Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dark They Were, and Google-Eyed

I was chatting with Hadar from Medtronic and Anthony from Lucky Shot Media the other night, not long after I had watched someone at a restaurant casually wearing and using Google Glass (no, I did not shout "Glasshole!" and run). We talked of how strange it was that Google went out of its way to acquire companies in the robotics, drone, and self-organizing intelligence software fields that were military-related.  If Google intended to compete with Amazon's drones, it could have sought out equivalent commercial companies in these fields, but no, Google apparently wanted to be seen as a military contractor.
Anthony pointed to an article in United Airlines' Hemispheres magazine, of all places, warning that Google was cornering the market on creepy robots.  The awareness is everywhere, lurking just beneath the surface.  Even though we once thought of Android as an open alternative to Apple's iPhone closed garden, Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility now means that when you boot up a Droid phone, it says Google everywhere.  There is no app launch without Google, no deep data-mining without Google, hell, no NSA without Google.

And now comes word that Google's successor to Google Glass will be a contact lens.  Most models seem to utilize gold foil in particular places. And suddenly I see the "Divergent" film series before my eyes, I am reading Ray Bradbury's short story 'Dark They Were and Golden Eyed' (perhaps on a Kindle embedded on a contact lens), and the golden-eyed ones are everywhere, armed and extremely dangerous.  And we worried about Apple's omniscience. We worried about drones owned by JSOC. Where is the Sarah Connor who can take down Google?

But Eric Schmidt insists, over and over, that his company will do no evil. By the time that slogan changes, Google will have embedded a disclaimer in every eyeball that mere use of a search engine or an Android environment prevents the user from initiating litigation, committing said user to binding arbitration. And by then it will be too late, like the last moments of carbon monoxide poisoning. Oh, by the way, the Blogspot host for Iconocurmudgeonclast is Google, and all image and video searches for this post were made using Google. We love you, we love you, of course we do.

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