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One day only sale: become a glasshole for $1,500

Google Glass, without the glass. In much of its marketing materials, Google has been careful to position its users as the opposite of creepy male glassholes.

Ben Marks of Collectors weekly says: "Next Tuesday, for one day only, Google Glass will be available for purchase by the great unwashed masses, which means anyone with 1,500 bucks will have a chance to be a glasshole. To mark this momentous occasion, we spoke to Steve Brown from Intel, David Maidment of ARM, Matthew Woolsey of Barneys, and Jim Wolf of Heritage Auctions about the past, present, and future of wearable technologies, and whether consumers will ultimately make their decisions about Pebbles, Fitbits, and Jawbones based on the functionality of these devices or simply whether they are considered fashionable."

A self-described futurist, Brown looks backward when tackling the fashion-versus-function question. “Wearables are not new,” he says flatly. “What is new is that wearables are now smart and connected. That’s what’s different about them. But people have worn wearable technology—whether it was a sword and shield, a suit of armor, a chatelaine, or a crucifix—for millennia. And they have always been about more than just the utility they provide. A piece of armor, for example, doesn’t just protect you in battle. It also conveys something about your status and who you are. They were fairly ornate pieces of art.”

More recently, in the late 19th century, another ornate wearable technology emerged in the form of the wristwatch. “The first target audience for wristwatches in the late 19th century was women,” says Jim Wolf, who is the director of Watches and Fine Timepieces at Heritage Auctions. The first wristwatch was a Patek Philippe, made in 1868 and sold to Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1876. Soon, women of means across Europe wanted a wristwatch of their own. “The reason behind its popularity was fashion,” Wolf says. “Ladies wristwatches were small, delicate, and could be worn on the wrist without a problem. It was really a dress piece of jewelry, like a bracelet.”

Men favored pocket watches. “In the early 1900s, there was a stigma in the eyes of men about wristwatches. They didn’t believe the small timepiece in a wristwatch could be as accurate as a large pocket watch, and the precision of a timekeeping device was important to them. The only reason to have a watch was to be punctual. Also, because of the popularity of ladies wristwatches, some men considered it effeminate to wear a watch on the wrist.”

Google Glassholes: High-Tech Visionaries or Fashion Victims?

MPAA and ICE admit they yanked an innocent man out of a movie for wearing Google Glass

Representatives of the MPAA and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency confirmed that they worked together to yank a Google Glass wearer out of a movie theater, detain him in a small room against his will, confiscate and inspect his electronics (including his phone) and coerce an interview out of him with legal threats. They believed, incorrectly, that their victim had been recording the movie with his gadget. The Google Glass set he wore had been fitted with prescription lenses and he was watching the movie through them because they corrected his vision.

The MPAA's and ICE's statements are bland and anodyne (ICE says that the interview was "voluntary," though the man's account contradicts this). Neither of them explain how it is that a movie theater employee can call an MPAA hotline, and how the MPAA can then command ICE law-enforcement officials to drop everything and rush down to a multiplex to roust a potential camcorderer and treat him like a presumptive criminal.

The problem for the MPAA of camcordering is that they would like to stagger the release of their films -- first to the theatrical exhibition channel, then to airplanes and hotel rooms, then to pay-per-view and streaming services and DVD, etc. This makes them more profitable, but only if they can keep each channel discrete. Lots of businesses struggle with their profit-maximization strategies, but only the MPAA gets to command the forces of federal law-enforcement in the service of their business-model, putting the cost of that strategy onto the tax-payer.

Read the rest

AJ Jacobs writes about trying all the things you're not supposed to do with Google Glass

My friend AJ Jacobs (author of fantastic self-experimentation books like Drop Dead Healthy and The Year of Living Biblically) says, "My Esquire Google Glass experiment went up today. It's about how I put it to a series of grueling tests -- I used my little face computer to cheat at poker with friends. Watch movies while talking to friends and family. Read Moby Dick. Be a Cyrano to a young single dude. Overload my brain. And as a high-tech moral conscience."

I don't plan to drive while watching my Glass — I do enjoying living — but what if I tried to watch video every moment of the day that I'm not operating heavy machinery? My first plan was to stream a series of back-to-back epic movies on my Glass as I ran my errands and made my calls. Unfortunately, Glass isn't yet compatible with Netflix.

Instead, I had to settle for sixteen hours of YouTube. I watch Ali G while at the grocery. I watch a TED talk about bipolar disorder while scrubbing the dishes. While taking my kids to the Museum of Natural History, I creep myself out by watching the "Blurred Lines" video, squinting to make out the world's tiniest nipples.

Things start to spin out of control. How could they not? It's my childhood dream come true, this ever-present TV. My wife approaches me in the kitchen. I can see her mouth moving. I tell her, "I'm watching a Richard Pryor clip about the first black president. If it's important, let me know, and I'll pause." She walks away.

Things You're Not Supposed to Do With Google Glass

Google Glass privacy hack

[Video Link] Matt Richardson from MAKE says: "As a newly-inducted member of the Google Glass Explorer Program, I was very concerned about the privacy implications of Google’s new wearable computer. But with just $10 in materials, I was able to make a quick hack to alleviate my own concerns. I don’t want to totally ruin the surprise for you, so just hit play on the video above to get the details."

Google Glass teardown with Star Simpson

"We destroyed Glass entirely, for you," says Star Simpson. Check out her Google Glass Teardown with Scott Torborg.

We eagerly brought Glass back to the lab to begin the dissection. Speculation reigned: what if the entire body of Glass is potted with epoxy requiring strong solvents to access? Which part is the battery in? How hackable is this thing? Where are the sensors? Any extra hardware features yet to be unlocked by future software updates? But first, where to even begin opening it? With no idea of what lay ahead, we started by removing the titanium frame from the pod that holds all the good stuff.

What's inside? “It's surprisingly simple,” she writes.