Oracle have an interesting collaborative project (MegaGrid) to develop a very large grid database designed to stretch technical and infrastructure resources to the absolute limit.
I also gathered from the informative US news media that a cat had been trapped up a tree in a Seattle suburb and that (shock, horror, gasp) the US Government has secretly been tracking all phone calls since 9/11.
This appeared to be a big, breaking news story but seeing as US immigration took the trouble to take my fingerprints and photograph on entry to (and departure from) the US, I honestly didn’t think that the Homeland Security department would simply discard this data.
The US authorities must have some interesting infrastructure to store all this data. I wonder if their database exceeds the largest commercial database (Yahoo’s 100TB data warehouse on Oracle).