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Why I'm Sending Back Google Glass 166

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you're-not-cool-enough dept.
Lucas123 (935744) writes "After using Google Glass for several weeks, Computerworld columnist Matt Lake had plenty of reasons to explain why he returned them, not the least of which was that they made him cross-eyed and avoid eye contact. Google Glass batteries also drain like a bath tub when using either audio or video apps and they run warm. And, as cool as being able to take videos and photos with the glasses may be, those shots are always at an angle. Of course, being able to do turn-by-turn directions is cool, but not something you can do without your smart phone's cellular data or a mobile hotspot. The list of reasons goes on... Bottom line, if Google Glass is in the vanguard of a future class of wearable computers, the future isn't the present."
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Why I'm Sending Back Google Glass

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  • Pretty obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carrot007 (37198) <Carrot007@nosPaM.thewibblereport.co.uk> on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @10:55AM (#47056241) Homepage

    I do want them but I am holding out until they are a little more powerful.

    Anyone who expects them to be anything the than a preview of what is yet to come is an idiot.

    But please feel free to clutter up the world with more pointless articles.

    • Pretty obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Retinal display will be the key to success.

      Right now it's bullshit.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Every display is retinal, because it uses your retinas.

        Your post is bullshit, whether you're implying apple (as the poster below) implied or not.

        When displays aren't retinal, that might actually be the key to success.

      • by Hussman32 (751772)
        I'd help clarify that comment by recommending Peter F. Hamilton's book Pandora's Star (search Amazon)...he envisioned an implanted HUD display where people could access the Internet analog and do other comp sci stuff. Pretty cool ideas there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is true, but hopefully, maybe this will get the critics to actually critique the device and surmise how it could be better, instead of just howling about privacy and being recorded all the time.

      I mean they can fix all the issues this guy has a problem with except the one that isn't a problem, the belief that its recording everything all the time. It will never be able to do that, whether you want it too or not.

      • In TFA, he surprisingly had some good criticisms of the actual device. Unfortunately all that made it to the summary was the bullshit reasons regarding people's misunderstanding and misuse of psychology, and/or his discomfort with not looking people in the eye. I see a future were we just get used to it, the same as we ignore people checking their phone already.

        After we get past the nonsense, it seems the device itself has some design issues, though not all are issues i agree are issues (like maps using cel

        • Re:Pretty obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:38AM (#47056675)

          I see a future were we just get used to it, the same as we ignore people checking their phone already.

          It's possible, but at least in my social circles so far people haven't really adapted to carrying on a conversation while checking phone, at least for more than brief glances. When someone looks down at their phone for more than 3-4 seconds, the conversation pauses, and resumes when they look back up again. The explicit looking-at-the-screen aspect essentially communicates out-of-band the "am I paying attention to this conversation or not?" aspect that's used to fairly seamlessly pause and restart the conversation. So far, I've found it hard to do that with people wearing eyepieces (I've had conversations with people [gatech.edu] wearing prototype versions on and off since 2004), since you don't get the explicit notification of now-looking-at-screen, now-looking-back-up attentional state that you get with smartphones.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            "... and resumes when they look back up again. "
            why? whatever you are talking about is boring.

            It's like talking to some one and they go glassy eyed. You might as well just stop talking mid sentence.

            " since you don't get the explicit notification of now-looking-at-screen, now-looking-back-up attentional state that you get with smartphones."
            so? If they miss something ether they didn't care or they need to pay attention.

            • by lgw (121541)

              Some people have interesting personal discussions which must be briefly interrupted from time to time to check whether work needs priority attention.

          • by Agares (1890982)
            The fact that people are use to phones is why I would be more worried about them than google glass. We are all so use to seeing a phone out that we think nothing of it. Which makes it easy for people to record others as well as take creep shots if the want to.
        • Re:Pretty obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

          by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @01:20PM (#47057749)

          the same as we ignore people checking their phone already.

          Speak for yourself. A lot of us find people checking their phone when they are supposed to be engaged in a social context to be very annoying and rude.

