Apple, after providing DRM on the MacOS X did provide ERM (Electron Rights Management -- credit to desrt for the idea on #gnome-hackers) on its iPod. It is in principle that you can't charge your iPod Shuffle just anywhere you have USB.

If you plug it into a MacOS X or a Windows machine, with iTunes installed, iTunes will gently ask you if you want to replace the music on the iPod with the one on the computer. Of course you don't want. This is not your computer, you are just borrowing a few electrons to charge the battery, that's it. So far no problem, at least for what you want to do: charge it. But no. Clicking NO just "disconnects" the iPod (basically make it off-line), and it no longer charges. Is it that difficult to let it charge?

The final solution was just to plug it into a Linux machine, because Linux does not care about that.

Thank you Apple for being so smart.