Sorry, but this is not about Search Term Poetry!
Rather the contrary: Imagine your search terms could be utilized for something down-to-earth, for something useful.
See more comparisons for Google services here! (Though I am disappointed they did not convert to bath tubs!)
If Google’s computers run in their data centers in the middle of nowhere, this energy will be lost and contribute a bit to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
What if Google would run their – virtual – data centers divided into millions tiny pieces, consisting of computers running in our homes?
This is an idea, that has been presented – though in a more serious and realistic fashion, and not focussed on Google, at the conference Hotcloud 11:
Cloud computing is hot, literally.
Computers can be placed directly into buildings to provide low latency cloud computing for its offices or residents, and the heat that is generated can be used to heat the building.
Thus in winter or during the night the provider of cloud services would offload / “send” more computing tasks to your heater-computer. Resembling the good old SETI screen saver searching for intelligent life in the universe (which was triggered by your being idle, not by your freezing).
I agree to all the caveats listed in the article, in particular the security related aspects. As a service provider you might not want to place your hardware in an insecure, uncontrolled environment. This is like Smart Meters, just worse. In addition, Google has a point here regarding the efficiency of scale of large data centers.
But it’s geeky nonetheless!
Google, by the way, had once really planned to enter the energy business directly, as MIT Technology Review has reported last year:
[In 2007 Google] posted jobs for engineers who could speed up design of renewable-energy projects and put a team to work improving the heliostat, a mirrored device that focuses the sun’s rays to make thermal energy.
They also ventured into something Smart-Meter-like:
… PowerMeter, another canceled project. The software was meant to help homeowners monitor their energy use. Energy entrepreneur Kurt Brown says it had a major flaw: “Their interface was for nerds. It was something mostly a smart Googler would be intrigued by.”
Probably I would have loved this interface!
And the conclusion is:
The cancelled plans show the hazards of believing that success in computing—where products can take days to prototype—can carry over to energy.
Yes – I got it, but it will not stop me!
Currently Google is a player in the energy business, as an investor in renewable energy technology and owner of wind farms.
I have come across other speculations how Google might enter the energy business, such as: Google might sell electricity at a competitive price, and users would provide (even more) personal data to compensate for that, or Google might offer their “algorithmic power” to utilities or compete with them with respect to aggregating data. But I cannot trace this down to a real product or service offered by Google today (E.g. on Google’s energy website).
North American users – enlighten me if Google really sells electricity to end users!