Google's Mysterious Floating Data Center
came first, the chicken or the egg? The same can probably be asked of Google and the government's (NSA, CIA, FBI,
DHS, and various other 3-letter agencies) need for a massive data collection capability that at first glance
has the appearance of a benign private company. Even though Larry Page (creator of PageRank for website pages; i.e.,
named after 'Page,' not 'page') and Sergey Brin undoubtedly developed and built Google without any help from the
Fed, their current intertwinings with every facet of government from low level agency personnel all the way up to the prez
himself is unquestionable. You don't get that kind of access and wield such influence without giving up something
in return - usually your honor and personal motto (in this case abandoning "Don't
We have all witnessed hypocrisy on the part of Google's executives in the form of a pimped-out
767 aircraft for globe trotting under the guise of eco-warrioring, along with special landing privileges at
military installations. Add to that the massive data centers that consume mind-numbing amounts of power while assuaging
their guilt by installing a few solar panels and wind turbines in the desert to supply partial power. But wait,
now there's more.
recently, a massive floating barge was spotted docked in San Francisco Bay that has ostensibly been traced back
to Google. Just for the record, I am not claiming that Google has anything to do with it, but numerous reports
suggest it is so. It is actually one of
two such behemoths built by a contractor, with the other having been photographed in Maine. Speculation (OK, rumor)
has it that Google is implementing such an installation (or installations) as a means of skirting the law by operating
in international waters. It conveniently might also excuse the company from taxation in any particular country.
Oh, and maybe, just maybe, one or more of the aforementioned 3-letter agencies might be ushering the process along
out of the goodness of its (their) G-man (and G-woman) heart(s).
all this sound a bit too conspiratorial for you to buy into it? After all, where will the power come from to operate
all the computers that will be needed to run the data center? There is not enough room for the amount of solar panels
that would be required, and a wind turbine is out of the question. Underwater turbines that feed off of currents
or tides won't do it either. That leaves just three options that I can think of, either enormous power cables lying
on the ocean bottom that are fed from onshore sources, an onboard carbon-based fuel electrical generator, or a nuclear-powered
electrical generator like what is used on a submarine. The first option might prove dicey since sovereignty issues
would be debatable depending on who is supplying the power to the barge. The second option is flat-out hypocritical
(not that it would harm their consciences at this point) and the last option is the scariest of all since obtaining
such technology would require either special access to military sources and licensing or collusion with terrorists.
lot of investigative reporting has been done on this revelation in the last week or so since the Google barges'
discovery. U.S. patent
data center," (assignee: Google, Inc.) was found that outlines exactly such a facility, without divulging too
much detail about the implementation. The abstract states thus, "A system includes a floating platform-mounted computer
data center comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection
with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the plurality
of computing units." That appears to address the power source question in general, but does not rule out the possibility
of an onshore connection.
Believe it or not, my suggested possibilities for unreasonable power sources was
made before reading the patent, which indeed proposes exactly those. If implemented, they will be distractions to
pacify the concerns of Greenies - who will gladly go along with and defend Google like good little trained drones.
Regardless of the power source, there will be a huge amount of heat generated by the onboard equipment that will
need to be dissipated. Undoubtedly that heat will be transferred directly into the ambient water. Doing so in sovereign
waters will require a legal permit which will be issued only following extensive studies of the ecological ramifications
of adding such a copious amount of heat to the water. Nuclear power plant construction has been successfully blocked
specifically due to concerns for how the increase in water temperature will affect plant and animal life in the
area. Such processes typically take many years. Has Google applied for and received such permits? Has NSA told the
EPA to quell the objections of the NIH and OSHA because DHS, CIA, and FBI deem the capability to be top priority?
Do you think there is a chance that someone has greased the skids, so to speak, for obtaining such licenses? Nah,
that would be unethical.
Now, please, just go back to sleep.
For more info
(and some hilarious reader comments) see "Mystery
Portland barge and San Francisco barge appear linked" and "Is
Google building a floating data center?" Do a Google (ironically) search for many more.
Posted October 28, 2013