Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Feast/Google Glass post mortem



Last Friday, we posted about a patron at Feast who was asked to remove her Google Glass headset before dining at the restaurant on April 20. Apparently guests had voiced their privacy concerns when another Glass Explorer dined there a few weeks earlier. In that situation, the Glass wearer quickly consented to remove the Glass.

The diner on April 20, NYC resident Katy Kasmai, the organizer of a Google Glass user group, refused to do so, and left the restaurant.

She wrote about the incident on Google +. Shortly afterwards, 13 one-star reviews of Feast appeared on Google from people who commented on Kasmai's post. The negative reviews were not based on the restaurant's food, but rather the no-Glass policy.

The story quickly became what Adam Chandler described at The Wire as "a flashpoint in the Google Glass battle" … and there was plenty of back-and-forth between the so-called Glassholes and those who, well, are not.

The incident received ample coverage in the tech press, including Mashable, CNet, ValleyWag and Daring Fireball, among others.

Now for a little EVG navel-gazing — the post because the fourth-most viewed in the blog's 7-year history. Still going to take quite a push to top the posts related to topless women.

And what about for Feast? Last Friday morning, there were 28 Google reviews, good for a 3.1 out of 5 rating. As of last evening, there were 529 Google reviews, which pushed the rating up to 4.5.

Here is part of one new 5-star review:

Any restaurant that stands up to the Google Glass bullies deserves 1,000 stars. I sincerely hope Feast reads this review and sues every reviewer who unfairly left them one star reviews because Google Glassholes retaliated after being asked to remove their Google Glasses so diners could dine in peace. I can't wait to go back to this great place. Google Glassholes are obnoxious c**** (rhymes with "runts") and I hope if there is a hell, they all rot in it for all eternity.

And what is the reaction from Feast? We reached out to management for comment.

"We're totally blown away," a restaurant rep told us. "We knew the story had some elements that people would be passionate about, but not to this extent. We've even gotten emails from people all over the world supporting us. Not to mention the Google reviews. I mean, it's sort of all a joke now, but I'm glad it happened because the whole online rating system for restaurants is flawed and this sort of proves our point, which was one of the original points we wanted to make, but it pretty much turned into a privacy war. Don't get us wrong though, we are incredibly humbled by the fact that 500-plus people would spend their time leaving a review for us."

As for Katy Kasmai, the spurned Google Glass wearer who sparked this debate…





The Feast rep confirmed that the two sides did reach out … with an offer of a Google Glass tutorial for the taking.

"Things got out of hand really fast and we just wanted to get a handle on things before we set anything up," the Feast rep said. "As we have said before, our decision is fully based on customers and we never harbored any ill will toward Katy.

"Our decision to meet Katy is based off the fact that we do try to give everyone the best possible experience and if this is something that is important to her and will maybe have us understand Glass more, then we're for it. However, it's our customers who matter to us, and if the overwhelming majority are uncomfortable with Glass, then our policy stands. It's pretty interesting how passionate the pro-Glass and anti-Glass sides are. The arguments and comments have strayed so far from something so simple as a policy at a private establishment. We require people to be clothed when they come in, although that's never been an issue — nobody's ever argued about it. We asked Katy to take her Glass off, just a policy. Not discrimination."

Previously on EV Grieve:
A Google Glass Feast (77 comments)

33 comments:

Uncle Waltie said...

My Google glass is half-full, 'cause I'm an optimist.

Giovanni said...

On her @KatyKasmai twitter profile she is self-described "hustler extraordinaire." Need I say more? She also seems to be promoting bitcoins (really?) and bashing Apple and Uber while also promoting Googlecars. Can you say GoogleShill? Now people are calling her a bully on her own feed. Too bad. I just wonder how many of those negative Yelp reviews were real, since so many people are gaming that system ( biscuits anyone?)

Good for EV Grieve's help exposing what the Google empire is turning into. They used to just develop great products and let the business come to them. Now they have to force-feed the public overpriced gadgets that make you look and act like a Googlebot.

nygrump said...

She's a technofetishist totting her own money horn. Also known as a piggy.

A little while ago I said...

Feast should not bow to the pressure and meet with Ms. Kasmai or have the silly Google Glass tutorial. It would be beneath them.

They should carry on with business as usual (with their obvious grace and dignity and professionalism) and allow this whole episode to pass.

And shame on all those negative reviewers!

Anonymous said...

Google is all about spying and collecting data which in turn is sold to advertisers. Do a search on google for pet food as an example and notice how advertisements will frame the google pages from companies that sell pet supplies etc... Google can track your steps as you browse and will create a profile of your interest, it has your unique ip address too. Google mostly makes its money selling advertisement. The Android operating system they created using "borrowed" code from other companies including Apple and Sun, was created to expand their ad business. Android is given away free to any phone manufacturer in the world meaning American industrial tools are now in the hands of China, South Korea giving these countries a huge economic boom at our expense. Regardless of the quality of those phones and if those phones step over the patent line as Samsung as done for years, Google will claim no responsibility for Android.

