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NYC Considers Google Glass For Restaurant Inspections 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-curds dept.
New submitter TchrBabe writes: "NYC is now considering equipping its Health Department inspectors with Google Glass to provide a record of restaurant inspections. 'A yearlong pilot program would require 10 percent of the 160 health inspectors to wear video devices — including, possibly, the much-maligned Google goggles — under legislation to be proposed Thursday. "I think it would limit the abuses on both sides of the table, and it would allow for a more objective view by the judge on the violations that have been cited," said bill sponsor Vincent Ignizio.'"
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NYC Considers Google Glass For Restaurant Inspections

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  • Added benefit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:10AM (#46723885)
    Wear google glass and get excellent service ....
    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:35AM (#46724011)
      As long as they don't enter any French McDonald's, they'll be fine.
      • Re:Added benefit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:05AM (#46724181) Journal

        My favorite story about the differences in hygiene standards in Europe compared to America.

        Health inspectors walk into a famous French restaurant in NYC. 3 Michelin stars, celebrity chef. Cat crosses path.

        Inspectors: Sir, do you realize there's a cat in your restaurant? This is not allowed
        Owner: Of course there's a cat in the restaurant, if I can't have him here how would you suggest I handle the rats?

        Inspectors close restaurant. Exeunt

        The funny thing is, living in Europe, and then living in Asia I can tell you most of the world does not have the same very very high standards of the US. And, surprisingly, people do not die from eating raw milk products, or from eating cheeses and meats that have been allowed to sit out in the heat all day, or from any of the many other sins an American health inspector will make you repent for.

        • Dyssentry usually isn't fatal. Usually.

          • Dyssentry usually isn't fatal. Usually.

            According to WHO, about 760,000 [who.int] children die every year from diarrhea caused by food or water borne pathogens. In light of that, I think it is silly to say that sanitation and health inspections are unnecessary.

            • by gnick (1211984)

              I think it is silly to say that sanitation and health inspections are unnecessary.

              They are unnecessary. They're incredibly useful and prevent many illnesses some of which could be fatal, but if I was dying of dehydration, I'd drink water regardless of what it was tainted with - Similar for food. The WHO can give you stats on malnutrition/starvation around the world. This is NYC, where many people eat very well and many people eat what others throw away. If I go to a restaurant, I expect to be served sanitary food (usually - unless I intentionally walk into some dive where it could da

        • I don't like to overwhelm my biodefenses. YMMV.

          • Your immune system is sort of like a muscle. In order for it to be healthy and functioning properly you need to work it out. So, if you never introduce foreign bacteria that need to be killed, your immune system will weaken, and the likelihood that it will get bored and attack itself (also known as allergies) increase. This doesn't just include bacteria; societies where people are more likely to be exposed to parasites like worms tend to have a very low or zero incidence of gastrointestinal diseases like

            • foreign bacteria that need to be killed, your immune system will weaken, and the likelihood that it will get bored and attack itself (also known as allergies) increase. This doesn't just include bacteria; societies where people are more likely to be exposed to parasites like worms tend to have a very low or zero incidence of gastrointestinal diseases like irritiable bowel syndrome

              Well that could not be any more wrong. Dysentery is one of the leading cause of deaths in countries with little to no sanitation system. Fortunately when someone in a western country contracts one of these diseases, they can go to a hospital, get some fluids and antibiotics

              I suspect you are not an anti-vaxer or a naturalist, just misinformed. This is the same completely made up argument that they use. Vaccines do not cause diseases, and eating dirt does not make you healthy.

              PhD Microbiology? Try a PhD in E

              • Re:cumulate filth (Score:4, Interesting)

                by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Friday April 11, 2014 @10:14AM (#46724809) Journal

                Actually I think you're misinformed. How exactly does it follow that just because people die of dysentery, all hygienic practices in the US not done in other countries are aimed at preventing dysentery?

                Furthermore, as stated, European countries often don't have the same health regulations as the US. And, contrary to popular opinion, Europe is full of western countries.

                Again, Dysentery is mostly caused by amoebas, and a bacteria called shigella. Shigella is naturally found in humans and apes and you contract it by drinking water with human feces in it. (Which is why when you're in an asian or african country you shouldn't be drinking tap water).

