Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Google Navy

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the but-it's-on-the-internet dept.

Power 259

theodp writes "Is Google preparing to launch its own Navy? In its just-published application for a patent on the Water-Based Data Center, Google envisions a world where 'computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.' And you thought The Onion was joking when it reported on Google's Fleet of Naval Warships!"

cancel ×

259 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Cooling (2, Insightful)

Uglypug (1309973) | about 6 years ago | (#24902363)

Very good idea from a cooling point of view I suppose, the a/c bills for a big datacenter can be huge. But enough to offset the cost of operating an entire ship..?

Re:Cooling (5, Interesting)

chasingsol (743706) | about 6 years ago | (#24902411)

Add to that wave power, custom built ships just for this purpose anchored in place, fiber connection to the mainland and it may well prove to be cheaper over the long term than a land-based air conditioned building that requires lots of power. Air conditioning is a huge part of the long term cost of a datacenter, using water cooling with abundant supplies of water seems like a very green way of doing things.

Re:Cooling (5, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | about 6 years ago | (#24902585)

Not to mention that there's no property tax (being taxed to occupy real estate), if the local business or economic climate goes bad you can pick up and be towed to a different location, and you can always add more units if demand increases. The one problem I see is pirates. No, seriously - you anchor one of these away from an area patrolled by a decent navy/coast guard, and I can see someone paying you a visit late one night to haul away equipment...

Re:Cooling (5, Funny)

nategoose (1004564) | about 6 years ago | (#24902761)

Google Earth sees the pirates before they get close. I'm not sure what Google Boat does then, but it may involve ninjas.

GoogleWay (5, Funny)

newr00tic (471568) | about 6 years ago | (#24902955)

No.

GoogleBoat will GoogleFloat to a (Google)Safe (Google)Location.

Re:Cooling (4, Funny)

DuctTape (101304) | about 6 years ago | (#24903639)

Google Earth sees the pirates before they get close. I'm not sure what Google Boat does then, but it may involve ninjas.

Ahem... that would be Google Ninjas(TM).

... but they're still in beta.

DT

Re:Cooling (1)

Bluecobra (906623) | about 6 years ago | (#24902771)

Pirates? I would be more afraid of oceanographers.

Vladimir Wolodarsky: Steve, one of the interns just fell down the stairs with the main tracking processor.
Steve Zissou: All right, just make sure we steal the backup.

Re:Cooling (3, Insightful)

Venik (915777) | about 6 years ago | (#24902929)

Russia's "Bazalt" naval weapons manufacturer recently proposed arming commercial vessels with automatic grenade launchers to deter pirates. There is an idea for Google! They can start with grenades and later upgrade to anti-ship missiles. Or just build an aircraft carrier and save on future operating costs and upgrades :)

Re:Cooling (4, Funny)

andrikos (1114853) | about 6 years ago | (#24903007)

Or just patrolling sharks with mounted lasers!

Pirates? (1)

Toe, The (545098) | about 6 years ago | (#24903227)

That's why Google is also developing the ED-209 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Cooling (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903607)

somehow you think that it won't pollute the area that it is in?

remember that heat can be considered pollution as well.

i live close to San Onofre nuclear power plant, and the hot discharge from the plant has completely changed the flora and fauna along that section of the coast.

Re:Cooling (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 6 years ago | (#24902427)

Yes, talk about a new generation of water cooling!

Heat pollution (2, Informative)

Toe, The (545098) | about 6 years ago | (#24903159)

Ocean-water-cooling would just move the heat pollution [wikipedia.org] of data centers from an urban area to the ocean. I am not sure that is an improvement. Substantial temperature changes have major effects on ocean microecosystems.

Re:Cooling (1)

soren42 (700305) | about 6 years ago | (#24903219)

The problem will be global warming... talk about a way to increase oceanic temperatures and melt the polar ice caps!

Google - bad for the environment.... I never thought I'd see the day...

Re:Cooling (5, Interesting)

Jaktar (975138) | about 6 years ago | (#24903267)

Having served on a Navy ship I can point out a few problems:

First, sea water temperatures vary greatly depending on the part of the world you're operating in. It's not uncommon for surface sea water temps to be in the 85F(30C)+ range for most areas where you're likely to moor a ship. The AC units that we used were barely able to keep the small server room that I ran cool under those conditions.

Second, the motion of the ship caused premature drive failures due to the pitch and roll of the ship. This could be alleviated with solid state drives, but that's a bit off for a data center at the moment.

