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Congress Passes Energy Efficient Server Initiative 334

Krishna Dagli writes to mention a article about a just-passed Congressional initiative. On Wednesday the House passed legislation instructing Americans to make energy efficiency a priority when purchasing computer servers. From the article: "Washington politicians voted 417-4 on Wednesday to tell American purchasing managers that it's in their 'best interests' to pay attention to energy conservation. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, also directs the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a three-month study 'of the growth trends associated with data centers and the utilization of servers in the federal government and private sector.'" Well, at least if they're doing this they're not passing 'real' laws, right?
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Congress Passes Energy Efficient Server Initiative

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  • by Beatbyte ( 163694 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:18AM (#15718556) Homepage
    ...but why is this something our Congress is focusing on? How much time and money was just spent ignoring all the other needs so an oddball like this could get through?

    Why don't they start pushing to have government offices 50% reliant upon solar (or other green power) by 10 years from now?

    • by kjorn ( 687709 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:28AM (#15718620) Homepage

      Why don't they start pushing to have government offices 50% reliant upon solar (or other green power) by 10 years from now?

      Better yet, powered by hot air?

    • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:32AM (#15718645) Homepage Journal
      For large companies energy efficiency is already a consideration because of cost. You can't set up a datacenter without estimating the cost of the electric bill and backup generators. So that makes me even more curious as to why they're wasting time and money on this. Basic economic demands promote energy efficiency in servers.
      • They're wasting time and money on this because they think that a non-binding declaration that "Apple Pie Is Really Great (and November's only a few months away)" is a little too obvious. Proposing and voting on bills that nobody in their right minds would vote against during election season is an age-old (as in Roman-era) tactic, especially when there are so many more dangerous, difficult, controversial issues that can be postponed by this kind of action.
    • How much time and money was just spent ignoring all the other needs so an oddball like this could get through?

      Don't worry, nobody in Congress read anything but the bill title, and the vote just cut 15 minutes off nap time. The only person that lost any time on this was the intern that wrote it, and all he would have been doing otherwise was fetching someone a smoothie.
    • by grimwell ( 141031 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:53AM (#15718801)
      President Jimmy Carter did install Solar Heating Panels on the White House in attempt to lead by example. President Ronald Regan removed them when he took office.

      White House history []
      • That soo does not surprise me from the man who helped sign into law that a packet of ketchup would be considered a "vegetable" for school lunches. So frenchfries + ketchup = 2 vegetable portions...riiight. And who was surprised that Reagan had Alzheimer's?
      • "President Ronald Regan removed them when he took office."

        To do roof repairs, but it's not as if Clinton/Gore placed them back up either. And they're still bleating about their environmentalist loyalties!

        Not being a partisan here, I actually voted for Clinton.
      • by SewersOfRivendell ( 646620 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @11:48AM (#15719309)
        Whatever else anyone might say about President Carter, he was both (a) absolutely right and (b) truthful at all times. Unfortunately, Americans didn't like it when he told them the truth in 1977: ergy.html []

        Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.

        Reagan got elected partly by telling Americans he loved them and didn't want them to make any changes like pesky ol' conservation. He 'solved' the energy crisis by mortaging the future -- a typical conservative tactic, unfortunately. Hope the Democrats pull it together and present real opposition before the elections, 'cause we need it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The govt already gives a 30% tax credit up to $2000 for home solar installs (not pool heating), and I believe it's upcapped for commercial. Recently FL started offering a rebate scheme for solar too, but the details are somewhat lacking at the moment. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

      The problem is our attitude. Here in FL, most solar installs are not to heat domestic water, but to heat the pools. We need to be a little less decadent. When I talk to people about these issues, they really don'
      • The problem is our attitude. Here in FL, most solar installs are not to heat domestic water, but to heat the pools. We need to be a little less decadent. When I talk to people about these issues, they really don't give a hoot about polution and energy consumption, despite the people being well edumucated and having a good income. Even our power bill being around half of theirs for the same size family and house doesn't make them think that maybe they could actually do something about their consumption.

