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Energy Star Program Needs an Overhaul

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-will-sleep-now-and-when-you-wake dept.

Power 306

Martin Hellman writes "DeviceGuru.com ran my piece raising questions about the EPA's Energy Star program. For example, an Energy Star compliant TV that claims to draw 0.1 watts in sleep mode appears to do that — but only seems to sleep about 25% of the time that it is 'off.' The other 75% of the time it draws about 20 watts, for an effective sleep power draw from the user's perspective that is 150 times what the manufacturer claims. Based on the observations described, it is also questionable how many PC's really are sleeping when their screens are blank, even if the user has turned sleep mode on. Given the billions of dollars and tons of CO2 that are at stake, this situation demands more attention."

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306 comments

Fuck you Linus you fucking finnish shit eater!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540719)

Linus Torvalds is a god damn thief!!! When I installed Linux it asked me for my credit card number. Two days later I got a call from Wachovia asking me if I had purchased $400 worth of Totino's pizza rolls and Mountain Dew (I hadn't). Let this be a warning to all of you out there on the Internet.

BTW FRIST POST

Sorry, this troll isn't very good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540747)

You might want to work on improving your troll technique. Your post is out-there enough that people won't respond seriously, but it's not out-there enough to seriously offend people. Pick a side (start a long-ass discussion or annoy/disgust people) and go all the way with it.

Re:Sorry, this troll isn't very good. (-1, Offtopic)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541031)

He's doing better than most. Right now, he's at +3 Funny, which is pretty good by the standards of useless "FRIST POST!", Frosty piss, etc. types.

Then again, not everyone can be me. [slashdot.org]

Yeah, I'm still basking in the warm glow. It's keeping me nice and toasty this winter ;)

Re:Fuck you Linus you fucking finnish shit eater!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540791)

So I'm guessing that you'll also fall for my next scam where I claim I'm Steve Jobs or Bill Gates and ask you for your credit card number to pay for your subscription to using Windows Media Player or iTunes?

Re:Fuck you Linus you fucking finnish shit eater!! (-1, Offtopic)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541027)

Linus Torvalds is a god damn thief!!! When I installed Linux it asked me for my credit card number. Two days later I got a call from Wachovia...

Stop! I see the problem right there. Wachovia. They'll walk all ova' ya.

And with the recent acquisition, I must say, they're a perfect match for Wells Fargo. Last I checked neither of the two believed in paying interest on savings accounts.

;)

Phantom power has it's use. (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540741)

You do want your TV to respond to your remote control, download it's clock-setting and other background data, and be ready to boot up in a timely manner? Don't ya?

We can reduce it, but this is something that ain't going to zero.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (5, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540785)

Why the heck does a TV need to download the time or background data or Boot up?
For the remote you could just have a very low power pic listen for the remote and turn the the set. user a super cap to run it and every few days if you don't use the TV have it power it's self up and charge the cap.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (4, Insightful)

slazzy (864185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541103)

Even if the TV does need to have some background processing going on, there's no reason it can't have a timer to turn on once a week or whatever is needed.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Insightful)

kerashi (917149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541201)

They're starting to build hard drives into TV's, so you can download shows from the internet. For situations like this, it is quite understandable.

Though the remote comment is about right. And don't forget the fact that some TV's still store things (like channel list) in volatile memory (with no battery backup!) that has to be maintained by constant current. It's stupid in this day and age, but they do.

On a related note, there's got to be a way to back up date/time on appliances, or power a clock with a battery, so they don't f***ing flash 12:00 in my parents' house.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541363)

Yes, I was disappointed to find my expensive Siemens electric oven purchased in Asia did not have a tiny capacitor back-up for the clock/timer. So every time there is a brief outage in this flaky tropical power grid, the clock resets to 12:00 and must be set manually to allow the oven to function.

Meanwhile, my Siemens washer is smart enough to recover mid-cycle from a power outage. Why cannot the oven do the same? It ought to monitor the temps and distinguish from a brief outage where the oven maintained cooking temperature and a longer outage when the temperature sinks. Perhaps give an audible and visual alert for this case that could affect food safety too!

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541461)

That problem's already been taken care of to a degree. When a power failure restores, we only have to set the clocks on the range and microwave. When daylight time starts and ends, it's that plus our watches, car radios, and one clock on the fireplace mantle. Everything else?

- Alarm clocks in master and guest bedrooms are radio-controlled "atomic", as is the wall clock in my office.

- Computer, TiVo, router, cell phone, and GPS clocks, well, duh.

- My 2000 Toshiba VCR receives its time signal over the cable TV line, probably from PBS.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541285)

Why the heck does a TV need to download the time or background data or Boot up?

Some TVs have built in guides and channel lists that need to be updated. And I don't want to be watching TV and it to take 20 minutes to scan for channels and find the info on the shows.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (4, Insightful)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541657)

20 minutes? I'd say a whole weeks worth of listings data is no more than a megabyte. What's the bandwidth on an HDTV channel? Something immense I'm sure. Store the channel scan results in flash, no need to rescan each time. Download a meg of text, parse and store it, and you're up and running in two or three seconds.

