Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Change Google's Background Color To Save Energy?

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the turned-off-until-further-notice dept.

519

i_like_spam writes "Recent commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created. However, other calculations by the Wall Street Journal suggest minimal energy savings."

cancel ×

519 comments

Oh, the irony.... (5, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007289)

A site that criticizes google for having a light background itself uses a light background.

Re:Oh, the irony.... (2, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007433)

I think that is hypocritical as opposed to ironic.
But it is a good point, that site decided to use a white background, why? Is there some simple asthetic reason why a site would choose white or lighter colours over dark?
Or is it even simpler than that and no one has actually stopped to think about that.

Re:Oh, the irony.... (3, Informative)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007635)

My informal research (if you want to call it that)

White background is more professional looking. It is also easier to read text in a large variety of colors.
Black background is more "cool" orientated - gaming sites, etc. It is easier on the eyes as long as the text color stands out and font size is large enough.

Re:Oh, the irony.... (0, Flamebait)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007797)

Black background with bright letters is NOT easier on the eyes. I prefer white background because I dont have burned white lines on my eyes after reading.

Re:Oh, the irony.... (1, Insightful)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007819)

Black background with bright letters is NOT easier on the eyes.
You're one of those freaks who used to like the xterms with yellow backgrounds and black foreground huh? The first thing I do when I get a new terminal is change all the backgrounds to black and the foreground to light grey or white... it IS easier on my eyes than a dark color on light backgrounds.

WHY IT GOTTA BE BLACK!??!! (2, Funny)

canipeal (1063334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007695)

Sorry, it's really late/early...I just couldn't resist.

actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007291)

Change Background Color To Save Energy?

that actually makes cents!

double entendre (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007295)

A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created.

Once Google has gone Black, they'll never go back. That's what I hear, anyway.

Re:double entendre (3, Funny)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007481)

Can't we go to the middle ground and let Google go Asian? Asians are way hotter than Whites and Blacks.

Of course, I wouldn't know how to implement that, but damn, they're Google, they're going to find a way!

On the other hand, we're talking about energy savings and global warming, so perhaps having a "hotter homepage" is going to be counterproductive.

Re:double entendre (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007497)

I think your .sig conflicts with your assessment of Asian women. But I dunno, my lunesta is kicking in and I'm starting to hallucinate.

DFC

Re:double entendre (0, Offtopic)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007517)

Euh, there are Asians with quite some boobies. Other than that, yes, okay, you busted me on inconsistency... So sue me... Some asians are hot without big boobies, but the whities and blackies can't go without though.

Backle is not a google company!!! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007605)

$ whois www.blackle.com
OrgName: GoDaddy.com, Inc.
OrgID: GODAD
Address: 14455 N Hayden Road
Address: Suite 226
City: Scottsdale
StateProv: AZ
PostalCode: 85260
Country: US

$ whois www.google.com
OrgName: Google Inc.
OrgID: GOGL
Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
City: Mountain View
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 94043
Country: US

Re:Backle is not a google company!!! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007649)

As if I didn't know....

Re:double entendre (5, Funny)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007779)

Can't we go to the middle ground and let Google go Asian?

Of course, I wouldn't know how to implement that


Umm... "body bgcolor=#FFFF00" ?

Re:double entendre (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007787)

Holy cow! A Google employee giving the solution right here. Are you sure you aren't violating some NDA?

Blackle? (1)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007301)

Why is it called "Blackle" instead of "Blaggle" or "Bloogle"? Blackle sounds like the name of a Rice Krispies dude. Snap, Blackle and Pop. I can hear my Google now.

Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007385)

"Blackle" sounds like "Black Hole".

Re:Blackle? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007479)

Bloogle would probably be...blue?

Black background? (4, Insightful)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007307)

I wonder how much of the 'energy saved' will be consumed by all those machines they use in the hospital for people who get eye problems from staring at white/grey on black text.

Also, You'd think changing your desktop background to solid black would make more of a difference then just changing google. I spent at most 10 minutes a day with the Google page open. And it's not that there's no other site that uses a white background. How much energy do flashing ads consume btw?