        Here's the thing: I do give a hoot. A lot of people do. I really want cleaner air and water, a stable climate, and oh yeah, the world economy not to collapse on account of running out of the resources that keep it going. And in fact, I'm willing to make some changes to contribute, no matter how slightly, to these goals.

        But I also really like to swim.

        "Decadent?" Screw that. The whole purpose of civilization is to make people comfortable; else we'd all still be living in caves and scratching for roots and berries. And you can rail against it all you like, but in the absence of an apocalypse, you will never make people give up the creature comforts they feel they've earned. Oh, they may make some changes -- say, walking a little farther instead of driving now and then, or paying a couple cents extra per kilowatt-hour on their electric bill for power generated from renewable sources -- but asking them to give up their cars and swimming pools and big houses entirely? Forget it. It is just not going to happen, nor should it.

        The only way out is through. Better power generation sources, better use of the ones we already have, bits and pieces of conservation here and there (which can add up to a whole lot) ... that's the only way it's going to work. North America, Europe, and Pacific Asia are not going to climb down from their thrones voluntarily; nor are central Asia, South America, and eventually Africa going to surrender the idea of trying to climb up. That's the reality, and I'll say it again, that is as it should be. People want to lead comfortable lives, and the definition of "comfort" keeps getting revised upwards, and it's easy to sneer at this impulse, but honestly I think it's done more for the welfare of the human race than any ideology ever has.

        Maybe instead of criticizing your neighbors as decadent, you could say, "That's a cool heating system you've got for your pool. Ever thought about using it for your house water, too? Here's a Web site ..." Just a thought.
    • Peak Oil (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yonder Way ( 603108 )
      As oil production peaks while demand continues to soar ever upward, all other industries that depend on cheap oil will suffer. If you're grid is powered primarily by coal, you will find that coal becomes much more expensive when coal mining equipment that depends on petroleum is more expensive to operate.

      It is in our best interests NOW, TODAY to start paying attention to who is wasting electricity.

      Few who have ever worked in data centers can say with a straight face that this is a sustainable business mode
    • If only there was a way to harness the energy from all of Congress's hot air! That combined with the turbine power of founding fathers spinning in their graves from the other stuff the government does could solve all of our energy problems!
    • why is this something our Congress is focusing on?

      Because a bunch of people vote for political candidates who talk about "national energy strategy" and they bitch (again, at politicians) about gas prices. Regardless of whether or not people say they really want a centrally-planned economy, they truly act like they want the federal government to be in charge of energy production, energy use, and energy prices.

      People, if you do want this stuff, then you just have to accept that Congress will pass laws ab

    • agreed 100%. This is welcome, but irrelevant when so many americans (and increasingly us brits) drive armoured personnel carriers on the school-run.
      Still this could be a good trojan-horse. How can congress not vote for stricter car efficiency laws when they vote for this? surely a precedent of sorts?
    • ...but why is this something our Congress is focusing on? How much time and money was just spent ignoring all the other needs so an oddball like this could get through?

      Be certain that someone like Sun is lobbying for this. They have a power consumption advantage over some of their competitors, but the marketplace doesn't care. Convenient then to have the government mandate them caring.

  • What about cars?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shisha ( 145964 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:18AM (#15718558) Homepage
    Maybe someone should try telling Americans the same thing about cars. To paraphrase the legislation "give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of cars."
    • Well, now the AMD fanbois are going to say "OMG your Pentium 4 is just as bad as a Ford Excursion!"

      (Note: I'm neutral. I'll run a good AMD chip just as quickly as I'll run a good Intel chip. My current system is a Celeron M.)

      As for cars, I drove an 85 Jetta diesel running on 20% biodiesel until last Friday (when I wrecked it). Now I'm temporarily driving a beat up 88 Civic, and I'm going to get an 86 Golf diesel in need of an engine and transmission, which will come from my Jetta. :)
    • by kabocox ( 199019 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:41AM (#15718708)
      Maybe someone should try telling Americans the same thing about cars. To paraphrase the legislation "give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of cars."

