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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the fighting-back-against-the-thousand-eyes dept.

Media 140

theodp (442580) writes "As Google Glass goes on sale [ed: or rather, went on sale] to the general public, GeekWire reports that Bill Gates has already snagged one patent for 'detecting and responding to an intruding camera' and has another in the works. The invention proposes to equip computer and device displays with technology for detecting and responding to any cameras in the vicinity by editing or blurring the content on the screen, or alerting the user to the presence of the camera. Gates and Nathan Myhrvold are among the 16 co-inventors of the so-called Unauthorized Viewer Detection System and Method, which the patent application notes is useful 'while a user is taking public transportation, where intruding cameras are likely to be present.' So, is Bill's patent muse none other than NYC subway rider Sergey Brin?" A more cynical interpretation: closing the analog hole. Vaguely related, mpicpp pointed out that Google filed a patent for cameras embedded in contact lenses.

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This almost sounds... (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46767139)

Like an Onion headline.

Re:This almost sounds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767205)

Glassholes? Physician Bill, heal thyself.

Re:This almost sounds... (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 7 months ago | (#46767409)

I think that's because of the over-use of tongue-in-cheek references to "holes".

Re:This almost sounds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767599)

Closing the a-hole will cause very serious problems.

Kudos, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767149)

Glad to see there's someone out there that cares about privacy and is looking to do something about it!

bullshit patent (5, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46767479)

the patent is bullshit. it doesn't provide the magical means of how to technically decide that something is a viewer or not and the other stuff is obvious. it doesn't take a genius to come up with that hey it would be nice to detect if someone is viewing while you input your pin. but it would take a genius to sit in the box24 /7 to figure out if there was a camera somewhere or not!

"Intruder analysis module scans the input for viewers, and classifies them as either intruders or safe viewers. Intruder analysis module also scans the input for cameras or camera-equipped devices (e.g., SLR cameras, camera-equipped cellular phones, point-and-shoot cameras, building-mounted camera systems, etc.). Intruder analysis module may classify an object as a viewer or camera using any number of detection algorithms. For example, intruder analysis module may apply motion detection algorithms on the sensor information, and may classify any moving object as a viewer"

Re:bullshit patent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767559)

This. Sure, it can detect something that obviously looks like a camera. And the definition of what obviously looks like a camera can be updated as new cameras become popular. And as a product that could have some utility. I fail to see how it would detect an actual hidden camera that is disguised to look like something else.

But filing this as a patent is counter productive because while as a product this could have some utility, filing a patent without making a product merely stops someone from making a product based on the idea. Furthermore, as you point out, its a pretty obvious idea.

Re:bullshit patent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768627)

Not exactly. If someone figures out how ti implement any of the vague modules in this patent they could patent their module as an improvement to this patent, then anyone who want to use the full implementation has to license both.

Also by patenting it now he guarantees that 20 years from now it will be in the public domain (the actual point of the patent system is to grow the public domain in the long run by giving monopoly control in the short run)

Re:bullshit patent (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 7 months ago | (#46770195)

"Also by patenting it now he guarantees that 20 years from now it will be in the public domain "

So the advantage is that it will be in the public domain in 20 years rather than now? I agree that is an advantage, just not to the general public.

Re:bullshit patent (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 7 months ago | (#46768495)

Unfortunately, patent offices have ample prior art for awarding BS patents.

Re:bullshit patent (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 7 months ago | (#46768689)

Yea, he is patenting the use of one camera to detect another. Pure BS. Now let the stealth and polymorphic camera wars begin!

Re:bullshit patent (4, Insightful)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 7 months ago | (#46770395)

Its not BS, they are just waiting for somebody to figure out how to do it then sue them for it.

Re:bullshit patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46770605)

"Safe viewers"?

I guess that BS term is invented because the hysterical glassrage is only appropriate if we ignore the ubiquitous surveillance to which we're already subject in public and private by police, shop owners, bars, ATM machines, random building owners concerned about graffiti, whatever flimsy excuse. I wonder how the "invention" treats NSA-pwned webcams.

Re:Kudos, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767657)

You assume that he isn't patenting this to prevent others from creating the very thing. His patent does not include the technical detail of how one would accomplish such a thing.

Re:Kudos, Bill (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 7 months ago | (#46767705)

Glad to see there's someone out there that cares about privacy and is looking to do something about it!

Unless this was irony, no: Bill Gates doesn't care about privacy. He cares about profits.

All I see here is one company - Google - bringing misery to people with their surveillance equipment in disguise, and an individual trying to profit from the coming backlash. All in all, both are out to profit from you, but none have your interests at heart.

Re:Kudos, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768301)

Yes yes, and this is why we must trust neither with our lives, but only support Gates' endeavour.

Consider the guy who sells you bread every day to help feed his family: you won't trust him with your own children, but you will trust him to make good bread.

I would go further, though: Gates has become somewhat of a compassionate capitalist, whereas Brin&Page have become two of the most powerful leaders of Italian corporatism (there's another word for that, but I don't want some dullard to invoke "Godwin"). I don't fully agree with a lot of Gates' methods, but I don't agree with any of Google's behaviour.

