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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) offers up some advice for its "Glass Explorer community" -- those who wear Google Glass, the company's eyeglass computers -- including "behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others." Furthermore, the firm suggests you not be creepy or rude -- a "Glasshole" -- and turn off the device if asked. Against the backdrop of mounting privacy concerns, and with some arguing that the $1,500 glasses tempt thieves, at least one San Francisco bar is banning the eyewear.
On one hand, patrons are concerned about being taped without their permission, as the glasses offer a hands-free way to record photos, videos, and sound. In the other camp, people argue that bars are public places and expectations of privacy should be muted, and that it's far easier to discreetly record something with a smartphone, as opposed to flashy, voice-activated headwear. Either way, the high-tech toys are fueling controversy, which many expect to get worse as Google Glass becomes more affordable.
On the charts, GOOG has advanced more than 46% during the past year, and was last seen at $1,221 -- just a chip shot from its record high of $1,228.88, tagged on Feb. 26. Furthermore, the stock has been a broad-market standout, outperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 10 percentage points during the past three months.
As such, it's not surprising to find most analysts in the bullish camp. Of the 30 covering brokerage firms, 23 offer up "strong buys" and three maintain "buy" opinions, while the remaining four consider the stock a "hold." Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target stands at $1,320.63, which would mark a record high for GOOG, and represents expected upside of 8.2% to the stock's current price.
However, options traders have been picking up GOOG puts over calls at an accelerated clip during the past couple of weeks. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.94 sits just 13 percentage points from an annual high.