WTF ?

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Gfamily
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WTF ?

Post by Gfamily » Thu May 30, 2024 10:33 pm

Had WTF threads in weighty matters, so here's a nerdy one
https://x.com/joshwhiton/status/1796222090216886682
Long read below
Spoiler:
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

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bjn
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Re: WTF ?

Post by bjn » Fri May 31, 2024 3:33 am

It’s a work around for having to deal with expensive licensing terms that seems to work perfectly well. The only issue is false advertising.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by Grumble » Fri May 31, 2024 5:29 am

bjn wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 3:33 am
It’s a work around for having to deal with expensive licensing terms that seems to work perfectly well. The only issue is false advertising.
The sound quality over Bluetooth is less, but most people don’t care, especially in the environments that phone headphones are used in.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by jaap » Fri May 31, 2024 7:00 am

Yes, I have some of these which I bought when I thought the proper Apple one wouldn't arrive by the time I was going on holiday. I have never used them since the Apple one did arrive just in time. It surprised me, but not so much the reason for it (which I found obvious), but the fact that it could all be fitted in such a small device.

TBH, I now use wireless bluetooth headphones. I mostly listen to podcasts, and haven't noticed any reduction in sound quality.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by Grumble » Fri May 31, 2024 8:02 am

jaap wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 7:00 am
Yes, I have some of these which I bought when I thought the proper Apple one wouldn't arrive by the time I was going on holiday. I have never used them since the Apple one did arrive just in time. It surprised me, but not so much the reason for it (which I found obvious), but the fact that it could all be fitted in such a small device.

TBH, I now use wireless bluetooth headphones. I mostly listen to podcasts, and haven't noticed any reduction in sound quality.
You get used to what’s in your ears I think. When you’re out and about it doesn’t make that much difference anyway, you are probably not listening with full attention, and it may be that the source is the limiting factor on quality with the compression to MP3.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Fri May 31, 2024 8:35 am

bjn wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 3:33 am
It’s a work around for having to deal with expensive licensing terms that seems to work perfectly well. The only issue is false advertising.
Gfamily wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 10:33 pm
https://x.com/joshwhiton/status/1796222090216886682

... True Apple lightning devices are more expensive to make. So instead of conforming to the Apple standard, these companies have made headphones that receive audio via bluetooth — avoiding the Apple specification — while powering the bluetooth chip via a wired cable, thereby avoiding any need for a battery.
So they're "more expensive to make" because Apple wants some money?
Gfamily wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 10:33 pm
https://x.com/joshwhiton/status/1796222090216886682
I wish @Apple would devote an employee or two to cracking down on such a technological, psychological abomination as this. And I wish humanity would use its engineering prowess for good, and not opportunistic deception.
I wish Apple would stop inventing "standards" which they have exclusive rights to, let alone cracking down on people who try to use them. USB-C and the obligation that all Android phone makers use it, is engineering for good.

I have a couple of very cheap USB-C-to-3.5mm adaptors which I bought to deal with the fact that my new phone doesn't have a 3.5mm audio socket. This means I keep one in my bag at all times so that I can plug my phone into a room's sound system if I need music for a dance lesson. If it's my own lesson I bring my own bluetooth receiver, but I may not always have that on me if it's someone else's lesson but they're late or if I just forget it.

I also have some Samsung bluetooth earbuds, but their noise cancelling doesn't work so well since they don't fit perfectly into my ears; the Samsung USB-C wired earbuds I have are really much better for that except that the soft ear bits are too easy to lose so I'm stuck with the ones which don't fit me so well and I only ever use them now either on the fixed PC at home (via an adaptor between the big and small USB-C sockets) or if I have to take a flight.

(Speaking of false advertising I did originally buy some cheaper earbuds, but the noise cancelling they mentioned applied to the microphone not the playback, so I sent them back.)

I'm not sure if it's possible to make overarching statements about audio quality, since it all depends on the DAC in the device itself, and it's almost certainly possible to get bluetooth receivers with a better DAC than the cheap one in my USB-C-to-3.5mm adaptors.

