Comments about technological history, system fractures, and human resilience from James R. Chiles, the author of Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology (HarperBusiness 2001; paperback 2002) and The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, the Story of the Helicopter (Random House, 2007, paperback 2008)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mystery Barge 0010: Larry Page's newest dreamboat?

Still waiting for official news about the four-story mystery barge BAL 0010 that CNET has linked to a Google front ...

(KPIX 5/CBS San Francisco)

... (is it a retail store for Google glasses? A Loon earth station? An earthquake- and asteroid-proof data center?) ... I favor the latter myself, but am still waiting for a zoomed-in photo of the barge's top deck, which might help hone the guesswork. A data center should have big exhaust stacks for onboard diesel generators.

Meanwhile here's a little information about a certain Google co-founder's superyacht that was moored nearby last week, according to dogged reporting by Daniel Terdiman of CNET (his photo):


Larry Page's194-foot steel-hulled boat is named Senses, and as a helicopter-book writer, I'm pleased to note that it has a helipad:

But apparently no hangar. Note to super-yacht owners: if you plan to use your helo other than for flitting around the harbor, tack on a hangar for your fly-baby. Helos don't age well around salt spray.

But many yachts don't spend much time at sea anyway, so perhaps I'm carping.

Occasionally I check the Automated Information System (AIS) for shipping on MarineTraffic to see what boats like Senses are up to, but sadly, AIS appears to be of little help when spotting big shots' big yachts: such vessels are likely to be "out of range" most of the time. I take it that their AIS transponders have been switched off to foil PC-using pirates.

One time that AIS revealed the whereabouts of Paul Allen's mega-super-megayacht Octopus was while it provided global communications during Deepsea Challenger's recovery:

Not to make anyone named Larry jealous, but Octopus has hangar space for two helicopters:

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