Wednesday, November 02, 2011

why can't we just decide on one?

strange maps has a map of electrical socket standards around the world (click to embiggen):

does anyone have any idea who the world uses multiple competing standard for electrical plugs? is any standard better or worse than the others?

the weirdest place i have been in terms of electrical outlets was dubai. as the above map shows (or would show if you make it big enough to see the UAE), the country used the "british imperial" standard (dark blue on the map, a plug with two horizontal rectangles on the bottom and one vertical rectangle on the top) for its outlets, but all the product in the stores had plugs that were continental european standard (light green, two round circles). why didn't the stores order products with plugs that would fit in the local outlets? who knows! maybe because so much of dubai's economy is being the middle man for products sent elsewhere, there's more demand for products that follow the standard of wherever the products will eventually end up. i was told that if you buy an electronic product in dubai, they often will throw in an adaptor if you ask.

i didn't ask for the one electronic purchase i made in dubai (a cheap mobile phone). the charging cable with two round prongs was just what i needed for when i got back to kazakhstan.