Building the Part of Facebook No One Ever Sees

Ever since we humans gave up the nomadic life and started building homes, architecture had one goal: To make life better for humans. But now, a new architecture is taking shape in remote, frozen corners of the world. And it's not designed for humans. It's for machines. In this case, for the remote machines that keep… » 6/17/14 11:20am 6/17/14 11:20am

How Much It Costs the NSA to Store an Entire Country's Phone Calls

On Monday, we learned that the NSA is recording every single phone call in the Bahamas and storing the data for a month. This news arrives just six weeks after we learned that the NSA was recording every single phone call, text, and email in Iraq. In fact, the spy agency is engaged in similar efforts in five different… » 5/20/14 10:00am 5/20/14 10:00am

An Up Close Look at the East Coast Google Mystery Barge

The Google mystery barges docked near San Francisco and Portland, Maine are getting even more mysterious. We've seen the barge and heard the arguments about what's inside. But news that the search giant is making government officials keep their mouths shut about them—that takes it to the next level. » 10/30/13 10:53am 10/30/13 10:53am

Is Google's Mysterious Barge Actually a Floating Glass Store?

After an odd but engrossing CNET story last week, everybody's wondering what the strange barge with ties to Google is doing docked near San Francisco. At first, it looked like the 250-foot-long structure was a next generation data center in-the-making, but CBS and CNET sources now say it's a floating Google Glass… » 10/28/13 12:30pm 10/28/13 12:30pm

Is the NSA's Data Center Melting Down Because It's Spying Too Much?

This is embarrassingly funny. The WSJ reports that the NSA's new Utah data center has suffered 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months because of electrical surges. The NSA is basically using so much power in its spying efforts that it is poetically killing its data centers. Seriously, the surges have destroyed hundreds… » 10/07/13 9:37pm 10/07/13 9:37pm

The Architecture Of Surveillance

This past week, major documents were leaked detailing PRISM, a top secret government program that directed tech companies to spy on Americans by turning over their data to the National Security Agency, among other branches of the Department of Homeland Security. Despite obvious threats to the right to privacy, the… » 6/11/13 12:30pm 6/11/13 12:30pm

Sears Plans To Retrofit 2,500 "Ghostbox" Stores As Data Centers

There are over a billion square feet of vacant commercial space in the US right now, most of it in the form of big box stores. This being America, we’ve come up with plenty of intelligent ways to reuse the department stores at which we can no longer afford to shop: Churches. Parks. Clinics. And now, data centers. » 5/29/13 4:20pm 5/29/13 4:20pm

Data Centers Waste a Ridiculously Massive Amount of Energy

There is a lot of data out there, and more is being created every day. It takes a lot of resources to keep it around, and make sure that you and everyone else can access what they want, when they want, with minimal downtime. Naturally this takes a lot of energy, but the New York Times looked into exactly how much. … » 9/23/12 1:00pm 9/23/12 1:00pm