#Glass goes to Memorial Day in DC

My latest batch of minders at Guantanamo, mobilized soldiers led by a reserve U.S. Navy public affairs officer, have spurned my efforts to use Google Glass. So I took it for a walk through some veteran sites on Memorial Day in human-interest rich Washington D.C. -- where the military would not dare try to wield a censor's knife. 

The camera's eye scans wide and by standing still I was able to capture, with great simplicity,20140526_155105_114[1] the scene at Arlington Cemetery's Plot 60, where the post 9/11 fallen now rest.
I still haven't learned, however, to tie my hair back while filming on a windy day.

Another clip, below, lasts just 10 seconds in my continuing effort to command this new technology. For this one, stood under a tree scanning the scene with Google Glass then suddenly noticed someone hung a faux dog tag memorializing a soldier.  The sound you hear in this short 10-second clip is the plane passing overhead. 


But perhaps my favorite image from this eve-of-Guantanamo trip was a snap I took with iPhone (Sorry, Glass) over at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was the brightest part of the day and I didn't want to switch out of my sunglasses to squint through Glass.

I hadn't even planned to take any pictures. But, just as I was marveling at the reflection of the finally unwrapped Washington Monument, this little girl walked past doing what we all want to do -- feel the letters, connect with the stone.

So I snapped this before her mom scooped her up and headed the other way.




Juice under Glass

It's been ages since I've fired up my Google Glass, in part because keeping it charged has been a challenge. Also, frankly, this curent Army-Navy Public Affairs Noglass operation at Guantánamo is pretty hostile to photography in general, and Glass in particular.

But the new titanium frames, with my own prescription, are so much more comfortable, wearable I've become determined to keep using them, exploring

So I decided I'd show off the latest quirky feature in our new headquarters -- a year after traded our breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay for the hurricane-proof building that once was home to the Defense Department's U.S. Southern Command:

Now for $2.50 we can treat ourselves to a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice -- from a vending machine.

I took Glass out from my desk to buy one and, with apologies to actual filmmakers, made a two-and-a-half-minute video clip:






My Glass is back, personalized

I sent my Explorer's edition in for an upgrade and then got the new titanium frames for my eyeglass lenses. (Selfie to come.)

Now, with my prescription built into the device there's no more need to jam them on top of my ordinary glasses. But it also means others can't give them a try unless they somehow happen to have my progressive prescription.

On balance I'm already glad that I made the investment, and took the time out of "exploring: to do it. Not only does it look less geeky, it's more comfortable to wear -- and spares me the debate on whehter to bother with contact lenses.

So I took my Glass to the Miami Herald's annual meeting today and got back in Google Glass exploring. 

I captured some video of the scene -- inside our new print plant in Miami's Doral suburb --  the vantage point of the boss, Publisher David Landsberg, as well as the crowd lining up for coffee. 

It was early in the morning and we are a news organization, afterall. So the colleagues were mostly indulgent, or amused. With the new frames it's less obtrusive but you can't miss that little light that indicates I'm filming or snapping a shot. Below are two staff photographers. Okay, maybe they're not amused but they did seem rather intrigued.Grifncarl

And here was the scene for the publisher's Q & A from my seat in the third row.


In terms of the device, it still needs to run off a Bluetooth or Wifi to post, something that's a bit finicky. But I'm going to work my way back to that down the road, perhaps at a sports event.


Veterans Day pro-tip for #GoogleGlass users: Remember not to nod

One of the hardest things to get used to as a print reporter using Google Glass is to suppress the instinct to nod during an interview. Think about it: You're wearing a camera on your face and looking the person you are interviewing in the eye. You want them to do the same, look you in the eye, but ignore the camera you're wearing on your face.

Here's Army Staff Sgt Victor Arvizu, an Iraq and Afghanistan combat medic now working as a health tech at a Veteran Administration clinic in Florida, talking to me about what it's like to be a Veteran today for a story I did on a new program that'll help him become a registered nurse in just one year. And he was great as I tried to keep my head steady and convey understanding without the usual nod.


The other challenge, which takes some time, is to try to lower your volume asking questions to match it to the person you're interviewing, who's not as close to the microphone. As you can see, Victor wasn't the least bit rattled by the peculiar looking camera atop my eyeglasses. Part of it I attribute to pulling it out and showing him the device a bit as I asked permission to put it on. Part of it was probably because Victor, as a 20-year soldier, prepared for our interview with a bit of research that uncovered I was an Explorer who encountered some obstacles using it at my day job, covering Guantanamo news for the Miami Herald. In the military, they call that kind of preparation "situational awareness." And Victor came to our Veterans Day conversation with the confidence of someone who had thought and planned ahead.



