Just when you think things just can’t get any weirder, I read that Microsoft is working to develop a data center that runs on sewage. You read that correctly, sewage, a.k.a. human waste, a.k.a fill in your own potty level descriptor here. It’s said that necessity is “the mother of invention” but isn’t this taking things just a little too far? Microsoft says that this is yet another of their green initiatives. I say that if you’re running a data center using the byproduct of an entire state’s worth of indoor plumbing capacity you’ve probably stretched the boundaries of euphemism to the breaking point. I guess in their quest to achieve their objective of becoming carbon neutral the boys in Redmond will leave no stone unturned…or toilet seat up for that matter.
I’m always fascinated by how ideas like this come about. Many of us have been in those corporate “brain storming” sessions where half the company is squeezed into a conference room, the walls are papered with those sticky notes on steroids, and everyone is half-stoned on magic marker fumes, and heard some pretty outlandish proposals. But imagine sitting in a room when someone suggests that we should try powering the new data center with the truest form of “biogas”, and, rather than being met with murmured snickers and knowing rib jabs, someone pipes up and says, “You know, I think Phil is really on to something here”. Talk about your broad mindedness. If this is the concept that they all coalesced around, it kind of makes you wonder what they thought were the bad ideas.