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


Even for $1500, they still wouldn’t make me cool.

the dismissive, insulting tone turned me off, especially since the author hasn’t even tried them.


Could we maybe not use the presumptive, judgmental and pejorative “glasshole” in a post about Google Glass? I’ve never tried glass, but it is a high quality device that does a lot of things makers like to do. The only thing not to like is the price.

Are some people assholes with new technology? Sure, but I don’t see similar outrage over, say, DSLRs, quadcopters or cellphones here. They are all tools. I like tools. What people do with them is up to the individual using them, not the tool itself.


Jesus, Mark. Knee-jerk reactionary much? BoingBoing used to get excited about weird gadgets.


sigh I’ll just leave this here.

In the evolution of asshole wearables, forehead computers are the new Bluetooth earplugs.


Well, if you want to call out technology used by some people to be jerks you really need to start with Usenet and forum posts, where some people presumptively call others “assholes” based on their choice of useful and convenient technology.

BTW, you know what is far more annoying than people using bluetooth headsets? People not using headsets, who talk to their device, be it a walkie talkie or a cell phone, in speaker phone mode in public, so you can hear both sides of the conversation, loudly. That is people being obnoxious, not their devices. Their devices are perfectly capable of being less intrusive in public with the use normal phone mode, or, wait for it, bluetooth headsets.


All I know is that there will probably be no real point in owning both a Google Glass unit and an Android Wear smartwatch, since as far as I can tell they will both end up serving the same exact purpose, minus perhaps a POV camera and video/Hangout capabilities.

So when you see someone wearing both, and especially if they’re still using their cell phone out of their pocket, then you have someone who is just showing off.

Or who is currently developing for both platforms, or planning to do so. Or who is doing a comparative evaluation before recommending. Or…

Before challenging others, check your assumptions. Preferably, at the door.


But there are no doors online. Just paywalls.

I apologize for not considering developers or tech reviewers, though.

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Here. I fixed it for you: This.

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Remember three years ago, when augmented reality headsets were a thrilling technological promise that we were all excited about?

Then Google made the fatal mistake of making them kind of popular, and suddenly the snobs are crawling out of the woodwork to tell us we’re not allowed to like them anymore.

Here’s a protip: if you are genuinely worried about the prospect that a random stranger might be filming you without your consent and lying about it, I hope you treat anyone wearing a shirt with the same belligerent paranoia as you do Glass-wearers, because they could just as easily be wearing a buttonhole camera that you’d never even notice.


Do please tell us what other harmless, convenient technologies are for assholes. QR code scanner apps, maybe? External backup batteries? Wireless mice, but only if used left-handed? I wouldn’t want to be an asshole by mistake!


I really wish these were available at mass market prices right now. JUST to record the hilarious things my kids (2 and almsot 5) say and do all the time. The very act of pulling out my camera (or even my phone) to record them means that they alter their behaviour, so yes, I’m one of those assholes who wants to secretly record people without telling them. But only my kids :slight_smile: But $1500 is just WAY too much. Hopefully they’ll drop down to mass market prices sooner rather than later.


Do please tell us what other harmless, convenient technologies are for assholes.

I’d rather stick to the subject at hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Nope, I don’t remember that reality. In mine, many people were excited about it, but plenty of us were as creeped out then as we are now.

Well, okay, if you say so. My perception of their, uh, “fatal mistake” differs somewhat. First time I visited Europe was shortly after Bluetooth earpieces had started to catch on there, but before many people in the States had adopted their use. It was weird to see otherwise competent people gabbing away at (apparently) nobody at all as they strolled on down the street. Took some getting used to, and of course, wireless headsets are fairly ubiquitous and commonplace now, but for a while those early adopters had to put up with some quizzical stares from people who thought they looked ridiculous talking out loud without holding a plastic box up to their ear. Wireless earpieces make all kinds of sense to most people now, and so they’ve successfully infiltrated the realm of the commonplace.

But Glass is different. A Bluetooth earpiece allows one to talk on the phone without holding the phone up to ones head; the benefit is transparently obvious. Glass does much more. It allows one to access online information without using one’s hands. It allows one to enjoy many benefits of augmented reality. Neato. But it also allows someone to record video relatively unobtrusively, without going to the trouble of buying and rigging a spy-camera in one’s clothes. And it’s never made particularly obvious what the Glass-wearer might be using their Glass for at any given moment. Might be feeding the wearer realtime pickup lines, like some 21st century Cyrano. Might be set for some facial recognition in sensitive situations. Might just be being nosy. Or it might be engaged in nothing at all nefarious.

