Google has ticked off users by wasting their CPU and energy on doodles which could have been done more economically in Flash
Google has been criticised by users for a series of celebratory doodles on its home page, that are slowing down PCs and wasting electricity.
CSS3 versus Flash, Google versus PCs
The two doodles backfired on Google, as users started to complain that their PCs ran very slowly. Andy Smith checked his household electricity meter and found his power usage went up by 15W (roughly ten percent of his PC’s usage) and Google Chrome went up to use 57 percent of his CPU. At ZDnet, Jack Schofield found one browser window used half his CPU resources.
Google’s discussion forums rapidly filled with complaints and various suggested fixes, including switching to the secure HTTPS protocol or using the Advanced Search option. But many users did as Jack Schofield did, and simply switched to a different search engine.
Google followed the bucky ball gaffe with a screen full of coloured blobs, which it created using clever and elegant code in the new CSS3 (cascading style sheet) standard web syntax. Each circle is web page element called a “div”, and a simple instruction turns each of these into circles, instead of squares. The divs are programmed to move out of the way of the cursor, and eventually settle into a Google logo.
The bubbles are not as wasteful as the bucky ball, but they still gathered complaints on the web, with Jack Schofield reporting that the blobs use 50 percent of his CPU in Firefox, and use about twice as much power as an Adobe Flash video.
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Bucky ball molecules, or fullerene, are named after engineer Buckminster Fuller as they have a skeleton of carbon atoms, in the shape of the geodesic dome, which he designed.