Is it also Apple who maybe finally got the idea of using USB-C, but their charger has a small USB-C socket on it, and they're the only ones who do this which means that the big-to-small cables which everyone else uses are useless, because they have to just f.cking do it different to piss everyone else off, but pathetic Apple fanboys still somehow think they, the tiny minority, are correct while it's everyone else doing it wrong.

They're bound to say they have some good reason which will turn out to be mainly b.llsh.t.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by Grumble » Fri May 31, 2024 9:20 am

shpalman wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 8:35 am
I'm not sure if it's possible to make overarching statements about audio quality, since it all depends on the DAC in the device itself, and it's almost certainly possible to get bluetooth receivers with a better DAC than the cheap one in my USB-C-to-3.5mm adaptors.

Is it also Apple who maybe finally got the idea of using USB-C, but their charger has a small USB-C socket on it, and they're the only ones who do this which means that the big-to-small cables which everyone else uses are useless, because they have to just f.cking do it different to piss everyone else off, but pathetic Apple fanboys still somehow think they, the tiny minority, are correct while it's everyone else doing it wrong.
The data rate on Bluetooth is a fundamental limit, which wired headphones can beat, but it might not matter for the quality of audio we stream/keep on our phones.

I have an Apple USB-C phone, I use third party cables with no issue, not sure what the complaint is here? Everyone uses small USB-C sockets as well AFAICT, there seems to be a general move away from USB-A sockets. Maybe I’m missing something.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by insignificant » Fri May 31, 2024 9:30 am

My Pixel 7a came with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter (no charger)

USB-A sockets are on the way out, especially for portable devices, and I don't expect new chargers to have them
Last edited by insignificant on Fri May 31, 2024 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Fri May 31, 2024 9:36 am

I should also mock Samsung for not even including a charger with their phones but giving you a USB-C to USB-C cable which frankly most people still have chargers with USB-A sockets. I have plenty, from previous generations of Android phones, and I don't need to "generally move away" from them.

My recent OnePlus phone came with a big 80W charger, with a USB-A socket on it.

I have a couple of USB-A to USB-C adaptors, which I mainly use so that I can plug my USB-C earbuds into computers.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by bob sterman » Fri May 31, 2024 10:07 am

Disappointed with the story. I thought it was going to go...

"So I turn Bluetooth on...and lo and behold my phone picked up the earbuds that I lost in that remote town hundreds of miles away..."

Leading to a hunt for the earbud thief among the airport crowds.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by Grumble » Fri May 31, 2024 10:12 am

I think the main criticism one has been able to level at Apple in the past is inventing their own standards and being the only ones to use them. Criticising them for going all in on an agreed standard isn’t particularly fair.
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Martin Y
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Re: WTF ?

Post by Martin Y » Fri May 31, 2024 11:09 am

Gfamily wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 10:33 pm
Had WTF threads in weighty matters, so here's a nerdy one
https://x.com/joshwhiton/status/1796222090216886682
Long read below
]
A scourge ... unscrupulous ... unholy ... a kind of evil ... preying on the technical ignorance of people in remote towns.

I wish @Apple would devote an employee or two to cracking down on such a technological, psychological abomination as this.
When he calms down, he might realise he's really just embarrassed at not looking like the smartest person in the room in some rural backwater. The manufacturers have realised they can make headphones significantly cheaper by not paying Apple for an MFi licence. All they have to do is use Bluetooth for the data link and use Lightning only to supply power. It's a neat engineering workaround to avoid a fee rather than a technical problem. It's not making $12 headphones any worse quality and is at worst a bit cheeky for not telling the user what it's doing. On the unscrupulous scourge scale it's a bit less evil than using an adblocker.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by dyqik » Fri May 31, 2024 11:18 am

It also makes the headphones unusable in places where Bluetooth and other radio signals have to be turned off.

For example in Chile, near the ALMA telescope.

A niche case, but certainly one that I might buy wired headphones to avoid.

