Friday, July 27, 2007

Black is Green

This is my first post since my move to the West Coast. Things have been a bit crazy, so I haven't had much time to keep up with this. Hopefully, things will settle down a bit soon and I'll post on a more regular basis.

Back in January, the writer of the blog ecoIron calculated that since the energy needed to display a web page with a white background is greater than what is needed to display one with a black background, if Google switched to a black background from their current familiar white background, the change would save about 750 Megawatt hours a year.

Fast forward to about now and it appears that there is an option to have the same power of Google with a black background. Called "Blackle", it offers the Google engine (run by a different company who apparently just customized the engine) with an all-black background. If it is, indeed, the same search engine, I hope anyone who reads this will help spread the word. Every little bit counts!

Here are some questions answered about it from ecoIron.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Nanotechnology and its Environmental Effects

Today's San Francisco Chronicle has an article that explains some of the positive contributions nanotechnology has made to some products that are already on the market, such as stain-proof pants and stronger, yet lighter sports equipment. It also points out the potential negative long-term environmental effects - since products made with nanotechnology are relatively new (if nanotechnology itself isn't), these negative effects are sure to be reported more and more as the technology matures.

A specific example the article uses is the use of silver nano particles. They are used to combat bacteria, so the concern is that if the particles are released in the water system, beneficial bacteria can be killed.

To read more about what nanotechnology is, see this link.