Cashews, Datacenters and Imperial Pints

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When I was a kid, there was a t.v. show called Beyond 2000. It showcased cutting edge technology that was supposed to change the way we worked and lived. I guess, at the time, the siren song of the millennium still held its allure. Then we got American Idol and it all went downhill.

I remember one episode, in Beyond 2000, where they talked about containers made from processed rice. The containers could be molded into any shape, used and then consumed.

And by consumed, I mean eaten.

Genius!

Here was the solution to all of our landfill, waste disposal issues. Make stuff out of food then eat it. Those toy packages with the enraging twist ties and artery severing edges, just chew through them. On a shopping spree and need a little pick me up? Consolidate your loot and have a little snack.

Fast forward twenty years and everything old is new again. Discovery News reports NEC Corporation announced the development of a first-of-its kind biomass-based plastic produced from non-edible plant resources, such as cashew shells. The product is durable enough to use in electronic equipment and could, by 2013, be in production.

Plants have natural cooling properties and if these plastics retain some of that quality, they could add an inherent cooling mechanism, to alleviate the high energy costs of computer components.

It could also lead sysadmins to wonder why,  to paraphrase the sage Kramer, ‘these rack-servers are making me thirsty.’

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