[FoRK] hardware standards (a few more thoughts...)
jbone at place.org
Tue Feb 2 20:17:14 PST 2010
There's a reason auto companies and their constituents all up and down
the supply chain "standardize" parts. A reason that militaries
everywhere spend enormous resources insuring interoperability of a few
basic models of the tools they use --- while simultaneously training
soldiers that if, for example, you're deployed in Africa and cut off
from your logistics, you should toss that .223 and pick up the first
AK you see. A reason we've got e.g. UL certification, FCC
certification, etc. A reason why the preppers insist on buying
certain old models of truck for the rural retreat property, and or
certain calibers of firearms.
Absent such things, it's sort of a catch-22; and, perhaps, a decent
example of market failure. One might suppose that "markets" would
sort out and choose between technologies based on superiority or
optimality or fitness of some kind, but all too often the actual
suppliers in the market manipulate such things to their advantage, to
the detriment of the buyers. One "benefit" (though perhaps it doesn't
outweigh the costs) to e.g. a China-like system is that they can
simply dictate that *the* interface for all mobile devices is micro
USB, or whatever.
Not all "choice" is actually to the benefit of the chooser.
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