Are you FUDding for an energy company or something? Several hundred million devices suddenly using 200 times less power has got to be worrying the publicly traded energy companies.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541783)

A DTV channel is roughly 6 megabits/sec. "True HD" 1080i or 720p is roughly 6 mb/sec. So, you're basically downloading that megabyte on a 56k modem if you're lucky.

Not to mention, you can't trust that data downloaded yesterday reflects today's TV lineup. Watch all the 480i .2's on NBC stations scramble now that NBC Weather Plus has been subtracted. Even though the shutdown was announced three months ago, some stations still haven't made up their minds what to carry, and therefore are still changing lineups daily.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (1)

tabrisnet (722816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541805)

I don't care it it could be done in 0.1 seconds, it isn't done that way (by Comcast). Everytime I unplug my cable box & TV b/c I go on vacation, it takes a while (I never did clock it) for the TV guide to be populated, and it doesn't happen all at once... it happens in drips and drabs.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541809)

20 minutes? I'd say a whole weeks worth of listings data is no more than a megabyte. What's the bandwidth on an HDTV channel? Something immense I'm sure. Store the channel scan results in flash, no need to rescan each time. Download a meg of text, parse and store it, and you're up and running in two or three seconds.

Not so easy, if you're using the ATSC EPG information. It's broadcast; you have to wait for the data to come around, you can't request it. And the data for each channel is available only on that channel. So to get the guide data, you have to scan to each channel sequentially and wait for the data on it; this can take a while. You can't do it while the TV is on (because your tuner is otherwise occupied). It takes significant power to run the tuner. Fortunately, you do only have to do this once every three hours.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541801)

Power has to come from somewhere. Storing it is always less efficient then using the grid.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540841)

A couple of solar cells on the top of the TV or a supercapacitor should be able to power the remote control sensor. The rest can wait until the TV is turned on.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540917)

but it can be darn near zero.

The energy to power a tiny pic and a IR reciever to initiate the power up sequence is less than 100mw This can EASILY be done. They choose not to because it's far easier and cheaper to do it with the main processor. or In most Cable boxes case, simply turn off the screen and led's The comcast cable box really does not turn off, it simply blanks the screen and turns off the led display. This is a pain in the arse for us integration companies as you cant detect power draw to detect if a low grade device is on or off. (high end devices have discreet on and off IR signals or RS232 control)

The manufacturers want to save $2.95 per device made and refuse to have a discreet "on" response circuit that will allow the set or device to completely power down. but then most manufacturers are too cheap to properly design the hardware for remote control anyways. Not having discreet codes is simply shoddy workmanship.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541033)

Comcast wants its boxes to stay connected to the network at all times... remember, they're still using coax while the rest of data delivery went to multiple twisted pairs. Coax networks become unstable if users are constantly logging on and off. Back in the "bad old days", universities had to keep computers powered even when the employee who normally sits at that desk isn't there because too many shutdowns would cause there to not be enough draw on the RF signal, and the network would start burning out faster than usual.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Interesting)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541565)

Wow, they must hate me then. I power off my entire entertainment system when I'm going to be away from it for more than a few hours; just one switch on my UPS that every component plugs into. My power bill is about $5/mo lower when I do that than when I let the energy vampyres that are cable boxes/etc. have their way. So to save themselves $2.95 one time on my box I have to power down to save myself $5/mo which then causes faster burnout of even more expensive equipment which costs???/year...a stitch in time could save them some money down the road. Saving that cost on the cable box may look good on their quarterly report, but I'm not going to subsidize their laziness every month with my electric bill, so they can just suck on their faster equipment burn outs.

Thanks for your informative post.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541699)

Do you know what the power draw on your box is when "off"?
I don't have cable, but putting my entire entertainment center on a hard switch only saved me about 1$/month.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541315)

AT&T U-Verse set top boxes are the worst. They don't even turn off the display, they turn on a screen saver when you hit the power.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541351)

The manufacturers want to save pennies per device made, let alone $2.95. The customers (which are not you -- it's the cable companies) are very price sensitive and the manufacturers have to maintain margins.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540991)

You do want your TV to respond to your remote control

I don't know where you have your TV, but I know mine is easily in a place where I could press the power button on my own and then do everything else by remote to save on power consumption.

download it's clock-setting and other background data

I don't own a TV that downloads its own clock setting. Though I haven't bought a TV in a while...

And what background data does a TV need anyways?

and be ready to boot up in a timely manner?

I've never really considered the boot up time to be that terrible for TVs that I have turned on manually in the past. I don't consider TV that important that the difference between 2-3 seconds (LCD) and maybe 20-30 (old CRT) is at all important.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541135)

I don't know where you have your TV, but I know mine is easily in a place where I could press the power button on my own and then do everything else by remote to save on power consumption.