And then there was the Explorer rollout, where handpicked people were allowed to get hold of the device a full year before anyone else could, for the not-particularly-universally-accessible price of $1500. Lots of people would be envious and resentful, particularly if they wanted a pair for themselves. There was a certain amount of cachet associated with parading around with Glass on your head, and that was inevitably going to trigger further resentment. Was the Sarah Slocum dustup actually surprising to anyone?

It’s easy for you to claim that Glass is as “harmless” and “convenient” as Bluetooth, but it’s not always obvious (nor is it guaranteed) that Glass wearers could not harm anyone with their Glass, if they chose to.

My kids have had occasion to try out Glass (they know a guy), and they think it’s kinda neat. No doubt they’ll grow up in a society rife with such things, and they’ll roll their eyes right outta their sockets at their weird old Dad who fetishizes mechanical throttle linkages and handwritten notes and landlines, and still won’t reopen a damned Facebook account. And they probably won’t listen if I try to explain how, at the dawn of the Augmented Reality Era, the pioneers of Glass, the Explorers, were often seen as entitled dweebs who couldn’t imagine why anyone would be irritated by them wearing an expensive, exclusive, largely unavailable, and apparently easily abusable camera/computer on the bridges of their noses.

But just as Henry Ford had to convince people they really needed cars, and Zuck had to convince people that their lives really weren’t complete if they weren’t sharing every last moment of it on social media, Google’s gonna have to try to convince people that Augmented Reality is simply so awesomely beneficial that you can’t believe you ever got through your day without a wee blinking window to the Net in the corner of your vision all the livelong day.

I’m pretty sure I won’t have any trouble resisting that pitch. And though I’m not about to call my kids assholes for thinking Glass is pretty neat, I will have some difficulty taking Glass wearers seriously… possibly for a long time. There’s something vaguely self-absorbed about keeping one’s interface stuck in one’s view as one moves through the outside world… and doing so during a period when very few people have the privilege to do so comes across as somewhat assholish all by itself. Google couldn’t really win with a rollout like this.


Jealousy. Classism. I’m sure there are other things thrown in there. BoingBoing playing their part in keeping people pissed off at the techies. (Yeah, I picked that one on purpose.)

“Check out this thousand dollar piece of machinery that I wear on my face!”

I remember years ago–probably 20, if not more–seeing a commercial for a luxury car. On this particular commercial, they showed the car sitting in the middle of a frozen lake, and then demonstrated the driver flooring the gas pedal, and instead of the expected donut (some cars were still rear-wheel drive) the car just slowly took off, as if the driver had been especially careful. At the time, I was driving a '79 Monte Carlo that had rear-wheel drive and had had the camshaft replaced with a ground-down Crane cam; you couldn’t give the car gas on the ice, or you’d quickly face the other way (and then the engine would die as soon as you let off the gas.) You seriously had to give the car gas to keep it from stalling out, but the act of doing that made me lose control of the car. I assuaged my jealousy by reasoning that someday I might be able to afford such a car (hah!)

Well, I’ve never made it to luxury car status, nor do I think I ever will. On the other hand, the Insight sitting in the garage has nearly all the features that that luxury car had, and at a much lower price. And to be honest, my (relatively) economy car has those nice features because they ironed out the kinks in the luxury cars. Someday I’ll probably be at a car lot and find an economy car with heated seats, dual climate controls, and self-driving tech.

Honestly, having the editor-in-chief of Make Magazine dissing new tech is more than a little off-putting.


30% of the world population has access to the Internet.

Just thought I’d throw that out there, seemed relevant.

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I can at least grasp your point with the news articles (regarding which: those two are assholes because they’re assholes, not because they put on Magic Asshole Glasses), but I’m really not sure what you think you’re communicating with the context-free pictures. My best guess is that you’re trying to say “look at those fucking NERDS! NEEEEEEEERDS”, but, uh, most of us here finished middle school a while back, y’know?

But seriously, though, I wanna know the rules. We’ve established that talking to yourself in public with a plastic box pressed against your face = okay, talking to yourself in public without a plastic box = asshole. What else do I need to know? Is it acceptable to click the mouse button with my pointer finger, or do I have to use my middle finger? Is checking my email in portrait mode a major faux pas? You’ve got a golden opportunity here, man! You could be the Miss Manners of the Internet!