Tag Archives: privacy

Someone walks past me, on the corner of Mercer and Prince in the brilliant morning sun, wearing Google Glass, and I instinctively step back and into an alcove, away from the machine vision. Stray photons have taken seven hundred and seventy five thousand years to reach New York City from the outer halo stars of the Milky Way, and SoHo’s lone Googlenaut hoovers them up with his weak extra eyeball. I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for him. I’ve never seen Glass in the wild before. The thing sits on his shades like Minimum Viable Science Fiction. Toy future.

via Warren Ellis’s Morning, Computer.

I had a similar experience recently. We went to the NY Tech Meetup, saw the launch of Electric Objects & The Satellite.

I also saw my first Google Glass – what do I call them? Glasshole sounds so aggressive, Glasstronaut too kind – wearer. He looked like the kind of young rich white guy who has the cash to spend $1500 on a tiny computer you strap to your face. I had reaction of revulsion, so of course I started seeing him everywhere. How do I express kindly and firmly that I don’t want to be recorded by him? I don’t mind if he looks at me, but I don’t want him pointing a camera at me – I’m not a public figure intentionally. I don’t want to confront him or shame him, but I really don’t like this. He’s not doing anything wrong, not anything you couldn’t do with a smartphone – but it feels rude to not do it publicly, for my consent or notice to not be involved.

Of course he jumped into the elevator I was in. I grabbed the door and excused myself.

“I think I’ll wait for the next elevator.”

Volunteer Your Computer to Keep Privacy Possible

The good folks over at Wild Bee have an excellent article about how you can use your computer to help the world while you sleep. Lotsa people run SETI@home – I think it is because of the screensaver. Instead of a looking for aliens, you could help political dissidents in repressive regimes, protect anonymous whistleblowers, and even protect our intelligence agents overseas. Install TOR and volunteer your computer for global privacy.

Yes We Scan!

Carl Malamud for Public PrinterI completely and fully endorse Carl Malamud for the office of Public Printer of the United States.  He’s kind of a transparency hero,  the guy who’s been putting government documents, the ones we paid to create, into the public domain and on the internet.  Typically, the laws that govern us are are locked down by the difficulty people have in accessing them.  The budgets and such cost money to print and you have to pay printing and postage to get a copy.

Carl’s been active in getting the copies, and then putting them up online for free.  That way people can look at them, cite them, comb them for problems.   There couldn’t be a better person in charge of the effort to give citizens information about their government.

You can read more about this hero of government openness at the website dedicated to putting him in the government: Yes We Scan!