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A "Bill of Lights" to Restrict LEDs on Gadgets?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the palm-flower dept.

Portables 729

PetManimal writes "Mike Elgan has had it with useless lights on gadgets and computers. He singles out the Palm Treo and the Dell XPS gaming laptops as being particularly bad with the use of unnecessary lights, and also cites the plethora of LEDs on desktop PCs and peripherals. 'My PC and other computing equipment make my office look like a jet cockpit. I have two LCD monitors, each of which has two indicator lights that flash even when the PC is turned off. The attached sound control has a light on it. My keyboard has multiple lights. The power cord has lights, the printer has lights, and the power button is illuminated. My cable modem and Linksys router flash like crazy all the time. Together, these useless lights create a visual cacophony of blinking, multicolored lights that make me feel like I'm taking part in a NASA stress test for astronaut candidates.' Elgan calls on manufacturers to respect his 'Gadget Bill of Lights' to restrict the use of nag lights and allow users to turn them off. He also says the industry should pay more attention to industrial design when creating new products."

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Wow... (5, Funny)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118129)

... whine about silly crap much?

Re:Wow... (5, Insightful)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118209)

totally.

I really hate the "more important things going on in the world..." argument, but damn man... this is total nonsense.

Besides, I like my office looking like a cockpit - the more flashing indicator lights, the better. One light I particularly enjoy is on my television. The indicator LED is ON when the tv is OFF, and OFF when the tv is ON.

Re:Wow... (3, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118329)

That's so you can find the power switch in the dark, and so it doesn't distract you while watching TV.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118567)

That's air I'm breathing.

my midnight torrents are driving me crazy! (1)

chelanfarsight (835467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118663)

i mean how can anyone be expected to download *anything* with bittorrent if those damnable lights are on in a bedroom keeping one up all night?

Re:Wow... (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118247)

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I half expected it to continue:

"And while we're at it, make everything grey or beige. Colors are too visually distracting! And enough with these smooth shapes; make everything rectangular so that things stack better. And enough with these flowers blooming outside; everything should be grass ..."

Re:Wow... (5, Interesting)

andy666 (666062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118287)

Well the thing is, that there is this deep psycological connection between blinking lights and technology in our culture. In the old days, computers in movies often had excessive amounts of this. But even today, you see similar things in movies. If the lights are blinking, it must be doing something! I think it addresses some deep need of ours to see some physical changes taking place to explain a computation. Basically, it makes electronics less abstract.

Re:Wow... (5, Funny)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118505)

Well the thing is, that there is this deep psycological connection between blinking lights and technology in our culture. In the old days, computers in movies often had excessive amounts of this. But even today, you see similar things in movies. If the lights are blinking, it must be doing something!

True, but it can't be simply blinking, like the 12:00 on an old, un-programmed VCR. It has to be blinking in an irregular pattern, which indicates activity of some sort. A simple on/off/on/off 50% duty cycle LED looks like a gratuitous blinkylight. Now, give me a blinkylight that flashes irregularly, or even better, in synchronous ways with other blinkylights, now we're talking. Big disk array full of drives, all blinking somewhat in unison, is what I'm trying to say. It's a thing of beauty, several racks of storage all blinking in busy activity...in a darkened server room... brings a tear to any self-respecting techie's eye, it does...

Re:Wow... (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118309)

Silly crap? Lets just assume for a minute that we have limited resources on this planet and we're wasting them and making the Earth hotter through it. I mean it's all in our heads but lets just say that maybe the case.

Now if we take 20 million people with 1 monitor, 1 PC and 1 Printer. That is 60 million little lights being wasteful if we assume it's 1 light per device. Wouldn't you think that is quite a power drain should we use them for several days a week at a couple of hours a day?

Re:Wow... (5, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118457)

You wasted more electricity for that remark (the routers and servers along the way had to use electricity for that message) than all the LEDs in your home. a bright LED is like 50mW. You'd need 20 bright ones, or 50 normal ones on all at the same time to make a Watt.

Re:Wow... (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118539)

Likely things with a led light is hooked up to some DC converter that will either spill heat into the house or the power will be used it on some useless stuff - like waiting for a infrared message from a remote control or on the device or silly little LED lights. Now days, power isn't really considered wasted unless unplugging the devices is an option every time your not using the appliance - the standby power is quite high already.

