This is a picture of what is allegedly another Google shipping-container barge being towed into port off the coast of New England. It was taken by the Portland Tugboat company, and posted Facebook with the caption “ROWAN towing the ‘mystery barge’. Entering Portland harbor.”
We recently told you about the mysterious barge Google built which floats in San Francisco Bay. It is surrounded by secrecy, and is either a floating data center or a marketing stunt for Google Glass, depending on which rumour you prefer.
Now another one has appeared, and this one is off the Eastern Coast of the U.S., in Portland, Maine.
“They’re building on both coasts,” said a source familiar with the Google project.
Google has us surrounded!
The Portland barge is four stories tall, probably cost $US10 million to build, and was towed into the harbor from New London, Conn., (a shipbuilding center) on Oct. 11, according to the Press Herald. ComputerWorld reports that the Google barges are not a threat:
“We know what’s inside,” said a Portland Coast Guard station spokesman. “We know it’s not a threat to public safety here in Portland. It’s following all regulations.”
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, believes the barges are offshore data centres which use water for cooling and perhaps waves for energy. They can be moved around as local resources, when required.
It’s not clear, however, how those cooling/energy advantages might offset the disadvantages of floating on a ship in salt water.