A rendering from Facebook of the planned Huntsville, Alabama data center.Facebook Facebook announced plans to build a new $750 million data center in Alabama. The 970,000-square-foot facility will create 100 new jobs and be operational by 2020. It joins Facebook's sprawling network of data centers doted across the US and around the world. On Thursday, the social networking giant announced it was building a new 970,000 square foot facility in Huntsville, a city in the northern part of the US state. "As a growing tech hub, Huntsville seemed like a natural fit for Facebook," the company wrote on a new Facebook post dedicated to the planned data center. "It also provides reliable access to renewable energy, strong local infrastructure, a great set of community partners, and very importantly, an outstanding pool of talent." A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that it is investing $750 million in the project. The Birmingham Business Journal previously reported Alabama … [Read more...] about Facebook is building a big new $750 million data center in Alabama
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In August 2013, Mark Zuckerberg tapped out a 10-page white paper on his iPhone and shared it on Facebook. It was intended as a call to action for the tech industry: Facebook was going to help get people online. Everyone should be entitled to free basic internet service, Zuckerberg argued. Data was, like food or water, a human right. Universal basic internet service is possible, he wrote, but “it isn’t going to happen by itself.” Wiring the world required powerful players—institutions like Facebook. For this plan to be feasible, getting data to people had to become a hundred times cheaper. Zuckerberg said this should be possible within five to 10 years. It was an audacious proposal for the founder of a social software company to make. But the Zuckerberg of 2013 had not yet been humbled by any significant failure. In a few months, the service he’d launched between classes at Harvard would turn 10. A few months after that, he would be turning 30. It was a … [Read more...] about What Happened to Facebook’s Grand Plan to Wire the World?
The open source movement changed how companies build software. Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo employees pitched in during the early days of the data-crunching software Hadoop. Even after the relationship between Apple and Google soured, the companies' coders kept working together on an obscure but important piece of software called LLVM. Microsoft now uses and contributes to the Linux operating system, even though it competes with Windows. The embrace of open source isn't about altruism. Facebook started using Hadoop because there was no commercial off-the-shelf software that met the company's needs as it grew. Because Hadoop is open source, Facebook could customize and extend it to solve its specific problems; sharing its changes allowed others to innovate further, making the software better for Facebook and all other users. Collaborating on freely available code enables companies and programmers to pool resources to solve common problems and avoid reinventing the wheel. Companies build … [Read more...] about Using Open Source Designs to Create More Specialized Chips
Twenty years ago, Netscape Communications was desperate. It was the darling of the first wave of internet companies for its ability to let you surf the web, but Microsoft had crushed its business prospects by giving away a web browser for free. So Netscape did something that was radical for the time: On March 31, 1998, it gave away the source code behind its Netscape Communicator browser, the once-secret programming instructions that developers used to build the software. The project, called Mozilla, amounted to surrendering the crown jewels. By the time the gamble paid off years later with the success of Mozilla's Firefox browser, Netscape was extinct. But even though the Mozilla project didn't rescue the internet pioneer, it did help profoundly reshape the technology industry. When Mozilla was born, open-source software was a counterculture oddity that flew in the face of a software industry used to selling proprietary products. But today, it powers just about every tech company out … [Read more...] about 20 years ago, Mozilla’s move to open-source its browser was radical. Now even Microsoft’s a convert
Open source software isn’t what it used to be. The term used to conjure images of the lone developer, working into the night and through weekends, banging out line after line of code to scratch a personal itch or realize a personal vision. But with each passing year—and every new survey of the open source landscape we call our Best of Open Source Software Awards, or Bossies—those images of the lone visionary get a little hazier.Don’t get me wrong—there is still room for personal vision. As my colleague Serdar Yegulalp points out, one of today’s most important open source projects, the Rust programming language, began as a side project of former Mozilla developer Graydon Hoare. Many other Bossie 2017 winners—such as Synaptic, Juan Cazala’s neural network library for Node.js and web browsers—are likewise the products of individual developers and unquestionably labors of love.[ InfoWorld presents the Best of Open Source Software Awards … [Read more...] about Bossies 2017: The Best of Open Source Software Awards