Re:Black background? (1)

mdenham (747985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007361)

I wonder how much of the 'energy saved' will be consumed by all those machines they use in the hospital for people who get eye problems from staring at white/grey on black text.
I don't know. How many people were hospitalized for eye problems over the course of using DOS and pre-X *nix?

Re:Black background? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007439)

How many people were hospitalized for eye problems over the course of using DOS and pre-X *nix?

I dunno, but a hell of a lot of those people wear glasses.

Re:Black background? (1)

hatchet (528688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007629)

Wearing glasses is the cause, not the effect...
You see... nerdy young boys with glasses didn't get socially accepted, so they started using computers. That's why many computer geeks wear glasses.

Re:Black background? (1)

BeardsmoreA (951706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007395)

And how many minutes a day do you spend staring at your desktop background?

Re:Black background? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007421)

I've changed all my desktop colours to be light text on a dark background, I find it much kinder to my eyes. Last time I investigated, light-on-dark wasn't worse for eyes than dark-on-light, and some web sites said it was better. YMMV!

Energy is only saved if you're using a CRT anyway.

Re:Black background? (5, Interesting)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007443)

From what I remember reading in some research is that a light grey text on a black background actually produces one of the best readable displays for your eyes.

Anyway, interesting read: http://www.writer2001.com/colwebcontrast.htm [writer2001.com]

White on black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007315)

text not only sounds racy but is also legitimately, IIRC, easier to read. So, like, thanks Blackle.

Lynx = way to go (1)

fr4nk (1077037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007577)

My lynx already displays a black background on google. So now I'm not only saving energy, but my eyes too!

Re:Lynx = way to go (1)

Wolf von Niflheim (945658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007723)


I'm also a fan of console text based apps, but I do find lynx to be a bit lacking for comfortably browsing the web. I tried getting into using it, but for me it really takes away some of the "web browsing experience".

Only applicable for CRTs (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007319)

TFT backlights are still on even if entire page is white text on black... they only go off when energy savings kick in and turn the display off.

Re:Only applicable for CRTs (0)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007425)

Correct. There is energy saving only with CRT which is a dieing breed anyway.

Re:Only applicable for CRTs (4, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007679)

Apparently people who can spell correctly are also a dying breed.

Mod me down and prove me right.

OLEDs? (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007619)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't OLEDs use less power with less white? I think those are supposed to spit out light directly from the pixels, which I assume means black would not be powered at all. In a decade or two, those will actually replace LCDs.

I think it would reduce power in plasma screens too. But, those aren't used much for computers.

Re:OLEDs? (3, Interesting)

tom17 (659054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007671)

In a decade or two it will probably all be e-ink based so there will be no difference. Except it would need to be illuminated in the dark.

Unless they make a hybrid with oled in the dark and e-ink in the light. Then a light background would waste electricity at night and strain your eyes more.

So have a dark background at night and a light background during the day like reading paper, that's it, web pages that adjust their display depending upon your surroundings.

Maybe I should have kept that to myself...

silly (4, Insightful)

Gabest (852807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007325)

lcds have a backlight, it only covers the light for black, it won't save any energy.

Re:silly (2, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007575)

No, indeed, this will bring lots of extra costs as well. The black background will push many, many slashdotters into the abyss of depression. To counter this, they will flee into light therapy and burn up many gigawatts of healthy light.

Re:silly (1, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007803)

lcds have a backlight, it only covers the light for black, it won't save any energy.

Wow, the only actual "informative" comment so far, and only at a +4? Sad...

Playing Devil's Advocate, though, I had an idea - As you point out, Blackle will result in no real savings on LCD monitors; But the decreased light output does raise the temperature of the monitor, thus very slightly increasing your AC demands (in the summer). Okay, that one kinda goes out on a limb. For a more practical problem, while a nice large LCD showing a screen of mostly light colors will effectively illuminate my work area, a black screen does not; as a result, I would need to turn the overhead light on.


