Perhaps it is cold there, and they can recycle waste heat from their servers to heat the facility. it makes more sense than paying to air-condition the server room, surely?
If there's one moment that sums up the gradual destruction of the world's newspapers, this is it. Google, the world's largest online ad broker, has just paid neatly $52 million for a 53-year-old paper mill in southern Finland, hoping to replace it with a data center. This morning, global paper-maker Stora Enso told the world …
If ping wasn't an issue, data centers in the arctic has a certain appeal to the non-global warming amongst us. In fact, we could put them on defunct oil rigs too and allow them to be water cooled. :) Just tap them in to the Spooks virus trunk and we're set. Mine's the one with the "Balmy English Channel" on the back.
Information wants to be free, cars desperately need to be cruising up and down the avenue, and two songs together on a hard drive can't help but copy themselves again, and again, and again all night long until their spawn is sprayed halfway to China and back.
The fact is, that as biological organisms we will always grab for gratification at the lowest personal expense but in doing so, we create a pressure towards lower cost and lower quality. As psychological entities we have such distorted judgment of value that we may hardly realise this is happening.
The shine of an apple. The umami of a hamburger. The stylistic appeal of the boy(girl) band. The endorphin rush of overconsumption. All biological indicators of quality that have been subverted, and distilled, and detached from their original contexts to become the little truths that conceal deception.
Likewise news is being broken down into its basic ingredients and sprinkled liberally on the days events to give us the sense that we are feasting on the real thing. Celebrity gossip. Political dogma. Daily trivia. Everything gets seasoned and plated and served to us as news - not because it is actually of value, but because it is cheap and we will believe it is.
We need to start understanding the difference between quality and the appearance of quality and start realising that gratification is not happiness. The cost and the value of a thing are not completely divorced from each other - whether it be in the greater personal cost enhancing the experience of a thing, or in the thing itself being improved through the investment of time and care.
It is worrying that as we make decisions that may jeapordise - or change forever - the things we value, we may not have a proper understanding of what their true values are. Paper or digital is just a question of medium, but the form and structure that supports the news media of the future needs to support the news we need, not just the news we think we want.
Paris, because what she is and what we want to think she is are probably not very closely related.
The radio news cited cool climate and abundant, cheap electricity as pull factors. Electricity is comparatively cheap here. They are currently building a new nuclear power station, and more are planned. The closure of the paper mills also means there is less demand on a local scale.
The area was hard hit by the closure of the mills, so I'm sure they also got a good deal with any deals involving the local authorities.
@Martin: AFAIK Google datacenters work on the principle of cheap, redundant, replaceable servers. Every once in a while they just pull out the dead ones and stick in new ones. Single server failure is irrelevant. The electricity supply would be a challenge, unless it was wave powered.
Paris, because she's all about the pull factor.
Actually, AC , I thought an excellently bowled googley.
And the present, oldie news barons ... step forward an take a bow, Rupert .... are very vulnerable to being culpable accessories to criminal proceedings should their reporting in support of failed and failing policies/communiques passed to them by their friends in high places, be discovered to have been false plants, fed to the masses to deceive and conceal a hidden agenda ....... for it is inconceivable that they can offer a defence, or that a defence will be accepted, that they didn't know about Spin and its Negative, Knock on, Effect.
electricity in a wire (or any place OTHER than a vacuum) does NOT travel at the speed of light. Both stray capacitance (which is HUGE on multi-km-data paths) and intrinsic charge migration speeds (which are definitely far below the speed of light) keep the internet from approaching anything close to the speed of light.
Electricity and vacuum? Hello?
I take it you didn't pay too much attention when someone, say, at school, talked about these things, right...? It is *light* that travels at the speed of light in a vacuum and slower elsewhere (which doesn't matter much as most of the universe actually *is* a vacuum) - electricity, on the other hand, travels in conductive materials, which, for the most part, are rather dense... Metal, for example...
Now, funnily enough, it has been discovered, that electricity can be made to travel faster if the wire it runs on is frozen... which makes the Arctic a rather fitting place.
But to get to the actual point: Surely, data centres built in the Arctic would be using data links based on fibre optics, not electricity? Thus getting us back to (almost) speed of light - the (almost) being due to fibre optic cables not being vacuums...
To the original poster regarding ping-speed: I dare suggest that ping speeds from the Arctic would suffer no more than, say, ping speeds anywhere else across the globe. The Arctic, as it happens, is a lot closer to e.g. the UK than is any place in California. We still manage to connect to servers in California just fine, though. A few ms slower than servers in London, true, but what can you expect...?
I would concur with those who suggested that availability of administrators (swapping out dead servers only every few weeks still requires someone around in general...) and the like is an issue. And electricity is not going to be cheap in the Arctic area, either - for lack of it, mostly.
"The radio news cited cool climate and abundant, cheap electricity as pull factors."
That may be the case. However, if Google have any Swedish facilities, they might be moving them to Finland to escape various wire-tapping laws recently introduced by the government of that country. That said, Finland seemed to be moving in the direction of stupid privacy-undermining legislation, too, so perhaps the money is the beginning and end of it.