Lastly, bandwidth and latency are problematic. Sure, Google could just buy a satellite, but they can't modify the 2000ms latency. Depending on ship size and sea conditions, keeping a satellite lock may be an issue as well due to roll.

All I can really say to Google is, good luck with all that!

Re:Cooling (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 6 years ago | (#24903455)

I'm assuming Google would go more with a barge and less with a ship. The barge is going to be a bit more stable (although there will still be pitch and roll) and there would be a fiber umbilical connecting the barge to land (no satellite).

Hey everyone they're GREEN! (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | about 6 years ago | (#24902377)

Now focus on that apart from the fact that it would also allow them to shift the jurisdiction of their operations when laws change in specific regions.

Hell, fill them with enough guns and they could just put them in international waters. If any of these are launched, shall we start the pool on how long until the "Google fighting Piracy" joke headlines?

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1)

e2d2 (115622) | about 6 years ago | (#24902651)

Google could never bring enough might to bear to claim complete and utter isolation from national laws just by motoring into international waters. Any country with might would simply seize control if provoked. It's really hard to fall back on "law" when you are facing the very same people that write them.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1)

SUB7IME (604466) | about 6 years ago | (#24902701)

I think he means to defend the ship vs actual ocean pirates, not sovereign powers.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902945)

Sovereign powers have a long history of piracy, amongst other things.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (2, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | about 6 years ago | (#24903503)

Ohhhh the year was 1778

How i wish i was in sherbrooke nowwww.

A letter of marque came from the king for the scummiest vessel i'd ever seen!

wait ... Topic....

True but government sanction piracy would have to consist of smaller forces to maintain plausible deniability. The kind of piracy you're describing is the kind i can see getting it's ass kicked if google hired a security force with the kind of revenue they'd have to be making to justify these kinds of ships to begin with.

The only question after that would be when it becomes profitable to do so despite considering those costs.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | about 6 years ago | (#24902825)

Yes, but they can still up-anchor and leave the current port of call when it becomes obvious that the current locations laws are not as amenable as somewhere else (taking into account cost of moving the ship of course). For international waters, i dont see them thumbing their noses at any super powers but they can avoid quite a bit of red-tape (sometimes justified red-tape) by stationing in international waters.

As long as they dont step on big toes, then the worst they have to worry about would be actual piracy. Course, I doubt they'd be positioning these near the phillipines or anything like that. For fun with forward thinking, keep in mind that "We employ N% of your population and provide M% of your GDP" is a powerful leveraging point that google could theoretically use if they got massive enough.

Heres hoping Google isn't to be zOrg of the future.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#24902919)

Hell, fill them with enough guns and they could just put them in international waters.

That's one long fiber-optic cord you are proposing. Somehow I doubt people would put up with satellite's latency.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | about 6 years ago | (#24903331)

Depends on the distance and the location. Could always work out a series of GoogleBuoys with permanent landlines as underwater cable that they alternate between. or perhaps a high power microwave bridge in a region where theres little issue with native fauna.

Just because the direct land->ship link is what they're describing doesn't mean it's the only option.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 6 years ago | (#24903017)

Or they could just anchor out in international waters and not be under anybody's jurisdiction. The only fuzzy bit would be where the cables connected to, but if they anchored in the right spot, they could probably connect to several nations simultaneously.

Re:Hey everyone they're GREEN! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | about 6 years ago | (#24903423)

So: [slashdot.org]

Hell, fill them with enough guns and they could just put them in international waters.

That and.. [slashdot.org]

Could always work out a series of GoogleBuoys with permanent landlines as underwater cable that they alternate between

I hear ya. ... well.. read ya.

A better name for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902383)

The motion of the ocean ;-)

Re:A better name for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902759)

I joined the navy,
to see the world,
but what did I see,
lots of porn.

More reason? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24902389)

Is there more than just being eco-friendly to this? I can see this being used to avoid taxes, censorship laws, etc.

Re:More reason? (1)

cryptodan (1098165) | about 6 years ago | (#24902423)

Is there more than just being eco-friendly to this? I can see this being used to avoid taxes, censorship laws, etc.

Theyd have to be located 12nm from any shore to be in international waters.

Re:More reason? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24902441)

Yes, but if these boats are movable Google can easily say: Let us do *insert thing here* or we will move to *insert country here* that will let us do that and you lose our tax dollars.