So, Blackle will do more to waste energy than save it.

Re:silly (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007869)

Actually, it takes MORE energy for a liquid crystal to BLOCK light than it does to let it pass completely, thus for an LCD, black is -SLIGHTLY- less energy efficient than white.

Slashdotters, take notice (5, Funny)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007329)

PLEASE USE BOLD AND UPPERCASE IN YOUR COMMENTS. A +5 COMMENT IN BOLD AND UPPERCASE SAVES 5 DONKEY-FORTHNIGHTS OF THE ENERGY

This is pretty much nonsense (4, Insightful)

grahamtriggs (572707) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007331)

The vast majority of people run LCD monitors these days. For the most part they run with a backlight of constant brightness - so there is no energy saving with a black screen.

Only if the LCD detects a dark screen, and adaptively lowers the backlight, will there be any energy saving.

Re:This is pretty much nonsense (1)

insecuritiez (606865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007355)

Thank you. I was going to point this out -- at least one person in this world isn't an idiot. I bet if they got rid of images the lowered CPU cycles not processing images would save a few baby whales or a jungle or some stupid shit like that.

Re:This is pretty much nonsense (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007405)

You Fool! This is SLASHDOT!

There is NO ROOM FOR COMMON SENSE HERE!

This public service announcement brought to you by wild badger in your pants.

Ok, how about (2, Funny)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007409)

The vast majority of people run LCD monitors these days. For the most part they run with a backlight of constant brightness - so there is no energy saving with a black screen.
Poor excuse for not saving teh energy. Just use bloogle AND switch to CRT. Or else the whales will die!

Re:This is pretty much nonsense (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007567)

The vast majority of people run LCD monitors these days.

No they don't. The majority of monitors sold surely, but monitors last for many years. Mine is over 10 years old, and has survived three or four PCs. There are a lot of old systems and even older monitors in use.

Re:This is pretty much nonsense (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007707)

The vast majority of people run LCD monitors these days.
You got figures for that confident statement? Not just most, not just a majority, but a "vast majority"?

While it's the case that new computer systems tend to be LCD, most existing computers out there are over a couple of years old and far more likely to be CRT.

No savings on LCD:s (3, Insightful)

Depili (749436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007333)

As TFT displays seem to be more common than CRT:s nowadays, the energy savings are minimal to non-existent, as the TFT backlight won't get turned off...

Re:No savings on LCD:s (4, Interesting)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007353)

In fact don't TFTs use marginally more energy to display black?

Re:No savings on LCD:s (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007417)

I believe so because to display white the crystals arent twisted.

Depends on the kind (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007495)

TN+Film ones, by far the most common, do. They have to be energised to go black, their no power state is open which is why the pixels fail to white. VA (P-MVA, S-PVA and so on) and IPS (S-IPS and such) don't because their no power state is black and have to be energised to open and thus fail to black.

Regardless the energy used on the panels isn't much in comparison to the backlight. That's why companies toy with reflective displays (like the old Game Boy Advances). It does really well for battery life when there's not a backlight. That's what sucks the energy.

Not all screens work like that. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007337)

Unfortunately I'm using a laptop and so in order to see the weak grey text on the black screen I have to crank up my screen's brightness.

Anyone got a blank bit of envelope so we can do another quick bit of math?

Are we sure this helps? (4, Insightful)

ddt (14627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007343)

Most computers these days use LCD screens, and most LCD's use flourescent tubes as a backlight, which is what creates whiteness. If you put your ear really close to your screen, it's also what creates a faint hum. Those tubes draw most of the power on a display, and they don't turn off just because the screen goes black.

I don't think changing the colour to white changes the power draw significantly. It just means more of the flourescent tube light is passing through the screen.

116,144.654 Watt hours saved? (1)

DariaM84 (705388) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007345)

Somehow I suspect 116,144.654 is a bit overblown, and the About section amused me because obviously setting Blackle to your homepage only saves energy if you have Google for your homepage in the first place. I actually use mycatholic.com for my homepage, and you can just customize the colors right there. Also, wouldn't a black Google be really hard on low-vision uses? I think I'd get a headache staring at this all day.

