back to article We've never even built datacenters using robots here on Earth

Making a call on the quality of a new idea in tech can be hard. But if you ask me, not in the case of Lonestar Data Holdings, whose plan to build datacenters on the Moon is literal lunacy. Every detail of the roadmap, from tentative tiny proofs of concept to massive underground server farms built and tended by Moon robots, is …

  1. Killfalcon

    Bonus points for use of "Interregnum"!

    The whole plan does feel a bit like "what if we solve the problem with, like, lasers and holograms? Wouldn't that be cool?". That thinking got us the CD and DVD, but in the end storage has come down to magnets or transistors again, now matter how sci-fi it is to make the laser blue.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      CD, DVD and Blu ray only really existed as mainstream technologies because they solved problems acceptably well, and reasonably cheaply and profitably.

      When you had a 56k modem for data transfer moving a CD's worth of data would have taken something like 25 hours, and a DVD about 8 days. CD/DVD was also great advance on cassette or VCR in both quality, usability and durability.

      Had the internet been running at current speeds in 2000 then the DVD would probably never have been deployed, and probably not developed. A few moments thinking about the issues with putting a DC on the moon suggests that any problems it may solve are likely to be solvable by more replication here on earth at considerably less cost.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Windows

        Back when I had a 56k modem, it was quicker and cheaper to get Linux Emporium to send me Linux CDs by mail than to download them.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Back when Palo Alto was still on Analog POTS (9,600 max), I wangled a co-lo[0] at the Bryant Street CO just so I could download source code at BARRNet speed. I'd tell it to copy to tape, then walk over & pick up the tape to bring home. Later, I did the same thing with CD ISOs (Slackware and BSD -current images, mostly), until I finally ran my own T1 line from the CO to my home[1].

          [0] Probably the oldest colo in the world ... 100 year lease @ $1/year. I have my own PG&E meter, but the HVAC and halon is free. I write odd things into contracts sometimes. Try it, you'll like it.

          [1] It's amazing what you can get away with if you have a white Econoline full of electrician's gear, a well-worn tool belt, a reflective safety vest, a hard hat, and carry a clipboard.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      If you look at some of the projects, especially the science fiction ones, that get silly money thrown at them, $ 5 million is chump change. Think cryogenics, ticket to Mars, and the rapture. There are enough Yanks with the cash lying around to have a bet on it and there are more than enough loons desperate to stump up the cash to get off this satanic orb and they're happy to start with the photo and MP3 collection.

      Actually, lots of these projects are essentially risk-free for the promoter: you sell heavily discounted bits of products to early investors to generate the cashflow to get the ball rolling. There are no guarantees but this also means that proper investors can offset the charges against tax while everyone else gets a raffle ticket. And everyone likes a raffle!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        It's always worth remembering that at least some of the Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate.

          And now it's soon to be turned back to swamp as the oceans rise. And Netherlands' style dikes will not help as Florida is mostly porous karst limestone so sea water would seep under any dike.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate.

            What do you mean "back to swamp"? Florida's always been a hot, muggy, bug-ridden swamp. Nasty place. Merely living there addles the brain.

            1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

              Re: Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate.

              Could not agree more. Why do people like it so much? Beats me.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate.

                The US populace over the past century has mysteriously gravitated toward retiring to places which are too hot and either too wet (Florida) or not nearly wet enough (Arizona).

                Living in those places is desirable by consensus: lots of other people have decided it is, so who are you to disagree?

                Fortunately for me, my wife decided to retire to the mountains. Water here is still a highly constrained resource, but not nearly the impending catastrophe it is in many other parts of the Southwest; and temperatures are seasonal but moderated by altitude and low humidity (we don't have or need air conditioning, and don't spend much on heating). I won't say it's perfect but it's greatly preferable over Miami or Phoenix, IMO. (And with all due respect to jake and others, I've never been terribly fond of California.)

                1. jake Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate.

                  If we all liked the same thing, the world would be an incredibly boring place.

                  That said, I do not get the FL/AZ dichotomy either. People are weird, some more than others.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Florida swamp ended up being highly desirable and valuable real estate.

                they like the beach and fly directly into Miami or go on a cruise they do not experience Florida the state

      2. Cuddles Silver badge

        Pedant alert

        "Think cryogenics"

        You probably meant cryonics. Cryogenics is the science and technology of cold stuff (usually meaning liquid nitrogen temperatures and below), and is very common in all kinds of industrial uses as well as research. Cryonics is the practice of throwing corpses in the freezer and hoping magic happens.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pedant alert

          "magic happens"

          That's Disney, isn't it?

          Oh, wait ...

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Lonestar Data Holdings

    Proof that there are idiots that have way too much more money than sense.

    Getting $5 million for spouting the idea of a datacenter on the Moon - at this point in time - means that we, as a civilization, are too rich for our own good.

    That said, I have an excellent idea of a series of telescopes on the Moon, Mars and Ganymede. Anyone want to give me a few million to talk about it ?

    1. Rafael #872397

      Re: Proof that there are idiots that have way too much more money than sense.

      Pssst, Elon, want to store your favorite Tweets in a safe place? I just got the thing for you.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Lonestar Data Holdings

      Is that you James P. Hogan??

