J500 Media and the Environment


Green is the new Blackle by jmuselmann

Last week wasn’t particularly different from any other week. I was on the internet, somewhere in between doing work and wasting time, when I realized how much time I spend on a screen framed in a Web browser. I prefer not to dwell on that. But I did pause to acknowledge just how invariably ugly they’ve all become (Safari, Firefox, Explorer, et al. ). Light gray is apparently the industry standard, with big playschool-like back, refresh and home buttons. It’s insultingly novice, and how dare anyone question my extensive experience online. I was ready for something stylish, something chic, and something, perhaps, that was  dark.

So I tweeted my newfound desire, knowing that if anyone knew about some obscure solution, it would be fellow online junkies, the tweeters. And lo and behold, someone delivered. It was blackle.com, and it was bewildering at first. That’s because it’s using less mega wattage by skipping out on the blaring white screen part. So for all of you who have Google as your homepage, try “Blackling” something instead. It could just catch on, and if the juggernaut Google took note, it could really add up, both in reducing energy and money. No, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it is a nifty way to save energy (and perhaps your tired eyes). And who knows? Maybe it will catch on, maybe my dream browser is out there, and maybe we could one day choose to invert any website we come upon into a more seductive and eco-friendly format. Anything could happen—it’s the Internet.

This may seem small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but then again, so does everything else you try to do for the planet. And let’s face it, there are a lot of really bad ideas for going green that are put forth every day. It’s hard to imagine harmful and unintended consequences in changing our homepage.

So when you’re frustrated and wanting something different from what you already have, try looking to see if it’s offered in a shade of green. Or a really, really dark green.

—Jacob Muselmann

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6 Comments so far
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Interesting topic Jacob. I found it fascinating to read about! I had heard about how the black screen is safer for the environment, so it’s good to hear that it’s being put to good use.

My question is, are you going to continue to use this Blackle? Or did continue looking and find something better to suit your needs?
Interesting post!
-Jackie M.

Comment by jackiemcc

Thanks, Jackie. I initially wanted a better browser, so I’m still on the lookout for that. As far as using Blackle, convenience again is a determining factor. While it has earned a spot on my top navigation, I also have a white google search field built into my browser, which is there all of the time. It has some other uses, too.
—Jacob M.

Comment by jmuselmann

Jacob,

I love the topic of your post! I’m going to check it our right now. I am wondering if it made you change anything else… like your desktop? Right now I have a photo of my kitties on my desktop, but maybe I should change it. -Kristina B.

Comment by kristinabev

It has definitely got me thinking about a darker theme for my computer. Part of the issue is that I sort of like to glean a bright screen. It could also be more difficult to focus, but I think I could adjust. And maybe it’s just that it’s time for black kitties—no need to make any drastic sacrifices in cuteness.
—Jacob M.

Comment by jmuselmann

There is no difference in power consumption on an LCD monitor. The savings only holds true on an old CRT box, which I doubt many are now using. An LCD monitor uses a backlight, which is always on. The black screen is produced when the LCD pixels block the backlight. If you wish to save power, you’ll need to turn down your screen brightness.

Comment by Charles

I have been using Black Google Mobile at http://bGoog.com to get a better battery life on my smartphone and to reduce my data usage. On OLED based phones you can use over 4x less power having a black background instead of white! Blackle is not mobile friendly and does not work correctly on my phone as it has white search results. The 3.5 year old Google blog post you referenced is out of date and does not account for all the OLED based devices that are now in use. There is more information on this at http://bGoog.com/about

Comment by Frank




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