          But not nearly as annoying and rude as someone wearing Google Glass would be.

          The kind of people that want Google Glass are the exact same people that can't work out or don't care about the etiquette of when and how to use their existing phones. The Glassholes nickname is perfect.

          • A lot of us find people checking their phone when they are supposed to be engaged in a social context to be very annoying and rude.

            I believe they refer to us as "old people".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Low responsiveness to voice commands, low battery endurance, and high heat generation seem like they could be legitimate problems.

      Everything else mentioned in the article is obvious, intentionally idiotic user error.

      Hard to have eye contact during a conversation if you're looking at a screen instead of the person you're talking to? No shit. Doesn't have anything to do with Glass.

      Other people can tell that you're wearing them? No shit. They aren't fucking Invisible.

      Feel inadequate because you lead a boring l

      • This clearly shows why this author is a waste of space and making claims for hit counts.

        He received a device for a developer/platform development program, and instead of treating it like a platform and developing things for it, he treats it like a product and whines about it.

        FFS, please do send it back, or give it to someone who WILL DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH IT.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by narcc (412956)

          FFS, please do send it back, or give it to someone who WILL DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH IT.

          Has this happened yet? Has anyone done something useful with it?

          Is such a thing even possible?

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Hard to have eye contact during a conversation if you're looking at a screen instead of the person you're talking to? No shit. Doesn't have anything to do with Glass.

        Of course that has something to do with glass... That's the fundamental operating model of Glass. It indicates that the fundamental interaction model for the product is flawed completely and utterly.

    • I'm waiting for a lot more powerful. A little text at the corner of my eye isn't much help to me. Full augmented reality across the entire lens would be.
    • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:00PM (#47056947)

      But please feel free to clutter up the world with more pointless articles.

      The article sums up two fundamental problems for Google Glass:

      It's called glassing out. You look cross-eyed. People can't make eye contact with you, and they read things into your lack of eye contact.

      I had surgery to gain control over a "wandering" eye when it became obvious how much my inability to maintain eye contact was costing me both at home and at work.

      People fear surveillance. They don't want a recording device waved in front of them. And that's how many people see Google Glass. People avoid talking to you when you wear them.

      No amount of frames or shades conceals the glowing prism at the front that brands you a Glass-exploring neo-cyborg.

      Loss of eye contact makes it difficult to build trust --- and the ever-present "in-your-face" camera only makes things worse.

      • by Drethon (1445051)
        And yet here you are discussing it on an internet forum rather that face to face...
      • by bitt3n (941736)

        I had surgery to gain control over a "wandering" eye when it became obvious how much my inability to maintain eye contact was costing me

        Why didn't you just send an anonymous message to HR requesting they enforce the cleavage policy?

    • Anyone who wants them is an idiot.

      See how that works?

  • by Schezar (249629) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:03AM (#47056305) Homepage Journal

    I can easily see how he could have these problems. His use case is ridiculous.

    I can't imagine a sane human being putting on Google Glass and thinking "hey, I'll watch video or read web pages on this thing!" That's almost the opposite of a normal use case. I can't imagine looking at the screen for more than a few seconds at a time.

    The value of glass:

    1. Non-distracting notifications of emergent information

    I don't take my phone out of my pocket every time it buzzes. I don't constantly read twitter every time I happened to pull it out to see what that buzz was. Instead, I just live my life. If I'm walking somewhere, and glass buzzes, I can, at my leisure, cock my head slightly to turn on the display and read the message. If there's a short followup, I speak it into Glass. If there's a long one, I, at my leisure, deal with it later on my phone.

