Feeds

Google's mystery barge flounces out of San Fran, heads to Stockton

Dubious new mooring 'only' had 32 murders last year

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google's mysterious barge has dropped anchor at Stockton after it was forced to set sail from its former home in San Francisco.

It is now moored 80 miles away from its original berth at Treasure Island in a rundown town known as a hotbed of gang violence.

Google was forced to set sail after the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission ordered them to move their barge.

The 50-foot tall boat is not only hideously ugly, it is also hideously expensive. It is said to be part of a three boat fleet that will end up costing Google about $50m.

"It's been a busy six months for our barge and it's grown tired of all the attention, so we are moving it to Stockton where it can have a break, enjoy the city's delicious asparagus, warmer climate and get a bit of rest before its next chapter,” Google said in a statement.

Google will pay standard mooring rates of $12,000 a month and has struck a deal to moor for six months.

The barge's new home is unprepossessing, to say the least.

According to a report in the local press, Stockton is more associated with "soaring home foreclosures, high unemployment, terrifying gang violence and a municipal bankruptcy" than technology. There were 32 homicides last year, down from 71 in 2012.

"It's putting us on the map - in a positive way for once," said 24-year-old Miguel Guillen, who lost seven schoolmates to gang violence. "That's the beauty. It's pushing away the negativity.

"The Google mother ship has made its way over here. I don't care what's in it."

Which is convenient, because no-one else knows either.

"I don't think anybody really knows what they're doing here or how long they will be here," said Douglass Wilhoit Jr., chief of the Stockton Chamber of Commerce. "But anything they do is positive for the city and for the Port of Stockton."

Luckily, the internet has come up with a few theories about what's going on in there, with some whackjobs suggesting that Google is building a centre for electronic sorcery or a staging post for some upcoming alien invasion.

Other cranks claimed it was a slave ship containing imprisoned extraterrestrials or even a new kind of Biblical ark, so all the oompah-loompahs can sail off two by two when the world finally ends.

More prosaic explanations indicate it will be a showroom for Google Glass and other products, or even a stately pleasure dome for all the Chocolate Factory's top dogs to enjoy various leisure pursuits.

So what is Google building inside the mystery barge? Let us know what you think. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.