Thursday, April 12, 2012

Even Apple isn't Perfect

Nobody's perfect - not even Apple. Although it tries very hard, I'll admit, and is incredibly successful about it. Right now Apple is worth more than the combined GDP of the economies of Greece, Italy, and Spain! On the downside, it took them three months to publicly realise and try to fix a loophole in the security of their OS (through the Java JVM software, supplied by Oracle) that Oracle fixed for windows 3 months ago. Oracle can't fix it for Mac machines because Apple won't let them!

Anyhow, here's a case of imperfection you may find curious.

We all use USB connections of one sort or another for our computers and our phones. We're all familiar with the standard USB "A" connector - the steel rectangle part-filled with a block of plastic to make sure it goes in the right way around.

I recently bought an Apply wired keyboard. I don't possess an Apple machine, but do like their keyboards, and, as they work fine with Linux (and Windows) systems, I invested in a couple. Each keyboard comes with a USB cable for attaching to the computer and, thanks to Apple's fore-sightedness, an extension cable.

Now look at these photos.

 On the left is a picture of the socket on the end of the extension cable. Look closely, and notice the little "v" on the inside of the metal casing, opposite the plastic block insert.

 Now look here at the USB plug on the end of the USB cable attached to the keyboard. Notice the little trough between the two plastic lugs holding the plastic insert block in place? It perfectly matches the "v" on the socket of the extension cable.


At the other end of the extension cable the USB plug is a perfectly normal one!

This means that the keyboard and extension cable are keyed: you can only plug a keyboard into that extension cable - nothing else.

Well, actually, you can, but you need a pair of small pliers to get them apart again!!  Be warned !


Update !
Apple has released a tool to remove the FlashBack virus.
If you think you might have this infection on your PC,
or want to make sure you don't,
please look here.

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