Google Glass – New technology that’s already banned?

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Apparently, this logo is being publicized by “Stop the Cyborgs,” as an anti-Google Glass effort.

Last weekend, I noticed on Twitter that a few of my friends were already trying out Google‘s latest gift to the world — Google Glass. Thanks to an informative video the company released some time ago, I was familiar with the freakishly futuristic device. My friends’ verdict? Interesting stuff. Kinda creepy. Probably somewhat inline with the opinions of most.

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…Are you kidding?

But recently I found that one establishment has had a more intense response to Google Glass.

A diner/bar in Seattle’s downtown area has posted on their website that customers hoping to stop in while wearing the new technology will be asked to leave. The 5 Point Cafe asks individuals to “respect our customers privacy as we’d expect them to respect yours.”

They (pretty hilariously) also say that Google Glass is “what will for sure be a new fad for the fanny-pack wearing never removing your bluetooth headset wearing crowd.” Unless people on Segways need something else to feel self-conscious about… Hey, I’ll admit, while I’ve never used a bluetooth headset or worn a fanny-pack (that time at Disney when I was 5 doesn’t count), I’m mildly interested in Google Glass.

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My point here is how easy it is to unnoticeably photograph, record, and therefore invade the privacy of anyone, anywhere. It’s a modern way of life that by going out in public, you risk being in the background of someone’s Instagram shot or overheard by someone taking a video. I usually photograph meals I’m about to eat and did at the 5 Point. Did I capture some other customers with my fisheye? I’m positive. Do I think it’s wrong? No, but it can be done maliciously, and I’m sure it is by someone out there with no life.

This was just such an interesting response to this new technology. We’ve already seen enforcers of the law trying to push against photographing and capturing video in public. Photographers have being harassed due to privacy and more often “security.”

But where will this lead us?

Most reactions to new tech are negative until we find the right niche or get used to how it’s actually going to be used. But banning it? I don’t think that’s quite the way to go. In reality, most people probably aren’t going to be photographing you and your friends at the bar either drunk or accidentally wearing that club sandwich on your face. But I’m sure for the creepy and malicious, Google Glass is Pandora’s Box.


Seattle Pride Weekend – Photos

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This weekend was probably the gayest weekend in America. Many cities had their LGBT parades, (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender [and straight allies, queer, and everyone in between]) and Seattle was right there with them. Thousands came out to celebrate the victories both recent and longterm for equal rights and remind us that we still have so much worth continuing to fight for.

The weather was unusually warm as a heat wave sent temperatures into the 90s, for record-breaking highs. Thankfully, most parade attendees were wearing close to nothing regardless. Those willing to brave the heat walked to the Seattle Center to enjoy more festivities including street food carts, food, and beer gardens.

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After as much cheering, confetti, and pride as we could handle, we packed onto the Metro bus with dozens of other hot Seattleites and climbed back up to our neighborhood up the hill. That bus barely made it.


Badlands National Park

Vegetation from another planet.

I saw a lot of this country on my drive from Massachusetts to Washington, but overall, I’d have to say that the Badlands were the most significant. They brought me to tears.

Badlands National Park was the first nature-related stop we made on our drive across the country (Check out the map at the end of the post.) After the urban decay in Detroit, metropolis of Chicago and Toronto, and hanging out with friends in Milwaukee, we were ready to leave some things behind and do some introspection. States like the ones we had yet to cover — South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana — were just the thing we needed.

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When you tell people you’re going on a drive across the country, one of the first things they tell you is that you’re going to get bored with the scenery around the Great Plains. “There’s a who bunch of nothing,” they say. Well, the nothing was beautiful.

South Dakota was full of green rolling hills dotted with cows and entertaining billboards. We took the main interstate the whole way through, something we didn’t do in any other state. That day, we crossed most of the state under grey skies with looming dark clouds that we were trying to stay well ahead of. As we got closer and closer to the Badlands, the edge of the clouds became clear, and as soon as we reached the park, the sun had set low enough to shine what looked to be all the way down the road we had traveled.

The golden light washed the rocks over as we meandered through the park, seeing goats, deer, and other animals. Tons of photographers were out that evening, including myself. I think we hit the jackpot.

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Shooting From the Hip – Chicago

Recently my partner and I drove across the country from Massachusetts to our new home on the West Coast — Seattle. Along the way, we found ourselves in places we never thought we’d step foot in. Chicago was an amazing city that felt so cosmopolitan. It’s like a warmer, more spacious version of New York… with a much nicer coast. And the pizza… Okay, so they aren’t that similar.

But one similarity came in how I photographed this city — from the hip. Shooting candid shots of passersby is one of my favorite things, especially when you’re in an environment where people are dressing to be seen. Check out these classic and sometimes quirky views of the “Windy City.”

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Smith Memorial Arch – Planet

A planet view of the Smith Memorial Arch in Philadelphia.

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More of my planet photos here: http://aeroartist.deviantart.com/gallery/39738882


Abandoned Philadelphia

Philadelphia is much, much more than old brick and cheese steak.

This week, I took my first trip to the Cradle of Liberty; Birthplace of America; Brotherly Love; etc. This was the last major city on the eastern seaboard I hadn’t been to, and I was pretty excited to photograph all the ordinary yet beautiful things in the city that make it a little different than D.C. and Boston, but little did I know how different my view would be.

The Philadelphia Coal Piers, according to Gjfoto, were used to refill ships’ supplies of coal. The ruins are covered in graffiti and progress in a staggered linear fashion, making for a disorienting and beautiful find, right off the highway.

A break in the labyrinth, halfway through.

A break in the labyrinth, halfway through.

Sunlight seeps in through breaks in the concrete walls.

Sunlight seeps in through breaks in the concrete walls.

Some areas are murals, plastered in detailed works of urban art.

Some areas are murals, plastered in detailed works of urban art.

The pier goes on for quite a ways, leading into new corridors and hallways.

The pier goes on for quite a ways, leading into new corridors and hallways.

Dark tunnels through the pier are covered in bright spray paint.

Dark tunnels through the pier are covered in bright spray paint.

Secondary secession: the process by which nature reclaims spaces.

Secondary secession: the process by which nature reclaims spaces.

The front of the coal pier ruins. Dirt pathways run past this place, where four-wheelers and dirt bikes speed back and forth, leaving tire marks through the trash and graffiti-covered tunnels.

The front of the coal pier ruins. Dirt pathways run past this place, where four-wheelers and dirt bikes speed back and forth, leaving tire marks through the trash and graffiti-covered tunnels.


On the Job: The Lighter Side

While my time at GoLocalWorcester kept me busy with Senate special elections, city council meetings, and other newsy stuff, I was always happy to don another voice for the lighter stories. I went to openings at the local science museum, covered street art fairs, and watched some of New England’s most physically fit bike their way up the steepest hill in the city.

job photos (63)It’s hard to say what events were the most rewarding, but definitely one of the most challenging was covering the blizzard that earned Worcester’s the record snowfall amount in winter 2012-2013. That… was a doozy.

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