back to article Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus

After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed. The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Alien

    Is it coincidental

    That there was a US congressional hearing on UFOs only this day?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I understand that part of the Apple employees' complaints is that the company is so siloed that they can't talk to each other even if they come to the office. I wonder how Google fares on this.

  3. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Why not make loads of smaller campuses? Come to Oxford and build one, Google.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google has an office in Oxford — well, Waymo has an office in Oxford.

  4. HildyJ Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Design

    Unlike Apple's new HQ (which resembles the original iPod ring with added trees) this HQ looks fantastic in more ways than one. And Google's effort to minimize the climate impact is to be applauded. It looks like a heck of a lot nicer place to spend three days a week compared to the photos I'e seen of Apple's. Still, post WfH, I assume they will face some reluctance and resistance.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Design

      It looks like some weird African souk with canvas sunshades and just loads of standard work pods on the floor.

      Uninspiring… though hat tipped to the eco-features.

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    WTF is going on in that picture??

    What is the structure in the middle? It looks like some sort of kiddie slide?

    WTF are the box structures with a roof? Are those private offices? Why the hell do you have a roof... in a building with a roof?? (edit: is this some sort of dodge so high muckety mucks can have their own A/C while the peons suffer in the heat?)

    And then what's up with the walled thing with the yellow doors in the lower right? And WTF is the tall Dalek looking thing next to it??

    Honestly, this looks like a absolute nightmare to work in. How do you find Joe who works in Gmail support? Is there some sort of numbering system? Or is it just random fucked about? (edit: is there Google Maps - HQ Edition?)

    Edit: and I just noticed the lower left says "SAND PUZZLE"?

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: WTF is going on in that picture??

      That got my attention also, but notice that there are two floor levels pictured here. The 'slide' is a stairway up-down. At least, that's my hope...

      The boxes... Well, given my work history, that's where the managers retreat to. They may be _labeled_ meeting rooms, but we know what'll happen.

      The roof under the roof, two possibilities. First, the nature lovers still wouldn't want to be blinded by the sun, so I gotta believe they are sunshades. Second, like opera and concert houses, you want the noise diffused, so strategically place curved ceiling panels. Of course, I can't stand open plan offices so this looks more like a mega-McDonalds than a workplace.

      As for the Dalek, and the explosion beyond that, these are all aids to mental concentration I'm sure.

      All in all unless this is solely where accounting or management are supposed to be playing, upon walking into this I'd walk straight out again, saying I've got actual work to do so call me at home.

      BTW: I'd assume that surveillance cameras will be used, else there'll be slingshots and marbles ho-ho! Paintball too teehee!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: WTF is going on in that picture??

        "I'd assume that surveillance cameras will be used,"

        When everyone in the building will have Google phones and all devices will be on the internal Google network, why would they need to install any form of surveillance cameras?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Gene Cash - Re: WTF is going on in that picture??

      Looks like an unmanaged warehouse holding the remnants of the passage of a hurricane.

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Amenities

    It looks amazing, but does it have what Googlers really want: Couches, showers, toilets, and food?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Amenities

      And beanbags! And "breakout rooms" with table tennis, airhockey, arcade games, ball pits etc etc etc.

  7. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

    Both Apple and Google pride themselves on having the smartest employees on the planet. No surprise that those employees have found it easy to adapt to successfully working from home and resent being told to come back to the office for no other reason than "because I said so".

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      I bet they’re not playing baby football in roller skates at home!

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    I can hear the echos now

    What WERE they thinking? The acoustics in that place must be migraine inducing!

  9. Grey_Kiwi

    Looks to me more like "Terminal 1" at "Google International Airport" than an office environment.

    Which is fine if you signed on to work in an airport, not so much otherwise.

    I'm so glad I'm retired from the paid workforce

  10. Timbo Bronze badge

    Air volume?

    The one thing that concerns me is the amount of air volume, between the floor/desks/work areas and the internal "roof"...as that is some distance between them....and all of that air volume will need either heating (in winter) or cooling (in summer)...and that will take a lot of energy either way.

    And how are they going to regulate the internal temperature, as surely some people will prefer one ambient temperature while others might prefer something slightly warmer or cooler, as per their personal preference?

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Air volume?

      Like most vast open plan office spaces - agreed this one looks like an airport terminal which will make it even worse - the Smart Climate Control HVAC will never work on practice.

      Seat #1 too hot, seat #2 too cold etc….

      Lots of fun for property maintenance.

