Google ‘Glass Haters’ Attack Woman In Bar For Wearing High Tech Specs

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News Posted: Wed, Feb 26 2014 12:48 PM
Sometimes there are news items that just make you want to lay on the ground all day, like the guy in the radiohead video for “Just”. The story of a woman who was assaulted in a San Francisco bar for wearing Google Glass is one of those items.

What happened is this: Sarah Slocum was in the Molotov Bar on Haight St. in San Francisco showing her Google Glass specs to friends when other patrons not in her party became incensed that she had the tech specs on in the bar and objected to the possibility that she was filming them.

A confrontation ensued in which one of Slocum’s party threw a punch at the aggressors. A man ripped Google Glass off of Sarah’s face and ran out of the bar. Apparently she was able to retrieve the specs somehow, but in the process she says her purse and cell phone were stolen.

She’s posted quite a bit about the assault on her Facebook page, including this:

OMG so you'll never believe this but... I got verbally and physically asaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some wanker Google Glass haters, then some *bleeeeeeeeeep* tore them off my face and ran out with them then and when I ran out after him his *bleeeeeeep* friends stole my purse, cellphone walet and everything..

She also posted a video of a few seconds of the confrontation, which she said she started shooting towards the end of the encounter. You can see that she’s backing up while jawing with a man and a woman, and she says the man in the video is the one who stole her specs. (Ironically, she was not filming them until they attacked her.)



First of all, it is never acceptable to assault anyone or remove anything from their person. There is no excuse for what the alleged aggressors did, and Slocum did not deserve to be attacked, even if there’s a possibility that she may have been acting like a so-called “Glasshole”; even though the Molotov Bar is reportedly a dive bar with less-than-highbrow clientele; and even though everyone was probably drunk because it was late.

It’s also not okay for her acquaintance to have thrown a punch. That’s known as escalating the situation, and it’s possible that the whole thing would have resolved quickly if that party had not introduced violence to the confrontation. Even so, let’s steer quickly away from any insinuation that Slocum “deserved” anything.

Google Glass assault
Google Glass assault

It’s common for people to misunderstand new technology, but that misunderstanding is usually harmless. My favorite example of this is an anecdote about a fellow who got his house wired with electricity back when it first came to his town. He didn’t have any light bulbs yet, so he crammed a potato in the light socket to prevent all the electricity from leaking out.

We’re all guilty of some embarrassing level of tech ignorance at some point, but the incredibly strong reactions against Google Glass are bizarre and shocking. There are people who think that Google Glass is a magical device that records everything all the time and can even see through clothes. A police officer tried to ticket a woman for driving while wearing the specs. More than one establishment has banned Google Glass from the premises.

The primary issue, though, seems to be that people get upset at the idea that they may be recorded by someone wearing the specs. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like the idea of being secretly recorded by a stranger either, but there are some problems with that logic when it comes to Google Glass.

For one thing, recording someone without their permission with Glass is kind of awkward. There’s the process of starting the video, which isn’t a completely inconspicuous action, and then--most importantly--the wearer has to stare at you to record you.

There’s also this: Everyone already has a spy camera in their pocket. It’s called a smartphone, and the devices have cameras that can often shoot in HD. It’s actually far easier to surreptitiously record someone with a smartphone than with Google Glass. All you have to do is hit the record button and pretend to be texting, or checking in with FourSquare, or posting something to Facebook or Twitter, or replying to an email, or--you get the idea.

Further, we’re all under surveillance most of the time we’re in public anyway. So what are Google Glass haters afraid of, exactly?

There’s another point not to miss here, which is that the term “Google Glass haters” (which, I know, I just used) is really a misnomer. The vast majority of people don’t “hate” Google Glass, because they clearly don’t understand it enough to hate it. “Google Glass ignoramuses” doesn’t roll off the tongue quick as nicely, but that ignorance is potentially more dangerous.

radiohead just

And that’s perhaps a more peaceful notion to take away from situations like these. Google Glass evangelists should always be ready to educate the curious. It sounds, actually, like that’s what Slocum may have been doing until others objected, but there’s only so much you can teach the fearful or willfully ignorant.
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This is why all hope for humanity has dewindled to 0.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 26 2014 1:43 PM

Yeah, that's a pretty sad state of affairs there. I mean I get it, folks don't like being recorded. But if the Glass cam is rolling and you're in the line of fire, just move.