Re:Wow... (1)

mibalzonya (1072126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118661)

I agree with Turn-X. We should look at the environmental impact of excessive energy use. Anything that we can do to lessen our footprint on the earth and will not affect our lifestyle/ability to make a dollar is a good place to start.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118485)

... whine about silly crap much?

That's what you do when you're too much of a dull student to apply electrical tape, duct tape or masking tape (tan or blue) as required, depending on the color of the device.

Come to think of it, a bottle of black nail polish should solve all his problems for years to come.

Re:Wow... (2, Interesting)

MazzThePianoman (996530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118513)

How about fix software so that whenever you have an interactive element (like a cancel button) it is never non-responsive?

Re:Wow... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118525)

... whine about silly crap much?

You mean like slashdot articles you aren't interested in?

I agree with Mike Elgan: there are way too many lights on electronics that detract from the quality of the device. There are 6 LEDs on my laptop computer right now; one or two are marginally useful, and even those don't need to be demanding my attention all the time.

Re:Wow... (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118659)

Solution: Electrical tape over the lights.

In other words... Quit your whining and use your head!

And I love it! (4, Funny)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118163)

In my server room I actually play the computer "noises" from old Star Trek in the background on a CD boombox set to repeat!

Re:And I love it! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118303)

try this out: http://www.nullsoft.com/free/nbeep/ [nullsoft.com]

Re:And I love it! (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118575)

That's great! It literally brought a smile to my face when I send an email from Thunderbird and the thing literally went nuts with sounds.

Re:And I love it! (1)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118639)

But that's a Windows app. What about people who are running LAMP instead of WIMP?

Sharpie (5, Insightful)

Nutsquasher (543657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118167)

Black marker is your friend, my man.

Re:Sharpie (2)

nolifetillpleather (975338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118227)

I electrical tape over a bunch of stupid lights in my bedroom. Why does Apple have to make everything throb? Why do these chincy logitech speakers have a blue LED bright even to read by? electrical tape.

Re:Sharpie (5, Funny)

Elvis Parsley (939954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118677)

Why does Apple have to make everything throb?

It's a sex thing.

Turn it off! Turn it off! (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118249)

There is always that little black wire-looking thing sticking out the end of the contraption. You know, the part that Dell technical support asks you if it's stuck into the wall.

You just pull it out of the wall and blessed darkness and silence.

Re:Turn it off! Turn it off! (1)

c (8461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118611)

> You just pull it out of the wall and blessed darkness and silence. ...unless the device notices power is missing and drops into a battery-backed blinkenlight standby. Like laptops, PDAs, etc.

c.

Re:Sharpie (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118255)

Two words: electrical tape

Re:Sharpie (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118569)

Unfortunately that's permanent. I would suggest electrical tape, post-it notes, whatever.

I kinda like the lights (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118171)

especially the blue LEDs. Maybe this dude, could disable his only.

Re:I kinda like the lights (2, Insightful)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118245)

I love the lights too. It makes me feel like I'm in a cockpit or other cool place where a lot of stuff happens. People buy audio hardware because of the blinking lights!

If this guy is so intent on fixing it, he should get out the soldering iron and disconnect them himself. Or do the thing everyone else does when something is blinking or flashing too much -- cover it up with electrical tape.

Re:I kinda like the lights (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118419)

I like the lights, but not for mood. I want to know if my hard drive is getting hammered; if packets are flowing; if my DC adapter is getting power. Keep the lights!

Re:I kinda like the lights (2, Informative)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118443)

ah, very true! I do like just glancing at the router to see that everything is going well (and to quickly figure out if it's not).

Lights... (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118175)

Be glad you don't work in pro audio. My office/studio has more flashing lights than the space shuttle cockpit. 'course, I kinda like it.

Re:Lights... (2, Insightful)

mibalzonya (1072126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118279)

I have actually paid extra for more lights.

