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I recently came across an interesting news item in Wired about how the EU was adopting the Universal Charging Solution (UCS) cell-phone power interface. USB has been a kind of power lingua franca for smart phones, but that ubiquitous interface is burdened by a plethora of connector styles. By standardizing on the Micro-USB interface we create a more seamless and productive environment for the consumer to use their cell phones, and more opportunity for the creation of innovative products from the industry.

Consider what the market presence of the iPod did for portable music devices and home entertainment systems. Many third-party companies released very innovative products that were only viable in a market with a common device interface. The need to manufacture products that have to have the interface flexibility to address multiple connector and communication protocols often is a hurdle too high for many. A common interface allows the designer to focus on the desired application functionality instead.

Another example exists in the area of solid-state lighting. We need to stop focusing on the Edison socket. We can and should create products that address it, but it should not be where we steer the industry. There has been some development in the area, but we should be placing more emphasis on creating new luminaires that exploit the advantages of solid-state lighting instead of crippling LED and EL technology on the procrustean bed of existing infrastructure.

The power industry should help the lighting industry achieve this by working with luminaire designers and developing power supplies and interfaces that suit the creation of new designs. Common or compatible power footprints, communication protocols (for dimming, color management, and the like), and connectors will provide a fertile ground for next-generation product development. Why aren’t there more table lamps on store shelves with integrated LED or EL illumination that never need to have a bulb replaced?

There are many areas where we could be cooperating more on developing standards, from e-vehicle infrastructure to server architectures. Power is the single common denominator in all electronics, and the infrastructures you create to power the next generation of technology will guide the development of the products created.

Not strictly a daylog, but I remember realizing (circa 1996) exactly how my life was going to be changed by computers.

The scene is mid-autumn, Mom and I are shopping. She stops and shows me a large box of lavish Christmas cards. "Why don't you send these Christmas cards to all those people you keep on talking about?"

"Um. Who exactly?"

"Oh, Darkwolf, and Zilo, and Sea, and....all those funny nicknames. Look at the fine printing... The flocked reindeer, the foil overlay... Won't they be happy to see this in the mail!"

"Ah, well...it's not as if I know their real names...or much more of their addresses than vague ideas...I mean, Caesar is in Finland somewhere, and I really don't know much more about Darkwolf than he lives in California...Ladyhawke is in Louisiana, on a base somewhere...if the Army hasn't sent him off to who-knows-where..."

"You're a hacker. Can't you...." She fluttered her fingers, in an imitation of a magic pass? typing?

"I don't have their real names..."

"Can't you ask them?"

"No. What's the sense in having aliases if you know their names? Besides, it would be...rude."

"You can find them through the Internets!" Her eyes sparkled with the mere idea, as if this was a simply! wonderful! thought! "Trace them!"

"Are you insane? What would that do? It's the equivalent of breaking into their homes, shucking my clothing, and waiting for them in their bedrooms!  How are they going to respond? 'Oh, hi, Teleny, glad to meat you! Have a Mountain Dew!''Yeah, hi, I was just going through your medical and financial records and...well, I think you can afford that urological operation.'"

"Are they really your friends?"

I sighed. I would easily lay my life on the line for any of them.....

 

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