    2. Navigation

    I'll be honest. For driving, or especially biking/touring, the turn-by-turn is worth the current price of admission even if that is the SOLE use. Trying to mount a phone on a motorcycle/bicycle, let alone pull a phone out of one's pocket while biking, is laughable. The navigation is amazing to behold the first time you use it. For a frequent biker/traveler, it's already indispensable/

    3. Candid photos

    I have a large collection of interesting shots of my life now. The photos are indeed at an "angle" much of the time. Who cares? If I want to take a picture, I use my phone, or a real camera. I use Glass solely to catch, again, emergent moments. Something interesting happens, and I snap a photo discretely and immediately. For that use case, I defy a regular camera or smartphone to be deployed and used quickly enough without similar "angle" or "shot framing" issues.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/... [flickr.com]

    Glass is primarily a notification tool coupled with a navigator and a quick-draw smartphone.

    I'm not saying Glass is perfect. Far from it. It has a long way to go. But this guy appears to be trying to use it in the least imaginative and least useful ways possible. He's doing the equivalent of complaining that he cant edit 4k video on his phone, or that he can't easily make toast with his flamethrower.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:19AM (#47056449)

      I have a large collection of interesting shots of my life now.

      Yeah, I love all the shots of traffic and your rabbit's bedding. Priceless memories there.

      • by shikaisi (1816846)

        I have a large collection of interesting shots of my life now.

        Yeah, I love all the shots of traffic and your rabbit's bedding. Priceless memories there.

        Now, if the rabbit had a pancake on its head...

    • by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:22AM (#47056493) Homepage Journal

      Okay, so explain to me why Google Glass has to be a stand-alone computing device (requiring wlan connectivity, more powerful CPU, larger batteries, etc) to meet your 3 points, instead of a simple optional display / camera peripheral that is used with an existing cell phone? I don't remember any genius deciding that cell phones should all be crammed into bluetooth headsets because a certain portion of the population likes to wear bluetooth headsets all the time.

      Google Glass is in the form factor of a display device that has been overextended into the all-in-one device. That makes more sense for a less obtrusive form factor like a wristwatch, but not for something that you have to wear like a cyborg. It will never, ever gain traction as the core mobile computing device, because people that don't want to wear it on their head all the time won't tolerate having to switch back and forth between it and their cell phone. I think the adoption rate will be no better than bluetooth headsets at best.

      How much less would Google Glass cost (and weigh) if it was just a low-power bluetooth peripheral with a display and camera? 1/5th the price?

      • +100.

      • by sadboyzz (1190877)
        I don't think bluetooth has enough bandwidth for smooth video streaming.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          I think BT 3 and 4. can do 25MBits.
          Granted, 4 wasn't out during Glass development.

      • by internerdj (1319281) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:04PM (#47056985)
        From the Head mounted displays that I've worked with, the optics portion tends to be the limiting factor for dimensionality and weight. It isn't like going with just a GPU on the thing is going to make it into a set of eyeglasses. You've also got a lot of overlap in passing/processing video and general information passing/processing. You probably aren't going to save a lot by making it just a phone accessory. You definitely aren't going to see a lot of difference from an aesthetic perspective.
        • by wagnerrp (1305589)
          I think a lot of people fail to realize that it's not just a display an inch away from their eye. You really have to use a reflex display at least once to grasp their purpose.
      • I think your example extends to smart watches as well- what other use would you have for them then to see an incoming text or who is calling you so you don't have to pull your phone out?

      • explain to me why Google Glass has to be a stand-alone computing device (requiring wlan connectivity, more powerful CPU, larger batteries, etc) to meet your 3 points, instead of a simple optional display / camera peripheral that is used with an existing cell phone?

        Because that would make sense[1] and this is Google we're talking about.

        [1] Assuming you think the concept itself is any good, which I don't particularly.

      • by Drethon (1445051)
        Yep, I think its time to disconnect the I/O of a computer from its processor. Seems like we only need a mobile (low power) and non mobile (high performance) processor that talks to a bunch of I/O devices.
      • I'm sure it was considered (it's a fairly obvious approach after all), but I really doubt that streaming live video to a radio receiver+H.264 decoder for a few seconds uses much less power than popping up a card with an SoC and keeping it there. Then there's the issues of bandwidth, range, responsiveness, reliability, battery drain on your phone as well, and your phone having to be in range to do *anything* as opposed to just transferring the occasional notification or GPS co-ord.

