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: Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

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

Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

Dec 19, 2014

The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's ...

Study reveals mature motorists worse at texting and driving

Dec 18, 2014

A Wayne State University interdisciplinary research team in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has made a surprising discovery: older, more mature motorists—who typically are better drivers in ...

Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

LA mayor plans 7,000 police body cameras in 2015

Dec 16, 2014

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan Tuesday to equip 7,000 Los Angeles police officers with on-body cameras by next summer, making LA's police department the nation's largest law enforcement agency to move ...

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.