Thursday, March 6, 2014

Stockton's new neighbor

Go ahead. Dare you. Just try to find out what Google plans for the four-story structure the tech company has built aboard a barge now tied up at the Port of Stockton. Google it if you like.
You won't find much.
The Google barge before being sent to Stockton.
For their part, local officials for days denied even talking to Google officials when they were asked about rumors the company barge might find its way to Stockton. When official word finally came, port officials had enough time to come up with a "Welcome to Stockton" banner. Obviously this was a complete surprise to local officials.
And Google?
Just 48 words total, including: "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 and warmer climate, and get a bit of rest before its next chapter.”
And the next chapter?
In the past, Google has said it intends the barge to be a showcase for Google products.
Feel free to speculate what that means. Google brain implants? A death ray? An underwater camera project to give us "street views" of the ocean? Tracking Internet activity for the NSA?
Remember the 1970s and Howard Hughes' Glomar Explorer, a huge vessel built, the billionaire said, to pluck manganese nodules from the ocean floor? It turned out it was built at the behest of the CIA to pluck a sunken Soviet submarine from 16,500 feet of water.
You don't suppose ...?

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