Re:Kudos, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46770081)

> Italian corporatism

You mean the Mafia? I thought you needed to be Catholic and go to church every Sunday in order to be a leader in that organization?

> Godwin

Wait, what does Hitler have to do with the Mafia?

Slightly OT (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 7 months ago | (#46767167)

But how the hell did he get a patent so fast?

Re:Slightly OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767227)

He's the richest man in the world, maybe?

Bad summary (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 7 months ago | (#46767353)

But how the hell did he get a patent so fast?

He didn't. This is a patent application that was just published. Subby can't even blame the article - the headline notes that it's pending, and the article continuously refers to it as a patent filing.

So ... (5, Funny)

drpimp (900837) | about 7 months ago | (#46767179)

So this glasshole walks into a bar. I don't know what happened after that. It was either the intruding camera detection blur or the alcohol but all I then remember is talking about closing the analog hole and I soon realized I might be in a situation not to my liking.

Not far enough. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 7 months ago | (#46767183)

What's needed is a technology to blur the camera's picture.

Re:Not far enough. (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#46767211)

Chuck some water over the Glasshole.

Re:Not far enough. (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46767495)

Spraying hairspray at the camera would blur it. And have the fringe benefit of being very painful for the glasshole wearer's eyes.

But then again I prefer the complete blackout possible with car spray paint.

Re:Not far enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767615)

I assume you like to be arrested for assault and battery?

Re:Not far enough. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 7 months ago | (#46767753)

I assume you live somewhere where the police can get to the scene the usual several minutes later and find "a random guy who sprayed my toy".

What's even more amazing is that the police in the place where you must live, actually care.

Re:Not far enough. (1)

ketomax (2859503) | about 7 months ago | (#46767793)

assault and battery?

People at DCUO do it every thursday and nobody gets arrested.

Re:Not far enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46769001)

You are an immensely dumb cunt.

Re:Not far enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767441)

In the case of the Google Glass device, does it have a Bluetooth link to a mobile device? Perhaps you could have device that would monitor Bluetooth messages and send bursts of RF to disrupt GG Bluetooth links when it sees GG MAC addresses? Just thinking aloud....

Same problem as the anti-glasshole movement (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 7 months ago | (#46767189)

This has an obvious flaw... It's easy to spot cameras that are *in plain sight* however there are plenty of presently available technologies that completely conceal cameras from view, making this irrelevant to someone really intent on snooping your private information (or posting about you on facebook/google+/etc). Sadly there is no supremely high-tech activity at work in this patent like sending out a flash and scanning for feedback from lenses, instead it is basically an automated anti-glasshole ready to punch anyone who is idly passing by with a recording device, but will completely miss the person with a hidden camera recording them for some time from arms length.

Or another obvious one ... (1)

drpimp (900837) | about 7 months ago | (#46767287)

Like trying to use your laptop in a public area (airport perhaps) that has cameras virtually everywhere. Which then would cause the user to either override the blur to cancel or not use their machine. What we need is a glasshole app that works with a blurring technology to decode the blurred screen. That way only the user with the glasses can read their screen. This could be allow customization to the user with some sort of private key shared with the glasses or also another type of public key shared among anyone who has that key can see the picture.

Re:Or another obvious one ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767457)

Like trying to use your laptop in a public area (airport perhaps) that has cameras virtually everywhere. ... What we need is a glasshole app that works with a blurring technology to decode the blurred screen. That way only the user with the glasses can read their screen.

Or just reduce the viewing angle [officemax.com] . Get one tight enough and the screen won't even be visible to someone reading over your shoulder.

Re:Or another obvious one ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46770347)

Like trying to use your laptop in a public area (airport perhaps) that has cameras virtually everywhere. ... What we need is a glasshole app that works with a blurring technology to decode the blurred screen. That way only the user with the glasses can read their screen.

Or just reduce the viewing angle [officemax.com] . Get one tight enough and the screen won't even be visible to someone reading over your shoulder.

Or just send video output to the glass instead of the laptop when you work on it ;)

Re:Same problem as the anti-glasshole movement (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767447)

What the anti-anti-glasshole movement don't seem to get is that people are reacting because there is a substantial difference. Yes, you can record someone with your smartphone, but usually there are not a lot of people going around with their phone constantly vertical in front of their face, scanning their surroundings. Some of the publicized reactions glassholes have gotten in bars etc. they most likely would have gotten if they were doing this with their phone and did not respond to requests to stop. And yes, if people want to secretly film you, there are other alternatives they likely can get away with.
.
But people are reacting because the Google glasses bring another dimension to this, when you get a lot of people that are potentially constantly filming you and uploading it to a massive data-aggregator with immense capabilities to correlate data and track people. It is 1984 level constant mass-surveillance, and people don't like the idea of this. You can claim all you want that if you want privacy you shouldn't be out, or don't do anything you want to hide.. but people are reacting for the same reason 1984 struck a note with people reading it. Yes, elements if this was already possible, but suddenly you see it taken to a whole new level. Is this loss of privacy and expectation of constant mass-surveillance something we just have to accept eventually? Maybe.. but not without protests.

