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It’s OK to Blackout August 14, 2007

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.

Here’s an interesting instance of Subtraction; Blackle.  In the natural world, white objects reflect all the parts of the visible light spectrum, while black objects reflect squat. Removing the white background from the Google search page doesn’t exactly scream “effective search engine,” especially when it is to be replaced by its non-reflective counterpart. 

However, in the world of monitor displays, black is the new white.  By subtracting the white background, Google search becomes more energy efficient.  According to the scientific minds that be, “a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen.” Roberson et al, 2002

While some naysayers have argued that the energy saved by darker displays is insignificant, Heap Media, the creative force behind Blackle, makes a good point;

“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.”

Blackle can also reminds us that even mighty Google Search can be improved through a little non-intuitive inventive thinking. 



1. sephon - September 1, 2007

For flat-panel LCDs, the light source is the backlight, and the LCD simply blocks/filters out the light. This idea is about five or ten years too late: in the days of CRT displays it would have been great.

2. Biodegradable Webpages « Co-render.com - October 2, 2007

[…] We have previously posted about the internet as a way to share information about simple ways of minimizing human impact on the environment.  However, we are beginning to wonder if the whole “eco-footprint” idea has become more commercial than conservation oriented.  Exhibit A: disposableWebPage.com. […]

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