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Google galley slaves awash with ideas

Bermuda has to be one of the very few sun-soaked islands to pass a law about the minimum length for skirts. I'm not sure if this is out of a profoundly felt moral sense, or whether it's so that opportunistic
policemen can patrol promenades with rulers and hopeful expressions. If it's the latter you at least hope that they have the decency to warm the ruler first.

It's a rum place, Bermuda. For all that warm ocean and Caribbean feel it's actually well north of all those sinful islands and keen to distance itself further. Policeman sport white gloves and gold old British bobby helmets. Businessmen may stroll around in the eponymous shorts but those shorts are perfectly pressed and accompanied by the kind of pristine blazers not normally seen outside stuffy yacht clubs.

When I was around there was little doubt that most inhabitants felt sleazy drunk hacks to be surplus to requirements but they had to put up with me since I'd been personally imported by the government.

Bermuda lives in mortal fear of the day Cuba is re-opened to American tourists, who get to choose between its crisply ironed approach or the fleshpots of Havana (hmm, let me think about that one).

Washing dirty binary

So Bermuda was trying to diversify and at the same time find a use for the ex-US bombproof bunkers. The idea was to create a data haven; a spot where computers could whir discretely away - washing all that dirty binary out of the glare of public scrutiny or US law. To be honest I don't know whether the idea took off because my press trip somehow melted into a fog of Dark and Stormies (if you don't know, ask a Bermudan).

Now it seems Google has latched onto the same theme. The denizens of the Googleplex are looking to churn their bits and bytes away from all those tiresome laws and privacy rules and they've applied for a patent on data havens out at sea, powered and cooled by the waves.

My own encounters with Google lead me to think it's probably just a hare-brained stunt, but if it were to become reality you've got to think they've allowed the whole wave-powered, water-cooled fandango to blind them to one or two little problems. Like who would trust their data to a lump of metal bouncing around on the ocean. This isn't Radio Caroline we're talking about.

Besides, what about pirates? I don't mean a bunch of fops in tricorn hats and ruffled shirts; I mean a couple of scrawny Somalis with AK47s.

"Give us a million or this RPG means you'll never know how many people have just Googled Britney Spears," they'll shout.

"Pay up now or we'll Semtex your search statistics to a soggy grave."

A U-boat attack could see YouTube sunk forever by tubes one, two, and three. A single kamikaze pedalo could erase Gmail and the waves could close over Chrome even as the Googlegoons tried desperately to rearrange the deckchairs.

Floating data storage or full steam ahead to stash those stats in Davy Jones' locker? In any case I for one am happy to lift a glass to the Google galley slaves.

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