So, unplug and replug your TV every time you want to watch it. I honestly don't care if my TV uses 20 Watts when it isn't turned on or not, that is a rather insignificant part of my electric bill for a major part of my (and most people's) life.

I don't own a TV that downloads its own clock setting. Though I haven't bought a TV in a while... And what background data does a TV need anyways?

Some TVs have a guide that you can use to see what is on. And yes, there are actually TVs with built-in guides not using the cable box. It might be important to have that load in a timely matter rather than 15-20 minutes later.

I've never really considered the boot up time to be that terrible for TVs that I have turned on manually in the past. I don't consider TV that important that the difference between 2-3 seconds (LCD) and maybe 20-30 (old CRT) is at all important.

Then unplug and replug in your TV, the rest of the world wants TVs to boot up instantly.

The fact that you don't watch TV much and prefer to manually turn on TVs rather than using the remote is simply a preference. For most of the people that that TV manufacturers cater to, they don't want to wait. They want the TV to turn on quickly and using the remote, no matter if it costs a few extra watts of electricity. For people like you, well theres always the option of unplugging and replugging in the TV.

I honestly have to disagree! (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541511)

Your post is a set of trollish exaggerations, so force it to fit your views.

So, unplug and replug your TV every time you want to watch it. I honestly don't care if my TV uses 20 Watts when it isn't turned on or not, that is a rather insignificant part of my electric bill for a major part of my (and most people's) life.

No it not rather insignificant. The devices add up. And you don't know shit about most people. You are just stating that out of your ass. Show me someone who does not want to save money.

Some TVs have a guide that you can use to see what is on. And yes, there are actually TVs with built-in guides not using the cable box. It might be important to have that load in a timely matter rather than 15-20 minutes later.

Some TVs have that guide. This may be true. And if you knew anything about embedded computers, you'd know, that never on earth would any system need to load the data for your completely exaggerated 15-20 minutes. If you are talking about updating the guide from the net, it would go as fast as a browser loading a page. The TV would most probably only implement a cache with per-page refresh time values (like a browser). Why on earth would anyone implement a complex constant updating routine for powered-off state? It costs money, and you get the same results with the caching. On another note: I have never in my life seen a TV that needed to load that long, that I recognized it. And I have seen the oldest CRTs, where the tube gets slowly brighter (while already fully working), and the newest digital super-high-end TVs from my rich uncle that include every feature that you can think of, while still being from completely powered off in usable in the time i needed to get from the TV to sitting on the couch.

Then unplug and replug in your TV, the rest of the world wants TVs to boot up instantly.

Am I right guessing that you ignore connector strips with real power switches, including foot switches with a 2 m cable, so you can put it somewhere else. And remote controlled power outlets (if you're really lazy). And am I right in assuming you do this because else your "arguments" would be worthless? Again you don't know the rest of the world.

The fact that you don't watch TV much [...]

That's not what he said, and therefore no fact. He just does not consider it that important. And I consider people who consider TV to still be important, to be strange.

For most of the people that that TV manufacturers cater to, they don't want to wait. They want the TV to turn on quickly and using the remote, no matter if it costs a few extra watts of electricity. For people like you, well theres always the option of unplugging and replugging in the TV.

This is a repetition of what you already said. Do you think you can persuade us because you can't convince us? Because you can do neither.

You are now officially a troll. Go find a therapist or something to cure your misdirected urge to be right at all costs.

Re:I honestly have to disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541671)

I once had a user with a HP LaserJet 9000. As we all know, these beasts can take something like 30 seconds to kick out the first page from a cold start. The user Simply Could Not(TM) accept such a delay, and the only way to satisfy her was to set the printer to warm up at 0600, then not cool down until it's been idle for 4 hours.

Did I want to do it? No. I did it as a lesser of evils: if I told her I couldn't have done it, she'd have gone out and used her department's budget to put a cheap inkjet printer on her desk for instant gratification.

Re:I honestly have to disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541803)

Show me someone who does not want to save money.

Answer: Any one who owns a pickup truck and is not employed in the following way: Farmer, Ranch hand, Oil Driller, Logger, Flannel company executive.

Conspicuous consumption is part of human nature, always has been and always will be. Back in the day, a gold ring or white horse may have sufficed, now we have crunk cups, SUVs, and TVs that draw more power than they should. If you had a store that sold the exact same widget for $5 and for $50, most people would go for the $5 widget but there is undeniably a group that would gladly pay $50 just because they can.

In short, you dont know shit about most people, either.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541513)

So, unplug and replug your TV every time you want to watch it. I honestly don't care if my TV uses 20 Watts when it isn't turned on or not, that is a rather insignificant part of my electric bill for a major part of my (and most people's) life.

At 15 cents per kWh, that's $26 per year. That's like having to buy a case of beer for your TV every six months.

If it's technically feasible to have the TV *not* consume 20W, I'd prefer to keep the beer money for myself.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541689)

At 15 cents per kWh, that's $26 per year. That's like having to buy a case of beer for your TV every six months.