    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:23AM (#47056503) Homepage
      You can get turn by turn navigation in a bike specific GPS for way less than the price of Google Glass. And you load the maps right on the device so you don't have to worry about data plans or losing cell reception. Personally, I would love it if my cell phone could do everything, but GPS seems to be one of those things where a dedicated device just works so much better. The GPS on my phone will work ok in a pinch, but for things like cycling and hiking, there's no comparison to using a real GPS.
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Yea and No...

        dedicated GPS devices fail on "fuzzy" information.

        ME: Take me to the nearest Library
        Phone: give me choices, I click and off I go.
        Dedicated GPS : ........ DOES NOT COMPUTE! ERROR! ERROR! EXTERMINATE!

        • Do you understand your command is INCREDIBLY context based where standalone GPS works best on empirical data. Also in your GPS scenario, internet connectivity is required. Thats not navigation, thats touring.
          • You're 100% correct in only the way us nerds can be. You're arguing a technicality when the general population doesn't give a shit. The muggles want to just tell the "thingy" to take them to the damned library. They don't care if it has a map onboard or if there is an atomic sized dinosaur inside drawing it directly on the screen. They just want to go to the library. The company that takes them to the library with the fewest annoyances and questions will get rich. Citation? Apple. Remember? "It jus
          • by Lumpy (12016)

            99.9765% of people that use GPS's dont care about that, they just want it to work.

            and you are incorrect, because libraries are not roving beasts that require constant location database updates, standalone GPS devices can easily hold a POI database with this information.

            Now if Standalone GPS makers would hire competent programmers, we could have this.

    • +1 to this comment.

      I have a 1 year old that loves reacting to a camera. Hold out a cellphone and she smiles. Hold out a lense and she stops doing whatever and watches the camera. With Glass I have captured tons of videos with her in unique and interesting ways that tell a better story of her. Try recording this with a regular camera:
      http://youtu.be/scEJJK7cxGg [youtu.be]
      or here:
      http://youtu.be/jDLCQJluNAQ [youtu.be]

      The problem is that it took me nearly two weeks to get adjusted to Google Glass. My battery regularl
    • by Altus (1034)

      People who have not used glass usually have expectations of ti that are not realistic... like they believe its a HUD that will overlay useful information over your field of vision, put peoples names above their heads and other magical things when the reality is it is a small, low res screen hovering at the edge of your vision that doesn't do a particularly good job of much of anything while not being very reactive to user input.

      Part of those expectations are thanks to hollywood but you see the same thing in

      • by Zynder (2773551)
        You've hit the nail on the head. The problem is, what you think we think we want, is exactly what we want!!!! So Goog needs to make a real HUD with peoples names and big ol tom tom arrows to herd us around. Give me a pop up saying I'm about to get rained on. Tell me when I am approaching the store that I am supposed to buy something for dinner. Ya know, all the stuff my cellphone can already do- just do it on a HUD.

        I have to lay the blame squarely on Google. Their marketing people are the ones who've

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:55AM (#47056887)

      Take all those useful features, put them somewhere other than my face. Problem solved.

    • "2. Navigation I'll be honest. For driving, or especially biking/touring, the turn-by-turn is worth the current price of admission even if that is the SOLE use. Trying to mount a phone on a motorcycle/bicycle, let alone pull a phone out of one's pocket while biking, is laughable. The navigation is amazing to behold the first time you use it. For a frequent biker/traveler, it's already indispensable"

      The big differentiator here is that you are using dedicated hardware. You could easily mount a cheap dedic
    • Glass is primarily a notification tool coupled with a navigator and a quick-draw smartphone.

      If the battery was known to be inadequate for video recording and playback, why did Google tack that bullshit onto the beta product when simple performance testing could have shown them a useless (i.e., 3-4 hr) battery life when used to it's full capabilities - that's no-go levels of charge for a "wearable". I had a Palm/Fossil watch a while back - was sweet except that it kept needing a charge every 4 hrs.

