Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

Google's Internal Company Goals

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the inside-the-mind-of-a-goog dept.

144

Rockgod writes to mention a Google Blogoscoped article about an internal company paper. The paper details Google's big goals and directions for 2006. From the article: "The list included several items, for example: Google wants to have an improved infrastructure to make their engineers more productive. This includes allowing employees to have a universal search tool "containing all public Google information searched on all Google searches." Google also wants to build 10MW of green power to be on track to be carbon neutral. (They also want to reduce "Borg disk waste" by 50%... hmmm, Borg?)

cancel ×

144 comments

borg (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608302)

i.e. cluster

i miss jon katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609740)

people said he was stupid, but it was much better then without all those google stories every day

The Googlesphere (4, Funny)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608320)

Welcome to the Googlepshere... resistance is futile... but at least we dont have chairs.

Re:The Googlesphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608382)

How droll ...

No violence, gentlemen -- no violence, I beg of you! Consider the furniture! -- Sherlock Holmes ~ QotM

No chairs (4, Funny)

joshsnow (551754) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609322)

Welcome to the Googlepshere... resistance is futile... but at least we dont have chairs.
And neither do we have Steve Ballmer to throw them...

Re:No chairs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609520)

First time, I read it as "And neither do we have Steve Ballmer to throw at them"

Ping-pong tables (0, Troll)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608330)

If they want to make the engineers more productive, they need to remove the ping-pong tables!

Don't you read Slashdot? (5, Funny)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608344)

(They also want to reduce "Borg disk waste" by 50%... hmmm, Borg?)
Clearly "Borg disk waste" means "Microsoft disk waste". Google is moving to a less Microsoft-centric system. They clearly rely far too much on ASP.NET and SQL Server, and would like to become a LAMP shop. They may even be planning their own operating system to compete with Windows Vista.

old news (2, Informative)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608384)

move along nothing to see here. Not desparaging the submitter of the article but don't we by now know what google has acomplished and hasn't this year. Hit us up with 2007 and i'll mod you up...going once..going twice...

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (4, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608466)

This isn't digg please don't make stuff up.

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608764)

Wait, does that mean BSD is dead or not?

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608542)

Ridiculous! What would they even call such an operating system, Goobuntu? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (1, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608624)

I'm not sure if it's funny or scary you were modded insightful. Am I the only one who got your joke?

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608682)

(They also want to reduce "Borg disk waste" by 50%... hmmm, Borg?)

Clearly "Borg disk waste" means "Microsoft disk waste". Google is moving to a less Microsoft-centric system. They clearly rely far too much on ASP.NET and SQL Server, and would like to become a LAMP shop. They may even be planning their own operating system to compete with Windows Vista.


Huh??? Google doesn't rely on ASP.NET or SQL Server. Google is the original LAMP shop.

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

Lemmingue (788112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608914)

Google's social network http://www.orkut.com/ [orkut.com] service is ASP.NET based, and quite slow and unstable - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orkut#Speed_and_Relia bility [wikipedia.org] . I wonder why they don't move it to their Linux infrastructure. Maybe it's time.

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (3, Informative)

didde (685567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609176)


Hmm, I really don't have a clue as to what platform Orkut is running on. Of course, the URL's on the site uses the ".aspx"-suffix but the returned server header says GFE:

# curl -I "https://www.orkut.com/"
HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily
Location: https://www.orkut.com/GLogin.aspx?done=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.orkut.com%2F [orkut.com]
Content-Length: 0
Cache-control: private
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 14:58:40 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Server: GFE/1.3

...perhaps this means they're load balancing or similar, but still.

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609456)

Huh??? Google doesn't rely on ASP.NET or SQL Server. Google is the original LAMP shop.

First, I presume that the original poster was joking, because everybody knows that Google does not use ASP.NET or SQL Server (except perhaps in some properties they acquired). Second, Google may be an open source shop, but they are NOT a LAMP shop. They don't use a stack of off-the-shelf components at all.

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (1)

swanriversean (928620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609934)

I believe that was a joke GP made ...
hmmm, you're line could be a joke too ...

but why on Earth are you modded informative!!!

to the post about this not being digg - yeah, this is slashdot, only the mods are made up!

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (1)

Bhavesh (980900) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610378)

May be then google should get their engineers ready for microsoft technologies

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (1)

Shohat (959481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608714)

I thought they were trying to improve their engineers' productivity ..

