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Power Technology

DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble 147

Martin Hellman writes "Last month we discussed a major problem with the EPA's Energy Star program. A Sony TV that was advertised to draw less than 0.1 watts in standby mode was actually drawing 15 watts — 150 times the stated value. A lack of information in the user manual and a poor response from Sony led me to suspect the problem was with the Electronic Program Guide feature, but a lack of information in the User Guide and a lack of response from Sony made it impossible to be sure — or to turn off the EPG. At current prices, that power consumption cost me about as much as a subscription to TV Guide magazine! The EPG was not as free as the on screen instructions would have you believe. Now, Device Guru reports on the resolution of that issue. As suspected, the problem was with the EPG, and there is a way to turn it off — now documented in that story. The problem is probably not unique to Sony or TVs that claim Energy Star compliance (devices are self-certified by the manufacturers!), so picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment. As a result of this waste of power, the EPA is planning for future versions of the Energy Star requirements to limit the amount of time a TV can spend in Download Acquisition Mode (DAM) as the time for acquiring the EPG is known."
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DAM Pops Energy Star's Bubble

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  • What do whe have:

    1) Rootkits by Sony BMG.
    2) Non existent customer service and end of live / support in less the 6 month by Sony Ericsson.
    4) Insistence on prohibitory memory stick by all Sony departments.
    5) Lying on Energy Star Rating by Sony Electronics.

    Well Sony is on my the list of evil corporation for quite a while now and it does not look they are getting of the list any soon.


  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:08AM (#26772407)

    Picking up a power meter is likely to have a good return on investment.

    Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them. Otherwise, you're going to be spending a lot of time buying things and returning them.

    Frankly, my time is worth enough that spending more than three or four hours shopping for a new TV (or any other appliance) is a bad idea. Which means that buying something, then wasting time analyzing the power usage, returning it, buying another one, repeat endlessly is a complete waste of time and money.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday February 08, 2009 @11:31AM (#26772533)

    Well, only if you can use it to test new appliance BEFORE you buy them.

    Which may very well prove nothing. If the device only wakes up every few hours to download new information, you might not even detect the extra power drain when running your test in the store.

  • The real problem here is the single-wattage power converters.

    So that every slight power trickle turns the thing on full. Which is a real hassle when the device has a remote control (Although that has mostly been fixed.) or a clock like a microware (The entire concept there just pisses me off. Microwaves do not need to know the time.)

    Or, now, downloading information from the internet, or an internal timer to record TV shows.

    If every device that wanted to do that simply came with the equivalent of a 100mA 4.5v wall wart in addition to the real power supply, (But built in, obviously, off the same power connection.) we'd save a lot of power. But it would cost a good three or four dollars more, so that's never going to happen.

    Computers have actually done this for years, although they do it a little too much. (Powering random USB devices while off is a bit silly.) But their power supplies all have a mode where instead of supplying 450 watts at five or six voltages, they only supply a few watts at 5v, and it seems to be a microscopic power drain.

  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @01:06PM (#26773331)

    That entirely depends on your point of view.

    Really? Can you find any defensible argument for top post?

    To you it seems profane and disgusting, to others who go along with either the humour or the satire of the post, it seems either humourous or astute.

    How can a degrading racist rant like that be, in any way, "humorous" or "astute?"

    Not everyone thinks being racist is bad.
    Yea, and not everyone thinks murder is bad.

    I think Slashdot allows people of all points of view to post.

    This is not a debate between Linux and Windows, this is an issue of hatred against a race of people for nothing more than the color of their skin.

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:54AM (#26779807) Journal

    I'll improve your argument for you, and then proceed to sneeze at it.

    You say $500. I say: Let's increase that a little to $2 per day.

    I can look at this number, this $2 figure, and know that it's not worth it. Maybe if I lived by myself. But if I have to fight about it with the kids when they don't turn things off, if my wife hates it that the clock on the microwave doesn't work anymore, or that she's got to go and turn the thing on every time she uses it, then what you're suggesting will cost me quite a lot more than $2 in pain on an average day.

    Case in point: The exhaust fan in the bathroom costs me a lot more than $2 per day when left running during the winter time, as it pumps a few few hundred CFM per minute of 72-degree air outside, which gets replaced with 0-20 degree air. I value my peace more than I value my money, however, so I don't fight about it when it gets left on by accident. (I'd put a timer on it, which would help, but in the summer, there's no particular reason to ever turn it off. We don't have air conditioning and it helps circulate air and keep humidity down somewhat in the bathroom. The fan itself is pretty efficient. I'm not rewiring my switches twice a year to save a couple of dozens of dollars in the wintertime, though.)

    It's also a lot cheaper and more convenient to keep the current wife[1] and kids, than to get different ones. Just as it is to keep my (perfectly functional) non-Energy Star microwave, instead of buying a new one.

    [1]: I'll be certain, though, that when the current wife wears out, that the new model will be more energy efficient. Is there a federal mandate on Energy Star labeling for females, yet?

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:19AM (#26779907) Journal

    I used to use the word nigger a lot. We had some niggers next door who would do stuff like steal the neighborhood's bikes, occasionally harbor a garage full of strange cars or ATVs, do burnouts in the street, congregate in my back yard, fight dogs in their own, and generally behave in a loud fashion whenever the temperature rose above 75 degrees. Those jobless niggers had a swat team kick their back door in twice in the past year.

    Except, generally, the niggers next door where fair skinned with blond hair. There was an occasional black person over there, and the color was never a problem -- the problem was the behavior. Nigger described this better than any other word I could conjure.

    I explained this once to a good friend of mine that I've known my entire life, who happens to be a black man who is both better educated than I and who has been around the block a few more times. He told me that, though he appreciated the fact that my use of nigger was not racially descriptive, that it was still an ugly word. I explained to him a bit more about the situation with the niggers next door, and he agreed with me that their behavior is not something that should be socially-acceptable in what is otherwise a very decent neighborhood.

    He told me that the a more descriptive and less hurtful term might be that they were doing some gangsta shit, or perhaps that they were up to some nigga shit, but that using nigger, no matter how good my intentions were, was probably the wrong thing to do.

    I've been using those terms since, except right now to illustrate a point.

    Is my use of the word "nigger" in this post, as a description and pontification of how I learned to better use English, a troll which should be automatically modded down? It's offtopic in an energy discussion, for sure, but I'm not trolling. I'm just relaying a snippet of my life for those who will read it.

    For this reason, we need human moderators, not automated an censor.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.