Re:Same problem as the anti-glasshole movement (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46767491)

This has an obvious flaw... It's easy to spot cameras that are *in plain sight* however there are

However nothing. Most people aren't worried about hidden cameras because recent history shows they're not a problem: you have to go out of your way to use them and most people aren't interested enough to do that and most people aren't interesting enough to do it to. Basically the risk is small.

The covertness isn't the problem. The casualness is, and also the fact that once the photo is taken, it's going to be uploaded to google who are interested in tracking everything about everyone for the purpose of pushing ads.

That's the difference.

Re:Same problem as the anti-glasshole movement (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 7 months ago | (#46767815)

This has an obvious flaw... It's easy to spot cameras that are *in plain sight* however there are

However nothing. Most people aren't worried about hidden cameras because recent history shows they're not a problem: you have to go out of your way to use them and most people aren't interested enough to do that and most people aren't interesting enough to do it to. Basically the risk is small.

The covertness isn't the problem. The casualness is, and also the fact that once the photo is taken, it's going to be uploaded to google who are interested in tracking everything about everyone for the purpose of pushing ads.

That's the difference.

So to summarize, you (or the hypothetical "you") are not worried that someone would covertly record you without your knowledge, but you are worried that someone with a casual camera will point it at you with only the slightest possible chance of intending to attempt to capture images/video of you? If Google Glass (or just about any other casual camera) were constantly recording/uploading, its tiny battery would wither in minutes. To perform surveillance with it would require dedicated effort, much like the aforementioned hidden cameras. However, the distinction is apparently lost on you in an attempt at privacy-posturing as a replacement for actual privacy.

Re:Same problem as the anti-glasshole movement (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46769657)

Sadly there is no supremely high-tech activity at work in this patent like sending out a flash and scanning for feedback from lenses, instead it is basically an automated anti-glasshole ready to punch anyone who is idly passing by with a recording device, but will completely miss the person with a hidden camera recording them for some time from arms length.

Yea, seems an expensive and obtuse solution for a problem $10 worth of wire and high-intensity IR LEDs can fix.

The difference... (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46767251)

The thing that glass advocates don't seem to realise is that people don't like the surveillance potential.

The thing is people don't worry about hidden cameras. We know they exist and anyone can buy them, but frankly most people don't. Mostly people know they aren't interesting enough to be targeted by some private investigator, and most people aren't interested in covertly filming everyone they encounter. We know there's a small risk and so are not worried about covert surveillance. Covert stuff has been available for ages and isn't a problem, in practice.

The thing is glass isn't covert, so clearly the covertness isn't the problem. The problem is that people get irritated when people are casually pointing cameras at them the whole time. They're not interesting enough to be targeted so that's not the problem, the problem is the casualness of the thing. Not the problem with cell phones since its an effort to take photos and obvious when it's happening. It's the causalness where people wind up being photographed and catalogued by one of the world's largest companies where previously there wasa uninteresting enough to be anonymous that bothers people.

This doesn't mean glass is inherently bad, and the HUD has useful applications. But waving a camera in someones face does have a tendency to piss people off.

PS

The other sort of advocates claiming we're "post privacy" can pull their heads out of their asses. Lack of privacy is literally worse than torture for some people: it was reported as being the single hardest thing to cope with long term in concentration camps by some of the surviors.

Re:The difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767347)

Your views are so last century. As cameras are here to stay I'm looking forward when I wear one all the time.

Re:The difference... (3, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#46767379)

So your suggesting that Glass be made more covert?

No, I think you're covering up the real issue - people like the freedom to lie and/or forget. Brains have an unreliable nature to them, which people over the millennia have learned to exploit. There's value in that, which people do not want to lose, so they resist. Plain and simple.

I wonder, though, what people will do once science eventually finds a way to play back memory? Will your very eyes and ears be as offensive as Glass?

Because that's the only difference - the ability to play it back. Everything witnessed by the Glass device is being witnessed by the wearer as well. It isn't the OBSERVATION that's the problem, but the playback.

Re:The difference... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46767545)

So your suggesting that Glass be made more covert?

No, I'm saying why people don't like it. I'm not suggesting anything in particular as to what one should do with glass.

Because that's the only difference - the ability to play it back. Everything witnessed by the Glass device is being witnessed by the wearer as well. It isn't the OBSERVATION that's the problem, but the playback.

And the recording. Yes, I dare say it will be a problem if (not when---it's not clear that the brain records all things for all time). People do generally like things to be forgotten, because people are incapable of acting their best at all times. We all have off days and things we like to do that we don't necessarily want to broadcast to the world (even if they're not illegal).

Basically people like privacy and glass threatens that. Privacy is a reasonable thing to want. There is a quite reasonable expectation of limited privacy in a public place: people don't want actions to be logged and catalogued for all time when in a public place. That's also not unreasonable.

