The WSJ is running an article about some guys in Spain who claim to have patented an algorithm that can detect if an electronic device is in "standby mode" and cut the power
. The issue, of course, is that plenty of electronic appliances and gadgets don't really turn off. Instead, they continue to draw power even if switched "off." In reality, they're in standby mode, and continue to draw power. Some estimates say that all of these devices drawing power represent 10% of power usage, and in some techie areas, such as here in Silicon Valley, some estimates say that 26% of power usage comes from such "standby" devices. Perhaps I'm missing something, but what needs to be patented to simply tell these devices to actually turn off, rather than put themselves in standby mode? There's often a reason why these devices go into standby, rather than truly turn off, and removing that ability may end up causing more problems than it solves.