It'd be pretty difficult for you to reach Engadget without having seen the EnergyStar logo on something along your way here. Whether it was as part of your motherboard's bootup sequence or on the box of your new TFT monitor, EnergyStar certification has become a de facto standard for most electronics being manufactured nowadays. What you might not have known -- but probably could have guessed -- is that the process for obtaining that sticker is far from bulletproof. The American Government Accountability Office has recently done a bit of spy work by putting forward imaginary products and false claims to the validating authority, and regrettably found its bogus items "mostly approved without a challenge." The auditors' conclusion was that the program is "highly vulnerable to fraud," and the stuff they've had certified would seem to corroborate that verdict. Hit up the Times article for the full story of governmental incompetence while the Department of Energy -- the body responsible for running the program -- tries to get its act straightened out.

[Thanks, Adam]