors, but lets be honest, the reference design is the one you will see the most and the previous reference designs have a serious fatigue failure problem.

100 Watts (5, Informative)

neonv (803374) | about 2 months ago | (#47659421)

Please keep in mind an important aspect of this new cable, it supports 100 watts power transfer. That means most devices, including laptops, can be charged through this one connector. I see that as the best reason to switch, fast charging and universal connector for all my devices. The article glosses over that important detail. It also enables 10 Gbs data transfer.

Re:100 Watts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660059)

I'm sorry, but is having the 20VDC or w/e your laptop uses share the same plug type as your data/peripherals a good idea? We have unique and distinctive connectors for power distribution for a reason. Sure, a well designed charger and well designed device will handshake and confirm identity before delivering the juice, but what are the odds of that happening? I'm imagining some poor sod plugging their external hard drive into a 30V made in china 3rd laptop party charger and crying as the control board fries itself. Or how about your poor smartphone designed to take 5V nominal getting all 100 watts at 20V?

Or better yet, remember those multi-voltage selectable radioshack transformers? Imagine a USB C wallwart with 3, 5, 12, 20, 35 VDC outputs! April fool's day shenanigans!

http://www.fiftythree.org/etherkiller/

Re:100 Watts (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 months ago | (#47660341)

I'm sure USB D will have a self negotiating voltage. It'll be made to compete with Thunderbolt 5.

It'll have PCI 4x and negotiate -48 to 48 VDC. The hipsters will get USB to analog phones they've always wanted. It will negotiate

Cheap Chinese adapters then force them to release E...

Big improvement on Micro B (4, Interesting)

hirschma (187820) | about 2 months ago | (#47659641)

The USB 3.0 Micro B connector is horrendous design:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

Seriously, worst connector ever. Did they really think that abomination would be used on cellphones?

Re:Big improvement on Micro B (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 2 months ago | (#47660159)

Yes. I have that abomination on my cellphone. It sucks to plug in, but at least it's compatible with normal plugs

Re:Big improvement on Micro B (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | about 2 months ago | (#47660633)

Oh, like you don't find on the Samsung Note 3 and Galaxy S5, you mean? Yeah no chance of seeing it on a phone.

No need for new a new type of cable (1)

Wormfan (122848) | about 2 months ago | (#47659763)

Qi for charging. BT or WiFi for data xfer

But will the interface spec support security (3, Insightful)

tbg58 (942837) | about 2 months ago | (#47659945)

In view of recent revelations that USB Security is fundamentally broken, is the new spec just for a connector or does it include any interface implementation of better security? http://www.wired.com/2014/07/u... [wired.com]

Re:But will the interface spec support security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660471)

So how would you suggest fixing it? Dude's just saying that malware can be copied onto any mass storage medium that doesn't require user authentication (USB or otherwise).

Sure, you could assign each a unique ID, but users are already bombarded with Would You Like to ____ [yes] [no] that they don't bother reading or understand.

You can enact better security on your own machines: disable USB entirely or install / configure software to only recognize YOUR usb devices.

that defies physics! (1)

burdickjp (2530248) | about 2 months ago | (#47660031)

No more USB superposition?http://i.imgur.com/yyEwOHK.png

so long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660239)

...security and protection in having the only phone in a house of seven that uses my phone's proprietary data and charger cable. everybody else loses or has their cables 'borrowed'.. but not me.. at least not until i need a new phone.

Solution, but whats the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47660599)

Funny, all my micro usb cables as small marking on one side indicating the "up" side of connector... Newer had any other problem then that damn connector is so damn small. Requires some accuracy to put it in dark to correct spot of phone...

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