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Ashlee Vance recently wrote in the NY Times Bits blog:
The search and advertising company has filed for a patent that describes a “water-based data center.” The idea is that Google would create mobile data center platforms out at sea by stacking containers filled with servers, storage systems and networking gear on barges or other platforms.
This would let Google push computing centers closer to people in some regions where it’s not feasible, cost-effective or as efficient to build a data center on land. In short, Google brings the data closer to you, and then the data arrives at a quicker clip.
Perhaps even more intriguing to some, Google has theorized about powering these ocean data centers with energy gained just from water splashing against the side of the barges.
The great BLDGBLOG had an excerpt from the patent application:
In general, computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.
Pelamis Wave Power Ltd is an industry leader in wave energy and here’s how their generator/converter works:
Google makes waves and may have solved the data center conundrum – ZD Net – September 8, 2008
Google files patent for wave-powered floating data center – CNET News – September 8, 2008
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There are some cool contemporary maritime influenced art projects currently on exhibit across the globe, so we’ve declared this Maritime Art Week on the Sea-Fever blog. Here’s the final and maybe most challenging and interesting installment of this series.
Lawrence Weiner was born in the Bronx, NY in 1942. Early in his life, Weiner had a variety of maritime jobs including working on an oil tanker and being a dock worker. In the early 1960’s he returned to New York where he began producing and exhibiting his art, the earliest of which included experiments with systematic approaches to shaped canvases. Weiner is considered one of the modern masters of conceptual art. Today he lives in New York and on a houseboat in Amsterdam. (Lawrence Weiner’s biography on the Guggenheim Museum’s website.)
From the National Maritime Museum website:
The National Maritime Museum explores how human beings have sought meaning in the sea, time and the stars. At Greenwich the imponderables of time and space collide: this is the home of Longitude 0°, where one can stand on an arbitrary line marking out the starting point of each new day, year and millennium. Every place on the globe is measured east or west from this Prime Meridian, creating a framework for individuals to understand their place in the world. Lawrence Weiner’s artistic practice questions the subjectivities that create such constructs of understanding. Using observation and experiment, the artist interrogates the relationship of material objects to each other, and the relationship of material objects to individuals.
Like Simon Patterson, another Maritime Art Week artist as well as an New Vision’s artist, Weiner medium is often language and ideas.
Much of Lawrence Weiner’s artistic practice takes the form of language and his statements have been inscribed as text inside and outside the gallery, as well as taking the form of spoken words and printed matter. At the centre of this exhibition the words to a somewhat romantic song, Sailing Sailing, point elsewhere: songs, after all, are designed to be sung and heard, rather than read. Shown beside Weiner’s 2005 film Inherent in the Rhumb Line from which this exhibition takes its name, this song alludes to the freedom of the seas and navigating over the bounding main. As with traditional songs of the sea, Sailing Sailing has been handed down, passed around, reinterpreted and repeated, with each version as true as the next.
MOCA Guide to Lawrence Weiner’s AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE (download)
Tate Online Events (Video Interview) – Lawrence Weiner talking art – February 2, 2008
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One of my favorite blogs, BLDGBLOG, had a interesting post yesterday about seasteading, that is “creat(ing) permanent dwellings on the ocean – homesteading the high seas.” Deep-water city-states (May 19, 2008 )
What interests me here, aside from the architectural challenge of erecting a durable, ocean-going metropolis, is the fact that this act of construction – this act of building something – has constitutional implications. That is, architecture here proactively expands the political bounds of recognized sovereignty; architecture becomes declarative.
The stakes for design have gone up, in other words. It’s not just a question of producing better loft apartments, for which you can charge an extra $300,000, or of perfecting the art of luxury kitchen space; it’s a question of designing architecture for extreme conditions and, should your architecture survive, thus opening up room for a new form of what might be called post-terrestrial sovereignty, i.e. governance freed from landed terrain.
BLDGBLOG’s interest was piqued by an article that Alexis Madgridal wrote for Wired entitled Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies (May 19, 2008 ) Thiel and some of his friends seem to be pretty serious about this: they’ve put their hard cash on the table to fund The Seasteading Institute and they’ve written a 300 page how to guide which in the open source spirit is freely downloadable here in case you’re one of those DIY types.
Friedman estimates that it would cost a few hundred million dollars to build a seastead for a few thousand people. With costs that low, Friedman can see constellations of cities springing up, giving people a variety of governmental choices. If misguided policies arose, citizens could simply motor to a new nation.
“You can change your government without having to leave your house,” he said.
Wonder if these guys have watched this movie a few too many times.
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