Inside The World Of Google The Dalles

GOOG The Dalles

For the first time ever, GOOG allowed the press (just two folks) to enter their data center complex in The Dalles, Oregon (The Dalles is at the end of the Oregon Trail), shown above.

With just a hint of transparency, these two reporters put a human face on one of the most secretive aspects of the internet behemoth, normally this location is treated with a level of secrecy as if it’s the CIA. And with good reason, with a global computer system estimated at around 450,000 computers, how they serve and analyze internet data is their ‘golden egg’.

The reason why they’re in this location one hour from Portland, OR is due to the cheap electricity from the Columbia River’s hydrodynamic power as well as easy access to data networking.

Link to The Dalles Chronicle article describing their visit.

Want more tangible information on the 2 football field sized computing center? Try this NY Times article from 2006.

News Links

Mystery Boy in Iron Coffin Identified

Mystery Boy in iron coffin

I won’t spoil the story for you but it involves a boy in a cast iron coffin that resembles a well preserved Egyptian Mummy and the detective work required to identify him.

It’s a story that brought together a team two-dozen-strong consisting of pathologists, forensics and the Smithsonian.

Newsday has the AP wire story by Science Writer Randolph Schmid.


Can I Have Some Of That?

Seriously.  The producers for Microsoft promotion videos *HAD* to have been taking something when coming up with some of their pitches for their former software.  Think I’m kidding?  Check out this previous post on a promotional video for Windows 386.

And just when you thought you’ve seen it all, here I discover yet another promotional video – this time for the MS-DOS 5 Upgrade.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

History Geek

Before Moving To New Locale, Check For Rotten Neighbors recently launched and is taking the online real estate ‘bidness to another level. This is essentially a Google Maps feature that allows you to pinpoint the locations of down right crazy, rude, lewd and just plain rotten neighbors.

Heck, wouldn’t you want to know in advance that your future neighbor lets their dog bark at all hours of the night before you bought that house? Do yourself a favor and check here before moving.

They have a blog up with helpful information on how to deal with different types of neighbors, to learn more about the service read their initial blog post.

The site is in Beta, but is fun for a little snooping though! Enjoy.


Rotten Neighbor


Help Wanted: Astronauts For Missions To Moon

Surely This Is Not an Astronaut? :-)

NASA is accepting applications for the 2009 Astronaut Candidate Class. On their recruitment page they throw out motivators like “America needs YOU at the frontiers of space and technology!” and “NASA HAS SPACE FOR YOU!“. Heck yeah!

As you’ll see below it may not pay that well depending on your education and experience, but what the heck, at $59k you get to go to space! :)

Those selected could fly to space for long-duration stays on the International Space Station and missions to the moon. From NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center:

We look forward to gathering applications and then being able to select from the largest pool possible. Continuing our impressive record in successfully carrying out challenging human spaceflight missions depends on maintaining a talented and diverse astronaut corps.

To be considered, a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft.

After a six months of evaluation and interviews, NASA will announce final selections in early 2009. Then astronaut candidates will report to Johnson in the summer of 2009 to begin the basic training program to prepare them for future spaceflight assignments.

They’re accept applications through July 1, 2008 at

So I went to that site and found the open job position, where it does call out ISS ops but not the fact that it may end up being missions to the moon once you’ve proved your chops, I suppose it’s a given.

Salary: 59,493.00 – 130,257.00 USD per year

Duty Locations: Houston

Open period: Tuesday, September 18, 2007
to Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Key Requirements:

  • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation
  • U.S. citizenship is required
  • This is a drug-testing designated position
  • Frequent travel may be required
  • Selectee must pass a pre-employment medical examination

More information is at the Astronaut Recruitment page.

Found via NASA Press Release.

Time to ‘Cowboy Up’ my peeps, let’s ride!