  11. Auntie Dix
    FAIL

    That Is the Ugliest F'king People-Hangar in the Bay Area

    Welcome to the confluence of:

    • liberal filth;

    • "green" fantasies;

    • noisy, impossible-to-climatize-properly, open-air-playpen design; and

    • corporate dictatorship.

    Fellow Californian Kai... Per... is also as Oregon-hippie-stink as it gets, hiring the foul-smelling in droves (especially, foreigners..."woke" "diversity" BS advertized, but no-benefit$ contractors, the real reason), where you will enjoy all of the above, plus:

    • auto-flush disabled, waste-filled toilets;

    • dirty, unwashed, booger-stained bathroom doors and walls (due to "green"/absent "cleaning");

    • open-air, ping-pong-playpen noise (all foreigners, BTW) that invades the entire floor;

    • ONE unzoned HVAC system for the entire building, with constantly blowing air at ONE management-determined temperature;

    • corporate-mandated "no disposables," staff-free, staph-infected kitchens with befouled microwave ovens, dirty-dish-filled sinks, filthy-from-the-drawer cups/plates/silverware, DIY home dishwashers mostly ignored but always interrupted late-cycle (by pigs who add more dirty kitchenware); etc.

    I hope that more talent cites these idiotic, hideous, land-grabbing people-hangars as reason to give management the finger and leave Google, Apple et al.

  12. Robert Moore

    Want an office people will go back to?

    Give me a private office and I'll go in.

    Add a meeting room down the hall so I can work with my team when I need to, and work in my office when I need to get actual work done. Forget this open plan stupidity, because it doesn't work, and is universally hated by everyone who has to work in it.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

  • Google has more reasons why it doesn't like antitrust law that affects Google
    It'll ruin Gmail, claims web ads giant

    Google has a fresh list of reasons why it opposes tech antitrust legislation making its way through Congress but, like others who've expressed discontent, the ad giant's complaints leave out mention of portions of the proposed law that address said gripes.

    The law bill in question is S.2992, the Senate version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which is closer than ever to getting votes in the House and Senate, which could see it advanced to President Biden's desk.

    AICOA prohibits tech companies above a certain size from favoring their own products and services over their competitors. It applies to businesses considered "critical trading partners," meaning the company controls access to a platform through which business users reach their customers. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta in one way or another seemingly fall under the scope of this US legislation. 

    Continue reading
  • Hangouts hangs up: Google chat app shuts this year
    How many messaging services does this web giant need? It's gotta be over 9,000

    Google is winding down its messaging app Hangouts before it officially shuts in November, the web giant announced on Monday.

    Users of the mobile app will see a pop-up asking them to move their conversations onto Google Chat, which is yet another one of its online services. It can be accessed via Gmail as well as its own standalone application. Next month, conversations in the web version of Hangouts will be ported over to Chat in Gmail. 

    Continue reading
  • It's a crime to use Google Analytics, watchdog tells Italian website
    Because data flows into the United States, not because of that user interface

    Updated Another kicking has been leveled at American tech giants by EU regulators as Italy's data protection authority ruled against transfers of data to the US using Google Analytics.

    The ruling by the Garante was made yesterday as regulators took a close look at a website operator who was using Google Analytics. The regulators found that the site collected all manner of information.

    So far, so normal. Google Analytics is commonly used by websites to analyze traffic. Others exist, but Google's is very much the big beast. It also performs its analysis in the USA, which is what EU regulators have taken exception to. The place is, after all, "a country without an adequate level of data protection," according to the regulator.

    Continue reading
  • End of the road for biz living off free G Suite legacy edition
    Firms accustomed to freebies miffed that web giant's largess doesn't last

    After offering free G Suite apps for more than a decade, Google next week plans to discontinue its legacy service – which hasn't been offered to new customers since 2012 – and force business users to transition to a paid subscription for the service's successor, Google Workspace.

    "For businesses, the G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available after June 27, 2022," Google explains in its support document. "Your account will be automatically transitioned to a paid Google Workspace subscription where we continue to deliver new capabilities to help businesses transform the way they work."

    Small business owners who have relied on the G Suite legacy free edition aren't thrilled that they will have to pay for Workspace or migrate to a rival like Microsoft, which happens to be actively encouraging defectors. As noted by The New York Times on Monday, the approaching deadline has elicited complaints from small firms that bet on Google's cloud productivity apps in the 2006-2012 period and have enjoyed the lack of billing since then.