Or one case per year of good beer.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (2, Informative)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541709)

....So, unplug and replug your TV every time you want to watch it...

We have an X-10 system with a wireless control for lights and selected wall outlets. The TV and the rest of the entertainment system is plugged into one of these. In addition to completely shutting off the power at the push of a button, a motion sensor shuts off the system if it detects absolutely no movement in the room for 20 minutes. A designated button on the remote controls the system and another dims the room lights.

Re:Phantom power has it's use. (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541523)

download it's clock-setting and other background data

My wristwatch (Casio Wave Ceptor) downloads its 'clock settings' every night, for years, on a tiny watch battery. Close enough to zero to not matter. And FAR below what current TVs use.

How about fixing cable / sat DVR's and boxes (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540773)

You don't need to spin the the HD 24/7 power it down when not needed.

Re:How about fixing cable / sat DVR's and boxes (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540813)

Cable/Sat DVR's don't know when they're going to get hit with a data download being addressed to them. They have to always be ready to take it, therefore always spinning. Besides that, it doesn't take that much power to keep the disc spinning, compared to frequent re-starts after stops.

Re:How about fixing cable / sat DVR's and boxes (2, Interesting)

anachronous diehard (1169155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541057)

But why does a computer need its HD spinning to alert to an incoming message? If the DVR is idle, it should have enough RAM to cache the whole message until the disk spins up. I ran into this when trying to use one home PC as a backup to others. Only way to ensure it would respond to SMB messages was to disable power management, hence my frustrated tone.

Re:How about fixing cable / sat DVR's and boxes (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541337)

Actually, my UVerse DVR is smart enough to spin the drive down when it's in soft power-off (i.e. not using the disk as for the 1-hour live tv buffer). Every so often, I'll hear the classic spin-up whine and then a few seconds later the record light turns on. Microsoft may be the devil, but their IPTV software stack can at least get this right.

Re:How about fixing cable / sat DVR's and boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541349)

have to always be ready to take it

just like your mom.

Re:How about fixing cable / sat DVR's and boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541459)

Scientific-Atlanta (now Cisco) DVRs will spin down the HDD after 4 hours of inactivity.

I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (-1, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540811)

The burger you ate while typing that summary was made from a cow that emitted more damage causing methane than CO2 that my energy star monitors will be responsible for over the next 12 years.

Second, while CO2 is contributing to the hot house gas portion of contributing factors to global warming, it is not the worst or most worrisome contributor, and that is only among hot house gas causes. There are many other contributors that should worry you far more.

On top of that, you say CO2 like the Earth will get so hot in the next few years that we are in danger of bursting into flames any minute, when in fact, there is credible evidence to show that now only is global warming a cruel hoax on politicians and citizens of the world, but there is currently NO WARMING TREND happening.

So, which is it, should we assume you have been duped by the MSM, or are you really believing the hype, drinking the koolaid, and kissing the asses of the ill-informed?

Yeah, that is sort of like flamebait, but damn, enough with the global warming crap already. It's like soooo last year!

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (2, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540941)

Yes it is flamebait. What is even worse is that it is wrong.

Plus it ignores other damaging effects of wasting energy. Like the 40 billion per month in the balance of trade deficit. Or the fact that it allows people who don't like us very much to control our economy. Or the shear waste of burning something that could be used to made far more valuable stuff.

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (0, Troll)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541105)

gah! I forgot to add to my original post that saving money and resources is a damned good reason for having energy efficient appliances. It's just that CO2 is not! It's a trendy buzzword whose common perceived meaning has no viable or believable relationship to a good reason for buying energy efficient devices. I agree with you almost completely. I would posit that people who don't like us very much ALREADY control our economy.

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541055)

Thank you for standing up to the trendy lemmings and their "global warming" hysteria. Facts are that we are actually entering into a long period of global cooling. [foxnews.com]

In the words of the eminent Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski: [21stcentur...cetech.com]

The significance of the fact, immediately grasped by any competent climatologist, is that glacial advance is an early warning sign of Northern Hemisphere chilling of the sort that can bring on an Ice Age. The last Little Ice Age continued from about 1400 to 1850. It was followed by a period of slight warming. There are a growing number of signs that we may be descending into another Little Ice Age, all the mountains of global warming propaganda aside.

I'm also getting a bit tired of this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541637)

Both the global warming and global cooling arguments are bullshit. I'm going to eat all of the animal flesh I want, fart it back out, and then I'm going to run the fireplace full-blast after I drive my Escalade home.

Global this, economy that, blah blah. All bullshit. The only constant in this world is that people are goddamn beasts who are not to be trusted. Take your hard-earned dough and launder it so that the stock market fucks or the banks can't take it.

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (2, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541095)

Using 2001 numbers from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/recs2001/enduse2001/enduse2001.html [doe.gov]

Setting global warming aside, this is still a bit of an issue. If "off" electronics can actually be expected to average around, say, 5-15W, it's not to hard to imagine that most households are probably looking at about 50W (esp. if one includes "wall warts", etc) being consumed by things that aren't in use. Given that the average household averages about 1kW power consumption, this would indicate roughly 5% of residential power consumption, or about 57 billion kWh annually. That's an awful lot of power to be wasting.

