Electronics: what happened to zip cord?

I’ve noticed that the new electronic components I’ve gotten over the last couple of years (DVD player, VCR, cable box) have a power cord that is a single plastic sheath over the two conductors, rather than the zip cord as I’ve come to expect. A new lamp that I bought recently had standard zip cord. Was a standard revised recently, or is it just some sort of trend, like silver front panels coming back in vogue?

2 WAGs:

  1. During the ten years I worked in consumer electronics, I saw numerous attempts at home-repairs on AC cords. This was facilitated by the ease with which you can split zip cord down the middle, strip off the insulation from the two conductors, twist the stranded wire together with another piece of zip cord and slap some wire nuts on the connections. This is clearly a fire hazard and I wouldn’t be surprized if UL wanted to see more “tamper proof” AC cords on consumer electronics.

  2. Due to the recent advent of these little vampire type receptacles (do a search for SKU# 613849) which are made to fit over zip cord, manufacturers have become anxious to defeat attempts by bone-headed consumers from biting through their insulation in order to create an “insta-outlet”.