On what the NSA does with its tech

Jack Lloyd lloyd at randombit.net
Wed Aug 4 13:44:58 PDT 2004

On Wed, Aug 04, 2004 at 11:04:15AM -0700, "Hal Finney" wrote:

> The system will consume 10^25 * 60 nanowatts or about 6 * 10^17 watts.
> Now, that's a lot.  It's four times what the earth receives from the sun.
> So we have to build a disk four times the area (not volume) of the earth,
> collect that power and funnel it to our computers.  Probably we would
> scatter the computers throughout the disk, which would be mostly composed
> of solar collectors.  (Keeping the disk gravitationally stable is left
> as an exercise for the student, as is the tradeoff involved in making
> it smaller but moving it closer to the sun.)

If I did my unit conversions right, such a disk would be over 30,000 miles in
diameter. So we'll probably get some advance notice - "Hey, what's that big-ass
thing orbiting around the Moon?"


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