Monthly Archives: September 2006

Standard Power Supplies

Valleywag links to the The New York Times report that Google is calling for standard power supplies. This is about standardising PC power supply internally, but what about other low voltage power supplies? The article goes on to talk about the Google address at CES and the request for manufacturers to sort out their power supplies.

There are so many devices that need low voltage DC power and each one comes with it’s own power supply. Each one differs in output, but why can’t we have some kind of standard for this and make life much easier. Often power supplies for devices from the same company will have different outputs, so you can’t use your old power supply for the new model. If it has the same connector and you pick up the wrong power supply, you risk damaging your new laptop / phone / game system etc. My house is full of chunky power supplies for cameras, phones, laptops, games, and even some desk lamps.

In most places I have worked you can always find a charger for a Nokia phone, but if you have any other brand you may not be so lucky. If we had a standard power supply, we could have a 12v power distribution around the house or workplace. We could reduce the clutter of different cables and the frustration of remembering where you left the charger or worse realizing you left it at work. We might even find that we could go around the world without having to get a travel adapter. Just imagine if you could plug in any device in any location without having to carry a bag full of chargers.

Cease & desist on the cease & desist

There are so many of these Cease & Desist letters coming out over the protections of brands. Many senders of these letters such as Digg point out that they have to do this otherwise they are in danger of losing their right to their brand.

Many of the methods we use for trademarks and copyrights seem to be either too complex or too restrictive in today’s world. Maybe it’s time to re-think these ideas so that everybody can benefit. Maybe something along the lines of Creative Commons that would allow the owner of the trademark, copyright or whatever object of virtual value to describe how they want others to use it. Lawrence Lessig explains this issue so well in his book Free Culture.

Steve Borsch at Connecting the Dots has some interesting comments about the Apple move to protect “pod”. It could make people nervous enough to find a new name for their audio distribution to avoid potential issues. This in turn opens the doors for Microsoft to ensure the Zune name is available and growing in use at the launch of their product.

Douglas Adams predicting the Web2.0 thing

Just found this article from Douglas Adams in a link on  He describes the whole “interactivity” thing and how technology is accepted depending on your age so well. It also predicts and sums up the hot topic of the day – Web2.0 and yet it was published back in 1999.

He describes how the non-interactive form of entertainment is very much a quirk of the 20th century, and that by nature we are interactive herd animals wanting to keep in touch with our community. He makes a comparison with Pidgin and Creole languages that really help to show why we are seeing the move toward a more joined up Internet with the fractured lumps of many different languages being transformed into a newer richer language.

Essential reading of the day.