Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google TV’s “Big Announcement” Isn’t

Google TV’s “big announcement”? Not very large.

So says a Googler I pinged today, after I saw a flurry of posts referencing this cryptic Facebook message from Google TV’s account.

Said Googler says there’s a new Google TV YouTube app in the works, and that we may not have to wait until tomorrow to see it — it could pop out tonight. Update: That was fast — there it is.

That’s about it, though. And it probably won’t change the world as we know it.

Recall that Google was showing off the latest incarnation of Google TV to press, partners and would-be partners just a month ago at the Consumer Electronics Show. So it’d be a bit odd for them to unveil a major new … anything quite so soon.

By the way, the new, revamped Google TV demo I saw last month was pretty impressive. It was a canned demo, and as I recall the canned demos Google showed off when it rolled out the first, ill-fated attempt at Google TV were pretty good, too. So it may not mean anything.

But! If Google TV works as advertised, it may actually do a nice job of melding “TV” with “Web video” and blurring some of those distinctions. Which is very much what Google and YouTube head Salar Kamangar would like to do.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work