Borg (3, Funny)

Creepy (93888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608740)

I'm sure that it's a reference to the Billgatus of Borg [ahajokes.com] or maybe the old joke [ozemail.com.au]

Re:Don't you read Slashdot? (1)

codename.matrix (889422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610072)

The only Google Services that (may) run on ASP.NET and SQL Server are those, that Google bought. And those Services probably won't run on ASP.NET forever but will be ported or recreated for the Google infrastructure.

green power (5, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608366)

I think it's really an important step for Google to aim for carbon neutrality, starting with green power. Nowadays green power, green building, and other sustainability practices have substantial financial benefits in addition to their environmental ones. Companies are starting to recognize this too, thankfully--Bank of America has a LEED certified [wikipedia.org] building going up in Manhattan that will save massive amounts of emissions of carbon and other pollutants and save massive amounts of money.

What makes me happiest about seeing Google do this is that they are such a role-model for next-generation businesses. If Google achieves carbon neutrality, even partially, the message it will send to corporations, start-ups, and individuals will be, "You can be environmentally conscious and financially successful; the two are not mutually exclusive." That's an important message that is only beginning to spread.

Re:green power (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608482)

Isn't the message "As long as you leak documents about how you "want" to "be on track" for some environmental criterion, a private, hammock-equipped 767 is above criticism"? Is that the "partially" in "achieve carbon neutrality, even partially"?

Re:green power (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608498)

Partial neutrality. Right. I think Fox may be hiring. You could go far.

Re:green power (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608500)

As we all know the internet and it's technology is a network of tubes. Painting them green is for ascetics only.

Don't get me wrong, I think its great they strive for a such a thing, but I also think if they were struggling it would be dropped. Where we, as world citizens, need to focus carbon neutrality is in manufacturing and energy. Technology companies always appear ahead of the curve and cutting edge, all those relaxed environments of the dot.com'rs didn't parlay into a revolution as once thought.

Re:green power (1)

mjm1231 (751545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609542)

Painting them green is for ascetics only.

I think you mean aesthetics. An ascetic wouldn't care what color the tubes were.

Re:green power (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610610)

Ahh, the scourge of my existence. Misspelling a word so poorly that I spell another word correctly.

Re:green power (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608702)

If anyone can come up with a way to marry power generation equipment to human exercise, it's Google.
Imagine a big line of exercise bikes, loosely and efficiently coupled to a turbine...
I was leaving the Malibu Grill yesterday, and noting they had one of the wider revolving doors I've seen.
Considering the potential for gluttony at MG, they probably bring in some of the heavier members of society, justifying the door.
Harvesting energy from those carcasses would have a variety of personal, societal, environmental, and industrial benefits...

Re:green power (4, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608878)

If Google achieves carbon neutrality, even partially, the message it will send to corporations, start-ups, and individuals will be, "You can be environmentally conscious and financially successful; the two are not mutually exclusive."

I saw a promotional advertisement video on 'green' manufacturing, and while I do not buy into a lot of the whole 'save the world before it is too late' fear, I do believe that the concepts of green manufacturing just plain make sense to some degree.

Maybe being a programmer and being stuck in too many 'dungeons' makes me feel this way, but adding large windows, more greenery(plants) inside offices and plants (where they do not risk safety obviously) just makes employees feel such much better, that they're happier and more productive, aside from reduced heating bills due to solar heat (though, some factories don't have to worry about producing heat, hehe).

On the other hand, I doubt there is a lot of start-ups who could afford to invest their startup money on an expensive building, when that capital needs to be spent on... well, getting their company started. The problem always comes down to money, sure long term, it can save you money, after like 20+ years, but the premium on these places are high and most start-ups will move into pre-existing space. And when you want to start a business, you look at a $1 million building or a $10 million building, you're probably going to go for the $1 million building. Of course, if you become Google and light cigars with $100 bills, then you could probably afford a green building.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:green power (3, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610306)

and plants (where they do not risk safety obviously)


Yes safety first! I do so hate it when the office hydrangea goes on a rampage and kills the interns.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:green power (1)

drew (2081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610336)

Maybe being a programmer and being stuck in too many 'dungeons' makes me feel this way, but adding large windows, more greenery(plants) inside offices and plants (where they do not risk safety obviously) just makes employees feel such much better, that they're happier and more productive, aside from reduced heating bills due to solar heat


While I do agree with you, it's worth pointing out that very few offices have to worry about heating costs even in the winter. In many offices, just the computers and lighting will put off sufficient heat to keep the office warm, never mind any other stuff that produces waste heat in the course of doing it's primary function.

