So Earth Hour is over! There seemed to be almost no mention / enthusiasm here in London, but I diligently turned everything off for an hour. I also recorded how much power I used during that time (~1kWh +/-0.2) and I will compare it to a normal hour tonight to see how much energy was saved. That is not what I want to write about in this post. As I mentioned before, Google had turned the lights out on their home page in order to raise awareness of the Earth Hour project.
I appears this got the attention of their visitors, my one post on the topic caused 20% of my Google traffic referred over two days to be from related keywords. What surprised me however is the specific keywords being searched, let me give you a few examples:
“wtf is with black google”
“why is google black 29mar08″
“turn off black google”
“google black is pointless”
“turning google black”
“wtf black google”
…as well as several others. It never ceases to amaze me the things people search for, especially when the answer is right in-front of them.
Although the point can be made that (likely many of) these people were simply searching for more information about the initiative and it is hard to account for this. It should be noted that the specific search terms listed above only accounted for 26.3% of the traffic this topic received, but it still makes for an interesting insight into the way in which some people automatically perform a Google query when in doubt rather than reading the page.
Tonight when I went to Google.co.uk I was met by an unusual sight. It seems Google have jumped onto the Earth Hour initiative which seeks to turn off all lights for one hour around the world tomorrow. What started off as a social experiment last year in Australia has now turned into a global event for 2008! Its great to see a big company like Google taking a proactive stance on an issue like this.
Some of you may be familiar with the Google powered search engine Blackle (currently purports to have saved 534,242.576 Watt hours) which tried a similar scheme, claiming that PC monitors used slightly less power displaying black than white. It seemed like a nice idea, but in a moment of vanity I decided I preferred the valina white look (and also the issues of privacy and security came into play.) Interestingly enough, it turns out this was simply not correct with some evidence from recent studies that TFT monitors actually consume MORE power displaying black than white rendering the effort fairly pointless.
Despite of this, however, Google have changed their home page to this in an drive the message of climate change and it has done a great job so far of stopping people in their tracks online. So, I am going to go one step further, any and all electronic equipment I can turn off I will for one hour tomorrow. (And I am not just going make sure my laptop/PSP/<insert gadget here> is charged before hand either :D )
It could be kind of fun and will be nice to get away from the digital wireless world I seem to be so totally sucked into! :)
19 Hours and 30 Minutes to go…. (Anyone else think the counter looks like the one from Armageddon?!) Anyway, it starts in the UK at 8pm local time tomorrow.
Time for me to come clean :). The so called UFO I posted before was a ‘FO’ but the ‘U’ part was not strictly accurate. During my walk I noticed a balloon which presumably some child had lost flying quickly overhead. When I got home and looked at the photos I decided to perform an experiment. I wanted to see how quickly this ‘discovery’ of mine would be picked up by enthusiasts and circulated. As it turns out, barely an hour after my post links to my blog and ‘sighting’ started cropping up from the US / UK to Israel.
Perhaps this, ‘special interest group’ are more prone to scanning blogs/news wires for stories than other groups (The Lone Gunmen anyone?) but it made for an interesting experiment. I should now prove it was a hoax. The first photo I posted before was scaled down, if however, you zoom in on the original you will see a little bit of string attached to it (as seen below.)
I went for a long walk in the wilderness today and imagine my surprise when I saw this object moving at great speed above me. Please note, when I refer to UFO I don’t mean “I saw aliens”, I mean that I saw something that I could not identify :)
I was randomly came across a document on Microsoft’s website details hardware compliance for a new type of super key. Vista appears to have the option of allowing manufacturers to replace the plain boring Windows (super) key on the keyboard in favour of a more esthetically pleasing option.
“The Hardware Start Button, an update to the Windows Key for keyboards, is designed to be an attractive and discoverable actuator for launching the new Start menu and search experiences in the Windows Vista family of operating systems.”
The document is very detailed, even containing dimensions and material requirements for a variety of designs, finishing up with a proposed ‘Hero Hardware Button’.
“…is a transparent dome that contains a full-color Windows Start Button Logo and composes the surface of the Hero Start Button”
Given the trouble Microsoft’s hardware teams have evidently gone to, its surprising that we have not seen keyboard or other input devices with such ‘special’ Windows keys.
Popular mechanics has a great article about new airship designs. These lumbering behemoths of the past are being reintroduced (although in a radically redesigned form) in response to spiralling fuel costs.
Whilst passenger transport may not be a top priority, large machinery transport could greatly benefit from being transported whole rather than being disassembled, driven and reassembled at its destination. Other notable applications are for huge solar powered anti missile radar platforms to firefighting.