Some of the most fascinating reading is at the U.S. Patent office. It's the next best thing to being allowed into the inner most sanctums of corporate parks.
Case in point: here's a glimpse of what Google is dreaming up these days.
Google has applied for a patent to build floating data centers at sea. Talk about surfing the Internet (ba-dum-dum)!
Why would Google want to do this? Apparantly, the ocean blue may be the best way to go green. These data barges would run on water and wave powered generators.
Data centers are energy hogs. In fact, some industry estimates predict the world's computing data centers are growing at such a rapid rate that they will outpace the carbon footprint of air travel by 2020. It takes a whole lot of electricity to keep all those servers online and even more taxing; keeping them cool.
In addition to the alternative energy benefits; there's also a tax angle to boot. Keeping Google's navy just a few miles offshore in International waters would keep them out of the jurisdiction of sovereign nations and the taxes that go with them.
The patent application was filed in the United States. But apparantly, the first barge would be built off the coast of England.
I caveat all of this by adding that many a patent that is filed never goes any further. Whether this actually ever happens is anybody's guess at this point.