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From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_crossover_cable

An Ethernet crossover cable is a type of Ethernet cable used to connect computing devices together directly. Normal straight through or patch cables were used to connect from a host network interface controller (a computer or similar device) to a network switch, hub or router. A cable with connections that "cross over" was used to connect two devices of the same type: two hosts or two switches to each other. Owing to the inclusion of Auto-MDIX capability, modern implementations of the Ethernet over twisted pair standards usually no longer require the use of crossover cables.

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