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"Go, Glass"...exciting or creepy?

J. Kevin Robbins
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Joined: Dec 16, 2010
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  13

info here

Note that it will automatically take a picture every 5 seconds. I don't doubt for one second that Google will be data mining everything the wearer looks at for "targeted advertising".

We are Google. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.


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chris webster
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  14

Oh, definitely creepy+++.

I'm glad I managed to navigate my way though life to a fairly advanced age (you can tell, can't you...) without noticing the lack of a heads-up display, and I really don't like the idea of Google's answer to Microsoft Clippy popping up in my face while I'm pouring a coffee, driving my car ("Hey! It looks like you just drove into a wall! Shall I call an ambulance?") or indeed visiting the bathroom. Especially if Google is streaming snapshots of your life directly to its servers as we all suspect it will. Of course, it will be interesting how they plan to deal with privacy legislation, which typically restricts what personal data can be gathered about people and what is done with it. Google has a history of developing stuff that's "like, totally awesome, duuude!" without really thinking through the consequences, and I suspect this will be another example of the same tendency. I see lawyers, lots of lawyers...

In any case, we may be clever little monkeys with all our technology, but we're still just monkeys with paleolithic brains. People walk out in front of traffic while listening to their iPods because they can't hear a truck approaching. They wander down the street - or along a station platform - so absorbed in conversations on their mobile phones that they don't watch where they're going, and texting is even more dangerous to the hard-of-thinking. People follow their satnavs so blindly they'll drive into a river rather than use their own eyes and brains. Scientific studies repeatedly show that we can't multi-task very well, and if you flood our senses with data we just perform worse. Just think how many ways people can screw up if they're wearing Google Glass at the same time as doing anything more challenging than sitting quietly in a well-cushioned chair.

I dunno. Maybe those driverless cars are the safest option after all - that's Google synergy at work. And training wheels for pedestrians...


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Bear Bibeault
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  66

Beyond creepy.

/shudders


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Nam Ha Minh
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I think it would distract our life (already distracted) seriously.


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Scott Halepaska
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Joined: Dec 26, 2006
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Hmm, I try to keep my HUDs related to my hobbies:

http://labs.reconinstruments.com/
J. Kevin Robbins
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one concerned about this. I've long said that just because we have the technology to do something, that doesn't mean it's a good idea to do it.

And as for the Evil Empire, I've started using startpage.com for all my searches, and as soon as ixquick starts offering free email, I'll drop my gmail account. I think most of us would be appalled to see how much data Google has on each of us.
chris webster
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  14

Scott Halepaska wrote:Hmm, I try to keep my HUDs related to my hobbies:

http://labs.reconinstruments.com/

If that's your hobby, you can probably make your own HUD by taping a translucent sticker across your visor saying " YOU ARE CRAZY!!!"
chris webster
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  14

J. Kevin Robbins wrote:I think most of us would be appalled to see how much data Google has on each of us.

Maybe we can Google it to find out? By the way, have you read You Are Not A Gadget. Maybe all Google Glasses should be required to initialise their displays with this book...
J. Kevin Robbins
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chris webster wrote:
J. Kevin Robbins wrote:I think most of us would be appalled to see how much data Google has on each of us.

Maybe we can Google it to find out?


I'm not even thinking of the obvious stuff that we can google, but the information that comes from data mining used to evaluate our search patterns, the websites we visit, even the Android apps that we install. The kind of data available to advertisers, the government, and Googles internal marketing people. I refuse to even use Chrome because I don't trust what it's doing with everything from my history to my bookmarks.

chris webster wrote:
By the way, have you read You Are Not A Gadget. Maybe all Google Glasses should be required to initialise their displays with this book...


No, but it's on my wish list now. Looks interesting.
Steve Luke
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  21

I haven't investigated Glass yet, so I will save my opinion on that till later. But for all the fear about data gathering and the evils of gathering info for targeted advertising: online advertisements are a fact, we won't get rid of them. So wouldn't you rather get advertisements about things you might actually want or be interested in? I know I would; if you are going to intrude into viewing pleasure please do it in a relevant manner. So I have no problem with all that - I don't see anything I do online as so private that I would be upset that some anonymous company knows that some anonymous (to them) person is doing it. And if their knowing it makes my search results more relevant, the advertisements more relevant, and apps/books/song suggestions more relevant, then more power to them.

