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Congress Passes Energy Efficient Server Initiative

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the make-them-look-better dept.

334

Krishna Dagli writes to mention a News.com article about a just-passed Congressional initiative. On Wednesday the House passed legislation instructing Americans to make energy efficiency a priority when purchasing computer servers. From the article: "Washington politicians voted 417-4 on Wednesday to tell American purchasing managers that it's in their 'best interests' to pay attention to energy conservation. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, also directs the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a three-month study 'of the growth trends associated with data centers and the utilization of servers in the federal government and private sector.'" Well, at least if they're doing this they're not passing 'real' laws, right?

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And? (0)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718550)

How, exactly, does this matter? I mean, it's a suggestion... and it's all about power these days

Re:And? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718581)

Well, at least if they're doing this they're not passing 'real' laws, right?

Hah, yes, Zonk, stand up to The Man for all the basement-dwelling faggot-gamers! What a witty remark! You rock!

Re:And? (1)

kjorn (687709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718606)

How much of your tax money was wasted on this bill?

Whats next, a $10,000,000 bill sugesting that breathing is a good idea. But not mandatory.

Re:And? (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718785)

It matters.

1. Energy efficient servers mean less electricity. How is it produced? Coal, nuclear, and other fuels. Less pollution.
2. It might save the government money and we have to pay for iraq somehow.
3. It will increase the demand and incentive for companies like AMD, Intel, Dell, Apple, HP and IBM to make energy efficent servers which in turn will get them to the masses. We all win.

Everyone is focused on gas prices because they are so high. Electricity and natural gas went up too. Look at your bill and compare it to a few years back. I know I'm feeling it. Gas won't go down below ~ 3 dollars ever. It doesn't go down. Our best bet is to save money elsewhere to pay for the $30 it takes to fill my saturn. Does anyone remember the brown outs and other problems of the past few years?

I also noticed some crazy conspiracy theories about this going through since Intel has good chips now. Well its entirely possible, but that doesn't mean AMD can't compete and get all the sales. Its about time AMD released something spectacular anyway. AMD64 has been out for awhile now.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718872)

I spend $10 filling up my ninja you insensitive clod!

Re:And? (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718796)

As someone who knows, the servers they have in every congressional office are not as energy efficient as they could be. Let's see congress replace their own servers before telling the rest of us what to do. Still, I guess this is a step in the right direction. But what constitutes "low energy consumption?" After all, the Energy Star ratings only apply when the device is turned off. With servers, this is never.

Re:And? (0)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718839)

Let's see congress replace their own servers before telling the rest of us what to do.

Except replacing the servers is a waste of energe. It costs energe to make them, quite a lot.
The suggestion, quite rightly, is to take this into account when buying *new* servers, not to replace old ones and add to the problem.
It is similar to cars, which is better, sell that 20yr old banger and buy a new car, or keep the banger. In most cases, the second is the best option. It takes more net energy to create a car than that car uses in fule in it's entire existance.
Or so I heard.

I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (5, Insightful)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718556)

...but why is this something our Congress is focusing on? How much time and money was just spent ignoring all the other needs so an oddball like this could get through?

Why don't they start pushing to have government offices 50% reliant upon solar (or other green power) by 10 years from now?

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (5, Funny)

kjorn (687709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718620)

Why don't they start pushing to have government offices 50% reliant upon solar (or other green power) by 10 years from now?

Better yet, powered by hot air?

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718959)

That'd never work, the USPTO ruled long ago that they wouldn't take applications for perpetual motion machines..;)

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718645)

For large companies energy efficiency is already a consideration because of cost. You can't set up a datacenter without estimating the cost of the electric bill and backup generators. So that makes me even more curious as to why they're wasting time and money on this. Basic economic demands promote energy efficiency in servers.

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718677)

How much time and money was just spent ignoring all the other needs so an oddball like this could get through?

Don't worry, nobody in Congress read anything but the bill title, and the vote just cut 15 minutes off nap time. The only person that lost any time on this was the intern that wrote it, and all he would have been doing otherwise was fetching someone a smoothie.

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (5, Informative)

grimwell (141031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718801)

President Jimmy Carter did install Solar Heating Panels on the White House in attempt to lead by example. President Ronald Regan removed them when he took office.

White House history [whitehousehistory.org]

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (2, Insightful)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719007)

That soo does not surprise me from the man who helped sign into law that a packet of ketchup would be considered a "vegetable" for school lunches. So frenchfries + ketchup = 2 vegetable portions...riiight. And who was surprised that Reagan had Alzheimer's?

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718833)

The govt already gives a 30% tax credit up to $2000 for home solar installs (not pool heating), and I believe it's upcapped for commercial. Recently FL started offering a rebate scheme for solar too, but the details are somewhat lacking at the moment. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

The problem is our attitude. Here in FL, most solar installs are not to heat domestic water, but to heat the pools. We need to be a little less decadent. When I talk to people about these issues, they really don't give a hoot about polution and energy consumption, despite the people being well edumucated and having a good income. Even our power bill being around half of theirs for the same size family and house doesn't make them think that maybe they could actually do something about their consumption.

