I like universality, and I like standards. Getting stuff done is simply easier when I know what to expect. I like 2x4s (even if they are 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″), #8 Robertson screws, and USB connectors. But most of all, I like the 1/8″ headphone jack.

I’ve worked as a reporter, a DJ, and an installation artist. When I needed audio, I could always be sure the jack would fit the socket.

Traveling by car, train, or plane, I could usually rely on a 1/8th” jack. I have a great set of ear cans beside my bed, and knots of $10 earbuds in every jacket pocket.

As a teenager I learned to solder because of the jack, replacing the wires on the flimsy foam headphones that came with my Walkman.

Apple’s move to replace universal headphones with proprietary tech is between the company and its consumers. But it is another move towards tying us to specific companies and telling us how we can use the products we own.