                That's completely different then unpasteurized milk, or food that's been left out in the heat.

                Furthermore, if you google what I said you'll get all kinds of links on the first page. Like link 1:

                http://usatoday30.usatoday.com... [usatoday.com]

            • I use Chlorine compounds with discretion, and I eschewed Triclosan long before the FDA noted its questionable properties. I think that cleaning up other people's public filth*, moving Cow dung about the farm, and generally rooting around in dirt have adequately inoculated my system. I use a reasonable amount of water and simple soap products to try and keep a lid on the pathogenic stuff.
              * I wash the hell out of my hands before I touch myelf- don't disrespect those Mycobacteriums...

        • First, European standards of food safety are most certainly high enough. Second, I was referring to incidents with head-mounted cameras.
          • Was there a head mounted camera incident in a french mcdonalds?

            • by Anonymous Coward

              http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/16/augmented-reality-explorer-steve-mann-assaulted-at-parisian-mcdonalds/

        • With raw foods it is about the low quality food that poor urban people consume. Raw milk might not kill you at a French New York Restaurant. But it has certainly killed lots of urban poor people. Raw milk was banned as a way of limiting TB. In 1815, one in four deaths in England was due to "consumption". Anti-biotics and a vacines have reduced the risks of eating raw foods. (but only if you have good health care)
          • Re:Added benefit (Score:4, Interesting)

            by operagost (62405) on Friday April 11, 2014 @10:10AM (#46724775) Homepage Journal

            "Consumption" was an old name for tuberculosis. TB is normally transferred through the air, not food contamination.

            Raw milk is not generally available to poor urban people today, because farms are no longer near cities. It's mostly consumed in rural or suburban areas, near the source farms. There is no need to ban raw milk with the incredibly small risks associated, compared to the carcinogens in city water, for example. So banning raw milk is essentially an attack on poor and middle class rural people, which is fashionable today.

            • "Consumption" was an old name for tuberculosis. TB is normally transferred through the air, not food contamination.

              Raw milk is not generally available to poor urban people today, because farms are no longer near cities. It's mostly consumed in rural or suburban areas, near the source farms. There is no need to ban raw milk with the incredibly small risks associated, compared to the carcinogens in city water, for example. So banning raw milk is essentially an attack on poor and middle class rural people, which is fashionable today.

              You only named one risk to raw milk, not the many that exist. Remember, it takes only one sick cow out of a hundred to pass on harmful bacteria. Grass fed cows do not have some magical quality that works as an antibiotic in milk. City water is in fact safer because it is subjected to a similar treatment as pasteurization (Chlorination, Ozone etc). I am not aware of any "carcinogens in city water" or their relative rate of harm compared to unpasteurized milk, so I suspect that is just conjecture.

              An example o

              • and yet for years, my family, and a bunch of others from our local church, would go to a farm of a member and get a couple of buckets of milk every week from him. he also sold it commercially, but would do this on the side. nobody got noticeably sick from this [in our family, or hearing about it from other families].

                course, this is just a 1-person anecdote, so you can apply it to everyone.

                • by cygnwolf (601176)

                  You're also talking about one person's experience with a local farmer, who most likely was not a large commercial dairy operation where the one sick cow could easily be overlooked. Pasteurization isn't because it's common for the milk to be contaminated, but because a possibility (however slim) exists. And would only be amplified by gross capitalism where that one, slightly sick cow is still making milk after all.....

                  Look at all of the recent incidences of other contaminated foodstuffs (I'm looking at you

                  • So why don't we mandate all spinach is cooked prior to being sold? Hell, let's mandate that raw vegetables stop being sold completely, we can pasteurize them too (read: boil, blanche, broil, bake, whatever is most convenient)! Of course a salad will be a little different but in 50 years no one will remember what a salad used to be like anyways.

                    Also, why stop at salad. Sometimes children get head lice at school. Let's pasteurize them as well (read: shave their little heads).

                    Point is, there's lots of thin

            • Re:Added benefit (Score:4, Informative)

              by Enigma2175 (179646) on Friday April 11, 2014 @11:52AM (#46725965) Homepage Journal

              "Consumption" was an old name for tuberculosis. TB is normally transferred through the air, not food contamination.

