A man was robbed of his Google Glass and laptop near the Venice boardwalk last night, police say.
The crime happened on the eve of Google's one-day release of its $1,500 product to the general public today.
Cops believe the victim was robbed out in the open, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Officer Sally Madera told us. Police say they were informed of the robbery ...
... at 8:45 last night. It took place in the 3200 block of Ocean Front Walk in an area south of Venice Pier known as the Marina Peninsula.
Suspects approached the victim with a Taser and the victim, in fear, "handed his laptop and Google Glass over," Madera said. "The Taser was not deployed."
The total value of the haul is not clear. "It's an ongoing investigation," Madera said.
Two officers, Madera included, gave us the south-of-the-pier location on the peninsula, though other reports said the robbery happened in a cafe at the north end of Venice.
The crime is generating headlines just as Google Glass received a flurry of press for its one-day availability to the general public.
The Santa Monica-based group Consumer Watchdog, citing privacy concerns, urged consumers to reject the devices. The organization issued a top 10 list of reasons not to buy Google Glass:
10. You cannot drive with a television on your head.
9. Why pay $1500 to let a corporation hack your eyes?
8. Say goodbye to using public bathrooms.
7. No one's ATM PIN will ever be safe again.
6. Google says it hurts your eyes and gives you headaches.
5. Guess what happens to people who videotape children?
4. How long do you think your friends will hang around?
3. You look stupid.
2. Stalking isn't cool.
1. Your life is too precious for Google to own.
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John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director, says:
Google Glass threatens the privacy of both people whose images are captured unbeknownst to them and the user of the device. It can distract the user at critical moments, perhaps when driving, posing a safety hazard. A consumer's ATM pin number can easily be seen by a Glass user without the consumer's knowledge. Google Glass can easily be used for improper and even criminal purposes.
Yes, we're already seeing those criminal purposes. Google Glass can be used effectively as bait to get robbed, apparently.