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Standby buttons:

Eddie Mair | 10:21 UK time, Monday, 23 October 2006

why DO they use so much energy?

We're not sure whether we'll bother with a newsletter today. Last week's little problems have not been solved as far as I know, and there's only so much abuse I can take for my incompetence. If we do try, and it arrives in 2016, can you be polite and not mention it?

In return, I might post a little archive clip which might amuse you, of me asking a never-ending question, only to be met with a one word answer.

One other thing: why are some people contributing to this blog at 1am???!


  1. At 10:39 AM on 23 Oct 2006, John W wrote:

    Must confess, I try to be green, but I leave those plug top chargers on all the time... but the lights are all low power flourescent, so leaving them on for some time is not quite so bad.

    What is the trade off between shortening their life by on-off cycling (thus needing more of them, i.e. more energy in production) vs keeping them on (say, in bathroom during evening).


  2. At 10:44 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Of course we won't blame you, Eddie. It's much more fun to blame Rupert :) So I say: email and be damned with the delay!

    It was nice to see you blogged over the w/e as well. Maybe next time you'll join in the general chat (unless you already do under a different name...)

    Speaking of names, I know I commented about this some time ago, and I know other regular froggers have said similar, but can we have a way of "registering" our names so that others can't come here, pretending to be us? I wouldn't go as far as requiring people to register, just if they want to. Any thoughts, Lissa?

  3. At 10:50 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    That's rich, coming from the frogger who frogged on a Saturday!

  4. At 11:10 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Whisht wrote:

    I'm in some agreement Fearless, however, I reckon it'll be easier to manage in the breach rather than as a rule. I'm presuming that it'd be easy to 'complain' of someone posting as me and then email from the account that I use to prove my identity.

    We don't want to waste PM's people's time and effort managing something that may only happen once in a blue moon.

    However, it is important that people don't do it - it can only cause problems and must be presumed to be malicious. I'm in complete sympathy if its happened to anyone.

    ironically - I've been forgotten by the browser...

    Oh, and I post here whenever i feel like it Eddie. Even when I'm p***ed. Actually, the quality of my posts probably improves.


  5. At 11:28 AM on 23 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Good morning froggers, and Eric.

    Short answer to the 'standby' question is that it doesn't use much energy.

    Technically the power consumed on modern tellies/ Freeview boxes etc.. is in the order of 2-3 watts. The power is consumed by a small circuit which normally has two functions. Firstly it powers the infra-red receiver so that it can decode the zapper and secondly a simple electronic switch to control the 'main' power for the device.

    In the old days we would have used the energy consumed by getting up out of the armchair.

    It is the amount of these 'standby' circuits which culminates in the large consumption, with a typical household having at least two or three tv's etc...

    However, surely a drop in the ocean compared with all the Radio 3 FM transmitters left on overnight :-)

    RE: John W (1)

    Modern flourescents are far more tolerant than they used to be for being switched on and off. It's best to switch them off if they aren't required. Most new fittings are instant start which does not stress the tubes unlike the older ones with starters (when you see the end cathode heaters glowing) te te tick tick!

  6. At 11:31 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Why Eddie? - Because
    a) it's addictive;
    b) we love it;
    c) time flies when you're having frogging fun.

    The inaugral meeting of Froggers Annoymous is at my house tonight. All welcome. "My name is Aperitif and I am a Frogaholic..."

  7. At 11:33 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Mark Intime wrote:

    FF (2) Sounds like another case of stolen identities. Perhaps we should use a virtual shredder to confetti the blogs and emails. Come to think of it, maybe that's what's already happened to the PM e-mail; shredded before its time.

  8. At 11:33 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Carl Goss wrote:

    I bet Auntie doesn't turn off her studios when they are not in use, and the reason I reckon would be the same as the standby button. Turn off the power and all the components cool down, turn it on again and they all heat up. On off on off on off.. well you get my drift... and things start breaking. It's called 'stress'... I know how they feel. Switching people off while they sleep wouldn't work either!
    Bring back valves!

  9. At 11:42 AM on 23 Oct 2006, ian wrote:

    Because Red light has the highest wavelength, and thus consumes most energy being created. If Standby lights were blue, they would consume less energy.

  10. At 11:48 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Oh dear, my frog at (3) made sense when I posted it! Hey ho...

    Eddie, we so look forward to the PM newsletter. And we know it's not your fault. Go on, send it out.

    If it limps in late too often, you can use our derision to beat the teckies to get the finger out and sort whatever the problem is.

    The BBC's biggest bloggers can't be ignored, Shirley.

  11. At 11:52 AM on 23 Oct 2006, Mark Intime wrote:

    Talking of buttons (not the chocolate variety) Lissa, would it be possible to have a nice big refresh button on the blog so we could see up to ther minute postings. Maybe I'm missing a trick (or a few brain cells), but I seem to have to come out of the comments in order to see the latest pearls of wisdom.

  12. At 11:53 AM on 23 Oct 2006, John W wrote:

    Bring back valves

    They never went away here. PM sounds so good on the 1947 set (on LW).

  13. At 11:55 AM on 23 Oct 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Carl (5)

    Good point you make Carl, however things are different these days.

