The idea of floating data centers is hardly a new one, but Google looks like it might be set to take things a big step further than most, at least if one of its recent patent applications is any indication. Apparently, Google not only plans to take advantage of the sea water for a cooling system, but generate power for the floating platforms using so-called Pelamis Wave Energy Converters as well (you can see it doing its thing in the video after the break). According to the patent application, that would allow the data centers to be moved closer to users to cut down on cross-country latency, and also make them ideally suited to more transient needs for computing power, such as after a natural disaster or when a military presence is needed. Of course, there's no evidence that Google has moved much beyond the sketch above just yet, but we certainly wouldn't put it past 'em to all of a sudden deploy a fleet of data centers when we least expect it.

[Via The Earth Times, thanks Bob]