Sure, that number may be a bit high. On the other hand, if you look at the source, you'll see that they are listing 7.3% of energy use going to unsurveyed devices. This goes to all kinds of things, but most of them are only on for a max of 30min/day (hair dryers, power tools, etc), and probably (though it isn't clear*) "off" electronics. And keep in mind these number are from 7 years ago, which would be mostly before the advent of the always-kinda-on home theater.

So a huge problem? Not really, but a fairly serviceable one. And if we are going to be doing wind power and all that jazz, it'd be nice to have to make 5% less of 'em.

*The survey does cover things like VCR/DVD, but it doesn't specify if the data includes sleep mode draw or not.

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (4, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541125)

Speaking of drinking the koolaid. Why is it that wackaloon right wingers always insist on using "MSM"? I know enough of them to know that they are talking about the main stream media like it is some vast liberal conspiracy...but seriously...it isn't clever...it is actually pretty stupid. But hey, you go ahead and call me when that "MSM" stops running advertisements 24/7 for some of the most evil right wing run megacorps around and then we can talk about how much of an evil liberal conspiracy it is.

Oh, it's no more stupid than... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541357)

"but seriously...it isn't clever"

I agree; in fact most of the people who do that probably couldn't define "Main Stream Media" (incidentally, Mainstream is one word, not two).

Of course, it's no more stupid than people who say "Right Wingers". Those people can't define it either; generally it means "something I don't like". And when it comes from somebody who is presently attending a University, well, it has a certain gravitas, if you know what I mean.

So from my viewpoint both of you are in the same boat, floating down some river, bickering with each other and using pithy phrases like "feminazi" and "yes we can!" to get your points across. No doubt you'll debate it in your blogs. Life is good, eh?

Re:Oh, it's no more stupid than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541617)

Life is good, eh?

Ironically, yes, it is.

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (3, Insightful)

gemada (974357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541713)

saw a quote somewhere that said: "The main stream media is as liberal as the conservative capitalist companies that own it." I think that pretty much sums it up.

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (3, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541195)

kissing the asses

Are we talking cute college environmentally-minded girls' asses? Or living in a tree, non-leg-shaving, greenpeace girls' asses?

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541373)

Yeah, that is sort of like flamebait, but damn, enough with the global warming crap already. It's like soooo last year!

Setting aside the truth or otherwise of global climate change, there is also the issue of the geopolitical effects of the West's dependence on foreign energy sources. The dependence can and should be addressed in two ways: reduction of energy use and developing domestic sources of energy.

Reducing the sleep-state power usage of devices addresses the first of these issues.

Burger damage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541411)

zappepcs wrote:

The burger you ate while typing that summary was made from a cow that emitted more damage causing methane than CO2 that my energy star monitors will be responsible for over the next 12 years.

Interesting argument. Of course, from what I can find, it looks like a cow can be made into somewhere on the order of 1000 burgers (assuming you're using all the meat for burgers, the numbers I can find are from 1000-2000 burgers). So, let's just settle on 1500 burgers. If you eat one a day, that works out to 4 years of burgers. So, assuming that the numbers you pulled out of thin air are correct and that your bizarre apples to oranges comparison is magically valid somehow, the cow is only three times as the monitor. Or maybe you only eat burgers twice a week...

Anyway, Michael Chrichton style, global warming is a hoax schlock aside, it's hard to imagine energy conservation being a bad thing. Even if it's only to save a few extra dollars a month on our utility bills and make our fossil fuels last a few more years (although, given your stance on global warming, I'm wondering if you're also one of those people who believe that oil running out is also a myth).

Re:I'm getting a bit tired of this.... (0, Flamebait)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541693)

Moderation -2
    50% Flamebait
    20% Interesting
    20% Informative
Total Score: -1

Looks like you got up someone's nose.
Honestly, in a time where much of the western world is drinking the "CO2 is teh evil" kool-aid, what did you expect?

Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540845)

First off, its not your job, or the EPA, or DeviceGuru, or anyone else - its up to the people that buy the stuff.
Secondly, after Piquipaille ripped, bless his heart, people are now more than ever aware of click suckers like yourself.
Thirdly, the Slashdot astroturf detector is strong, and nobody will click your self-pimped link.
Fourth, although "150 times the power draw" sounds sensational, it's still only 20W, or 480W a day, or a nickel. If you want to save money, skip Starbucks, your TV in so-called "sleep mode" is not what's keeping you out of Beverly Hills.
Lastly, you should have picked any other day to submit, so that if your submission DID get picked, it wouldn't have been kdawson, who is at best a bot and worst a GNAA operative.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540879)

you do realize that if you multiply a nickel times several hundred million people EVERY DAY you get a pretty sizable number. Try thinking large scale next time and maybe you'll start to understand what's going on here.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540903)

I don't care about everyone else's wallet, I care about MINE. Try thinking locally next time, and maybe you'll start to understand what's going on here. You sound like a Democrat.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540947)

Hey cock sucker, the world doesn't revolve around you.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541283)

I happen to know that he is indeed a Democrat. In fact he masturbates while holding up that neo-Stalinist litho print of Obama staring into space. Our Little Democrat wanks and fantasizes that Obama's quizzical looks is the result of Our Little Democrat fellating the O-man.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541367)

holding up that neo-Stalinist litho print of Obama

Be serious. He just uses a Macbook.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541309)

I don't care about everyone else's wallet, I care about MINE

You obviously don't care enough to bother learning basic economics. The demand of those other millions of people drive up the price you pay for the rest of your electricity.

