Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Homepage (and hopefully yours too...)

With the convenience of computers and internet in our Information Age, it's no wonder anyone searching for anything from a great pair of running shoes to a short biography of Margaret Thatcher contracts a severe case of Google-itis. (Or your favorite search engine-itis.) Whether reliance on internet search engines is positive or negative is up for debate, but the fact of the matter remains: search engines are quick, easy, and reasonably reliable.

Energy technology and energy efficiency are hot topics. In fact, the green attitude has expanded to include search engines. Few will argue that saving energy is a bad thing. So, why not create an energy saving search? That's exactly what Heap Media has done with the creation of Blackle: the energy saving search powered by Google.

How does it work? Simple really. It's the same Google you know and love, only the background is black instead of white. According to Blackle's reference to a paper from Roberson, et al., displaying a black screen on your computer uses less energy than displaying a white screen. It may not seem like much, but every little bit helps.

Maybe you're searching for earth-shattering news about energy technology and policy. Give it a try. Or even set Blackle as your default search engine. Blackle may not blow down the doors in Washington, but saving end use energy is important, nonetheless.

3 comments:

Tom Dyson said...

This is only true if you have a CRT monitor. Monitors that use backlights actually use more power to produce black, since they apply charge to the LCD to block the backlight. Some quick googling shows that LCDs are increasingly dominant. The difference between black and white on an LCD screen is even more negligible than on a CRT. You can save much more power by decreasing the timeout in your power save settings.

David Wogan said...

Taking it a step further:

Traditional fluorescent backlighting for LCD displays is being replaced by LED backlighting, at least in new laptops coming out. There are a few out there but the only ones that come to mind (to me) are the MacBook Pro and new Macbook Air. In addition to power consumption benefits, harmful chemicals are reduced by not using fluorescents.

TammyT said...

It don't matter if you're black or white!

Yesterday, Google.org, the philanthropic arm of parent company google announced $30 worth of new grants aimed at making the world a better place. You can read about it in The Wall Street Journal here.

$10M of that will go to it's "Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal" initiative one of five major initiatives. This $10M will focus on solar power through eSolar, and will join a previous $10M investment directed at wind power.

There is also an "Accelerate the Commercialization of Plug-In Vehicles" initiative. At least they aren't wasting money on finding short clever names for their initiatives.

There is a pretty funny (maybe funny is not the best word) comment in this article where Google was warned that in the past "Successful businesspeople with high hopes for solving the world's problems have underestimated those problems' complexity and have fallen short."

It is suggested that with all the motivation and money behind the name, Google could become a key player in energy. Backing that up, Google plans to create a research group within the company that is focused on renewable energy and making it cheaper. This could put Google at risk if energy companies or even the government don't like what it's doing.