Google TV kicks Apple TV in the teeth

Google has announced the fall, 2010 availability of Google TV, which is a set top box but may also be built in to some new TVs. The little video that is embedded in the linked article shows an interface that looks remarkably similar to the interface used by the Apple TV appliance, which is also a set top box. Either Apple nailed the interface design for this kind of device, or Google could not come up with anything better, or both.

The problem I suspect I will have with Google TV is that I"m pretty sure the Google TV device will send everything I watch or anyone in my family watches to Google, where they will add it to the massive dossier they have already collected on me and everyone else in the country. Google TV will also conveniently, I'm sure, provide handy connections to other Google services like Google Docs. Google is going to take over your life, one little "free" service at a time, until you can't do anything on the Web without touching some kind of Google service. Google could easily build in an "opt in" feature that only allows them to collect personal information if you expressly agree, but their general tendency for other products and services is to collect first and ask later, or worse, include a requirement to let them have all your personal information in return for the "free" service. It's a Faustian bargain.