Few people actually care, and that's the problem. :-(

Peak Oil (2, Insightful)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718847)

As oil production peaks while demand continues to soar ever upward, all other industries that depend on cheap oil will suffer. If you're grid is powered primarily by coal, you will find that coal becomes much more expensive when coal mining equipment that depends on petroleum is more expensive to operate.

It is in our best interests NOW, TODAY to start paying attention to who is wasting electricity.

Few who have ever worked in data centers can say with a straight face that this is a sustainable business model in light of the looming energy crisis we're about to face.

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718876)

If only there was a way to harness the energy from all of Congress's hot air! That combined with the turbine power of founding fathers spinning in their graves from the other stuff the government does could solve all of our energy problems!

Because it's an election year (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718945)

why is this something our Congress is focusing on?

Because a bunch of people vote for political candidates who talk about "national energy strategy" and they bitch (again, at politicians) about gas prices. Regardless of whether or not people say they really want a centrally-planned economy, they truly act like they want the federal government to be in charge of energy production, energy use, and energy prices.

People, if you do want this stuff, then you just have to accept that Congress will pass laws about how much energy computers use, we will have our military forces in the Persian Gulf area, etc. If you don't like it, then tell your government to butt out, and that means voting against any candidate that says they will make energy issues part of their political agenda. Put your ballot where your mouth is.

Re:I'm all for being an earth concious consumer... (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719052)

agreed 100%. This is welcome, but irrelevant when so many americans (and increasingly us brits) drive armoured personnel carriers on the school-run.
Still this could be a good trojan-horse. How can congress not vote for stricter car efficiency laws when they vote for this? surely a precedent of sorts?

What about cars?!? (5, Insightful)

Shisha (145964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718558)

Maybe someone should try telling Americans the same thing about cars. To paraphrase the legislation "give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of cars."

Re:What about cars?!? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718576)

Well, now the AMD fanbois are going to say "OMG your Pentium 4 is just as bad as a Ford Excursion!"

(Note: I'm neutral. I'll run a good AMD chip just as quickly as I'll run a good Intel chip. My current system is a Celeron M.)

As for cars, I drove an 85 Jetta diesel running on 20% biodiesel until last Friday (when I wrecked it). Now I'm temporarily driving a beat up 88 Civic, and I'm going to get an 86 Golf diesel in need of an engine and transmission, which will come from my Jetta. :)

Re:What about cars?!? (3, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718708)

Maybe someone should try telling Americans the same thing about cars. To paraphrase the legislation "give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of cars."

This was my first thought when reading this summary. Then I thought. It's really pointless all together because those buy computer rooms worth of computer already look at energy efficiency! O.k. the way that they do it generally is how much A/C is required and what is the cost in electrity to run them all. The more efficient a computer the less A/C and power than you need.

Reading your post, I thought of why not a 1% power reduction across the board on all products per year until industries run into actual real hard limits for reducing power consumation. 1% doesn't sound like much, but over time it would add up, plus it would be a good mindset to get our engineers into thinking about.

Re:What about cars?!? (4, Insightful)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718734)

Maybe someone should try telling Americans the same thing about cars. To paraphrase the legislation "give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of cars."

I know yours is a bit tongue in cheek, however I still must comment on this concept. This is so offensive to me. Don't ASK people to do things that are non-optimal. Don't ask people to make themselves and their business less cost effective. You don't set up a free market, and then ask people to work outside of the equilibrium points "because". Money is just the metric by which we choose to optimize the system. Taxes and tax breaks on things like this exist for a reason... to help account for hidden costs to make the optimal point... actually.. you know.. optimal.

Congress has the power to move the cost equilibrium (taxes). They don't. They choose to ask you operate to your own disadvantage for the good of us all. Why? Because they are bought and paid for. There are lobbies that prevent them from doing it. So they resort to this seriously ridiculous concept. If you want us to use more energy effecient $THINGS then use TAXES and TAX BREAKS to move the market. Move the god damm equilibrium point so it's cost effective for us to do so. Asking me to operate outside of the cost equilibriums of a free market is basically asking me to risk my own fincial health because you don't have the willpower to risk things yourself. I'm sorry but my retirement/business/kids-college is more important than your re-election. Therefore your "instructions" on how I should spend my money are of no meaning to me. Stand up and make buying energy effecient things cost-effective, and then we'll talk.

Re:What about cars?!? (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718738)

Stop promoting Japanese cars so blatantly. Where's your nationalism?

Re:What about cars?!? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718788)

I lost it at the pump, had to trade it in to fill my US-built SUV.

what about them? (2, Informative)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718793)

Maybe someone should tell you that car manufacturers haven't been able to keep up with hybrid demand in the US for years. Believe it or not, Americans have been feeling pain at the pump for a long time. You might as well start telling people that smoking causes cancer.

