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« A Little Saturday Morning Linkery (Sujatha) | Main | Who are your "friends" and how many should you have? Let Facebook decide! »

May 30, 2010


Have you noticed that most "energy efficient" gizmos are geared to ensuring that "we" conserve our energy? And then we are worried about high carb diets, obesity and what not. Which is why I like gardening. They haven't yet come up with many energy saving devices (other than hiring a landscaper) to take the place of old fashioned digging, shoveling, hoeing and getting elbow deep in mud - activities essential to a bright and blooming garden.

Mind you, gardening is not the same as mowing. For that you have many energy saving (human energy, ie) machines like automatic baggers, mulchers and of course, the riding mower.

Actually, I think the 'Energy efficient' is not only because of the 'presence sensor' feature, but because of this: "New Energy Saving Switch lets HDTV consume zero power when in standby mode' and something with the TV being able to adjust screen brightness based on the degree of backlight, which can reduce operating power.
The 'presence sensor' according to at least one reviewer, was a nuisance because he sat 12 feet away, while the sensor detects only till 9.8 feet. The TV would turn off all the time, till he disabled the feature via the menu settings. But most people seemed happy with the feature.
Now, the next generation of TVs should have brain wave sensors, so then they can automatically sense and adjust to your desired channel, along with a endless-channel flipping mode for when you are bored.

So I actually don't know the function of the standby mode for a TV. I put my laptop on standby because it takes two or three minutes to start. TV's aren't like that yet, right? Or are new TV's microchipped to the point of needing a windows style boot-up?

On gardening, I'm reminded of that recent study which concluded - using somewhat implausible assumptions, mind you - that walking to a store was less energy efficient than driving there, given all the petroleum that goes into making and transporting food. The case is perhaps true-ish in some scenarios, maybe for certain meats given the usual multipliers or for non-seasonal fresh produce because of air freightage etc.

I wonder if the argument actually works without cheating for lawn-mowing though. Pushing a mower is more exercise than walking, and gas-operated lawnmowers presumably still use less fuel than a small car. Gah.

Lots of appliances, including standard TVs, keep drawing nearly as much power when you turn them "off" as when they're "on" -- to kill the power, you actually have to unplug them. The motion sensor is silly, but I wouldn't dispute the need for more energy efficient home electronics.

Yah, I get that part, but I do dislike the notion this TV peddles, that you can buy as resource-intensive a product as you please, then actually be too lazy to turn the damn thing off, but still feel like you're being "efficient" because it has circuitry (which half-works at best, and then probably makes you undergo silly arm-movements from time to time to bypass trigger like the lights in my old office) to check if you're still alive. Turning off lights and appliances isn't exactly rocket science. I'm not trying to sell eco-asceticism here, but seriously. Next they'll have "energy efficient" Hummers which piously remind the driver to turn up the windows while the AC is on. It's manufactured indulgences to alleviate guilt, not a serious effort to tackle energy issues.

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