Re:The difference... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#46767873)

Basically people like privacy and glass threatens that.

This is emotional and illogical. 'Glass' does not 'threaten that', being observed 'threatens that'.

Tell me, if you're not being observed, what threat does a recording pose?

Re:The difference... (3, Interesting)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 7 months ago | (#46768211)

It's the difference between: "hey, Jenny was so drunk last night she showed me her boobs!" and "hey, look at this picture of Jenny's boobs." As someone who likes boobs, I try to minimize the incentives for girls to keep them hidden.

Re:The difference... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#46768285)

Right, and I get that, but that difference is an emotional one, mostly.

The boobs were observed.

Playback allows the observation of the boobs by others, which largely is not desired. This is understood.

But humans are capable of playback as well. Description, depiction, etc.

"Jenny's pads her boobs, I know because she showed me last night" gets into the exact same privacy issues as Glass, does it not?

Re:The difference... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46768279)

This is emotional and illogical. 'Glass' does not 'threaten that', being observed 'threatens that'.

Nope, your premise is false, so your conclusion is invalid. There's a difference between being observed (hearsay) and having your actions recorded in perpetuity, possibly publicly.

Re:The difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46770703)

Nope, your premise is false, so your conclusion is invalid.

Look, I agree that his premise is false, but I don't agree with the part in bold. I could come up with many examples demonstrating how a premise can be false while the conclusion is correct, but I don't think it's necessary.

Re:The difference... (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 7 months ago | (#46768817)

The recording functionality of glass threatens that.

Yes in theory some day a technology may be developed that turns a human into a camera. When that day comes, I imagine there will be the same kind of as there is to Google Glass.

When I'm hanging out at a bar talking with friends, as has been said, I have a reasonable expectation that unless someone is making a specific effort to listen in and memorize what I am saying, or using a covert recording device, that conversation is only relevant in my life for that short period of time.

With ubiquitous recording, that conversation can be recorded and analyzed after the fact, shared with others, stored indefinitely, etc. As has been said, this was always a very slight risk as the technology to do this covertly has existed for a while, but technology like Google Glass is aiming at making this a ubiquitous threat, which is what people are reacting negatively too.

Personally I'm banking on society sorting this out. The lack of covertness with Google Glass is our savior. As long as people can spot these assholes, and as long as social opinion of this is low enough that these people will be harassed and encouraged to cut that shit out, this will hopefully not catch on.

Re:The difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768905)

Basically people like privacy and glass threatens that.

This is emotional and illogical. 'Glass' does not 'threaten that', being observed 'threatens that'.

Tell me, if you're not being observed, what threat does a recording pose?

Well lets see. I'll cue up the video on file from the cameras in every room of your house and see if we can't put together an official profile on you without your review or willful input.

Re:The difference... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#46769169)

Did I consent to your observing me in my home? If so, please proceed.

Re:The difference... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46769727)

Consent is emotional and illogical.

Re:The difference... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 7 months ago | (#46768765)

So your suggesting that Glass be made more covert?

No, I'm saying why people don't like it.

So you're saying people would dislike it less, if it were more covert. Whether Google or their competitors should take that as a product design suggestion, is left to the reader. Understood.

Re:The difference... (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 7 months ago | (#46770697)

So your suggesting that Glass be made more covert?

No, I think you're covering up the real issue - people like the freedom to lie and/or forget.

The real issue is context. What you see me doing, is not what I'm doing. It is what you think I'm doing. If you record it, and then play it for somebody else, then what they see is not only not what I'm doing, it is not what you think I'm doing. You are not recording my thoughts & emotions, nor does your recording include my entire life history. So, I don't want you slandering me to Google, et. all, by telling them I'm doing something that I'm not. And I definitely don't want the context to be distorted even further by such a recording being interpreted and reinterpreted, edited, and then interpreted again, for as long as Google decides it should be available, which Glass makes far more likely by virtue of reducing the effort to do so.

I wonder, though, what people will do once science eventually finds a way to play back memory? Will your very eyes and ears be as offensive as Glass?

Because that's the only difference - the ability to play it back. Everything witnessed by the Glass device is being witnessed by the wearer as well. It isn't the OBSERVATION that's the problem, but the playback.

Horrible. You start by saying how unreliable brains are, then say the only difference between human memory and a recorded image is the ability to play it back.

Our memory, besides forgetting stuff, is also non-deterministic. Every memory is impacted by future memories and emotions on the subject. A memory of you happily going to the ice cream shop can, 30 years later, be a horrible journey of agony because your parents love your sister more than you. If we get the ability to play back memories (and we no doubt will eventually), it will be no more or less reliable than a verbal explanation in determining what really happened, and thus no less irritating to some people as Glass is today.

Re:The difference... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 7 months ago | (#46767535)

The thing is glass isn't covert, so clearly the covertness isn't the problem. The problem is that people get irritated when people are casually pointing cameras at them the whole time. They're not interesting enough to be targeted so that's not the problem, the problem is the casualness of the thing.

