Over the last decade, everyone has already standardized on USB as the default. Everything I need to charge can be charged off a USB port, and I only need 2 different cables, one for my wife's iPod, and a micro USB for everything else.
The reason this is a terrible idea, is that when someone does come up with a better connector (for example, Apple's Lightning connector), they may not be able to produce/sell it because the standard has already been set. As usual, the EU is late to the party and trying to solve a problem that's already been solved, while potentially causing problems for the future.
The problem though is that nobody besides Apple can use the Lightning connector for the time being. Having something as a standard is better than having nothing as a standard. I could argue just as well about how unsafe wall sockets in the US are or how big and heavy the wall plugs in the UK are. At least they have something defined.
You are right there is money to be made out of E-waste.
We are now two hours after the submission of this article and this seems to be the second comment, in my eyes some indication lots of people just don't care about recycling or the environment.
And Americans are just waking up
I am commenting because I care. Everyone should. This really reminds me of the documentary The Lightbulb Conspiracy. You can see it on youtube if you guys are interested, it has this exact subject in it.
So let's see, what's going on in the mobile world: BlackBerry slowly going under and being replaced by Windows Phone (Symbian is going away, too). iOS and Android continue to dominate the market. Ubuntu is starting to make tablet and smartphone OSes. How does Mozilla figure Firefox OS is going to stand out?
Mozilla is aiming at the low spec smart phone market. Ubuntu has some high mimimum nequirements. While Ubuntu is aiming at high end stuff and the Western market. FirefoxOS is aiming at the developing market and the cheap low powered smartphone range. Personally I'm going to get both.
"When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic." -- John Kenneth Galbraith