Google Mystery Barge: Destroyed

If you had your heart set on buying a $1,500 face computer inside a giant barge, your life is fucked: Google looks like it's phasing out the plan for grand, floating Android showrooms, a dystopian-commerce future we couldn't handle and didn't deserve.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Google's east coast flotilla is destined for the scrap heap of history, and an actual literal scrap heap for discarded barges:

On Wednesday, a tugboat towed the barge from Rickers Wharf Marine Facility in Portland and deposited it at Turner's Island Cargo Terminal in South Portland. Roger Hale, owner of the terminal, said the structure had been purchased by an unnamed "international barging company" and was being prepared to leave Portland for an ocean voyage to an undisclosed location.

The containers, though, will be disassembled at Turner's Island and scrapped, said Lance Hanna, deputy harbor master for Portland Harbor.

The west coast barges, meanwhile, once planned for a prominent San Francisco Bay mooring are completely idle. Maybe they too will be scuttled.

It feels like only last October that we were speculating over these hulking white freighters, wondering what might be hidden inside, and why. Was it a floating playpen for Eric Schmidt's love children? A place to store Google's tax attorneys so that they could scheme outside the jurisdiction of the IRS?

The truth proved to be much more dull. Documents show that Google just wanted the barges to serve as floating store rooms for Google Glass and other flashy gadgets, catering to a clientele far too esteemed to buy things on dry land like the rest of us.

The dream is dead.