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Some dispute her account, while others say that patrons of the "punk bar" were justified if they assaulted her

With some businesses banning customers wearing Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Glass Explorer Edition (aka "Google Glasses") from their establishments and with state bans over driving with Google Glasses on in the works, Google's wearable has become and unexpected hotspot of controversy. 
 
Some of this controversy is intrinsic; the rest is the result of ignorance, as some people believe Google Glass is always recording (actually you have to press a button or speak to it a command at moderate volume to do that).  Despite the partially contrived controversy, Google's developers who have enthusiastically adopted and promoted the devices.
 
Some have labeled the emerging Glasses-wearing developer population "Glassholes", justifying the term with allegations of obnoxious behavior.  But such talk always felt sort of wrong, as it harkened back to playground days where "beat the geek" was a popular pastime.

Google Glass
[Image Source: Donald Troupe]

Now a San Francisco, Calif. resident's harrowing experience has provided further evidence that the backlash against Google Glasses may be evolving from well-intentioned frustration to an excuse to resort to time-honored bullying.

Molotov's in San Francisco is a local nightspot generally described on Yelp! as a "dive bar" with "strong drinks".  One patron, Jessica T writes a generally positive review, describing:

Molotov's reminded me of my old friend:  black clothes, loud punk music, and a hint of attitude. (oversimplified for effect...because of course he was more than just clothes, music, and attitude) You either like it, or you don't.

But...that is its charm.

And if you get attitude, shrug it off. Don't take it personally.

Molotovs
[Image Source: Yelp]

But for Sarah Slocum it was hard not to take the attitude she got personally.  Attitude over her Google Glasses led to her allegedly not only being assaulted, but also robbed around the time the bar closed.

The incident began with two female patrons confronting her.  They weren't happy with her Google Glasses, as they thought that she was recording them the whole time (likely due to their unfamiliarity with how pictures and video on the glasses were taken). 

Sarah Slocum
Sarah Slocum [Image Source: YouTube]

But where that experience might have been merely irritating, but what happened next definitely crossed the line.

A male friend of the critics reportedly scuffled with Ms. Slocum pulling away her glasses and her purse.  Chasing him, she managed to grab back the glasses, but her purse is still missing.

On Facebook Inc.'s (FB) social network she writes:

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 about the experience:


In subsequent interviews with CBS affiliate KPIX and Kron TV...
 


... she gave her account of the story, which if accurate sounds like a pretty ugly ordeal.

Some residents who were interviewed by media, but did not observe the incident directly, were nonetheless unsympathetic.  Comments one individual:

It's not Google Glass country... a level of tact in that type of establishment might have behooved her.

And a different angle has also developed.  Local blog Mission Mission questioned whether Ms. Slocum is telling the truth, offering up a very different account as told from an unnamed employee working across the street from the bar.  The anonymous employee claims:

That is not at all what happened. It was after last call, she was wasted and being a b***h, someone called her a glasshole and her boyfriend tried to fight the dude, and got his a** whooped. The glasses fell off her face and someone picked them up and gave them back to her. Nobody robbed her either, this [person] is making all this s**t up. Go Molotovs!!!!!

Another anonymous source wrote the Mission Mission blogger (Andrew Sarkarati) as saying:

I wouldn’t normally comment on such things but i actually met this girl on the street after the incident happened. Couple of things: It was 2am on a friday night when i met her she was less than sober (she had had approx a small child full of vodka cran’s) secondly from what she told me it sounded like she left her bag and phone unattended in a busy bar on a friday night. Her friends were so riled up (and obnoxious) that they almost started fighting with me when i argued it maybe wasn’t the smartest idea to wear google glass and film in a punk rock bar and leaving a bag and phone unattended wasn’t the wisest of decisions. I left her feeling sorry only for myself that i had spent 5 minutes of my life in her groups bosom.

Ms. Slocum has blasted these statements, commenting:

I wasn’t being any sort of a b***h until after I was flicked off, called a b***h, had dirty wet bar rags thrown at me and had people invading my personal space and trying to rip them off my face.

Your “friend” must have been one of the people who robbed me or who were friends with the robbers and tech glass haters at that bar and must have been the wasted one because they can’t even tell the difference between males and females or remember the story correctly. No glasses fell of my face. Those were my friend’s prescription glasses who defended me and got in a fight with the guy that ripped the glasses off my face and ran out of the bar with them. And if anyone got their a** beat it was the guy that that assaulted me and ran outside the bar with the Google Glasses. The only injuries that my friend has is a scrapped knee. And actually he was jumped by two other **** while he was fighting the d****bag.

