Mystery barges on US coasts set tech world abuzz

Oct 29, 2013

Three mysterious structures that appeared on the water in California and Maine have the tech world abuzz.

Each of the boxy structures sits atop a barge and looks like a four-story building made up of metal boxes. Little is known about them, but they appear to have been registered by someone familiar with geek speak—and with a sense of humor.

The structures are registered with a Delaware corporation as BAL0001, BAL0010, BAL0011 and BAL0100. In used in computing, the numbers spell out "one," ''two," ''three" and "four." Currently, Nos. 1 and 2 are on the water in San Francisco and No. 3 is in Portland Harbor.

Online speculation has focused on Google Inc., which has a patent for a floating data center that uses ocean water for cooling. Neither Google nor the company outfitting the vessel shed any light on the matter Tuesday.

Sharon Gaudin, a writer for Computerworld, told the Portland Press Herald that the way the vessels were named suggested a technology origin or use.

"That's a little telling," she said.

Also, the Delaware company to which they're registered is called Buy and Large, a likely joking reference to "Buy N Large," the fictional mega-corporation in the 2008 film "WALL-E."

While the floating structures may one day have a high-tech purpose, their construction appears to be fairly low tech. They consist of shipping containers welded together and placed atop barges.

Explore further: Non-emergency lines still need a back up plan in case of another meltdown

2 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google presumed builder of floating data center

Oct 26, 2013

An enormous floating barge has emerged in the San Francisco Bay, which tech-savvy sleuths suspect is a massive data center being constructed by Google, the CNET blog reported.

Maine company unveils high-tech SWAT team robot

Apr 18, 2013

A Maine company that's developed manned and unmanned tanks with names like "Ripsaw" and "Riptide" for the military and Hollywood filmmakers has unveiled a new contraption—a high-tech police shield that ...

At 15, Google revisits past, eyes future

Sep 26, 2013

Google celebrated its 15th birthday Thursday with a trip down memory lane, and an update to the search engine formula which helped spawn the tech giant.

New wave of wind energy

Dec 11, 2012

An offshore wind test turbine has been erected behind the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center on campus to evaluate sensor systems and controls in preparation for the installation ...

Mexico: Mayan ball court was celestial 'marker' (Update)

Oct 05, 2012

Mexican archaeologists say they have determined that the ancient Mayas built watchtower-style structures atop the ceremonial ball court at the temples of Chichen Itza to observe the equinoxes and solstices, ...

Recommended for you

Namibia prepares for Africa's first e-vote

Nov 26, 2014

Namibia will vote in Africa's first electronic ballot Friday, a general election that will usher in a new president and quotas to put more women in government.

US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

Nov 26, 2014

A dispute between U.S. safety regulators and air bag maker Takata Corp. escalated Wednesday when the government threatened fines and legal action unless the company admits that driver's air bag inflators ...

Japan orders air bag maker to conduct probe

Nov 21, 2014

Japan's transport ministry said Friday it has ordered air bag maker Takata to conduct an internal investigation after cases of its air bags exploding triggered safety concerns in the United States and other countries.

Senators get no clear answers on air bag safety

Nov 20, 2014

There were apologies and long-winded explanations, but after nearly four hours of testimony about exploding air bags, senators never got a clear answer to the question most people have: whether or not their ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.