Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulleting broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night. I'd heard of Halliday, of course. Everyone had. He was the videogame designer responsible for creating the Oasis, a massively multiplayer online game that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis. The unprecedented success of the OASIS had made Halliday one of the wealthiest people in the world. At first, I couldn't understand why the media was making such a big deal of the billionaire's death. After all, the people of Planet Earth had other concerns. The ongoing energy crisis. Catastrophic climate change. Widespread damine, poverty, and disease. Half a dozen wars. You know: "dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!" Normally, the newsfeeds didn't interrupt everyone's interactive sitcoms and soap operas unless something really major had happened. Like the outbreak of some new killer virus, or another major city vanishing in a mushroom cloud. Big stuff like that. As famous as he was, Halliday's death should have warranted only a brief segment on the evening news, so the unwashed masses could shake their heads in envy when the newscasters announced the obscenely large amount of money that would be doled out to the rich man's heirs. - Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline
The Wine Spectator reports that while the U.S. exported around $80 million worth of wine to China last year, that was dwarfed by France, Australia and Chile, the latter two having free-trade agreements with Beijing "which put them at a significant advantage." "Current Chinese customs duties for U.S. wines are 14 percent - the new tariffs increase that to 29 percent. Wines from Australia and Chile are charged customs duties of 0 percent. According to [the Wine Institute's Asia Director Christopher] Beros, these countries "have relied heavily on exports for many years for their entire industries [and] have been aggressively marketing in China," the Wine Spectator writes. "if U.S. wines are subjected to higher tariffs when imported into China, that would have a direct benefit to other suppliers into that rapidly growing market, especially France and Australia - the two largest suppliers of premium wines to China," Kym Anderson, a professor of economics at the University of Adelaide in Australia and also executive director of the university's Wine Economics Research Center tells CNBC.
Managed Services: This refers to the ability for the customer to call in to their data center to make changes to theri network; a card may need to be replaced in a piece of equipment, a servere may need to be rebooted, or power may need to be reset, to give some examples. Location: Where geographically is the data center located? Customers may be concerned about the location being a secure place where natural disasters, such as earthquakes or violent storms, are less of a threat. A more important consideration than close proximity, which can be convienient, is geographic redundancy and diversity. The real value of a data center is having a significant enough distance away from the office so that any disaster won't impact both the customer's location and the data center. Power: Data centers have an enormous amount of equipment that draws a significant amount of power, but will also typically be equipped with diesel back-up generators. If there is a power outage at the data center, a diesel power generator will kick in that can be run continuously as long as they have a fuel source. Diesel power generators are an advantae that would be extremely expensive and not a practical solution for customers to put into place themselves. The type of power used also drives the price. If a customer has a dedicated rack or cage at a data center, two sources of power may delivered to it, so that if one fails, the other can take over.
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...