Sunday, March 30, 2008

How to turn off Google's lights forever

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Yesterday Google "turned off" the lights on Google's homepage across various domains as a gesture to raise awareness of a worldwide energy conservation effort called Earth Hour. The Earth Hour event first took place on March 31, 2007 in Sydney, when over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses switched off their lights leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. The Earth Hour 2008 took place yesterday (March 29) and was reportedly participated by 24 cities across the globe by switching off their lights at 8:00PM local time for one hour. Google took part in their own way by turning their homepage black.

Last year a blogger estimated that a black Google could save 750 Megawatt-hours of energy a year. Unfortunately, Google's blackout lasted for only a day. Those who wish to permanently switch off Google's lights for ever, there is a way to do it.

Firefox has the ability to change the appearance of websites by using what is known as userstyles, which are CSS files that can override the default CSS file of a particular website. You can switch off Google's light by using a usestyle.

To use a userstyle first download the Stylish extension for Firefox that'll let you manage styles. Now go to Google Web Search - dark gray redesign (vC) and click on the "Show Code" button just below the screenshot. Copy the code to the clipboard. Now click on the Stylish icon   in the status bar (lower right) and click Manage Styles. Click on Write, give a description and paste the copied code into the box below. Click Save.


stylish manager


Now visit Google.com. Bingo! you just broke Google's light bulb! If you feel you had enough of the darkness and want to revert back to the original look, just launch Stylish Manager and disable the userstyle.


google black

google black

36 comments:

  1. Modern LCDs [which take up over 80% of the display market] use the same amount of power no matter what it displays. So whether it's showing bright white or pitch black, it still uses the same amount of power. Granted, it does feel better on the eyes to look at white on black, but it would not effect power consumption.

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  2. Also, without messing with any code whatsoever, a search engine called "Blackle" has been created and is google made black.


    www.blackle.com

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  3. Blackle skews your search results though. It's really underhanded.

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  4. Chris,

    Sorry to be a complete prick... but it should be "affect", not "effect". Sorry.

    You're right, though! It doesn't make any difference what colour you're putting through the crystals; they operate at a mostly constant supply...

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  5. Using an LCD is already using up less energy anyway.. =)

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  6. Anonymous it's color not colour, not to be a total prick or anything. (April fools day :P )
    -Anon

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  7. its funny that they went black to conserve energy. on lcd monitors the way color is produced is a pixel is energized to block light, the backlight is always constant. so on lcd monitors it would actually use more energy. now i don't know what the ratio of lcd to old crt monitors is but im fairly sure the energy saving would be negligible at best. since the lcd use more energy and the crt less.

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  8. ...let's not forget that you can "save more energy" by skipping the google homepage entirely by searching straight from your toolbar...

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  9. Agreed. It doesn't make any difference with LCDs, but it sure does with CRT monitors. Personally, I prefer the white background, but since this news of Google turning off the lights was making rounds I thought this was the best time to let people know that you can turn off Google's lights of your own too.

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  10. "..im fairly sure the energy saving would be negligible at best. since the lcd use more energy and the crt less."

    wtf? are you kidding?

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  11. back to Anonymous...
    The American spelling is color, the ENGLISH spelling is colour.

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  12. Um. LCD monitors use roughly one third to one quarter the amount of energy. CRT is around 150 watts, LCD about 50.

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  13. Anonymous: don't bother try to correct him. The "colour" spelling is popular among the uneducated.

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  14. haha so anyone that isnt american is uneducated? haha how ironic! do you know what most of the rest of the world thinks of you?

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  15. Pretty sure Google even explained in their description of why they went "black" that it was for awareness of the day, not actually so that they would conserve energy.

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  16. @Bean Waxler: Actually it's half. CRTs consume about 75 watts and LCDs about 25 watts.

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  17. "do you know what most of the rest of the world thinks of you?"

    besides the fact that youre a complete retard that can not speak for anyone but yourself, do Americans need to worry about anyone else? we have billions of people right here and all different climates and cultures...do we really need the rest of the world? really? think about it for a bit, than answer honestly. people are rushing into this country faster than they are leaving yours, its complete chaos.

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  18. ...the guy saying that billions of people live in the US (real number is a little more than 300 million) is a troll. Don't feed him.

    Most Americans are smart, but you know, morons are always the most visible..

