Ed Felten on Apple’s patent application for a method of tying gadgets to chargers:
Whether this is good for consumers depends on how a device comes to
be authorized. If “authorized” just means “sold or licensed by
Apple” then consumers won’t benefit — the only effect will be to
give Apple control of the aftermarket for replacement chargers.
But if the iPod’s owner decides which chargers are authorized, then
this might be a useful anti-theft measure — there’s little point in
stealing an iPod if you won’t be able to recharge it.