Recently, my wife and I went to dinner and an opera with an old friend, reconnecting with her and her fiance. Within five minutes of meeting him for the him for the first time, I asked him that timeless, taboo guy question.
"So....what do you do for a living?"
My wife was already engaged in deep conversation on pointless matters of "What have you been doing for the last ten years?" and "How did you two meet?"
I kept a loose ear on that conversation, in case there was a quiz later, but pressed on when he initially found it a hard question to answer. In short, he's an entrepreneur who discovers people with brilliant ideas. Then, he creates startups and finds investors from a pool of surgeons who no longer make money investing in medical devices.
One of the technologies was predictive and shared programming where the computer program would begin to understand the purpose of the application and like predictive spelling while texting on your smart phone, it would finish the code for you with a little guidance. You would not even need to be a developer to write such a program.
In the computing world, much time, effort and money is spent trying to do things faster and more efficiently. Parallel processing is a concept that is getting a lot of attention in cloud computing. A few years ago, computers had one processor. Then suddenly, someone at Intel figured out how to build a motherboard with two processors that would increase the speed dramatically. Soon after, 64 bit systems and quad-core machines were the norm. Servers were designed with 16 and 32 parallel processors and the game was on.
Arguably, the largest living organism on earth is not an animal, but a plant. There are conflicting reports of which actual grove holds the record.
Populus tremuloides is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America, one of several species referred to by the common name Aspen. It is commonly called quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, Quakies, mountain or golden aspen, trembling poplar, white poplar, popple, and even more names. The trees have tall trunks, up to 25 m (82 ft) tall, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. The glossy green leaves, dull beneath, become golden to yellow, rarely red, in autumn. The species often propagates through its roots to form large groves
The Quaking Aspen sends out underground shoots that re-emerge elsewhere as new trunks. Quaking Aspen groves have been measured at two hundred acres wide, almost seven thousand tons worth of Aspen, all from the same plant! That makes the Quaking Aspen grove the largest living organism on earth.
Parallel processing may soon redefine the terminology. Where actual or virtual processors once shared the same geographical location, a study of how the brain actually processes has turned the concept of the internet into giant quaking aspen groves of processing power, connection upwards of 100,000 computers sharing the same tasks.
I realized that by holding this conversation and keeping a loose ear on the girls' conversation, for "practical" purposes', i.e. quiz later, putting the Ka-bash on plans being made for me, etc., I was essentially parallel processing.
A result of this effort has been both the energy used in this processing as well as the efficiency. What difference does it make if we calculate 25 or 50 places after the decimal point. A lot, it seems. As it turns out, those extra numbers are the ones that consume most of the energy. Working computers get hot, hot computers must be cooled, air conditioning takes electricity, and electricity is money.
The question now, he said, was how a startup might actually make money on all these brilliant ideas, apart from the obvious savings in energy, This is where having a criminal vs. creative mind comes in handy.
Before he finished the second syllable on the word "money", I had already formulated my answer. Use the predictive programming startup technology to write some code to take all those fractions of pennies saved from the reduced decimal points eliminated with energy saving from the parallel processing startup to calculate all of those fractions of pennies from the electricity bills of the world's giant data centers and technology firms and funnel them into rotating accounts around the world.
I wonder how much it costs in energy to do a single Google search?
OK, now multiple that times the estimated number of searches per day on the Quaking Aspen internet, times the number of search engines....carry the five, move the decimal point 25 or 50 places to the left...siphon the fraction of a penny...
The Cayman islands sounds like a good place to start.