comes this press-releasy kind of article:New technology allows Fujitsu Monitors to consume zero power on standy
Basically, they use capacitors, a small solar array, and old-school relays to restore your monitor after it goes to standby. Aside from an audiable "click" as the relay triggers, there's no difference in user experience than what we have now. And it draws zero AC power while asleep. Cool.
It's about damn time.
Now, consider this... if you were to walk around your home/office/cell and switch off every electronic device you own, how much power would you still be consuming?
Don't forget the little black power-packs plugged into the wall for recharging your phone, Ni-Cads, and everything else portable. What about your stereo system, with it's lying green "Off" light? Or your big-screen TV?
Add it all up and I bet it's MORE than the 8% average quoted in the article, since you -- dear reader -- probably have six times as much electronic crap than the average human. Without conciously meaning to, we early adopters of cool tech are wasting more power than the rest of humanity. We should probably keep this quiet lest they notice -- pitchforks and burning torches are easily understood low-tech for the masses.
So what can we do? Let's talk about those evil black power supply bricks first.
One idea I had: How about a small device that plugs into the AC socket *between* the device and the wall? It would look like a single-socket foreign AC adaptor with prongs on one side and a plug on the other.
On top of the device would four small buttons: ON, OFF, SMART, and LEARN.
ON and OFF are self-explanitory (I hope).
LEARN mode is used when the device is first plugged in with a host power-brick. Plug the whole assemby in, then connect your brick to whatever device it needs to power such that it's drawing a full load. LEARN mode makes a note of the current demand made on the AC socket side of things.
Once LEARN mode does its thing, switch it to SMART. Thereafter, whenever the brick draws less than the current threshold previously LEARN'd, it shuts off power completely -- basically OFF mode.
After that the user must manually tap the SMART button to reactivate the power. Sure, it's an extra step and may be inconvenient if your AC adaptor is behind a 500 pound piece of furniture, but this is FOR THE PLANET, DAMMIT! Also, it won't be applicable to devices that must always be on (medical equipment, security alarms) but for most of the consumer goodies we have it would make sense.
Package the device in garish blue/green eco-friendly recyclable card-stock (pictures of lush green meadows and hippies optional) and label it EARTH POWER DEFENDER (or something) and sell them for $9.99 a piece. We'll make a fortune.
So... who around here can work a soldering iron?