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Google scraps its mysterious floating retail store: CNET Update

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CNET Update: Google scraps its mysterious floating retail store

2:57 /

One of Google's secretive barges appears to be heading to the scrap yard, a US court orders Microsoft to turn over data stored overseas, and HP teases a stylish smartwatch.

It's time to inspect some new tech mysteries. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET Update. [MUSIC] There is a new twist in the mystery of Google's floating showrooms. Google is reportedly scrapping one of its secretive barges. It was supposed to be some sort of retail space to show off Google's new technology. Like Google Glass and self driving cars. Google built a four-story structure made of 63 shipping containers. And it's been sitting in the Portland Harbor since October. It was scheduled for interior work. And it was said to be then towed to New York City. But the Portland Press Herald reports that it's heading to the scrapyard to be dismantled. But there is a second, incomplete barge still sitting untouched over in northern California. Last yer, CNet was the first to report on Google's connection to a mysterious barge in a San Francisco Bay. Back then, sources said that this was Google's unique take on a retail store. But the barges have just been sitting idle, and unfinished for months. What will become of the second barge is still a mystery, but Microsoft is in the middle of its own conundrum. It's a legal puzzle over privacy. The US ordered Microsoft to turn over some emails that were part of a drug investigation. But those e-mails were stored in servers, overseas, in Ireland. Microsoft argued that the US can't issue a search warrant for information outside of the US. But a US court has ruled that Microsoft is an American company, and that means that it needs to follow US laws, even for data that it stores, in other countries. But, this goes directly against European Union laws, which would require an Irish search warrant, because the e-mail and the server are in Ireland. This is going to be messy to sort out. Microsoft is still fighting this in court, and other countries may not want to work with American headquartered companies if there are any doubts about data protection laws and privacy. And that's not the only tech riddle. Hewlett-Packard is teasing a new smartwatch. But this is a very competitive time right now for smartwatches so it seems that HP is trying to stand out with style. This watch has been created with help from fashion designer Michael Bastian. And it will be sold exclusively on the luxury marketplace gilt.com. So you can bet it will be pricey. We don't what it'll be called or what makes it tick. But it will work with both Apple's IOS and Google's Android operating system. And it's gonna launch sometime in the fall. This round design will compete against Motorola's Moto 360 Android Wear watch, which many say is the most stylish smart-watch out there. That's your tech news update but we always have more for you to check out at CNet.com. And you can stay updated by subscribing to the Podcast and I'll keep you tech savvy on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

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