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Microsoft Plans Data Center in Siberia 188

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-many-jokes dept.
miller60 writes "Microsoft has announced plans to build a data center in Siberia. The facility near the city of Irkutsk will be able to hold 10,000 servers. Officials in Microsoft's Russian business unit said the region had a stable power supply, and will be able to support a 50 megawatt utility feed. The average winter temperature is below zero in Irkutsk (which is perhaps best known to gamers as a territory in Risk). Microsoft recently announced huge data center projects in Chicago and Dublin, Ireland, and is clearly ramping up its worldwide infrastructure platform as it competes with Google." No doubt this will save a fortune on cooling costs- they can just crack a window.
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Microsoft Plans Data Center in Siberia

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  • Interesting (Score:5, Funny)

    by Panaqqa (927615) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:21AM (#21478537) Homepage
    I guess Ballmer's not satisfied anymore with throwing chairs at people. He's decided to add Siberian exile to the mix.
    • by pegr (46683) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:26AM (#21478581) Homepage Journal
      I thought Windows was already cracked.... /oblig. Sorry, somebody had to say it...
    • Finally, a gulgag for "undesireable" Microsoft employees.

      "Reduce your bug count or we're shipping you off to Siberia."
    • Data security? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:37AM (#21479439)
      While your comment was intended as a joke, off shoring data centers in other countires (i.e. US data in the FSU or chinese data in the US) has some interesting possibilities besides exiling employees. Do they have to abide by US laws for that data? Do they have to hand it over to the Siberian state police on demand or reveal the accounts of dissidents putin is trying to crush? Can they encrypt data or will that run afoul of ITAR laws in both host and owner companies?

      Additionally, recall that last year Russia and Georgia withheld Gas to western europe in an after the fact, gun to the head, negotiation to raise prices. There are no so abundant gas resources that it is so fungible that one can switch suppliers. The same is true of data centers. Will some future event cause Siberia to turn off the Internet router and demand more money?

      • by Dr. Cody (554864)
        Additionally, recall that last year Russia and Georgia withheld Gas to western europe in an after the fact, gun to the head, negotiation to raise prices. There are no so abundant gas resources that it is so fungible that one can switch suppliers. The same is true of data centers. Will some future event cause Siberia to turn off the Internet router and demand more money?

        Raise prices to market value.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Google is a MUCH BETTER company than Microsoft.

      Microsoft is inferior to Google.

      Google is superior to Microsoft.

      Microsoft is not as good as Google.

      Whoosh! Whoosh! Bam! Crash!
      /me ducks to avoid flying chairs.

  • by OhHellWithIt (756826) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:22AM (#21478547) Journal
    ... data center cools you.
    • by rvw (755107)

      ... data center cools you.
      No no, they are about to introduce the new service "CoolMail"!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:23AM (#21478563)
    "So Bob, we hear you're thinking about taking a job with Google. That's great. But, we'd like to make you an offer to stay. Just put this blindfold on, and we'll take you on a short plane ride to your new office. We believe you'll end up staying the rest of your life."
  • I am not sure computers work well below -10 degrees celsius :-)
    • Re:too cold (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:42AM (#21478755) Homepage
      1) Siberia gets a lot colder than -10C. -10C is 14F. That's not cold at all -- a -10C winter day in Virginia wouldn't be considered all that odd.

      2) As long as you don't get a frost buildup, solid-state electronics will generally work just fine in cold environments. Hard drives *might* have some mechanical difficulties if you take them really far below zero, and laptop batteries tend to have a tough time maintaining a charge in the cold. Apart from that, though, you could probably let it get that cold without worrying about the servers themselves. However, the admins running the servers might mutiny if you subject them those sorts of conditions ;-)

      3) The servers aren't going to be outdoors. Duh.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        The biggest problem at that temperature wouldn't be the cold, but condensation. If you have any techs in the room, just breathing is going to make the air quite moist.
        • This is true, and just underscores the silliness of the whole discussion.