Re:116,144.654 Watt hours saved? (1)

permaculture (567540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007441)

"setting Blackle to your homepage only saves energy if you have Google for your homepage in the first place"

Can you give examples of possible home pages that are darker than Blackle? They're the ones where you wouldn't save energy when swapping over to Blackle.

Re:116,144.654 Watt hours saved? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007475)

You're asking how much more black it could be?

It's all about priorities (5, Insightful)

ben there... (946946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007553)

Somehow I suspect 116,144.654 is a bit overblown, and the About section amused me because obviously setting Blackle to your homepage only saves energy if you have Google for your homepage in the first place.

Yeah, but setting blackle.com as your homepage earns blackle.com a whole lot of money from Google Custom Search.

How can you help?

We encourage you to set Blackle as your home page. This way every time you load your Internet browser you will save a little bit of energy. Remember every bit counts! You will also be reminded about the need to save energy each time you see the Blackle page load.

Help us spread the word about Blackle by telling your friends and family to set it as their home page. If you have a blog then give us a mention. Or put the following text in your email signature: "Blackle.com - Saving energy one search at a time".

Think about how much energy we would have saved if we all didn't read this spamvertising.

Not true at all (5, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007347)

All LCD screens get their light from a single backlight. When the display is on, the backlight is on. Always.

The LCD crystals in the screen act as tiny shutters, and can open or close to allow that light through, or keep it out. Although these shutters take a small amount of energy to open and close, it's insignificant compared to the amount of energy it takes to power the backlight.

A commenter in this thread [blogspot.com] commented that an Apple 17" display attached to a lab supply is measured as drawing 0.6W less when displaying a white screen than when displaying a black one.

CRT screens probably do draw less power when displaying a black screen, but on the whole they still draw considerably more power than an LCD under any circumstance. On the same note, CRT users may find that the white-on-black scheme is easier on their eyes -- I still have a CRT in my cube at work, and setting my editor to the white-on-black scheme is definitely more legible and less stressful on my eyes. (I still find it more legible on LCDs, although eye strain isn't an issue at all)

I don't get it... CowboyNeal should know better than this. Is he intentionally seeding flamebait?

How the hell would this work? (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007351)

It's not like it takes any less power to transfer the bits or anything like that, so they must be talking displays. Ok, fine, maybe (and I do emphasize maybe) this would work if we were all on CRTs but we aren't. LCDs are dominant these days. Well, their backlights are always on. They work by blocking light, not by emitting it. So their power consumption is constant, regardless of what the panel is doing.

To me this jsut sounds like more BS "Get more from less!" crap from people who probably aren't willing to make the simple changes that will actually, really make a difference.

Look, if you want to use less energy have your computer turn off monitor, disks, and suspend sooner, replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs (there are good full spectrum ones out there that give nice light), get a programmable thermostat and add some weatherstripping around doors and windows. It's simple, cheap and will do way more than crap like this.

LCDs (3, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007357)

Most new monitors are LCDS. LCD's are generally backlit and black is achieved by having all the pixels opaque. So wouldn't black cause a higher power usage? or just break even?

Re:LCDs (1)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007399)

AFAIK, dark is the active state of the (sub)pixels, so a black screen would actually draw more power than a white one, not to mention that the filtering occurring on dark pixels means the panel heats up and breaks earlier.

The crackpot idea would indeed work if we were all using plasma screens which really draw a lot of power for lit areas.

Re:LCDs (1)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007715)

I don't think so. Dark is when crystals are not aligned (or randomly aligned), which is the powerless state. When a current is applied, crystals are aligned and let most of the light go through. I may be wrong, but this is what I remembered.

Re:LCDs (1)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007767)

I have to amend what I just wrote. You are right: the relaxed phase is actually twisted, which allows light to pass though a polarising filter. Therefore, black consumes more power on LCD... Since LCD displays are now a majority, the idea of a black background is simply stupid.
Anyway, I think there is still more technological advances to be done at the level of power supplies instead of focusing on the background of the pages.