Fancy the timing (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718559)

Just in time for Woodcrest!

Good! (2, Insightful)

tomknight (190939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718565)

Energy efficiency *should* be a *a* priority. Not the top priority, but it does have some relevance. After all, does the cost of the system make a difference? How about the running cost? And then, how about the cost for electricity and a/c?

I also think that we do have a duty to think about the environmental impact of our actions, but I agree that passing a law to make someone consider this sort of thing is rather sad.

Re:Good! (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718652)

How is this a troll?

good (2, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718566)

It's a good idea to recomend this, it does save money and the ability of a country to prosper has become bound up with it's ability to keep enough energy to do what it needs. I wonder if as well as energy efficiency we will see them pushing for non-fossil fuel methods of energy production on a large scale as well. I the UK a (slightly rigged) energy report suggested that alternative power and energy efficiency could provide great benifits, as well as Blair's pet project, lots og nuclear power.

Re:good (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718718)

Real promotion of non-"fossil" fuel won't happen in the US for a very very long time. Energy companies have more influence in Washington than any other lobbyists. A bunch of Senators, Representatives, and the highest levels of the executive branch made their fortunes in "fossil" fuels. Terrorist attacks which only happened because of strong US influence in oil-rich countries haven't deterred the use of "fossil" fuels. If the deaths of thousands of Americans isn't enough to enrage the majority of people into making a difference then nothing is.

Re:good (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718771)

It's a good idea to recomend this, it does save money and the ability of a country to prosper has become bound up with it's ability to keep enough energy to do what it needs. ,br>
What is good for the people of a country is for government to stay as much as possible out of the decisions of how the people elect to spend their money. If a person or company feels it is to their advantage to spend more money on energy in the short term to gain an advantage, or perhaps because they do not believe the added cost of whatever is energy efficient will pay back the additional upfront expense (such as all those alternative energy cars car manufacturers announce to great fanfare and then quietly let fade away), then that is the risk those companies should be allowed to take without meddlesome legislation. What's next - legislation saying everyone must ride a bike to work? - except for important people like elected officials, of course.

Re:good (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718887)

I generally agree, but as long as some of our energy supply relies on other countries it's a government issue. And as long as we keep using oil from countries that consider us an enemy it's a national security issue. If all of our oil came from domestic sources (which is easily possible) then I'd be in total agreement with you.

Suspicious timing (2, Insightful)

3dWarlord (862844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718567)

I find it interesting that AMD held the energy efficiency crown for the past 3 years and then this legislation gets passed the day Core 2 Duo [slashdot.org] reviews start pouring in. As many of you are well aware, Intel's new architecture has a strong focus on energy efficiency and beats out AMD in this area.

Re:Suspicious timing (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718765)

not when you are useing raid

Re:Suspicious timing (2, Insightful)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718824)

But.... AMD just announced a major Facility in the Albany NY region. Republican Gov who is close to Dubya, two very well known Senators (Hillary & Chuck Schumer), one of the most greedy states in the Union as well as one of the most powerful.

I am not saying this is why the Legislation is being passed, I am just pointing out that we could easily play both sides.

Virtualization==Efficiency (4, Interesting)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718593)

A saavy hosting company can virtualize multiple machines into one physical box. The companies who can do this well enough so that their customers cannot tell the difference will operate more efficiently. Power isn't going to get cheaper, until we figure out how to stop burning what's left of our fossil fuels.

Re:Virtualization==Efficiency (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718670)

Or maybe they could just run a data center off DC power supplies.

You know, make energy efficient hardware. Like the article said.

Virtualization doesn't impact your energy usage per CPU cycle at all, you just reduce the number of servers if you weren't efficiently using them to begin with.

Re:Virtualization==Efficiency (1)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718775)

I believe the parent poster is referring to dynamically adjusting the number of running servers based on usage trends. For example with fictional numbers, if a hosting company has 10 clients that all have minimal hosting needs (maybe 100 web hits a month, mostly mail), then they can pack them all onto one server and if one of the clients starts ramping up usage, you just wake-on-LAN another system, start the virtualization environment on that one, and either offload the server to the new unit or load-balance between the two.

Once demand goes back down, have the server shut off again.

Re:Virtualization==Efficiency (0)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718721)

A saavy hosting company can virtualize multiple machines into one physical box.

Ya, because that will give great peformance. A bunch of virtual machines fighting for CPU time, and more importantly, HD access.

Re:Virtualization==Efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718826)

Er... do you honestly believe that every hosted application on the internet has its own server? Or should?

Re:Virtualization==Efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718899)

Ya, because that will give great peformance. A bunch of virtual machines fighting for CPU time, and more importantly, HD access.

You might want to tell IBM that virtual machines don't give great performance. These days nearly every server deployed by IBM is a large box that has several virtual images running on it. These are good enough for eBusiness and OnDemand so maybe virtualization is a good idea.