      I would be 10x more interested in Glass if it had no video recording capabilities (hell, I don't even

    • by Ravaldy (2621787)

      I like your assessment of the article. I believe you are correct in saying the writer's use was wrong. It's like using a hammer to put in a screw.

      On the flip side, the glasses DO NOT solve the enormous amount of data coming to us daily through our smart phone. Instead I believe those who manage to pay attention to the device based on priorities will be more efficient. I use a Windows phone and at a glance I know if I have facebook notifications, emails in 3 different accounts, twitter and items due today. I

    • by praxis (19962)

      The value of glass:

      1. Non-distracting notifications of emergent information

      I don't take my phone out of my pocket every time it buzzes. I don't constantly read twitter every time I happened to pull it out to see what that buzz was. Instead, I just live my life. If I'm walking somewhere, and glass buzzes, I can, at my leisure, cock my head slightly to turn on the display and read the message. If there's a short followup (sic), I speak it into Glass. If there's a long one, I, at my leisure, deal with it later on my phone.

      I too just live my life. If I'm walking somewhere, and a message arrives in one of my inboxes, I can, at my leisure process my inboxes and respond to those messages as appropriate in long- or short- form. I configured my notifications on my phone such that important and urgent notifications vibrate my phone and everything else makes no notification at all. I prefer to focus on what I am doing and who I am doing it with rather than extraneous information without fearing I'll miss something important and urge

    • I can't imagine a sane human being putting on Google Glass and thinking "hey, I'll watch video or read web pages on this thing!"

      You come to THIS SITE and make a statement like that? You can actually say that with out falling out of your chair? Preposterous! Most of us (probably you too) were reading all of this while we're supposed to be "working". Watching porn and reading forums whenever/wherever I want was the first thing I thought would be cool about Glass. Now did you make that statement because

  • by milgram (104453) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:09AM (#47056365)

    While I still consider Glass to be a solution without of problem, unless people use and find problems with them, innovation will not occur. There is a process of failing that precedes success. I understood when I bought Glass there would be issues. I wear them to find these issues and attempt to improve them. That is why I love to program. I like to make things better.

    I read the complaints on the Explorer board, and I am shocked that people expected a perfect product. This is meant to be beta testing. Google has been very clear about this.

    If you don’t wish to seek innovation, and you are afraid of things not going perfectly, send them back. You are probably not the type of person who seeks to improve the world around them.

    • a solution without of problem

      I wonder if the purpose of being there first with a product like this is to register some patents & copyrights. Microsoft seems to introduce plenty of lame products...but I wonder if the patent royalty stream is the most profitable of a new product line. Much like their P.O. Box approach to DOS licensees -- just send me the money.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:44AM (#47056743) Homepage

      I have Glass and I rarely use it anymore... I replaced it with a product that I dont worry about losing or damaging and provides what I need in the same really easy to get format.

      I replaced my Glass with a Pebble watch. Quick glance at any of the info I need, plus I can easily interact. And It's $129 (whine at Best Buy and they will discount it) so if I smash it or get robbed, I dont care.

      I still wear Glass for special occasions or if we dress up to go out, Nothing screams rich like wearing a $1500 toy on your head, It's the same as wearing a Rolex only you get more nods from the other rich guys.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @01:52PM (#47058107)

        I still wear Glass for special occasions or if we dress up to go out, Nothing screams rich like wearing a $1500 toy on your head, It's the same as wearing a Rolex only you get more nods from the other rich guys.

        And this is the reason the term "glasshole" was coined.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Pretty sure that nod indicates you are a giant douche.