It's a little more than that, though... remember the story with the Glasshole in the bar from last month who got attacked? That bar - along with most bars - have security cameras. Cameras that are casually pointed at people the whole time.

Not the problem with cell phones since its an effort to take photos and obvious when it's happening.

Taking a photo (with the flash off) can look exactly like the person is texting.

It's the causalness where people wind up being photographed and catalogued by one of the world's largest companies where previously there wasa uninteresting enough to be anonymous that bothers people.

This is the real issue... Glass costs $1500, and many of the people wearing them are in places with huge economic inequality, like SF or NYC, where gentrification and high rents are pushing out people who have lived there for decades. It's not "there's a camera pointed at me", because there's that security camera pointed at you already. Instead, it's "that rich hipster 'entrepreneur' douchebag is pointing a camera at me, and he's supported by a multi-billion dollar company, and where does he get off coming into my neighbor and replacing my cheap pizza joint with his gastropub, and demanding free parking in charger spots for his Tesla? He wants to be Glassed? Well, I'll show him a glass to his face."

It's the same sentiment behind people attacking the Google busses, or the the SF cops that arrested and held a guy in solitary confinement with no charges after finding out that he was a startup founder.

Re:The difference... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46767649)

It's a little more than that, though... remember the story with the Glasshole in the bar from last month who got attacked?

I seem to remember that the problem was some patron was aggressively annoyed that the glass-user might be filming them so the glass-users response was to start filming them. The problem was bery much idiots in that case.

That bar - along with most bars - have security cameras. Cameras that are casually pointed at people the whole time.

No, they are qualatatively different. The cameras go on a loop, old data is discarded and no one looks at it unless something happens. Most of it is forgotten, not uploaded to a company which rather creepily claimed to want go right up to the border of being creepy (Schmidt's words, not mine), or be plasteres on the persons blog in perpetuity. Not only that, but venues which make a point of having repeat customers decidedly do not post embarrassing security camera footage all over the internet.

Taking a photo (with the flash off) can look exactly like the person is texting.

If you're taking a picture of the floor, or a selfie from a very strange angle, then sure. To take a photograph of anything interesting, you need to hold the phone up and that's obvious.

Re:The difference... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 7 months ago | (#46767965)

It's a little more than that, though... remember the story with the Glasshole in the bar from last month who got attacked?

I seem to remember that the problem was some patron was aggressively annoyed that the glass-user might be filming them so the glass-users response was to start filming them. The problem was bery much idiots in that case.

The video starts with the patrons already attacking the Glasshole, so no, she started filming them after she was attacked. And frankly, filming people committing a crime is quite a reasonable response.

That bar - along with most bars - have security cameras. Cameras that are casually pointed at people the whole time.

No, they are qualatatively different. The cameras go on a loop, old data is discarded...

Unless you own the bar, you don't know that for sure.

... and no one looks at it unless something happens. Most of it is forgotten, not uploaded to a company which rather creepily claimed to want go right up to the border of being creepy (Schmidt's words, not mine), or be plasteres on the persons blog in perpetuity.

That's also true for most people's blogs - no one looks at them unless something happens like, say, some idiot attacks the person with the camera and blog.

Taking a photo (with the flash off) can look exactly like the person is texting.

If you're taking a picture of the floor, or a selfie from a very strange angle, then sure. To take a photograph of anything interesting, you need to hold the phone up and that's obvious.

Here [typepad.com] is literally the first result for a Google Image Search for "people texting" [google.com] . The three on the left are indistinguishable from people taking pictures. Flip through that search and I'd say about half of the photos have people holding their phone up in front of their faces. Point being that while some people text while holding their phone down at their waist, apparently just as many do it while holding the phone up to their eyes.

Re:The difference... (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 7 months ago | (#46768993)

Unless you own the bar, you don't know that for sure.

Sure, the bar owner or some employee could be keeping copies of the recordings for their own amusement, but a bar that became known for publishing embarrassing security camera footage of it's patrons would probably not stay in business very long.

Re:The difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767771)

That bar - along with most bars - have security cameras. Cameras that are casually pointed at people the whole time.

No, cameras that are intently pointed at entrances/exits and specific locations of interest. Very few locations put up the extra expense of getting security cameras with a pan-tilt system, and none of them have a security guard watching/controlling each camera at all times. There is usually a security guard watching a bank of camera feeds, and everything saved to tape/disc in case it is needed as evidence.

Taking a photo (with the flash off) can look exactly like the person is texting.

Taking a photo of someone's shoes? Maybe. Taking a photo of someone's face? No. People do not text with the phone directly in front of them because that is uncomfortable. I suppose in the specific case of someone resting their elbows on a table, leaning forward, and texting with a roughly vertical phone, it looks about the same as taking a photo.

This is the real issue...

... is that different people have different opinions. Get over it. There are reasons that some will like Google Glass, there are reasons that others will make it their life's goal to punch everyone they see wearing Google Glass. There is more going on than your beloved excuse of gentrification, although that does probably explain some of the hostility from some people.

