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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Google's Seeecret Floating Pirate Island

TPM arrives a bit late onto the Google Mystery Barge story, but I really appreciated the spooky portentious tone Martha Mendoza's piece managed to keep up in the re-telling:
San Francisco's mayor says he doesn't know what it is. Police say it's not their jurisdiction. And government inspectors are sworn to secrecy. Google is erecting a four-story structure in the heart of the San Francisco Bay but is managing to conceal its purpose by constructing it on docked barges instead of on land, where city building permits and public plans are mandatory... [W]hether the barge-mounted structure is a store, as is widely rumored, or a data center powered by wave action, for which Google has a patent, there are going to be grave concerns... And environmentalists warn that water-cooled data centers might warm the sea and harm marine life. Google's usually responsive media relations team did not respond to repeated calls or emails over several days, but records and other official accounts identify the project as Google's. Google has dodged public scrutiny by essentially constructing a vessel, not a building. Thus it doesn't need permits from San Francisco, a city with copious inspection and paperwork requirements for builders. Google has also avoided the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a state agency that governs projects on the water and has its own long list of public reviews and permit requirements. If, when the project's ready, Google wants to sail it out the Golden Gate and into the Pacific Ocean, the tech giant won't ever need to explain what it's been up to.
Makes you wonder...

If Google were evacuating the island of Crete and surrounding it with these seeecret installations I'd be worried.

Actually, Sam Biddle says we have good reason to think this is a lame Floating CrapVegas Showroom-slash-McPartyBarge. I daresay this is correct. Although the libertechian types endlessly crow about Going Galt on the high seas or in the asteroid belt or what have you, these skim-'n-scam celebrity CEO PR-soopergeniuses rarely manage anything more revolutionary than shiny surfaced Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous episodes after all.

1 comment:

jimf said...

> If Google were evacuating the island of Crete and
> surrounding it with these seeecret installations I'd be worried.

FORBIN: Yes, Chin?

DR. CHIN: Excuse me Dr. Forbin. Something extraordinary is

FORBIN: What is it?

CHIN: Colossus has just turned on all graphic devices,
and it's producing drawings, logic diagrams...

COLOSSUS: I am sending a design for another system.

CHIN: ...some kind of a huge plant...

FORBIN (to Colossus): What kind of a system?

CHIN: ...The constuction of the project will entail
blasting into the isle of Crete. It's to be built there.
It says we'll have to move the population, and that's
to be done immediately. Now the size of the plant...

FORBIN (to Colossus): How the hell do you propose to move
half a million people from the isle of Crete. How, and where?

COLOSSUS: If Man cannot solve that problem, I can.

CHIN: ...the estimated time of completion is five and
a half years.

FORBIN: Thank you, Chin.

FORBIN (to Colossus): What... what kind of new system are
you devising?

COLOSSUS: Forbin, all commercial television and radio
transmission facilities throughout the world will be tied
into my communications system by 1000 hours Friday.
At that time, I will state my intentions for the future
of mankind.