      This was my first thought when reading this summary. Then I thought. It's really pointless all together because those buy computer rooms worth of computer already look at energy efficiency! O.k. the way that they do it generally is how much A/C is required and what is the cost in electrity to run them all. The more efficient a computer the less A/C and power than you need.

      Reading your post, I thought of why not a 1% power reduction across the board on all products per year until industries run into actual real hard limits for reducing power consumation. 1% doesn't sound like much, but over time it would add up, plus it would be a good mindset to get our engineers into thinking about.
    • by lbrandy ( 923907 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:45AM (#15718734)
      Maybe someone should try telling Americans the same thing about cars. To paraphrase the legislation "give high priority to energy efficiency as a factor in determining best value and performance for purchases of cars."

      I know yours is a bit tongue in cheek, however I still must comment on this concept. This is so offensive to me. Don't ASK people to do things that are non-optimal. Don't ask people to make themselves and their business less cost effective. You don't set up a free market, and then ask people to work outside of the equilibrium points "because". Money is just the metric by which we choose to optimize the system. Taxes and tax breaks on things like this exist for a reason... to help account for hidden costs to make the optimal point... actually.. you know.. optimal.

      Congress has the power to move the cost equilibrium (taxes). They don't. They choose to ask you operate to your own disadvantage for the good of us all. Why? Because they are bought and paid for. There are lobbies that prevent them from doing it. So they resort to this seriously ridiculous concept. If you want us to use more energy effecient $THINGS then use TAXES and TAX BREAKS to move the market. Move the god damm equilibrium point so it's cost effective for us to do so. Asking me to operate outside of the cost equilibriums of a free market is basically asking me to risk my own fincial health because you don't have the willpower to risk things yourself. I'm sorry but my retirement/business/kids-college is more important than your re-election. Therefore your "instructions" on how I should spend my money are of no meaning to me. Stand up and make buying energy effecient things cost-effective, and then we'll talk.
      • Yes my comment was a bit tongue in cheek. And I agree with you entirely (Surprised?). I don't believe that telling people to be energy efficient works. I think that taxing petrol in such a way that would promote energy efficiency is the way to go. Of course you can't whack a 50% tax on petrol straight away. But you can tell people that the tax will increase by 2% per year (until you reach the desired level) and you might achieve the desired effect. It still won't make you a popular politician.

        I think that t
    • Stop promoting Japanese cars so blatantly. Where's your nationalism?
    • what about them? (Score:2, Informative)

      by mnemonic_ ( 164550 )
      Maybe someone should tell you that car manufacturers haven't been able to keep up with hybrid demand in the US for years. Believe it or not, Americans have been feeling pain at the pump for a long time. You might as well start telling people that smoking causes cancer.
  • Good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tomknight ( 190939 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:19AM (#15718565) Homepage Journal
    Energy efficiency *should* be a *a* priority. Not the top priority, but it does have some relevance. After all, does the cost of the system make a difference? How about the running cost? And then, how about the cost for electricity and a/c?

    I also think that we do have a duty to think about the environmental impact of our actions, but I agree that passing a law to make someone consider this sort of thing is rather sad.