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  19. Ohhh for gods sake stop with the slander bickering,
    P l e a s e
    grow up there is enough verbal garbage to choke the INTERNET already
    peace to all

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  20. "besides the fact that youre a complete retard that can not speak for anyone but yourself, do Americans need to worry about anyone else? we have billions of people right here and all different climates and cultures...do we really need the rest of the world? really? think about it for a bit, than answer honestly. people are rushing into this country faster than they are leaving yours, its complete chaos."

    Well he can speak for most of Europe for a start. Also, your the retard if you think you can survive without other countries. Most of your oil comes from the middle east, so if they decide to stop supplying you, your screwed.

    Is this sort of ignorance that leads to people not liking you. Presuming you are the best and control the world, when in fact you are far from it.

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  21. "colour" = uneducated

    Even as I type this, autocorrect even underlines it in red as a spelling error.

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  22. Sorry to be a complete prick...but it should be "you're" a retard, not "your".

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  23. "Most of your oil comes from the middle east, so if they decide to stop supplying you, your[sic] screwed."

    Actually more of our oil comes from Canada than from all the Persian Gulf countries combined. So if Canada cuts us off, we are screwed. Also, considering the US is the glutton of oil consumption, the countries that rely on crude sales would be fools to tell us we couldn't buy any more. It'd be like fast food restaurants refusing to serve fat people.

    ... and yes, i am aware of the irony of that metaphor. :)

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  24. Yeah... about the oil comment...

    Canada is the greatest supplier of oil and natural gas to the US, so quit it with the fucking igloo jokes you americans.

    Also, "colour" is the correct spelling. Back in the day some genius decided to rewrite the entire language just to be different from the british. Lets not start another war because because webster had a hissy fit after the americans lost the war of 1812.

    (disclaimer: I'm a dual citizen of both the US and Canada, residing in Canada)

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  25. Yeah, Tom, argue with spelling autocorrect. Pff.

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  26. Wow. Next they'll be defending that absurd Francophillic spelling of meter, 'metre'.

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  27. Actually you can save even more energy by just dimming the back light. 95% of the energy usage is lighting up the CCFL tubes inside the panel. Just turn them down a bit. It also may extend the life of the back light inverter, the tubes, and your eyes.

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  28. Hehe just to clear things up a tad on "color" or "colour" - to the best of my knowledge they are both acceptable, with "color" being more common in the United States after Webster's standardization of "American English" sometime in the early 19th century. It really isn't too much to argue over folks!

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  29. hahaha very true! why freaking argue about spelling?

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  30. Me not care spelling colour. please talk more pretty google color please.

    can me make google yellouw?

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  31. Easy guys easy! Both "colour" and "color" are correct, the former being the British spelling and the latter being American. The main reason why we see more people using "color" is because:

    1. MS Word says color is correct. But MSWord is based on the American dictionary
    2. Major websites like Wikipedia, Answers.com and yahoo use "color" because all are US based organization.
    3. Webster's dictionary says so and again Webster is based on American english.

    However, most dictionaries mention both spellings. You are free to use whichever you want.

    Also read this:
    The main differences between American and British English according to Oxford dictionary

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  32. "@Bean Waxler: Actually it's half. CRTs consume about 75 watts and LCDs about 25 watts."

    While you're all arguing about spelling I'm more worried about everyone's math...

    25/75 = 1/3

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  33. isn't it better to use cooler instead of the previous offers?

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  34. I guess I'll finish this. It should be effect (ie. he was right). Effect is used most prominently as a verb where as affect is used as a noun (eg. The hypoglycemia effected his blood sugar and he was starting to feel the affect.) There are exceptions but if you're really that anal you shouldn't be here because most of the people on the internet are dolts; go take a diuretic to dislodge the stick in your butt.

    Secondly, do I really need to comment on the "my nations foreign policy is better than your's is" argument. Your stupid, but alas, this is the internet. Precious few can escape its lethargy inducing grasp. I mourn for the myriads of people's intellects it destroys every day, my own excluded of course. Stop arguing like the adolescents you've proven yourselves to be and grow up. Think of your children. Oh wait...on an evolutionary basis I would have to suggest that you don't procreate.

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  35. There are around 23 different versions of “black google” online. The best one I’ve found is www.cleanblack.com. Cleanblack is the only version that allows you to change the text colors of the google search results. Try it yourself by going to www.cleanblack.com/theme/

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  36. When was Goggle like that?

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