Saturday August 4, 2007

Riot Saturday

AES+F Last Riot

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  1. Jonathan    Sat Aug 4, 09:10 PM #  

    Dude, willitblend.com is what cool people look at when they are not reading Critical Miami. Thomas Hawk even told me he watches the blender guy to psych himself up before he goes out and argues with security guards. I thought everyone knew this stuff.



  2. mkh    Sun Aug 5, 09:39 AM #  

    Personally, I think the “energy saving” thing is a bunch of crap, and they admit as much on their “about” page. Still, Blackle’s a good consciousness-raising effort; it also gives Goths a place to search without being confronted by Google’s raver rainbow.



  3. alesh    Sun Aug 5, 10:08 PM #  

    mkh~

    IF by “a bunch of crap” you mean “not making a statistically significant savings to the electricity consumption of the planet,” then I agree with you.

    Here’s the thing: when I get used to looking at dark text/white BG for awhile, switching to light text/black BG is awkward and difficult to read. BUT when I get used to looking at light text/black BG for awhile, switching to dark text/white BG is awkward and difficult to read.

    Thanks IMHO to the Macintosh’s influence, the internet at some point got locked into the WBG/BT standard, and a site bucks the trend at its peril. Blackle’s larger point is that if the whole internet were to make the switch the savings would be significant indeed.

    Jonathan~

    Did you see the science guy I posted a couple of weeks ago? The guy that held the balloon over a flame and it didnt’ pop? That guy makes the blender dude look like the internet whore who isn’t pretty enough to get tricks so she walks around in a tasteless skimpy outfit.



  4. Jonathan    Mon Aug 6, 12:21 AM #  

    …like the internet whore who isn’t pretty enough to get tricks so she walks around in a tasteless skimpy outfit.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. But no, I did not see the science guy. I like my Internet science cheap and trashy.

    BTW, the problem with black backgrounds is that they look terrible. I think Blackle is some kind of stealth attempt at a metal revival.



  5. mkh    Mon Aug 6, 08:23 AM #  

    Alesh, when I first read the article that formed the basis of Blackle (a couple of months back, so I don’t have the link any longer), there was a huge debate as to the potential energy savings. Black backgrounds versus white have different savings depending on whether you are viewing them on an LCD or a CRT, for one. As an example (from my admittedly flawed memory) while LCDs will soon be the majority in the US, it is going to take India and China quite a while to convert.

    I remember twenty years ago checking out page display monitors at a surplus outlet — portrait orientation, defaulted to black on white. It was pretty revolutionary, and the most striking feature was that it actually looked like typing on paper. Likewise, one of Google’s original features of distinction was it’s clean white background, without the clutter of Yahoo or Alta Vista.

    So when will CM be switching to white on black? Surely you are big enough now to buck the trend!



  6. alesh    Mon Aug 6, 09:31 AM #  

    Jonathan~

    Poke around: Saturdaze tag . . . he’s worth it. For the record, I don’t have a problem with dudes blending shit and putting the videos on the internet. I just think it should be like all the other stupid videos on the internet — on YouTube, and to-the-chase-cutting, not on some dolled up website with a long-ass intro.

    MKH~

    My first experience with black text/white BG was my high school’s Macintosh SE lab. It just looked wrong to me (and the extra power consumption crossed my mind even then) and to some extent it still does. That standard got picked up by the internet (long before Google), and the acclimation effect I mentioned before means I have to go with the flow.

    I gather from looking at the Blackle folks’ other project that they mean it more as a poetic/art thing, which I guess you’re welcome to read as “a bunch of crap.” ;)

    The thing to do would be a study where you have people use nothing but light text/black bg screens (plus a control with regular screens) for a week and then test their ability to read on them. If white-bg turns out to be easier to read for a significant majority, then it’s obviously worth it.



  7. mkh    Mon Aug 6, 04:07 PM #  

    Oh, c’mon, you’re taking the “bunch of crap” comment too seriously, guy. I think it’s an interesting idea, and beats the hell out of sites that put all their copy in 7pt Kottke type in a Flash interface (I think you’re with me on that). As a gesture it’s a good one, I just don’t know how much actual difference in power usage it would make. Either way, I agree: usability should come before watts saved.



  8. Onajídé Shabaka    Mon Aug 6, 08:17 PM #  

    You wouldn’t want to read that complete Wolfram book online. In hardcover it’s about 4 inches thick. I had the FAU copy for a while, reading a decent bit of it. Of course, it isn’t easy to grasp even though he repeats himself many times to emphasize his many points. I think the thing is that if one doesn’t think mathematically, which I don’t, only a small portion of the book would make sense. However, as a visual study, it’s eye- and mind opening.



  9. alesh    Mon Aug 6, 10:01 PM #  

    mkh~ I meant it winkingly . . . see? I was also going for a “computer people are supposed to think of art as useless” subtext. TiC.

    Onajídé~ I bought the Wolfram book for my dad a couple of years ago. Not sure if he’s going to actually read it (he’s into science sort of stuff), bur fore sure it’s impressive to look through. Aside from the somewhat lame cover, it’s very imposing as an object, inside and out. Agree that posting it online isn’t going to loose Wolfram any sales — anyone who’s the least bit interested in this will buy a copy.



  10. g0d, this is stupid!    Mon Aug 6, 10:18 PM #  

    i like how blackle has no ads. it’s my home page now…saving the world one watt at a time or something…whatever. my web site (currently in design) will attempt to follow this model…for shits and giggles…



  11. mkh    Sat Aug 11, 08:49 AM #  

    Google comments on Blackle here.