OTOH, unlike most astronomers, I don't use Apple products.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by Martin Y » Fri May 31, 2024 11:32 am

Grumble wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 9:20 am
The data rate on Bluetooth is a fundamental limit, which wired headphones can beat, but it might not matter for the quality of audio we stream/keep on our phones.
There's a widely used 'headset' standard for Bluetooth which is only 64k bits per second and that's pretty crappy, but there are other standards using more than 500kb for stereo audio and that's plenty.
I have an Apple USB-C phone, I use third party cables with no issue, not sure what the complaint is here? Everyone uses small USB-C sockets as well AFAICT, there seems to be a general move away from USB-A sockets. Maybe I’m missing something.
Well, I think the idea of not supplying every new device with a new power supply is entirely laudable and hooray for USB-C as the standard connector on devices, but the power supplies with which the world is already flooded generally have USB-A outputs. So supplying only a USB-C to USB-C lead is not the brilliant solution to compatibility issues. A hybrid lead with a captive USB-A adapter on one end is a better solution and you can always take the extraneous bit off if it spoils your aesthetic.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Fri May 31, 2024 12:11 pm

It occurs to me that I should finally get around to getting a USB bluetooth dongle which will allow me to use wireless earbuds with my desktop PC. Among other things this will be useful for watching streaming TV because during the summer I regularly miss lines of dialog when trains go past.

There are also bluetooth-3.5mm audio adaptors which can both send and receive, and I might actually get one of those too, but the one I have (which receives bluetooth and sends 3.5mm audio) is still working, most of the time.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by Grumble » Fri May 31, 2024 12:35 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 11:32 am
Grumble wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 9:20 am
The data rate on Bluetooth is a fundamental limit, which wired headphones can beat, but it might not matter for the quality of audio we stream/keep on our phones.
There's a widely used 'headset' standard for Bluetooth which is only 64k bits per second and that's pretty crappy, but there are other standards using more than 500kb for stereo audio and that's plenty.
I have an Apple USB-C phone, I use third party cables with no issue, not sure what the complaint is here? Everyone uses small USB-C sockets as well AFAICT, there seems to be a general move away from USB-A sockets. Maybe I’m missing something.
Well, I think the idea of not supplying every new device with a new power supply is entirely laudable and hooray for USB-C as the standard connector on devices, but the power supplies with which the world is already flooded generally have USB-A outputs. So supplying only a USB-C to USB-C lead is not the brilliant solution to compatibility issues. A hybrid lead with a captive USB-A adapter on one end is a better solution and you can always take the extraneous bit off if it spoils your aesthetic.
M’eh. I’m happy to let progress happen, now we finally have all manufacturers using a common standard. Let people who need to buy adapters, but the power supplies are being made with USB-C sockets now anyway, so a USB-A to -C cable definitely isn’t the right answer. Whether or not it’s a good idea to supply adapters is a 50-50 decision in my eyes, certainly not one to get annoyed by either way.

Thanks for the info on the Bluetooth standards.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by Martin Y » Fri May 31, 2024 3:19 pm

I fully expect USB-A to dwindle, particularly since even laptops now charge via USB-C ports and cradle type docking stations have given way to simple bricks with a mains inlet and a selection of data connections (including USB-C for both charging the laptop and for data and video connections) but it's going to take a while.

In the meantime "has anyone got a phone charger?" is going to continue to be answered by people offering a plugtop with a USB-A on it, probably for some years yet, while USB charging ports on trains or built into domestic/hotel mains outlets are still a bit of a novelty and are universally USB-A.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by Grumble » Fri May 31, 2024 4:08 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 3:19 pm
I fully expect USB-A to dwindle, particularly since even laptops now charge via USB-C ports and cradle type docking stations have given way to simple bricks with a mains inlet and a selection of data connections (including USB-C for both charging the laptop and for data and video connections) but it's going to take a while.

In the meantime "has anyone got a phone charger?" is going to continue to be answered by people offering a plugtop with a USB-A on it, probably for some years yet, while USB charging ports on trains or built into domestic/hotel mains outlets are still a bit of a novelty and are universally USB-A.
And are also a major security hazard, who knows what is behind that USB port? You open your device to attack if you plug in to one of them. That’s irrespective of A or C
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Re: WTF ?

