The Final Cut: Saying No to Google TV Page 2


Enter Google TV. About 99 percent of Google’s revenue comes from advertising, and TV is the motherlode of advertising. So Google is aiming for that market with Google TV. It will blend traditional TV and the Web with streaming and searching. Google TVs will use Google’s Chrome browser to let you visit any Web site from your TV, with sites as accessible as TV channels. Your TV will also run Android apps and interface with Android phones using the TV’s built-in Wi-Fi; for example, you could push video and music from your phone to the TV. Your TV will become the nexus of your home entertainment zone. Google TV will add perks like live TV picture-in-picture while surfing the Web, automatic generation of subtitles in any language you want, and voice control. Simply wonderful stuff. And I’m dead set against it.

My life is one big fire hose of data and nonstop techno-stimulation. As my editor and the Department of Labor damn well know, this jacks up my productivity something fierce. And maybe we couldn’t live without this info-torrent. But precisely because of it, don’t we desperately need a place of passive refuge, a place where we can slack off and let a little drool roll down our chins? Does Google really need to stream into my man-cave entertainment zone to collect billions more in ad revenue? Can’t I have one contemplative place where I can sit peacefully bathed in the sweet neon glow of my Heineken sign?

Just like the multitudes that absolutely must have a phone with a picture of a fruit on it, I’m sure that many of you will want Google TV. All you eBay junkies and Amazon addicts and Facebook weenies, please don’t bring this down on the rest of us. I don’t want to have to read tweets while watching the game, and I sure as hell don’t want to answer memos from my boss while staring at Angelina. Please, I’m begging you — keep TV mindlessly passive. Just say no to Google TV.

Of course, some of you have already sold out. You’re probably reading this online, on a Web-enabled TV. Well, the Web goes both ways. Using Google, I can see your house, and even you standing in the window. I’m sorry, but hand over your Heineken sign. Answering memos from your boss while sitting in its sacred neon glow is just wrong. And thank goodness you’re wearing pants. . . this time.