Re:Virtualization==Efficiency (1)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718897)

Virtualization is neat, but it's a cheap copy of Logical Partitions (LPAR). With an LPAR you can more granularly fine-tune what resources will be available to the underlying guest OS.

For example, I maintain a number of IBM pSeries 570 physical hosts. Within a 570 I can specify an LPAR that uses four tenths of a processing unit presented as two virtual processors. With capacity-on-demand I can fine tune that figure as-needed or even automate it. A single 570 uses a lot of juice, but nowhere near as much juice as the equivelant number of x86 boxes it would take to achieve the same result. And through the use of a connected SAN and Linux's built-in LVM2, I can provision DASD to my guest OS's just as easily as I can provision CPU or memory.

Xen & VMWare don't offer this kind of granular control, and it's a real shame.

waste (0, Offtopic)

bigpat (158134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718598)

I'd like to pass a resolution telling Congress to stop wasting our money. Oh right, but our national debts aren't piling up nearly as fast as they were last year, so everything is going to be just fine? I mean every household only owes about $400,000 in government debt which I'm sure is sustainable.

Great. I think it is about time to start printing more money.

Re:waste (1)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718694)

If any change is going to happen the $400k bill needs to be mailed around November 1st.

Re:waste (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718713)

Great. I think it is about time to start printing more money.

Or just stop wasting money minting pennies!
Oddly enough the US Mint only makes a profit of a few hundred million a year. That seems like a lot but barly anything compared to the federal yearly spending. Lucikly money is all electronic nowadays, otherwise they litterly couldn't print enough money physically to remove their debt even if they were allowed to.

Re:waste (1)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718821)

I mean every household only owes about $400,000 in government debt which I'm sure is sustainable.

That number looked really wrong to me so I looked it up:
Debt = 8.4 trillion [brillig.com]
Households = 110 million [infoplease.com]
Population = 295 million [cia.gov]

So we owe $28,000 per person, and about $76,000 per household.

Re:waste (1, Offtopic)

scheming daemons (101928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719006)

I mean every household only owes about $400,000 in government debt which I'm sure is sustainable.

That number looked really wrong to me so I looked it up: Debt = 8.4 trillion Households = 110 million Population = 295 million

So we owe $28,000 per person, and about $76,000 per household.

Whew.... Now I feel better. Knowing that my share of the debt is only $76k puts my mind at ease. Go Bush!

Isn't it interesting that....

FY 1993 (the last Poppy Bush budget) = deficit was $290 billion
FY 1994 (the first Clinton budget) = deficit was $150 billion
FY 1995 = deficit was $70 billion
FY 1996 thru 2001 (Clinton's last six budgets) = SURPLUS!
FY 2002 thru 2006 (Junior's first five budgets) = Deficits... highest around $400 billion, currently $296 billion

In the last 25 years, we've had 19 years of deficit and 6 years of surplus. The Republican administrations in that time are 17 for 17 in producing deficits. The Democratic administration during that time is 6 for 8 in producing surpluses.

Yet.. the Democrats are the "tax and spend" party that is fiscally irresponsible.

Facts are funny things... but NON-military spending, spending NOT related to Bush's "war on Tara" (using his pronunciation), is up an average of 9% per year during the current administration's term.

Under Clinton, the ENTIRE budget (military and non alike) averaged an increase of 4% per year.

The bottom line is... the Democrats are more fiscally sound at managing government than the Republicans.

There is more pork under the current regime than the last. The current President has never vetoed a single spending bill. The Republicans are the party of "borrow and spend" and they are borrowing the money from your kids.

But they're against flag burning.. so let's keep 'em!!! Yeeha!

Thank God (0, Troll)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718605)

If we didn't have stuff like this to do, Congress might have to talk about the fact that the Middle East is about to descend into chaos due to complete mismangement over the past five years, and this time with a hundred thousand US troups right there in the middle of it.

If the American people caught wind of that, there's no telling what they'd do!

Re:Thank God (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718632)

If we didn't have stuff like this to do, Congress might have to talk about the fact that the Middle East is about to descend into chaos due to complete mismangement over the past five years, and this time with a hundred thousand US troups right there in the middle of it.
If the American people caught wind of that, there's no telling what they'd do!


America doesn't care. They'd continue to eat their potato chips while sitting in front of their PC surfing MySpace and playing solitaire with their iPod cranked to the max listening to Britney.

Re:Thank God (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718702)

I was hoping we'd see some vast ripping of the American populace sometime soon! It makes me feel so much better to read it or post it! I'm SO MUCH BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! And I'm so unique!

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718911)

As a red-blooded Republican American, it kind of hurts to explain to you that it's not necessairily ripping if it's true.