Re:More reason? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902787)

No problem, 120 angstrom is a really really short distance.

Re:More reason? (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 6 years ago | (#24903019)

I think they can manage 12 nano meters

Re:More reason? (1)

xednieht (1117791) | about 6 years ago | (#24902475)

Eh semantics really. Taxes would be replaced by patent royalty fees, censorship by terms of service - the violation of which would invalidate the license to float... etc....

Re:More reason? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24902531)

But Google won't have to pay patent fees in international jurisdiction and Google wants to fight censorship as much as the average /.er, it makes ads better.

Re:More reason? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24902979)

I would just start taxing bandwidth.

Re:More reason? (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | about 6 years ago | (#24903125)

Oh, I think they'll be more likely to attempt to avoid taxes than censorship. Based on past performance.

Isn't that bad for electronics? (5, Informative)

bigtallmofo (695287) | about 6 years ago | (#24902391)

Google envisions a world where 'computing centers are located on a ship or ships

My father-in-law worked as a linesman for AT&T about 30 years at a beach town in southern New Jersey. He told me that they had to replace electrnoic components almost twice as quickly as more inland areas because of the more corrosive saltwater air.

If this is a real effect, I imagine that it will be difficult to prevent on a ship in the ocean.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (3, Interesting)

the_womble (580291) | about 6 years ago | (#24902487)

Computers can go in a matter of months in a location really close to the sea.

On the other hand, I know people, in the town I have just moved to, who live only tens of meters from the sea who have had no problems - but they have a massive rampart between them and the sea that (I think) blocks the spray.

Ships are going to be tricky but designs meant to keep salt spray out may be workable.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (4, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | about 6 years ago | (#24902819)

Ships are going to be tricky but designs meant to keep salt spray out may be workable.

It's not like the US Navy, every cruise line, and countless shipbuilders haven't ever put a computer on a seagoing vessel before.

"May be workable"? I'd say it's been solved many times over.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24903003)

The Navy isn't comparing the costs of those computers to computers in a data center somewhere on land.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 6 years ago | (#24903233)

Bizarre idea I had was to seal the data center on the ship,
and have the equivalent of decontamination chambers to enter
the room.

Then lower a deep sea intake line down to where the water is
about 5 degree celsius, and pumps it in to heat exchangers
to cool the server room.

I used to work on heat exchangers when I worked on RADAR in
the Navy, we used it to cool our RADAR but we didn't go for
the deep much colder water.

In theory the server room could be devoid of oxygen so oxidation
of contacts could not take place, and give the server techs
small oxygen tanks and masks to work like the small walk
around device that emphysema patients use.

Could make it a sterile environment that could make the servers
actually last longer.

On US Navy warships special door seals were used so that ships
would not sink if they had a hole blowing the side of them just
like the Cole in Yemen.

It had a huge hole, but did not sink due to these door seals.

Shifting the fuel storage tanks levels kept the Cole mostly vertical.

For power they could mount Wind Turbines and Solar Panels on
Main Deck and even use them for shade on Main Deck.

If they Anchored out in a strong current like the Florida
Current they could tap it by lower Aquanators over the side.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/26/1096137100758.html?oneclick=true [smh.com.au]

The Florida Straits alone has about 30 times the flow of
all the rivers of the world combined.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_stream#Normal_behavior_of_the_Gulf_Stream [wikipedia.org]

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (2, Interesting)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 6 years ago | (#24902497)

I doubt Google cares, they throw away any servers older than 3 years or so (dead or not).

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902649)

[citation needed]

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902523)

WIth technological advances in today's environmental control systems I'm sure corrosive atmospheric compounds can be sifted out of enclosed spaces.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902643)

Its not a real effect. :p

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (2, Interesting)

rtaylor (70602) | about 6 years ago | (#24902789)

Google datacenters are pretty much disposable today. Build it once, run it for X years, then dump the entire thing. Repairs are less and less useful.

Each rack could be an independently sealed bubble (airtight) with a few wires coming out the top for power and network connectivity, then hang the entire rack into a flooded compartment of the boat -- say a catamaran with a protective mesh bottom.

With cooling requirements taken care of, powering the computers becomes quite a bit easier.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | about 6 years ago | (#24903013)

Why? They can seal the datacenters airtight, nothing is going in or out of that room... Except the cables that is...

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 6 years ago | (#24903067)

That's possible, but that's definitely something which can be dealt with.

