Is Regulation of Internet Companies around the corner?

NBCnews has a post on the make or break moment.


Silicon Valley faces make or break moment amid big tech backlash

Gone are the glory days of glowing praise and good PR for big tech companies.


Any set of companies that get as big as Amazon, Google, and Facebook are targets for government regulation. It happened to Oil companies. Tobacco. Steel. Pharmaceuticals.  The government could understand Oil, cigarettes, and drugs much easier. They could see commodities move and how regulations could be put in place. The Internet companies work by flowing of bits that they can’t see and don’t understand.

What would happen if there was a tech savvy government officials? Would there regulations in place? Most likely yes. 

Washington State publishes Paper why Data Center companies head to other States

Microsoft kicked off the public attention of Washington State as a place to build data centers. The government officials then tried to tax the data center companies as an industry assuming the low power prices were worth it. Finally after 7 years of little activity in Washington the Department of Commerce published a report stating what we all knew, Washington state taxes made it more expensive than neighboring states.

The report is here. The conclusions are here.

 Data center growth in rural Washington is at the lower end of the growth rate experienced by other major competitive markets. The competition among states for data center projects has increased dramatically and, if the state desires to attract more projects, Washington should improve its promotional strategy for this industry segment and reexamine the competitiveness of its overall incentives strategy.
 Urban Washington counties that do not have access to sales and use tax exemptions for data centers are at a competitive disadvantage to other urban data center markets such as Portland that either do not have sales tax or that offer tax incentives that abate the sales tax.

A comparison to Hillsboro is made.

All of Hillsboro’s data centers are located in its “enterprise zone,” which was earmarked by the city to provide property tax abatements to firms that locate there. In addition, Oregon has no sales tax at either the state or local level, and the property tax rate in Hillsboro is currently $16.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. Locating in the enterprise zone caps taxing the property to the pre-development assessed value for nearly five years. These tax benefits draw in big players. Last year, DuPont Fabros bought up 47 acres in Hillsboro for what will be Oregon’s largest urban server farm, a 500,000 ft2 facility that will require 50 MW of power, half of which will be for Microsoft and Facebook’s cloud storage.143
We interviewed Valerie Okada, a Business Development Coordinator at the City of Hillsboro’s Economic Development Department. In pitching Hillsboro to us, she cited the quality of its fiber network, noting there are nine providers and four cable land stations that terminate in Hillsboro. Okada also mentioned the high reliability of its electric substations that do not have the dips and outages other cities have because their infrastructure is up to semiconductor industry standards due to Intel’s long presence since they days when they were just a small town. But it is doubtful these features are significantly better than Seattle.
It is the enterprise zones that really incentivize datacenters to locate to Oregon. Oregon’s largest urban server farm in operation today, an 11.9 MW, 180,000 ft2 facility run by Infomart saves $769,000 a year
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Got an electric bike (RadWagon 2018 Cargo Bike), my dog gives the thumbs up

I live in Redmond which has the tag line "bicycle capital of the northwest."


Part of my criteria for an electric bike is one that i can take dog with me and go to the dog park at Marymoor.


Took my dog, "Bea" today and she had a great time. Rode there at 20 mph, carrying a 50 lb dog and myself.


The bike above is a RadWagon from Rad Power Bikes in Seattle. The cargo bags hold plenty of stuff. Have done a Whole foods run and a Trader Joes. Next is a Costco run. No paper towels or toilet paper. :-)

Oh and the other criteria is my son can use electric bike.  It weights 70 lbs has a 750 watt motor. He can use it in electric power mode only and zip around probably 30 miles without peddling given he weighs less than 100 lbs. I have been riding with peddle assist and it looks like I can go about 35-40 miles at 20 mph. Using my Apple Watch my heart rate gets pushed to 145 bpm.

Why Containers didn't work in data centers like it did in the shipping industry

Google was one of the first to use containers for data centers. Then Microsoft. Then there was a flood of companies using containers in data centers. Google doesn't mention shipping containers and the term containers has been taken over by software containers.

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Why were shipping containers so much bigger impact than data center containers? How big was the impact of shipping containers? An economic study covered by The Economist says that shipping containers account for 320% growth in shipments in its first 5 years and a 790% over a total of 20 years from the start of standardization in 1966.

The shipping container caused the manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and end-users to change their way of thinking and operating to be faster and lower cost.

An example of where data center containers didn't work is Microsoft found it was slower to use its ITPAC containers and is reducing its use.

But because it has placed so much focus on growing its cloud services in recent years, Microsoft has had to expand data center capacity around the world at a pace that couldn’t be achieved with containers, Kushagra Vaid, general manager for hardware infrastructure at the company’s cloud and enterprise division, said in an interview.

The same article mentions Microsoft transitioning to standardization like OCP.

About two years ago, Microsoft’s infrastructure team made a radical change to its hardware approach, going from different product teams making their own hardware decisions to standardizing on a handful of server designs that took cues from server specs Facebook open sourced through its Open Compute Project initiative.
The team also realized it would gain a lot from standardizing on the data center design as it scaled globally, but standardizing on the ITPAC wouldn’t make sense. It used ITPACs in data centers it built for itself, but to scale at the pace that it wanted to scale, it would have to take colocation space from data center providers, so standardizing on a non-containerized colo design made a lot more sense, Vaid explained. This design can be used across both the huge data centers Microsoft builds for itself and the facilities it leases from commercial providers.

So why did shipping containers succeed because of the breadth of its standardization created an ISO standard. It was 10 years from the start of the metal shipping container until there was international standard.

Basically, the data center industry was a "concrete" thinker in using shipping containers. The shipping container in transportation is "abstract" as a standard that has wide adoption in the industry and there were many other little things that happened like a unique ID standard for identifying each container. Cargo loading shifted from a decentralized in the bowels of the ship wedging cargo in what appears to be the most efficient to a central planning operation of how to plan for ports of call, refrigerated containers, hazardous material, etc. Computer software was now applied to the detailed planning of container movement from manufacturer to rail/truck to port to ship to destination port to rail/truck all with a container never being opened.