On the contrary, adding (efficient) windows to a space and putting the normal lights on dimmers + light/occupancy sensors will not only cut down electricity costs, but will substantially cut down cooling costs, as office lighting tends to be the primary cooling load in most office buildings.

Re:green power (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609224)

"You can be environmentally conscious and financially successful; the two are not mutually exclusive."

Well, I suppose it might look that way on the surface, but the question of whether that reflects reality is very much in doubt. The question that wouldn't be answered is whether Google is successful DESPITE environmentally conscious policies.

It all boils down to whether being environmentally conscious costs more money. And looking at whether a company is financially successful (i.e., makes more money than it spends) tells us nothing about that.

role model my ass (0, Flamebait)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609258)

Dominate media search and distribution in order to stamp ads on everything and get rich using click fraud? These people are the new Microsoft, and their desire to good makes them even more dangerous than Scientology.

Re:green power (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609762)

If Google achieves carbon neutrality, even partially...

Everybody is partially carbon neutral.

Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good company (3, Insightful)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608388)

You really don't see this very often. What short-term or even mid-term payoff could there possibly be to being carbon nuetral? I don't think anyone can stand back and say that Google fits into the mold of what most Companies in this world have become. I applaude Google. I think they are a role-model that other companies (Including the existing big boys) should strive to be more like.

This isn't that much of a suprise though. When you have such a great product & a motivated team, you tend to attract the best & brightest. The best & brightest usually have the best ideas....

Brad

The payoff is PR (1, Interesting)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608494)

And the proof is in the Slashdot pudding, where posters who are generally skeptical of businesses are all rushing to be the first to gush Google's praises and everyone's all aquiver over how "really responsible" Google is and what what a "role model" they are. Sheesh. When Exxon buys an ad saying how they are all about "saving the wild geese" or whatever, we all know the real deal: Exxon undertakes these projects as a PR exercise. Google is no different.

I like Google's search product (though they seem to be having a harder time defeating illegitimate SEO techniques) but let's be realistic here: they're in business to make money. If green power was a 100% losing proposition, they wouldn't be pursuing it.

Re:The payoff is PR (2, Insightful)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608546)

Except this information was an internal gaol for 2006. If they where doing it for good press...it would have been 'revealed' earlier in the year. I mean think about it...if this was a PR ploy...with no backbone, then they woulda made out with this ASAP. Except they didn't. They made it an internal thing. They didn't announce it, they didn't make any commercials about it.

Re:The payoff is PR (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608586)

Are you under the impression that companies pitch only to outsiders?

If you are: They do not.

Re:The payoff is PR (1)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608610)

I think that PR means public relations, and for that you need to pitch to the public.

They didn't "announce" it... (2, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609116)

Yet. Officially.

If you think that someone is posting "internal" goals on the Internet without at least the tacit approval of the company, you're drinking Google's cool-aid. On top of that, you don't get as much bang for your buck if you announce in 2006 "We're going to strive for carbon neutrality sometime in the next couple of years" as you do announcing in 2007 "This year, Google met an 'internal' goal of becoming carbon neural."

I'm not saying that there isn't some portion of this that's genuinely driven by the desire to be a "good corporate citizen." Certainly it is possible, especailly for a company, to have multiple motives in pursuing this sort of goal. I'd even go so far as to suggest it's more likely that this sort of thing is done for many reasons instead of merely one.

As mentioned before, they have a good product. But their provision of an adequate search tool (for profit) hasn't completely eliminated my interest in rationally assessing their motives.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608496)

What return do they get? How about reactions like your's to their PR?

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (4, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608550)

PR is an immediate short term payoff.
Environmentally friendly practices are cheaper mid/long term. They're also more reliable if you consider the rate of electricity generating capacity being added in North America.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (2, Interesting)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608684)


What short-term or even mid-term payoff could there possibly be to being carbon neutral?
Well, since they are beginning by building a 10MW solar electrical generating station, I would imagine at that scale solar is probably cheaper than the rate they are getting from their electric provider. If not, as a shareholder, I'm upset they are pissing away my dividends.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (5, Informative)

sadr (88903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609034)

If you'd bothered to read their IPO or other documents, you'd know that common shareholders have nearly no control over the company due to the voting structure the owners set up.