If that were really that kind of a problem, the Navy would have real issues. Just seal up the room and clean the air when people go in. Cooling isn't an issue because they'd be doing water cooling anyways, and that's through sealed piping.

It would probably cost less than what it currently costs to keep the temperature down. More likely than not doing all that would be overkill anyways.

Re:Isn't that bad for electronics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903143)

This is a real effect, however, on a boat it may actually be feasible to watercool an entire data center. And once you do that you can simply pump all the air out of the room or replace it with something that isn't as corrosive as air (strait nitrogen comes to mind, bonus that it eliminates the possibility of fires). The real trick would be keeping the water filters clean. But considering some of the problems google has solved I'm not really worried about this one.

But you're right, if they end up sticking with air cooling keeping the air filters that keep corrosion away clean will be difficult.

SS Google (3, Interesting)

escay (923320) | about 6 years ago | (#24902397)

are these going to be stationed more than 12 nautical miles away from the coast? 'cause, you know, then they wouldn't be under US jurisdiction.

Re:SS Google (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 6 years ago | (#24903121)

Sigh, I really wish people would stop with this meme. Compared to a lot of other countries, we're not that bad. I mean try posting history lessons about WWII in Europe or Japan. Or anything which isn't particularly flattering to the government in China. I'm sure that's not even a comprehensive list.

But, the suggestion that the US is worse than other countries, is naive at best. Realistically, the US government just gets more focus than other nations do.

Re:SS Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903175)

You mean the 12 miles boundary defined by the Law of the Sea, which the US has *not* signed up to?

Re:SS Google (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 6 years ago | (#24903469)

It does not matter if the US has signed the Law of the Sea treaty or not. They would just break it or bend it until it is was unrecognizable as they usually do.

Re:12 mile note... (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 6 years ago | (#24903445)

The ship may not be teritorial waters but the fiber connection surely is....

they still largely would be (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 6 years ago | (#24903647)

Assuming Google remains a United States company, has U.S. bank accounts, does business in the U.S., has its employees and managers on U.S. soil instead of moving them all to the boat too, and so on, it'll be pretty easily subject to U.S. laws.

Sea-Code? (4, Interesting)

conner_bw (120497) | about 6 years ago | (#24902417)

This reminds me a lot of Sea Code [sea-code.com] .

Basically, a boat a few miles of the coast in international waters with cheap labour from other countries living on the boat.

For real Google?

Re:Sea-Code? (1)

firmamentalfalcon (1187583) | about 6 years ago | (#24902911)

What if Google actually wants to harness the power from the waves? It isn't possible that anything offshore can be in good intention? There aren't much waves inland.

Great! (0)

Urger (817972) | about 6 years ago | (#24902429)

Great, so now not only will Google have my private data, but so will the Pirates who will take Google over. They better invest in some ninjas just in case.

Old aircraft carriers would work (4, Funny)

Nyckname (240456) | about 6 years ago | (#24902447)

But there's the matter of pizza delivery.

Re:Old aircraft carriers would work (3, Funny)

barista (587936) | about 6 years ago | (#24902861)

I'm sure they'll listen to Reason.

A great idea! (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | about 6 years ago | (#24902455)

And then let the ships circle around the edge of the Pacific ocean, picking up IT workers along the way to drop off in America.

Hmmmmn...

Where have I heard that before [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:A great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902637)

Sounds like a new slave trade to me.

how is using sea water for cooling cool??? (0)

way2trivial (601132) | about 6 years ago | (#24902469)

http://newsfromchernobyl.blogspot.com/2008/01/indian-river-center-of-fish-debate.html [blogspot.com]

it's going to affect the immediate enviroment...

Re:how is using sea water for cooling cool??? (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 6 years ago | (#24902905)

First of all, so what?

Second of all, I don't think you'll find a google data center to be on par with a nuclear power plant. They might have some heat to dissipate but the water isn't exactly going to be boiling.

Re:how is using sea water for cooling cool??? (2, Interesting)

iknowcss (937215) | about 6 years ago | (#24902965)

So far this is the only comment that asks the first question that popped into my head. That heat does have to go somewhere.

Re:how is using sea water for cooling cool??? (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 6 years ago | (#24903509)

You pump really cold water up from a few thousand feet and pump the warm water,the heat, over the side and it just 'floats' away. No problem really.

Environmental Disaster! (0)

pugs (70190) | about 6 years ago | (#24902477)

What happens if one of those ships breaks lose?
Bits will be washing up all over the beaches of the world!

