Feature

Google has finally told us what those mysterious giant barges are for

Unfortunately, they're not party boats

Last week, when a twin set of towering and mystifying barges pulled up off the coast of San Francisco and Portland, Maine, just days apart, speculators let their imaginations run wild.

Were they floating data centers, as more than a few tech bloggers suggested? Libertine party boats to house Sergey Brin's playboy shenanigans? An ocean-faring technodrome for slanging Nexuses and Glass headsets?

Nah. As tends to happen with such things, the reality is far more boring. According to a Google representative in an official statement:

Although it's still early days and things may change, we're exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology. [USA Today]

That's not the clearest answer it the world, but it still sort of jibes with at least one report: A few days ago a source told CBS San Francisco that the barge was actually a "super-high-end showroom" intended to show off new products to "VIP customers." Presumably these are the type of people who would behave themselves enough to not yell, "I'm on a boat!," which seems like a waste of a perfectly good giant boat.

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