But no, instead you scream and cry about companies being called out for fraud when they lie to their customers, even if they are lying about something you think is stupid.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541521)

Ok, don't multiply by people, multiply by number of appliances and then by the rest of your life.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540923)

after Piquipaille ripped, bless his heart, people are now more than ever aware of click suckers like yourself.

This guy actually researched and wrote an article, unlike Piquepaille who copied and pasted from others. No shame in giving links to your own original work.

Re:Hi there, click harvester, here's why you fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540977)

20W may not seem like much by itself, but it is still significant. How many devices does one have that's always plugged in? 20W here, 40W on the cable box, 10W for some chargers, it all adds up. In the winter perhaps not so significant since it helps heat the house. But in the summer, or in hot climates, it represents power and heat that must be removed by the AC, increasing the AC's comsumption beyond what would be needed without all that extra idle heat being generated. So you effectively pay for the idle twice - once when consumed, and again to maintain a comfortable temperature.

As far as is it being or not being the EPA's responsibility: I believe in letting every person decide for themselves how important the idle power issue is to them. But they can't do that if the manufacturers lie about the true power use. And preventing that act of lieing, is squarely the business of goverment enforcement.

Re:not your job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541569)

...its not your job, or the EPA, or DeviceGuru, or anyone else - its up to the people that buy the stuff....

So, should Mr Hellman not write about a Government program that doesn't work as it should? (Paging Woodward & Bernstein: Nobody needs your help to figure out what Watergate means.)

Should the EPA not make a program that makes manufacturer's claims verifiable and easy to interpret? Rather, should "people that buy the stuff" each bring their own meter to the store and run each device through all its modes? (And don't share the results, because that's not their job.)

You have a valid comment about hyperbole. Too bad nobody will notice it in the middle of your venom about click suckers, self-pimping, and GNAA operatives.

Your post has already harvested too many of my clicks. If you hope for a continuing flame war, I will not participate because I am quite sure THAT'S NOT MY JOB.

Bane of all standards testing (3, Interesting)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540861)

The television in question appears to be actively "on" in the sense that the tuner is on and is sourcing program guide information in standby. When the tuner is not, the consumption is as claimed.

Suggesting that the testing regime is faulty is a stretch. As with all the other qualms mentioned in the article, you have to question whether the manufacturer provided a proper product, rather than one designed to pass, followed by production of one with "faulty firmware".

There isn't a whole lot of restriction out there for this type of practice in any standards testing. At least, you can get away with it, most of the time. I doubt there are many people charged with testing retail devices to see if energy star compliance is maintained. I'd guess that was the major problem.

Re:Bane of all standards testing (3, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541583)

> When the tuner is not, the consumption is as claimed.

Of course the report is that it is downloading updates via the tuner most of the time. Obviously that isn't needed and probably isn't normal. The problems here are that a) Sony eityher has a firmware bug or the local PBS station is hosing the broadcast of the schedule data, b) without a kill-a-watt being deployed nobody would ever know if their TV has a similar problem and c) Sony didn't provide a way to kill a feature that for most people is a waste of time and electricity.

A program guide in the TV is pretty useless for most people who already have a settop box (cable or sat) that provides guide data. For those on an antenna it is a perfectly aceptable feature to have so no problem including it, just provide a way for most owners to turn the darned thing off.

WTF is this gay shit?!?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540895)

DeviceGuru.com? Moar like DeviceGayru.com amirite?!?!?

Tons of CO2? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540913)

I would like to know how CO2 actually affects anything. Polar ice caps are increasing and we're in the midst of a 10+ year cooling trend. Please, explain to me how global warming causes colder temperatures. I must have missed that chapter in physics.

Re:Tons of CO2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540975)

more energy.

Carbon Nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540919)

You carbon emission Nazis wont be happy until we only have farts as emissions.

The solution is easy. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540931)

Don't watch television!

And What Part of This is News? (5, Informative)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541005)

The Energy Star Program has needed an overhaul since the day of inception.

From http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/product_specs/eligibility/tv_vcr_elig.pdf [energystar.gov]

4) Test Methodology: Manufacturers are required to perform tests and self-certify those models that meet the ENERGY STAR guidelines.

Self-Certify? You've got to be kidding.