Think of the seabirds struggling to regain their natural analog resolution after being covered in bits!

Overreaching? (1)

andy1307 (656570) | about 6 years ago | (#24902481)

Am I the only one who thinks google is overreaching? Doing stuff just because they have tons of cash..for now..

Re:Overreaching? (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 6 years ago | (#24902933)

No this is brilliant. First, the cooling and power center will probably save Google massive amounts of money. Second and more importantly, this will allow Google to put its data centers in international waters and outside prying U.S. or other eyes.

Re:Overreaching? (2, Funny)

Singularitarian2048 (1068276) | about 6 years ago | (#24903705)

Every company dies. But not every company truly lives.

This gives a whole new meaning to offshoring (2, Interesting)

colinmcnamara (1152427) | about 6 years ago | (#24902545)

In all seriousness, there may be interesting tax implications if these datacenters are put outside of US waters.

Re:This gives a whole new meaning to offshoring (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 years ago | (#24902671)

It all seems rather perilous. A problem is the risk that the ship sinks. Think of the insurance premiums!

Do you want your data at the bottom of the sea?

Sure you may have backups... but you had that datacenter for a reason, right?

And the risk of espionage... an internatonal competitor could hire thugs to sneak abord your ship in international waters, and take control of the ship and the datacenter at gunpoint, while cutting off your servers' satellite link to the world.

Or damage to your ship may cause it to have to be evacuated, and a shipman from another country salvages it... selling off your unharmed servers & all their data for profit.

It's been tried before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902555)

With less than stellar results

Sea Org [wikipedia.org]

Google Earth? (4, Funny)

Smivs (1197859) | about 6 years ago | (#24902571)

So presumably these ships will connect through a series of Google-Sats in geo-stationary orbits, linking to a Google-hub in each country. And behold, Google shall inherit the Earth. Thankfully, a network of Microsoft terrorists will be able to track then using Virtual Earth and infect the servers with Windows, thus rendering them useless and saving us all.

Re:Google Earth? (1)

poopdeville (841677) | about 6 years ago | (#24902703)

Thankfully, a network of Microsoft terrorists will be able to track then using Virtual Earth and infect the servers with Windows, thus rendering them useless and saving us all.

Freedom fighters.

Okay, it's a neat idea ... (0, Troll)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 6 years ago | (#24902603)

... but patenting it? WTF?

Sorry, Google, but the patent really doesn't fit with "don't be evil." Do you guys remember that phrase?

Re:Okay, it's a neat idea ... (1)

hexapodium (1265360) | about 6 years ago | (#24902763)

I get the feeling they're patenting it in order to avoid being trolled by it in future: it's exactly the kind of thing that they would get trolled with (well, anything Google does is the kind of thing that gets trolled, by dint of Google doing it) and the fact that you hold a patent doesn't mean you have to enforce that patent.
It's a shame we live in the era where this is not just acceptable, but necessary, but that's where we are.

Re:Okay, it's a neat idea ... (5, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 6 years ago | (#24902851)

If Google (or Microsoft, or Apple, or..) doesn't patent every single idea they come up with now, someone else will sue them for it later on. If you were sued as often as Google [google.com] , you'd learn to CYA every chance you could get. Such insanity is the price of doing business in the USA.

So owning patents (frivolous or not) is neutral. Releasing patents to the public is good. Suing others over frivolous patents is evil.

Google may not be doing "good", but they're still following their mantra.

Re:Okay, it's a neat idea ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903155)

... but patenting it? WTF?

Sorry, Google, but the patent really doesn't fit with "don't be evil." Do you guys remember that phrase?

even worse, it's a submarine patent!

It will need to work better then windows for warsh (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 6 years ago | (#24902647)

It will need to work better then windows for warships to be a good idea.

My tickets are bought (1)

Xamusk (702162) | about 6 years ago | (#24902695)

If the the Onion is right then my tickets to get out of Sri-Lanka are already bought.

Not only will your data be logged (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902745)

It will be water logged!

Neal Stephenson (1)

Lt.Hawkins (17467) | about 6 years ago | (#24902781)

I'm not sure which reference is more appropriate: Crytponomicon data haven, or The Raft in Snowcrash...

No, William Gibson (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | about 6 years ago | (#24903191)

Stephenson? Pfft!

A better reference might be to Maas-Neotek from Mona Lisa Overdrive and other books.

