About a year ago, we published a piece notifying our readers of hoax HDMI-to-VGA passive cables proclaiming that they did absolutely nothing for the buyer; we called them “fake,” indicating that a passive cable is electrically incapable of transforming a signal, and therefore could not serve as a digital-to-analog adapter without some sort of active conversion taking place. There are a few hardware-side exceptions, but they are rare.

It was in this same content that we mentioned “SATA III cables” vs. “SATA II cables,” noting that the two cables were functionally identical; the transfer rates are the same between a “SATA III” cable and a “SATA II” cable. The difference, as defined by the official SATA specification, is a lock-in clip to ensure unshaken contact. Upon being taken viral by LifeHacker, statement of this simple fact was met with a somewhat disheartening amount of resistance from an audience we don't usually cater toward. Today, we had enough spare time to reinforce our statements with objective benchmarking.

A new USB standard revision promises to introduce orientation-neutral USB connectors, finally eliminating the fumbling when attempting to plug in a USB device. The new USB 3.1 Type-C connectors will be thinner and can be connected to the socket in either direction, which has more implications than just convenience.

The thinner standard, the USB Promoter Group says, will enable still-smaller devices with high throughput potential. The Type-C connector standard will be approximately the size of USB2 micro-b connectors, as used for most camera-to-PC connections.

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