Google is seeing its main business model under attack from most internet users reliance on phone apps rather than browser searches. As more and more people access the web via mobile devices and less from PC browsers, Google's cash cow is in danger. To prevent being another footnote in the tech history books Google is releasing poorly conceived and designed products such as personal droids, and Glass which is by no means a cultural or technological revolution but a degrading of social etiquette which makes sense when you consider the type of social illiterates conceiving this stuff.

Google Glass is the ultimate "revenge of the nerds" on society. The comparisons of Glass discrimination to what minorities in this country have and continue to suffer shows their lack of empathy towards others, a basic understanding of humanity and a self centered infantile view of the world.

blue glass said...

privacy is an issue because there no longer is any.
google is now promoting products that do absolutely nothing worthwhile (driverless cars, google glasses...)
unfortunately it is too late to stop the overwhelming data mining and gathering.
the protests should have started years ago and not just about google.
and thanks EV for posting this issue.

Douglas Quint said...

We have a policy just waiting to be posted in our shops stating that "discrete recording devices, such as Google Glass, must be removed before you are served."

Our employees may not be photographed without permission. A casual photo is one thing, but the idea that someone could record them, without their knowledge, horrifies me. They don't need that in their lives. Did you know that Yelp is adding a video component to reviews? Imagine someone wearing a hidden camera (which is what I consider Google Glass) baiting their server into some shitshow argument, then editing it into a one-sided nightmare and posting it on Yelp?

BLARGH.

Giovanni said...

Google founder Sergey Brin said this just yesterday regrading GoogleglASS:

"How long before the world is ready for "remember somoene's name"?"

"Sergey says we've not put facial recognition into Glass and have asked our developers not to."

"Facial recognition is an area society is still formulating its views on, so we're going to focus on other things first."

That's right, Google Glass will have facial recognition some day. But instead of having a policy against it, they are just politely asking developers not to put it into glass, at least not yet. Let's see how long that lasts.

Some day any idiot will be able to look at you, take a photo, find out your identity, and post damaging info, stalk, or harass you just because Google made it easy. And Sergey Brin has the nerve to complain about NSA spying, even while they collect every bit of data about everyone on earth that they can.

Anonymous said...

This whole kiss and make up farce is just as grating and offputting as the original brohaha!

Glenn Belverio said...

Why can't those Glass dickwads just move to San Francisco for Chrissakes.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to moving to a farm where I grow, preserve, cook and eat my own foods, and will never have to wonder why someone wants to GoogleGlass another human being...

Anonymous said...

Katy Kasmai suddenly got real nice when she got blasted for being a self centered brat. Either way Google and their glasses can go hang, don't need to see that when and where I am trying to avoid technology. I especially love bars and restaurants with no wifi nearby. Stay off your phone when were out and I won't drown it in the toilet, again. =) just a helpful reminder.

Anonymous said...

Never thought I'd say this on EVGrieve, but Anon 9:32AM sounds like your typical Apple fanboy nonsense wrapped in a shell of fake concern in regards to data control, privacy, intellectual property, American interests, civil society, and for you the innocent consumer:

- "Google is all about spying and collecting data which in turn is sold to advertisers." Show me a company that isn't doing that.

- "Android borrowed code from Apple/Sun." This outrage is now historical.

- "Android gives it's code away for free." - When they should be charging insane amounts of money for it?

- "Google's "cash cow" is in danger because data can't be tracked on a phone the way it is on a pc browswer." So when I use google.com on my device's web browers (which is Chrome btw), or I used google voice and default search app my info is *not* being tracked? That'll be the day...

"Google is releasing poorly conceived and designed products such as personal droids" - Wouldn't we have a perfect utopian society if *everyone* used an iphone?

- Google Glass is "degrading of social etiquette" - That's the unfortunate byproduct, not the intention.

The last paragraph is a comparison of this google glass situation and how minorities are treated that is so inane and I'd imagine minorities would find it insulting.

Look, douchebags are douchebags. The good thing is that doucebaggery has a way of leveling itself out once everyone gets over the initial excitement of whatever we're deluding ourselves with at the current moment.

Virginia Kelley said...

I agree that the story highlights the serious downside of the online review phenomenon, especially where small businesses are concerned -- anybody with any motive can write anything, and as the law stands at present there we no legal repercussions.

This probably evens out in the case of a large business with hundreds if thousands of customers, but it can be so harmful if someone acts unethically because of, say, a grudge against a neighborhood business or doctor or something. The harms that the libel and slander laws exist to protect us from are not at present prevented or even discouraged.
Virginia Kelley.

12:34 am said...

Most of the Google Glass apologistas' logic is similar to that of the Brawndo excuse for feeding the plants -- because it's got electrolytes -- and arguing the reason for not using water in plants: "You mean like water out of the toilet bowl"... "I ain't never seen any plants grow out of a toilet bowl before". Google Glass is leading us to the age of Idiocracy.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:17
Wow call me a "fan boy" whatever that is, question my concerns for the losing battle of personal privacy as "fake". Would you prefer I start up on Facebook or as some people call it "the NSA's best source of information about the average American"? I suggest you and anyone else that thinks their browsing habit or history is not being recorded check out the 2013 documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply".

