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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Blackle Search

I was working with another web nut recently and he alerted me to an alternative to search engine, powered by "Google Custom Search", called "Blackle". When you visit the site http://www.blackle.com/ you are presented with the standard Google layout, only the background is totally black. The reason behind the black background is it attempts to save energy every time you conduct a search. The reason it works is because by default your screen colour is black as an alternative to predominantly white backgrounds that website designers tend to favour. The site also reminds you every time that you use it the amount of energy saved to date, as well as reminding you that every bit of energy saved counts.

I understand that the reason that the majority of website backgrounds are white, is because when you print a page, it would obviously consume allot of printer ink if you had to print black pages with while text on them, rather than a white background with black text, so obviously this theory could not be used on a large amount of websites. However in the case of a search engine why not use a black background, as it is very rare that you want to print your search results out.

The theory that "Blackle" is based on is that "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's colour settings and desktop graphics, as well as the colour and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002.

Because of the popularity of Google, if Google actually replaced the background of their search engine with a black background we would save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year. These figures are taken from a blog post titled "Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year".

The website was create by an Australian business called "Heap Media", who have created a number of other online products which are worth taking a look at. One of my other favourites is "Anonomi" which basically replaces an email address, on a "Contact Us" page, with a contact form that hides your contact email address. This prevent those spam bots from collecting you email address and can reduce the amount of spam you receive, by preventing your email address to getting on one of those nasty email lists.

There are also some interesting sites related to saving energy if you are interested in the subject, with one of the most popular blogs being http://treehugger.com/.

If anyone out there has any other interesting energy saving websites they would like alert readers off, please add as a comment to this post with a link as it would be greatly appreciated, because this is a topic I am quite interested in.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:09 pm

    great idea from Heap Media. I am going to set this site as my home page now as I love Google, it saves electricity and my favorite colour is black..

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  2. energy saver2:33 pm

    I like using the Carbon Neutral Search Engine it uses Google Custom Search but offsets a minimum of 100g of CO2 per search

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  3. I prefer using Darkoogle http://www.darkoogle.com another black Google and is available in over 40 countries http://www.darkoogle.com/international

    Best of all its got the 'similar page' option in the result page like the normal white Google. I use that a lot.

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  4. Anonymous2:16 pm

    I prefer http://www.keepglobe.com over Blackle. They donate 50% of revenue to a green cause and it is hosted on a server that is powered by wind and sun energy. They also have an image search. Black search engines do not save energy as they claim and also my eyes twitch after seeing that black background.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Blackle searches are powered by Google Custom Search. Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black.

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  6. The principle behind Blackle is based on the fact that the display of different colors consumes different amounts of energy on computer monitors. The creators of Blackle cite a 2002 study from Roberson, who tested a variety of CRT and LCD monitors and found that an all black screen consumed less energy than an all white screen on all of them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The principle behind Blackle is based on the fact that the display of different colors consumes different amounts of energy on computer monitors.The creators of Blackle cite a 2002 study from Roberson, who tested a variety of CRT and LCD monitors and found that an all black screen consumed less energy than an all white screen on all of them.

    The creators of Blackle state that the idea behind the site came from a blog, which estimated that a black Google would save 750 megawatt-hours a year. A megawatt-hour is the equivalent of ten thousand 100 watt light bulbs burning continuously for 1 hour. On the Blackle homepage, the creators of Blackle provide a count of the number of watt-hours that they claim the users of Blackle have collectively saved

    ReplyDelete
  8. Blackle is an intriguing site that aims to save energy simply by going black. Here's a better explanation:

    "Blackle was created by Heap Media to remind us all of the need to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy. Blackle searches are powered by Google Custom Search.

    Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002

    We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy.

    In other words, it's Google search with a black screen instead of a white one. Try it today; I quite liked it (plus, I was saving energy!).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tips! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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