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Google sells one of its mystery barges in Portland, Maine

Google sells, dismantles one of its mystery barges

Google has sold one of the two barges that were the subject of global fascination after they were uncovered by reporters last fall.

The barges -- one in Stockton, Calif., and another in Portland, Maine -- carried four-story-high buildings made from cargo containers. Reporters discovered them, but the tech giant declined to acknowledge what they were or even if it owned them.

That led to an outpouring of speculation, including that Google was secretly constructing a floating data center or a party boat.

Google eventually confirmed it owned the barges and said they were being turned into “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”

On Wednesday, the Portland barge was towed to a new location where the containers will be disassembled and the boat will be prepared for an ocean voyage,  according to the Portland Press Herald. The barge was purchased by an undisclosed international shipping company.

Google confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that it sold the barge, but declined to say why.

News reports have said Google may have wanted to turn the barges into showrooms where invitation-only crowds could come see its products, most notably its Glass smart glasses. That plan may have been scrapped as Google tries to change the perception that the $1,500 Glass is a product for the elite.

The company reportedly paid $400,000 in property taxes to keep the boat docked in Portland, according to the Press Herald. Google is still paying its $10,000 monthly fee to keep its other barge in Stockton.

Follow me on Twitter for all your tech barge news: @sal19

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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