A recent patent application filed by Google Inc. is sure to float your boat.
Patent application #20080209234, according to its abstract is for a ‘Water-Based Data center’ — essentially a floating Data-Center powered by the sea itself using waves and wind to generate electricity and sea water for the cooling systems. If you think that is pretty far-out, read on.
Google is no stranger to the legal system. Practically everyone and their dog as made a legal run at them over the years, some of which met headlines around the globe. Some of you may recall Google being sued over a privacy issue surrounding ‘Street View’ – still cameras mounted on vehicles driving around your neighborhood taking pictures from multiple angles. These photos were then put together to create panoramic views of city streets, towns and quite possibly the very street you live on.
So what does this have to do with a recent patent application filed by Google? Let us take a look at this situation from a few angles if this were to become a reality.
If these ‘Water-Based Data centers’ were to be placed inside of International waters then Google would be somewhat free from the current laws and regulations that bind how it does business. Google could essentially invade your privacy a lot easier. Not to say they actually would, but it would be entirely easier for them to do so.
Taxes would be handled a lot more differently. This could mean bigger profits for Google resulting in faster turn-around times in research, thus becoming a benefit to everyone else.
Another interesting thought that washes everything already said ashore is that US patents most likely cannot be enforced on International waters. So what exactly is the point behind this recently filed patent? Are there more entities out there with the same idea? Is Google trying to do the right thing for the environment and go ‘green’? One can only imagine the possibilities at this point.
A lot of patents get filed every day and end up being no more than writing on paper. Google moves pretty fast however, so time will tell what the whole idea behind this filing is. For now Google will continue to sail on digital soil.