Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Facebook Makes Iowa Data Center Plans Official

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Facebook officially confirmed what the Des Moines Register reported over the weekend. The small community of Altoona, Iowa, will be home to its next data center.

The facility will be Facebook’s fourth data center, joining those in Prineville, Ore.; Forest City, N.C.; and Luleå, Sweden.

In a corporate blog post, Jay Parikh, vice president of infrastructure engineering at Facebook, said the new facility will incorporate a lot of the features in the other data centers, but will also include some “evolutionary improvements” to the design of the building, networking and other elements

According to a statement from the office of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Facebook will invest nearly $300 million in the project, and that will create “hundreds” of construction jobs right away. If typical, when completed, the 476,000-square-foot facility will require only a low two-digit number of employees to keep it running. Facebook got $18 million in state tax breaks in exchange for a commitment to hire at least 31 people and pay them at least $23.12 an hour.

It will be built on a 194-acre site that could accommodate at least two more data centers of similar size.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work