Blame Bush? (3, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718750)

"Congress might have to talk about the fact that the Middle East is about to descend into chaos due to complete mismangement over the past five years"

There's a limit to how much you can blame Bush for the fact that Hamas, Hesbollah, and Iran will only be satisfied if the Jews are outright exterminated. There's not much room for negotiation and compromise with these players, and they are large players that can't be ignored. How do you compromise with someone who wants all Jews eliminated? Do you meet them half-way and agree to let them wipe only half out?

Re:Blame Bush? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718857)

There's a limit to how much you can blame Bush for the fact that Hamas, Hesbollah, and Iran will only be satisfied if the Jews are outright exterminated.

Jews are people of the book according to Islam - they're to be treated with more respect than most other religions, actually. Their problem is the Jewish occupation of Israel (which doesn't jibe with biblical doctrine anyway - the Jews are destined to wander the earth and *not* reach the Promised Land until the end of time). The Jews have shown themselves to be flexible and adaptable to many cultures, and they've succeeded very well in the US, Canada, and South America. The state of Israel is a symbolic crutch that isn't needed and will just cause problems for Judaism in the long term. Far better to put Israel under a multinational mandate as it was in the 30s and welcome whatever Jews want to immigrate into the US - they'll succeed just fine here!

-b. (sorry if this comes across as unduly harsh, but sometimes a gangrenous limb needs to be amputated to save the body)

Re:Blame Bush? (4, Informative)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718935)

"Jews are people of the book according to Islam - they're to be treated with more respect than most other religions, actually."

During the height of the rule of Islamic law (middle ages), this meant that Jews in Muslim-occupied lands were forced to pay a special tax for being Jewish, forced to obey many laws of a religion they did not agree with, and they were also denied participation in government. It was a second-class citizen status very roughly equivalent to blacks in the Jim Crow south.

"Their problem is the Jewish occupation of Israel"

More specifically, they have a problem with anyone who lives in what they consider conquered Muslim land without being subject to Muslim law. This is coupled with old fashioned Islamic antisemitism and Arab imperialism/nationalism (the Arabs conquered this place and, by Allah, we won't be turned back!). It must be added, however, that it goes beyond this. Hamas, Hesbollah, and Iran consider Jews everywhere to be the enemy. Not just in Israel.

"The state of Israel is a symbolic crutch that isn't needed and will just cause problems for Judaism in the long term."

So, a nation "isn't needed". That sounds almost like a code word for justifying genocide against that nation.

"Far better to put Israel under a multinational mandate"

Under whose authority? The UN, which is well-known for a very long list of antisemitic mandates? The same UN that had an actual card-carrying Nazi (tm) lead it for a long time? Why not instead put the territories held by Hamas, Hesbollah, and Iran under such a punitive mandate? They are the ones causing the problem here.

...and (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719029)

"(sorry if this comes across as unduly harsh, but sometimes a gangrenous limb needs to be amputated to save the body)"

And what happens next after we appease the demands of bloodthirsty brutes who demand that an entire nation be destroyed as a "diseased limb"? How many more nations do we destroy on their demands after this?

OMG think of the repercussions (2, Funny)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718611)

"...purchasing managers that it's in their 'best interests' to pay attention to energy conservation."

Congress asking managers to use "common sense" (the next buzz word I bet)??? Hopefully this doesn't catch on because I'm sure the 4 horsemen surely can't be far behind!

Re:OMG think of the repercussions (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718811)

Common sense will never be a buzzword in legislation. It could produce customers who know how to think, imagine the dangers to commerce!

Umm. . . (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718618)

Congress is a little late to the game on this one. It seems that energy efficiency is already becoming a major concern in IT; the subject comes up all the time and a lot of R&D money is going to meeting the demand for more energy-efficient servers.

Reminds me of my roommate's habit of telling me it's my turn to do the dishes just as I'm getting to the pots and pans.

Next on the agenda ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718622)

a congressional initiative was raised to increase the size of parking spaces in the congressional parking garage to make it easier for congressional employees to fit their Escalades in ...

Why is this needed at all? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718623)

I mean, if you have a server room, there's already a strong incentive for energy efficency already: The more wasteful it is, the more it heats the room, and the more you have to pay for the air conditioners and power.

Does this mean.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718639)

That when choosing a data center you should choose one with a fuel-cell, solar or wind powered backup generator?

Energy saving on products (2, Interesting)

anteyekon4myst (988884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718646)

So they want to pass this for servers....but they wont force automakers to do this?

They already 'reccomended' this to the automakers (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718728)

This bill has no teeth at all. Smells like an election year stunt pandering to those with strong feelings on environmental issues AND energy independency. Clever political stunt, that's all.

How about doing something real? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718657)

If you want to improve energy efficiency and reduce the price of oil overnight with little cost, increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. They haven't changed in years, and the average US vehicle fuel economy is the lowest point in more than a decade.

Mandate a 1 MPG increase by then end of 2007. The cost to the car industry is minimal. A 1 MPG increase doesn't sound like a lot, but a fleet-wide increase of 1 MPG is an enormous amount of oil. Start increasing the CAFE standard by 1 MPG every few years.