That's just me.

And no I don't work at Google ;)


Steve
chris webster
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Well, I think there's probably a sensible middle path between blindly handing over all your personal data to a big corporation (hello, FaceBook!) and being utterly paranoid about ever doing anything online.

I use a load of Google's "free" services in the knowledge that I am not a user but am being used, although I never even register the ads that are displayed while I'm using those services. I confess I am a little twitchy about some of the ways in which Google periodically tries to change the terms of service over who owns "my" data, not to mention its "Gee whizz!" tendency to scoop up lots of extra data without asking (Google Streetview, Buzz etc), but so far I am OK with this particular Faustian pact. On the other hand, some people put their entire lives online already, while I wouldn't touch FaceBook with a bargepole, so I guess it's a question of personal choice in the end.

But there's a big difference between choosing to send an email via GMail and having Google streaming your life (and those around you) via a surveillance device you've strapped to your own head. For example I wouldn't put my ATM code in an email, but Google Glasses is presumably going to be able to pick that up pretty easily every time a "user" goes to the ATM.

Maybe I'm just getting tired of permanent Future Shock - even my phone is smarter than I am these days!
Steve Luke
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chris webster wrote:I use a load of Google's "free" services in the knowledge that I am not a user but am being used,

I sort of disagree with this point of view. You are taking advantage of their services, so you are a user. They are taking advantage of your information, so you are being used. One does not exclude the other. The fact that you are being used does not change your behavior as a user.

But there's a big difference between choosing to send an email via GMail and having Google streaming your life (and those around you) via a surveillance device you've strapped to your own head. For example I wouldn't put my ATM code in an email, but Google Glasses is presumably going to be able to pick that up pretty easily every time a "user" goes to the ATM.

Yeah, like I said I will have to read up on what Glass actually does rather than listening to the hype. But a user would probably need to take the same care with Glass as they do with email. Just as you don't put your ATM pin into your email, you probably won't want to wear Glass when you type your code into an ATM (it's not like it is permanently attached to you, or you have no choice about when to wear it). Just like you wouldn't take a picture of yourself using the urinal and post it to Facebook, you probably want to either turn off or remove the device when in the bathroom... The normal use-case probably wouldn't be an always-on-your-face device like normal glasses, but a situational device you use when exploring somewhere, doing something special, jogging/exercising, lost, etc... Like how you might use the AR capabilities of a smartphone - but without having to hold the phone.

Not saying that the lawyers won't get involved. They probably will. I just don't see any of the issues as being ones that common sense doesn't fix. But we all know that common sense is not so common.
J. Kevin Robbins
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Steve Luke wrote: So I have no problem with all that - I don't see anything I do online as so private that I would be upset that some anonymous company knows that some anonymous (to them) person is doing it.


I'm curious, and if you don't want to answer I understand, but I wonder how old you are? I ask because it seems the younger generation (<30) that has grown up with computers and cell phones for all their lives have a much different view of online privacy than the old farts like me (52). I know that my daughters and their friends have no concerns about posting their entire lives online and they can't even imagine living without Facebook and Twitter. I don't have and will never have a Twitter account and would drop my facebook account except I use it to keep in touch with family and a few friends. I'm rather paranoid about the digital tracks of my life, as you probably surmised.
Bear Bibeault
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Jesper de Jong
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Google needs to make a left eyed version, otherwise it will not be very useful to me.


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Steve Luke
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  21

J. Kevin Robbins wrote:but I wonder how old you are? I ask because it seems the younger generation (<30) that has grown up with computers and cell phones for all their lives have a much different view of online privacy than the old farts like me (52). I know that my daughters and their friends have no concerns about posting their entire lives online and they can't even imagine living without Facebook and Twitter. I don't have and will never have a Twitter account and would drop my facebook account except I use it to keep in touch with family and a few friends. I'm rather paranoid about the digital tracks of my life, as you probably surmised.