I was minding my own biz with a computer phone. Everyone has a computer or phone these days. And what have they done to the city? Given people cool cellphones?? And awesome technology that we all use and take for granted everyday? I realize that I represented the tech millionaires and billionaires in their eyes, but that isn’t me and I didn’t even pay for my Google Glasses, one of my developer friends gave them to me because he wasn’t using them and doesn’t currently have time to develop an app for them right now.

Google has been cautious about not diving in until it knows all the details, but it has reached out to Ms. Slocum to learn more.
 
Even if it turns out that Ms. Slocum's dramatic story is made up (it wouldn't be the first controversial Glasses fantasy), it's clear that what she claims happened to her could happen to someone else in the future given the unchecked vehemence of many members of the public towards folks who wear Google Glasses.  With such unchecked vehemence being compounded by ignorance of the technology (e.g. thinking a Glasses user is always recording you without them doing anything), things could wind up very badly in future confrontations.
 
John N. -- from Chicago, Ill. -- illustrates the cause for concern in his recent Yelp! review of the bar.  Responding to critical reviews of the bar about the supposed incident, he writes:

Google Glasses

Even if Ms. Slocum's accounting is inaccurate, it's clear that some people are becoming brazen enough to suggest what supposedly happen to her -- assault and robbery (or in his words "taking back the night") -- should happen to other "Glassholes".  The fact that he would post that with a personally identifiable account shows the level of hate that's growing towards the wearable tech.
 
At a certain point one must ask whether that hate truly is stemming from legitimate concerns or is simply becoming an excuse to relive your childhood bullying glory days as an adult.

Sources: KPIX San Francisco, Mission Mission, Yelp, The Verge



Comments     Threshold


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Silliness
By MadMan007 on 2/26/2014 10:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
What's silly about this is that a smartphone could be just as intrusive by recording audio and video. That might be a bit more obvious with video, but not if one is trying to be sneaky. And yet everyone is OK with smartphones being everywhere..hmm...




RE: Silliness
By TSS on 2/27/2014 1:24:28 AM , Rating: 4
It's silly there's a camera on there anyway. Maybe i'm getting too old but i cannot understand this need to have a camera in just about everything. There's no way you're going to get any reasonable quality footage of anything, not without some way to stabilize the image.


RE: Silliness
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Silliness
By atechfan on 2/27/2014 3:29:15 AM , Rating: 4
The camera isn't there to take pics and vids. That is just a secondary function. The device itself has very little processing power. It sends the video feed and sound back to Google for processing. This allows it to have the location awareness. You can look at a building, and if the Google servers recognise it, they can tell you where you are. You can have it try to identify people from facial recognition. Pretty cool from a tech point of view, but also a little creepy in regards to privacy.


RE: Silliness
By bupkus on 2/27/2014 8:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This allows it to have the location awareness.
And what, then, is GPS to be used for?


RE: Silliness
By nafhan on 2/27/2014 9:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
GPS can tell you that you are within 1 meter of some coordinates. It can't provide the info to automatically translate the Chinese writing at those coordinates into English.


RE: Silliness
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: Silliness
By Strunf on 2/27/2014 8:05:11 AM , Rating: 3
The camera is one of the selling points of google glass, it's used for the augmented reality thing.


RE: Silliness
By daboom06 on 2/27/2014 8:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
why do you assume there's no way to stabilize the image? or that the quality is low at all? i do feel you're behind the times in terms of portable imaging.


RE: Silliness
By Strunf on 2/27/2014 7:59:56 AM , Rating: 3
You can be sneaky and maybe take a picture without being seen by anyone but filming is much harder, also good luck taking pictures in a close space without being seen, chances are someone will see it and things get hot quite easily during the night, specially after a few drinks.
I understand that some people need to be connected all the time and Google glass is a new tech so perfect for hipsters but if you go to a close space where people don't want to be in pictures then just take your google glass off, it's part of the education of one person to not impose their views onto others for no reason.

I'm not ok with smartphones being everywhere, I dislike when people speak on them when I'm close by as in public transports, specially if the person speaks loudly, I also dislike when people don't put their mobile phones in silent mode at the cinema...