Start it at home (0, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718672)

The federal government is one of the worst polluters in the country [blogspot.com] . The Congress is partially responsible for this because they're too busy getting their rocks off with lobbyists to do their jobs. We need a new law that says that grand-standing in public by a Congresscritter is automatic grounds for a FBI investigation into all of their personal and campaign finances, gifts received, contacts and trips. Who wants to bet that there isn't almost a 1:1 correlation between the grand-standers and those who are too busy getting graft to do their job?

Nice thought, but... (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718980)

It would be better to implement what Colorado Congresman Joel Hefley pushed; have the feds (and states for state level) provide election funding for those that make a certain level of support from the voters. This has several nice advantages.
  1. It basically removes the corporate lobbyists. If they give money, than it is a bribe.
  2. This will allow for other parties to compete. Right now, it is next to impossible for libertarians, constitionalists, and green party to get a toehold as it is grassroot efforts only. But if this goes through, then a good candidate has an equal chance.

But getting congress to go along is very difficult. Even in light of all the corruption (Bush, Libbey, Cheney, Amberson , Frist, Delay, Jefferson, etc, etc,), it could not get passed. Sad.

I think that this will have to be a grassroot effort.

Conundrum (1)

scheming daemons (101928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718676)

What if my energy-efficient server serves as a gambling site?

Will that get them to drop their stupid attack on on-line gambling?

Thank God the Senate looks like they have no interest in following up on the House's action on on-line gambling.

at least not yet....

This goes for home too. (4, Interesting)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718685)

You know how much it costs to keep a computer running 24/7? If you look into it, you'll see it's usually at least a couple hundred dollars a year (if not more depending on energy cost, peripherals, and stuff like that.) Yeah, you have a huge server case, and penis envy might make you want to pop in a huge 600W power supply with a huge power-hungry CPU, and lots of high end and extra stuff that you don't actually need. I recall harddrives, as the main part of most home servers, do not take too much power (a couple dozen Watts i think). I used to leave my desktop on all the time and let it act as my file server, but am now using an older computer with a 250W power supply and a minimialist configuration, and let my desktop suspend to ram most of the time. Yeah, some may need that 600W for a home server if it's acting as a mythtv server/web server/media reencoding server, but most probably do not.

Desktops (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718687)

Most servers are heavily used. Most hardware-based energy efficincy work by lowering the cycles. The software approach to handling energy on servers is to shutdown a server and move the load over to others. Servers are better handled in the software realm, then hardware.

Instead, they should be working on desktop efficiencies. Monitors, harddisks, etc can be made a great deal more efficient. In particular, smaller drives (2.5"), in a office, small drives on desktop, with data on a central server, lcd monitors only, minimize the numbers of printers of make them sleep, etc, etc. There are far more desktops than servers.

Congressional laws (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718688)

"Congress just passed a law that instructs Americans to wipe their ass at least 3 times after each bowel movement".

How intrusive can the goverment get before everyone realizes that this isn't "the land of the free" anymore.

Self-enforcing situation (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718691)

If a company decides to "waste" energy, isn't it still in their best interest to set their own level of energy use? Only the company knows what their input costs have to be to be profitable -- if the item they sell/make allows the wasting of energy, the company knows best. There are too many different options when purchasing equipment to fully understand why an energy-waster might still be economically better for a given company at a given time in a given situation.

Yet we have to roll back just a little bit to understand WHY Congress would make this unconstitutional decision -- consider who benefits. The energy producers and distributors are incredibly over-regulated in terms of wholesale and retail costs and requirements. In a relatively free market, energy costs go up if demand exceeds supply. This is a natural and VERY good thing -- it requires that people throttle back their usage to return demand below supply and lower prices. This free market feature doesn't happen well in a regulated market, especially one that has an artificially high barrier to entry because of local, state and federal regulation. Don't lie to the people here and say it is expensive to get into the energy market -- it isn't. I know of local farmers that are providing their neighbors with alternative energies off of wind and solar installations on their farms, but the governments have fined them repeatedly for violating the forced monopoly of Commonwealth Edison.

Until energy is deregulated significantly on the wholesale, retail and production side, nothing will matter. Energy is already artificially expensive because retail and wholesale competition is not available in the great majority of markets. When every end of the energy industry sees significant regulation reduction, we'll be able to truly judge what is best for our specific needs (corporate or personal). Until then, Congress will just continue to throw more unconstitutional laws on top of unconstitutional laws.

Congress Passes Efficient Government Initiative (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718693)

...a headline you will never see.

Re:Congress Passes Efficient Government Initiative (1)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719037)

Sure you will. They'll pass things with names like that at the drop of a hat. On the good days, they'll have just as much actual effect as the energy thing. On the bad ones, they'll be stacked with all sorts of expensive ways not to increase actual efficency, but which along the way funnel money to various interests.

