The End of the Share Box?
Who Owns the Modern Cut and Paste
I didn’t realize until just now that the ubiquitous ‘box’ is, like an updated cut and paste function. And that it might be proprietary, and less ubiquitous. Cut and paste is so generic, so part of every writer and computer users’ life that its origins are obscure to me, and this function now belong to everyone. It (cut-paste) is like Kleenex is to tissues, or jpeg is to digital pictures, or the chicken is to the egg.
Mini-USB or Lightning with your meal?
But not all technology goes the way of cut-paste. As any cell phone or smart phone user will tell you, (which is all of us right?), is that there are two kinds of chargers still dominating: mini-USB or Apple lightning. Mini-USB fits into cellphones on one end, but also a myriad of devices. Amazon Fire tablets and Kindles, my electric toothbrush and LED clip-on portable lights, spare backup batteries used for re-charging. Even my electric vegetable peeler is mini-USB charged. Of course, some wireless headphones (or most that aren’t Apple). It could be dying I hear, with the USB-C moving in.
And, since I mentioned my electric back-up toothbrush that appears to be some Chinese obscure brand sold on Amazon, the mini-USB also appears on many obscure brands from China of electronic good sold on Amazon. All of them now seem to include a small one-inch cord (OK, might be longer than an inch but it feels like it’s getting shorter) and come with no plug.
For phones though like Apple, Samsung, and Apple’s earbuds, wireless Qi is not the thing (pronounced I heard CHEE, like in Chia-pet but not apparently likely the Chi in Tai-Chi,or Kimchi like in Korean cabbage — which is also having a moment). Who knows if Qi is the final answer? Maybe Apple has finally ended its’ proprietary war on cords — as though that is their gift to civilization they are fighting their rivals over and not the tablets or smart phones.
Maybe Apple is on the verge of finally coming to a truce with Samsung and letting the cord-breaking technology go by the wayside. But are they? Will the USB-C make its’ way onto the next iPhone, or will the phone go completely wireless — all Tai-Qi and Bluetooth Earbuds? (Maybe iPhone 15 or 16 could have no buttons: volume move up and down by swipe gesture, on off by two blinks of the eye through facial recognition, and silent button replaced by saying SHHH to Siri.)
A Proprietary Musk-y Smell?
While the world breathlessly awaits the fate of cords that will be signaled by the next iPhone, the charging cord war continues elsewhere. Elon Musk, determined to be recognized as the Steve Jobs of electric cars, big boy batteries and rockets, has clung onto the power of the cord.
His propriety technology for the Tesla tethered to his whole range of nationwide power stations where only Tesla’s can ride into. The rest of the industry be dammed. It’s his cord, all his! His signal that you can join his elite national club when you buy the car, and drive coast to coast with him. (To be fair, he says he is willing to share.)
Again, he seems to forget, like Apple, that he makes other things — like cars. And that he could sell electricity at his gas stations (oops, electric charging stations) and make money from any electric car that pulls in and powers up. Unlike Apple, who makes nothing from the electricity you use when you recharge your iPhone, the Tesla Power Station (or whatever it’s called) could make money. You know, like an Exxon or Walmart gas station does when it sells gas. Unlike gas (87, 91, 93, Chevron Techron), electric power is electric charge power.
I get it, I mean I get it. If you’re a great innovator, do you want to put your trust in Ford to build better sedans? Does Elon or Steve (and Tim) want fast charging innovation to be in the hands of dying Detroit ex-titans? We’d be using brown extension cords. The secret was in fast charging, but the e-car is out of the bag now.
Shouldn’t the tech really be in the batteries? It isn’t in the electrons and cords. Maybe it is or it was there, but now is the time to invite every electric car to the party. You’re the range king Elon, let that brand shine. Let everyone recharge at your places — for the price per gallon of electrons, since you already built the Power Stations (that doesn’t sound right — eCharge Stations? Electron Refill Pumps?).
So Don’t Box Me In
Oh yeah, the Box. Now the share box is on my iPhone and iPad, and many apps. You click, you share. For writers you can upload any writing or website to some type of storage or productivity app using the share (like in Chrome on iPad, and share in/to iMessage, Email, Evernote, Goodnotes, Adobe PDF, Pocket, whatever). It’s a filing and sharing system.
But I feel it’s under assault. I’m wondering if Apple might want or not want to own. I don’t have Samsung, do they have it? Apple previously had it in their App store, and I could Save an App I wanted in Apple Notes by clicking it. Then it seemed to disappear. But now it’s back! (thank goodness, I just checked).
Amazon had it but now has the share word on the website and iPad app (but the iPhone app has the share box). Yes, just the word ‘share’, no capital letter, instead of the Share Box they had previously. Did Apple issue them a threat letter? Why the change? Come on Centi-Billionaires, Please Share! For the sake of humanity, just agree on the box you’ll put us in.
I’m hoping the Share Box isn’t proprietary. Who owns it? Who’s collecting a fee? Is it like the jpeg, the Netscape browser, or the lightening cord? (I’m not researching, I like the mystery, the future opening up with some surprises.)
Right about now we could all use a universal Share Box to have an open-source and secure future. After all, it’s not the ballot boxes, it’s the votes and dreams that humanity put in them that counts. (Sorry, I couldn’t escape that 2020 pandemic and Trump election references — still waiting to turn the corner in 2021.)