Re:Lights... (1)

cliffwoolley (506733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118353)

I was thinking something similar... some of us really *do* like all the lights. Of course, you could argue that those lights are "useful," whereas the lights that the article complains about are the "useless" ones. The flip side is that you could argue the "useless" lights wouldn't be there if *somebody* didn't like them... flash sells, what can I say?

I guess it's safe to say ... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118199)

... that I should never invite him over to see my house at Christmas.

Is this guy kidding? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118203)

LIGHTS LIGHTS AND MORE LIGHTS.

I still like my LED's in blue. But colors that signify things are great. Green = good. Red = Bad. Blue = On. Blinking = Busy.

I need more LEDs! I WANT my office to look like a jet fighter cockpit! The ONLY thing I don't want with lights on it, is my watch. It's a simple, metal watch with a sigle dial.

There is such a thing as too far. I won't wear an LED belt buckle or name tag. I won't stick LEDs on the outside of my car.

Re:Is this guy kidding? (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118475)

"The ONLY thing I don't want with lights on it, is my watch. It's a simple, metal watch with a sigle dial."

But how will you tell the time at night!?! Indiglow FTW!

-Rick

Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? (4, Funny)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118211)

We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Elgan. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're FLASHING and they're BEEPING. I can't stand it anymore! They're BLINKING and BEEPING and FLASHING! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug!

Re:Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118359)

Sir! Get ahold of yourself!

Re:Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118621)

We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Elgan. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're FLASHING and they're BEEPING. I can't stand it anymore! They're BLINKING and BEEPING and FLASHING! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug!
I think those switches, lights and knobs all belong to your life support system which is why no one has pulled the plug.

Then again, it seems like it's not making your life any better, perhaps someone should end your misery?

Someone enlighten this man (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118213)

He needs to learn the wonders of sharpies. Or better yet, how to hide the ugly router, cable modem, and power devices under his desk.

Blue LEDs (5, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118219)

What is better than one LED bright enough to light up a whole room? 50 of them! That BLINK!

Re:Blue LEDs (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118421)

Santa would approve!

I kinda like em (1)

clustersnarf (236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118221)

I can understand why some people who dont understand the usefulness of gadget/electronic feedback. Nothing bothers me more than something without some kind of blinking status light that lets me know from a distance if it is functioning or not.

Simple things like the red light on a tivo letting you know it is recording. Other LEDs on modems and network gear that give you an instant "at a glimpse" status.

I wouldnt mind the ability to turn some things off, but I don't think we need to get rid of any. If there is the ability to turn off the lights, it better be mechanical, not electronic based. If you turn them off in the firmware somehow, then the device fails, how will you troubleshoot some kind of closed box when all it looks like now is a dead paperweight.

SAVE THE LEDS!

Well... (2)

Tadrith (557354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118225)


I suppose if you aren't a technical person, it's probably too much. As a technical person who does it for a living as well as a hobby, I've always really liked being surrounded by electronics with lots of lights. NOC/IDC facilities are even more fun. It's a mood thing.

As long as all of this stuff is not in my room so I can't sleep, I have no problems with the office looking like NASA.

Re:Well... (1, Redundant)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118607)

As long as all of this stuff is not in my room so I can't sleep, I have no problems with the office looking like NASA.

You know, your comment reminds me of a Doonesbury [doonesbury.com] strip from not too long ago. :-)

Useless? (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118231)

What's next - no LEDs on network hubs and routers, because he doesn't understand what the lights mean?

If you don't like them, put some fucking electrical tape over the LEDs. That's what I do. Of course, that's not so easy to do with things like my Cooler master 830 case which is an awesome case but has all these useless and fucking ugly bright blue LEDs (in the fans, on the buttons, for the drive display, etc) that make it impossible to sleep at night.

Is there nothing it cant fix? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118257)

Nothing excessive use of Duct tape cant fix.

Re:Is there nothing it cant fix? (4, Funny)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118363)

Nothing excessive use of Duct tape cant fix.

For example, you can use duct tape to muffle fan noise...

I, for one, enjoy them (4, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118259)

zo relaxen und watschen der blinkenlichten

Fans (1)

geeper (883542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118267)

Wait until he finds out that people use fans with LED's...on purpose!

Conspiracy (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118271)

I bet Massachusetts legislators are behind this!

