Wednesday, 20 January 2010

the pull of the Dark Side...

There are lots of thing which seem to remain how they are because we get used to them and there is no real reason to change. Small things - things which we do not even notice.

One such constant in my life is my computer. I occasionally change the desktop image, do a crap clean, defrag and virus check every now and then, but mostly, it remains the same.

I turn on the Internet, and there is the glowing, pristine white of Google, ready to send me to the far flung corners of the Earth to find the solutions to my queries.

And so it has been for an age. Internet, Google, Search, Find. Happy Days.

But then a little report in 2009 tried to quantify the amount of energy every Google search used. The text cried tales of woe, relating every two Google searches to approximately 7g of carbon, or in plain old English, the amount used to boil a kettle for a cuppa.

As you can imagine, the report was littered with selected data, which was disputed left, right and centre by Google and its supporters. On the flip side, the anti Google brigade grabbed hold.

There did not seem, however, to be a definitive answer (it was dependant on searches, servers involved etc etc), and I stuck with Google. Better the devil you know, right?

But then someone introduced me to Blackle.

What I like about this search engine is that the science is simple. It does not baffle with figures, response times and the like. It is based on, and works on a very clear premise.

Black. The screen is predominantly black, with all text grey / white. Serene and slick looking, it is the sophisticated sister to the Google white and multicoloured logo.

So how does a colour save energy? Well, white or light screens use more energy to appear on your very screens than black or dark screens. And if you think how many PCs have a Google or other white based screen as a home page throughout the day, the little bits can really add up. I would love to say that the ecospot is dark blue because of this fact, but I am afraid it is pure coincidence.

The search itself is powered by Google, and for the purists, the above arguments about the big G will still be valid, but Blackle will save you (and ultimately the world) energy, purely on the screen colour. And for those who love numbers, a small counter on the home page tells you approximately how many Watt hours have been saved by Blackle.

So take a look, spread the word and test the inky waters.

Come and join me on the Dark Side...

1 comment: