The Google Barges Mystery and VPN Sites

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Alvin Bryan

Alvin Bryan is a freelance writer and online privacy enthusiast enthusiast currently contributing quality tips and troubleshooting on personal VPN services, and online privacy and security news. You can also find him on Google +.

VPN Sites 0010

Second Barge in SF, BAL 0010

Google has been constructing what look to be floating data centers. There were two spotted in the San Francisco Bay in late October. Then another one was spotted in Portland a few days later, and another at Ricker’s Wharf in Maine. Google did not confirm anything right away, so speculation was that they were either floating data centers, Google tech stores, and even party boats.

Why People were Sure they Were Floating Data Centers

In 2009, Google filed a patent for a floating data center. The patent explains the setup as a “telecommunications and storage system” that is powered by the ocean and is eco-friendly. The accompanying drawing of the system described looks very much like the actual barges that are docked on the west and east coasts of the US. And using shipping containers made them look like other companies’ data center housing. This has been a preferred form of storage because these containers are very easy to move around.

VPN Sites Patent

Seawater Cooling System

The people working on the barges were putting in some high-tech equipment, but could not give any details. They didn’t even know who they were working for. But the Delaware company name and the barge names give us some clues. The company is “Buy and Large” which could be a spin-off of the huge company “Buy N Large” from the film “WALL-E”. And the barges seem to have their names written in binary, 0001 (one), 0010 (two), 0011 (three), and 0100 (four).

This could have meant great things for power efficiency, but alas, Google has announced that they are not data centers. The barges will be interactive learning centers where people can explore new Google technologies. Google is known for being very cost-efficient and environment-friendly. They also use renewable alternative energy sources, in this case the potential for cooling and power generation through sea water. This concept can still apply to the learning centers.

Or Maybe One of them is for Google Glass?

VPN Sites GlassOne reporter said that one of the barges in San Francisco may actually be a marketing expo for Google Glass. This turns out to be close to the truth. The barge was said to be set for deck fitting and the construction of showrooms inside. Google made a statement early this month that more or less ties up with this story. Since Google is beginning to market its own products, they need a place where they can show off their inventions and innovations. And this floating showroom would also be a great place for people to go and test out some of the new Google tech. And as Google confirmed three days ago, an interactive learning center it is.

Why a Big Secret?

Google has recently gone public about their desire to somehow restrict the spying powers of the NSA. Keeping the locations of their data centers secret would have been a good way to keep the NSA off their backs. Or maybe having them off-shore, literally, would be one way of preventing the agency from demanding that they turn over consumer data. The barges are not data but learning centers. In any case, there’s a good chance that the thinkers at Google will figure out how to take advantage of the setup for different uses in the future. NSA VPNs

VPN Sites in Lieu of Secure Data Centers

Meantime, people all over the world are still depending on VPN sites to preserve their online privacy. There aren’t any floating VPN sites yet, but VPN servers have been designed for privacy since VPN sites first came out. Users can continue to use VPN sites to reroute their data and traffic to keep their identities hidden from snoops as well as steer clear of online criminals. VPN sites also encrypt users’ data and traffic so that it cannot be stolen or intercepted and manipulated. There are a lot of people on the internet who use people’s data for their own purposes. Some of them use it for advertising which is basically harmless if they keep the data secure. But most will sell the data and use it to launch attacks and phishing and social media scams. We have high hopes for the Google versus NSA battle in Congress, but for now VPN sites are the conscious internet user’s best friend.