A brief history of USB, what it replaced, and what has failed to replace it | Ars Technica

Like all technology, USB has evolved over time. Despite being a “Universal” Serial Bus, in its 18-or-so years on the market it has spawned multiple versions with different connection speeds and many, many types of cables.The USB Implementers Forum, the group of companies that oversees the standard, is fully cognizant of this problem, which it wants to solve with a new type of cable dubbed Type-C. This plug is designed to replace USB Type-A and Type-B ports of all sizes on phones, tablets, computers, and other peripherals. Type-C will support the new, faster USB 3.1 spec with room to grow beyond that as bandwidth increases.Its possible that in a few years, USB Type-C will have become the norm, totally replacing the tangled nest of different cables that we all have balled up in our desk drawers. For now, it’s just another excuse to pass around that dog-eared XKCD comic about the proliferation of standards. While we wait to see whether Type-C will save us from cable hell or just contribute to it, let’s take a quick look at where USB has been over the years, what competing standards it has fought against, and what technologies it will continue to grapple with in the future.

via A brief history of USB, what it replaced, and what has failed to replace it | Ars Technica.

You can watch an unaltered version of Star Wars in HD today, if you bend the law | Polygon

Star Wars is close to holy for many fans of cinema.We remember growing up with the movies, and having them look a very specific way. You think of the colors of certain scenes, and the fact that Han shot first. The X-Wings fly in very distinct patterns.The Star Wars that was released in 1977 no longer exists. The film has been edited, special effects shots have been swapped, colors have been changed and more. Lucas has worried over the films so much that those of us who wish for the version of the film we remember have no way to watch the movie that means so much to us. Instead, were treated to a series of re-releases from mediocre sources, with massive flaws in the presentation.This is why rumors of a remastered, unaltered original trilogy are so thrilling. It would mean that fans of the series have a way to watch the film as they remember, on modern equipment, with time and money spent remastering and correcting decades worth of film degradation and wear.Lucas has long said this was impossible but, as I explored in an earlier story at Ars Technica, that’s untrue.

via You can watch an unaltered version of Star Wars in HD today, if you bend the law | Polygon.

Don Pardo, legendary Saturday Night Live announcer, dead at 96 – LA Times

Don Pardo, the legendary radio and TV personality, and the man who introduced the cast of “Saturday Night Live” every weekend since the show began, died Monday, NBC officials confirmed. He was 96.Pardo was a part of “SNL” for every single season except one since it premiered in 1975, according to tv.com.The cause of death was not immediately clear.

via Don Pardo, legendary Saturday Night Live announcer, dead at 96 – LA Times.

Supremacy: A Social Order of Division, Control and Enslavement

“It seemed like Mrs. Elliott was taking our best friends away from us.”These are the words of a third-grader from Riceville, Iowa. Her schoolteacher, Jane Elliott, had just put her class through an exercise that showcased the viciousness and injustice of white supremacy in the late 1960s. Jane Elliott has since replicated this exercise countless times, but her original lesson remains a groundbreaking insight into the mechanisms of supremacy as depicted in the documentary A Class Divided. By labeling the blue-eyed students in her class smarter and better, and giving them more privileges than the brown-eyed students, Jane Elliott instantly creates division and hostility between the two groups. She constantly reinforces the superiority of her blue-eyed students who suddenly feel more confident and perform better at tasks than their now demoralized and dejected brown-eyed classmates. This division creates conflict between the students, which greatly upsets them and even leads to physical fights. Jane Elliott is stunned by the results of her exercise, saying: “I watched what had been marvelous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating little third-graders in a space of fifteen minutes.”Jane Elliotts exercise clearly illustrates how simple it is to ignite conflict between people once a group of individuals is elevated above another. It also demonstrates how supremacy creates powerlessness in the “inferior” group and that the loss of personal power eventually leads to hostility and violence. This is the system we live under today – a hierarchy that ranks people based on their “worth” and socio-economic status.

via Supremacy: A Social Order of Division, Control and Enslavement.

What the Hell Just Happened in Texas, and Why Was Rick Perry Just Indicted? – The Daily Beast

Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted Friday on charges of abuse of power—a first degree felony—and coercion—a third degree felony. The charges stem from a 2013 scandal that has been quietly rumbling in the Lone Star State as Perry has been floated as a viable contender for the Republican nomination in 2016.This is a complex case, which might be why it has not made national headlines the way other recent, state-level scandals like Bridgegate, in New Jersey have. Below, I have outlined a somewhat confusing short version of events, and a longer, more colorful explanation that involves alcohol, police, and masks.

via What the Hell Just Happened in Texas, and Why Was Rick Perry Just Indicted? – The Daily Beast.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Indicted For Abuse Of Power

AUSTIN, Texas AP — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his states first indicted governor in nearly a century.A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit, which is run by Travis County District Rosemary Lehmbergs office. Several top aides to the Republican governor appeared before grand jurors in Austin, including his deputy chief of staff, legislative director and general counsel. Perry himself wasnt called to testify.

via Texas Gov. Rick Perry Indicted For Abuse Of Power.

Colorado Senator Defends Fracking, Says Burning Water Helped Native Americans – NationalJournal.com

August 13, 2014 A Colorado state legislator has dismissed concerns about hydraulic fracturing polluting water with methane as “propaganda,” saying that its natural to have methane in water.In fact, state Sen. Randy Baumgardner said that methane actually helped Native Americans.”If you go back in history and look at how the Indians traveled, they traveled to the burning waters,” Baumgardner said in a video posted by the site Right Wing Watch. “And that was methane in the waters and that was for warmth in the wintertime. So a lot of people, if they just trace back the history, theyll know how a lot of this is propaganda.”The comments were made in an interview for the program “Pray in Jesus Name,” which is run by former Navy chaplain and state House candidate Gordon Klingenschmitt at the Western Conservative Summit.In a follow-up email, Baumgardner said that he was referring to “hot springs,” which he said his grandmother called “burning waters.” The bacteria in the geothermally heated hot springs can produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, but the natural phenomenon is different from the potential to have methane from a gas well pollute a water source.

via Colorado Senator Defends Fracking, Says Burning Water Helped Native Americans – NationalJournal.com.