TEN THINGS Google believes you believe about Glassholes and wishes you didn't

El Reg debunks web kingpin's debunking exercise

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Myth 6: Glass covers your eyes

Not quite sure how this comes as a myth, since one look at the hardware in action shows you this isn’t so. Google says you can always tell if a Glass wearer is online because they'll be looking up to view the screen.

That said, we'd be willing to bet that eye-covering versions of wearable headsets are coming down the line. In a few years' time there will undoubtedly be full face glasses that will either display information in a display or even augment reality so the user can see what they want to.

Terminator display

You know you want glasses that do this

Such devices are already being worked on by companies other than Google and, even if ultimately unsuccessful, are certainly coming once we have the hardware and software capable of running them.

Myth 7: Glass is the perfect surveillance device

Google correctly points out that the perfect surveillance device is rather more discrete than Glass, and there's better, cheaper and more subtle tech out there that can be used to spy on people without their knowledge.

Most of us are already carrying around better surveillance devices that Glass, namely mobile phones. Cops and the feds can already use a mobile as a tracking device, voice recorder and video camera without the owner being aware of what is going on, even if the handset is apparently switched off.

Glass has been used as surveillance device, just not a very good one. Last month a Glass Explorer claimed she had been the victim of a "hate crime" after being attacked when using Glass to record bar patrons. It later emerged she reportedly had a restraining order taken out against her for allegedly recording people's conversations through a window with her smartphone.

Myth 8: Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it

Google says it appreciates the first headset's price of $1,500 is too much for some people, but says some have been given away by private individuals, bought by employers for staff, or bought using crowd-sourced cash. The web giant has also given some away.

But $1,500 is a fair chunk of change to spend on Glass, and the very first buyers also had to shell out nearly a thousand dollars in admission fees to the Google I/O developer conference to get one, and be very quick on their feet. Other users, who now make up the majority of Glass wearers, won’t have borne that cost, but you've got to have a fair amount of liquid income to get a set.

This hack nearly bought a set himself at the 2012 Google I/O conference, but couldn't get it past expenses and was not going to tell his wife-to-be that he'd blown most of the honeymoon budget on a piece of gadgetry for fear the wedding might not happen.

Myth 9: Glass is banned... EVERYWHERE

Google points out that the etiquette of Glass use is still being sorted out, just as the social rules governing acceptable smartphone use have evolved. It also asks those considering a ban to remember that later models of Glass allow for prescription lenses to be added and may be needed by people to actually see.

A Seattle bar was one of the first places to issue a ban, threatening "ass kickings" for Glass wearers, although the owner later admitted it was a publicity stunt. US and UK regulators are also mulling a ban on Glass wearing while driving, although the courts have so far sided with users.

However, more than a few places are welcoming Glass users. Visitors to San Francisco's Aurea Lounge bar in the Stanford Hotel get a free drink if they are using Glass, since the owners no doubt recognize that people who can afford a set are worth cultivating.

Myth 10: Glass marks the end of privacy

Ever since their invention, cameras have been touted as privacy killers, Google says, especially since the addition of cameras to mobile phones.

As it turns out, in some ways they have been, but the benefits have outweighed the negative influences. Some people have had their privacy invaded, but at the same time important moments have been captured for posterity, crimes by members and the guardians of society have been documented, and important information has been shared.

If you're really that concerned about privacy ending then Glass isn't the cause. Instead, speak to your elected representatives about mass surveillance by law enforcement, make sure your computer security systems are topped up and ready for action, and stop posting so many revealing drunk tweets. ®

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