          The datacenter will be kept at a reasonably comfortable temperature. Some sort of heat exchanger will probably still be necessary to keep things consistent, although traditional air-conditioning shouldn't be necessary in the wintertime. (Mean outdoor temperature in February is -20C, -2.2F)

          The difficult thing for subarctic climates, however, is the fact that (contrary to popular belief) the summers are actually quite pleasant. Irkutsk
      • by hughk (248126)
        There have been temperatures in Sib towns down to about -57C. This makes Minnesota winters look quite balmy by comparison. The big problem tends to be the dry air, all humidity has been frozen out so if you heat without humidifying, it is hell for electronics because of the static build-up.
    • by Calinous (985536)
      Yes, that's why overclocking works best with externally heated processors.

            There are plenty of problems in sub-zero temperatures - but electronics love it. The fastest processors run cooled with liquid nitrogen. I don't think Siberia is so cold that the nitrogen in air liquefies
      • by SharpFang (651121)
        Hard drives hate sub-zero temperatures. LCDs will work like a snail below some 4C, and may break permanently at minus several. Coolers wear off faster (though that's not a big problem). Anything non-solid-state parts is at risk - grease and axle oil solidifies, plastic bearings become brittle, thermal distortion locks axles in metal bearings and displaces micrometer-aligned mechanisms. Also, in serious frost, capacitors freeze. But I think you need more than Siberia for that.

        A system that was kept in sub-z
  • Meh (Score:4, Funny)

    by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:27AM (#21478601) Homepage
    Anyone who knows would start building up their data centers in Australia as you can get the whole area and it's an easily defensible region which will increase your build stats. Then wait till after the other data centers fight it out in Asia and Europe you move in and take over.
    • by Elemenope (905108)

      You joke, but it kind of creeps me out just how "world domination'-y this Google/Microsoft data center rush is. I mean, people around here bitch about barriers to market entry in things like phone or ISP service; the information-collator business will make competition costs in those businesses look like setting up competing lemonade stands by comparison.

      These guys are playing Risk for ten, perhaps twenty years from now (banking of course on the world not ending in fire by 2020; then again, what do you hav

      • by Znork (31774)
        "These guys are playing Risk for ten, perhaps twenty years from now"

        Mmm. I wouldn't worry that much. You know, someone who's actually been in the IT industry for ten, twenty years knows that in ten, twenty years you can buy the capacity in their datacenter for $100 and keep it in your pocket.

        Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the drift. Computers are the absolutely worst thing to ever sink money into. You buy the capacity you need today at todays prices, you dont build a huge farm of junk that will be ob
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Elemenope (905108)

          Perhaps. I agree that it seems, re: Moore's Law et al., that a huge infrastructure investment in *boxes and racks* is foolhardy. However, what if the investment is just a placeholder for more valuable enduring capital? If, ten years from now, the limiter is not bandwidth but power consumption (energy crisis?), would it not be a huge advantage to have installations already well-established, and worry about what goes in them as computers become ever more powerful? The jokes about "how about a beowulf cluste

          • by Znork (31774)
            "would it not be a huge advantage to have installations already well-established"

            Perhaps. But consider the alternatives we've already seen like rack-in-a-trailer container mounts. You could basically move to the where the power's cheap (hmmm, I'd better patent putting computer centers on Iceland as they dont appear to have gotten that idea yet). Anyways, the rapid commoditization of server capacity works against the first-mover advantage, in ten years I wouldn't be surprised to see us having compute-cubes y
          • by Glonoinha (587375)
            Consider Moore's Law for a minute, in the context of power consumption (from your post.)

            Your current desktop is about 1,000x more powerful than the desktops we had about 20 years ago. It has 8,000x more memory and 50,000x more hard drive space. And yet it is still plugged into the same wall plug it was back then. Same amount of energy, plus or minus (discounting a crazy overclocked CPU / video card - but still you can get away with plugging it into the same wall socket.)

            I don't have a point, just conside
        • by Glonoinha (587375)
          You know, someone who's actually been in the IT industry for ten, twenty years knows that in ten, twenty years you can buy the capacity in their datacenter for $100 and keep it in your pocket.

          Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the drift.


          Actually yes, that bad. In comparing my home system to my very first home system, bought roughly 17 years ago, I find that I have roughly 1,000x more CPU (based purely on clock speed, not taking into account pipelining, caching, etc), 8,000x more memory, and 50,000x mor
  • This is just so they can threaten to ship out unruly employees ;^)
  • by SlipperHat (1185737) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:29AM (#21478621)
    Not to troll, but why is this news? What is newsworthy about a company expanding into another country? You could say "Oh it's Siberia!", but Siberia is a place like any other.
    • by glop (181086) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:48AM (#21478833)
      Well, I found the news interesting. I wouldn't want a report for every data center but I find that this kind of information is newsworthy because:
        - it involves a lot of computers
        - Microsoft comes from a shrinkwrap background not online business
        - Siberia summons images of cold, wild, hostile environments
        - This is a datacenter far from where most of the users live and is therefore an interesting consequence of the Internet

      So I mod the article up any day and welcome our Siberian overlords.

    • by papasui (567265)
      We must stop the traitor dog Kasparov at any cost!
    • Because a corporation the size of Mr. Softy is going to have very interesting interactions with a country which casually tosses opposition political leaders in jail:
      http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=garry+kasparov+jail&btnG=Search+News [google.com]
      A cage match featuring Ballmer and his chair of choice against Vladimir might be interesting, if brief:

      Currently, Putin is a black belt (6th dan) and is best known for his Harai Goshi (sweeping hip throw). Vladimir Putin is Master of Sports (Soviet and

      • by Yetihehe (971185)
        So it's not so bad. Putin is a ninja and Ballmer fights pirates. They are natural allies.
    • How else can we be obsessed with Microsoft if we don't scrutinize every little thing they do? (You obviously have never had a restraining order issued against you.) With every move they make we can lean back in our cheap OfficeMax chairs and scoff at them. "Fools!" we'd say. "This is yet another sign of their impending failure! My year of experience reading articles on Slashdot qualifies me to make this seemingly absurd statement!" Meanwhile we can whisk away petty things like 'reality' and 'logic' so we ca
    • by vertinox (846076) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:55AM (#21478927)
      Not to troll, but why is this news? What is newsworthy about a company expanding into another country? You could say "Oh it's Siberia!", but Siberia is a place like any other.

      I'm not sure about people who don't live in the US, but for Americans (strangley enough) the term "Siberia" holds a special place for us. As a kid who grew up during the Regan administration everyone would talk about how bad the Soviets were and that if you spoke out against the government you were sent to Siberia regardless and how much better we were for not doing that.

      Eventually it got to be a cliche joke (which is why the "In Soviet Russia...") and Americans often joke among each other about being carted off to Siberia for minor offenses.

      Now these days I'm sure if you asked the average Russian about what he thought of Siberia and he would most likley think of it as a place much like North Dakato in which it was boring and he wouldn't have any idea why anyone would live there, but if you asked an American, he'd conjure up images of Russian guards in great coats drunk on vodka forcing some poor Microsoft employee to work on the servers while a big picture of Stalin looked down on them in the camp.
      • I'm not Russian, but Siberia is, as a whole, a beautiful region. There are some sizable cities there too, but not many compared to the size of the region.

        I think that's where some of the gulags were - prison labor camps, and those are the ones referenced in some jokes and threats.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dirkdidit (550955)
        Perhaps the fact that Microsoft has a fairly major office [microsoft.com] in Fargo, North Dakota is testament to how similar North Dakota is to Siberia.