Post by bolo » Fri May 31, 2024 6:53 pm

Get a charging cord that is only a charging cord. Works exactly the same, just doesn't have the data connection bits.

Also, a charging cord that connects a USB-A charger to a USB-C device likely won't charge as fast as native C to C.

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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Fri May 31, 2024 10:35 pm

Android phones ask you what you want the connection for, if it's data transfer or just charging.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by Boustrophedon » Sat Jun 01, 2024 3:44 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 9:36 am
I should also mock Samsung for not even including a charger with their phones but giving you a USB-C to USB-C cable which frankly most people still have chargers with USB-A sockets. I have plenty, from previous generations of Android phones, and I don't need to "generally move away" from them.

My recent OnePlus phone came with a big 80W charger, with a USB-A socket on it.

I have a couple of USB-A to USB-C adaptors, which I mainly use so that I can plug my USB-C earbuds into computers.
Just experienced this from Samsung: Buy a phone and not only do you not get a charger, but they provide USB C to USB C lead that fits none of the chargers we have. None of this was to be found in the large print or the small print on Amazon when we bought it.
So it was another 24 hours before my wife could use her new phone.

Ideally we wanted a phone with wireless charging, strangely this is not something you can search for on Amazon, all you get are results for wireless chargers, not phones that use them.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Sat Jun 01, 2024 5:17 pm

bolo wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 6:53 pm
Get a charging cord that is only a charging cord. Works exactly the same, just doesn't have the data connection bits.

Also, a charging cord that connects a USB-A charger to a USB-C device likely won't charge as fast as native C to C.
The OnePlus store offers a USB-A to USB-C cable which goes to 10 amps and a USB-C to USB-C cable which goes to 12 amps. Their charger with only a USB-A socket on it is rated at 80 W while they do a 100 W charger which has a USB-C and a USB-A socket on it.

https://www.androidauthority.com/superv ... ng-686000/

Older chargers are probably about 10 W at most (5 volts, 2 amps).
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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Sat Jun 01, 2024 5:21 pm

bolo wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 6:53 pm
Get a charging cord that is only a charging cord. Works exactly the same, just doesn't have the data connection bits.

Also, a charging cord that connects a USB-A charger to a USB-C device likely won't charge as fast as native C to C.
What you say is quite likely to be true for the general USB Power Delivery standard.

https://www.androidauthority.com/usb-po ... ry-806266/

But it's kind of mean for manufacturers to on the one hand assume you already have an old charger and then on the other offer a feature which only really works with new chargers...
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Re: WTF ?

Post by shpalman » Sat Jun 01, 2024 5:24 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2024 3:44 pm
shpalman wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 9:36 am
I should also mock Samsung for not even including a charger with their phones but giving you a USB-C to USB-C cable which frankly most people still have chargers with USB-A sockets. I have plenty, from previous generations of Android phones, and I don't need to "generally move away" from them.

My recent OnePlus phone came with a big 80W charger, with a USB-A socket on it.

I have a couple of USB-A to USB-C adaptors, which I mainly use so that I can plug my USB-C earbuds into computers.
Just experienced this from Samsung: Buy a phone and not only do you not get a charger, but they provide USB C to USB C lead that fits none of the chargers we have. None of this was to be found in the large print or the small print on Amazon when we bought it.
So it was another 24 hours before my wife could use her new phone.

Ideally we wanted a phone with wireless charging, strangely this is not something you can search for on Amazon, all you get are results for wireless chargers, not phones that use them.
I'm slightly surprised that you didn't have any USB-A to USB-C cables already.
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Re: WTF ?

Post by Boustrophedon » Sat Jun 01, 2024 8:29 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2024 5:24 pm

I'm slightly surprised that you didn't have any USB-A to USB-C cables already.
Maybe we are slow adopters, but her new phone is the first usb C device we have, everything else is micro usb, with the sole exception of my Olympus camera that uses a bastard design unique to Olympus.

Whilst I readily acknowledge that usb C is possibly better, given the sheer number of chargers and leads we have in micro usb, having to adopt and adapt again to summat new is just annoying.
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