Authentication Chip In Lightning Connector

Back on announcement day for the iPhone 5, I said it would be difficult to impossible for 3rd parties to make Lighting cables because it was likely an active cable. Sadly I was right. From AppleInsider:

Peter from Double Helix Cables took apart the Lightning connector and found inside what appear to be authentication chips. He found a chip located between the V+ contact of the USB and the power pin on the new Lightning plug.

That’s pin 1, the far right pin of a Type A, the far left side of a mini/micro, and the top left of a Type B USB plug. That provides 5V DC. Depending on the nature of how the chip works it could be difficult for cables to provide even power, much less transfer data to the device. Pin 1 and 4 provide power/ground, 2,3 are data.

The big upside here is the market is huge for the first cheap silicon that can emulate this chip at least enough for power, preferably data. Assuming that happens we’ll see a plethora of 3rd party cables. Until then, we’ll see nothing. Of course that could be a huge lawsuit right there.

The CD Is Now 30 Years Old

The CD is now 30 years old:

The digital music revolution officially hit 30 years ago, on Oct. 1, 1982. While you may be surprised to learn that the heralds of the coming age were, in fact, the Bee Gees, it probably comes as less of a shock to learn that Sony was at the very heart of it. After years of research and an intense period of collaboration with Philips, Sony shipped the world’s first CD player, the CDP-101. Music — and how we listen to it — would never be the same.

The CD is actually kind of strange. Most people would date CD’s to the late 80’s not the early 80’s. Presumably because of the adoption rate.

In related note, a curious little tidbit about the Sony CDP-101 from Wikipedia:

Due to the cost of producing Digital to Analogue converters at the time of its production, the CDP-101 features only one DAC, which is used for both the left and right audio channels. No sample-and-hold circuitry is present to delay the first channel until the other is ready, so the left and right channels are out of sync by approximately 11 µs.

Weird to think that’s what they had to do. Clever how they dealt with it.

Velocity Engine Lives

Doing a little network test and ran a traceroute to apple.com:

$ sudo tcptraceroute apple.com
Selected device ppp0, address 172.17.152.110, port 55167 for outgoing packets
Tracing the path to apple.com (17.149.160.49) on TCP port 80 (http), 30 hops max
 1  xxx.xx.xx.xx  12.847 ms  12.899 ms  13.736 ms
 2  xxx.xx.xx.xx  14.734 ms  14.966 ms  16.143 ms
 3  10.255.12.45  14.335 ms  14.712 ms  13.902 ms
 4  10.253.44.242  14.992 ms  14.204 ms  13.693 ms
 5  velocity-engine.com (17.149.160.49) [open]  14.639 ms  17.666 ms  15.295 ms

Check out that last host. Velocity Engine was part of the marketing for AltiVec in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Curious that Apple is re-purposing that.

Steve Jobs On Life

Steve Jobs in interview for PBS’ ‘One Last Thing‘ documentary, 1994 (via Wikipedia):

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.

I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

I’ve always admired how he pushed the limits. I can’t help but read “… embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it” and think of the “Crazy Ones” ad campaign’s: “because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”.

He was a crazy one.