Re:And What Part of This is News? (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541155)

This is just like the IRS... you're expected to report income and deductions and self-certify your filing. If the government thinks you got it wrong, or just picks you out of a hat, they audit. If they allege you cheated, you're on the defensive.

Re:And What Part of This is News? (2, Insightful)

tcgroat (666085) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541647)

No, not kidding. Like many technical regulations, the cost and expertise required is considerable and the government has little desire to be involved (and less funding). Some large companies can afford to run their own test labs with the necessary equipment and training, but most don't. If you don't have a steady stream of testing, expensive gear is left sitting idle and the test techs' expertise grows stale. That's why independent testing labs are in business: you hire a reputable, qualified lab to do the testing, and you attest that the product is compliant (or more commonly, go back and fix it, then test it gain). The FCC does not test most equipment (radio transmitters being the main exception), the makers are responsible for that. In Europe even your product safety approval is self-certified: an outside lab is probably doing the testing, but it's your responsibility to be sure it's done properly. Frankly, it's an improvement over the old bureaucratic ways: needing an Official Government Test for every jurisdiction was expensive and maddeningly slow. That has mostly been done away with as an artificial trade barrier, and rightly so!

Read a thermometer (2, Insightful)

geofgibson (1332485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541083)

"Given the billions of dollars and tons of CO2 that are at stake, this situation demands more attention." Given the global cooling underway, burn as much coal as you possibly can! We need the heat.

japanesepussies tag? (2, Funny)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541239)

WTF is that?

Re:japanesepussies tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541465)

A perfectly logical tag for this article.

Didn't you know that Japanese pussies are more energy efficient? That's due to their compact casings and submissiveness. Less energy is consumed hauling around an overlarge casing and less energy is consumed due to less overall bitchiness. Not to mention they run on rice.

Re:japanesepussies tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541723)

That's what I'm here for, too.

oh...that free agency thing. (0, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541303)

You know what would be cooler than the government telling me how to spend 15 cents? How about the government going and fucking itself.

I: unplug unsused electronics; hard-switch off powerstrips that supply electronics; buy appliances (other things being equal) based on the kwh numbers; have a pretty good baby freeze [youtube.com]; don't need the government or bloggers trying to make choices for me. Free agency, kids.

If electricity costs money, and I use it, I pay for it. If I want to pay more to use more, that's between me and the supplier. Not bloggers, not the government, not you.

Disbanding the EPA's EnergyStar program would save energy and money.

How would skate boarders feel if there was a whole government agency set up to reduce skate boarding?

Re:oh...that free agency thing. (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541531)

Got to love the free market folks. That companies are going to self regulate to keep themselves alive and thrive. The poster mentioned that the POSTED power conumption was .1watt, but AVERAGED 15Watts in standby. So the company lied, which prevents a knowledgeable consumer from purchasing the product that best suits their needs. The poster never said that the government should tell you what to do, but maybe they should actually test published numbers.

And really, if people/companies etc will always do whats in their best interest to survive, why do we have stoplights and street signs and speed limits..

How about an audit first? (3, Interesting)

rhyre (464193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541305)

Before going crazy overhauling, let's audit the devices that are out there. Then you can assign marketing labels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) in case you can't read the numbers. (Numbers would be watts per day, assuming constant usage)

Just create something the FCC registration process/database, and let certified labs submit their own engineering reports on the TRUE power consumption. I've never seen any Energy Star audit reports.

Re:How about an audit first? (1)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541481)

I don't think people would truly understand what it really means to save energy. Simply because you have customers out there who really could care less or think it's too much of a hassle. These are the same people who buy SUVs!!

They don't either realize or care these little things do add up over time.

Until we get to the point the electric company will start to impose electric rations as the norm which we in California almost had it happen due to shortages! PG&E been trying to encourage people to sign up for this energy saver program and few actually joined in. Don't let the high number of Prius drivers fool you. PG&E even gave away CF bulbs not too long ago at Costco via deep discounts.

The issue it's closer than most people think and they continue to bury their heads in the sand.

Save NRG, save $ Re:How about an audit first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541613)

If the electric bill doesn't make it clear, then I fear for this country. (The bill basically says: here's your usage in KwH, the price per unit of usage, and your amount due.)

If you use less energy, you pay less money. I don't know how to make it any simpler.

I learned this in 9th grade - we were literally taught how to read an electric bill, back when coal-fired power was around 5 cents/KwH. Now it's more like 10 cents/KwH.

As to free bulbs at Costco, you sometimes get what you pay for. The common CF bulbs don't have big enough holes in the plastic housing for ventillation, so you have to be careful where they are mounted. IKEA bulbs are a bit better, and seem to last longer. But they cost more.

I'm still waiting for LED bulbs.

Re:How about an audit first? (2, Informative)

Simply Curious (1002051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541677)

Numbers would be watts per day, assuming constant usage

By the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe, NO!

Watt is equal to joules per second. It is a unit of energy per time. Watts or milliwatts would be the correct unit. I blame the kilowatt-hour for starting the metric system down the road to customary.