      That said, I have an excellent idea of a series of telescopes on the Moon, Mars and Ganymede. Anyone want to give me a few million to talk about it ?

    3. ITMA Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: Lonestar Data Holdings

      "Proof that there are idiots that have way too much more money than sense."

      I've only one thing I can say to that...

      NFTs LOL

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Nice one, take people's money while the POC dies on the vine. Can I get a job there?!!

    https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/05/21/lonestar_moon_datacenter/#c_4463259

  4. Shady

    Protection against hostile ET's

    Requires sharks with frickin' laser beams. In low gravity thruster suits equipped with saline based breathing apparatus. Sharknado 28?

  5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Greece's Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum (where they are known as the Elgin Marbles after the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire who took them)

    Not for some time. The British Warehouse of Looted Artefacts now refers to them only as the "Parthenon Sculptures": see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/galleries/greece-parthenon

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Too Alien a Concept for Production and Man Factoring? Or already something to worry about?

    nobody's built a datacenter by robot on Earth yet. And nobody seems minded to try. ...... Rupert Goodwins

    That's very easily changed in next to no time, Rupert, and there may even be also those more minded to build datacentres/qubit pharms for robots on Earth exercising remote virtual command and relatively autonomous anonymised control of multiple series of future 0day event vulnerabilities for rapid exploitation/practically unstoppable presentation.

    You might like to ask yourself why that would be any more worrying than the current situation which has no one really knowing what some interfering and/or influential humans are planning for tomorrow to bring in furtherance of their vested interests and hidden agendas, especially whenever so many always seem to revolve around introducing conflict and chaos, death and destruction in order to claim being a champion of acceptable leadership ....... which of course is certifiable madness surely ‽ .

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Too Alien a Concept for Production and Man Factoring? Or already something to worry about?

      Why on Earth would somebody spend the time and money to build and program robots in order to build a datacenter, when it would be both cheaper and faster to have the folks building and programming the robots simply avoid the middle-bot and build the datacenter outright?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Too Alien a Concept for Production and Man Factoring? Or already something to worry about?

        Why on Earth would somebody spend the time and money to build and program robots in order to build a datacenter, when it would be both cheaper and faster to have the folks building and programming the robots simply avoid the middle-bot and build the datacenter outright? ..... jake

        Have you considered the possibility, jake, that robots/SMARTR Virtual Machines are significantly better at programming humans with their needs and feeds and seeds than the reverse, humans programming robots ...... and such is an existing quantum reality, both practically virtual and metaphysically real‽

        Is Earth is something of a quandary currently, for it cannot be denied that as more and more machines do more and more work previously done by armies of humans will there be no need for them to provide that which they were earlier schooled and programmed and being paid a living wage for ..... and there may be nothing worthwhile they can turn their hands, hearts and minds to to supply the future.

        Is there a future crazy masterplan to have the conflict and chaos and madness and mayhem delivered by the manufacturers and supporters of wars and war machines decimate populations to help address the expensive exhausting liability which are rabid uneducated/undereducated oversupply of unnecessary ignorant and arrogant labour force problems?

        And the question you answered with another question above, jake, did not in any way address, but rather more adroitly dodged, the premise posed ........ there may even be also those more minded to build datacentres/qubit pharms for robots on Earth exercising remote virtual command and relatively autonomous anonymised control of multiple series of future 0day event vulnerabilities for rapid exploitation/practically unstoppable presentation.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Too Alien a Concept for Production and Man Factoring? Or already something to worry about?

          "Have you considered the possibility, jake, that robots/SMARTR Virtual Machines are significantly better at programming humans with their needs and feeds and seeds than the reverse, humans programming robots"

          No, I haven't. The concept is ludicrous.

          "there may even be also those more minded to build datacentres/qubit pharms for robots on Earth exercising remote virtual command and relatively autonomous anonymised control of multiple series of future 0day event vulnerabilities for rapid exploitation/practically unstoppable presentation."

          Demonstrate. I'm a scientist. Don't tell me, show me.

          Or are you simply writing a screenplay?

          1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

            Is that the Turing test beaten?

            It's made my day watching you get in an argument with aManFromMars1. Poetic justice.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Is that the Turing test beaten?

              Arguing? You are confused. Having a conversation is not arguing.

              While it's true that I sometimes seed the bot side of amfM, the living entity is quite intelligent, and well worth talking to. The two are quite easy to tell apart, if you pay attention.

              1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                Re: Is that the Turing test beaten? @jake

                While it's true that I sometimes seed the bot side of amfM, the living entity is quite intelligent, and well worth talking to. The two are quite easy to tell apart, if you pay attention. .... jake

                :-) And it is not at all helpful to have the nature of one smeared as a sort of monstrous Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde character if not easily recognised apart whenever such can be so utterly devastating and self-destructive.

            2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: Is that the Turing test beaten?

              Hmmm ??? That is an engaging question, Brewster’s Angle Grinder, entangling one as it does in all manner of novel strange and weirdly explicable noble matters.

              And is the Turing test passed here on this thread, is another great question to also consider rather than just asking if it be beaten/thrashed or trashed.