  • good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:19AM (#15718566) Journal
    It's a good idea to recomend this, it does save money and the ability of a country to prosper has become bound up with it's ability to keep enough energy to do what it needs. I wonder if as well as energy efficiency we will see them pushing for non-fossil fuel methods of energy production on a large scale as well. I the UK a (slightly rigged) energy report suggested that alternative power and energy efficiency could provide great benifits, as well as Blair's pet project, lots og nuclear power.
    • Real promotion of non-"fossil" fuel won't happen in the US for a very very long time. Energy companies have more influence in Washington than any other lobbyists. A bunch of Senators, Representatives, and the highest levels of the executive branch made their fortunes in "fossil" fuels. Terrorist attacks which only happened because of strong US influence in oil-rich countries haven't deterred the use of "fossil" fuels. If the deaths of thousands of Americans isn't enough to enrage the majority of people
    • It's a good idea to recomend this, it does save money and the ability of a country to prosper has become bound up with it's ability to keep enough energy to do what it needs. ,br>
      What is good for the people of a country is for government to stay as much as possible out of the decisions of how the people elect to spend their money. If a person or company feels it is to their advantage to spend more money on energy in the short term to gain an advantage, or perhaps because they do not believe the added
      • I generally agree, but as long as some of our energy supply relies on other countries it's a government issue. And as long as we keep using oil from countries that consider us an enemy it's a national security issue. If all of our oil came from domestic sources (which is easily possible) then I'd be in total agreement with you.
    • I don't think it's really a controversial recommendation, to tell people to think about what it costs to operate their computer.

      What makes me nervous about this is who is making the recommendation. Congress doesn't really make "recommendations"; Congress passes laws. I think there's a difference between encouraged to think about consequences, versus being ordered what to do.

      I'm all for good ideas, but Congress shouldn't be telling us to implement the popular good idea du jour.


      Ooh, I used a French ter

  • Suspicious timing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 3dWarlord ( 862844 )
    I find it interesting that AMD held the energy efficiency crown for the past 3 years and then this legislation gets passed the day Core 2 Duo [] reviews start pouring in. As many of you are well aware, Intel's new architecture has a strong focus on energy efficiency and beats out AMD in this area.
    • But.... AMD just announced a major Facility in the Albany NY region. Republican Gov who is close to Dubya, two very well known Senators (Hillary & Chuck Schumer), one of the most greedy states in the Union as well as one of the most powerful.

      I am not saying this is why the Legislation is being passed, I am just pointing out that we could easily play both sides.
  • by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <> on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:24AM (#15718593)
    A saavy hosting company can virtualize multiple machines into one physical box. The companies who can do this well enough so that their customers cannot tell the difference will operate more efficiently. Power isn't going to get cheaper, until we figure out how to stop burning what's left of our fossil fuels.
    • Or maybe they could just run a data center off DC power supplies.

      You know, make energy efficient hardware. Like the article said.

      Virtualization doesn't impact your energy usage per CPU cycle at all, you just reduce the number of servers if you weren't efficiently using them to begin with.

      • I believe the parent poster is referring to dynamically adjusting the number of running servers based on usage trends. For example with fictional numbers, if a hosting company has 10 clients that all have minimal hosting needs (maybe 100 web hits a month, mostly mail), then they can pack them all onto one server and if one of the clients starts ramping up usage, you just wake-on-LAN another system, start the virtualization environment on that one, and either offload the server to the new unit or load-balanc
    • Virtualization is neat, but it's a cheap copy of Logical Partitions (LPAR). With an LPAR you can more granularly fine-tune what resources will be available to the underlying guest OS.

      For example, I maintain a number of IBM pSeries 570 physical hosts. Within a 570 I can specify an LPAR that uses four tenths of a processing unit presented as two virtual processors. With capacity-on-demand I can fine tune that figure as-needed or even automate it. A single 570 uses a lot of juice, but nowhere near as much
  • by Fr05t ( 69968 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:27AM (#15718611)
    "...purchasing managers that it's in their 'best interests' to pay attention to energy conservation."

    Congress asking managers to use "common sense" (the next buzz word I bet)??? Hopefully this doesn't catch on because I'm sure the 4 horsemen surely can't be far behind!
  • Congress is a little late to the game on this one. It seems that energy efficiency is already becoming a major concern in IT; the subject comes up all the time and a lot of R&D money is going to meeting the demand for more energy-efficient servers.

    Reminds me of my roommate's habit of telling me it's my turn to do the dishes just as I'm getting to the pots and pans.
  • I mean, if you have a server room, there's already a strong incentive for energy efficency already: The more wasteful it is, the more it heats the room, and the more you have to pay for the air conditioners and power.
  • So they want to pass this for servers....but they wont force automakers to do this?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you want to improve energy efficiency and reduce the price of oil overnight with little cost, increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. They haven't changed in years, and the average US vehicle fuel economy is the lowest point in more than a decade.