What saved power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007371)

Wouldn't the majority of displays be LCDs?

LCDs use more power to display dark than light colours.

The backlight runs at a nearly constant level (because it has relative lag in comparison to the pixels), the LCD matrix blocks light from the backlight. To block the light (dark pixel) you need to apply a higher voltage, then a light pixel. You'd be better off telling everyone to turn down the brightness setting on their LCDs, as most of these are set from the factory far too high.

Re:What saved power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007451)

Yes and no.

Yes if your LCD has a static contrast ratio.

However, if your LCD uses dynamic contrast, then it is possible for the display to undervolt the backlight, which would use less power. How well this works is highly device dependent. In order for it to use less power, it must clip brighter areas in the screen; as the brightest pixel is limited by the backlight intensity minus losses through the LCD. However you could save power just as well by using black text on light-gray background, as the backlight can dim to the light-gray colour). eg: light gray = 75% intensity ans white = 100% intensity, your backlight could run at 75% on the light-gray background (assuming losses are constant)

For you to save power with dynamic contrast, you must trade off high contrast (readability) vs lower contrast (power saving). Even then, the amount of power saved is negligable compared to just advising users not to set their LCDs to max brightness.

Two points (1)

trifish (826353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007373)

1) That would maybe work if CRT monitors weren't a minority. Even if an LCD displays displays a screen consisting entirely of black-color pixels, the power consumption is the same as if they were white.

2) This is obvious slashvertisment. He Slashdotted his Google custom search and he gets ~75% of the that the Google AdWords ads displayed next to the search results will earn.

grey on black action (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007379)

In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created.
Agh. My eyes. The goggles they do nothing. How much will be spent in eye surgery and headache remedies? What were they thinking? Text on black backgrounds can be quite readable, but not with grey skeletal text.

Works for newest TFTs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007383)

Black background color can lower power consumption in some cases:
  1. Some new TFT displays have LED background illumination, black background color would surely help on those. I think it'll become popular especially on laptops in the near future.
  2. I believe also OLEDs consume less power when black than white, although, it still remains to be seen if it ever becomes popular.
  3. And of course those old glowin' CRTs

Bring back the BLINK tag... (5, Funny)

Octopus (19153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007387)

It will provide at least 50% in power savings.

Then again, that extra money might get taken up in seizure meds.

Mod parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007527)

-1, Evil

A Greener Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007407)


Apple.com [apple.com]

Now take THAT some environmental organization!

or use http://live.com/ or http://ixquick.com/ (1)

Tech.Luver (1130091) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007413)

or use alternatives like http://live.com/ [live.com] / http://ixquick.com/ [ixquick.com] And its abt time to dump evil google anyway

You're retarded (1)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007445)

You realise Live has more or less the same amount of white as Google, don't you?

Re:or use http://live.com/ or http://ixquick.com/ (1)

KoldKompress (1034414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007535)

I personally use http://www.ninja.net./ [www.ninja.net]

It's a black google, with no advertising. Plus it sounds way cooler! Ninja! Come on folks, that's right up there with Pirates.

Oh puhlease! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007423)

Can I have free advertising for a lame google wrapper too?
Pretty puhleease with candy..

PS: This is news for nerds? Damn, I'm so ashamed to be one in that case.

OLED (4, Insightful)

aembleton (324527) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007431)

I guess this could work with future OLED displays that only emit light on each pixel if it is needed, so a black background would require minimal energy. However, my current Samsung TFT monitor draws 40W whether it is on or off which I believe is due to the power transformer that it uses. Even with alternative displays, energy saving might not occur due to these power transformers.

Re:OLED (1)

DohnJoe (900898) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007763)

my current Samsung TFT monitor draws 40W whether it is on or off
that's an amazing monitor you've got there.

