Friday, May 31, 2013

But I don't want your Glasses on me

Recently in a locker room of a local public swimming pool, I was changing from my swim suit back into my street clothes, naked from the waist down, when I looked up to see a cell phone camera pointed at me. My heart actually stopped. When I followed the camera back to its user, two women were crowded around a cell phone presumably sharing pictures of an event that they had just attended. I asked them to put away their phone and that it was really inappropriate to do that in a change room.

The person holding the camera told me to f*** off. But she put the camera away and they both left offended.

I actually asked people, Am I crazy to not want a camera pointed at me in a change room? Everyone I asked said I wasn't. But according to this blog post from Bits, I'm going to have to get used to it, since the landscape has no feelings.

Now, I will have to contend with Google Glasses roving around in the change room and I'm not pleased. I also don't agree that a private change room in a public facility is public, and I don't feel that I have to get used to it. I do think that the majority of people are generally decent and that they can successfully monitor themselves. However, it only takes one indecent, cruel or ill person to make a lasting impact on a person's life and fortune, so we should take steps to protect everyone from harm. I'm also among a group of people who feels they are out in public to accomplish their goals--shopping, dining, changing clothes--which does not negate their personal rights and turn them into your landscape or background noise.

I think it might be time for facilities to have disruptors that they can turn on so people who can't control themselves with their devices in public spaces don't impinge on people who don't want a camera (or other recording device) pointed at them. I also want to automate the disruption of recording devices so as a person who works in a public space, I don't have to constantly navigate fights between clients as to what is appropriate or not. For example, I did not bother to tell any pool attendant about what occurred because there are no signs barring the use of cell phones in the change room--and a significant minority ignore those signs anyway and complaining in the past has only gotten me a dismissive shrug. I would like the option to turn the disruptor off in the case of an emergency, such as a tornado, so people can use their Google glasses to find shelter, but sharing cake recipes on Pinterest does not qualify as an emergency.

In the meantime, until a company comes along that makes a localized or personalized device that I can use to disrupt Glass, which I think should be an option for people just as purchasing Glass is an option for other consumers, I think masks may be coming back into style, or we may all engage in everyday cosplay to vanish into people's recordings--or to take them over completely as individual landscape disruptors.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Biking Directions in Google Maps

Since it is summer, time to make use of biking directions in Google Maps. It is very useful to chart safe routes, which include bike paths, for clients who use the library and access it on bikes. Could also be used by businesses who want to highlight their bike-friendliness. In the workplace, it could be used to promote active commuting--and, at least according to this study, if you co-workers actively commute, it could influence you to make your exercise for the day by walking or biking to work.

You might also want to see if you can submit bike path data with Google Map Maker and include it in your using Google media literacy program.