They note that their policies may not maximize profit. Their policies are set based on doing what's right, as deemed by the founders.

Maybe you should sell your shares.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (1)

zenslug (542549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609880)

As a shareholder, I'm happy to see them doing this. I invested to make money, but I knew how they operated before buying in.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608816)

"I think they are a role-model that other companies (Including the existing big boys) should strive to be more like."

Most companies have yet to understand that building goodwill is profitable, not only that, people are also more likely to "donate" through purchasing product/services simply to support your efforts even if they do not particulary need what your selling.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609766)

ohh come now.

Good will to a degree is okay, but it's not going to make the books balance or float your company. The odd person supporting you because of some random good will policy is insigificant in the larger economic health of a company. Its just a matter of numbers.

The bottom line truth is that the product is all that matters in the end. Look at the oil companies. Are they the most profitable business in the history of teh world because of good will, or beacuse of the fact that they are selling a highly segmented, highly demanded, hard to find product?

In the end Google will end up like all other companies of their size. Bottom line driven, fiercely competitive, and mediocre.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610118)

Don't forget BIG TOBBACO.

Re:Carbon Nuetral?...Google really is a good compa (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609194)

There is no short term goal, but mid- or long-term goal is clear. If Google can produce much of its own green, renewable, sustainable energy, they will become more profitable, particularly if energy costs skyrocket. Other search engines that rely on the grid will suffer.

If Google succeeds and helps engineer more efficient power production or conservation methods, they will have opened up a new business model, too: selling green technology and possibly selling power, both of which can net Google a lot of cash.

Heard this one before (3, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608398)

Google tries to make sure their tools are running everywhere. In around mid-2006, according to their internal numbers 60 Million Google Packs had been installed, but they still want to increase the deployment... especially for "novice users."
Doesn't that sound awfully like
A PC on every desk, and that PC running Microsoft software

Re:Heard this one before (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608606)

Not really. Is there any problem with Snap-On having a goal to have their tools in every toolbox in America?

If Snapon were MS, it would be ONLY Snapon tools, which fit specially in the Snapon drawers which are installed in every mechanic's toolchest. Craftsman and SK tools never really fit correctly when stored in a Snapon drawers.

Re:Heard this one before (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608616)

Well observed. And no word on Open Source either. Really the good guys.

CC.

Re:Heard this one before (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609104)

Well observed. And no word on Open Source either. Really the good guys.

Nor any mention of people who release their software to the public domain, the really, honestly and truly good guys! :-)

So now they're a proper company? (1)

TechnoBunny (991156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608400)

Its all very well spending all your money on table football and falafel sandwiches, but I guess when your shareholders demand you improve your results year on year then its obvious whats first to go.....

Re:So now they're a proper company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608462)

i like puppys

"Borg disk waste" (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608410)

Borg waste is disks! Keep that in mind the next time one asks to use your bathroom. Those bastards'll clog up your plumbing with 9000 free hours of AOL.

Re:"Borg disk waste" (1)

the_wishbone (1018542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608804)

Hmmm...AOL...tube clogging...I know there's a joke in there somewhere... "You've got internets!"

Re:"Borg disk waste" (1)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608944)

now that was a good one.

Re:"Borg disk waste" (1)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609610)

9000 hours? That's only once CD.

Products being reduced by 20% (4, Interesting)

brian.glanz (849625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608450)

The one bit that concerns me as a user was
the document contains the simple directive "Count total number of Google products and reduce by 20%"
There have been many Google betas with low user populations, but here in the land of every-Google-launch-is-an-article, there might be a lot of /.ers who put time and effort and personal data into a Google beta only to see it disappear in the next year. Which Google apps are on the chopping block? Will they give users a nice way to export data?

Re:Products being reduced by 20% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608538)

I read this section as wanting to combine products. I.E. Picasa publishes web content to Google Webpages and launches as a 'whole' product, not 2.

Re:Products being reduced by 20% (1)

randommemoryaccess (922901) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608558)

They'll probably just merge things together, like they have with docs and spreadsheets. Speculating about how many beta's they've *not* released, its probably a good thing.

Re:Products being reduced by 20% (1)

3278 (1011735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608578)

It might be unfortunate, but it's also inevitable. As nice as it is of Google to make all sorts of nifty things for you to play with, they also have to do this thing called "making money," and cutting unprofitable or unnecessary projects is a necessary part of that.