Black Google? (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007449)

As long as the text is amber I'm cool with that. Maybe if they replaced the Google logo with the old Zenith logo and made it so that you could press ctrl+alt+ins and it would popup with a debugger...

The REAL culprit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007463)

is wasted characters. This comment was made entirely from characters cut from other documents. You can help the environment by cut and pasting characters rather than deleting and recreating them.

LCD (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007469)

He mentions the fact that it's only CRT monitors in the article, I guess even a short blog entry is too long to read these days. Why do these stories get reported so much? I see them all the time, I think the media just thinks "oo, big numbers, that'll impress people". From 5 minutes of googling, nergy consumption in the US alone is something like 10e19J/year. 750MwHrs is ~3e12J, barely even a rounding error. Why not report on real energy savings? (hope the maths is right, it's early here still)

I prefer black backgrounds (1)

nido (102070) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007471)

Tried inverting the default colors in Firefox a while back - black background, white text, dark skins, etc. I wanted to reduce the strain on my eyes from reading the screen with the room lights off. I was somewhat successful - with certain sites. Other sites didn't respond well to my browser alterations, and I eventually gave up. If that computer was a mac I'd've tried Black Light [michelf.com] , but, alas...

Black backgrounds are easier to read - white backgrounds emit a lot of photons, whereas black backgrounds with white/gray/yellow text emit photons at a rate orders of magnitude lower.

I like reading the about page on Blackle.com - except for the light grey bars above and below make it a strain. Perhaps I should find that black skin again...

Re:I prefer black backgrounds (1)

gomoX (618462) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007601)

Black backgrounds are easier to read - white backgrounds emit a lot of photons, whereas black backgrounds with white/gray/yellow text emit photons at a rate orders of magnitude lower.

Ah! I knew it! Those stinky photons, making my fonts so hard to read!! I'll read books in the dark from now on.

Agreed... I don't stare into lightbulbs normally.. (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007675)

Yeah, I actually prefer light text on dark backgrounds too.

Actually, more precisely, I don't like staring into light bulbs much, and similarly, I don't like staring at screens that are outputting a similar quantity of lumens at me. IIRC, my old 19 inch CRT produced about as much light as a 100 watt light bulb, and it sat about two feet from my face for hours on end.

Yes, I did try messing with color schemes in Windows several years ago, but inevitably legibility issues show up with some random application or another. The whole system is based on the assumption of black text on white backgrounds now.

I'm largely guessing here, but I think we can blame Apple for this. Back when I was in elementary school and DOS was the only thing out there, white text on black was the standard. But bright screens are eye-catching -- just the thing to give a brand spanking new Mac OS GUI an extra marketing edge.

Re:I prefer black backgrounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007861)

Tried inverting the default colors in Firefox a while back - black background, white text, dark skins, etc. I wanted to reduce the strain on my eyes from reading the screen with the room lights off.
I have found the best for a really dark environment is red text (not too bright) on black background. Also, make sure the font is plenty big and easy to make out.

Just a money-making scam (1)

WibbleOnMars (1129233) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007473)

How did this money making scam make it to slashdot??? This is just some guy using Google's adsense to provide search results, and probably make a load of cash out of it. The black colour/power saving thing is just a way of getting you to visit; the whole point here is that once you start using this site as your search engine, you'll start clicking the paid ads, and the owner will start making money (and probably a *lot* of money, given how many times I've seen it mentioned), from a site that is basically nothing more than a single, very simple HTML page, with a google search box on it. So, to reiterate: The email that is doing the rounds advertising this site contains several lies: 1) It claims that Google has set the site up to show the power savings; this is not true, it's just some guy with an adsense account. 2) It claims the search result page is the same as normal google; this is not true, it's the same as a normal adsense search results page, but not the same as normal google, because it's laid out differently, and doesn't have links to things like google images. 3) It claims a noticeable power saving from using it; this is not really true either, because it only really applies to CRT monitors, and even then you'd only really notice it with older CRTs, so it's irrelevant for most of us.

+1, sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007775)

Thankyou.