              Would a successful passing of the Turing test elevate worthy ludicrous lucrative machines into Nobel Prize territory or is that at all times in these emergent postmodern greater intelligence spaces, still to be an oft thought controversial and politically ill-judged reward exclusively ruled and regulated as valid only for humans ?

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Too Alien a Concept for Production and Man Factoring? Or already something to worry about?

            A blockbuster screenplay magnificently written would easily demonstrate it to everyone including scientists, jake, and especially and very effectively so whenever also mirrored in actions and plots on the silver screen showing demonstrating the progress which has been made with the new information and intelligence which is discovered and being aired for the first time much to the concern and consternation of the likes of disenfranchised status quo elites and sundry other sceptics very much like your good self.

            However, nevertheless, whenever presented as if confirmed from reels of current news from around the globe directly effected by such controversial news escaping, the virtual reality of it will easily overwhelm the senses to be recognised by all as most probably also honestly true. And that will create a most definite difficulty for that and those who would wish to deny the fact and paint it as a nonsensical fiction.

            Let’s give it a go, shall we, to see how far and how quickly IT and AI takes everyone in these NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Times with Strange and Surreal and Secret IntelAIgent Services and Spaces. It is much easier to do than anyone would think and requires remarkably few to create an unstoppable runaway train explosive chain reaction effect ....... Delivering and Supplying ProVision for Really Radical Fundamental Change/Quantum Leaping Progress.

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Too Alien a Concept for Production and Man Factoring? Or already something to worry about?

              "A blockbuster screenplay magnificently written would easily demonstrate it to everyone including scientists"

              No, that would be yet another boring scifi movie. All it would demonstrate is the fact that the general public is willing to shell out perfectly good coin on perfectly dreadful movies.

              But if you want help writing it, count me in. Maybe we can both retire :-)

              1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                Come in, Status Quo, Your Awful Time in the Leading Harry LimeLight is Up.

                But if you want help writing it, count me in. Maybe we can both retire :-) ... jake

                Sounds like more than just a good plan, jake, and welcoming of all with help to give, for only the arrogance and ignorance of fools who be unwieldy tools would deny the advantage such generosity both supplies and delivers.

                However, just to be absolutely clear, I don't do, nor have any future intention of changing course into boring sci-fi movie stuff and nonsense, for future fact is certainly stranger and much more exciting and rewarding than any possible present fiction and misinformation/disinformation which apparently currently abounds and infests and poisons virtually everything in the mainstream media today, and would wish to also cross over into and infect and destroy alternative competing narrative platforms and vessels too if you can believe what you can see, hear and read about events being led by doctored and/or fake news outlets nowadays, and which by all accounts is nothing new at all, but just par for a right dodgy crooked course going nowhere great and good, incredibly fast ....... https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/10-examples-when-empire-managers-exposed-their-desire-control-our-thoughts

                Step across from mainstreaming fake and disarming tales into any virtual field of almighty engaging alternative dreams and if you haven't already fundamentally and radically changed out of your old ways, be prepared and be aware one is destined to be immediately crashed into and crushed and reduced to no more than just dust and smithereens by unseen COSMIC* forces and otherworldly extra territorial sources .... with Control Of Secret Materiel in an Internetional Command.*

                And in so doing does it unequivocally demonstrate the wider general public has never been nor is ever going to be willing to shell out perfectly good coin in support of perfectly dreadful propaganda, for those funding stream are effectively stolen/sequestered/purloined from the public purse in furtherance of shady hidden, non-public private and pirate agendas/selfish exclusive elite executive treats that threaten the natural order of all heavenly things.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Richard Tobin

    "a 966-year-old dynasty"

    Which dynasty begain in 1056?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh so you've built one on another planet with robots? which one?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Nobody implied that. Read it again.

  9. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    I'm no constitutional historian...

    The period in English history when the throne was vacant between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the Restoration of Charles II in 1660.

    ...but I thought the throne ceased to exist during that time, by order of Parliament, so there was no vacancy.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I'm no constitutional historian...

      It didn’t get Royal Assent, so it wasn’t valid.

  10. Mostly Irrelevant

    I think the main reason they have funding is that many venture capitalists are not well versed in science and have a very opportunistic mindset.

    1. jake Silver badge

      I think the main reason they get funding is because there is a sucker born every minute.

  11. Funongable

    Marketing hype no longer needs to be believable

    Politicians have proven that lies need repetition in order to increase confusion, er... I mean acceptance. Lies built upon lies buy more time. I.E., cold fusion will power all self driving cars.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Marketing hype no longer needs to be believable

      "cold fusion will power all self driving cars wirelessly in the Cloud with paperless blockchain in tunnels on the Moon."

      FTFY

      1. Steve K Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Marketing hype no longer needs to be believable

        Sorry Jake - you missed out "nanotubes" and "DevOps".

        Thanks for playing

  12. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Terminator

    At least we're safe on Earth for a while

    The robots will have a hard time getting back. The Moon's gravity might not be much but Earth's will be nothing but trouble. Plus, nobody should tell the robots about large portions of Earth being covered in conductive liquid.

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