Google Glass Disconnect

Surely you’ve seen stuff written about “Glassholes”, early Google Glass users who don’t deal well with those who are upset by Glass and the feeling that they’re always being watched. I’m sure there are people being ridiculous on both sides – some Glass users who should be more sensitive to those around them, and some non-users who immediately jump to the worst possible conclusions.

What people have to understand is that, first, stuff like Google Glass isn’t going away, no matter how many coffee shops ban them with snarky notes. And, more importantly, none of us have any idea what is going to come out of projects like this. In some cases, it’s going to be saved lives.

Patrick Jordan isn’t just a Google Glass Explorer; he’s a firefighter and a developer based in North Carolina. That combination is making for an impressive idea: Jordan is working on a Glass app that could help him and fellow firefighters save more lives. The software would provide instant heads-up information such as floor plans, locations of nearby hydrants and vehicle data.

Yes, the always-on cameras can be dangerous to privacy, and people need to keep that in mind and remember that being polite and respecting others doesn’t depend on the technology one is or isn’t using. But we’re still in the earliest stages of this technology, and we’re already getting glimpses of what it can do for society. There will be growing pains, but you can’t think any sort of bans are going to do anything meaningful in the long run. We have to figure out how things like Google Glass are going to fit into society.

eBay is Dangerous

The wife has been going a little crazy on eBay lately. If she was spending more than $5 at a time, I’d probably intervene, but she’s just buying clothes for our daughter, and she’s barely spending anything, so I figure it’s not a problem. I’ll be keeping an eye on her, though. Whenever someone mentions eBay, I invariably get an urge to buy something, because you can buy pretty much anything there. And every time I look at eBay, I end up searching for a nice Triumph TR6 in good condition for a reasonable price. I’m going to own one someday. I’m going to get some money together, buy one, get a one-way plane ticket to wherever it is, and drive it home. It will be glorious. I’ll do it when the weather’s nice so I don’t have to put the top up.


Just announced today, Flickr now does video. I don’t really care at the moment, because I don’t ever make videos of anything (Maybe that will change when the baby comes, but I doubt it). But just yesterday I was writing in my novel-in-progress, which takes place in the not terribly distant future, about Flickr and video. I had been thinking about what Flickr (Or whatever takes its place) might be like in, say, 30 years. Once you start thinking about that, you have to go back and try and define what Flickr is now. On the surface, it’s a photo sharing site with a community surrounding it. But the ways people use it mean that it really goes well beyond just sharing photos. Some people use it as a cheap and reliable image hosting service for their blog. Some people use it to track changes over time in something. You see this a lot with babies and pregnancy. Some people use it almost instead of a blog or public journal – “See what I did yesterday, here’s a picture”. The Library of Congress is using it to crowdsource the categorization of their photo library. Barack Obama is using it to connect with supporters and advertise himself. So I was thinking, as technology advances, will we still take photos? In thirty years, you could be wearing contact lenses that can record hours of HD video. Maybe you’ll even have a hard drive installed in your head that can store video recorded by your eyes. Do we only take lots of photos now because that’s the convenient technology? There may always be a demand for still images as art, but we may get away from using them to say, “Hey, look at my cat!”. Or maybe not. Anyway, just thought it was cool that Flickr is doing what I thought they’d do, thirty years early.