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Google Signs Up A 20 Year Long Deal With The Iowa Wind Farm

There are many search engines currently available on the internet, serving the users of internet.  These search engines provides the facility to the users of the internet to search any required information in a suitable manner. Google is one of the leading search engines available on the internet for the assistance of internet users. According to a survey, the popularity of Google is more than the popularity of all the search engines available put together. Google is also taking the traffic maximum as compared to all available search engines on the internet.

These are some major advantages and achievements as far as the company is concerned. The reason for this is that though the company started small, it has been able to achieve quite a lot in the last few years where the company has been able to grow at a rapid pace. Other than the growth, the company has also been making strides in various directions and has been diversifying into various other activities.

Google Signs Agreement with Iowa

Google has also signed an agreement with an Iowa wind farm for twenty year to buy their energy. The company said on Tuesday that Google is giving the access to as much as necessary renewable energy to supply several of its data centers. In a company blog post, senior vice president of Google Urs Hoeizie said that they will take the access to one hundred and fourteen megawatts power from wind at a fixed price. They will buy and use this energy for twenty year at that constant price.

He said that fixed rate for this energy will help to protect Google from fluctuations in energy price. He also said that the long term agreement is useful for the investment in additional renewable energy plants. Hoerizle also said that that this is the scenario where purchasing the green and renewable energy makes for good business skills.

Google’s Investment in North Dakota Farms

They also did not disclose how much amount Google will be paying for each unit of the energy bought from the Iowa wind farm. Google has already invested more than US $38.5 million in two North Dakota wind farms developed in May by NextEnergy Resources. On Tuesday, this facility, also owned by the same company which has a capacity of more than nine thousand and is in operation, providing seven thousand megawatts of total power has been bought by Google. The Iowa wind farm will start providing power to Google on 30th of July.

In December, Google purchased it via Google energy and it is guaranteed by the federal approval to purchase and sell the energy in the wholesale market. Hoelzle said that Google can’t use this energy directly as they have to sell the energy first on the local market.

Online giants like yahoo, Google, Face book are coming under the intense scrutiny lately for the energy used by these giants for their data collection and other activities. These are the various factors that are behind the year deal with Iowa wind farm by Google. It is sure to be a great plus for the company that will be able to save money and can also be seen by the world as a energy efficient company that takes effort to save the environment.

NHS-Microsoft deal concludes

National Health Services (NHS) is about to witness more complex and expensive software licensing for its operations. The department has decided to end its Enterprise Wide Agreement with Microsoft.

It all started in 2004

In 2004 the office of Government Commerce negotiated a huge deal with software giant-Microsoft, to supply all desktop software in National Health Services department. Insiders believe that Microsoft was about to lose this massive deal. To avoid this, both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer adopted to a lot of lobbying within the government. Subsequently, Microsoft grabbed the deal.

Terms of the now, erstwhile deal

Richard Granger made a very smart move before signing the deal with Microsoft. He disclosed publicly that the health services were interested in Sun’s Java desktop software. This rang alarm bells in Microsoft and so Microsoft offered the NHS a very profitable deal, which they could not deny. Eventually Richard Granger signed the nine years deal in 2004. This deal was worth 500 million Sterling Pounds with breaks every three years. Health services were the major beneficiary of the deal with significant savings of 300 million Sterling Pounds over the period of nine years. Microsoft assured “a health specific user interface for clinical systems” to the department. They also committed to spending 40 million Sterling Pounds for Research and Development activities.

The NHS provides employment to over a million people. There are around 151 PCT’s in England, of which Wales andScotland operate independently. There are also mental health trusts, care trusts, GP surgeries and others. A source at a PCT revealed that documents showed an added cost for medium sized trust in the range of 100,000 Sterling Pounds and 150,000 Sterling Pounds, for software licensing itself.