Re:Products being reduced by 20% (4, Insightful)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608584)

That may mean to consolidate existing services as well, to avoid confusing and diluting the market. For example, Writely and Google Spreadsheets combined to become Google Docs & Spreadsheets. That makes 50% less Google office products. Similarly, things like Froogle and Google Base could combine to become one shopping service.

Re:Products being reduced by 20% (1)

Hazrek (900706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608862)

Or they could continue to develop sub-par products and then force us to use them by pushing them out with Automatic Google Toolbar updates until we have a mass of sub-optimal and barely maintained software that we didn't want in the first place, replete with a huge mess of security flaws and...and...oh wait. Sorry, I got confused there for a minute.

They meant something else (4, Funny)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608478)

No no no, they meant "bork waste". The Swedish chef translation [google.com] of their search engine is just taking up too much space. Bork bork bork!

A good first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16608488)

Would be to stop giving people, especially the average folk that linger on the internet, so much space for email. That would free up massive amounts of storage for their google sized projects. Oh please, why is that the spell checker in firefox 2 highlights the word google? Is that not in the dictionary yet??

Re:A good first step (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608652)

You are assuming - incorrectly, I think - that Google actually has (currently) 2.77GB of storage space for every G-mail account in existance. Google is probably operating with the knowledge that almost nobody actually uses that much, and is overselling their disk capacity by some calculated amount.

=Smidge=

Re:A good first step (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608880)

Probably? More like by a gajillion %! I just finally hit 11MB today. Yippee!

By contrast, their photos section gives 250MB, and I've used 2MB already in MUCH less time than the 11MB on GMail. If they REALLY had 2.7GB for each user, I could use some of that for my photos.

Re:A good first step (1)

MORB (793798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608974)

Most probably.

I also always wondered if they take advantage of people sending stuff to another gmail account by not actually duplicating attached files (with some reference counting scheme to detect files that no one use anymore)

Re:A good first step (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609246)

That makes sense. Sort of like a CVS model applied to an email server. Track who "owns" it and for forwarding, replying, etc. just track the changes made to the original email, rather than a full copy.
Actually, that would've been quite clever of them and they could effectively offer more disk space per user as the userbase increases since more users would be cross-sending emails through GMail.

Re:A good first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609018)

Probably? Good guess, Einstein.

This is nice but... (-1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608576)

Isn't it a lot like Paris Hilton offering to give $100,000 a year towards curing world poverty. It's a great gesture - don't get me wrong, but it does set up a bit of a false expectation that everyone can do it. That is, if PH can give $100,000 to stop starvation, shouldn't everyone give $100,000 a year to stop starvation?

The key difference is that Google, like Paris, hasn't really earned most of the money they're sitting on, and most companies who actually produce something and have tangible assets don't have the luxury of increasing their building/operating expenses by a factor of 1.5 to 2.0 and still expect to be in business.

It's a great idea. Just remember that the good they are doing is not a normal possiblity for most* business operations, and the money they are doing it with has not yet been earned.

*By most, I mean a majority of the millions and millions of companies out there, not just the 200-300 you see with 7 figure CEO positions.

Re:This is nice but... (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608670)

The key difference is that Google, like Paris, hasn't really earned most of the money they're sitting on
So... many... possible.. comebacks... *BOOM*

> Brain exploded, WISEASS.SYS corrupted.
> (A)bort/(R)etry/(F)ail?

Re:This is nice but... (1)

22FF001100 (1013553) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609238)

((I'll give it a shot))
The key difference is that Google, like Paris, hasn't really earned most of the money they're sitting on
So... many... possible.. comebacks... *BOOM* > Brain exploded, WISEASS.SYS corrupted. > (A)bort/(R)etry/(F)ail? RETRY...

Yeah, but Paris is Open Source...

Re:This is nice but... (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608744)

Google has earned every dollar they've made, when earned means that the market gave it to them, which is how money is earned in a capitalist economy.

I think you mean that their value is not backed up by capital equipment. While that is true the majority of the investor market does not seem to mind much, and I suspect it puts Google's ROI up there pretty well.

But I do enjoy the irony of the 'information wants to be free' crowd loving a company with a value based almost entirely on intellectual assets.

Re:This is nice but... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608946)

While I agree that it is technically 'intellectual assets', the real value is in the services they provide.

