My first Google Glass no-comment

ConnellWhy did guards hand one of the alleged 9/11 conspirators a copy of the steamy novel Fifty Shades of Grey at Guantánamo's clandestine Camp 7? Prison spokesman Navy Capt. Robert Durand explains he's gagged, can't discuss Guantánamo's most clandestine prison, the place where a secret unit called Task Force Platinum holds captives who'd been interrogated at CIA "black sites."



Guantánamo Google Glass in the echo chamber

EchoThe New York Observer's BetaBlog blog on my blog item. Also, HuffPost blogged with a less provocative headline ("Guantánamo is Latest to Ban Google Glass") and a conflated timetable. I was told I couldn't take it to the Detention Center Zone on July 22. The poster banning Glass specifically inside court (like any cellphone, computer or camera) went up Monday. Quartz did a really nice job aggregating my coverage, reaching back to my must-see video of the soldier/censors getting their first glimpse of GoogleGlass. Within a couple of days, the Weekly Standard, CNET joined the pickup party. 

Oops | Did somebody tell Glass to take a picture?

Found this photo inside my #GoogleGlass drive. It was sitting on my Camp Justice desk and apparently inadvertently captured an image, through my everyday eyeglasses, of sketch artist Janet Hamlin chatting with a sailor.

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Videoclip | A Google Glass glimpse of Camp Justice

I got my first outdoor video clip through "opsec," the inspection by troops to make sure I don't show you anything you're not allowed to see. Taboo images include a tent containing an empty cell and a guard tower that used to be allowed.  So I've limited it to what it looks like in media tent city (where we sleep) at Guantanamo's Camp Justice. I chose sunrise, the prettiest part of the day at this U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

Report: Google Glass needs more time to tweak it

Glass0800Computerworld says the Glass folks have pushed back to 2014 plans to mass market the product. But, when they do, the folks who control access to the Guantánamo war court are ready.


Google Glass banned at Guantánamo war court (like any other camera)

GlassA new sign greeted spectators at Guantánamo's expeditionary legal complex on Monday, the first day of a week-long pretrial hearing in the Sept. 11 terror case. It was at the war-court compound's entrance and just inside doors leading to the spectator's gallery. (I was writing from the Camp Justice media center, with my Google Glass safely tucked away, when sketch artist Janet Hamlin brought this back.)

The notice seemed a bit superfluous since both the military judge, Army Col. James Pohl, and the Pentagon itself forbid any kind of recording of military commissions proceedings. To illusrate it, I've attached the Jan. 1, 2013 poster below on what isn't allowed at Courtroom 2, where the Sept. 11 trial is to be held. In short, #Glass is the sum of many forbidden parts -- photo, video, audio, cellphone, computer, flashdrive. 

But as the only user of Glass currently on the base (I have one of 8,000 Explorer editions worldwide) I appreciated the personal touch.


Google Glass experiment at Camp Justice Day 1

I'm at Guantanamo covering a week of pretrial hearings ahead of the Sept. 11 terror trial. I turned on GoogleGlass inside my tent this morning, to document my sunrise commute. It's a short walk -- past tent showers and toilets, then the court compound to the hangar housing the crude press center.

I  made video clips along the way but couldn't do a tight enough shot. Glass' video captured some forbidden portions of the war court's Expeditionary Legal Complex, including a slice of a no-show tent behind barbed wire with an abandoned cell and also a corner of a fence covered in green netting.


I will try again tomorrow.


Why Glass can't Google at Guantánamo

I'm heading back to Guantánamo for next week's war court hearings so it seems timely to explain Google Glass' internet capabilities. 

I can tell Glass to search the web, to Google, with a voice command. I can use it to nearly instantly post a picture or video I've taken with it -- via Google+, Twitter and YouTube. It can stream back to me videos, recite the weather in my ear, and give (at times kooky) directions.

But all of that requires WiFi. And not any kind of WiFI. It uses one-step or no-logon WiFi, something that's increasingly hard to find. 

Get it? The increasingly password-protected WiFi out there is an obstacle. At my office, for example, our security system only lets me connect to WiFi using both a user name and a password, a two-step logon. And my Explorers version of Glass cannot do that. So, for continuous service, I run my Glass off a personal hot spot on my iPhone. I keep it in my pocket, and tether it by Bluetooth.
Which brings me to why I can't go live with it at Guantánamo. The base has no U.S. cellphone service. At Gitmo, I can't ask it to Google something, can't instruct it to post a photo, can't dictate an email to my boss and then send it.

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Why a blog about Google Glass?

When we launched the Miami Herald's Guantánamo page years ago, I decided it would follow strict journalistic conventions. It's a repository for news articles without opinion, a website that covers a place, a policy and a people using traditional online elements: images that illustrate, documents that illuminate, graphics and videos that provide a dispassionate deep dive into a frequently controversial story. That site sticks to the basics -- who, what, where, when, why and how -- while leveraging new media.

This blog does not set out to do any of that. Rather, like Google Glass, it is an experiment. Here, one item at a time, I will try to illustrate my exploration of this new journalistic tool.

WindexSometimes this blog will tackle questions, and sometimes posts will answer them. A colleague asked yesterday: Do you clean it with Windex? (It is called Glass, remember.) Answer: Nope. So far I've dabbed its lens and video display gently with an eyeglass cloth. If anyone out there discovers a better answer, please do tweet @carolrosenberg using the hashtag #Glasshygiene.

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World through the looking glass


Glass0800Google’s newest gadget has gone skydiving, been to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, sat over the eyes of an artist doing a drawing and joined one naked tech enthusiast in the shower. Doctors at a Connecticut hospital are testing it, a Vegas strip club banned it and I brought it to Guantánamo.

It’s Google Glass, a computer with a camera that you wear like eyeglasses — a once unimaginable technological tool. It lets you glance up and see a news bulletin on its tiny screen or dictate an email. Ask it a question, out loud, and you’ll hear an answer in your ear.  

And because it’s so new, on the heads of just 8,000 so-called Explorers, it’s seen as the ultimate status symbol in certain techie circles, drawing curious stares and the occasional giddy giggle of recognition.

A geek grew wide-eyed at the Apple Store's Genius Bar on Lincoln Road and asked to see it. A waitress dashed over when I wore it to dinner at the Khong River House restaurant. As she leaned in for a look, I told it to snap her picture. “OK, Glass: Take a picture.”

And it did.

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