1. The cables have a "twist" internally so they electrically match if you if you attempt to "loopback". They'll also have custom branding on the ends to make it clear they are not USB cables.
2. The modules/dock/cables are electrically compatible with USB (5V power, 3V3 data) and won't cause any damage to a USB device.
The reason we selected those connectors is because they are rated for many insertions, relatively cheap and easy to get assembled as proper moulded cables, SMT placeable, and strong. We did evaluate many options but nothing came close to the quality at a reasonable price.
Ah that is good to hear as I have seen in the past a number of things which use USB connectors, (for the same reasons you mention) but don't follow the spec at all. Which causes all kinds of fun problems.
This is Jon from Pimoroni - we just launched Flotilla today.
We've been working on Flotilla for just over a year - the vision is to provide an electronics experimentation system that scales with ability and has as few restrictions as possible.
The hardware in the video is a little out of date but pretty representative of our final design. The main change is we've swapped to round/thinner cabling to make it easier to route them around in your projects.
The Dock maintains the state of the system receiving updates from sensors and issuing commands to connected devices. It then sanitises the data and discards duplicates before passing it via USB serial to the host Raspberry Pi.
If anyone has any questions I'll hang around to answer them best I can!
I can definitely see how it might not be the right monitor for CAD work. Hope you find something that works for you (and that doesn't break the bank), although it feels like waiting a few months could be a good strategy.
The SOC doesn't support more than 512MB of RAM (or USB3). Raspberry Pi is built to a price point above all else - you could keep adding/upgrading features but you'd just end up way out of their target price.
This kind of action from big names is absolutely crucial to halt the ridiculous situation we're faced with.
I'd happily put up with "protest slow-downs" every day of the week if it helps motivate the non-technical masses to understand the importance of what's being slowly taken away from them behind the scenes.
I haven't run any anti-virus software for at least the past ten years either at work (Ubuntu), on my laptop (OSX) or at home (Windows 7).
To the best of my knowledge I've never succumbed to a virus and have certainly never seen any indication that I have!
I'm cautious with what software I choose to run and do cursory checks of links in e-mail/online. I really only run business related software (Sublime Text, CS Suite, Browsers, Autodesk Inventor, Eagle CAD, etc) and any games I do play (rarely!) are via Steam.
All machines are used regularly depending on where I am and what I'm doing. I'm the only person who uses any of them. I generally only re-install when I'm replacing a machine or substantially upgrading it (perhaps once a year or so).
Andrew came to see us the other day and chat about their vision for Linux Voice. They know what they are doing and all have a solid publishing background so we can't wait to see how it turns out.
It's a really refreshing approach and they are committed to giving back to the FOSS community from the profits generated by it. I also really like that they plan to release the content for other uses after a brief embargo.