Speaking of standardization ... I am not much for MS products, but this seems genuinely useful: Microsoft tech allows sticking batteries in any way you want
Microsoft announced a hardware solution that will allow users of portable devices -- digital cameras, flashlights, remote controls, toys, you name it -- to insert their batteries in any direction. Compatible with AA and AAA cells, among others, the patented "InstaLoad" technology does not require special electronics or circuitry, the company claims.
Now if they could solve the drive on the left/drive on the right problem, they will have made a major contribution.