Sounds like Pirate Radio (1)

Talen317 (1131949) | about 6 years ago | (#24902805)

Sounds like they might be attempting the equivalent of Pirate Radio [wikipedia.org] and could be a way to avoid a lot of different national laws and regulations. I'm sure there is not a lot of copyright or patent protection in Maritime Law.

Re:Sounds like Pirate Radio (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24903169)

I was just thinking the same thing. By keeping their data centers on international waters, they need to stop worrying about DMCA takedown letters, in a way. They'll just filter the corresponding country's IPs from accessing the corresponding content.

Alright, mateys, let's Go on the account and raise the Jolly Roger. Yarrr!!

ARRRRRR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902913)

Google will just have to watch out for pirates in more ways then one.

Fluid Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902921)

Dr. Linda Lao: Have you built the world's first perpetual motion machine?
Baron Von Westphalen: The ocean is a perpetual motion machine. Fluid Karma is a simulation of the principles you see working right here. As long as the waves continue to crash, Fluid Karma will exist.
Dr. Katarina Kuntzler: Quantum teleportation.
Dr. Linda Lao: Explain the transport mechanism, that's all I'm asking.
Dr. Soberin Exx: Uh, Fluid Karma works via the principle of quantum entanglement. Particles thus entangled will behave identically.

Science fiction reality (1)

MadMan2 (3669) | about 6 years ago | (#24902975)

Hi, Actually this idea is not new!

The 1st time I read about this idea, was in a book from Bruce Sterling (which title I unfortunately can not remember - could be Islands in the Net or one of his short stories). I vaguely remember that William Gibson also mentioned floating data centers in a short story (sorry, must be the old age that prohibits my memory from spewing the titles: maybe I should start rereading? I am sure that some or other of you youngster geeks will find the relevant title :) ).
A more recent mention and variation on this idea, is from Peter F. Hamilton in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindstar_Rising [wikipedia.org] , where they have huge floating factories (offshore for tax purposes :)) and space launching sites. Expanding on that idea, Hamilton even has the Evans corporation own space factories which have their own cybernetic data-cores.

It is a public secret that Page & Brin are still in charge of Google's executive ideas and experiments. Those ships prove that those guys read their portion of SF and sometimes try out a few of them. So how long before we see Google's first orbital data-center?

Power from the tides (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24902995)

AC at 2 cycles per day.

I, for one, welcome... (4, Interesting)

rdwald (831442) | about 6 years ago | (#24903259)

But seriously, am I the only one who sees an inevitable path from "offshore datacenters" to "cyberpunk future where major corporations like Google declare sovereignty"?

US Navy ...Echelon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903301)

My guess is that stuff like this is already being done via NSA or something. I'm sure they don't mind tapping sea fibers in international waters.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903363)

All this energy we're wasting is wasting is heating up the atmosphere and making people angry. What to do? I know it! Let's pour it into the oceans instead!

They're not the first ... (2, Informative)

miller60 (554835) | about 6 years ago | (#24903483)

A San Francisco startup is working on a fleet of data centers on cargo ships [slashdot.org] , as discussed here on Slashdot earlier this year..

Slashdot, get a grip (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | about 6 years ago | (#24903559)

People are always ranting about patent abuse over here, now Google is filing a patent on basically "computing on a ship" and nobody's screaming about it????

This is a good _idea_, but that's it! It's not a patenteable invention.

As a person interested in seasteading [seasteading.org] I am quite concerned over paying royalties to Google over running a server in my future home.

Right next to.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24903621)

..surplus nuclear powered submarines that can supply enough juice to run the thing.

Prior-Art (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 6 years ago | (#24903623)

Ships - been done

Wave motion electrical generation - been done

Data Center - been done

Marine Cables - been done

Self contained electrical generating stations connected to shore by cables and monitored by onboard computers that also store info - been done

Do I detect the filing patents for the purposes of doing EVIL??

Right Direction maybe better idea (4, Interesting)

WillRobinson (159226) | about 6 years ago | (#24903651)

Point taken on water temp, security and connections. Why not just have a submersible barge, and drop down to the ocean floor.

Makes it easy to moor. Fiber just lays on the ocean floor. Improved Security, and the water will be much cooler. Sort of a barge made like a giant heatsink. Mount the processors to the hull.

When the barge looses enough hardware, just raise it back up, service it and drop it back down.

Also reduced problems with being pitched around causing lost disk drives. Hurricanes? No problem.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>