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:06PM (#47057005)

      While I still consider Glass to be a solution without of problem

      A local school is testing them in flipped classrooms [wikipedia.org]. The teacher wears GG as the students attempt to solve problems and type the solutions into a computer. GG displays a grid of the classroom that indicates which students are struggling. The teacher moves around the classroom, quickly going to where help is needed most. It seems to work well with most of the teachers, although some don't like it. This is still a research project (no education money is being spent), and the cost of the device will have to come way down before classroom use becomes widespread.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      Glass is a pioneer product, and the guys with the arrows in the back are always the pioneers (Compaq with their HDD based MP3 player, Diamond with their serial based player, Creative with their Nomad Jukebox, and so on.

      I wouldn't be surprised to see the "settlers" (the guys that come on the trails blazed by the pioneers) come along with a decent product eventually. Maybe the next iteration of Glass will use arrays of cameras to make a composite view, or one camera for depth of field, one for the image (lik

  • Cross eyed (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Opti-Grab, anyone? (see The Jerk)

  • I never got the impression these were supposed to be mature release devices. You buy one to experiment with developing new software for them. While an end user can still provide valuable feedback it doesn't seem like they are the target audience.

    My bent $0.02...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When the last vestiges of privacy are finally destroyed, we will all live in harmony and love under the rule of Google. This guy is an idiot.

  • But, the SDK and UX they are developing they will license.

    I've had a set since december and worn them maybe 2 hours total. The video is cool, but in reality it is nothing more than a toy.
  • there is a possibility of neurological and eye problems from putting something like this into the field of vision. I wonder if the FDA has looked into these issues and might consider regulations, perhaps a warning label.

    Thje google glass concept is creepy in my opinion, as if people walking around with eyes glued to little smartphones wasnt creepy enogh (tracking and monitoring devices in reality). People need to get out, live more, and get untangled from the grid for more of their lives. I am a computer pr

    • by necro81 (917438)

      there is a possibility of neurological and eye problems from putting something like this into the field of vision. I wonder if the FDA has looked into these issues and might consider regulations, perhaps a warning label

      Reminds me of The Jerk [imdb.com] .

  • So because some unknown guy does not like them, it's solid proof that it's a failure? Honestly he is someone that has a sensitivity to them and is having issues, I know a lot of people with Glass that do not suffer from the eye strain or the inability to not look at it when talking to others. And I am sure there are others that have the same eye strain and sensitivity problems. I know as a glasses wearer I do find shifting focus to be difficult for Glass

    Lastly, the things are in OPEN BETA, If anyone expe

  • Prototype not behaving like a finished product, story at 11.

  • I like my new Skyzone goggles. They're cool!
  • You confirm you're a douche when you're wearing them.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:11PM (#47057059) Homepage
    1) Free up hands

    2) Provide 3d visual effects by granting different views to different eyes. (not relevant to google glass - yet)

    3) Discrete use of the device.

    While the complaints mentioned are insightful, they do not bear on the benefits of wearable computers.

    Wearable computing is coming. People don't want to use hands and we want to be able to check our messages, email, txts, discretely.

    The only real thing holding us back is a good discrete input device. Possibly something blue toothed to the google glass, so we will be truly discrete instead of having to whisper commands to the google glass.

    • Wordnik's recent collection of commonly confused words reminded me that it's been a while since I wrote a post of this sort. Time for another.

      Discreet and discrete are often mixed up. It's easily done: not only are they homophones with near-identical spelling, they're also doublets, meaning they diverged from the same original word. In modern English, their spellings and meanings are distinct.

      Discreet is probably the more familiar word, and is usually used to refer to people, especially their speech, appearance, or behavior. It means unobtrusive, circumspect and prudent, careful not to attract attention or cause embarrassment, able to keep a secret. Discretion is the noun form.

      Discrete generally means separate, non-continuous, individually distinct; it also has technical usages relating to possible parts or values. Discreteness is the related noun.

      Keeping 'discreet' and 'discrete' discreetly discrete [wordpress.com]

  • I am returning my Apple Newton, as tablet computers with touch screens will never work.
  • It seems like the main issue is that there is no good use case.

    Google glass = Project Ginger.
  • that is exactly what happened to steve martin.
  • Now, may I have the returned glasses (for free)?

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