Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Google Uses Geography to Save Money and Avoid Laws

A popular meme when the internet was first being popularized was "geography is dead." Some people thought the instant access to networks would reduce the importance of geography. However, the rise of neogeography and tools like Google Earth showed that people want to use information networks to better understand places and how to interact with geography.

Google is taking the next step with considering launching a navy to house their network servers. Part of the reason Google is considering this move is to use sea water to cool their computers and thus save money. Another, possibly more important, reason is that having naval ships out in international waters would allow Google to avoid property tax and give it more wiggle room when it comes to laws stating what it can and cannot do. A big drawback though to the legal benefit is that Google still has to reach users in countries including those in censoring ones like the People's Republic of China.

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