It's a fair cop. I'll put my hands up. And I'll never trust another round robin email again – which, if we're honest, is a pretty good life lesson to learn.
I say vain attempt, because on closer inspection it doesn't really work, or at least not with my flat screen monitor.
I know I should have checked this before posting, but in my defence it was the end of a long day, it all sounded very plausible, I didn't have a wattage meter handy and I was late for the pub.
It was alert reader Andy Smale who put me to shame by taking the effort to check out Blackle's claims, only to find that there was "no difference whatsoever in the power consumption between Google or Blackle" for both his monitor and base unit.
I did my own check this morning and he is right. My LCD monitor's power use hovers between 48.2 and 48.4W regardless of whether the screen is blacker than the night or whiter than the driven snow.
Some experts have argued that energy savings of two to three percent can be achieved on LCD monitors by moving to Blackle because extra power is required to activate the crystals in the LCD monitor when displaying white backgrounds. But my experience suggests that even this fractional energy saving could be a bit optimistic.
As a tech savvy colleague - who unfortunately wasn't around when I posted the original story - points out the vast majority of the energy used by LCD screens is consumed by the back light which will stay on regardless of the colour of the screen.
Where Blackle does score however is with CRT monitors. Another colleague's desk-hogging CRT monitor uses 105W when blasting out the Google home page, but its energy use drops to 87W when he switches to Blackle.
However, given CRT monitors are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps Blackle appears to be well intentioned, but ultimately pretty useless.
Screensavers on the other hand, they're definitely worth getting rid of.
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