Another Solution in Search of a Problem

I may have to create a new category for these things, defined, more or less, as cool things to do which have dubious benefits. (Of course, that would probably apply to most of my life, but that’s not important.)

Anyway, someone has posted step-by-step instructions for converting an AC wall outlet to USB, presumably so you can plug your iPod or iPhone directly into the wall to recharge it. At first, this struck me as one of those “why didn’t I think of this?” ideas, at least until I saw the approach they are taking.

The whole project is essentially hard-wiring a USB mini-charger to an AC circuit, then gluing the mini-charger to the back of a standard wall plate. From my perspective, all you’ve accomplished in doing this is (1) spending 30 minutes of your time (2) playing with potentially fatal electricity to (3) replace a perfectly adaptable wall outlet with a limited purpose USB outlet, (4) using something that was meant to be plugged into said wall outlet to begin with. I mean, if you already have the mini-chargers, why limit their use to one location by integrating them into a wall plate?

I give this project a rating of one ant (out of five, in case you’re keeping track). They could have at least provided instructions on how to make the outlet glow in the dark or something equally useful.


  1. OK, that’s what I’m talking about. This is how it should be done, leaving the outlet as dual purpose.
    I’d install a few of these in my house. I’ve bookmarked the site to check back next year to see if they’ve gotten UL approval (and to see if the price remains so ridiculously low). Thanks for the tip!

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