Game Consoles Sucking Up $1 Billion in Energy Costs Per Year

via Gizmodo by Adam Frucci on 12/30/08

According to a study by the National Resources Defense Council, Americans use up about $1 billion worth of energy per year powering video game consoles, enough to power the entire city of San Diego.

It’s a pretty staggering figure, but I’m willing to bet that figures on the power consumption of things like refrigerators and washing machines are even worse. Any serious appliance is going to suck up a lot of juice, but that doesn’t mean we should throw them all out.

However, those folks who leave their consoles on all the time aren’t doing their energy bills any favors. With the Xbox 360 consuming 119 watts in active mode and the PS3 consuming 150 watts, turning these systems off when you aren’t playing is kind of an obvious move. But apparently a lot of people just leave them on all the time, leading to one very basic question: why? Both systems have features that’ll shut down automatically after a certain amount of idle time, seems like a no brainer to turn that on if you’re too damned lazy to turn them off yourself when done playing.

[NRDC via EcoGeek]

World’s Longest Accelerator Probes Universe’s Tiniest Particles

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MENLO PARK, California — Wired.com recently toured the longest linear accelerator in the world, which resides beneath nondescript industrial buildings near the Stanford University campus.

Scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, or SLAC, labs have won three Nobel prizes and are currently amassing the scientific evidence that there is more matter than antimatter in the universe, by smashing positrons and electrons together.

The lab’s next big project, the Linac Coherent Light Source, will go online next year. Its X-ray free electron laser will be roughly 10 billion times more powerful than existing X-ray sources and let researchers capture movies of atoms and molecules during chemical reactions.

Above: This 4,000-ton monster of an instrument sits at the intersection of two curved magnetic-beam paths, where it detects and measures elementary particles that are released when positrons slam in to electrons.

The Large Detector can measure every particle produced by this collision — except neutrinos, which can only be detected when they remove enough energy from the reaction that the scientists know something is missing.

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