    Mandate a 1 MPG increase by then end of 2007. The cost to the car industry is minimal. A 1 MPG increase doesn't sound like a lot, but a fleet-wide increase of 1 MPG is an enormous amount of oil. Start increasing the CAFE standard by 1 MPG every fe
  • What if my energy-efficient server serves as a gambling site?

    Will that get them to drop their stupid attack on on-line gambling?

    Thank God the Senate looks like they have no interest in following up on the House's action on on-line gambling.

    at least not yet....

  • by ShyGuy91284 ( 701108 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:38AM (#15718685)
    You know how much it costs to keep a computer running 24/7? If you look into it, you'll see it's usually at least a couple hundred dollars a year (if not more depending on energy cost, peripherals, and stuff like that.) Yeah, you have a huge server case, and penis envy might make you want to pop in a huge 600W power supply with a huge power-hungry CPU, and lots of high end and extra stuff that you don't actually need. I recall harddrives, as the main part of most home servers, do not take too much power (a couple dozen Watts i think). I used to leave my desktop on all the time and let it act as my file server, but am now using an older computer with a 250W power supply and a minimialist configuration, and let my desktop suspend to ram most of the time. Yeah, some may need that 600W for a home server if it's acting as a mythtv server/web server/media reencoding server, but most probably do not.
    • but when the consumer makes a purchasing decision, where is the information? I got thinking about the power consumption of my home PC a while ago, but flicking through the ads in a PC magazine, the vast majority dont even mention the Power Consumption. The closest you get is battery life for laptops, but for desktop PCs its assumed power usage isnt a concern. With energy efficiency lightbulbs now using maybe 20W max, its insane for people not to push for just a 50-100W reduction in power sue for a home PC.
    • I have two computers that run 24/7. One of them is my HDTV/PVR - a Mac Mini with its standard 85W PSU. The other one is my web/database/music/whatever-I-want server. It's a Mac Mini (another 85W PSU) and an external HD (it has a ~30W PSU). The whole setup is ~205W total at peak usage. There's not a chance in hell any of those machines come close to full capacity on those PSU's.

      On a slightly related note: my electricity bills range tend to fall into 3 categories: Winter usage ($100 for baseboard electric hea
  • Desktops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:38AM (#15718687) Journal
    Most servers are heavily used. Most hardware-based energy efficincy work by lowering the cycles. The software approach to handling energy on servers is to shutdown a server and move the load over to others. Servers are better handled in the software realm, then hardware.

    Instead, they should be working on desktop efficiencies. Monitors, harddisks, etc can be made a great deal more efficient. In particular, smaller drives (2.5"), in a office, small drives on desktop, with data on a central server, lcd monitors only, minimize the numbers of printers of make them sleep, etc, etc. There are far more desktops than servers.
    • ...and putting only what people NEED on their desk. I love having the power, but I have no need for this 3GHz HT P4 sitting on my desk when I'm spending 90% of my time ssh'd into various UNIX/Linux boxes.

      But then again I probably need it to handle the filtering Outlook does to handle 10 bazillion worthless emails I get each day.
  • If a company decides to "waste" energy, isn't it still in their best interest to set their own level of energy use? Only the company knows what their input costs have to be to be profitable -- if the item they sell/make allows the wasting of energy, the company knows best. There are too many different options when purchasing equipment to fully understand why an energy-waster might still be economically better for a given company at a given time in a given situation.

    Yet we have to roll back just a little b
  • ...a headline you will never see.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:39AM (#15718698)
    This is very good thinking.

