GoogleTV Beta: A Total Hoax, but an Impressive Hoax

So that GoogleTV Beta video that we posted last Friday is, unsurprisingly, totally BS. It's a hoax, a joke, a trick, all perpetrated on us by Fatal Farm. They usually make twisted remakes of 80s sitcom openings (which are actually pretty funny), but I guess they got tired of making Alf look like he was showing the Tanners hidden bathroom cam footage and decided to mess with Internet geeks instead.

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Now, normally we wouldn't give them any extra attention, but after their first video got so many people riled up they decided to make a follow-up. In the above video, "Mark. E. Erickson" gives a demo of the "GoogleTV Beta" in a single shot, trying to prove that logging in and out of Gmail 700 times will actually gain you access.

It's obviously still fake, but what's impressive is how cool the mockup they made just for this prank is. It looks like they made a fake GoogleTV just to run for these videos, and it looks surprisingly like something Google would create. I'd personally rather have a video of them showing what they did to perpetrate this hoax rather than another one trying to convince us that it's real, but that might be wishful thinking. In any case, let's just think of it as a cool product concept created by prankster jackasses rather than Photoshop wizards. Yeah, that'll make you feel better about wasting four hours of your life logging in and out of your email account.

DISCUSSION

permissionmag-old
permissionmag

It was a brilliant hoax, really great. I am not ashamed to say that I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

The key to a good con is to play on your mark's own greed. They knew just how to do it - bait us in with something amazing, yet vaguely plausible.

If I had thought about it for a minute, the idea of a free television service that would circumvent every cable company in the country might be just a little outlandish, even from Google.

I should have noticed his overly geeky hair, the too-perfect intro (Computer Chronicles, anyone?), the unmodified WinXP and IE (not very geeky), or at least the clues in the videos, like Logo Google or his WiFi "tips."

The genius was that they never went too far over the top, just far enough to leave a clue.

I wanted to believe. Heck, I even emailed the guy with a question, thanks to his slightly vague "archive your message" instructions.

Bravo, Fatal Farm. Bravo.