Re:The difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46769723)

This is the real issue... Glass costs $1500, and many of the people wearing them are in places with huge economic inequality, like SF or NYC, where gentrification and high rents are pushing out people who have lived there for decades. It's not "there's a camera pointed at me", because there's that security camera pointed at you already. Instead, it's "that rich hipster 'entrepreneur' douchebag is pointing a camera at me, and he's supported by a multi-billion dollar company, and where does he get off coming into my neighbor and replacing my cheap pizza joint with his gastropub, and demanding free parking in charger spots for his Tesla? He wants to be Glassed? Well, I'll show him a glass to his face."

It's the same sentiment behind people attacking the Google busses, or the the SF cops that arrested and held a guy in solitary confinement with no charges after finding out that he was a startup founder.

The issue is different than you portray. When you enter a bar, store, bank, what have you, that has surveillance cameras, you are granting permission for that establishment to record you. On the other hand, even though you may be in a place that records you, you have not granted permission for the Glassahole to record you. It is not a money or class issue, it is a permission issue.

Re:The difference... (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | about 7 months ago | (#46768545)

"The problem is that people get irritated when people are casually pointing cameras at them the whole time."

Good theory, but does it match the data? Are the people being assaulted for wearing google glasses being assaulted when they have been pointing the glasses at someone for an extended period of time in an environment when they expect to not be recorded? Or have the attacks occurred in public places which are likely already under video surveillance and full of people snapping photos of friends and bystanders?

Alternative theory: People like hating on overt geekiness. Hypothesis: If hovercars were invented and were sold for ten million dollars each, people would love them, but if only geeky hobbyists had them, people would smash them in the street.

Re:The difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768591)

The thing is you start a lot of paragraphs with the thing is.

Cameras embedded in contact lenses (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 7 months ago | (#46767267)

So, if something has been published 1000 times in works of fiction, can I still get a patent on it if I write it up in a thoughtful way and define specific details that are only hinted at in the work of fiction? Ex: Contact lenses with cameras aren't new, but maybe nobody ever described how the camera tracks eye movement to adjust the image or focus. Does including such detail make it patentable?

Re:Cameras embedded in contact lenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767473)

Yes. When you patent stuff, you have to disclose the way it works.

Re:Cameras embedded in contact lenses (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46767507)

Yes. When you patent stuff, you have to disclose the way it works.

no you don't.

proof: this patent. go read it and then try claiming again that it discloses how it actually technically would work.

because it fucking doesn't. it just mentions that it would detect them. heck, if you were to put it in a scifi book you would have to be more precise about it or get scorned...

Fiction is not prior art. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46767553)

So, if something has been published 1000 times in works of fiction, can I still get a patent on it...

The writer "invents" devices that serve the purpose of his stories --- and is free to ignore any real-world constraints that might get in his way.

Re:Fiction is not prior art. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46770227)

Fiction is not prior art.

It is at least in some places in the world: Donald Duck as prior art [iusmentis.com]

Re:Cameras embedded in contact lenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767573)

Yes, if you figured out a new way to do something that is patentable. You can't patent the idea, only the way to implement it. However, the weasel words used in modern patents are designed so they effectively cover every possible implementation by being too vague. I know a patent examiner. They're overworked, under founded and thus often under hiring freezes, and their jobs are to help people get their patents approved. Meaning they're supposed to suggest tweaks to the patent to allow it to pass though. Their job isn't to reject patents. If they find a rejectable patent they work with the submitter to make it patentable.

Reading the quoted part of the patent in the article, it claims to cover any algorithm that can be used to locate the camera. What bullshit! I really hate patents (but love that the patent office let its examiners work from home).

Re:Cameras embedded in contact lenses (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 7 months ago | (#46767609)

So, if something has been published 1000 times in works of fiction, can I still get a patent on it if I write it up in a thoughtful way and define specific details that are only hinted at in the work of fiction? Ex: Contact lenses with cameras aren't new, but maybe nobody ever described how the camera tracks eye movement to adjust the image or focus. Does including such detail make it patentable?

Fiction novels are relevant prior art that can be used to reject a patent application, but can only be used for the material they teach. H.G. Wells' story describes traveling to the moon by cannon: accordingly, it would invalidate a patent claim that recited "A method for traveling to the moon, comprising: being fired at the moon by a giant cannon." But it wouldn't invalidate a patent claim to, say, the space shuttle's main engines; or a method of calculating Lagrange points; or the timing sequence for your multi-engine startup system, etc.

Similarly, a fiction novel that says that contact lenses can include cameras would invalidate a patent claim that recited "A contact lens, comprising: a lens; and a camera attached to the lens, configured to take a picture when the user blinks twice" or something similar. It wouldn't invalidate a patent that claims how you make optically transparent CCDs, or determining proper focus based on relative distance to a second lens, or determining that a blink or sneeze is not actually a picture-taking command. The patent claim would have to include additional limitations that were not described in the fiction story.

Re:Cameras embedded in contact lenses (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46767857)

It makes the detail patentable.

This is a crucial point most posters here miss. Just because there's a patent on a widget, it doesn't mean it covers the whole of that widget. And it doesn't mean the mention of that widget in other patents or elsewhere disqualifies the patent as prior art.