The only reason this has been posted is because the editor knows that people will read the headline and think "That's retarded. I must post something to say so." Do the editors have any standards at all? This isn't just retarded, it's a scam.

Save energy by switching off your monitor (4, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007477)

and don't use a fancy scrensaver, just a blank screen.

LCD vs CRT (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007487)

This has been covered before.
LCD panels work by blocking light from the backlight. Dark colors take more power.
CRT monitors would save a bit of power by not needing to fire the electron gun for black pixels.
Seeing that most people use LCD panels nowadays, I'd say that the proposal would do as much harm as good!

We all know what's _actually_ going on here (1, Funny)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007501)

Look, we're all hemming and hawing around the real issue. You want to see what the real agenda of the Blackle is? Everywhere they talk about black and white "backgrounds", think black and white "people".

That's right, the Blackle crew is seeking to replace all white people with black people. It's a well known fact that black people's internal batteries consume less power than those that power white people, and the dark tone of their skin means that they retain more of the sunlight that all humans need to enable the process of photosynthesis. Not only that, but as any student of physics knows, playing basketball and generally being cool by nature decrease the amount of entropy in the universe. That's right, black people violate the laws of thermodynamics via being hip and talking jive.

Also compare the lifestyles of each group. As an attempt to cover up their small penises, white people buy a lot of high tech gadgetry, creating, in essence, a proxy-dong out of cell phones, laptops, PDA's, Italian cars, etc... The preening of white people accounts for 85% of the world's energy consumption. Proven fact. What's the most extravagant black peacock display? Rims? They spin all by themselves! They're fucking perpetual motion machines! Black people have perpetual motion machines on their goddamn impalas. Does your iPhone have a fucking perpetual motion machine? No it doesn't, because Steve Jobs is white, and the knowledge of perpetual motion is forbidden to whites by the god Ogun. So suck it.

Look, mock me if you want, but I've seen this kind of thing before. Sure, you environmentalists are thinking "Well, if eradicating all people of my skin tone is what it takes to save mother earth, then I guess that I'll have to suck it up and take it." Well, to paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemöller, first they came for the whites, and you did nothing. Then they came for the kitties, and you did nothing. Then they came for the sort of caramel colored guys, but not the South Americans, just the kind of half-white/half black guys. Then they came for the old blues guitarist black guys from Alabama. And then they'll come for you. Is it really worth it?

I, for one, will fight against Blackle's attempt to eliminate all white people. It's an injustice,and must be stopped!

White is preferable on TFTs (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007513)

White takes less energy than black on TFTs, so Google is already helping TFT owners save energy :) However, even if the CRT energy savings are significant, they would be nothing compared to the high medical costs of people with damaged eyesight from trying to discern little white letters on black background, and from back problems (for bending towards to be able to discern the white letters) :) The est you can do to save energy is to replace all your CRTs with TFTs, which is what I've done as well. TFTs don't consume much power, my 24" TFT takes only 150W and if it was a CRT it would consume much more. However, I think the main offender in this regard are businesses that continue giving their employees old CRTs and allow office lights and PCs to be on when not needed. The average corporation is orders of magnitude more energy inefficient than the average consumer, so I think that environmental advice should be primarily targeted towards companies. Actually most energy inefficient office environments do have an environmental policy but never implement it. I switch off devices when I don't need them, but I see banks, offices, and other businesses leaving their lights, computers, and screens on even during the night. It makes one wonder whether they enjoy paying high electricity bills.

We know this is pure bullshit? Yes? We Do? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007529)

Just once more confirming that if the article's title ends with a "?", it's purified bullshit streaming down your internet connection.

And that wastes so much energy :(

I have my desktop theme set to white on black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007595)

Which is great except, y'know most web designers are retards. The w3C CSS validator will even tell you that if you set one, you must set both background and foreground color. What generally happens is that designers set the background to white and assume text color is set to black, which is a stupid assumption.

This is all covered in the opening chapters of any good CSS (or even HTML) reference text, anybody working in the field should already know this stuff.

