Booted from San Francisco, Google's mystery barge moves inland

Google's mystery barge is docking in Stockton, according to news reports. 

Reuters
A barge built with four levels of shipping containers is seen at Pier 1 at Treasure Island in San Francisco in this October file photo. Google today reportedly moved its mystery barge from San Francisco to Stockton.

Early last month, Larry Goldzband, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, told Google it would have to move its mysterious barge from the San Francisco Bay, where it had first sprung up in October. 

Today comes news that the bulky barge is currently floating down the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta in the direction of the city of Stockton. 

"I don't know when the arrival time is, but it could be anytime in the next six months, but it's also likely sooner than later," Richard Aschieris, the director of the Port of Stockton, told the Stockton Record in an interview this week. Mr. Aschieris said that the deal reached with Google will allow the barge to dock for half a year, at a rate of approximately $10,000 a month – pocket change for a company worth hundreds of billions of dollars. 

Now on to the big question: What exactly is in that barge? Well, Google has been pretty tight-lipped on the whole thing, although it has helpfully stipulated that it is not "a floating data center," "a wild party boat," nor a "barge housing the last remaining dinosaur." Instead, the search giant said, the barge would use the space "as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

That syncs up with a report from a San Francisco CBS affiliate, which said the barge would be used as a showcase for new products, such as Google Glass

As for the decision to move the barge inland, in a statement to CNET, Google joked it had to do with good food and better weather. "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," Google said. 

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