              From the CDC [cdc.gov]:

              "Before the invention and acceptance of pasteurization, raw milk was a common source of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, ..."

        • by biodata (1981610)
          The funny thing to me is the idea that having a cat in a restaurant is somehow unhealthy. Oh Noes! An Animal! Forget the fact that all the people cooking, cleaning and eating in the place are also animals, and are much more likely to infect you.
        • Unless you claim that story happend more than 40 years ago, I'd call BS.

          Animals in the kitchen would be a reason to close a restaurant over here, too. even a flowerpot with fresh basil next to the stove might be a point in an audit. (soil contamination)

          And I don't think food standards are higher in the US. What they may be seen as a possible higher hygienic standard only lead to more than questionable chemicals [about.com] allowed in US food. Or use of irradiation.

          The most absurd difference IMHO can be found here: http [io9.com]

          • I call BS for your call on BS.

            I live in Europe and I can't count the number of times I saw a cat or dog or other animals in a kitchen.

            The story above was in the NY times a few years back.

        • Of course there's a cat in the restaurant, if I can't have him here how would you suggest I handle the rats?

          Well, yeah that is completely rediculous. It's New York, there's no way of controlling the rats.

        • by gnick (1211984)

          The funny thing is, living in Europe, and then living in Asia I can tell you most of the world does not have the same very very high standards of the US

          I'm not sure where you are (I'm in New Mexico, where you can find questionable food all over - Some of it delicious.) When in Vienna a little over 12 years ago, they'd just gotten their first McDonald's. It took YEARS to get approved to open and eventually reached an agreement - They could open, but had to post signs at the entrance in (at least 3 - I'm thinking German, English, French) several languages that said "The beef served in this establishment does not meet Austrian standards for human consumptio

    • ...until someone beats you up for staring at them, thinking you're recording them.
  • It's a great idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dclozier (1002772) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:16AM (#46723917)
    The best way to keep inspectors from looking the other way for cash under the table is to be able to see when they're looking the other way. This also protects the restaurant owners too since the inspector can't threaten them over something imaginary because it will have to be on the video recording to back up their statements.
    • The best way to keep inspectors from looking the other way for cash under the table is to be able to see when they're looking the other way.

      what?

      google glass won't keep...um...people from bribing each other...they can just exchange the money at another time

      it's good in a way that techies are so naive when it comes to criminality

      this whole thing was some hot idea by some "product development" person who knows absolutely nothing about the **actual task**

      yes...they could use **any kind of video camera**...incl

      • by Anonymous Coward

        google glass won't keep...um...people from bribing each other...they can just exchange the money at another time

        There's two parts to a bribe- transferring the money (which you addressed), and actually doing what you're being bribed to do. If the inspection is recorded, the inspector can't ignore problems that he sees. I suppose he could deliberately not look in places he knows there are problems, but then the (recorded) inspection would be incomplete.

        • by zlives (2009072)

          if only we had the technology before google glass came along to make this possible... owait, i just read the heading

        • by jittles (1613415)

          google glass won't keep...um...people from bribing each other...they can just exchange the money at another time

          There's two parts to a bribe- transferring the money (which you addressed), and actually doing what you're being bribed to do. If the inspection is recorded, the inspector can't ignore problems that he sees. I suppose he could deliberately not look in places he knows there are problems, but then the (recorded) inspection would be incomplete.

          No he can't hide violations as easily. Instead, he'll notify the owner and the "random inspection" will not be so random or unexpected anymore. You're not likely to fail a health inspection if you know they're coming!

  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:26AM (#46723965)

    "the much-maligned Google goggles"

    They aren't maligned as a working tool; they're maligned as a geek toy.

    Wearing a welding helmet while welding? OK. Wearing a welding helmet to the local bar? Expect some ridicule.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I would hate any municipality t waste $1500 on a such an untested device. The lack of usefulness and high price point of this product is indicated by the fact that, as far as I can tell, anyone who applies to the explorer program gets in. I sent an application a while back, just saying I was going to play with them, and I got an offer. I did not know that they cost more than my first car. Now of course they have a "sale", where apparently anyone can buy the glasses for the low, low price of $1500.
    • Wearing a welding helmet to the local bar? Expect some ridicule.

      What? Imagine the possibilities for pickup lines!