The deal has ended now

NHS has decided to end its enterprise agreement with Microsoft. A related page on Microsoft’s website states“We are currently updating these pages to reflect new licensing information as of May 2010. Please check back shortly.” This decision will not only affect Microsoft but relatively will hurt the NHS more. Microsoft gave the health services a very profitable deal but now NHS will have to bear huge licensing costs along with management problems. Without a renewed agreement every organization of the National Health Services will have to bear pricey hardware audits for all the offices, laboratories and surgeries. The health services are planning to migrate to open source software. But this will bring a lot of problems from staffs that are not willing to shift to less known systems.

Microsoft’s statement

A spokesperson for the company stated that Microsoft and NHS tried hard to negotiate terms of the deal, in order to continue this 12 years old relationship. Unfortunately the negotiations were not able to resolve issues and thus NHS Enterprise Wide Agreement has been called off. This agreement will not be renewed further. The reality is that NHS conveniently uses Microsoft software worth 270 million Sterling Pounds and pays less than £65m every year. Microsoft wants this cost to rise to £85m for the coming three years, because NHS has been installing more technology while the National Programme is on.

NHS statement

A spokesperson for the NHS stated that the department has already invested much in the NHS trusts to have it approach latest version of Microsoft’s desktop software. And any further investment decisions will be taken at a local level.

DHS will take help to deal with Cyber intrusions

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) plans to partner with a commercial Internet Service Provider and another government agency to pilot technology developed by the National Security Agency to automate the process of detecting cyber intrusions into civilian agencies’ systems, making it possible to thwart the attacks before damage is done.

Jane Lute, the department’s deputy secretary, told an audience at the Black Hat security conference that she wants “to create a safe, secure, resilient place where we can thrive…The goal here is not control. It’s confidence.”

Last month, DHS Sectary Janet Napolitano told an audience in Washington, D.C., that “We need the legal tools to do things like monitor the recruitment of terrorists via the Internet,” without going into details about who would be considered a “terrorist” and how that surveillance would take place.

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), formed in 2003, serves to provide as a channel of communication between the public and private sectors in order to protect the US cyberspace interface. In particular, US-CERT should share real-time information from its intrusion detection system with federal partners to help them analyze and defend against threats. The DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) generally agreed with the IG recommendations to improve US-CERT’s performance but did not agree with the specific recommendation to share real-time information.


EINSTEIN, being the name of their system, is an intrusion detection system (IDS) which monitors and analyzes Internet traffic as it moves in and out of United States federal government networks. It filters packets at the gateway and reports anomalies to the US-CERT at DHS.

Further version of EINSTEIN provides the federal government with a cohesive view of Internet threats and a centralized point of authority for dealing with potential threats.

Lute referred to these controversies only in passing, saying “we’re deploying Einstein 2 throughout the dot-gov.”
But it’s Einstein 3 that has attracted the most interest. Few details are known, and the House Intelligence Committee once charged (PDF) that public descriptions were overly “vague” because of “excessive classification.” The White House has confirmed that Einstein 3 involves attempting to thwart in-progress cyber attacks by sharing information with the National Security Agency, and some reports have suggested it can read the content of e-mails and other messages.

EINSTEIN 3, which is the improved version of it’s previous two versions is now being tested in a pilot program. It automatically detects and responds to cyber threats “before harm is done.” EINSTEIN 3 has supplemental signatures developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and uses real-time deep packet inspection (dpi). In addition to notifying US-CERT when a network intrusion is attempted, EINSTEIN 3 will also alert the agencies.

Public View:

Lute asked the thousands of security researchers, programmers, marketers, and other professionals in town for Black Hat to work with the federal government. “We’ve identified the cyber mission as essential…We’re committed to doing whatever we can to harness the ideas, energy of this group.”

The public view of the Internet needs to shift from Wild West metaphors to a more secure space, she said. “Will there be rules?” Lute said, then added: “There will be rules! There will be rules.”

During a brief question period at the end, not all the audience members seemed to be enthusiastic about Lott’s view of the helpfulness of Homeland Security.

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