    I used to work for a recording studio in the mid -eighties and the old Studer 48 Track machines would take at least an hour to 'warm-up' before a proper line-up could be completed and they were solid state (not a valve in sight)

    Now, even with analogue machines a microprocessor would take care of that.

    Enough anoraky talk for now

  14. At 11:58 AM on 23 Oct 2006, John W wrote:

    jonnie (5),

    While I use the modern flourescents, they do not last anything like the 8000 hours they claim. It's usually either (a) a dry joint due to the circuit being above the tube (how else can you install it in the ceiling), or (b) the tube itself going. I try and recycle by mix and match...but they make it so difficult to even get in there. So it's not clear to me which usage is better. Certainly the old flourescents were better to be kept on rather than on-off.

  15. At 12:06 PM on 23 Oct 2006, John W wrote:

    Ian (9),

    Wrong way around. Red light is longer wavelength, true, but lower energy.

  16. At 12:08 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Mark Intime wrote:

    Looks like Fifi has become a victime of the virtual identity theft. Why else would she sign off as Shirley.
    On another matter; Appy's frogging addiction. If too much attention is drawn to this affliction the government might decide to reclassify all blogs as a class A drug.

  17. At 12:12 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Jonnie (11),

    You appear to have posted something in a language I don't recognise. If I promise to spell your name correctly in future (very sorry about the randon "h" in the past) will you go back to English please? Thank you very much, you're very kind.

    A, x.

  18. At 12:36 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    I know somewhere where hundreds of computer monitors are left on continuously - where can I hire someone a bit vicious to go round and sort out the perpetrators?

  19. At 12:44 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Dr ackenbus wrote:

    Now I know who stole the Hs out of my name.

    Why contribute at 1:00am? I refer you to the question, Why climb Everest? Also, my brain only works properly at the first end of the AM spectrum, not the last. And, no, I have never climbed Everest.

  20. At 12:48 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Humph wrote:

    Ian (9) Although you are correct in saying that red light has a longer wavelength than blue, energy in the electro-magnetic spectrum is related to frequency not wavelength. Thus red light requires less energy.

    jonnie (13) There can never be "enough anoraky talk"


  21. At 01:07 PM on 23 Oct 2006, ian wrote:

    John W. Actually I was making it up. Do you mean to say there is some basis in fact, or have I just been double bluffed.

  22. At 01:14 PM on 23 Oct 2006, John W wrote:

    Mark (16)
    If too much attention is drawn to this affliction the government might decide to reclassify all blogs as a class A drug.

    ....or tax it.

  23. At 01:30 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Can I ask a question?

    How much longer do I have to stand by this button? I'm beginning to get a stiff leg....

  24. At 01:34 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    Stand by your beds!

    On the energy conservation thingy a certain DIY company sells small Windturbines. (I WANT ONE) Problem is the local Councils inist on planning permission. So you can't get one without planning permissions. Currently you can order one but i don't think they will survey your home to see if you can have one till you have checked if you need planning consent. You arn't going to get planning consent till you have had a site survey. I thought there were moves afoot to make renewable energy easier!
    Perhaps someone from the DIY store where you be and queue can respond and or the government/local council planners.

  25. At 01:38 PM on 23 Oct 2006, ruth harrison wrote:

    re tonight's news. News-at-one has just had Alan Smithers confirming that the NHS could save loads of money if all hospitals followed good practice. Not quite true: the burden of cost could be transferred!! My adult daughter had a tumerous kidney removed last Wednesday in a London Hospital. They suggested that she could go home on Friday, we prevaricated and she came home on Saturday. But today, Monday, five days post-op, she still needs a lot of support and if I were at work, the help would not be available. I'm delighted to be able to be here, but we still need joined up thinking if patients are to be sent home early [to avoid expensive hospital stays and the possibility of infection.] This costs someone.

    By the way, I have no idea how to send a comment directly to any of the news' programmes, is this the only way? or am I so distracted that I can't see the glaringly obvious?

  26. At 01:50 PM on 23 Oct 2006, John W wrote:

    Ian (21),

    Take a glance at quantum physics. A quantum of light appearing red will have lower energy than one appearing blue.

  27. At 02:03 PM on 23 Oct 2006, mark drew wrote:

    Why don't you post date your PM Newsletter and then you could up date the name to NewsJournal. That way never late or out of date!

  28. At 02:14 PM on 23 Oct 2006, John H. wrote:

    Fearless (23), you'll need a bigger sock.

    Oh, sorry, you said "leg".

    ruth harrison - you prolly did miss the not so glaringly obvious. Most of the programmes have an email address - e.g. in the "contact us" section of the PM site, the address is given there: PM@bbc.co.uk. For TWaO, it's wato@bbc.co.uk which you find in the "your say" section.

  29. At 02:19 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    You can email the World at One at
    PM is pm@bbc.co.uk
    Today is today@bbc.co.uk
    And there are other blogs, News Editors:
    and, a veritable e-feast at

    This blog is more fun, though, and programme staff actually occasionally read it.

