Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Speak Up! Google TV Adds Voice Control.

If you are very old, you’ll remember a time when changing a TV channel meant getting off the couch and actually touching a set.

But in the future, apparently, we’ll just tell the TV what to do. Microsoft’s Xbox already offers voice control, and lots of crystal-ball-gazers figure that Apple TV will do the same, using Siri. Now here comes Google TV, which is rolling out the feature with certain LG TV sets.

Too bad this guy sitting on his couch, by himself, doesn’t seem to be enjoying the process. Perhaps because he has to keep holding the remote to make the thing work. Or maybe he just doesn’t really like TV:

Voice control is cool (sort of), but if you are a future-of-TV nerd, it’s also worth paying attention to the TV guide improvements YouTube talks about in the second half of the video.

Regardless of how you control your TV, guides and curators are going to play a huge role in what you watch. And what Google chooses — or is allowed — to put into those guides will end up being quite important.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik