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Monday, April 9, 2007

Google Server Logistics

Bill Koslosky on his blog reports on a Google talk on the subject of server maintenance*, given by Google’s Luiz Barroso (pictured):

With all the effort to push MHz, little regard has been made for power consumption, to the point where, parts become too power inefficient and temperature management becomes a problem. Also, cost of watts surpasses that of hardware until energy cost becomes the main expense for the data center.

Luiz also talked about predicting hardware failures:

The common wisdom is that disk failures are less than 1% per year, and that temperature increases failure. For a predictive failure model, Google uses SMART (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology). This collects signals that may detect bad media surface, bad servo components, electronic/transmission problems, and vibration.

*The talk’s title: “Watts, Faults, and Other Fascinating Dirty Words Computer Architects Can No Longer Afford to Ignore.”

[Thanks Bill! Photo by Bill, with permission.]

YouTube Thailand Censorship

Reuters writes:

YouTube will help Thailand block access to pages that contain clips offensive to its revered monarch instead of blacking out the whole site, a cabinet minister said on Friday.

Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom told Reuters the idea came during a phone call with a California-based government liason officer of Google Inc, which owns YouTube.

The site had refused to pull out a clip insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which led the military-backed government on Thursday to entirely block access to it.

“He said pulling out those clips would not be an effective way to stop the damage, since users could re-post them again,” said Sitthichai, referring to Google officer Andrew McLaughlin.

“He said a more effective way would be to block certain pages not to be seen in Thailand,” he said.

Interesting to see Google employees consulting government officials on the most effective ways to block certain content. Then again, I don’t think YouTube ever promised the world objectivity, or lack of editorial decisions. Google/ YouTube wasn’t available for comment so far.

[Thanks Juha-Matti Laurio in the forum!]

How the Mouse Cursor Works

A funny Flash site (that takes a while to load). [Thanks David Hetfield in the forum!]

Google My Maps Directory is a new, Digg-style website to collect links to custom maps for the recently launched Google My Maps service. Neat idea, but what’s up with the site name.... Ongopongo?
[Thanks Matt!]


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