        Both areas share a few commonalities: cheap labor, cheap electricity and rural enough to be isolated from any major events that tend bigger cities tend to be prone to. Microsoft sees this and is using it to their advantage, just like any other company would.
      • For those not in the U.S., think about someplace like Guantanamo.
      • but for Americans (strangley enough) the term "Siberia" holds a special place for us. As a kid who grew up during the Regan administration everyone would talk about how bad the Soviets were and that if you spoke out against the government you were sent to Siberia ... Now these days I'm sure if you asked the average Russian about what he thought of Siberia and he would most likley think of it as a place much like North Dakato in which it was boring ... but if you asked an American, he'd conjure up images of
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by foremank (663060)
        In Russia, we felt the same about Nebraska in the US. We heard horrible tales that citizens who do not obey Ronald Reagan (now G.W. Bush), they get sent to exile in Nebraska. It even become cliche joke (which is why the "In Nebraska...") and Russians often joke among each other about being carted off to Nebraska for minor offenses.
        • by weicco (645927)

          Heh. In Finland we have saying "oot ihan nebraskassa" which is in English something like "you are deep in Nebraska" which means that you are in deep shit. And of course we have many sayings about Siberia also ;)

    • There are many persons in Russia who don't like the software company. Just think of the scale of opposition to Open XML in Russia [noooxml.org]. It is a kind of base in Russia for Microsoft's interests. A minor investment.
  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:29AM (#21478625) Journal
    This is just part of Microsoft's plan to gather a force to cross the Bering Strait and... attack North America!

    Risk games are endless. Sometime in a distant post-ice-age future, the war-like Mikrosoftsi will attack the southern tribes with deadly chairs.
  • Stable power?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pixelated77 (472348)
    From TFA : "The region was attractive to Microsoft due to its stable power supply..."

    Am I the only one that can think of a few other places with stable power supply? Seriously, what's the upside to a datacenter in Irkutsk?
    • It's outside the Ludicrous rule of the United States Government.

      Oh wait...out of the frying pan into the fire?
    • Re:Stable power?? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by faloi (738831) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:39AM (#21478727)
      Seriously, what's the upside to a datacenter in Irkutsk?

      The upside is you throw a lot of money at a country that's recently stepped up anti-piracy efforts (albeit biased against dissidents [slashdot.org]), thus getting a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" arrangement. Microsoft helps boost the Russian economy, possibly even throwing extra money to help offset "improvement costs" in the area, and Russia continues to make sure those nasty pirates stay away (at least the pirates engaging in double-plus ungood speech).

      But then again, I am pretty cynical when it comes to money and politics.
    • Am I the only one that can think of a few other places with stable power supply? Seriously, what's the upside to a datacenter in Irkutsk?

      BRIC - Brazil Russia India China - are expected to lead growth for the next few decades. Microsoft is getting in early, developing an infrastructure that can participate in this growth.

      Also, besides vast natural resources, Russia also has vast human resources. A large highly educated and experienced population that is underemployed and inexpensive. Russia is a desti
  • Exile? (Score:4, Funny)

    by kimvette (919543) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:34AM (#21478673) Homepage Journal
    Is that where Microsoft is sending employees who run Linux at home now?
    • by Creepy (93888)
      Welcome to Gulag call center. We run nice operation. Give bad folks good jobs. Everyone is sandwich*, so no-one escape. Perfect for your need.

      *the sandwich is the skinny guy you take with you when you escape a Gulag so you don't starve to death crossing Siberia.
    • Is that where Microsoft is sending employees who run Linux at home now?

      No, they are sent to Microsoft Research. The destination options are Beijing, India, Cambridge, or Silicon Valley.
  • Some days it's just too easy.
  • Even in climates where it's only cool part of the year, efficient data centers have cooling towers so that they can save crazy amounts of money on HVAC. I would bet that more and more data centers will spring up in cooler climates, especially as KW/square foot footprints increase more and more. It's getting very difficult to cool cabinets efficiently.

    • by Panaqqa (927615) *
      I'm actually surprised that we are not seeing more data centres in Canada precisely because of this. Where I am right now in central Ontario, we have 5 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature is at -3 Celsius (27 Fahrenheit). If I had to set up a server farm somewhere, I would seriously look at my own location. Power from two separate reliable sources on the grid and less than 5 months of shorts and T-shirt weather (compared to 6 in Toronto and higher in most parts of the US). Significant savings o
  • by MECC (8478) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:44AM (#21478779)
    Get those changes in on time, or its off to the eastern front for you.