Or at least a way to control the intensity (2, Interesting)

cruff (171569) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118299)

I had to tape over the blue power LED on a Shuttle 51G system, as it was so bright I could see the reflections from it in another room. Kind of distracting when you are trying to go to sleep, see the light and wonder what light you left on elsewhere in the house. I understand the newer models are supposed to have a way do dim the LEDs. I used blue electrical tape so that I could still tell if the system thought it was on.

Re:Or at least a way to control the intensity (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118483)

A couiple years ago, I got a keyboard that had blue EL backlit keys, for typing in poorly-lit areas. The keyboard was great, EXCEPT for the 3 blue LEDs the manufacturer used for Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock indicators. Those things were distractingly bright, even when they were over to one side of my peripheral vision.

I ended up opening the keyboard and changing the values of the ballast resistors to get the brightness down to more reasonable levels.

LEDS - User Option - YES! (1)

jimwelch (309748) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118311)

This is something I am use to on my products, but for another reason - Power Saving! When you are running on solar cells and batteries, every micro-watt counts. The user can disable the leds on all of our IO modules, with one mouse click.

A simple solution (1)

stas2k (951288) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118313)

Well... you can always poke your eyes out if you don't like those lights and leave others alone.

Whaaat? (1)

ratajik (57826) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118321)

Uh... I like the blinking lights. I want MORE (thus my glow-in-the-dark keyboards with multiple color selections, and my LED mouse pad). And I love my XPS, doubly so in a dimly lit room.

My "Gadget Bill of Lights" would be to ask the Gadget and PC makers to please make MORE of these types of equipment and to PLEASE ignore Mike! (Well, I DO agree you should be able to turn the LED's if you want - my Timewarner DVR is ultra-annoying in that way, as it's in the bedroom). But otherwise, cram more LED's in!!!!

Obligatory: Buck Murdoch / Airplane II (1)

yorugua (697900) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118333)

"Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Striker. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're *flashing* and they're *beeping*. I can't stand it anymore! They're *blinking* and *beeping* and *flashing*! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug! "

not soon enough (1)

sam.thorogood (979334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118337)

Obligatory "my Mac only has one LED to indicate that it's sleeping" post.

Blinkenlights! (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118339)

Dude, what am I going to do without all those blinkenlights in my computer room?! It's not a computer without them!

It's not curing cancer, but I agree. (1)

dballanc (100332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118343)

The lights are extremely annoying to me, especially the absurdly bright blue leds common now. Even layers of electrical tape don't fully block the output from most LEDS. The worst offender is an LED 'off' light. I mean really, I haven't seen this sort of useless notification since the last time I used a PC with a Symantec product installed. WTF people.

Sure there are more important issues, but since the solution is incredibly simple why the hell not give us an option?

Re:It's not curing cancer, but I agree. (0, Flamebait)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118377)

Even layers of electrical tape don't fully block the output from most LEDS.

Ultimate solution: pair of pliers and a blowtorch.

Depends.... (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118355)

Most, if not all, of the status lights on different equipment I have I prefer for status information they provide. If one doesn't like status lights, some can be disconnected internally or covered externally.

In my case, there are several devices I have which I wish had brighter status lights so I could see them more clearly in the day - e.g.: I have a couple of external hard drives with dim status lights.

Slow news day here?

It's a conspiracy thing (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118375)

The author is worried that the Boston SWAT team is going to break down his doors in the middle of the night and call the bomb squad to confiscate his electronics and have them detonated in a safe manner.

I sympathise but . . . (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118381)

To some degree it's controllable by equipment choice or judicious user modification or location.

My cubicle at work has just six indicator lights (power x3 for a PowerMac G5, two 17" Sony LCDs (though I have the one on the left covered w/ a blackened bit of Post-It[tm] Note), a Caps-lock indicator on the keyboard (WHICH IS NORMALLY NOT LIT), a blue light (which switches to green when I click) on my Wacom Intuos and a green light on the APC PowerChute UPS (hidden under my desk) --- the Mighty Mouse has an LED, but it can't be seen unless I'm cleaning it.

