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Monday, August 22, 2016


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Chanson de Roland

It hardly seems like the Good, that is, getting off the couch, moving your butt, and getting out from behind the screen of a computing device to see the real world and perhaps even meet some real people, is anywhere near being worth the Bad and Ugly, that is, the gross invasion of privacy and Niantic possibly reserving to itself the extraordinary rights to view and even control one's personal accounts and even one's devices, and the Ugly of trespassing upon others' rights in their property and on the peace and dignity of our public parks and museums and people behaving rudely in the urgent pursuit of Pokemon. However, that seems to be the way of the world, that we trade what’s truly valuable, such as our privacy and other rights and good civil conduct, for what is at best charitably described as trivial, that is, playing a game to catch the Pokemons.

And then there is Niantic's arbitration clause, where it shield's itself from any responsibility for the breaches of law and rights that it causes and facilitates with Pokemon Go, so that added to the Bad and Ugly is that the Pokey pursuers, who violates rights or otherwise break the law, can't seek any remedy from Ninatic for its legal responsibility for unlawful acts, such as directing Pokey pursuers into trespassing upon private property or violating the sanctity of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where we honor the memory of six million Jews who the Nazis murdered, and Arlington National Cemetery, where we honor our soldiers who have fallen in the defense and service of our nation. So the Pokies accept Niantic's arbitration clause, which shields it from its responsibility for enabling and abetting these wrongs, so as to be able to pursue the Pokemon?

As for the Good, simply go to any of these places, museums, parks, etc., in a manner according to law and good conduct, on your own, and one can meet his friends at an agreed place, such as a coffee shop, or even invite them home, with no game being required.

However, I do thank the Editor for mentioning the claim of unjust enrichment, which had slipped my mind. That's a good one.

I just saw a movie over the weekend, Hell Or High Water, which showed that how heavily armed citizens are in the state of Texas and willing to use those arms to defend their rights, though that wasn’t the either the moral of the story. However, in view of the fact of Texans being so well armed and being so skilled in the use of their firearms, I strongly suggest, with the greatest solicitation for their welfare, that Pokies don’t pursue Pokemon onto private property in Texas, and that we asked to cease their trespass, they do so quickly and without protest and don’t dare call the lady of the house a bitch, for, if they do, there is an excellent chance that their days of pursing Pokemon will come to an abrupt and violent end, which would most likely be legal in Texas. And I am finding it difficult to have much sympathy for that admittedly tragic outcome.


This was perhaps the fastest global adoption of any new technology ever. It will pave the way for quick adoption of augmented realty in useful ways in many industries. I happen to be in commercial real estate and expect it to become a useful tool for developers, landlords, etc. As for the bad and ugly. Most of this is lack of basic common sense (on developers and users' part). Unfortunately that is difficult to teach. With regard to the future: We don't know what a world where fantasy is blended with reality will look like. We've seen it in movies or read about it in book, but sometimes life can be stranger than fiction.

Chanson de Roland

Dear Ms. Danielson: There is no doubt that augmented reality (AR) has its uses. And when appropriately regulated and applied, it can be useful in ways where the benefits exceed any harm, so that the net benefit makes particular applications of AR at least advisable. However, with the potential for good also comes the potential for harm, and it is easy to foresee the harms that could arise directly or indirectly from AR. The most immediate of these will be the further erosion of our privacy and what ought to be our right to own our personal information, as the price for "free" or even paid-for applications of AR will the further and even more extensively misappropriation of our personal information in exchange for many things that are as trivial as Pokemon Go. Other applications will provide great benefits in the professions, arts, sciences, commerce, etc., yet the exchange of our personal information for whatever services and benefits that will be provided will rarely be the result of a fair and/or informed consensual exchange.

And beyond violation of our privacy, AR will be used in nefarious ways, some of which can be easily imagined, while others will surprise even the cleverest of us.

Yet, none of the foregoing would be a cause for concern, if our government regulators and courts are and had shown themselves to be up to the challenged of appropriately regulating technology. But sadly that is not the case. Instead, we see that vast wealth and lobbying by those who make huge profits from technology have unduly influenced and thoroughly compromised the regulators, the legislatures, and the courts, so that it is almost certain that AR will proceed apace with very little of the appropriate regulation and/or award of damages that will be needed to restrain it within the bounds of activity that will result in a net social good and prevent injustice and harm to individuals.

So, while it is almost certain that AR won't yield a utopia, it is quite likely that it will verge toward dystopia before it is properly restrained.


More of the bad and ugly:

-In Japan, a truck driver struck two women and killed one while playing the game and driving at the same time. A Niantic Labs spokesperson confirmed that a pop-up screen was added to the game when it detects an increase in the player's speed.

- In Taipei, Taiwan a stampede by thousands of players blocked streets in the capital. Police have fined gamers who ride motorized scooters while playing.

- In Guatemala, a teenager was killed after breaking into a house while playing the game. Source:

Alleged video of the stampede is available at:

- In Cambodia, two Pokemon Go gyms located at the Tuol Sleng Memorial and Museum, a genocide site where about 3 million people were killed between 1975 and 1979:


Chanson de Roland

And, of course, that Pokemon Go now has a popup screen that pops up when it detects your increase in speed means that Pokemon Go detects and is monitoring your movements and location, which I suspect is something that most Pokies neither know or, if they know it, haven't considered the implications.

I offer just two of many serious implications. Since Pokemon Go has information about your speed and, thus, almost certainly has information about your location that information, as established by recent case precedents, would almost certainly be subject to either a government search warrant or subpoena. Also, a private lawyer could subpoena a Pokies' location and/or other data in a civil suit. And that subpoena would most likely be enforced, if the court found that it sought evidence relevant to either the issues of law or fact in a lawsuit.

And this just so that one can capture the Pokemon? Gee, those Pokemon must be really valuable or important--not to mention the mayhem of running innocent people down in the street.


More ugly:

"While playing the popular augmented-reality game Pokémon Go in Long Beach, a city that is nearly 50% white, Aura Bogado made an unsettling discovery — there were far more PokéStops and Gyms, locations where people pick up virtual goods or battle one another, than in her predominantly minority neighborhood in Los Angeles... So Bogado, who writes for environmental news outlet Grist, created the Twitter hashtag #mypokehood in July to crowdsource the locations of PokéStops. The results that poured in from across the county, and research from The Urban Institute think tank, bore out her experience..."

Is Pokémon Go racist? How the app may be redlining communities of color


"Back when Ingress players were mapping out the landmarks we now use to play Pokemon Go, black players were targeted by police. According to @typhoonjim, who played Ingress, a “black opponent received thorough grilling” by cops when mapping out spaces in Baltimore — and he reports hearing of similar accounts in other cities. Omari Akil explains that, as a black Pokemon player, he fears that circling neighborhoods while playing the game could even mean death. Muslim, Arab, and South Asian players might be considered a national threat when out catching Pikachu. What is considered suspicious behavior? According to Homeland Security, someone who loiters or takes “unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building,” may be engaging in a “terrorism-related crime.” The problem is, playing Pokemon Go requires this exact kind of behavior... Because pokestops are concentrated in cities, rural players everywhere have trouble. But for Native Americans who live in reservations, it’s even tougher..."

Gotta catch ’em all? It’s a lot easier if you’re white


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