Terdiman added to the KPIX report today:
After our story ran on Friday, I was contacted by someone who said he had knowledge that the project in the works is a Google store of some kind. The tipster, who is well-connected in Silicon Valley but asked to remain anonymous, told me that he had heard from multiple sources at Google that the company plans to float the Glass stores from city to city by rivers, and that the idea for the project came straight from either Larry Page or Sergey Brin, Google's founders. Finally, he said, the idea is in part that Google wants to launch stores without looking like they are trying to chase Apple.
Because there's nothing better than shopping for consumer electronics inside a series of interconnected windowless metal boxes, rocking back and forth in San Francisco's notoriously intemperate weather. That'll show Apple.
I keep checking the calendar to see whether it's April 1 already. No word yet whether Terdiman or Martin was asked to pee into a jar after filing their reports.
Start your conspiracy theories now
Still, I don't think these guys have really given it their best shot, speculation wise. I see at least three other distinct possibilities:
- Aliens. We have been contacted by a force of highly advanced extraterrestrials, who naturally approached Google -- being the most powerful and enlightened bipeds on earth -- to start building them condos, so they'll have a place to stay when they get here. Given the decidedly cubelike nature of the structures, my money is on the Borg.
- The NSA. You really think that ginormous data center in the middle of Nowhere, Utah, is going to be where the spooks keep their yottabytes of spy data? I can't believe you fell for that. The real data centers will be dozens of these floating cargo stacks, bristling with computing power and built to order by Google. (That "Don't be evil" thing? It only counts if you're on land.)
- Zombies. By analyzing Google search patterns, Larry and Sergey have determined that a zombie outbreak is imminent. They're building these bunkers to wait out the apocalypse until the undead have run out of brains to eat.
Then again, these mystery barges might just be floating data recovery centers, for use if/when all hell breaks loose. But I hope not. Because that would just be boring.
What do you think Google is building in the bay? Post your theories below or email me: email@example.com.
This article, "Shipshape or dead weight? Google's secret project sets sail," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.