My father is a retired industrial engineer. He now does odd jobs fixing houses, etc. Hi assets are entirely intellectual, if you look at it the same way. The real value is the service he provides... Work done cheap, right, and quick. He can perform those services thanks to the years and years of experience and knowledge that he has.

I see Google in the same light. If they had all this info, and no service to provide us with it, we wouldn't care about them. And if they have the service, but no info to back it up, ditto.

It's not the same 'intellectual assets' that SCO and SGI have, and they're definitely not using them the same way.

I think there's no doubt to any reasonable person that Google has worked hard for their money.

You've all missed the point (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610218)

This is a good thing. No arguments.

I'm just saying to all the "everyone should do this" people that they shouldn't expect a "normal" company to be able to do this. Google has grossed $15B in the last four years. It's worth, on paper, $120B. $105B of that money is "future potential".

Guess that's the rule here, though - never open the curtain on the chosen few. So, in penance I offer the following:

Microsoft Sucks! Apple Rules! Down with SCO!
Mmmmm, I feel better already.

10MW (2, Interesting)

sallgeud (12337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608700)

I'm not sure I believe they're only using 10MW across their entire worldwide campus. I would bet that's a fair number for their datacenter(s).

If they were to do this via solar:

    315 peak watts per pannel at 1560mm x 800mm per pannel
    31,746 pannels required assuming peak of 10MW and not constant
    1.248 square meters per pannel times 31,746
    425,000 square feet of space (approximately)

    For those still with me, that's 9.8 acres of solar pannels, producing [in that region of CA] approximately 18GWh per year. That's about $3,600,000 worth of energy per year in CA.

Some recommendations: Don't just cover the tops of your buildings. Created additional semi-covered parking with solar pannels atop, consider wind. GE makes one of the most efficient wind turbines out there. For each one of those you can fit on your property, you're likely to save about an acre of land required for solar. And though their peak power coverage isn't as great, they're in operation when the sun's down :)

Unfortunately for google, the wind in cali is not that good for wind power [except offshort]. Though, some parts near the SF area do have slightly better ratings.

http://www.energy.ca.gov/maps/wind/WIND_POWER_50M. jpg [ca.gov]

I think the one thing that companies overlook is. There's no absolute requirement that being carbon neutral requires you to power your own stuff with the energy. How about investment in a wind farm in southwest kansas [excellent location for wind power]. Or 10 acres of Solar pannels in Mexico? I think helping Mexico reduce carbon usage is probably better (polution wise) than helping the US...

Related and interesting fact (5, Interesting)

ostehaps (929761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608838)

This morning 50% of Denmark's power supply was covered by wind power, due to a storm. During the peak (at 4 in the morning) it reached 80%. Generally about 20-25% of power is supplied by wind here.

Re:Related and interesting fact (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609944)

Well, that points out that research needs to focus on storage, not generation. There is no doubt in my mind that power generation will continue via private investments. But the problem is that we have a ways to go before we can store cheaply. It would be nice to see Google go after the super capacitors for UPS as well as provide stable power for their systems. I suspect that if a few companies like Google would use these rather than batteries, they could reduce the price of the capacitors to the point where regular small companies would jump on-board.

Re:Related and interesting fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609954)

New Google location? (1)

wonkknows (311233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608990)

But isn't Google planning a new facility in the Oregon Columbia River Gorge which is otherwise known as the 'wind surfing capital of the world'? There is plenty of power there already generated from Rivers (non carbon) and with the wind channeled in the gorge, perhaps there is an opportunity for that as well. -Solar power there would be a bad idea hehe.

Re:New Google location? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609416)

But isn't Google planning a new facility in the Oregon Columbia River Gorge which is otherwise known as the 'wind surfing capital of the world'? There is plenty of power there already generated from Rivers (non carbon) and with the wind channeled in the gorge, perhaps there is an opportunity for that as well. -Solar power there would be a bad idea hehe.

I lived out there for a couple of years. It tends to be uncloudy (once you go far enough to the west) so there's a lot of solar power. But the whole area is pretty limited for development (it's a national scenic area). I doubt you'd be able to install windmills or massive solar panels out there.

google solar parking (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609152)

Some recommendations: Don't just cover the tops of your buildings. Created additional semi-covered parking with solar pannels atop
Most of the Google parking lot is under the Google buildings and campus courtyard. The Google (fromer SGI) campus is essentually built atop a large underground parking garage. At least for their Mountain View, California campus. Putting solar collectors on their roofs is pretty much their only option as their campus is surrounded by parks and other office buildings.

