Clear skies again this morning, seemingly-like creating a trend — now three days in a row where I can actually see the sun come up without the silly fog.
And here on California’s northern coast, the sound of the nowhere-peaceful Pacific can heard roaring through the air.
(Illustration found here).
Of course, all that news, and way-way-much more, came via the Internet — you didn’t think I grabbed those headlines off my local newspaper, huh?
And the Webs are being surfed in the tiny hands of earth people:
“As the price of handsets falls and their functionality increases,” the authors write, “soon the vast majority of people on the planet will hold in their hands a device with higher processing power than the most powerful computers from the 1980s.”
The above comes from The State of Broadband 2012, an offshoot of the Broadband Commission, established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Unesco, and according to the UK’s Independent, spells out the momentousness of the revolution we are living through.
Internet on the phone is nothing new — a fellow worker has one, and anytime a customer wants to know what wine to serve with fish or fowl, the answer’s right there at the fingertips, and near-about quicker than immediately.
According to the report, about one-third of the world’s population has access to the ‘Net, with the US having about 28.7 percent of its peoples with fixed broadband subscriptions (Canada has 32 per cent), but we Americans rank eighth in the world for those hand-carried little thingys.
And Iceland is the most-plugged in country: Boasts the highest percentage of internet users in the world, with 95 per cent of the population going online in 2011. A world leader in internet usage for years, Iceland has even used online crowdsourcing via social media to help draw up the countryâ€™s new constitution.
However, this new crazed development has become like oil vs climate change — one is creating the other:
Estimates by industry experts quoted in The New York Times are that 30 billion watts (or 30 nuclear power stations) are required to keep the worldâ€™s cloud data centres running.
Peter Gross, a data centre designer, said to the paper “A single data centre can take more power than a medium-size town.”
Also the wasteful nature of data centres is â€œan industry dirty secretâ€ according to a “senior industry executive.”
The Times complains that the servers run at only 6 to 12 per cent utilisation most of the time and “as a result, data centres can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid.”
In addition most large centres have stacks of lead batteries and banks of “huge, spinning flywheels” ready to take over power in came of any momentary power failure.
Compounding the waste is the huge amounts of unimportant data housed on the servers, according to the Times.
At a Yahoo data centre in Santa Clara Andre Tran showed the Times reporter around; “There could be thousands of peopleâ€™s e-mails on these.
People keep old e-mails and attachments forever, so you need a lot of space.”
The Times argues that the servers are stuffed full of “snapshots from nearly forgotten vacations kept forever.”
Internet users, the Times asserts, feel it is their right to be able to access their mundane unimportant data quickly at any given time in this “always on” world and this is a big cause of the squandering of energy.
And those tons of Facebook photos?
In time of chaos, there’s just no winning.