    Continue reading
  • I was fired for blowing the whistle on cult's status in Google unit, says contractor
    The internet giant, a doomsday religious sect, and a lawsuit in Silicon Valley

    A former Google video producer has sued the internet giant alleging he was unfairly fired for blowing the whistle on a religious sect that had all but taken over his business unit. 

    The lawsuit demands a jury trial and financial restitution for "religious discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and related causes of action." It alleges Peter Lubbers, director of the Google Developer Studio (GDS) film group in which 34-year-old plaintiff Kevin Lloyd worked, is not only a member of The Fellowship of Friends, the exec was influential in growing the studio into a team that, in essence, funneled money back to the fellowship.

    In his complaint [PDF], filed in a California Superior Court in Silicon Valley, Lloyd lays down a case that he was fired for expressing concerns over the fellowship's influence at Google, specifically in the GDS. When these concerns were reported to a manager, Lloyd was told to drop the issue or risk losing his job, it is claimed. 

    Continue reading
  • Google recasts Anthos with hitch to AWS Outposts
    If at first you don't succeed, change names and try again

    Google Cloud's Anthos on-prem platform is getting a new home under the search giant’s recently announced Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) portfolio, where it will live on as a software-based competitor to AWS Outposts and Microsoft Azure Stack.

    Introduced last fall, GDC enables customers to deploy managed servers and software in private datacenters and at communication service provider or on the edge.

    Its latest update sees Google reposition Anthos on-prem, introduced back in 2020, as the bring-your-own-server edition of GDC. Using the service, customers can extend Google Cloud-style management and services to applications running on-prem.

    Continue reading
  • FTC urged to probe Apple, Google for enabling ‘intense system of surveillance’
    Ad tracking poses a privacy and security risk in post-Roe America, lawmakers warn

    Democrat lawmakers want the FTC to investigate Apple and Google's online ad trackers, which they say amount to unfair and deceptive business practices and pose a privacy and security risk to people using the tech giants' mobile devices.

    US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA) requested on Friday that the watchdog launch a probe into Apple and Google, hours before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for individual states to ban access to abortions. 

    In the days leading up to the court's action, some of these same lawmakers had also introduced data privacy bills, including a proposal that would make it illegal for data brokers to sell sensitive location and health information of individuals' medical treatment.

    Continue reading
  • Google: How we tackled this iPhone, Android spyware
    Watching people's every move and collecting their info – not on our watch, says web ads giant

    Spyware developed by Italian firm RCS Labs was used to target cellphones in Italy and Kazakhstan — in some cases with an assist from the victims' cellular network providers, according to Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG).

    RCS Labs customers include law-enforcement agencies worldwide, according to the vendor's website. It's one of more than 30 outfits Google researchers are tracking that sell exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed groups. And we're told this particular spyware runs on both iOS and Android phones.

    We understand this particular campaign of espionage involving RCS's spyware was documented last week by Lookout, which dubbed the toolkit "Hermit." We're told it is potentially capable of spying on the victims' chat apps, camera and microphone, contacts book and calendars, browser, and clipboard, and beam that info back to base. It's said that Italian authorities have used this tool in tackling corruption cases, and the Kazakh government has had its hands on it, too.

    Continue reading
  • Brave Search leaves beta, offers Goggles for filtering, personalizing results
    Freedom or echo chamber?

    Brave Software, maker of a privacy-oriented browser, on Wednesday said its surging search service has exited beta testing while its Goggles search personalization system has entered beta testing.

    Brave Search, which debuted a year ago, has received 2.5 billion search queries since then, apparently, and based on current monthly totals is expected to handle twice as many over the next year. The search service is available in the Brave browser and in other browsers by visiting search.brave.com.

    "Since launching one year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation in order to give users the privacy they deserve," wrote Josep Pujol, chief of search at Brave. "The web is changing, and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first."

    Continue reading
  • Tech companies ready public stances on Roe v. Wade
    Some providing out-of-state medical expenses, others spout general pro-choice statements

    Several US tech companies have taken a stance or issued statements promising healthcare-related support for employees following the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v Wade last Friday.

    A Supreme Court draft opinion that was leaked in February provided advanced warning of the legal eventuality, giving companies plenty of time to prepare official positions and related policies for employees.

    Without proper policies in place, tech companies could put themselves at risk of "brain drain" as employees become tempted to relocate to states where abortion access is readily available or to companies that better support potential needs as healthcare in the US is more often tied to an employer than not.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022