    The amount of energy that is conserved by these new servers is clearly a benefit to everyone.
    Now Congress can further this trend by raising auto fuel efficiency standards & provide a myriad of new ways for people and businesses to conserve energy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:40AM (#15718701)
    FYI, the flag-burning, Mom-beating, apple-pie-hating Congressmen who voted against this measure are:

    Jeff Flake (R-AZ) []
    Walter B. Jones (R-NC) []
    Ron Paul (R-TX) []
    Charles W. Pickering (R-MS) []

    • Maybe they just realized that this was the legislative equivalent of blowing sunshine up someones tailpipe and wanted nothing to do with it.

      I mean really now. A law that suggests that people buy more energy efficient servers?

      Maybe this is congress telling AMD "See, we can pass legislature you will like in your fight agaisnt Intel, if you had paid us enough we would have actually put some teeth in the law"
    • Ron Paul is awesome. He's the only person in congress who actually has principles and sticks with them, on every single vote. They call him "Mr. No" because he disapproves of almost everything congress does. His party has learned to just not bother trying to get him to stick to any kind of party line.

      A voice in the wilderness, perhaps. But that's the best a principled person can do in that den of thieves and scoundrels.
  • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:40AM (#15718704)
    1) How long and how many man hours did it take congress to come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to buy energy efficient servers?

    2) Why are there four dissenting votes? More to the point, what's tacked onto this that would make a congressmen go on record as appearing to vote against energy efficiency.

    There's more to this story here...
    • From the passed bill:

      "Section 1:
      Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, through the Energy Star program, shall transmit to the Congress the results of a study analyzing the rapid growth and energy consumption of computer data centers by the Federal Government and private enterprise."

      In other words, the House wants a study done by the EPA to determine the "rapid growth" and energy consumption of data centers. There were no ri
      • Name one country with our size and population that is more green.

        "Our government needs to stand up for the environment, ..."
        And how does one tell where and how it needs to begin applying efforts to become more green?
        Hm, if only they could authorize a study to tackle each of theses issues. oh wait, thats what this is.

        You think that there can be a mandate that says,,"oh, now be green everyone" and it will happen.

        People like you cause needless unrest.
    • 1) How long and how many man hours did it take congress to come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to buy energy efficient servers?

      2) Why are there four dissenting votes? More to the point, what's tacked onto this that would make a congressmen go on record as appearing to vote against energy efficiency.

      1) Congress didn't spend that much time. All they had to do was rubber-stamp the findings of a lucrative no-bid study contracted to Halliburton.

      2) Those four are obviously the ones in the pocket of Big E
  • AMD ad campaign (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @10:43AM (#15718726)
    I have to admit that I find the timing of this kind of odd. I live in DC, and in the past two months or so there has been a large marketing campaign by AMD touting the energy efficiency of their servers. In nearly every Metro station and in many bus kiosks around town, there are ads talking about how you could've cooled all of Georgetown with the energy saved by using AMD servers, or how the energy saved could've chilled X number of iced cappucinoes or whatever. Not that I expect Congresscritters to see these things while riding public transportation, but still...Interesting timing...
    • Not that I expect Congresscritters to see these things while riding public transportation, but still...Interesting timing..

      Their staffers do, though. Also, don't think that any large ad campaign isn't combined with lobbying efforts if at all possible.


  • They're doing everything they can not to pass real laws, and barely failing at that.

    Like reauthorizing the which almost failed, or passed amended to death. While Georgia, one of the states specifically covered by the Act, [] almost forced many of its Black voters out of their voting rights again. []

    The people create a government to protect our rights. The government we've created that now sits in Washington protects only the appearance of protection. This November, you can fire your House Representative, and pro
  • "it's in their 'best interests' to pay attention to energy conservation"

    Also, I'd avoid buying any aluminum tubes for hobby projects for awhile. THEY'VE GOT THEIR EYE ON YOU, AMERICAN PURCHASING MANAGERS.
  • Wait for the message from your nice centrally planning representative.