      "You're so hot, I have to wear ANSI Z87.1 compliant eye protection"

    • It's a self fulfilling malignment: they were maligned in the summary. QED!

      In seriousness, google glass is taking a lot of flak in terms of "I can't believe you're recording me! Privacy!" Annoyingly, this outrage is not directed at privacy issues that matter, like companies requiring your SSN for anything besides giving you social security benefits, or CCTVs everywhere, or the NSA. Google glass is maligned by people who want to act like they care about privacy but who can't be bothered to think about
  • by Bourdain (683477) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:28AM (#46723977)
    ...as someone who has scoured and mined the NYC health department data (not to mention the review / grade pending period making the data even more worthless; i.e., most restaurants receive a hidden "C" at which point they display a "Grade Pending" sign then have a month to get their "A" at their reinspection and then most likely go back to their "C" ways --> to all those statisticians out there, which rating is the real one? the first one when they weren't expecting it or the one where they had a few weeks notice?

    My hope and wish is that the letter grades determined by the score would be meaningfully correlated to the risk of food poisoning in the restaurant however there is little relationship between those things and that restaurants wouldn't have a chance to get a reinspection which clearly defeats the purpose of the test in the eyes of anyone with even the most minimal statistical/scientific education.

    Instead of using google glass, the health department should reevaluate their methods of inspection and reinspection grading policy where part of their inspection relates to testing actual prepared food instead of seeing if a mouse or roach might have been on the floor (oftentimes they can just scurry in from the sidewalk and have zero impact on the food)
    • thnx for an informed opinion

      if Google Glass's product development people had half the sense you do about everyday tasks the rollout wouldn't be so awkward

      one thing I'd add is that all the benefits these people taut of using Google Glass are actually benefits that can come from using **any video camera**

      you dont need Google Glass to take video

    • by alen (225700)

      and almost every A grade has 10 points of violations for nonsense like certificates not being displayed in the open or something similar. take those away from a C and you get a B which is mostly stuff like food not being kept at a warm or cold enough temperature because in some cases the food being served is not supposed to be overheated or over chilled.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Search for "clean restaurant in NYC [google.com]", and get accurate results based on reviews by professional restaurant inspectors.

    Find out how clean a restaurant's kitchen is with a glimpse into the kitchen: google kitchen view

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:58AM (#46724131) Homepage

    NYC eyes Google Glass for restaurant inspections

    including, possibly, the much-maligned Google goggles

    So if the city wanted to use Google Glass

    I don't see any evidence that NYC is actually looking at Google Glass. For all the information in the article, they may have already discounted it. Perhaps they never even considered it.

    In other words, made-up shit.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:13AM (#46724213)

    Did you ever notice that Police Dashboard cams seem to glitch out between the time they do the stop, and during an escalation. Then seems to be working when a bruised suspect finally hits the cop.

    I expect the same thing...
    You see a video of the inspector. Talking to the owner who is wearing a nice gold watch. Well lets take a look at that refrigerator, the display get very pixally the sound wavers and is hard to hear, then it finally comes back on, with the inspector well it looks good then shakes the guys hand with a tan line, while the inspectors is wearing a gold watch.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:27AM (#46724339)

      Did you ever notice that Police Dashboard cams seem to glitch out between the time they do the stop, and during an escalation. Then seems to be working when a bruised suspect finally hits the cop.

      I expect the same thing...
      You see a video of the inspector. Talking to the owner who is wearing a nice gold watch. Well lets take a look at that refrigerator, the display get very pixally the sound wavers and is hard to hear, then it finally comes back on, with the inspector well it looks good then shakes the guys hand with a tan line, while the inspectors is wearing a gold watch.

      Actually, that doesn't happen as often as one might think and when it does, it goes against the police. One of the purposes of dash cams is to provide evidence that the officer did not beat the guy up.

      • Actually, that doesn't happen as often as one might think and when it does, it goes against the police. One of the purposes of dash cams is to provide evidence that the officer did not beat the guy up.

        Except in L.A.?

        http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          Actually, that doesn't happen as often as one might think and when it does, it goes against the police. One of the purposes of dash cams is to provide evidence that the officer did not beat the guy up.