From Servers to Suvs (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718698)

This is very good thinking.

The amount of energy that is conserved by these new servers is clearly a benefit to everyone.
Now Congress can further this trend by raising auto fuel efficiency standards & provide a myriad of new ways for people and businesses to conserve energy.

Who are the Evil Four? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718701)

FYI, the flag-burning, Mom-beating, apple-pie-hating Congressmen who voted against this measure are:

Jeff Flake (R-AZ) [house.gov]
Walter B. Jones (R-NC) [house.gov]
Ron Paul (R-TX) [house.gov]
Charles W. Pickering (R-MS) [house.gov]

Re:Who are the Evil Four? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15719012)

Any time I see a congressman vote against an overwhelming majority of their own party, it makes me like them more. This isn't universally a good sign, but in general, not voting with your party every single time means that you're at least doing some thinking. Maybe even thinking on behalf of your constituents.

Just two questions... (2, Interesting)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718704)

1) How long and how many man hours did it take congress to come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to buy energy efficient servers?

2) Why are there four dissenting votes? More to the point, what's tacked onto this that would make a congressmen go on record as appearing to vote against energy efficiency.

There's more to this story here...

Re:Just two questions... (2, Insightful)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718947)

From the passed bill:

"Section 1:
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, through the Energy Star program, shall transmit to the Congress the results of a study analyzing the rapid growth and energy consumption of computer data centers by the Federal Government and private enterprise."

In other words, the House wants a study done by the EPA to determine the "rapid growth" and energy consumption of data centers. There were no riders, nothing tacked on to the final, passed, version.

What's the point? Is it going to stop data center expansion? Is the federal government going to subsidize cooler, more efficient processors or servers? What about desktop machines, or is that a different bill? I can just imagine people in Congress saying, "Lord of the Rings was a good movie, but thank god WETA is in New Zealand, I feel cooler already."*note sarcasm*

For a country that is so anti-environment(I laughed when I saw the current issue of Newsweek's cover "The Greening of America"), we are wasting opportunities to get on the right track. Our government needs to stand up for the environment, not pass stupid bills authorizing the study of server room temperatures. The four who voted against this bill were right, this "study" is a waste of money.

Two answers (1)

DanTheLewis (742271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718992)

1) How long and how many man hours did it take congress to come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to buy energy efficient servers?

2) Why are there four dissenting votes? More to the point, what's tacked onto this that would make a congressmen go on record as appearing to vote against energy efficiency.


1) Congress didn't spend that much time. All they had to do was rubber-stamp the findings of a lucrative no-bid study contracted to Halliburton.

2) Those four are obviously the ones in the pocket of Big Energy.

Is this really a primary subject? (1)

blindbug (979761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718722)

And to think, all this time I thought over-sized, over-powered automobiles were the main source of pollution, and the fact that there is absolutely no push to make alternative energy more available, efficient and cheaper was the main reason energy is being depleted, and power is going out on an interstate basis. Thanks congress, for putting taxpayers money on the important stuff: Recommending people buy efficient parts for their computers.

AMD ad campaign (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718726)

I have to admit that I find the timing of this kind of odd. I live in DC, and in the past two months or so there has been a large marketing campaign by AMD touting the energy efficiency of their servers. In nearly every Metro station and in many bus kiosks around town, there are ads talking about how you could've cooled all of Georgetown with the energy saved by using AMD servers, or how the energy saved could've chilled X number of iced cappucinoes or whatever. Not that I expect Congresscritters to see these things while riding public transportation, but still...Interesting timing...

Re:AMD ad campaign (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718910)

Not that I expect Congresscritters to see these things while riding public transportation, but still...Interesting timing..

Their staffers do, though. Also, don't think that any large ad campaign isn't combined with lobbying efforts if at all possible.

-b.

Re:AMD ad campaign (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718924)

Very true. I also have no idea whether AMD has run any printed ads in the Post or Times. It makes sense that they would, though...

Calling Rep Doolittle (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718767)

They're doing everything they can not to pass real laws, and barely failing at that.

Like reauthorizing the which almost failed, or passed amended to death. While Georgia, one of the states specifically covered by the Act, [electionlawblog.org] almost forced many of its Black voters out of their voting rights again. [nytimes.com]

The people create a government to protect our rights. The government we've created that now sits in Washington protects only the appearance of protection. This November, you can fire your House Representative, and probably one of your Senators. Get to work!

Re:Calling Rep Doolittle (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718815)

How does a voter ID discriminate against black voters? Something like this is needed (to ensure that only authorized voters vote), considering the major voting fraud problem.

Re:Calling Rep Doolittle (1)

ryturner (87582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718905)

Georgia wanted to require people to have government issued ID to vote. Why is that such a bad thing?

Will this mean servers that don't work? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718776)

Remember what Congressional legislation did to toilets. Used to be toilets worked, but then Congress mandated "improvements" such that they did not flush anymore.