"Android gives it's code away for free." - When they should be charging insane amounts of money for it?
Yes nothing is for free you either pay with money or you pay for it by subjecting yourself to advertisement and loss of privacy.

- Google Glass is "degrading of social etiquette" - That's the unfortunate byproduct, not the intention.
Really? Roll over and take it much? You proved my point the nerds that release this shit products have no understanding of consequences beyond what pleases them.

The last paragraph is a comparison of this google glass situation and how minorities are treated that is so inane and I'd imagine minorities would find it insulting. - I am part of a minority and we are still playing catch up to white, heterosexual, men. So don't speak for minorities if you do not belong to one.

"doucebaggery has a way of leveling itself out once everyone gets over the initial excitement of whatever we're deluding ourselves with at the current moment."

Spoken like someone that has not been around too long.

Anonymous said...

I won't sit next to anyone wearing these glasses whether it's a party, restaurant or even the train because it's the equivalent of having a camera pointed directly at my face. How do I know if the person is filming? If they are, where will these images end up? I'm not going to freely give up any last bit of privacy we have left. Google knows their glasses are a disruptive technology which is why they aren't making them widely available via affordable pricing. If they were, I wouldn't leave my house.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:18PM - "I suggest you and anyone else that thinks their browsing habit or history is not being recorded check out the 2013 documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply"." Who here doesn't think they're being tracked? I certainly don't think that. That was my point: Doesn't matter if you're using a google device, an apple device, or a "secure" indie product that promises that your searches are not being tracked and data sold to marketers etc. You use a device, you're being watched. Period. This is not solely a Google problem, this is a systemic issue. Apple does it too, they just don't do it as much but they still collect your data for use down the line. Don't delude yourself.

The rest of your argument is nonsensical equivocation. The idea that "don't speak up for minorities unless you are one" is both tired and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

@blueglass How can you consider working towards saving thousands of lives a year, minimizing auto traffic and pollution, and providing a source of transportation to the blind and disabled not a "worthwhile" endeavor?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:32 - there are numerous ways to track you on mobile devices when 3rd party cookies aren't enabled, including but not limited to: IDFA + Android ID, carrier network advertising IDs, and statistical ID + fingerprinting. Mobile isn't hurting Google - it's making it stronger. They can now track you on-the-go rather than just in the safety of your apartment. All mature online advertising companies can. Good thing is that most of them abide by strict privacy principles that obfuscate you from what they know about you.

Anonymous said...

You are a moron if you dont think new technology like self driving cars are not the future. It could improve driving safety, reduction in fuel consumption, efficient driving and reduce jams. Google isnt the only one looking into this.They just happen to be the most public about it. If you are so concerned about privacy maybe you shouldnt be posting to a public forum or use the internet or that atm card or that smartphone.

Big Brother said...

The Google Glass shills are mighty thin skinned! Grieve, watch out for one star reviews!

Anonymous said...

I am not afraid of new technology... However, I do not want to sit next to a table of glassholes tweeting every self absorbed moment....
Will gladly go to places which ban this! Bravo Feast!

5:44 pm said...

Speaking of topless women, Rumer has it that Moira's got some serious competition http://gawker.com/scout-willis-demands-nipples-on-instagram-with-topless-1582754269; Scout's honor. Google Glass, anyone?

Makeout said...

Where is your navel Grieve? Down by the space bar? Inquiring Makeouts kinda wanna know.

Anonymous said...

@annon 1:18
"The rest of your argument is nonsensical equivocation. The idea that "don't speak up for minorities unless you are one" is both tired and dangerous."

Your statement is by someone that is not a minority and is clueless to what real discrimination is the institutionalized or social kind. Try not dismissing others experiences because it is has not been yours. Google Glass-holes are not born that way it is apparently a "choice".

Crazy Eddie said...

I'm my way to the Strand and I see a notice for "Ukulele Lessons" posted on the street light. Umm, I think I’ll try that.

Anonymous said...

i wish all the people who posted on Google, Twithead, and on these comment threads here would post/write/scream about Isla Vista & gun control. It amazes me that something like this, rather than killing sprees, gets more people upset and willing to take some action.

Anonymous said...

Hey 12:25AM (before me), I'm sure there are plenty of local California message boards available to you in order to have your Isla Vista/gun control rant.

Anonymous said...

People who would wear Google Glasses are the same ones who would ride a CitiBike and take the Hampton Jitneys.

Anonymous said...

I'm failing to see the connection between Google Glass and Citibikes (and the Hampton Jitneys??).

I love Citibike and think it's a fantastic thing for the city.

I think Google Glass is a horrible thing, and applaud any establishment that bans it.

I've never been to the Hamptons, let alone ridden on the Jitney.

Douglas Quint said...

What's everyone wearing right now?

Anonymous said...

"I'm failing to see the connection between Google Glass and Citibikes (and the Hampton Jitneys??)"

Because all are self-serving to mostly the riches. If you can't see that, then you do need a Google Glass to see it.