          Except in L.A.?

          http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

          Your story is an example of what I am saying. If the camera feed isn't there, it works against the police, not in favor of them.

      • But how much more trouble would they be in if they had hard evidence.

        With a convenient technical glitch, there is at least the argument that they followed procedures. Vs. blind proof that they were abusive.

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          But how much more trouble would they be in if they had hard evidence.

          With a convenient technical glitch, there is at least the argument that they followed procedures. Vs. blind proof that they were abusive.

          Exactly, without the cameras, its the person's word against the cops. If the person has bruises and said that he cop beat him and there is no camera to show that he wasn't beaten then it's harder to disprove excessive force. Or say the perpetrator picked the fight with the police officer, but there isn't a camera, again it's his word against theirs. In the old days, there were two officers in a patrol car to "validate" the story. But, because people sometimes lie for their partner and because of costs sav

  • For the simple task of a portable recorder, GG is a ridiculous choice.

  • by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:23AM (#46724291) Homepage

    Not in private homes, because I do think people deserve some amount of privacy in their home but, definitely for where the real corruption is: commercial buildings.

    My wife's previous employer owned the building that their office was in. They tried to get a permit to build a roof deck and were blatantly extorted by the Boston city building inspector. They refused to pay, he denied them the permit.

    Corruption is everywhere where people have power.

  • Invasion of Privacy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

    Do the state laws on restaurant inspections in the State of New York provide for the recording of who frequents those restaurants? Since these video inspections are part of the public record AND pick up everywhere the inspector turns their head, it would seem that if passed, this legislation would amount to government surveillance that could then be searched under the freedom of information act. Or how long before law enforcement or the NSA start accessing these videos? Of course they will say if you don't

  • by cgfsd (1238866) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:27AM (#46724345)
    Instead of spending $1500, why don't they buy a decent camera with a flash for 1/10 of the cost.
    Maybe throw in a tablet for $300 to help documentation.

    The Glass sucks at low light conditions and high contrast conditions found in coolers and kitchens.
    Using Glass sounds good, but common sense sounds even better.
  • Here's a proposal for a minor change in the legislation. If this law is all about protecting the consu--I mean citizen, and limiting abuses of the inspectors, providing an accurate record, etc, then instead of the inspectors wearing a recording device, how about requiring those being inspected to wear them instead? Same results, right? Surely the state inspectors won't have ANY problem whatsoever being recorded doing their jobs - if everything's so above board, then they have nothing to fear.
    • by EvilSS (557649)

      Here's a proposal for a minor change in the legislation. If this law is all about protecting the consu--I mean citizen, and limiting abuses of the inspectors, providing an accurate record, etc, then instead of the inspectors wearing a recording device, how about requiring those being inspected to wear them instead? Same results, right? Surely the state inspectors won't have ANY problem whatsoever being recorded doing their jobs - if everything's so above board, then they have nothing to fear.

      I think they idea here is that the video would pick up what the inspector sees (since it would be sitting on his/her face it would have the same POV). This way if there is a dispute the video can be used to clarify what was seen. I don't see a problem with the owner also creating his own video of the inspection, but I don't think it's fair to do what you say and force the owners to wear a camera during the inspection.

      • Neither do I, IMHO the state doesn't really have any business forcing the owner to do anything. The idea was to make a point; there's no way the state would agree to independent oversight of their inspection practices since they don't give a flying #*&$ about safety; it's about revenue.
  • I'm curious about these inspectors. Is it a requirement that they have no hands? Because we have these things called "video cameras" that they could carry to document their reports. They only need one hand to hold it, so NYC's 100% differently-abled health inspector quota could still be met.
  • Also known as "rat cam".

  • by jtara (133429)

    GoPro: a heck of a lot cheaper, higher resolution, good enough for the cops. Put it in some sort of clip, remove it from the clip for close-ups. Yes, it's dorky. But less dorky than Google Glass.

  • I sated before that between now and a future of robots, there will be people outfitted with Glass like attachments for their jobs, no longer needing any education or even an understanding of the local language (thanks to an icon based language that will be the Worlds first true language everyone knows).
    Simply take a human, attach Glass and let the computer tell them what to do and what to look for. A humans natural dexterity makes them a cheap extension of an AI, so before the robots comes the "controlled h

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