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Check it out Google has turned the lights out and gone black, but it is only for today it seems. Apparently it is all in a good cause: Earth Hour which invites people around the world to switch off their lights for an hour during the course of Saturday 29th March. That hour is between 8pm and 9pm in whatever your local time zone is.

"Given our company's commitment to environmental awareness and energy efficiency, we strongly support the Earth Hour campaign, and have darkened our homepage today to help spread awareness of what we hope will be a highly successful global event" a Google spokesperson said.

If you have been reading my blog long enough, and paying attention, then you might recall my mentioning something very similar here last year when a Google custom search site launched a black version of Google called Blackle which is still up and running and claims to have saved 535,178.192 Watt hours as a result. As a result of the background of a black Google using less energy to display on a monitor than a white one that is. A theory that has been dismissed by those who point out that it makes no difference on an LCD monitor, which most of use today. Well, most of us in the developed world that is. When it comes to less fortunate, less developed, less well off nations the CRT still rules supreme.

So why isn't Google going black permanently? Because, according to a spokesperson "it saves no energy" for the reasons explained above. Indeed, last year Google stated that "our own analysis as well as that of others shows that making the Google homepage black will not reduce energy consumption. To the contrary, on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage."

So perhaps you need to turn your lights off for a couple of hours instead, to make up the difference in carbon footprint terms for Google going black all day today then…

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by Mike_M
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It was an interesting sight to see google go black, if even for just the one hour.

I had heard of blackle.com but never actually used it myself, going with the myth that a black background would indeed draw less current would have been such a great thing, albeit as it turns out, it does not work that way on a LCD screen. :/

Interesting post,

--Tone

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Blackl does help the environment as it uses renewable energy. Their old website Blackle did not seem to deliver much savings and would have loads of adds on the results page.
The Black Google Blackl by being based on renewable energy is a good option as you can forget about the math to decide how much you save. Their search results were also improved on the new website, it now displays results with a Google layout.

Edited by Mike_M: no link provided on previous comment

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