Autumn in New England, by GoogleGlass


While on furlough, I took GoogleGlass for a walk to watch the leaves turning.

Here's my favorite, a 10-second clip I made while standing absolutlely still, moving nothing but my head.


I captured the foliage with natural light, no filters. But, as this nearly four-minute clip illustrates, I still need work panning my with head and walking at the same time. #nogum




GoogleGlass in a Guantánamo mortuary meant to bring the dead home from war

Long before Google Glass, Guantánamo had Camp Justice and the bizarre expeditionary legal complex -- just a 10-minute ride from the hotel, McDonald's and officers club on the Navy base that simulates life in small-town America circa 1965.

So this week I used the device to revisit one of the most chilling (literally) aspects of the tent city compound, something I discovered when I arrived to cover the trial of Osama bin Laden's driver in the summer of 2008.


It's an Air Force mortuary, a $32,000 a piece,  3,470-pound refrigerators case, shelves still intact for battlefield body bags.

Continue reading "GoogleGlass in a Guantánamo mortuary meant to bring the dead home from war" »


GoogleGlass captures a Guantanamo prosecution press briefing

On Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, the Pentagon permitted filming of the roundtable conducted by Brig Gen. Mark Martins, the war court chief prosecutor, laying out plans for that week's 9/11 pretrial hearings. In the past it's been done sitting in an actual circle, a bit less formally, or at tables, where reporters can set their pads and recorders in front of them. This one was a little more formal, and military staff matched reporters because only six media members came down on the Military Commissions flight a day earlier from Andrews Air Force Base.

Here's a 10-minute segment of with it looked like, as seen by Google Glass inside a mostly empty shed at the war court compound, from the vantage of a print reporter, me. 

This video presents some of the challenges of one-size, fits-all reporting -- and how I'm still learning to use my GoogleGlass as a reporting tool.

Continue reading "GoogleGlass captures a Guantanamo prosecution press briefing" »


Google Glass at a cocktail party

I took Glass out to a party last night -- a reception for Frank Mora, the new head of the Latin American & Caribbean Center at Florida International University -- and confirmed what I suspected would happen all along: Glass gets confused when a lot of people are talking at the same time.

The cocktail party din thwarted even my best efforts to dictate a photo caption, and then post it on voice command. The monitor kept displaying a request to say it again, with no success.

So I waited until I left the party to post this photo to Twitter. I have yet to figure out how to have Glass post both the picture and the text to Twitter, so I added a caption later.

Separately, I'm still tinkering with FullScreen Beam and have yet to master posting a video directly from Glass to YouTube. I brought Glass home and downloaded the clip below. It's audible although perhaps not the best audio of Mora talking about his vision of a community tackling the issues of Latin America and the Caribbean from his center. 


To capture it I had to be a bit conspicous. I walked to the front of the cocktail party crowd, regretably obscuring some folks' view, as I stood not-quite close enough to get the quality I seek.

Continue reading "Google Glass at a cocktail party" »


Google Glass tour for McClatchy Interactive

Here's a video I made in advance of a conference call today to show my Glass to about 100 employees across McClatchy newspapers who work on interactive projects. The initial idea was to do the tour live. But some at McClatchy haven't embraced The Hangout yet, and the conference call manager went with an abundance-of-caution pretape approach instead. 

Which brings me to one of the biggest challenges that I think Glass faces in this Beta, Explorer phase: Google+.

My company uses GMail but does not at this stage allow it to interact with Google+. So, in my world, Google+ is still a fairly foreign platform. As an Explorer I of course have an independent non-Herald Google+ account -- carolrosenbergtmh. I open it separately on a different tab on Chrome.  But I spend a fair amount of energy posting elsewhere -- here on Typepad, through Youtube and Twitter, which is currently very popular with the Miami Herald's interactive team.

Soon we're going to put a widget on my MiamiHerald Guantánamo webpage, the one I manage on our main website, that will bring you back to this blog, called News on Google Glass. It's run by yet another system, Typepad.


Guantánamo Bay crossing, by Google Glass


It took some real effort to stabilize the videocam on the ferry for the sunrise ferry crossing on Aug. 24, 2013. But the clip gives you a sense, plus that's the Guantánamo River at the left.


Sunrise ferry crossing from Windward to Leeward on Aug. 24, 2013. Video by Google Glass, pans back onto the ferry carrying media, war court observers.