William

Bright Bright Bright (1)

phleb3 (954280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118389)

I know exactly how the author feels, I have an Antec computer case with front panel blue LEDs that I can read by from 25 feet away, and my Samsung LCD monitor has a blinking blue light that makes my computer room look like sombody set up a bar sign just outside my window. The computer case was easy to fix, the monitor is still under warranty, and I don't want to mess with that.

knowledge (1)

navtal (943711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118397)

Just because you dont know what they mean dosnt make them useless. But like any new technology people are going to over use it at first. You might want to look into Rittalin if you are having trouble concentrating.

Fewer? I want more! (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118401)

I like LEDs on computer equipment. My aesthetics are clearly of the "ooh, blinky lights!" variety, but that means I like ... blinky lights.

That said, LEDs are also underused for information purposes rather than as mere decoration; anyone with an Apple battery probably likes that you can tell a battery's charge (to a rough approximation) with the built-in LED meter -- there should be more things like this. USB mics should have red LEDs when active, like "ON AIR" signs at radio stations. USB hard drives could have 10-bar meters to show how full they are, etc.

And *that* said, it would be nice if certain LEDs (like obnoxious front-of-case ultra-bright ones) were accompanied by some small black covers mated to grooves around them, so they could be used with more discretion.

timothy

oh noes! (1)

frakfrakfrak (1049468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118403)

My keyboard will make him die! [deckkeyboards.com]

For what it's worth, I have the red one so it doesn't interfere with my sleepy-time too much, and the shockingly bright blue power LED on my computer case is crudely covered with yellow paper and clear tape so that it does not wake me up for 15 minutes any time I happen to look at it.

But LEDs are cooooooool, and I won't pretend otherwise.

So don't buy from Dell (4, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118415)

I'm confused. The article makes it sound like there are no alternatives to the products he mentions. I hate to play the, "Dude, get a Mac" card, but he's begging for it.

My cable modem the most blinking lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118423)

But I don't find that annoying at all. I guess I am not a whiny bitch. Can we whine about other things that actually matter. Don't like the lights? PLACE A STICKER OVER IT. Also, if possible, then program the device to send you a SMS text message if it's broken. There problem solved. Thanks you. Can we discuss a more important issue now? How to provide unpolluted water and adequate sanitation facilities cheaply to the poor people in the world?

Two pieces of tape (3, Funny)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118425)

To the author of the "Bill of Lights", I suggest two pieces of tape... one piece of electrical tape to go over the offending light, and one piece of duct tape to apply over your cake hole.

I personally LIKE my computer area looking like the Bat Cave. "Relaxen un watchen das BLINKENLIGHTS!"

Obligatory "Airplane II" quotes (2, Funny)

carlivar (119811) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118427)

Soldier: Those lights are blinking out in sequence.
Buck Murdock: I see.
Soldier: What should we do?
Buck Murdock: Make them blink in sequence.

Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Striker. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're *flashing* and they're *beeping*. I can't stand it anymore! They're *blinking* and *beeping* and *flashing*! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug! --Buck Murdock

Maybe those lights mean something (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118433)

You ever stop to think that maybe those lights mean something? That red light on your computer case shows you when the hard drive is doing something. When my computer slows down, I'll glance over to that light, If it's on, then I know it's waiting on the hard drive for something. That green light on your case shows you when the computer is on, so you don't accidentally push the power button when it's already on. Computers are so quiet right now, it's sometimes hard to tell if they are on or not. Those lights on your router can show you when a wire is disconnected, or when different computers are sending information. While I agree that some of the LEDs are unnecessary, I would say that I don't think there is many that I'd want to get rid of, and probably quite a few that I'd like to add.

Scrooge! (1)

thepacketmaster (574632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118445)

Obviously Mike Elgan has never seen the beauty during Christmas time of a data center with the lights out, only light by the soft glow of hundreds of LEDs. On a more constructive note, I find the LEDs helpful indicators and don't think that they're overused. Also, the more something is manufactured, the more the price comes down, so this might lead eventually to cheaper white LED lighting.

how about (3, Insightful)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118447)

... black paint? or tape? Poof, no more lights.

Nobody knows what Treo light is for? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118449)

"Annoyingly, nobody knows what that green light is for, and even worse, you can't turn it off."

