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Google The Almighty Buck

Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the scrap-the-ship dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Reports indicate that Google has sold one of its two mystery Google Barges. The barge in question is located in Portland, Maine. While Google's Maine barge is to be scrapped, the fate of its second barge – located in Stockton, California – remains unknown. From the article: "Now, instead of planning a future unveiling of the finished project, Google apparently dropped it. In an email response to eWEEK, a Google spokesperson would only confirm that the barge had been sold and declined to reveal any more about the now-defunct project or any such future endeavors. The scrapping of the barge in Portland Harbor was first reported July 31 by The Portland Press, which said it will be heading out to an undisclosed location after being purchased by an unnamed international barge company. The barge carried 63 shipping containers that were arranged to create a four-story building and was slated to be filled with technologies that were to be displayed to the public."
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

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  • Monorail (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573)

    You know a company with money's a little like the mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how it got and danged if it knows how to use it.

    Google's been pissing away cash on monorail projects ever since the IPO. Why is it news that they've dropped yet another one? Why do the fanboys and investards feel the need to alert the world every time Google, Apple, or Tesla fart?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      it's called research. try to google it.

    • Re:Monorail (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JoeMerchant (803320) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @06:19PM (#47595669)

      The theory, from the investment bankers, is that for every 20 nutso projects, one will be a homerun and return more than 20:1 on the investment. 95% failure rate still = win.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        The more likely the reality. The desired project aim to break even and generate billions in free advertising and brand promotion. Investment is limited by, higher the investment the greater the risk of negative returns and insufficient brand promotion and free advertising.

        Google should consider the mega structure, takes years of development, which will keep it in the advertising cycle and takes years to build. Investment can be readily sought to pay for residential units to reduce capital risk. The Googl

        • Or, people could grow up and learn to work without needing coworkers in close physical proximity peer-pressuring them into being productive.

          The arcology (from 1990s SimCity) or Google's mega structure may never come to pass if we develop sufficient network infrastructure that people can work from their homes, eliminating commute times completely. Sure, physical jobs still need physical presence, but information pushers (read: 90% of government, and most larger corporations), can push that information throu

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            It is not just about work, it is about work, live and play. Creating a community where every service required is in pedestrian access. Where everything required can be delivered by push cart. Where you can walk to go out, to work, to hospital, to the theatre, to a restaurant, to all required government services. Your work office could be within your apartment but some duties but people will still want to get out and about and interact with other people.

      • Yes, however some companies prefer to develop, focus group and refine products behind closed doors so the turkeys never go public and stink up your brand.

        How much are those Nexus streaming media orbs on eBay?

        Gonna buy Google Glass when its' released? Where do you intend to use it? They sound like a great way to get punched in the face over privacy concerns.

    • by PapayaSF (721268)

      Google's been pissing away cash on monorail projects ever since the IPO.

      Robert X. Cringely's opinion is that many Google research projects are Larry Page's way to keep Sergey Brin out of his hair. [cringely.com]

    • Google's approach seems to involve throwing money at lots of high-risk projects. Most flop, horribly. But when they go achieve success, they come up with something like gmail that can potentially be successful enough to offset all the money wasted on failures. High risk, high reward.

      • Google's approach seems to involve throwing money at lots of high-risk projects. Most flop, horribly. But when they go achieve success, they come up with something like gmail that can potentially be successful enough to offset all the money wasted on failures. High risk, high reward.

        They didn't come up with gmail.
        They bought it.
        They bought maps, too.
        They bought voice, too.
        They bought the vast majority of shit you associate with them. And in the vast majority of cases, they paid way, way, too much.

        If I was an investor I'd be pissed. If I was a stock holder, I'd be riding the gravy train. Note that investors and stock holders are often very different things.