Back on topic; if you set your theme to white on black to save your eyes or energy, then the only way you'll be reading many sites (hello Apple) is by highlighting the text. Thank you to all the incompetent web devs out there, I wouldn't pay you 1/10th of what you earn now; you clueless fucking monkeys. Pfft!

Re:I have my desktop theme set to white on black (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007849)

wth are you talking about?

It's amusing (1)

cyberworm (710231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007597)

I'd bet that not hosting that site in the first place, wastes a lot more energy than every slashdotter with a CRT looking at Google all day.

In other news ... Eliminating DRM Saves Energy (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007613)

Article is basically B.S., but a small change in the computer realm that definitely would save energy is eliminating DRM.

Ron

competitor (1)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007641)

www.UtterBlackle.se it uses black text aswell for even more savings.

white background (CRT) = staring at light bulb (1)

Wolf von Niflheim (945658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007655)


I must say I find the idea of white on black much better for screen time than black on white. I know CRTs are steadily being replaced by LCDs but a lot of people (including myself) still work with CRTs and there was a time that everyone worked with a CRT.

I always found this obsession with black on white configurations strange, it really is bad for the eyes and can cause several other problems (headaches and difficulty getting to sleep at night for instance) this is one of the reasons, or so I heard, that CRTs are being replaced in the workplace.

When you have a CRT turn off the lights and set your browser to google or start a wordprocessor, the room will be lit up entirely. Imagine yourself staring at that thing hours on end, it's like staring at a light bulb for hours. Nobody would stare at a light bulb for that long, but nobody seems to see a problem in staring at a white screen all day. I had headache problems myself with my CRT before I configured my desktop and applications to be as dark as possible, this really helped and I slept better at night.

Probably all of this has more to do with the light intensity of a CRT compared to a LCD (I remember seeing game images when closing my eyes after a long game session on a CRT as if they where burned on my retinas) than with white backgrounds. But I do find that even on an LCD I prefer black and dark colors on my desktop, since it seems to put less strain on my eyes. And because I (and I guess most people using this site) get about 10 hours or more of screen time each day, it really does matter in the long run.

As for the energy saving thing, well energy saving is so hyped right now that everyone seems to want a piece of the action. As pointed out here, I'm also not convinced this black google thing actually saves that much energy. Anyway, I did put the black google as my new start page, just because I like black backgrounds :-)

Feel the (5, Funny)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007705)

POWER saving of the darkside...

Skywalker: pardon?!

A pittance (2, Insightful)

DrHyde (134602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007721)

Even if it did save 750MWh a year, so what? If you assume that on average a home uses 1kW an hour (which when you consider all of the slashdolt readers' computers being left on all the time seems like an underestimate) then that's 8.7MWh a year, or just over 1% of that 750MWh, so you're saving at most the energy output of just 100 homes. That miniscule saving comes at the expense of making the pages *much* harder to read. If you want to save energy, then how about making US cars to the same efficiency standards as European cars.

Use Lynx and ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007747)

..save the planet!!!!!!

This is *nonsense*... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007757)

The guy has two figures that he's bandying about with no sources at all. A couple of people have actually tested the idea, and found that it makes at best a tiny difference whether the screen is white or black. My 19" Trinitron draws 65W regardless of screen colour.

Bet his blog ads are doing well, though.

text console is much more efficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20007855)

using text console instead of gui saves a lot more energy than some color fiddling .... just think of the energy saved by the graphics card and the bus transfer alone

This is nonsense.... (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20007863)

Fro an LCD, there weill be exactly no savings at all. The backlight is on, whether the pixels are or not. The rest of the LCD does not consume a significant amount of power.

For old-fashiones CRTs, there might be a tiny bit of savings, but one look at the datasheed to the final amplifier for the erelctron beams shows that the total electron beam power is relatively small. Less then 10W. Switching the CRT to an LCD saves much, much more power.

Incidentially, your grapgics card does not care about what pixels it renders.

My conclusion is that this idea was dreamed up by people that have zero clue about how technology works.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...