Re:Will this mean servers that don't work? (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718880)

Yeah flushing twice to get all the brownfish down the hole really saves water.

Whoa there, Godfather (2, Funny)

geekbomb (988890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718787)

"it's in their 'best interests' to pay attention to energy conservation"

Also, I'd avoid buying any aluminum tubes for hobby projects for awhile. THEY'VE GOT THEIR EYE ON YOU, AMERICAN PURCHASING MANAGERS.

Politicking (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718809)

Alls this is for is so some ass can say "I supported the environment by helping reduce Computer Technology power consumption" during an election campaign.

Of course the speechwritters will make it sound like they are the Messiah of all things good for the Environment.

Next month: how much energy may a cellphone use? (1)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718825)

Wait for the message from your nice centrally planning representative.

They're bound to be experts in anything that involves cellphones, or servers, because they're, well, universal geniuses (or they wouldn't have gone into politics, right?)!

Also in the initiative.... (1)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718835)

Other initiative recommendations in American's "best interest" that failed to garner the same level of attention are as follows:
  • Brushing your teeth.
  • Wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or gravel.
  • Paying your taxes on time.
  • Paying attention to the washing instruction tags on clothing.
  • Not making fun of 'Shotgun' Louie (Chicago residents only)


hehehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15718848)

"Well, at least if they're doing this they're not passing 'real' laws, right?"

You liberals will never be happy... until you're in power yourselves of course. hahaha

It's not easy being green (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718879)

Energy conservation is a good thing, even if we're all pissed at the state of energy markets today. They've misplaced the emphasis, unfortunately.

Consider:

1) All of the brick power supplies we're using that suck energy 24/7 when in use, or not
2) CRT energy efficiency vs information they give us compared to LCDs
3) Plasma displays. You can heat your living rooms with them
4) The state of ACPI and other energy savings initiatives, like EnergyStar jokes
5) How batteries are polluting aquifers because they're thrown away into landfills, then melt over time into ugly pools of toxic metal concentrations
6) How computing machinery disposal anarchy pollutes as much or more than #5
7) Why I have to buy a new set of computers and cell phones and PDAs so often..... and recycle the old ones (sorry, even Linux can't save a 486SX-25 machine)

This was for the perception that Congress is concerned. Instead, they're demonstrating technology cluelessness once again.

Re:It's not easy being green (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718973)

7) Why I have to buy a new set of computers and cell phones and PDAs so often..... and recycle the old ones (sorry, even Linux can't save a 486SX-25 machine)

Actually, my old software router ran on a 486 and with Linux on a floppy...

Convenient timing (1)

egarland (120202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718926)

A large percentage of the servers in operation now are Pentium 4 architecture which was a disaster energy efficiency wise. Now that Intel is rolling out a line with much low power consumption (even lower than AMD now) suddenly there is a push for energy efficiency?

Thank you congress for participating in Intel's latest marketing program.

Who were the brave 4? (1)

poodlehat (919902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15718962)

Who were the 4 that voted against it, and were they the only ones smart enough to realize this whole thing is a grand waste of time?

Even home computers can consume over $150/year (3, Informative)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719017)

At one time I kept my linux-based PC powered on 365 days a year. I had a little web server on there, email server, network backup service, etc. It was just a commodity Athlon-based computer running at 1.4 GHz or so.

But then I noticed that my home power bill was growing. I used a watt-meter - a "kill-o-watt" - and saw that the PC alone was consuming over 125 watts of power at idle - and even more when the CPU was pegged and the disks were cranking. And remember, this doesn't include the monitor - just the PC itself.

In all, the 365 day-a-year, 24 hour-per-day operation of this PC alone was costing me about $160 (at $0.15 per KWh). I have a little computer energy consumption comparison here. [blogspot.com]

My servers at work cost even more - with all their redundant fans, power supplies, quad CPUs and so on, ... well, it adds up quickly. Beyond that, high density computing can easily exceed 6 KW per RACK! And that makes a lot of heat, and so you have to cool the data center 365 days a year - and that's even MORE power consumption. A $1 million dollar electricity bill per year for a data center ain't out of line. And remember, commercial energy costs are less than residential.

Turn Unused Equipment Off (1)

stuckinarut (891702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15719053)

Why not have spent the money passing this bill on educating the populace about turning off unused equipment. How many offices have the monitors turned on 24/7 along with the photocopiers and fax machines. Electrical equipment in standby mode uses almost the same amount of power as when on but the perception is that they are "off". I've have an Intelligent Mains Extension Lead [maplin.co.uk] six sockets, one is black into which you plug your PC power cable. All my peripherals are plugged into the remaining sockets. When the PC powers up the extension lead detects the power consumption and allows power to the additional sockets used for the peripherals in time for them to be available when the PC boots. When you power down the PC, power is cut off to the other sockets automatically switching off the peripherals.
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