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sevags replied on Wed, Feb 26 2014 4:59 PM

I am at a loss here. So basically a couple of people approached Slocum unhappy about her having Glass, they might have been polite they might have been very rude, but then someone is Slocum's group punches one of the guys who approached?!?!? Sounds like Slocum's group was more of the problem and the ones who acted illegally first!!!!!! If I was that guy I would have stomped her Glass into a hundred pieces rather than just running out. Again the article is saying someon in Slocum's group punched someone else over words. She deserved what she got afterwards including having her stuff stolen. Your group commits an illegal act you shouldn't be suprised when something illegal is done back to you.

I just can't wait until Glass is banned from being worn while operating a vehicle. I would also like to see more business establishments not allow Glass inside especially bars and clubs, and anywhere that is frequented by children. I'm not anti-glass at all! I just feel there should be much heavier restrictions on its use than other devices.

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she probably did something to piss them off though we dont know its all "he says she says"

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Wait sevags are you saying that Slocum should be punished by having her property stolen or destroyed (as you would like) just because someone else in her group acted like an idiot and did something illegal. That is a very slippery slope that ends in a big pile of stupid lawsuits and more violence, I'm not saying that Slocum wasn't doing anything wrong but why does she deserve any reprisal for somebody else's actions. We can't speculate as to the outcome of the encounter if the punch wasn't thrown but either way I totally agree with Seth, Slocum did not deserve to be assaulted at all.

Also if somebody is doing something illegal it is not your job to exact justice, that is not justice at all, it is revenge. Once you start down that road there is no end. I'm not saying don't defend yourself but to do something illegal just because someone else did it sounds like a 5 year old kids argument.

Lastly I'm sorry to say this but you definitely sound like someone who hates Goggle Glass. Seth made a good point about smartphones and the ability to record video on them while remaining relatively inconspicuous compared to being recorded by someone staring at you while wearing glasses. Smartphones are not banned in clubs or bars and are allowed in parks, playgrounds and schools the latter being areas frequented by children.

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scolaner replied on Wed, Feb 26 2014 7:34 PM

sevags, I couldn't disagree with you more. First, nobody has said that anyone *landed* a punch, just that one was thrown. Second, I'm doubtful anyone (including Ms. Slocum) was particularly genteel--she mentions, for example, that the woman in the video had flicked her off.

Third, the actions you suggest you would engage had you been in the situation are all crimes--please don't ever do those things, because then you would be behind bars instead of reading and commenting on this site. :D

Fourth--and I cannot stress this enough--even the slightest suggestion that Ms. Slocum "got what she deserved" is dangerous and wrong. She herself, according to the facts we have available, committed zero crimes. She was, however, the victim of assault and theft. What if she was your wife/girlfriend/sister/daughter/friend? Would you say that she deserved to have a grown man assault her and steal her property? (And it's irrelevant whether or not she was being a drunken belligerent jerk.)

If you think Google Glass should be banned from average business establishments, you're *definitely* "anti-Glass"...I mean, that's nearly the definition. If you advocate restrictions on Google Glass, you must also advocate the same for any mobile device that records video, including cameras and smartphones. Otherwise, your stance is illogical.

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MCaddick replied on Wed, Feb 26 2014 7:51 PM

Anyone who believes its possible to more covertly record using a phone instead of glass is an absolute idiot.

These imbecilic glassholes just need to go away. Its a stupid fad (one thats already dwindling) and they all seem to have the monopoly on being arrogant 'look at me, I paid $1500 to look like a twat' douchebags. Seriously they're worse than the apple fanboys who got all emo that the 4s looked like the 4 so nobody could tell if they had the latest iPhone.

Whether video was being recorded or not is irrelevant, I shouldn't have to assume that anyone with these stupid eyestrain inducing specs 'might' be, without my consent or knowledge.

It also seems pretty clear that it was the glasshole's friends who initiated the physical altercation.

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scolaner replied on Wed, Feb 26 2014 8:01 PM

I'd be more interested in your comment if you actually debated or refuted anything I said.

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Sounds to me that you are more jealous of these so called douchebags than you would care to admit. Also don't call me an idiot for having an opinion.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 26 2014 11:00 PM

MCaddick, try not insulting people first and calling people names. You'll actually get your point across that way.

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MCaddick replied on Thu, Feb 27 2014 3:25 AM

Ever seen a non-douche using glass? Coz I sure haven't.

