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Comment: Re:um...grats? (Score 1) 111

by agilen (#28542959) Attached to: Yahoo's "Chicken Coop" Data Center Design

So in your opinion data centers should be built in the middle of a desert where they need to be cooled heavily all year by a coal plant?

Yahoo gets a subsidy on their power to operate a data center (and create jobs) in Niagara County, because most of the power generated by a huge public work in Niagara County benefits people in larger cities far away who pay more for the electricity. There is a savings on transmission costs, the weather in Niagara County is very favorable to cooling a data center, there is ample space, no history of natural disasters, etc.

They absolutely chose this spot because of the abundance of clean and cheap energy, and even though it was money talking, I applaud Yahoo for letting "green power" buy them instead of plain old "tax breaks".

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 5, Informative) 256

by agilen (#28508751) Attached to: Google Mistook Jackson Searches For Net Attack

When I was a freshman in college, an EE professor put a chart up on the projector. It was a fairly consistent chart with one giant spike right in the middle. He explained this was demand on the US power grid over a period of several months, and asked the class what they thought caused the giant spike...most big world events of the 90s were thrown out by the students....and they were all wrong.

The spike that put all the country's power plants at full capacity was the announcement of the OJ Simpson verdict.

Comment: Not a black and white discussion.... (Score 3, Insightful) 168

by agilen (#16919032) Attached to: You Call This Agile?
I think the point missed by both articles (Joel's and the one he is commenting on) are that specific examples are bad. The real problem is making a habit of emergencies. When you fly by the seat of your pants and constantly have engineers fixing emergencies, then yes, it has a very negative impact on their productivity. Once in a while, however, is to be expected and is okay.

Really what any organization should do is instill the resources and culture for proper QA and operational support for developers. If calling the original engineer is the _last_ resort, because QA didn't catch a bug and operations can't fix the problem, thats fine. All too many organizations, however, have an engineer getting called first for a problem that probably should have been caught by QA, or that should have been caught by the operations people. Engineers hunting down problems and finding a reproducible case constantly is really what kills productivity. If the culture is "don't worry, if its broken the engineer who made it can take time out of their current projects to fix it", then your organization is broken.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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