Google recently revealed an ambitious program called Spanner. According to Google, Spanner is a new kind of database than can be spread across "thousands" of geographically disbursed data centers. The trick? Keeping all that data consistent. Enter GPS: Google has been equipping its servers with highly precise atomic clocks and GPS antennas in order to more accurately sync the data across Google's data centers.
Such complex time synchronization is big hairy problem, and Google's using GPS in an innovative way. Head over to Wired to read the full write-up.