Why tons of CO2? (3, Interesting)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541409)

There would not be billions of tons of CO2 at stake if we were not generating electricity with coal. Inefficient electrical devices are almost irrelevant to that problem, and pretty much miss the point. Energy efficiency and CO2 production are only weakly related, much like the case with cars, and it is kind of irritating that people so often conflate the two. If everybody in the US switched to commuting in a Prius tomorrow, it would have a negligible impact on total CO2 production (the vast majority of CO2 comes from electricity generation), but it is often sold in those terms. If you get your electricity from nuclear or some other type of green power, there is negligible CO2 impact from having slightly less efficient electrical devices.

If you want to reduce oil consumption you might buy a Prius, and if you were actually serious you would move to a high-density urban area or lobby cities to allow them to be built.

If you want to reduce CO2 production you might buy more efficient "green" electrical devices, and if you were actually serious you would lobby for nuclear (and other non-CO2) power plants.

Part of the reason many environmental policies accomplish so little is that they are largely about symbolism over substance (see: Kyoto). Most people, including many nominal environmentalists, care more about looking like they care than actually solving the problem, particularly if the solution forces them to materially change their lifestyle or preconceptions. It is a cheap and mostly symbolic way to get social approval without actually having to be responsible for enacting useful changes that would actually make a difference. Everyone is so busy trying to prove how green they are that almost no one is actually, well, making the world green.

I want a shutter-offer device. (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541489)

I want a little, tiny device, which I'll call the "shutter-offer," that plugs into the wall and has an AC socket that you can plug, e.g., a TV into. When the RMS current passing through the shutter-offer falls below 250 mA for one hour, it opens a switch, and it's as if the TV had been unplugged completely. When you walk into the room and want to watch TV, you push a button on the shutter offer to close the switch again. It's a hassle to remember to physically unplug your TV every time you're done watching TV, but it's not a big hassle to have to push a button on the shutter-offer before you turn on the TV -- and if you forget, the TV won't turn on, and you'll realize why.

This could be useful for a lot of other devices as well. I have a stereo amp that draws 20 W passively, and computer speakers that draw a similar amount of power if I don't remember to turn them off.

To make it really super convenient, you could have a wireless device similar to the keychain widget that remotely unlocks your car; this can be done with extremely low power, I think, since I haven't had to replace my car's keychain widget's battery in many years. You'd simply stick the wireless device on top of the power switch of the TV with some adhesive, and by pushing the button you'd simultaneously transmit a signal both to the shutter-offer and to the TV's power switch.

Idiots, all of you. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541567)

Where the hell do you get your information? Your grampas trick knee? Some of you idiots just claim that the world is cooling not heating, but they must be wrong because other idiots just say it's getting warmer but they must be wrong because it's Bushes fault. First off, Global warming is the effect of the earths average temperature rising and changing the environment, which could cause parts of the world to get colder, dumbasses.

Second, the article it self is about what Energy Star is meant to represent. People look for the Energy Star logo if they are interested in saving power or on a save the world kick. Not about the truth or myths of global warming. If an Energy Star device can draw on average the same as a non Energy Star device, then what is the point other then misleading advertising.

20 watts by it self is very little but over all if a 10,000 tv's were sold that drew that, 146MWH would be consumed, at $0.10 per kwh, thats over $1400 spent on keeping your tvs off. Now expand that to the millions of devices that are wasting power in America just so you don't have to wait a few seconds to watch your precious tv. Think of that effect every month.

Now think if the manufacturer changed the design to actually draw .1 watt at only a small cost increase of a few dollars, spent only once, think of the power and money that would be saved and you wouldn't have to do a bloody thing!

When you set the bar so low... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541605)

Walk into any retailer (best buy we'll say) I dare you, try and find a refrigerator that is NOT energy star rated.
They might have one out 40 that isn't -- and that's probably just because the tag fell off.

I feel like the minimum requirements for an energy star tag are way too low if even the worst appliances make the cut.

Re:When you set the bar so low... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541807)

It's all marketing bull shit.

Have you noticed in hotel rooms lately there is always a big card which says something like:

Help Keep the Planet Green!
Save the Earth.

If you put his card on your pillow
we will only change your sheets every
three days. Help save the planet.

And some dopes fall for it. We all know the hotel's motivation: they don't want to pay for the soap, water, and labor to wash your sheets. They could give a rat's ass about "saving the planet".

Solution already exists (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541759)

For one, Joe Average Citizen could be informed about their options, then take personal responsibility for their behaviour.

That said, you've got the SmartStrip [bitsltd.net], which senses when you're not using the equipment and shuts off the main power.

Then you've got the WattStopper [wattstopper.com], which senses when you're in the room and turns on the power strip. When you're gone from the room, it turns off the strip.

Now, if someone were to combine either of these technologies with say, a UPS, you'd have a truly awesome product! Because I don't know about most folks, but when I pay a few grand for my A/V toys, I like to make sure they've got steady and clean power.

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