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sevags replied on Thu, Feb 27 2014 6:17 AM

Mennon; no I'm not saying that she should be punished by having her things stolen. She isn't the one who threw the punch yet got punished the most. However Slocum wasn't assaulted, unless you consider herb glass being taken off of her face as assault. And I never said the other group was seeking justice it was definitely revenge and all I said was you should be prepared for something illegal done to you if you've done something illegal to them. Not saying that right but that's just how the world is especially when you're dealing with drunk people in a bar.

Scolaner; I don't think the punch thrown having landed or not makes any difference in the reaction it sparks especially in a bar.

I wouldn't actually do any of the things those guys did at all! If I really felt like I could be inadvertedily recorded by Slocum I would talk to the manager, if that didn't get the results I wanted I would simply leave and not return to that business. I Merely suggested that if Glass was truly the problem the guy should have smashed it like I would have if I went that far, running out with it is just stealing. Hell maybe they just wanted the ca Glass to themselves from the beginning.

For your 4th point, I would blame her friend in the group that escalated the situation to begin with. I would say that person would have deserved any of the backlash. As a group though if you don't single anyone out then I still say her group deserved the negativity they got after they made it physical.

And finally, no I am not anti-google Glass! I don't think you should be allowed to hold a phone in the car but that doesn't mean I am anti-cell phones. I believe in restrictions for cell phone, I just happen to feel there should be more restrictions on Glass. Phones are band while driving so Glass should be on the same level. They may have the same capabilities but they are definitely not the same, however if I was at a bar and someone was sitting across from me wearing Glass, or holding their phone in the air aimed at me I would be upset in both circumstances and call a manager in both. If I saw someone wearing glass in a public bathroom and someone holding up their phone I would treat them both the same. With a cellphone you can tell if you are in the line of sight of a recording and general people don't walk around aiming their phones at people while they are txting or something else. I wish I owned a pair of Glass! But I believe it should have much stricter restrictions on its uses and locations! Clearly I am not the only one and the problem is growing.

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digitaldd replied on Thu, Feb 27 2014 10:01 AM

This must be another time Haight Street became Hate Street.

 

Come on where is the love..

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scolaner replied on Thu, Feb 27 2014 10:20 AM

Just gonna...copy and paste this here...

"MCaddick, try not insulting people first and calling people names. You'll actually get your point across that way."

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scolaner replied on Thu, Feb 27 2014 10:32 AM

I suppose I don't know if it's *technically* assault to rip off someone's clothing or glasses or whatever, but it's definitely illegal. If it happened to me, I'd call that assault. And stealing and then destroying someone's property is illegal, too. Dang it sevags, I'm going to do my best to keep you out of jail! ;)

I don't disagree that her friend made the whole thing way worse by escalating things. He/she is probably the most guilty of anyone there. (Um, what he/she did would also qualify as assault.) Even so, grabbing a manager (as you suggest) would have been the wisest course of action when that person took a swing. (Barring that, maybe punching THAT guy in the face in self defense instead of robbing a woman...)

Anyway, sure, if you think smartphone use should be banned/limited while driving, then saying that Glass should have the same restrictions is totally legit, and a logical extension of that belief. I think we just disagree on whether or not there should be restrictions on these things at all; it doesn't bother me if people are walking around with Glass on, public restroom or no.

I mean, if I saw a smartphone aimed at me over the urinal or a guy's Glass-wearing face slide under the bathroom stall, I'd be pretty upset.;) But in general, I don't really see the problem.

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sevags replied on Thu, Feb 27 2014 1:51 PM

LOL man IF I ever do do something illegal maybe I should higher you as my defense scolaner! I like the dedication to keep me out of prison hahaha.

So you really wouldn't mind someone wearing Glass in a restroom?!? I don't care if the guy is just filming me washing my hands I think that's completely wrong he doesn't have to be standing next to me at the urinal looking down in my direction for me to find his filming wrong (I absolutely never use urinals anyway I always wait for a stall lol). I don't see how you and others aren't worried about the use of Glass. For instance let us just say I am in public on a date and I kiss the girl, I would be doing it in public so I have to be ok with the fact that other people will see us but it isn't a big deal and I would take that chance. Now if while kissing said girl if I notice someone take out their phone and start filming us I can make the make the choice to stop the PDA, ask the person to stop recording, or continue being recorded if I didn't mind. Now switch the phone in the persons hand to Glass on their face and I wouldn't know if the person is just looking at us or filming us. That is the biggest negative about privacy when it comes to Glass it is the fact that you don't know what the person is doing if anything at all. I will however defend the right for anyone to publicly use Glass like walking down a sidewalk, concerts, amusement parks, while shopping in a grocery store mall etc, but I do not think it should be allowed while driving, in non-fast food restaurants or bars, in K-12 schools (worn by students, faculty, or parents), in church, in movie theaters, any public restroom, court houses, pretty much the places where filming anything at all is already either wrong, illegal, or already prohibited. Maybe having a bright LED on the front of Glass to alert others that video or pictures are being taken would help as you would know for sure whether you should move out of the way or not. 