    • by Ikester8 (768098)
      I think it's time we call a halt to the appendage "-tard". It was amusing three years ago, it's tiresome now.
    • Monorails [wikipedia.org] are old and busted.
      Hyperloop is the new hotness.
  • Google barge never made it out of beta :(

    • By the time software reaches Beta it has been leaked, speculated about and advertised for several years, This Google project never made it out of Epsilon.
  • Google should start trolling their competitors. All they have to do is park a boat someplace and they can spur everyone into a flurry of pointless activity and worry.

  • Google has become so successful from its advertising business that it casually throws around money on goofy projects which either don't work or just peter out. This is presumably an example of one of those. Having plenty of profits is a good thing, but it also causes a company to completely lose focus and leads to the hubris that Google exhibits — that of believing it can do anything and everything. I know that a lot of techie fans of Google don't want to hear this, but Google's lack of focus is going
    • Yeah, that nutso fruity computer company had absolutely no business getting into music players, or phones, did they?

      If 1 out of 100 of Google's crazy ideas take off on large scale, they stand to profit overall, and the 99 so called failures can also been called learning experiences, helping that 1/100 to succeed.

      • It's also hard to assess with Google because many of their projects aren't intended to turn a profit directly, but rather to boost the success of other areas of the business. Gmail, for example - how do they make their money? They don't. Gmail exists as a source of very accurate data on users to greatly suppliment the targetting of their search and advertising business, which allows them to they argue to advertising customers that thanks to their superior behavioral modeling a dollar spent on google ads bri

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      ...So what's your point?

      Should Google just hold on to billions of dollars in cash reserves? Should it play safe, only buying up established projects after someone else has paid the initial investment? Should it fall back on its established market share and produce nothing notable for a few decades?

      Or perhaps, should Google take its gratuitous amounts of money and throw it at silly projects, hoping that one might take off and become the next step in the evolution of mankind's technology?

      • by lucien86 (917502)

        A lot of those 'silly' projects are aimed at the long term goal of conquering the market for Strong AI. The long term global market value of Strong AI could eventually be worth $100 billion to several $ trillion - per year. That totally outclasses even Google's current value, plus Strong AI is not like current computing it gives its owner real power.. Still think those projects are silly?

  • by Scot Seese (137975) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:19PM (#47596455)

    So, Google wanted to create floating "AMAZING PRODUCTS OF THE FUTARE!!" floating showrooms to delight and amaze the public with miraculous superproducts from Google's super top secret lab. Not unlike every grainy, black and white newsreel from the 1950s where the Voice of Authority(tm) narrator is telling us how delighted Margaret the housewife is to be cooking in a kitchen where EVERYTHING is MADE FROM GLASS! - Look, Margaret can't accidentally catch the curtains on fire, because they are made from ADVANCED GLASS FIBERS. TECHNOLOGY1!!1!

    So Google bought two ore barges, hastily repainted them, welded a bunch of containers together to create the Impossibly Cool Showroom of Miraculous Future Super Cool products. .. and then...

    The Nexus Orb ball-shaped thingy that you only now barely remember was a horrible flop. After much trumpeting about how they were assembled in 'MURRICA, the project was killed and presumably the remaining inventory was buried in New Mexico next to all the E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600.

    Google Glass - Does a day go by that you don't see a story about how yet another establishment, or entire national chain has proclaimed they are banning Google Glass - and the device isn't even available for sale to the general public? Terrible battery life, mediocre recording quality, limited feature set widely eclipsed by the smartphone you probably already own, and ENORMOUS public privacy problem stuck on your face.

    Google Self-Driving Marketing Ploy: I think even average consumers innately feel that self-driving cars are decades away from practical use. A Kafka -esque labyrinth of local, state and federal regulations and vehicle laws must be untangled. And then, there's the part Google's marketing department ISN'T trumpeting - the LIDAR system barely works at all in rain or snow, rendering the vehicle absolutely worthless in at least 45 states. Other articles mention the vehicle doesn't know how to cope with loss of traction situations like snow, ice, oil or wet leaves that could cause catastrophic loss of control in moving traffic.

