How do we know if regulators are doing their jobs? Easy, we look at the number of charging and connecting cables for electronic appliances, specifically cellular phones and computers around our houses and offices.
Then, if even The Wall Street Journal (in “Adapting To a World Where Adapters Run Amok,” a September 2, 2023 article) is complaining about the maze of wires required to charge or connect devices, the answer is “No! The regulators, at least in the U.S., are not doing their jobs and are letting big tech run the asylum, and letting consumers be taken to the cleaners… or to the pharmacy for some Maalox.”
VideoAge reported on the ways that big tech uses different cables for different models (even from the same maker) in its November 21, 2022 Water Cooler blog feature. Now that the little island nation of Malta is forcing big tech to standardize the various connecting cables, it’s time to return to the topic with additional ammunition.
Malta has long been known as a place to launder money due to its lax banking regulations, and its Knights of Malta feuding with the Vatican, but now, thanks to Alex Agius Saliba, Malta’s representative to the E.U., the former British colony in the Mediterranean is taking the regulatory lead to force big tech to equip new hand-held electronic devices with USB-C ports. (USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus.”)
Reportedly, the new E.U. law, which will take effect next year, will save much electronic waste and save consumers the equivalent of $250 million a year.
Naturally, big tech is complaining that making it easier for consumers “will stifle innovation,” but E.U. regulators are not buying it. Only U.S. regulators are acquiescing to big tech. After all, it was Apple’s Steve Jobs who said, “It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple.”