It's true that the treo's indicator light is too bright, and it flashing in a dark room is annoying. It should definitely be turned down in future versions. But it does serve a useful and pretty obvious purpose, so I'm surprised that the author says "nobody knows what that green light is for".

It's simple. It blinks green when you're connected to the network. It blinks red when it can't get a signal. When you plug it in, it glows red until it is fully charged, at which point it glows green.

Oh, and it can be turned off: Turn off the phone function of the Treo. Not that useful, but easy, and if the problem is that it's blinking at night that may be acceptable.

Useless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118459)

What's so useless about being able to look at my cable router to see if it's indicating a connection to the outside world? What's so useless about being able to tell whether the lack of sound is because the speakers are turned off?

People like the author of TFA are the reason that we have to wade through several minutes of "is it plugged in?" type questions at the beginning of tech support calls.

Bill of Lights... (1)

TastyCakes (917232) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118469)

Wait a minute... Didn't they have one of these in China? And as I recall, it wasn't very effective.

I can't beleive it (1)

boynas (1102027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118473)

Is slashdot really concerned about this? Is it just me or slashdot news are becoming less relevant? Stuff that really matters... I have too many leds!

Bill of Lights nonsense (1)

mknewman (557587) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118493)

My Alienware laptop has the Alien head with 3 color LED eyes. You can make them rotate colors, or the way I have it, green means plugged in, red unplugged, and blue on standby.

I PAID for the privledge of having this. If you don't like the LEDs on a gadget, buy a different one. VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS!

Personally, my own beef is with with movies, I've stopped giving my $8.50 for movies that are remakes, sequels, rip offs, and such. Hollywood used to be creative, now it's just ripping off it's heritage. Look to Bollywood and China for good quality movies.

Then turn the bloody crap off! (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118497)

I have two LCD monitors, each of which has two indicator lights that flash even when the PC is turned off.

You know, those lights will stop flashing if you turn the monitors off as well....

Headsets? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118503)

Yea, it's not good enough to just talk on your headset in the theater... it has to fucking blink with that damn bright as hell blue light the entire time. I use to eat Milk-duds... now they're ammo. Cause I'm afraid of confrontation.
-AC

IR LEDs (3, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118527)

Why can't we just have IR leds on *everything*. Then if you want to see the status you could put some special glasses on to see them?

it is crazy! (1)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118557)

I went to buy a fan for my PC tower, and I couldn't find a single fan at multiple computer chains that didn't have a light on it. Austin TX USA.
Also their example machines they sell look so goofy with clear side panels and rainbow colored power supply fans.

great idea (5, Funny)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118579)

Fantatsic idea, how about we get rid of all those useless lights on routers, access points, modems and ethernet jacks.

also lets get rid of the lights used in power indicators.

And while were at it, why not get rid of the lights in clocks too?

I mean who needs a caps or num lock key light right? you'll know when you start typing anyway.

Cause i personally LOVE having no idea if things are working or not with annoying visualfeedback, ill just wait until i try to use them., then ill know!

Dont get me wrong... there are plenty of useless lights that are super annoying and very bright (expecially when in your bedroom during sleepy time). And some of them are unnecesary... but advocating removal of activity lights, power lights? does the guy hate people? A grudge against tech support?

I can only imagine tech support calls.
User: "help, my computers not workin"
tech: "ok, is your computer on?"
User: "i dunno, how can i tell?"
tech: "go under your desk and feel your case, if its not hot its probably off, but if its just been turned on you may need to look in the back of your machine and feel for a small wind from the fan, if its a fanless PC then put your ear against the machine and see if you hear a slight whir of a harddrive"
user: "whats a harddrive sound like?"
tech: .... (you dont know!?)
user: "oh wait the screen is on now!, but i have no internet"
tech: "do you see your router?" (switch, hub, modem, linksys, wireless card, etc...)
user: "its the thing my ether cable is connected to right"
tech: "yea, now spin it on the table, if it keeps spinning like a hard boiled egg, its working"
user: ....................