RE: Silliness
By nafhan on 2/27/2014 11:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
things get hot quite easily during the night, specially after a few drinks
I'm pretty sure this was the one and only issue here: drunk a-holes looking for a fight. But, as we've seen lately: "something mundanely stupid" + Google Glass = tech news!

Also, the tech for portable imaging is going to continue to get smaller and less obtrusive. I don't like the privacy implications of that, but I don't think we can stop the clock on technological advancement either. More or less, in the near future, you should assume you may be getting recorded at any time you are in public. :(


RE: Silliness
By jimbojimbo on 2/27/2014 3:10:53 PM , Rating: 1
The simplest thing that glass haters don't comprehend is that the camera points forward. For anybody wearing one to be recording you their head HAS to point YOUR direction the whole time which would make it obvious. If someone really wanted to record you they'd remove it and hold it in their hand pointed in your direction.
Duh.
Again people love to bitch so if they see something they think they can complain about based on media hype, not actual facts, they'll jump on it, especially when they're all drunk.


RE: Silliness
By Aloonatic on 2/27/2014 5:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if you are being serious? I could walk around holding my phone up in the air if I wanted to, yse. I could have had an old-school video camera on my shoulder all the time too, many years ago, but that is not something that was/is ever going to happen all the time when I'm out and about.

If you can't understand/see that these glasses have the potential to take mobile filming onto the next level., moving on from where smartphones have been, that were designed to enable the filming of short video clips. Onto the potential to have constant, always on videoing of what is happening whilst leaving the user free to do what they normally would do with both hands unoccupied, then I am not sure what to say to you.


RE: Silliness
By NellyFromMA on 2/28/2014 10:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt "everyone would be ok" with someone POINTING their cell camera at them in a fashion that makes you feel recorded without your consent.

If I was out with my friends and someone was talking to someone else but pointing their cell phone directly at my face I would personally NOT be ok with that. I wouldn't probably confront them unless it was for extended periods of time, but its unquestionable rude.


RE: Silliness
By CalaverasGrande on 2/28/2014 4:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
This lady is a friend of a friend. She takes psych meds and has claimed her child is possessed by a demon?!
Grain of salt.


Invasion of privacy
By Ahnilated on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Invasion of privacy
By theapparition on 2/27/2014 10:29:32 AM , Rating: 2
It exactly matters where you are. If in public, there is no expectation of privacy and you can be filmed, have your picture taken, and there is no violation.

This is legal 101, surprise there are people still so uninformed.

As for Google glass, explain again how its different from any smartphone with ability to record. Or a gopro camera for that matter.


RE: Invasion of privacy
By NellyFromMA on 2/28/2014 10:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
Lol because he/she doesn't know "legal 101" he is uninformed? Ok Esquire! -_-


RE: Invasion of privacy
By Vinas on 2/27/2014 11:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
You are wrong.

Suffice to say, if you are in public it is lawful to record or take your picture without your consent. You have no expectation of privacy while out in the public.

I am a hobbyist photographer and I am respectful of people's feelings. I do find it a shame that people get upset when their picture it taken. I blame the internet bullying and meme's for causing that negative stigma.


RE: Invasion of privacy
By degobah77 on 2/28/2014 9:28:10 AM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't say this is really a legal matter but more of an etiquette issue. Societal standards and customs dictate that it's NOT okay to go around secretly videotaping and taking pictures of people in public. Sure, you can't go to jail for it, but there is a strong possibility you will piss someone off when you're caught and keep doing it, especially when it's against someone's consent. And in the case of Google Glass, you don't even know if they're doing it or not. So yeah, great, the law is on your side, but the person you piss off probably doesn't care about the law when they are pummeling your face and stealing your shit.

It may have been different back in the day, but these are the new times we live in, when your picture can be uploaded to the internet in seconds without you knowing it, subjecting yourself to the popular ridicule and character defamation that we call social media.

This type of violence will escalate until people adapt, and by adapt, I mean stop wearing this bullshit in public.


Sounds like a "He said,She said" kinda story
By atechfan on 2/27/2014 3:20:20 AM , Rating: 3
With such wildly varying accounts of what happened, hard to know what actually happened. She could be an attention whore who is making the story worse for sympathy. Or maybe she was robbed, but it had nothing to do with being a "glasshole" but just poor judgement in displaying valuables in what is obviously a rather disreputable spot.