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Sevags I do agree with you about banning glass everywhere that video recording is already not allowed, putting a bright led on the front is probably the easiest solution to these problems.

"She deserved what she got afterwards including having her stuff stolen. Your group commits an illegal act you shouldn't be suprised when something illegal is done back to you."

The above quote from your post is what really struck me as completely inappropriate and I understand now that you weren't really talking about yourself thankfully but commenting on the realities of life.

Here is my take on glass and the privacy issue, I personally don't care if someone is wearing them in a restaurant or washroom and filming me wash my hands. If they were trying to film me doing something else I'm sure they will come up with a better idea than wearing glass or using their phone. Like Seth stated in his article we are under surveillance in most public places anyway, most of the time without our consent. Lets take your example for instance if you were kissing that girl in a casino there probably are a dozen cameras watching you do that and you cant even see the person who is watching you, god knows what they are doing as you enjoy a little bit of PDA. A casino might be an extreme example since there are cameras everywhere but the same thing can be said for elevators, restaurants, retail locations and some offices as well. If I am doing something that I don't want anybody else to see then I do it in a place that I know is safe from prying eyes. The rest of the time I accept the fact that someone may be watching my every move and filming it also or not , to me glass is not the paradigm shift in invasion of privacy that many people believe it to be. Having said that I do agree that there should be some sort of indication when the recording feature on glass is on, like an LED as you said, just like there has to be a sound associated with taking a picture on your phone.

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sevags replied on Fri, Feb 28 2014 4:01 AM

Karan; I don't think you got my point. If I performed PDA in a casino it is f MY chosing I know there are cameras everywhere and i would be my choice to be filmed, it is not the case with Glass. Yes we get filmed in a lot if places but many of thoseplaces, like a casio you can be sure that whatever their ceras do catch won't be ending up in your bosses email, failiea doorstep, YouTube, or anywhere really. 

So you think because you already don't have an privacy that it i ik to just keep giving up more of your privacy?? Very unintelligent way oflooking at the situation. It is also easier to prevent from losing more privacy than to reclaim the privacy we have already lost. Let us win aainst Glass and maybe we can start earning back other privacy rights we have lost. 

And I can't believe that you as well mind someone recording you in a lublc retroom! What wrong with you people. 

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Sevags if you have ever seen americas funniest videos, worlds dumbest criminals or the old staple Cops you will see videos of people from surveillance cameras on display for the world to laugh at, I can guarantee those people never expected to be on tv. You can't guarantee that some employee at the casino is not gonna do the same thing to you. I personally don't see the difference in being filmed by those cameras and glass but you obviously do.

Secondly if I don't have any privacy in public how can I give it up? This goes back to the way I look at surveillance cameras as being the same thing as someone wearing glass in a public space. If someone was wearing glass in a space I consider private, like a bathroom stall then I would say or do something about it. Its not an unintelligent way of looking at it, its just me accepting that when I'm in PUBLIC unfortunately I'm also in the PUBLIC EYEand that public can unfortunately do many things with the video or pictures they capture of me without my consent or knowledge. You don't feel comfortable with that for w/e reason and that's where our differences are.

As for giving up my rights, government agencies like the NSA have been conducting illegal wire taps on phones, reading peoples private emails and even checking browser history for a while now and have even been caught doing it with any serious ramifications or changes as you would like. So I highly doubt that a win against glass would result in any or even some of your lost privacy rights being restored.

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Lol I just realized how bad my choice in tv shows must seem.