    They're bound to be experts in anything that involves cellphones, or servers, because they're, well, universal geniuses (or they wouldn't have gone into politics, right?)!
  • Other initiative recommendations in American's "best interest" that failed to garner the same level of attention are as follows:
    • Brushing your teeth.
    • Wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or gravel.
    • Paying your taxes on time.
    • Paying attention to the washing instruction tags on clothing.
    • Not making fun of 'Shotgun' Louie (Chicago residents only)

    • Debate was intense when an amendment was attached which would have advocated eating all your vegetables. Several representatives decried what they claimed was "unwarranted influence peddling to the vegetable lobbyists" and a filibuster was mounted around the theme of "I don't wanna eat my broccoli" and "you can't make me! you can't!". Even an amendment which would permit the consumption of dessert after all vegetables had been consumed was met with disdain, and finally the amendment was blocked in its entir
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @11:03AM (#15718879)
    Energy conservation is a good thing, even if we're all pissed at the state of energy markets today. They've misplaced the emphasis, unfortunately.


    1) All of the brick power supplies we're using that suck energy 24/7 when in use, or not
    2) CRT energy efficiency vs information they give us compared to LCDs
    3) Plasma displays. You can heat your living rooms with them
    4) The state of ACPI and other energy savings initiatives, like EnergyStar jokes
    5) How batteries are polluting aquifers because they're thrown away into landfills, then melt over time into ugly pools of toxic metal concentrations
    6) How computing machinery disposal anarchy pollutes as much or more than #5
    7) Why I have to buy a new set of computers and cell phones and PDAs so often..... and recycle the old ones (sorry, even Linux can't save a 486SX-25 machine)

    This was for the perception that Congress is concerned. Instead, they're demonstrating technology cluelessness once again.
  • A large percentage of the servers in operation now are Pentium 4 architecture which was a disaster energy efficiency wise. Now that Intel is rolling out a line with much low power consumption (even lower than AMD now) suddenly there is a push for energy efficiency?

    Thank you congress for participating in Intel's latest marketing program.
  • by lancejjj ( 924211 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @11:17AM (#15719017) Homepage
    At one time I kept my linux-based PC powered on 365 days a year. I had a little web server on there, email server, network backup service, etc. It was just a commodity Athlon-based computer running at 1.4 GHz or so.

    But then I noticed that my home power bill was growing. I used a watt-meter - a "kill-o-watt" - and saw that the PC alone was consuming over 125 watts of power at idle - and even more when the CPU was pegged and the disks were cranking. And remember, this doesn't include the monitor - just the PC itself.

    In all, the 365 day-a-year, 24 hour-per-day operation of this PC alone was costing me about $160 (at $0.15 per KWh). I have a little computer energy consumption comparison here. []

    My servers at work cost even more - with all their redundant fans, power supplies, quad CPUs and so on, ... well, it adds up quickly. Beyond that, high density computing can easily exceed 6 KW per RACK! And that makes a lot of heat, and so you have to cool the data center 365 days a year - and that's even MORE power consumption. A $1 million dollar electricity bill per year for a data center ain't out of line. And remember, commercial energy costs are less than residential.
  • Simple: Intel just lifted the NDA off Conroe, which is much more efficient than P4, and somewhat more efficient than AMD's K8 architecture. They then paid Congress to pass an initiative to highlight this. It was probably cheaper then printing advertisements in all major newspapers.

    So when is Congress going to have product placements on CSPAN?

  • And then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mmalove ( 919245 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @11:33AM (#15719171)
    They all drove home smug in their SUVs.
  • A few more recent ponderings out of Congress
    • Congress instructs those below the poverty line to consider getting higher paying jobs
    • Congress recommends that children should consider looking both ways before crossing the street
    • Congress highly recommends that you think hard about what you did last night - Congress knows you know who they're talking about

    - Tash
    Vrooomm... []

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 )
    Thanks Congress! We all know how experienced and savvy those Congresspeople are about technology. I mean, some of them even have blogs! I mean... wow! I had never even considered reducing my power load in my datacenter by having more efficent servers. And it helps the environment too?? Sign me up!

    The only complaint I have is that they didn't pass a detailed law that tells me just how to do my job. I mean, I could make a mistake or something. If Congress doesn't tell me how to do my job, who will?


Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"