    Some kidding aside, one chief reason (among others) to have facilities on the other side of the planet is just that - overnight labor capable of delivering a PM customer change request that can be delivered the next morning AM.
  • by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:45AM (#21478797)
    Nobody would in their right mind build a shared-use data center in the middle of nowhere because neither the population or the tranist are there.

    I presume that by Microsoft doing this it will house only their servers (so shipping them in bulk for a 5000km trip won't really be a significant cost) and they'll be making their own arrangements for uplinks to Russia, Europe and China; probably by laying their own fiber.

    Out of curiosity - how will they persuade sysadmins & rack monkeys to emmigrate to Siberia? I can't imagine the long winters and complete lack of night life would be of any interest, unless their thinking of staffing the whole thing with native Russians?
    • by Entropius (188861)
      complete lack of night life

      We're talking Microsoft employees here. They don't care.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      The night life is great. Once it started, the midnight party carry on for 6 months...
    • by larien (5608)
      You don't actually need to be onsite to manage most servers these days. I'm in a team managing about 1100 servers (yes, I know some people probably manage more, this isn't a willy-waving contest) and I rarely have to go onsite in the data centres to do anything. Really, you only need physical access for:
      • server installs
      • parts replacement (which you can just palm off to the vendor)
      • cabling changes
      • tape changes
      • hitting a power button when it's completely hung (although most systems have remote power these
    • by rsmeds (539318) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:17AM (#21479181)

      It's not exactly in the middle of nowhere, though. The city of Irkutsk has a population of approx. 600.000, and the Irkutsk oblast (region) is 2,5 million. So the population (and therefore available workforce) is most certainly there.

      Besides, Microsoft already has departments in Russia, so the employees for this data center will probably come mainly from those. Also, comp.sci education in Russian universities has a fairly good reputation, so recruiting new people shouldn't be a problem.

      A more obvious site would perhaps have been Novosibirsk (1,4 million), home to Novosibirsk State University -- the science captial of the Soviet Union.

      However, I suspect Irkutsk was chosen partly because it is located (more or less) in the middle of Russia -- about halfway from St. Petersburg in the west to Vladivostok in the East -- and because labor is cheaper in Siberia than in Moscow or St.Petersburg.

      Granted, the night life is far from what we've come to expect in most of Europe or the US, but there are bars, clubs and even a couple of decent restaurants. I had the best sushi of my life in Irkusk a couple of years ago.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jbburks (853501)
        Let's see - where do I start:

        Irkutsk is on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the main East-West transport axis. You can bet there's a lot of fiber down the railroad right-of-way, so comms won't be a problem.

        Irkutsk is on the Angara River, which is fed by Lake Baikal. The Bratsk dam (4,500MW) is one of the largest hydropower dams in the world, and there are three more on the Angara. Can you say "zero carbon emissions" and "reliability"?

        I would staff the facility with all but a handful of positions being Russ

      • by mapkinase (958129)

        Novosibirsk State University -- the science captial of the Soviet Union.
        The words of a faithful alumnum :-)
    • by hughk (248126)
      Irkutsk is quite a major city in Siberia even though it is only some half a mil inhabitants. You must remember that Siberia has a somewhat intellectual tradition due to the number of people who thought for themselves under the Tsar and then the Soviets being shipped there. There are several universities there but the city is concerned as the educated people tend to leave for cities such as Moscow or St. Petersburg where the living is easier. MS may bring some staff over for training but I guess they will ha
    • by nomadic (141991)
      how will they persuade sysadmins & rack monkeys to emmigrate to Siberia? I can't imagine the long winters and complete lack of night life would be of any interest,

      Yes, because when I think sysadmin, I picture a bar-hopping, oversexed clubgoer.

      Saturday night Star Trek reruns are the same no matter where you watch them...
  • Honestly (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot.uberm00@net> on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:58AM (#21478961) Homepage Journal
    I know you guys are hopeful but I really doubt Microsoft will open Windows.
  • by The Second Horseman (121958) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:06AM (#21479069)
    Wonder what they're going to do to humidify the air. I'd bet it would easily get below 10% RH if they don't do something. A lot of equipment is rated for 10% to 90% these days, but I'd want it over 20%.

