EU Moves Toward Mandating Standard Chargers

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the European Commission has announced plans to make electronics manufacturers conform to a standard USB-C charging port for phones and other gadgets. Wireless chargers would be exempt from the standard.

The stated reasons for the move are consumer protection and reduction of e-waste; consumers shouldn’t have to juggle chargers, and obsolete ones end up in landfills. But this could be bad for innovation and competition.

What, the EU is doing product design now? They’re going to tell Apple the best way to make a charger? No thanks.

Yes, it’s annoying that Apple has continued to design special chargers for its own devices; but if you don’t like it, you can buy something else. I’d like engineers to be free to build new features and benefits into the charging process if they see fit, unconstrained by regulators who daydream about being Jony Ive.

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

Drift CEO David Cancel

While you were sleeping …

Twitter on Thursday announced it will now allow users to tip their favorite creators on the social network using bitcoin. The company introduced tipping as a test feature back in May as a way to experiment with helping creators earn payments from their followers for the content they post on Twitter. The company announced Thursday that its Tips feature will now roll out globally to all Apple iOS users this week and will become available for Android users in the coming weeks. CNBC

The New York City Council passed bills today that will set minimum pay and improve working conditions for gig workers making deliveries for apps like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats. More specifically, the bills allow delivery workers to use restaurant bathrooms, limit how far they can be asked to deliver, set minimum payments per trip and ensure that tips get to workers. This legislation is the first of its kind in any major U.S. city, setting a precedent for how government intervention can influence the relationship between food delivery companies and their many, many thousands of contractors. TechCrunch

In the broader world …

Bitcoin and Ethereum tumbled Friday, with traders rattled by tough talk out of China. The price of bitcoin fell 8% to $41,241, according to Coin Metrics data. Ethereum, the second-largest digital currency, dropped 11% to $2,808. It comes after the People’s Bank of China said in a Q&A that all crypto-related activities are illegal. Services offering trading, order matching or derivatives for virtual currencies are strictly prohibited, the PBOC said, while overseas exchanges are also illegal. CNBC

On the horizon …

Today: Ampere CEO Renee James in a Fortt Knox 1:1, 2 p.m. ET; Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn in a Fortt Knox Update, 4:30 p.m. ET

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