I am between the two: 36. I grew up without all this stuff, but I find no special problem with a lot of it. I don't like Facebook for a number of reasons, first, I just don't like to share that sort of stuff, and I don't care to be informed of all that dreck about people I know. But more importantly because it has real-life consequences that you have no control of* because of specific flawed privacy policies. That is a specific (and fixable if FB cared, which it says it does not) issue rather than general problem with social networks.

I do have a Twitter account. I only use it to follow, never publish and never share it. I do have a Facebook account I use for a similar purpose as you do, I never post to it, try to keep everything private (but they change so often it is hard to know if I am still as private as I intend).

But I think there is a big difference between personal privacy (as related to Twitter and FB) and anonymized privacy (as related to the statistics Google collects on me). The former is specifically about me, and targets people who know me or interact with me on a personal and individual basis. The latter is about some non-specific individual in the sea of humanity targeted in a sea of information that has no specific interest in the person or individual.


* On Facebook, your Friends can associate you with Groups you are not really associated with. An employer can check your account, see that you are affiliated with a group and make employment decisions based on that. So you can be judged on FB for things that you actually don't do. The only way to fix that is to be vigilant with your account - which is too much work for what it is worth. This is a serious concern for me because now I am not being held responsible for what I did, posted, or said, but for what others associate me with which may have no basis in reality. This I can't abide.
Bear Bibeault
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Jesper de Jong wrote:Google needs to make a left eyed version, otherwise it will not be very useful to me.

Heh. I didn't think of that. I'm pretty much blind in my right eye.

Of course, not something I'd want to use to begin with...
Pat Farrell
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Creepy? Yeah, but mostly goofy.

Have you noticed that in all the photos of it, the person wearing Google Glass is beautiful, not just good looking, but drop dead gorgeous? This is clearly to distract us from the fact that the Glass is goofy looking. When you wear it, if you are not beautiful, you will look like a dork.
Steve Luke
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Pat Farrell wrote:Creepy? Yeah, but mostly goofy.

Have you noticed that in all the photos of it, the person wearing Google Glass is beautiful, not just good looking, but drop dead gorgeous? This is clearly to distract us from the fact that the Glass is goofy looking. When you wear it, if you are not beautiful, you will look like a dork.


That's not the way it works. If you look like a dork and then you wear it, it will make you beautiful. That is the #1 selling point.
Bear Bibeault
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Steve Luke wrote:That's not the way it works. If you look like a dork and then you wear it, it will make you beautiful. That is the #1 selling point.


It works!

Before:


After:
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I'll just leave this here.


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Martin Vajsar
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  60

@Bear: that guy was apparently one of the most desirable women of 2011 even before wearing the glasses!

No wonder Google hired him to advance the Glass!
chris webster
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Here's an interesting take on all this gee-whizz Google tomswiftery: Does Google Have Any Social Skills At All?
Jayesh A Lalwani
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I don't understand the google glass hate. It's not taking pictures every 5 minutes until you tell it too. Google glass taking pictures of your ATM card?! Here's an idea. Take it off. It looks a little wierd, yeah, but its not like eye brow piercing wierd. Ultimately, if they can get it to being built into regular glasses, it won't look wierd at all
chris webster
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I don't understand the google glass hate. It's not taking pictures every 5 minutes until you tell it to....

How do you know? Remember Google Streetview cars slurping up wireless data? Google Buzz slurping up people's contacts? And people are definitely dumb enough to leave the things switched on by mistake anyway.
Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Here's an idea. Take it off.

Or don't put it on in the first place.
Bear Bibeault
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chris webster wrote:Or don't put it on in the first place.


Winner!

Pat Farrell
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chris webster wrote:Or don't put it on in the first place.


The issue is not when you wear the creepy glasses, its when someone else, say in a bar or party or meeting, is wearing them.

Its considered very rude to stuff a camera in someones face all the time. But we can see the camera or smartphone, so we can address it any of a number of ways, putting our hand up to cover the lens, asking them to stop, etc.