    Maybe they can use the exhaled breath of a herd of yaks to raise the humidity level. Oh, wait, no, you wouldn't actually get any LEED points for that.
  • Officials in Microsoft's Russian business unit said the region had a stable power supply
    Too bad it can't be said that Russia has a stable political environment.
    • Too bad it can't be said that Russia has a stable political environment.

      Well, actually it does. The majority of Russians are perfectly satisfied with Putin. This is because he cracked down on Chechen terrorists and killed the big ringleaders and essentially ended the war. Because of gas and oil prices skyrocketing, the Russian economy is in very good shape and for a decent number of people, life is good. Putin sends out the police to round up the few people who dare to protest. Russia's elections wil
  • In Soviet Russia, data stores YOU.

    Of course, a lame ISR joke has to be, but this seems to be the goal. We're living in a world where governments world wide (and not only them) want to know more and more about you. If anyone else knows a good reason for MS entering the data storage world, please enlighten me.

    They're probably not even after the data, but realized that there's big bucks in information about people. And advertising is maybe the most harmless (even if annoying) reason to collect data.
  • How are they dealing with the permafrost? I thought you couldn't build things in Siberia because the buildings just sink into the mud in the summer.
  • - is going to be called 'Gulag', I suppose.
  • I was really expecting to see some sort of design whereby the waste heat from the datacenter was used to heat homes or apartment buildings. Charging a price that's half of what it would normally cost to heat a building, and supplying the waste heat from the data center would lead to significantly reduced operating costs for the datacenter, and lower cost heating for neighboring structures. Sounds like a win/win situation if done right.
    • by IkeTo (27776)
      Actually I always wonder why there are so many data centers placed at hot places... after all most of the time we don't care whether our data is sent half a globe in the East-West direction or North-South direction. unlucky for those living at those hot regions, the extra cost of air-conditioning to make it work also means that there are a lot more carbon emission and power consumption than really needed, both works to make their place even hotter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hackstraw (262471)
      I was really expecting to see some sort of design whereby the waste heat from the datacenter was used to heat homes or apartment buildings.

      I can't seem to find it now, but one supercomputing or data center in Minnesota or some other cold place used to dump the heat from the computers into the parking garage.

  • From Irkutsk, you can grab Yakutsk and then pillage the entire Northwest US, running down the coast, taking South America, and fortifying to get +2 armies per turn.

    Not *quite* as strategic and easy to hold as Australia, but hey, when you don't get those first 3 cards to match, this could be your salvation play.

    Bravo, Microsoft!
  • by jnf (846084)
    For those of you who are actually the person described as 'best knowing Irktusk from Risk'. (this is all going from memory, and an aged one at that so it may not all still be true) Irktusk is the largest city in Siberia and from what I remember serves (served?) as the primary hub for the government, especially the military in Siberia. From what I remember, in the summer, the average temperature is like -18. I seem to remember Russian graffiti in Chechnya that said something like "Welcome to Hell -From Irktu
  • Cold Storage.

    Given the current establishment power-grabbing Russian political scene, if I was a Russian opposition party, I'd request Microsoft not house my data in Siberia.
  • ... so I'd have thought they would avoid cold places.

    MS Explorer is sinking after hitting an iceberg - pictures [cruisebruise.com]
    Explorer lists heavily after hitting submerged ice off of Antarctica and began taking on water - pictures [cryptome.org]
    Apparently it went down, and 150 people had to be evacuated. Not sure what the weird boat pics are about... digg [digg.com]

  • http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=359093&cid=21337959 [slashdot.org]

    Glad they found ways around the power issues. I wonder how well the commute/staffing will work out over time.
  • I've been told that if global warming continues, Siberia will be hot property (not too hot, more like New England I suppose...). Microsoft should make sure they have their backup Air Conditioning on generator, just in case. ;-)

It isn't easy being the parent of a six-year-old. However, it's a pretty small price to pay for having somebody around the house who understands computers.

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