I'd bet that the lake side of the dam we're seeing in the picture. Not
the river side.
> Why are they building on a flood plain next to a huge floodable river?!
> Monty Solomon wrote:
>> By JOHN MARKOFF and SAUL HANSELL
>> The New York Times
>> June 14, 2006
>> THE DALLES, Ore., June 8 -- On the banks of the windswept Columbia
>> River, Google is working on a secret weapon in its quest to dominate
>> the next generation of Internet computing. But it is hard to keep a
>> secret when it is a computing center as big as two football fields,
>> with twin cooling plants protruding four stories into the sky.
>> The complex, sprawling like an information-age factory, heralds a
>> substantial expansion of a worldwide computing network handling
>> billions of search queries a day and a growing repertory of other
>> Internet services.
>> And odd as it may seem, the barren desert land surrounding the
>> Columbia along the Oregon-Washington border - at the intersection of
>> cheap electricity and readily accessible data networking - is the
>> backdrop for a multibillion-dollar face-off among Google, Microsoft
>> and Yahoo that will determine dominance in the online world in the
>> years ahead.
>> Microsoft and Yahoo have announced that they are building big data
>> centers upstream in Wenatchee and Quincy, Wash., 130 miles to the
>> north. But it is a race in which they are playing catch-up. Google
>> remains far ahead in the global data-center race, and the scale of its
>> complex here is evidence of its extraordinary ambition.
>> Even before the Oregon center comes online, Google has lashed together
>> a global network of computers -- known in the industry as the
>> Googleplex -- that is a singular achievement. "Google has constructed
>> the biggest computer in the world, and it's a hidden asset," said
>> Danny Hillis, a supercomputing pioneer and a founder of Applied Minds,
>> a technology consulting firm, referring to the Googleplex.
>> The design and even the nature of the Google center in this industrial
>> and agricultural outpost 80 miles east of Portland has been a closely
>> guarded corporate secret. "Companies are historically sensitive about
>> where their operational infrastructure is," acknowledged Urs Holzle,
>> Google's senior vice president for operations.
>> Behind the curtain of secrecy, the two buildings here -- and a third
>> that Google has a permit to build -- will probably house tens of
>> thousands of inexpensive processors and disks, held together with
>> Velcro tape in a Google practice that makes for easy swapping of
>> components. The cooling plants are essential because of the searing
>> heat produced by so much computing power.
>> The complex will tap into the region's large surplus of fiber optic
>> networking, a legacy of the dot-com boom.
>> The fact that Google is behind the data center, referred to locally as
>> Project 02, has been reported in the local press. But many officials
>> in The Dalles, including the city attorney and the city manager, said
>> they could not comment on the project because they signed
>> confidentiality agreements with Google last year.