--VISION

Solution.... (1)

crt (44106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118585)

Solution: 1 bottle of white-out [amazon.com] ($1.21)

I Paid Extra for the Dell Gaming Laptop (1)

major.morgan (696734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118597)

The Dell XPS Gaming laptop has all of those extra lights by design - some of us bought it because of that. Anyways, there is BIOS and software control for those lights - you CAN disable them. If the whole idea of superfluous LED's bothers you - I might suggest you get the plain model instead.

Right, sure (1)

palladiate (1018086) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118599)

My new computer has a nice Lian Li case, Samsung 225BW monitor, blah, blah. It's a hotrod, and kinda designed for visual appeal. My case has precicely 1 LED, the power light. It's blue, and blinks when my computer is asleep. I have just 1 blue LED on my monitor. It's on the power button, and blinks when it's asleep, and turns off when it has no signal. These lights communicate to me, and let me know my computer's state when I sit down, and before I start poking buttons randomly or molesting my mouse like a moron.

My keyboard is an old logitech POS. I'm a tightwad, and haven't bought a matching keyboard or mouse. In fact, I use keyboards until they just completely die. I think I've owned 3 in the last 15 years. But my damn keyboard has -0- LEDs on it. I NEVER know if the stupid number pad or caps lock is on or off. Typing 120 WPM means I don't notice I'm yelling in WoW, or that those numbers I just typed in reality gave my cursor a spaz. And if you think you can remember if the NumLock is on, you'll be wrong 100% of the time. I know, from a year of experience. Thinking about it now, I may go tonight and drop that 50 bucks on a nice keyboard. Living without proper feedback is very, very annoying.

(I suppose being flooded by LEDs can be a problem too, but I've never noticed an overabundance of LEDs, so I'm calling BS about too many lights)

By a Mac (1)

whjwhj (243426) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118605)

Although my Mac system isn't completely devoid of lights, they are smaller and far fewer.

But all those LEDs serve a purpose (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118609)

The author listed a bunch of LEDs all of which indicate a status of the item in question. I can't fault the manufacturers for any of those. However, what I don't like is USELESS LEDs. My son has a custom computer case that has about half a dozen blue LEDs that do nothing but indicate that the power is on. He also has some kind of a blue light inside the case, one side of which someone has purposely built out of transparent material, instead of some kind of material which would shelter the innards of the computer from sunlight, and which would insulate other nearby electronics from the RFI generated inside the computer.

I like my LEDs!!! (2, Insightful)

deck (201035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118613)

I like to know the state that my keyboard is in. I like to know that the power to my monitor is on when blanked. I like to be able to see the activity of my switch so that if there is a problem I might get a preliminary diagnosis. You know, ALL of those blinky LEDs that I have do have a purpose. Like some have said, get out the electrical tape or the black marker pen and go for it if they so offend you. However, just because someone is bothered does not mean that everyone else is. This person is not the almighty, omnipotent, lord that he wants to be. Can it and go back in your hole in the ground.

Easy Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118617)

Have an option on the device to turn off LED indicators...
 
...oh and have a status light to show when this option is off.

you FAIL it.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19118623)

Are 4tt3nding a [goat.cx]

Design Fads (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118625)

I suspect the case of LEDpox that all gizmos seem to have today is mainly due to the relatively new commercialization of superbright compact LEDs. They are new! They are sorta cheap! They make things like, you know, all high tech like. Look back at the 70's when small LCDs really started to appear on the market. For some reason manufacturers thought that everything needed a small LCD clock embedded in it (probably even pacemakers). In the 50's it was making everything look aerodynamic, as if your toaster was getting ready to hit mach 2.

I LIke The LIghts (1)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118667)

A long time ago I worked in a recording studio. The studio payed extra for a bar of hundreds of LEDs to go across the top of the mixing board. They served no real purpose and cost quite a bit of money. I asked the head engineer why they spent so much money on useless lights. He replied: "It's a small price to pay for cool."

Curly Joe LED Prevention (1)

UP_Minstrel (70371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118675)

Create a gadget with two 3-4" prongs sticking out in a V shape. Whenever it registers the danger of an LED nearby it can poke you in the face while screaming "nyuk nyuk nyuk".

Now you have something more annoying to whinge about.

Treo Solution (4, Informative)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19118683)

If you have a treo, download LedOff [treoware.com] . It's donationware, and solves the LED annoyance.
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