Re:10MW (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609902)

I think the one thing that companies overlook is. There's no absolute requirement that being carbon neutral requires you to power your own stuff with the energy. How about investment in a wind farm in southwest kansas [excellent location for wind power]. Or 10 acres of Solar pannels in Mexico? I think helping Mexico reduce carbon usage is probably better (polution wise) than helping the US...

I'd prefer to see companies actually benefit from improved efficiencies and sustainable power, otherwise what is it really saying about the concept of sustainable energy? That you can make a lot of money burning coal, oil and gas and then use that money to help poor people waste and pollute less? If it is a good idea, then do for yourself first and prove it is better than burning coal, oil and gas. Otherwise you run the risk of pushing yet another unsustainable infrastructure on a less wealthy country just to make us feel better.

Re:10MW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16610070)

Google intends on being carbon neutral.
The Googleplex will not be a standalone powerstation.
Carbon Neutral implies that they will produce enough energy every day (on average) to supply them with electricity for that day.
Meaning, the excess at any time will be sold back to the grid, and the shortcomings at any time will be purchased from the grid.
Carbon neutrality implies that the excess and shortcomings will be equal.

Google's goals ... (1)

scotbot (906561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608950)

... now come with Slightly Less Evil (TM) ...







*ducks (chair)*

borg.google.com (4, Interesting)

Blighten (992637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609170)

Reading the comments of the article, "Jake" suggests that borg refers to borg.google.com, a very important internal subdomain. (James Bradbury)

A quick search revealed:

Google Finance Leaks Version Two Information (Search Engine Watch Blog, 2006-07-21)
Garett Rogers stumbled upon a link in Google Finance at the top right corner that said "v2 (test)" in red font. The link points to http://0.frontend-live.sfe.scrooge.hs.borg.google. com/finance [google.com] , which seems to not be accessible from my location, or outside of Google's network. Notice the sign of the borg again? borg.google.com from before. So, now we have rumors that Google is going to be launching a version two of Google Finance soon. Maybe it includes stock indices from other worlds? :)...
(http://www.webrankinfo.com/english/seo-news/topic -16812.htm [webrankinfo.com] )

I found this [mssem.com] to be a little funny as well.

Goals for 2007 (2, Funny)

lazlo (15906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609546)

And their goals for 2007 include becoming uranium-neutral. Perhaps in 2008, they'll be helium-neutral.

By 2020, they hope to be matter-neutral.

Re:Goals for 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609698)

Google produce uranium?! I hope the US Government don't find out or this could turn into another policy failure as bad as Iran.....

I work at google (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16609668)

Borg disk waste refers to the unfortunate results of an experiment creating autonomous software-based administrators. They had code to spread to different machines around the world (much like a trojan, but with good intentions). Unfortunately, they ended up doing this a little too well, and ended up archiving much more content than was originally intended... on servers across the world.

They use pagerank to determine what needs to be archived more/less, but the algo is too agressive... and the only way to communicate with them is on a one-by-one basis. Once you get one archiver killed on the machine, another is likely to be placed there by a different archiver.

Last march everything went wild and almost brought us down. They're nicknamed borg since they take over just about everything they touch. Since then we've created new bots to fight the archivers... the fight is predicted to continue well into next year.

(posting anon for obvious reasons)

Re:I work at google (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610342)

Holy fucking shit that sounds awesome! I wanna hear more about this in a sci-fi novel.

Dear Google,

Please keep those Borg fed well. Feed them servers daily! I prefer not to be ASSimilated.

Re:I work at google (1)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610394)

Seriously, that is the fucking coolest thing I've ever read. I think you've just inspired me to seriously study Artificial Intelligence/Life!

Ooops! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16609700)

They also want to reduce "Borg disk waste" by 50%... hmmm, Borg?

Seems like someone blew their cover this time. And here we all thought it was Microsoft...

another way to reduce waste (1)

juan2074 (312848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610408)

Plus, they are removing all the flush toilets.

With only urinals and piss pots, employees won't be dropping loads at work anymore.

Lasers! (1)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16610478)

"Google also wants to build 10MW of green power..."
Green lasers? They're going to want sharks, too. Does anyone know how I can buy shark futures?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...