Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
Why People were Sure they Were Floating Data Centers
In 2009, Google filed a patent for a floating data center. The patent explains the setup as a “telecommunications and storage system” that is powered by the ocean and is eco-friendly. The accompanying drawing of the system described looks very much like the actual barges that are docked on the west and east coasts of the US. And using shipping containers made them look like other companies’ data center housing. This has been a preferred form of storage because these containers are very easy to move around.
The people working on the barges were putting in some high-tech equipment, but could not give any details. They didn’t even know who they were working for. But the Delaware company name and the barge names give us some clues. The company is “Buy and Large” which could be a spin-off of the huge company “Buy N Large” from the film “WALL-E”. And the barges seem to have their names written in binary, 0001 (one), 0010 (two), 0011 (three), and 0100 (four).
This could have meant great things for power efficiency, but alas, Google has announced that they are not data centers. The barges will be interactive learning centers where people can explore new Google technologies. Google is known for being very cost-efficient and environment-friendly. They also use renewable alternative energy sources, in this case the potential for cooling and power generation through sea water. This concept can still apply to the learning centers.
Or Maybe One of them is for Google Glass?
One reporter said that one of the barges in San Francisco may actually be a marketing expo for Google Glass. This turns out to be close to the truth. The barge was said to be set for deck fitting and the construction of showrooms inside. Google made a statement early this month that more or less ties up with this story. Since Google is beginning to market its own products, they need a place where they can show off their inventions and innovations. And this floating showroom would also be a great place for people to go and test out some of the new Google tech. And as Google confirmed three days ago, an interactive learning center it is.
Why a Big Secret?
Google has recently gone public about their desire to somehow restrict the spying powers of the NSA. Keeping the locations of their data centers secret would have been a good way to keep the NSA off their backs. Or maybe having them off-shore, literally, would be one way of preventing the agency from demanding that they turn over consumer data. The barges are not data but learning centers. In any case, there’s a good chance that the thinkers at Google will figure out how to take advantage of the setup for different uses in the future.
VPN Sites in Lieu of Secure Data Centers
Meantime, people all over the world are still depending on VPN sites to preserve their online privacy. There aren’t any floating VPN sites yet, but VPN servers have been designed for privacy since VPN sites first came out. Users can continue to use VPN sites to reroute their data and traffic to keep their identities hidden from snoops as well as steer clear of online criminals. VPN sites also encrypt users’ data and traffic so that it cannot be stolen or intercepted and manipulated. There are a lot of people on the internet who use people’s data for their own purposes. Some of them use it for advertising which is basically harmless if they keep the data secure. But most will sell the data and use it to launch attacks and phishing and social media scams. We have high hopes for the Google versus NSA battle in Congress, but for now VPN sites are the conscious internet user’s best friend.