Google's MYSTERY barges floating off US shores: The TRUTH

Admen spill beans on what's planned for secret metal monsters


Google has shed more light on just what it plans to do with a pair of floating barges off either coast of the US.

The advertising giant told The Register that its two vessels, officially known as Google Barges, will in fact be designed to serve as nautical showrooms for the company's latest and greatest products.

"A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above," the web search kingpin said.

"Although it's still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

The statement more or less ends widespread speculation on what Google was aiming to do with the barges. Spotted floating in the waters of the San Francisco Bay last month, the mystery ship drew attention from the public and authorities alike. A second ship was soon brought to the waters off of coastal Maine.

Mountain View's mysterious seaborne barges had been theorized to be anything from floating nightclubs to covert research and storage units to the (accurate) consensus belief that the units would function as moving demonstration venues for the company's hardware projects.

Google has no shortage of shiny new toys to show off on the nautical venues. The company is continuing to push its Glass platform to developers and a fresh crop of Android devices would benefit greatly from an expansive environment in which hardware features and services could be demonstrated.

Whether such a behemoths will make its way down London's Thames is yet to be seen. Google is remaining tight-lipped on whether more barges would be deployed or if the current pair would be moved to locations around the globe. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022