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Larry Page and his goog- goog- googley eyes

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POSTED May 20, 2013 12:08 a.m.

Get ready for the invasion of the Barneys.

You won’t be able to miss them. They will have an annoying presence sticking out like a sore thumb wearing Google Glasses.

They will make other Barneys from the purple dinosaur to Barney Google with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes seem much less annoying in comparison.

Google Glass isn’t technology that luddites would rail about. It’s not putting anyone out of work. If anything it’ll probably create a small army of rich, young code writers developing apps for Google Glass. Nor are apprehensions with Google Glass comparable to those who had their hands in a death grip on buggy whips in the early days of the 20th century.

Google Glass will take us to places man has never been before.

And that is the problem.

It will start where cell phones and Bluetooth left off. People walking and yakking while oblivious to people around them today would become completely self absorbed when it comes to human interaction. They will use small voice commands or taps of their fingers to frames to operate small computer screens about an inch from their eye as they surf the web while walking around as connected to the real world as zombies.

They’re not worried about smelling the roses. Heck, they won’t even be concerned about seeing roses face-to-face. They’ll just Google rose photos as they walk around nature emulating Mr. Roboto.

Sooner than later some genius who can fork out the bucks for Google Glass will discover some multitasking such as driving with one eye glued on a You Tube video playing in front of your face can have deadly consequences.

This will prompt legislators to pass “duh” laws banning the wearing of Google Glass while driving. Self-absorbed Google Glass users may find themselves in cell phone videos uploaded to You Tube that shows them nonchalantly stepping off curbs and into the path of vehicles.

Then there is that quaint concept called privacy and society’s continuing deterioration of standards when it comes to humiliating people. People now record misfortunes happening to others in a localized public setting and distribute it in a click for the enjoyment of voyeurs 10,000 miles away.

Already you are subject to more surveillance than even George Orwell could dare to imagine. Google Glass will take it a step further. You will always have to be on guard whenever you leave the confines of your home.

We are told cell phones, surveillance cameras, and a myriad of super mini-cameras already are recording us without much fuss. It is clear when someone is pointing a cell phone at you what they are doing. You don’t need to look for the screen to light up. Surveillance cameras are stationary and not walking past you. As for the mini-spy cameras that can be disguised as a tie clip, they are as problematic as Google Glass when it comes to intruding into your world.

Yes, you have no absolute right to privacy in public. But there is a difference between someone nosing in on what you’re doing or saying and broadcasting it live via the web which is exactly what Google Glass can do.

Larry Page in a stroke of genius that will make him even richer by capitalizing on the self-absorption tendency of people to help bulldoze down social norms will have the capability of collecting vast amounts of data it will make Homeland Security appear as if they use tin cans stringed together to keep tabs on the world.

Google hasn’t answered that legitimate question. Instead they have offered assurances that they won’t allow the selling of apps that capture live data streams of what the Google Glass user is wearing without the screen lighting up. That’s because it is the only way you will be able to tell if you’re being recorded by a Barney Google.

Google will be able to collect tons of images from Google Glass wearers who unwittingly became data and information miners for the firm. Have no fear, Google says, they will be handled in accordance to Google’s existing privacy policies.

And that’s the problem.

It is Google’s standards and not society’s standards. They basically will be able to operate like the fine folks at Homeland Security soaking up the Tower of Babel of everyday life and use computer programs to mine what is of value to them.

Google is basically asking us to trust them.

The parallels with 1984 and people mindlessly falling in line in awe of technology that subverts personal freedom by making it possible for strangers to record you anywhere you go in public

But instead of the government it is a massive corporation compromising your privacy for their benefit while at the same time selling others Google Glasses at $1,500 a pop.

It’s ingenious, actually. Even more than Nike being able to get people to advertise their product by selling them T-shirts emblazoned with their logo and corporate slogan for $20.

And it’s all thanks to Larry “Big Brother” Page unleashing a small army of folks clamoring to pay him for the chance to wear his goog- goog- googley eyes.



This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com or 209-249-3519.

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