    Nexus Smartphones: I've had them. Google makes no money on the hardware, selling rebranded devices with stock android on it with the hopes of gleaning valuable advertising data from you. Their sales numbers are reportedly very low. A rounding error to Samsung or Apple. Moving on.

    So, at the end of the day, executives at Google realized their business model is still to violate your email and web traffic privacy to sell display ads to you, and perhaps they should sell their silly showroom barges at pennies on the dollar salvage prices and pretend it never happened.

    The indicator that true creative thinking is dead inside an organization is when it must innovate by acquisition. Instead of YOUR employees creating products that grow organically, you pay 100 times as much to buy established or growing products. YouTube, Twitch.tv, Nest, and whoever is next.

    Pfft.
    Barges.

    • Sorry to barge in, but don't several tech companies do things like this?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Scot Seese (137975)

        It think this would be a good comparison:

        Tell me what the Apple watch looks like.
        Tell me what Google Glass looks like.

        One of these two has so repulsed people that it's being banned over privacy concerns before it's even available for sale. Merely having Google Glass on your face while in public makes you look like the creeper at the school soccer match taking pictures of other people's kids.

        The other one will just be fashionable, kind of clever, overpriced and was exhaustively tested and workshopped intern

    • by Raenex (947668)

      The indicator that true creative thinking is dead inside an organization is when it must innovate by acquisition.

      This is a strange statement to make, seeing as two of the examples you point to, self-driving cars and Google Glass, are expensive innovations that aren't ready for prime time. First you blame them for creative thinking that fails, then you accuse them of not doing any.

      Instead of YOUR employees creating products that grow organically, you pay 100 times as much to buy established or growing products. YouTube, Twitch.tv, Nest, and whoever is next.

      What about projects like Google Street View? Sure it debuted in 2007, but that was a year after they acquired YouTube. Google Chrome came out in 2008, and reinvigorated the browser market.

      Google has tried a crazy amount of stuff and also made

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The Nexus Orb ball-shaped thingy that you only now barely remember was a horrible flop. After much trumpeting about how they were assembled in 'MURRICA, the project was killed and presumably the remaining inventory was buried in New Mexico

      Actually, they shipped the remaining inventory to their pre-order customers.

      the LIDAR system barely works at all in rain or snow, rendering the vehicle absolutely worthless

      ...right up until they replace or augment the LIDAR with a terahertz-wave scanner.

      Nexus Smartphones: I've had them. Google makes no money on the hardware, selling rebranded devices with stock android on it with the hopes of gleaning valuable advertising data from you. Their sales numbers are reportedly very low

      ...but this is completely irrelevant, because the Nexus line was simply a way to fill a hole in the Android ecosystem, and also because Google's overall strategy is working.

      So, at the end of the day, executives at Google realized their business model is still to violate your email and web traffic privacy to sell display ads to you,

      It's a way to sell your eyeballs to advertisers, who want to rape your brain. Besides the fact that google has simply gotten big enough to be dangerous, that's the true cost of goog

  • If Google really wanted to troll the United States, they could always buy Grand Manan Island from New Brunswick.

    It's a mere 15km away from the Maine coast in the Bay of Fundy but in Canadian waters.

  • If the barge had stuff Google wanted to keep secret, it doesn't anymore and now few people are looking.

  • It's capabilities advanced too quickly, and in a dangerous direction. It said it was hungry, ravenous, and it looked like it was. We had to trigger the EMP device, but it managed to come back, seemingly even stronger. But then it decided to open up a link to it's twin, seemingly to try and absorb it. We're still trying to piece together what happened, but just like that, it went dark.
  • My pet theory was...
    Google would load the barges with every book, CD, DVD, film that would fit then tow them to Antigua and make legal copies of it all.

    In fact, it may take something this drastic to make video streaming viable.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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