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Politech is the oldest Internet resource devoted to politics and technology. Launched in 1994 by Declan McCullagh, the mailing list has chronicled the growing intersection of law, culture, technology, and politics. Since 2000, so has the Politech web site.

Politicos grok technology better than technologists? Energy-efficient servers

As server farms grow in size and complexity, the computer industry has 
realized that the cost of electricity (and the related cost of cooling) 
can be a huge expense. As a result, companies driven by market 
incentives have begun to offer their own solutions.

Sun Microsystems, for instance, sells servers outfitted with a low-power 
"CoolThreads" microprocessor that uses less power than an average light 
bulb. Intel's "Woodcrest" and "Montecito" generation of processors will 
both consume about 30 watts less than their predecessor models. Sun, 
Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Advanced Micro Devices, Dell and others have even 
created an association called The Green Grid to promote power efficiency.

And here's a list of recent News.com headlines on the topic:
#  AMD unveils line of energy-aware chips
May 15, 2006
# Electric slide for tech industry?
February 1, 2006
# HP debuts water-cooling system
January 29, 2006
# HP debuts water-cooling system
January 29, 2006
# New Egenera blades get liquid cooling
January 23, 2006
# Can IBM help cut your energy bill?
January 11, 2006
# Start-up plans new energy-efficient processor
October 23, 2005

But now our esteemed elected leaders in Congress seem to think they know 
better than an IT purchasing manager what's best for his or her 
business, and are offering official suggestions.

Seriously. The House of Representatives this week approved by a 417-4 
vote legislation instructing Americans to "give high priority to energy 
efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for 
purchases of computer servers":
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.r.05646:

How many of the politicians who voted for this have ever bought a 
server? How many know the difference between RAID and NAS? Ethernet vs. 
Etherpeek? And if they don't, how useful is this one-size-fits-all 
advice really going to be?

-Declan

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Jul 14, 2006 in category economics


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