It's the detail that's added that's being patented.

Thunderbirds had a camera detecting technology (1)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 7 months ago | (#46767277)

Which detected when an International Rescue craft was being filmed - though it didn't do anything about it...

Re:Thunderbirds had a camera detecting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767689)

Quite sure I've seen them use a magnetic beam once to make the film tape literally go up in smoke.

Re:Thunderbirds had a camera detecting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46769003)

THUNDERCATS, HO!

faux glass (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 7 months ago | (#46767291)

This increases my desire to make a faux Google Glass. It would look just like one, except when someone asks if they can try it, it squirts water in their eye when they put it on.

"Ok glass take a picture"
*splort*
*laughter*

Re:faux glass (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 7 months ago | (#46770267)

Best idea I've seen all day!

Sure, *now* he starts worrying about security.... (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | about 7 months ago | (#46767381)

All those years selling Windows and security was an after thought... Probably just doesn't wnat anyone taking pictures of that godawful Metro GUI.

Don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767417)

I really don't understand the hubbub: far cheaper surreptitious recording devices have been available for years, so why all the screaming over Glass? I mean, at least you know the glasshole has a camera, right?

Bill Makes Protection Harder? (2)

iinventstuff (1888700) | about 7 months ago | (#46767427)

There doesn't seem to be a lot of $ in this, so did Mr. Bill's patent just make it harder for consumers to acquire 'glasshole' protection solutions?

Picky details (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 7 months ago | (#46767509)

I haven't seen the application yet, but I'd be quite surprised if it contains enough information to actually detect cameras -- given, after all, that a camera doesn't necessarily look like anything in particular, nor emit a signal declaring "I am a camera."

More likely, Gates et al are doing the old trick of patenting the idea of detecting a camera and then planning to fill in the blanks as the technology improves. Jerry Lemelson [wikipedia.org] was the grand master of this trick and made billions (yes, with a "B") with it. On numerous occasions he actually sued, and prevailed, against the people who actually invented the technology that he incorporated in revised patent applications because his application predated their invention.

Re:Picky details (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 7 months ago | (#46767627)

I haven't seen the application yet, but I'd be quite surprised if it contains enough information to actually detect cameras -- given, after all, that a camera doesn't necessarily look like anything in particular, nor emit a signal declaring "I am a camera."

More likely, Gates et al are doing the old trick of patenting the idea of detecting a camera and then planning to fill in the blanks as the technology improves. Jerry Lemelson [wikipedia.org] was the grand master of this trick and made billions (yes, with a "B") with it. On numerous occasions he actually sued, and prevailed, against the people who actually invented the technology that he incorporated in revised patent applications because his application predated their invention.

What technology would that be? Using a built in webcam to scan the surroundings trying to detect the presence of another camera? Wouldn't that process simply trigger all the other computers in the room to also blur their screens? So much for internet cafes! You are right, however, that this is a vapor patent. It used to be to file a patent, you had to have an invention, not just the idea that someday we might be able to do this somehow.

Re:Picky details (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46767927)

More likely, Gates et al are doing the old trick of patenting the idea of detecting a camera and then planning to fill in the blanks as the technology improves.

No, he's patenting the idea of using the output unspecified camera detecting algorithms to blur a display.

Would this detect surveillance cameras too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767539)

Would be interesting to see how much surveillance is going on.

Also means those darn terrists can use this very technology to avoid detection.

This will screw over people trying to film cops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767569)

Great so now cops will be able to detect when someone is filming them do something fucked up.
"Hey joe, hold up bashing this jerk's face till we figure out who has the camera. Oh it;s this guy. Sr we need you to turn that camera off please, you are obstructing justice..."
"Ok he;s gone, and looks like no one left has a camera, ok go ahead and bash this fucker's brain in..."

I guess this is the end of computers then. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 7 months ago | (#46767587)

I guess, if implemented, this patent will be the end of the personal computer as we know it. Since the patent is about blurring the screen or providing a privacy popup in the presence of cameras, then it will be virtually impossible to use one. Think of how many webcams are on devices from tablets to full size desktops (would they detect themselves and blur their own screen?) What about all of the phones with cameras? Will it detect traffic cameras, ATM cameras and the like? If so, using an in-dash GPS will be difficult if it implements this patent.

Google Glass is invasive to one's privacy, but it's just one of many invasions of privacy caused by consumer electronics.

Re:I guess this is the end of computers then. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 7 months ago | (#46769049)

This will only harm computers that make use of the patent. If you don't run Bill's software, your computer will be fine.

Hmm. That sounds familiar, somehow.

another useless patent. (0)

nimbius (983462) | about 7 months ago | (#46767605)

I cant see a use for this technology. The human brain has an inherent ability to detect and respond to a glasshole even in crowded environments and insufficient light. the revulsion, the rage, its practically an autonomic function. What we need is some sort of future technology to kick someone in the dick from many meters across a room.

