Wednesday, January 08, 2014

1276 The Off Switch

1276 The Off Switch

These days, everything is always on.  You turn the TV off.  It isn’t OFF, it’s … resting.  Awaiting your next command no matter how long it takes you to execute it.

But unlike bears that spend the warm weather eating everything that isn’t nailed down and some stuff that is… then hibernate for the winter… your TV is still using electricity when it’s off.

Most cases, the only way they stop eating is when you unplug them.

Like bears, computers hibernate.  But not as completely as bears.  They shut down when only when you really really really turn them off.  

Laptop and notebook computers use electricity if you leave the charger plugged in… with or without the computer still attached.

They not only hibernate, they sleep.  Sleeping uses low power.  It says so right there on page 456 of the PDF file instruction book that you probably haven’t read.  

Digression: With Windows 8, Microsoft has at last gotten rid of the stupid practice of clicking on the “start button” to shut down the machinery.  When they first started using the start button as an off switch, they were the object of scorn and ridicule.  Now that they’ve stopped stopping with start, they are again the object of scorn and ridicule.

Maybe that’s because people just like scorning and ridiculing Microsoft. End of digression.

Many radios, home entertainment systems, air conditioners, space heaters, electric fans, coffee makers and even laundry machines don’t turn off.

How do you think your Keurig coffee maker keeps the water hot or you Mr. Coffee coffee maker knows when to start brewing so you can have that first cup the millisecond you wake up in the morning?

So in an era when electricity is no bargain, you probably can save a few cents by pulling plugs.

The cell phones and Kindles and iPods and iPads all come with little notes that say “unplug the charger when you’re not using it.”  

They don’t say it that simply, but they say it.


Because the chargers don’t turn off even when the phone or the Samsung Deluxe Note 27 Super-Galactic Android tablet is fully charged and not in use.

Can you keep track of four or five chargers unless you leave them plugged in?

What we need, what we all need is an off button that does what it says.


--What else don’t you read? Plenty, including but not limited to “privacy policies,” “terms of service,” your life-homeowner-renter-health insurance policies, your lease, your bank statement, your credit card statement, any warranty, your phone bill and the will you wrote 20 years ago.  If you even know where any of those things are.

--It’s been pretty cold around much of the country lately.  In fact, if you want to get warmer, you have to go north.  What do you call that, Global Upending?

--JP Morgan Chase is forking over about two billion dollars to regulators for failing to notice Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.  This is on top of the $13 billion it agreed to pay for its role in the mortgage crisis.  And it appears that out without even feeling it which makes you wonder just how much else is in its till and how it got there.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2014

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