USB Sleep-and-Charge - A welcome addition to an established standard...

As standards go, especially from a usability standpoint, USB has been an excellent one. It's ubiquitous (eeeeverything can connect via USB, with very few exceptions), the connectors are physically easy to deal with (good insertion and retention forces, easy to align, no annoying screws), and it just works (devices identify themselves and spring to life, often without needing to install drivers). Lately, it's also perhaps unintentionally become a standard for charging battery-powered devices - even many that aren't intended to ever communicate via USB nevertheless include the standard USB jacks and voltages so they can grab juice from any available port. Toshiba noticed, and made a simple and brilliant accommodation for those devices: USB ports in its latest computers that provide power even when the computer is off (but still plugged in). Now you don't have to leave your (relatively) power-hogging laptop on all night just to trickle-charge a Bluetooth headset. No complaints here - it's just good, usable design!
[Businesswire, via Engadget]

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