If Google Glass is popular, everyone will be wearing them, recording not only still photos, but video and audio.
Bear Bibeault
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The Google Glass control room in the basement:


Indeed. I know all us technoids are supposed to love and trust Google. I don't.

So what will be ruder: wearing these and filming/broadcasting what everyone you see is saying and doing? Or asking someone to take them off while they are in your presence?
chris webster
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Pat Farrell wrote:The issue is not when you wear the creepy glasses, its when someone else, say in a bar or party or meeting, is wearing them.

Indeed. Although I suspect our political and corporate overlords will be fairly quick to ban Google Glass from any meetings where Serious Stuff is under discussion!
Pat Farrell
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chris webster wrote:ban Google Glass from any meetings where Serious Stuff is under discussion!

For years, I had to buy cell phones without cameras because when you go into offices where Secret or Top Secret work is done, you can not take a camera. Towards the end, it was very hard, as all cellphones had cameras. I don't do that work anymore, but since everyone has a smartphone, I wonder what they do?

The problem is not with version One of Glass, they are obvious. But as time goes on, the camera and display will get smaller following Moore's law. When will you know that someone is using Glass v7, which is implanted into your eyeball?
Bear Bibeault
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In the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex* (in which a near-future society is heavily cyberized), there is a concept of Interceptors: micro-machine cameras implanted in peoples eyes. In the series, it takes a government warrant to make them legal to use (much like wire taps today).













* Highly recommended.
Deepak Bala
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In the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex* (in which a near-future society is heavily cyberized), there is a concept of Interceptors: micro-machine cameras implanted in peoples eyes. In the series, it takes a government warrant to make them legal to use (much like wire taps today).


One of my favorite animes. From memory, the interceptors were misused and someone uncovers that and is eradicated.

Imagine someone walking down the street with a camera and clicking it every 5 seconds. You'd wonder what was wrong with them and if they took a picture of you you'd ask them to stop. With google glass this behavior is *normal*.

What is also scary is who can access this data. A government can access a person's email account through a court order. Is that government also allowed to access these pictures / videos via the same order ? What if accessing the pictures of everyone that owns google glass allowed one to find people on the most wanted list ? Given that you are taking a picture every X seconds, someone interesting ought to show up eventually at any arbitrary location. Is that legal / ethical ? Where does one draw the line ?

[EDIT] - Typo


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Bear Bibeault
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Deepak Bala wrote:One of my favorite animes. From memory, the interceptors were misused and someone uncovers that and is eradicated.

Yes. The discovery of the illegal use of interceptors is a key plot point in the "Laughing Man" arc of the first season. The police officer who discovers that his team, as well as himself, have been illegally implanted with interceptors is eradicated in a convenient auto accident, which is what attracts Section 9 (the protagonists) to the case in the first place.

The questions raised by the whole Ghost in the Shell genre is very relevant to this discussion. Where do the lines get drawn as technology advances? The franchise explores the ramifications of advanced technology and the questions raised when the line between human and machine get blurred.
Pat Farrell
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Bear Bibeault wrote:the illegal use of interceptors is ....

Both Richard Nixon as President, and Dick Cheney as Vice President have been quoted saying that it is not illegal when the President does it.

While they were talking about a different "it" the basic idea is still there.
J. Kevin Robbins
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Another article here. I'm not sure which is scarier, the article or the reader comments.
Bear Bibeault
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The lack of concern for privacy, and the blind trust placed in Google, is quite alarming.
Maneesh Godbole
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Lack of privacy might not the only thing we need to be worried about in future

source


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Steve Luke
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Maneesh Godbole wrote:Lack of privacy might not the only thing we need to be worried about in future

I am not sure I understand, are you suggesting that Google Glass will become a genetic selector for people who have independently movable eyes, have lazy eyes, or have a right eye with an upward right tilt?
Maneesh Godbole
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Based on what I gathered of the glasses, the "projector" is situated slightly above your right eye. It is a human tendency to form a physical habit after extended exposure to something, which might even get passed on to future generations.
Bear Bibeault
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It's a valid concern.
 
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