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Comment Sometimes black uses MORE power. (Score 1) 424

Assuming that any dynamic backlighting features are disabled, a typical TN panel will use slightly LESS power on an all-white screen than on an all-black screen.

LCD panels comes in more than one flavor. The cheap and common variety is called TN (Twisted Nematic). A TN pixel is transparent/white until power is applied to it, at which point it turns opaque/black. This means that it takes some small amount of power to make a pixel turn black. A less common, more expensive technology is called IPS (In-Plane Switching). An IPS pixel is opaque/black until power is applied, at which point it turns transparent/while. There are also VA (Vertical Alignment) panels, and I don't remember off the top of my head whether they're transparent or opaque when not powered.

I just ran a test with a power meter of my own, and the IPS-based LCD monitor I'm using consumes 17 watts when displaying an all-black image and 21 watts when displaying an all-white image, and the backlight is not responsible for any of that difference. Tests I've done on a previous TN-based LCD monitor have shown an opposite result, as is to be expected. The thing is that TN panels are far more common because they're cheaper to produce. So if the entire world tries to use use dark web pages in order to save power, then a few people with IPS panels will use less, but the vast majority of users will be be browsing on TN panels, and these users will actually be using slightly MORE power. And, given their greater numbers, I suspect the average power usage would actually go up.

And as long as there are any white or brightly colored pixels onscreen, be they part of the taskbar, the browser's title bar, or the web page itself, then dynamic backlighting shouldn't be much of a factor, either. The backlight can't be turned down any dimmer than the brightest pixel. (This excludes LCD monitors with backlights that are capable of zone-dimming, but those are exceedingly rare.)

Comment Re:Fairly stupid response (Score 5, Interesting) 257

Even your argument that "everything is a poison in large quantities" is stupid, because it's not the CO2 harming you if you go in the garage and turn on the car - it's the fact you are not getting oxygen. The CO2 itself did not hurt you.

Actually, it's not CO2 nor lack of oxygen that kills in this situation, but rather CO. As I understand it, hemoglobin bonds preferentially to CO over O2. Once a red blood cell has absorbed CO, it doesn't want to let go even when exposed to O2. This means that one can effectively suffocate even when there's plenty of O2 available to breathe.

This is why CO is sometimes used on meat. It keeps the meat bright red and healthy-looking so it will look nice on display in the grocery store. Without it, I think meat would tend more toward purple.

Comment Did Steve Jobs make Amazon's case for them? (Score 5, Interesting) 414

According to a related article at The Register, as recently as October of 2010, Steve Jobs himself publicly called Apple's app store "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone." So it would appear that even Cupertino is using the phrase app store generically in reference to its competitors. I'd call this tidbit a crushing blow to Apple's case.

Thanks, Steve! We all app-reciate it.

Submission + - Medicine Lose Effectiveness In Space

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists at the Johnson Space Center have shown that the effectiveness of drugs declines more rapidly in space. Engineers are working on a project which could bring space travel to the general public but experiments suggest that the health hazards facing astronauts may be greater than previously thought. Astronauts on long space missions may not be able to take paracetamol to treat a headache or antibiotics to fight infection, a study has found. I wonder if diseases are also affected?

Submission + - Why Beer Skunks: Trans-Iso-Alpha Acids (

erfnet writes: "The Technical University of Munich, along with a German beer-maker, have kindly published a "Comprehensive Sensomics Analysis of Hop-Derived Bitter Compounds During Storage of Beer" They determined 56 hop-derived sensometabolites which contribute to bitter taste during storage, increasing with time and temperature. If we had only had this information during our College days, we could have been even geekier! "Duuuuude, it's not skunked, it's suffering from 'proton-catalyzed cyclization of trans-iso-a-acids'." ."

Submission + - Obama wants to have a traceable Internet ID ( 1

howardd21 writes: The Obama administration said today that it's moving ahead with a plan for broad adoption of Internet IDs despite concerns about identity centralization, and hopes to fund pilot projects next year.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, seemed to veer a bit off-message--and instead of touting anonymity, she stressed the importance of aiding law enforcement.
Protecting civil liberties is important, Mikulski said. "But the first civil liberty is to be able to have a job, lead a life, and be able to buy what you want in the way we now buy it, which is through credit cards."
"We're going to support the FBI," said Mikulski, who heads the Senate subcommittee that oversees the FBI's funding. "We're going to support the growth of the FBI."

Submission + - Judge Reveals Secret Righthaven Copyright Contract

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Joe Mullin writes in Paid Content that US District Judge Roger Hunt has unsealed the confidential agreement between Righthaven and the Las Vegas Review-Journal that has allowed Righthaven to sue over more than 250 charities, impoverished hobby bloggers, reporters, and the newspaper’s own sources for $150,000 each in damages and forfeiture of the sites' domain names, and the contents of the agreement could end up being ruinous for Righthaven’s campaign of copyright lawsuits. The problem is that Stephens Media, the company that owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal, didn’t actually assign any of the rights related to copyright to Righthaven except the right to sue—and that has been found in Silvers vs. Sony Pictures to be illegal under case law. In other words, none the important things that come with a copyright—such as the right to make copies of a work, or distribute it, or make “derivative works”—were handed off to Righthaven. Only the right to sue was given, and that makes the copyright transfer bogus, argue lawyers for the Democratic Underground who are being sued for one of its website users posting the first four paragraphs of a 34 paragraph story. “There is an old adage in the law that, if the facts are on your side, you pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, you pound on the law," says Judge Hunt who joins District Judge John Kane in becoming angry at Righthaven’s litigation behavior. "If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, you pound on the table. It appears there is a lot of table pounding going on here.”"

Submission + - New Spin on Graphene Makes It Magnetic (

intellitech writes: A team led by Professor Andre Geim, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for graphene, has shown that electric current can magnetize graphene. The researchers found a new way to interconnect spin and charge by applying a relatively weak magnetic field to graphene and found that this causes a flow of spins in the direction perpendicular to electric current, making a graphene sheet magnetised.

Submission + - Swedish file-sharers file for Religious status ( 1

nloop writes: A group of file-sharers in Sweden have requested that their religion, Kopimism, be officially recognized in Sweden. Although this status has been denied once in the past the struggle for religious freedom from persecution continues. Aside from deeming CTRL+C CTRL+V as sacred symbols other beliefs include the flow of information being ethically right and closed source software being "akin to slavery."

Submission + - British Comedians Fight for Free Speech (

An anonymous reader writes: Comedian Stephen Fry has said he is "prepared to go to prison" over the "Twitter joke" trial. Fry was appearing at a benefit gig for Paul Chambers who is appealing to the High Court against his conviction for sending a menacing communication. Fry argued that Chambers' tweet was an example of Britain's tradition of self-deprecating humour and banter. Few of the stars were prepared to assign wisdom to Chambers' original tweet, however. Sitting inconspicuously in the stalls, he was variously described as a knucklehead, a nerd and a "donut". Murray even branded the gig the "Save Paul Chambers from his own stupid destiny event". But everyone seemed united by a desire to protect freedom of speech or at least the ability to recognise the difference between jokes and menacing terrorist threats.

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interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language