Re:another useless patent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768763)

"What we need is some sort of future technology to kick someone in the dick from many meters across a room."

we got old tech for that : slingshot

US Govt will quickly outlaw this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46767703)

Government snoops with face recognition software will demand a way of disabling this...

There must be a phrase for it (1)

GT66 (2574287) | about 7 months ago | (#46767819)

We are quickly leaving the era when technology actually solved real world problems and are now entering the time when new era robber barons use technology to solve the technological problems they created. There must be a phrase that describes the epoch a field reaches when it is only solving problems that it created itself.

There is (1)

Arker (91948) | about 7 months ago | (#46769679)

It's called the epoch of Bureaucracy.

http://miriadic.wikia.com/wiki/The_Five_Stages_of_Chaos

Envy (3, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 7 months ago | (#46767879)

I see a lot of envy fueling the hate. I can't afford a $1500 pair of uber-nerd glasses so I will hate on the select few who can.

If (when) the tech catches on (it may or may not) then the price will inevitably drop, and a lot more people will have them. When "glass" type displays are as common as headphones, I hope people will at least be embarrassed about the rage they were spewing. The tech is at such an early stage that the possible applications haven't even begun to be explored. I see so many people walking heads down and texting, I can certainly see a way to walk and text and see what's in front of you at the same time catching on.

Re:Envy (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46768009)

No, envy is an emotion reserved for things that are actually desirable.

The fact that Google Glass is not desirable is evidenced by the fact that they have to do marketing tricks like permanent "beta" status and one day sales.

You re confusing your minority desire for a product you can't afford for a general desirability.

He has patented beating people up? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#46767891)

It is truly amazing how broken the US patent system is...

Rather silly patent application. (1)

jcochran (309950) | about 7 months ago | (#46767899)

Bill's parent isn't on how to detect cameras, it's on what to do if a camera is detected. It leaves the entire issue of camera detection undefined...

However, there are other patents and methods on how to perform the actual camera detection. For instance, there's a technique called optical augmentation. In a nutshell, it uses the "red eye" effect to detect optical systems aimed at a specified target. Basically, you shine a light and look for retro reflections. And even if a camera is hidden or concealed, if it is aimed at the detector, it will in turn be detected.

Im just over here on my own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768625)

There is nothing our government wants more then the technology described in article.

You idiots sniveling about your privacy do not understand the manner in which personal held/worn surveillance equipment represents protection for you from your government and its importance increases every week.

We head toward a future where trying to determine what events actually took place at important moments becomes a battle between surveillance and counter surveillance measures. There will be a time when we will wish everyone involved had been wearing a device so that we may see who the guilty truly were. But we wont. Because of 'privacy'.

he meant ASSHOLES (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46768803)

of which he is ...

previous art (1)

fermion (181285) | about 7 months ago | (#46769391)

This device detects a flash and then overcomes the image with and LED [photoxels.com] . I don't know if it every made it to market,but this is the only way I can think of to detect a camera. Detect the infrared from the active sensor, and flash a high intensity LED back. I assume that the camera using the Google Glasses uses such an active sensor.

It seems to me (1)

dkman (863999) | about 7 months ago | (#46769619)

there are a number of misconceptions here.

From the description it sounds like your screen with blur if i wave my cell phone around...obviously an annoyance when it gets false positives. Yes, I could snap a quick photo, but how likely is that?

As much as people like to say it, Glass does not take constant video. The battery is tiny, it wouldn't last long if it did. By default I believe it takes 8 second videos, that you can extend. You have to instruct it to take photos or videos, it doesn't just randomly decide to do it, this makes it obvious to those close by that you're doing it.

It's just as easy to tell your phone to take a video and pretend you're chatting or texting on it to take a covert video of someone.

If Glass had a little flip cover for the camera would that help cure everyone's paranoia?

Honestly the thing may not even be on. They may be wearing it in standby/sleep mode. The idea is that you could turn it on and do something easily/quickly because it's right there. No fumbling in your pocket.

Personally, my biggest problem with it is wearing $1500 on your face for everyone to see. It's not like I live in the hood or anything, but it's just begging to be stolen. That's another good reason to keep it on your face though - it's pretty hard to pick pocket from there.

Re:It seems to me (1)

Shados (741919) | about 7 months ago | (#46770479)

Risk getting broken more than stolen. Its not much harder to steal than any ol engagement ring that half the girls in their 20s or 30s prance around, and those are frequently worth a LOT more than $1500. But diamond and rare metals are a lot harder to break than a fragile piece of technology in your face. I can "pretend" to bump into someone wearing them and if they're shorter than me, there goes the glasses!

Technology outracing etiquette again (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 months ago | (#46770077)

People busting out cell phones at parties is bad enough (hey maybe I don't want MY face sucking down a beer bong on your Facebook page). Now, people don't even have to "bust out the camera." It's like a spy cam tucked behind Quagmire's bookcase.

I'm waiting for the moment the first people figure out that there's a "bug" in Google Glass that allows them to stream content in the background back to HQ with no indicator lights on; an old test mode they forgot to disable of course.

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