I was a little kid TVs were made of glass, had tubes inside that warmed
up and had a very large ON/OFF switch right on the front. Now TVs have
plastic screens, no tubes and the ON/OFF switch is hidden. Yes hidden!
I first noticed this when I bought a Playstation 4 video game
console. I wondered why the designers had made the power button so
small, hidden and weird looking. You actually had to read the manual to
find out how to turn it on. I thought the designers were trying too hard
to make the device look “cool.” But now I know the truth.
Sony never wants me to turn my Playstation off!
actually a good reason for this. I can turn on my PS4 using the remote
control so the system always has to have electricity in it to listen for
the remote. Technically it cannot be turned off the way an old
time tube TV could. At best Sony wants it in sleep mode when not
in use so Sony can monitor it.
Sony is not alone. TV
manufacturers are hiding the power button. Apple hides its on the back
of its all in ones. The power button on the new Apple Macbook Pros
doesn’t even have anything on it to tell you what it is! They will turn
themselves on if you open the lid or even touch a key, so how are you
supposed to clean the keyboard? Wait for the non-removable battery
Tech companies want their products on ALL THE TIME
because turning them off is the equivalent of killing them. How
will they spy on you, monitor you with cameras and micrphones, throw ads at you, or monitor your behavior when
their little minions are unplugged?
And if you have trouble
finding out how to turn on a product the tech giants know you will BLAME
YOURSELF FIRST. Every psychiatrist knows it is human nature to
subconsciously blame yourself first when something is wrong.
“Mommy drinks too much because I cry.” No mommy drinks too much
because she is a lush. But that means you can’t change her. If you
say “Mommy drinks too much because I cry” it makes you feel like maybe
you can do something, like cry less, to change this situation.
have seen so many people blaming themselves (or their spouses) when
things go wrong with computers that are either not their fault or the
deliberate results of choices like making power buttons impossible to
find. In reality the problem is in your TV set, they simply don’t want you turning off their products.
This leaves lots of gadgets in your home sipping power all day
long. First the two pronged “vampire” power converters like the ones
shown at left are constantly converting electricity from AC to DC.
If you feel one and it is warm that is wasted energy if the device is
not even being used.
This massive energy waste increases the
carbon we burn to make electricity. This increases climate change.
It also costs consumers money with higher utility bills and electronics
that burn out early and have to be replaced.
billion worth of electricity, equal to the output of 50 large
power plants, is devoured annually by U.S. household electronics,
appliances, and other equipment when consumers are not actively using
them, according to a groundbreaking study released in 2015 by the
Natural Resources Defense Council.
What can you do about it? Not
much. Use timers, use smart power strips and tweak device settings to
minimize “always ON idle time.” But until manufacturers take this
issue seriously (and they don’t care about your electric bill one bit)
it won’t go away.