In the old days, an "off" switch meant just that. The machine in question was no longer thinking, no longer needed power.
These days, unfortunately, most everything is designed to be always-on, comes with a remote control, or offers functions that require a constant "listening". You never knows when you might wake up from a deep sleep and want to nuke a burrito, or fire up that blender! Your DVD player can't be sure when you'll press Play. Your cell phone charger sits at the ready, drawing a small bit of power in hopes you might match it up with your phone. And your PC faithfully blinks at you, ready to boot up at a moments notice.
(Assistant: "Sir, these lights keep blinking out of sequence, what should we do?" Shatner: "Get them to blink in sequence!")
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