What is disturbing is the attitude of the owner. Who wants to patronise a place where the owner thinks assaulting a girl is justice for wearing tech he doesn't like?




By invidious on 2/27/2014 10:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
She isn't doing herself any favors with the tone and language that uses to recount her story. From her own account she sounds no better than those that she is accusing. And thats without even considering the 3rd party accounts.

The article probably should have been about 5-10 sentences long to spare us the tedious details.


Check your article title
By Sivar on 2/26/2014 9:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
Missing word. :)




RE: Check your article title
By GulWestfale on 2/26/14, Rating: -1
RE: Check your article title
By ppardee on 2/27/2014 3:58:55 PM , Rating: 1
Why people be downrating you? Dey mad?

Honestly, if you ignore the stick-up-they-butt pedantic linguistic purists, a lot of ebonics is a positive evolution of English. "Where are you?" -> "Where you at?". The latter is easier to say and sacrifices no clarity.

In the title "Woman Claims She Assaulted, Robbed for Wearing Google Glasses" vs "Woman Claims She was Assaulted, Robbed for Wearing Google Glasses", there may be a case to be made that the former sounds a lot more like the author is doubting the claim. Although, that may just be because it was read in 'ain't nobody got time for that' lady's voice in my head...


RE: Check your article title
By NellyFromMA on 2/28/2014 10:52:13 AM , Rating: 2
Who even USES the term ebonics anymore? It was probably last acceptable in the early 90's when white people didn't even realize they were being racist just by naming street slang after ebony/blacks as if it was a language exclusive to them.


Ignorance?
By tim851 on 2/27/2014 8:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some of this controversy is intrinsic; the rest is the result of ignorance, as some people believe Google Glass is always recording (actually you have to press a button or speak to it a command at moderate volume to do that).

The f*** do I care if one has to press a button first?

If a couple of people show up in your favorite bar with video cameras and every once in a while they are pointing them in your direction, wouldn't you be creeped out?




RE: Ignorance?
By Camikazi on 2/27/2014 11:05:56 AM , Rating: 1
I'd wave and say "Hi, mom!" but I'm not that violent and don't care if people are watching me in all my godly beauty, I mean that is why I am so god damned good looking in the first place.


SF
By PontiusP on 2/27/2014 12:43:16 PM , Rating: 3
Ah yes, the "accepting", "diverse", "open minded" San Francisco liberals who always know what's best for everyone else. That smug city is a joke.




Always recording would be better
By Visual on 2/27/2014 3:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
See, for cases like this it would have been actually better if the device was recording and immediately uploading, it would have made catching the retards easier.




Grats Dailytech
By FITCamaro on 2/27/2014 7:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
You've become the evening news. This incident is not tech news.




dive bar
By carigis on 2/27/2014 8:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
someone got robbed at a dive bar? say it ain't so..




Good
By degobah77 on 2/27/2014 9:47:47 AM , Rating: 2
Wearing $1500-2000 internet connected video capable eyeglasses to a private establishment (and a punk rock dive bar at that) subjecting hundreds of individuals to be unknowingly video shot and recorded? At least with a regular camera or smartphone, you can actually see the person doing it and ask them to stop.

This is going to continue happening at an accelerated rate with escalated violence.




Not really about the Glasses
By Hector2 on 2/27/2014 5:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
If you read the story, it's obvious she was assaulted only after she told people she was recording everything. Would have been the same result if she had been using a smartphone.

This whole story is about a tech writer looking for a story




Obvious
By SuckRaven on 2/27/2014 6:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Woman Claims She Was Assaulted, Robbed for Wearing Google Glasses


Of course she does.

I'm going to purchase the latest in electronic hotness, go to a seedy place, and claim the same.




Advertisement?
By Sniderhouse on 3/1/2014 1:09:36 AM , Rating: 2
I can't tell if this article is an advertisement for Google or for Molotov's. Maybe it's both!




Google Glass
By The Devil on 2/27/2014 8:43:25 PM , Rating: 1
Why does she need these at a bar. They have booze and dancing that should be enough. Just leave them at home, no one should have to worry about what someone is doing with the glass's. They serve no purpose, this is just someone trying to look important. I say Glasshole is a fitting name.




many
By p05esto on 2/26/14, Rating: -1
RE: many
By flyingpants1 on 2/26/14, Rating: -1
RE: many
By bupkus on 2/27/2014 8:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
Were you just shmucking?


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