Aluminum smelters and data centers. Are alike in needed abundant and reliable electrical power. So the Columbia River valley is growing a crop of server farms. The Economist article notes that virtualization technology can be applied to migrate processing to where the juice is cheaper, as well as optimize the number of servers powered up to handle the given workload. Indeed, virtualization management startups are being reflagged as 'green' as fast as the PPT decks and web sites can be rewritten. Remapping the network connections, storage and other resources used by virtualized processes could sink any savings into a sea of management overhead if not optimized as well.
RIP, Robert Asprin. John Scalzi reports the passing of the well-known fantasy author. His Thieves' World was one of the more enjoyable multi-author sword and sorcery creations. Some few us also remember him as "Yang the Nauseating" in days gone by. I can think of far worse ways to go than on a couch, reading an SF novel.
All that time video-gaming was not wasted. At least if you want to join the Army or Marines and use the real thing. Designers of weapons and other interactive systems can now take facility with game controllers, computers, and networks for granted. We've come a long ways from the days when we tracked down (still abundant) naive users to try out our latest designs.
Hope for the pasty white? Perhaps for future generations: While I was paying attention to other things, the genetics behind human skin pigmentation were figured out. Seems that crosses between the melanin endowed and those less so 'average down', towards the paleface end. Not to fear, given the worldwide genome pool, a few more generations of 747s, migration and out-marriage, and everyone will come with a decent base tan pre-installed. It will be a more boring but perhaps more peaceful world, and fewer engineers will have to brave carcinoma to lose their hacker's pallor.
Concrete Spaghetti. You think the MacArthur Maze is a mess? Check out these feats of civil engineering in Japan.