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sevags replied on Fri, Feb 28 2014 7:15 PM

Karan; you are wrong about surveillance video. If you commit a crime like rob a convenience store or get pulled over by a cop for some reason you do not have any rights to the video and they can do with it as they wish. However, I don't think it is legal for anyone else to submit a video to Funniest Home Videos without your consent. They also can't collect any prize money because of you, which you could sue to get from them if they somehow slipped through the cracks and did. So that example does not work. And you CAN guarantee that a Casino won't be uploading your video anywhere ,they have a super secure closed system, they wouldn't want to be legally liable since you could sue them, and if it actually ever happened it would be by a rogue employee without permission who would quickly get fired afterwards. 

Also surveillance cameras in public aren't exactly hidden. For example if you get in an elevator that has a camera the camera will be perfectly visible in the corner, it won't be a tiny peephole camera that is hidden somewhere. You walk into a bank, liquor store, the mall, you can see the cameras you know what it is recording and you are obviously ok with the cameras there so you walk in. With Glass you simply do NOT KNOW. You also have to assume that most surveillance cameras are manned by responsible parties that are doing so for work and safety while people wearing glass are just average citizens not at work and have no obligation to try and keep your privacy. Yes people at companies can do illegal things but overall I would be less at risk on a security camera than someones personal camera of ANY type from Glass to a large DSLR. The work place sets up consequences for those who abuse the privacy of others, that is why we need laws against the use of Glass in some circumstances so that there are consequences for the general public as well. 

The whole government spying thing is a wholllllle difference topic. You yourself said it is illegal!!!! so because the government has taken your privacy away it is ok for average citizens to do it too!? You are going off some very strange precedents! You have the attitude of "i don't feel like I have any privacy so might as well let anyone do whatever they want" while I have the attitude of "We haven't lost all privacy yet so we should fight for the few we do have and maybe that will lead to winning back others we have lost". I am glad Americans seem to be taking my stance rather than yours, You can give up your privacy and freedom! I will continue to speak out about mine. 

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sevags replied on Fri, Feb 28 2014 7:19 PM

BY THE WAY! i forgot to mention this! I work for a private school that banned anyone including parents to take pictures or video while on campus. You better believe I will ask anyone I see wearing Glass to remove them ASAP if that situation ever comes up.

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scolaner replied on Sat, Mar 1 2014 10:54 AM

Decent points above, sevags. Your logic is sound, but I think what it comes down to is simply a level of comfort or discomfort with a technology like Google Glass. Some of us don't see it as a big deal, while others such as yourself are perturbed by it. I understand where you're coming from, but I'm just generally not in favor of legislating restrictions whenever possible.

And yeah, the government spying business is a different beast. (I'm hoping that the world's great and powerful tech companies take care of that mess. Not because I trust them to do the right thing necessarily, but because the NSA poked the proverbial bear, and I trust that an angry bear will behave predictably.)

(Note, though: I'm all for being extremely careful with sensitive populations, such as children, but geez, banning any photos or video on campus? Seems a bit extreme...)

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sevags replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 5:07 PM

scolaner I am mainly perturbed by the idea of allowing its use behind the wheel of a vehicle. The rest of my concerns are purely precautionary. I know not everyone with Glass is out to do harm or is recording constantly and I strongly believe that most Glass wearers are socially normal enough to remove Glass when entering places like a public restroom. However if there are going to be incidents where people don't use common sense than unfortunately laws have to come into the picture and that is almost always the case, the few ruin it for the many. As for filming and pic all I ask is for a visable LED or some sort ont he front to let others know, they add that and nearly all my issues with Glass are gone.

A lot of things are changing when it comes to schools and public places... All these school shootings going on, abuse of minors, sexting, facebook, and everything else that our children need to be sheltered from are on a rise. Our school has taken an active stance on safety, we hired a huge security firm to fly out from Australia to evaluate our campuses strengths and weaknesses to create action plans for many scenarios. They did suggest we limit filming on campus which can give away a lot of information other than kids faces it can also reveal the school layout and such. Parents have become more sensitive as well, we have had several issues where someone's child's picture ended up on someone else's Facebook without approval. Parents have even argued over pictures ending up on public forums after attending birthday parities!! Like what is a parent to do get release forums signed by all parents who's child attends the party? That's the direction we are headed in so we decided to not allow filming.

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scolaner replied on Mon, Mar 3 2014 11:45 AM

1) I completely agree about the LED indicator. That would be a really ideal feature, especially if they can prevent people from disabling it.

2) Good on yer school for taking security seriously and making plans.

3) Those parents need to chill the eff out. ;)

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