Does cloud computing have a silver lining?
Media Culture and Society, 33, (1), . (doi:10.1177/0163443710382974).
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Despite the language of immateriality and weightlessness, network communications have a significant materiality and weight when considered from the standpoint of production, consumption and recycling. In this paper, we concentrate on the energy signatures of the server industry on which internet communications depend, with special consideration of Google server farms. The move towards thin clients and cloud computing raises the stakes for the server farm business, and makes it more urgent to confront the finite environment in which information circulates. We assess recent and near-future growth in server traffic, and suggest that business models and regulatory systems have yet to recognise the challenges they pose.
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