There are actually two types of plastic coatings found here (aside from the PVC on the individual wires which is standard). The first is the triangular cover. This may be pretty thick but it's also quite flexible, much like the covers on most "normal" rounded cables. The translucent plastic that covers the mesh, however, is a lot more rigid and that's not cool. I can understand why thickness might be a good idea (if some copper wires come loose they might puncture a thin cover) but it shouldn't have such a negative effect. On a slightly better note, there's a double-sided foil coat in-between the mesh and the actual wires; this serves the purpose of preventing interference and "increasing performance by 15%" (Sidewinder doesn't make such claims but other places with similar models do). Back to bad, much to my dismay the tips of the copper braids weren't soldered or glued together or anything of the sort. This could pose one of many problems, ranging from internal wire puncture (resulting in data loss and other negative side effects) to de-braiding of the cable. These scenarios aren't very likely to happen but the possibility is there nonetheless.
FULL STORY @ MIKHAILTECH (http://www.mikhailtech.com/articles/other/coppermesh/)