    Meanwhile, on matters conservational, years ago I had a monitor (BBC computer) which wouldn't work unless left on continuously. Over time a colony of spiders took up residence in the warm premises around the crt, and eventually some high voltage discharges contributed to a fire which consumed my vinyl record collection and a good part of the office.

    The spiders' revenge? I wonder. Insurance paid for a newer, much bigger computer (almost a megabyte of RAM!) and after a couple of years reconstructing my 'systems' this one was destrioyed by a nearby stroke of lightning. I thought The Force was trying to tell me something, and did without for several years...

    Twenty years have passed and I have yet to replace the cracked office window, but I've now got half a gigabyte of RAM, but today's code is so inelegant that it's still not enough.

    Zeus was right! We aren't grownup enough for fire.

  30. At 03:12 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Doc (19), you can have your "H" back - sorry.

    Fearless (23), LOL!

    John H (28) - and you said Frances was rude!

  31. At 04:03 PM on 23 Oct 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    We do WE post at 1am? Because there's nothing we like better after a few drinks or a night out to get onto the blog.

    More to the point,
    Why do YOU post at 5.55am......??

  32. At 05:34 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Iain wrote:

    @10, "Eddie, we so look forward to the PM newsletter. And we know it's not your fault. Go on, send it out."

    I think the newsletter is delayed because Rupert is not peddling fast enough: there must be an exercise bike powering the BBC newsletter list server, and obviously it is out of juice at the moment ...

  33. At 06:34 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Has anyone else had their newsletter yet?

    It's now 6.35 and mine still hasn't made it!

    Now that Eric has said my name on the wireless (I will eventually tire of bleating about it, I promise) I feel a sense of personal loss when it doesn't appear.

    * sigh *

  34. At 06:45 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Why post after Eddie's bed-time? Because we can. Unlike on some other (silly) BBC boards.

    btw, Eric, if you're going to encourage new people to frog, perhaps just one a day (take two frogs into the ether? not me) would do it.

    Oh, I dunno.

  35. At 06:48 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Ooops, feef, missed it, so one bleat more - when & why?

  36. At 10:23 PM on 23 Oct 2006, Bored to death wrote:

    Why contribute at 1am? Well, not everyone works 9-5 ... and seemingly not everyone contributes from the UK.

    Anyway, I'm with Patricia. Well said, lady. And I'm glad they were so rude to you. They just confirmed for the silent majority everything you said.

  37. At 11:00 PM on 23 Oct 2006, whisht wrote:

    "rude" Bored to death? blimey, rather restrained I'd say, especially when responding to comments about "sad lives".

    quite good natured really... - I like the username btw!

  38. At 08:42 AM on 24 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Interestingly enough, a lot of modern equipment (satellite/freeview boxes, DVD players, audio systems, etc) don't actually have an off switch. I know that a lot of the gear I have, the only way to switch it completely off is to unplug it from the wall,, at which point you lose all the settings, and it takes time to restart when plugged back in. It's designed so that people don't have to get up out of their chair to switch it on. I guess we're paying now for our love of being lazy. I must admit I'm as guilty as everyone else. My LCD monitor here in the office is only switched off when I'm going to be away for a number of days. I guess it's up to me to make the effort...

    btw Bored To Death (36) I don't think we were rude at all (or at least we didn't mean to be). I'm surprised to hear you say that there's a "the silent majority" out there. A blog is designed to be an interactive device. That means people don't just read, they respond to what's been blogged and then to the comments of others. That's what's been going on here. It's a natuarl progression. Yes, there are those who prefer to read the comments only (the term lurker is not meant derogatively, I assure you). But I would hazard a guess that it's not a "silent majority" that's angry with the way things have progressed here. I think we would have been shouted down by any such majority long before now...

  39. At 10:14 AM on 24 Oct 2006, John H. wrote:

    I have to say, Fearless, you do have a gentle, inclusive attitude to people criticisng what goes on here. I think the people who don't like the tone of the discussions we have should either, (1) comment anyway on the story that led them to seek the blog out - rather than commenting on what the rest of us are saying, or (2) mosey on over to Nick Robinson's blog (or some other) where they will probably find more like-minded people.

    Oh crikey - look at me! How pompous was that?

  40. At 11:41 AM on 24 Oct 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    John H. - Thanks! I guess it's just how I was raised. I try to be open to other peoples ideas, while trying to find non-confrontational methods of resolving arguments.. Sheesh, now I'm doing the pompous bit! What's surprising me, however, that people such as Patricia on the next thread and Bored(36) are actually posting here. After all, if I find something isn't my taste or doesn't grab me, then I walk away. By hanging on here, it only serves to cause friction where there's no need...

  41. At 08:06 PM on 24 Oct 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Well said Fearless (40), x.

  42. At 02:15 PM on 26 Oct 2006, David wrote:

    Re: New name for PM Letters.
    How about PM Polly Filla, a handy flexible gunge that will expand to fill any embarrassing cracks in the schedule? It dries to a less noticeable finish than a 'never ending question'.

  43. At 06:57 PM on 10 Dec 2007, stephen hill wrote:

    A great programme with very professional team.
    We find it help us to keep up with the most recent events on various subjects.

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